Research Repositories in the Boston Area
For a small state in a small region, Massachusetts punches above its weight in offering valuable historical collections within a few hours’ drive of Boston. Early efforts to collect documents and artifacts related to the nation’s founding led to the establishment of the Massachusetts Historical Society (the nation’s first) in 1791.
The industrial wealth of the 19th century gave a boost to efforts to preserve local history. Massachusetts has 351 incorporated cities and towns. Many contain museums that were founded as regional historical societies and— due to their early dates of incorporation and the affluence of their founders—contain rich collections of national significance. This also rings true for the colleges and universities that likewise blanket the region.
Kate Viens has graciously provided the following sampling of repositories. Many are accessible by public transportation including Amtrak and the MBTA commuter rail. Visit their websites to learn of fellowship opportunities that can support your research, including the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium. The links below are all clickable.
- Baker Library, Harvard University
- Boston Athenaeum
- Boston Public Library
- Congregational Library and Archives
- Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
- Historic New England
- Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University
- John J. Burns Library, Boston College
- Mary Baker Eddy Library
- Massachusetts Historical Society
- New England Historic Genealogical Society
- Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections
- Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School
- Harvard Law School Library Special Collections
- Harvard Map Collection
- Harvard University Archives
- Houghton Library, Harvard University
- Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute
North of Boston
- Bowdoin College Special Collections
- Maine Historical Society
- Middlebury College Special Collections
- New Hampshire Historical Society
- Osher Map Library, U. of Southern Maine
- Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum
- Portsmouth Athenaeum (NH)
- Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College
- University of Vermont Special Collections
- Vermont Historical Society
South of Boston
- Archdiocese of Boston Archives
- Connecticut Historical Society
- John Carter Brown Library, Brown U.
- John Hay Library, Brown University
- Mystic Seaport (CT)
- New Bedford Whaling Museum
- Newport Historical Society
- Rhode Island Historical Society
- Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut
- Sterling Library, Yale University
West of Boston
9 July 2019
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