Our manuscript collections are represented by these finding aids. The military collections include manuscripts for each of the major wars fought by this country and represent many of the volunteer militia from the state of Massachusetts. The maritime collections provide access to records that chronicle the history of the maritime …
From 1941 to 2002, The American Neptune was America's premier journal of maritime history and arts. The journal's articles, written with clarity and scholarly substance, are of interest to all who enjoy accounts of ships, the seas, and those who've sailed them - for mercantile gain, their nation's interest, or the …
The Great Salem Fire of 1914 significantly impacted the city of Salem, Massachusetts. On June 25, an explosion occurred at the Korn Leather Factory, an unsprinklered factory at 57 Beacon Street. This section of town, also known as Blubber Hollow, was home to a thriving leather industry, which never recovered after the fire. The …
St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentinus was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When …
John Winthrop (1588-1649) founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and served as governor of the colony from 1630-1634, 1637-1640, 1642-1644, and 1646-1649. John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-1676) was the oldest son of Gov. John Winthrop (1588-1649) and Mary Forth Winthrop (1584-1615). In 1631 he followed his father to Massachusetts and, …
The Phillips Library is the documentation and research division of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The collection presents a detailed account of the global nature of commercial outreach by Essex County residents in the 18th and 19th centuries during the “golden age” of shipping. Logbooks, merchant account books, shipbuilder’s records, customhouse records, and documentation of travels and exploration to the Pacific can all be found within its print and manuscript collections. At one time, Salem was the largest trading port on the east coast. Logbooks in the collection document the relationship between Salem and Japan as early as 1799. China trade is also represented through manuscripts found in the collection and by the Frederick Townsend Ward print collection, one of the world’s largest collections of Western-language materials on Imperial China.
In addition, the history of Essex County is strongly represented by manuscripts from its prominent citizens such as Nathaniel Bowditch, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lucy Larcom, Samuel McIntire, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, George Peabody, and John Greenleaf Whittier, as well as the Crowninshield, Derby, Hemenway, and Phillips families of Salem.
Please consult our web site for additional information about the library, its collections, and public hours for the Reading Room. Patrons also may research the collection via our online catalog, Philcat.