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Account books collection

MS002 (RS31603)


The account books collection contains over 150 individual account books. Of special interest to the study of New England's economic history, these records reflect the activities, expenditures, and personnel of various specialized occupations, as well as the consumption patterns of households. The collection documents from 1745 to 1889. The particular strengths of the collection are textile production (both domestic and commercial), carpentry, agriculture, and merchandising practices of general stores.


Collection Name
Account books collection
Collection Code
Physical Description
152 account books
Finding Aid Info
There is a guide to the collection availible in print in the Library and Archives. This guide provides rich indexing of the collection as well as individual descriptions of each account book. Those descriptions are available online (see list of account books below), but the indexes are available only in print.
Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
Each account book has a unique history unrelated to the other account books. Please see individual account books for specific information regarding their history, if available.
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

The account books in this collection have been grouped together by Historic New England's Library and Archives staff; the collection does not represent a particular person, family, or business, but rather provides a lens through which to view New England history. The materials are disparate in origin and topic, although they all reflect financial practices in New England from the mid-1700s through the late 1800s.


The account books are not arranged in a meaningful sequence. They are arranged largely in the order in which they were acquired by Historic New England.

Record details

Descriptive Terms
commercial buildings
financial records
general stores
Material Type
account books
manuscripts (document genre)
New England (United States) [general region]
This collection is available for research.
Related Items
Locke-Ober Cafe collection, undated — A supplementary inventory lists account books in catalogued family manuscript collections. Account book in collection.
Account book, 1942-1960
Coffin family papers
Accruals Note
Accruals may be made to the collection over time as the Library and Archives staff acquires more account books.
Language Note
This collection is entirely in English.
Preferred Citation
[item identification], Account Books Collection (MS002). Historic New England Library and Archives.
Processing Information
Finding aid prepared by Historic New England staff.
Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-compliant.

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