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Collections Access

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Explore the objects, photographs, and documents that reveal four centuries of life in New England.

With more than 123,000 objects and 1.5 million archival materials, Historic New England’s collection tells the most complete story of how New Englanders lived from the seventeenth century to today.

Search collections of photographs, wallpaper, jewelry, home furnishings, architectural drawings, clothing, and more, from the opulent to the everyday. While half of the object collections are on view at our historic sites, the Collections Access database is your chance to discover thousands of treasures not usually accessible to the public. You can also make an appointment to visit the Library and Archives in Boston to research archival collections in person.

Collections

Architecture

Art

Books & Periodicals

Clothing & Accessories

Decorative Arts

Furniture

Jewelry

Ephemera

Photography

Textiles

Manuscripts

Wallpaper

Reparative Language in Collections Records

Historic New England strives to describe its collections in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in them. However, for a variety of reasons, users may encounter harmful or offensive language in collections descriptions. Staff are reviewing and revising these descriptions with the goal of balancing the preservation of original context with an awareness of the effect of language used. Some issues will be remedied quickly, while others will require more systematic review and intervention.

Historic New England is committed to implementing reparative language description for existing collections and creating respectful and inclusive language description for new collections. If you encounter language in Historic England's Collections Access Portal that is harmful or offensive, or you find materials that would benefit from a content warning, please contact [email protected]. We welcome your feedback.

Featured Object

Macau and the Praya Grande, Looking North

This mid-19th century painting by an unknown artist captures the importance of trade with China to the American economy after the American Revolution. It's featured in the exhibition Artful Stories: Paintings from Historic New England, which you can explore online now.

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Additional Resources

Visit the Historic New England Library and Archives in Boston.

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Explore Historic New England exhibitions.

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Get non-toxic fumigation services for your collections.

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Collections News

Historic New England explores an art form that was once banned in Boston, but today is seen as a creative mode of self-expression. Loud, Naked & in Three Colors: the History of Tattooing in Boston is on view from June 10 through October 30, 2022, at the Eustis Estate in Milton, Massachusetts. While tattooing dates […]

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Help us spread the word about how members of the Casey family helped transform our nation’s capital. Historic New England is looking for volunteers to help transcribe the personal and professional papers of Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896) and his son Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940). These handwritten documents include information about leading the effort to complete […]

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