Account books collection

Collection Type

  • Manuscripts





Browse Collection


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.


Descriptive Terms

general stores
commercial buildings
financial records
account books
manuscripts (document genre)

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.

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.

Collection Code


Collection Name

Account books collection

Reference Code



New England (United States) [general region]

Record Details

Material Type

account books
manuscripts (document genre)


This collection is available for research.

Description Level


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.

Related Items

Locke-Ober Cafe collection, undated
Account book, 1942-1960
Coffin family papers

Historical/Biographical Note

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.