The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium includes 30 repositories, and a learned society. Collections at the participating institutions are broadly representative of the New England region and span the period from pre-contact to the present day. They include personal papers, organizational records, and printed works (both primary and secondary), as well as paintings, engravings, furniture, maps, photographs, architectural drawings, and materials in many other areas of collecting. Many of the organizations own and exhibit important historic houses.
Visit the Andover-Harvard Theological Library website.
The Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School supports the study of multiple religious traditions and their relation to other disciplines and practices, such as politics, ethics, women’s studies, gender studies, social sciences, philosophy, history, literature, the arts, pastoral care, and ministry. Historical collections from the 15th through the 19th centuries are particularly strong in early printed Bibles; the literature of the Protestant Reformation; materials related to Arminianism, Unitarianism, Universalism, and other American liberal and nonconformist religious traditions; publications of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM); and illustrated family and imperial Bibles from the 18th and 19th centuries. Andover-Harvard serves as the official archive for the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Beacon Press, and their predecessor bodies; collects administrative and financial records, letters, diaries, photographs, video footage, and more from a variety of other institutions and traditions; and holds personal papers and records of many noted theologians, scholars, and religious leaders, such as William Ellery Channing, Caspar René Gregory, Kirsopp and Silva Lake, George Ernest Wright, Paul Tillich, H. Richard Niebuhr, Gordon Kaufman, and Anandamayi Ma.
Visit the Archives and Special Collections website.
The Archives and Special Collections at the Northeastern University Libraries houses and carefully curates a diverse and growing collection of historical records relating to Boston’s fight for social justice. Our charge is to preserve the history of Boston’s social movements, including civil and political rights, immigrant rights, homelessness, and urban and environmental justice. We focus on the history of Boston’s African American, Chinese, LGBTQ, Latino and other communities, as well as Boston’s public infrastructure, neighborhoods, and natural environments.
Visit the Baker Library's website.
While the resources of Baker Library cover a wide range of dates, geographical locations, and subject areas, they are particularly strong in documenting the growth of American business and industry from the late 18th-century through the early 20th-century. Researchers will find extensive manuscript collections as well as significant holdings of trade catalogs, trade cards, industrial photographs, and corporate reports. These research materials are furthermore supported by comprehensive book collections, which are especially rich in trade publications, government documents, corporate histories and publications, and business directories. Baker Library also houses the Kress Collection of Business and Economics, an expansive collection of rare books published before 1850, as well as the official archives of the Harvard Business School.
Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum's rare book collection reflects the interests of the Library as it has narrowed its focus from being encyclopedic in the 19th century to its current focus on the humanities. While there are surprising examples of early works on many subjects in the Athenæum, researchers should expect to find depth in certain specific subject areas, including book history, publishers’ bindings, bibliography, fiction, biography, and a renowned collection of modern artists’ books. American history (and New England in particular) is a strength with American imprints, 18th- and 19th-century tracts, broadsides, publications in Native American languages, Boston newspapers, and one of the largest collections in the United States of imprints of the Confederate States of America. The Prints and Photographs Department is primarily a historical documentation collection, whose holdings provide a unique visual record of New England cultural and political life. It is particularly strong in prints, photographs, and architectural drawings depicting the built environment and topography of Boston and New England in the nineteenth century. In addition, the department also has a fine collection of prints and photographs of the Civil War as well as political cartoons, portraits, and historical prints that chronicle American national history.
Please Note: The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of the Boston Public Library is closed to researchers due to renovations until 2021. The Leventhal Map & Education Center remains open during this time.
With over 200,000 maps, 5,000 atlases, and various other material relating to historical geography, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is one of the nation’s preeminent collections for cartographic and geographic research. Collections of distinction include Boston and New England; the American Revolution; maritime charts and atlases; and urban maps and bird’s eye views. The center particularly welcomes research projects that link cartographic representation together with urban and environmental history, landscape studies, the history of science and technology, and the study of communities and regions. An emerging collections strength comprises material relating to the computer revolution in cartography, geospatial data, and critical cartography. A digital collection of more than 10,000 ultra-high-resolution maps, some of which have been georeferenced, are available online.
Visit the John J. Burns Library website.
The John J. Burns Library at Boston College welcomes all students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the general public to consult our holdings for research, teaching, and enjoyment. With materials available in multiple formats on a broad variety of topics, collections’ strengths include Irish history, literature, and music; British Catholic authors; Jesuit studies; Catholic liturgy and life in America; Boston College history; Boston history and politics; the Caribbean, and nursing history, theory, and practice. Burns librarians and archivists are available to answer questions, recommend research strategies, and to provide class and individual instruction for our more than 200,000 volumes and 750+ archival collections.
Visit the Chapin Library website.
The Chapin Library is a dedicated rare books and manuscripts library at Williams College. Our collections broadly support the liberal arts curriculum, including hundreds of Incunabula, significant works of early Americana, print and manuscript holdings in English and American Literature, and major collections of Classical Literature, Bibles, and the History of Science. Modern manuscript collections include several resources on 19th- and 20th-century visual cultural, including the Chesterwood Archive and the papers of Pauline Baynes and Herman Rosse. The Chapin Library is administered with the Williams College Archives in the Special Collections Department.
Visit the Colonial Society of Massachusetts' website.
Since its founding in 1892, the Society has dedicated itself to advancing the study of early America, especially the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Scholars in the colonial and Revolutionary periods have long considered the Society's published documentary collections essential to their research. The Society also conducts educational programs for its members and others, and through prizes as well as in conferences and other forums, it recognizes individual research. Out of this desire to promote first-rate scholarship in the early American period, the Society is pleased to underwrite a Colonial Society of Massachusetts Regional Fellowship.
Visit the Congregational Library and Archives website.
The Congregational Library’s collection of some 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and archival sources documents the growth and development of this important American spiritual tradition, from Puritan times through the twentieth century. Its collection of first-generation American Puritan sources is unusually broad and unique, and is supplemented by a large and growing collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century church records. The Congregational Library has a strong representation of New England town and county histories, reports from foreign missionaries, some 15,000 sermons, and a full archive of the denomination’s progressive social program in the twentieth century.
Visit the Connecticut Historical Society's website.
Founded in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit museum, library, research and education center. We strive to inspire and foster a life-long interest in history and facilitate a passion for learning about history through research assistance, exhibitions, tours and programs for all ages. CHS's library houses approximately 100,000 printed volumes, 3,000,000 manuscripts in 10,000 distinct collections, as well as important holdings of broadsides, maps, newspapers, and other materials that make it an essential resource for documenting the history and development of Connecticut and New England. In addition, the CHS museum collection includes nearly 35,000 artifacts and 250,000 graphics. Visit our website or call 860.236.5621.
Visit the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's website.
Established in 1965 as a result of a merger between the Boston Medical Library (founded in 1875) and the Harvard Medical Library (founded in 1782), the Countway Library is a leading center for the study of the history of health care and medicine. The Countway's Rare Books & Special Collections department contains 250,000 volumes of books, approximately 20 million manuscripts (including the archives of the Harvard Medical School and the personal papers of many New England physicians), 30,000 photographs and prints, and small collections of art and artifacts. The Countway also houses the renowned Warren Museum, which contains 15,000 items.
Visit the Mary Baker Eddy Library website.
The Mary Baker Eddy Library provides public access and context to original materials and to educational experiences about Eddy’s life, ideas, achievements, and legacy. Our collections center on her papers as well as records documenting the history of the Christian Science movement. Relevant areas of research include the fields of women’s history, spirituality and health, religious studies, nineteenth-century history, cultural and social history, architecture, and journalism. A select list of resources include: Eddy’s scrapbooks and copybooks; household account ledgers and receipts; a fully-indexed file of newspapers clippings that date to the late-nineteenth century; Eddy’s sermons and lectures; an extensive historic photograph collection; architectural records; a collection of more than 460 historic Bibles, Bible reference, devotional, and related books; and Eddy’s correspondence and manuscript material, which offer opportunities for new analysis of her life and ideas.
Visit the Harvard Law School Library's website.
With nearly 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, approximately 300,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 paintings, prints, photographs, and other visual materials, the Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections houses one of the world's most comprehensive collections of research materials for the study of the history of the law in general and of Anglo-American law in particular. Particularly noteworthy are its comprehensive collections of English and American statute books, case reporters, and legal treatises; more than 10,000 volumes, spanning the last five centuries, of the accounts of civil and criminal trials; English execution broadsides; legal manuscripts dating from the thirteenth century; extensive holdings of the papers of Joseph Story; Simon Greenleaf; Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; Louis Brandeis; Felix Frankfurter; Roscoe Pound and other jurists and legal educators; and important manuscript collections relating to such organizations and events as the New England Watch and Ward Society, the Sacco-Vanzetti trial, and the Alger Hiss case. The legal art collection, by far the best anywhere of its type, has portraits and photographic images of lawyers and judges as well as of famous trials, and legal controversies.
Visit the Harvard University Archives website.
The Harvard University Archives, the oldest and largest academic archives in the United States, documents the University’s evolution from a small college to a modern research university of international scope and the community of people over four centuries responsible for that change. In addition to documenting teaching, research, and other work undertaken at Harvard, the collections record the University’s involvement in national and world events. From 17th-century property deeds and wills to 21st-century web sites, the collections comprise over 51,000 feet of University records and publications, personal and faculty archives, and related historical materials that include paper correspondence, minutes and reports, photographs, film, audio and video recordings, and electronic files. The collections support research by scholars of social, intellectual, cultural, and local history as well as the history of higher education in the US and abroad.
Visit the John Hay Library, Brown University website.
With millions of rare and unique codices, manuscripts, broadsides, maps, prints, photographs, stamps and pieces of sheet music, the John Hay Library contains one of the most diverse arrays of Special Collections in Rhode Island. Alongside signature collections in American poetry and military iconography, its holdings include under-appreciated strengths in the global history of science, pseudo-sciences and science fiction; literary, religious and popular histories of magic, magical performance and the occult; gay and lesbian literature; 20th-century extremist and dissenting printed propaganda; alcoholism from temperance reform to AA; women’s history and feminist theory; Latin American history and politics; as well as the book arts from papermaking to early printing and literary realia. University Archives, housed in within the Library, comprises the extant records of Brown University from its founding in 1764 to the present.
Visit Historic Deerfield's website.
Internationally recognized collections of furniture, early American silver, English ceramics and Chinese export porcelain, textiles, needlework, and costume are complemented by important holdings of manuscripts, printed works, and microform. The Memorial Libraries, comprising the collections of Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, feature extensive holdings of family papers from the Deerfield area, hundreds of diaries and account books, church records and manuscript sermons, as well as major collections of secondary sources in local history and the decorative arts.
Visit Houghton's website.
Founded in 1942, Houghton Library is the principal rare book and manuscript repository of Harvard College Library and one of the preeminent academic research libraries in the Unites States. Holding approximately 500,000 books and more than 10 million manuscripts, Houghton is recognized as a leading center for the study of American, English, and Continental history and literature, with special emphasis in printing, graphic arts, theatre history, and New England history and culture.
The Society holds the most comprehensive collection of manuscript and printed materials documenting the history of Maine. In addition to over 150,000 books, pamphlets, original newspapers, and other printed items; the collection contains over 2 million manuscript pages documenting the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Maine and New England from the 17th century to the present. Holdings also include maps and atlases, broadsides and ephemera, photographs (with a specific strength in early photography), as well as architectural and engineering drawings.
Go back to the Massachusetts Historical Society's homepage.
Manuscripts form the heart of the collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Society houses more than 10 million pieces in 3,500 separate collections of personal papers and institutional records. The Society's collections also include several hundred thousand books, more than 20,000 broadsides, 30,000 18th- and 19th-century pamphlets, 5,000 maps, 150,000 microforms, and 200,000 historic photographs. The Society offers about 20 four-week grants through a separate competition, and applicants who would like to use its holdings for more than two weeks are referred to its program of short-term fellowships.
Visit Mystic Seaport's website.
The Museum's collections record the American maritime experience. Mystic Seaport holds more than 2 million items, including vessels, photographs, film and video footage, manuscripts, imprints, art, tools, and artifacts dating from the 18th century to the present. At the G. W. Blunt White Library, researchers will find 1,000,000 manuscript pieces, 75,000 volumes of books and periodicals, 2,000 rolls of microfilm, 1,000 ships registers, 1,300 logbooks, 700 audiotape oral history interviews, 200 videotape interviews, and 9,000 maps and charts.
Visit the New England Historic Genealogical Society's website.
Founded in 1845, the Society has been a pioneer in the study of the region's family history for more than a century and a half. Its vast collection of genealogies, local histories, and manuscripts—200,000 volumes, 20,000 microfilms, and 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts—make it an essential resource for scholars interested in the social and demographic history of New England.
Visit the New Hampshire Historical Society's website.
The New Hampshire Historical Society houses the finest collections anywhere of printed, manuscript, and pictorial materials relating to New Hampshire history. Printed collections—about 40,000 volumes—include thousands of genealogies, town histories, and biographies as well as more than 1,000 maps. Manuscript holdings comprise 1,700 linear feet of personal papers and institutional records. There are 800,000 pages of New Hampshire newspapers from 1756 to 1900 and 200,000 negatives and photographic images. The library also holds a unique card index that provides biographical information on about 30,000 "New Hampshire Notables." Museum collections include works of the "White Mountain School" of landscape artists, New Hampshire furniture, and materials associated with the lives and careers of many noteworthy New Hampshire residents.
Visit the Newport Historical Society website.
The Newport Historical Society holds significant collections encompassing the five centuries of social and cultural diversity that makes Newport County unique. The archives and special collections include merchants’ records from the 18th to the 20th century, church records for fourteen congregations, log books for dozens of ships, family papers for hundreds of Newporters, an extensive collection of African-American history, town and city records, diaries, and journals. NHS’ object collection includes fine and decorative arts, furniture, musical instruments, textiles and clothing, artifacts of everyday life, and architectural fragments, with particular strength in the 18th century; NHS also has an extensive photograph collection dating from the 1840s to the present, including many images and scrapbooks from the gilded age period, as well as urban renewal and historic preservation efforts of the mid-20th century.
Visit the Osher Map Library website.
The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (OML) at the University of Southern Maine is home to over 1.5 million items related to cartography and map history. Our collections range from 1475 to the present day and include a combination of maps, atlases, globes, rare books, manuscript material, and ephemera. Our collections focus on objects and items related to the history of cartography, the Holy Land, the founding and expansion of New England, Westward expansion, and wars of the 20th century. OML has extensive collections of geographic board games, ocean liner ephemera, travel guides and literature, road maps, and materials related to the history of textile mills.
The Phillips Library is the research library of the Peabody Essex Museum. Our collections include several hundred thousand printed volumes, over a linear mile of manuscripts, thousands of logbooks, account books, diaries, printed ephemera, photo albums, and photographs. Subject strengths are Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Oceanic, Native American, and other art and cultures; maritime; natural history; popular and reform literature; religious life and doctrine; and subjects related to Salem and Essex County art, architecture, history, genealogy, and culture. These demonstrate the impact of local residents in pre-20th century New England politics, economics, religion, reform movements, and transportation. In addition, our holdings document the role of New Englanders in national history, their involvement in the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, the Civil War, and the growth of global trade.
Visit the Rauner Library website.
Rauner Special Collections Library is the primary repository for Dartmouth College’s rare book, manuscript, and archival holdings. The collections reflect the long and rich history of the College and feature collections related to eminent alumni, faculty, and others associated with the College. Special Collections holds extensive manuscript and published material related to Robert Frost ‘96 and Daniel Webster ‘01, the Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration, and the papers of Budd Schulberg ’36 and the Pilobolus Dance Theatre. The papers of Maxfield Parrish and Augustus Saint-Gaudens are part of a series of related collections documenting the history of New Hampshire’s Cornish Colony. There are dozens of named book collections including the Allerton Hickmott ’17 Shakespeare Collection, an extensive New Hampshire Imprints collection, the Edward P. Sine ‘51 Collection of British Illustrated Books, and a deep “Presses” collection that chronicles the history of printing from the 15th century to the present. Students make regular use of the pre-1600 manuscripts for course work, a collection that includes a small but very rich trove of books of hours, a 15th-century prose Brut Chronicle, a 14th-century Roman de la Rose, and a strong collection of early musical manuscripts.
Visit the Rhode Island Historical Society's website.
The library and museum collections of the Society are vital to the study of Rhode Island's history. The library's printed collection includes local, military, economic, social, political, and ecclesiastical histories; municipal and corporate publications; and large holdings of Rhode Island newspapers and early imprints. The library's genealogy section is among the largest in New England. Manuscript collections date from 1652 to the present. Researchers will find personal papers and organizational records. The graphics collection includes photographs, prints, broadsides, maps, watercolors, drawings, engravings, and ephemera. Important museum holdings include collections of Rhode Island furniture, works of local artists, and historical objects.
Visit the Schlesinger Library's website.
Established in 1943, the Library holds manuscripts, books, periodicals, photographs, ephemera, oral histories, and audiovisual materials that document the history of American women in the U.S. and abroad, primarily during the 19th and 20th centuries. Especially well-represented are women's rights, social reform, family history, health, sexuality, work, the professions, Radcliffe history, and food and culinary history. Over 2,200 manuscript collections include papers of notables such as Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Beecher Stowe, of lesser-known women, and of women's organizations such as the Boston YWCA and the National Organization for Women. The collection of books and periodicals covers all aspects of the 19th- and 20th-century social and intellectual history, and includes many volumes on cookery and household management. The library offers eight to ten other research grants, and is part of the Radcliffe Institute's community of resident fellows who pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions, and the creative arts.
Visit the Sophia Smith Collection's website.
As a steward of historical materials of enduring value, Smith College Special Collections is home to over 27,000 linear ft of archives and manuscripts, as well as 47,000 rare books. Smith College Special Collections spans across three unique repositories. The College Archives holds the many narratives of Smith College, with an emphasis on its vibrant undergraduate life. From the Smithies of 1875 to today, the College Archives documents campus life, landscape, and activism. The Mortimer Rare Book Collection houses the college's rare books and literary archives, and other material texts. Broad in scope, it includes works across all time periods and in subject areas as diverse as ancient history and zoology. Among the highlights of the collections are the papers of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. The Sophia Smith Collection of women's history is an internationally-recognized repository that documents the history of people changing the world on behalf of women and other gender minorities. Subject strengths include birth control and reproductive rights; the suffrage movement leading to the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution; the women’s liberation movement; the professions, especially journalism and social work; and middle-class family life in nineteenth- and twentieth-century New England.
Visit the University of Vermont Special Collections' website.
Special Collections at the University of Vermont holds Vermont research materials, rare books, and the historical records of the University. Strengths of the Vermont materials include papers relating to settlement and statehood (Allen Family, Stephen R. Bradley, and others), family/social history, letters of hundreds of Vermont Civil War soldiers, literature (Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Hayden Carruth, Howard Frank Mosher, and many more), notable Vermonters such as George Perkins Marsh, and Congressional and gubernatorial collections, including papers of most of Vermont’s governors and members of Congress in the 20th century. Other Vermont materials include maps, photographs, broadsides, and ephemera. The Rare Book collection includes medieval manuscripts, early printed books, a notable collection of illustrated editions of Ovid from 1480 to the 21st century, accounts of explorations of the Americas, and artists’ books. Archival collections document the University presidents, trustees, and other executive offices, administrative and curricular matters, and student life, from the early 19th century to the present.
Visit the Vermont Historical Society's website.
The Society collects, preserves, and makes available a wide variety of materials documenting the history and people of Vermont. The Society's manuscript collection is particularly strong in family history, agriculture, railroads, religion, emigration, government and politics, and early crafts and trades. Books and pamphlets date from the 1770s to the present and address all aspects of Vermont history. Other important library collections include maps, broadsides, periodicals, photographs, and genealogy. The Society's museum holds more than 20,000 artifacts of Vermont history, including paintings, furniture, and decorative-arts objects.