King George II Order, 1737
“Petition” by Celia Thaxter, 1893
Bill of Landing for the Ship Sarah, 1716
John S. Blunt Sketchbook, 1830
Bill of Mortality, Dr. Lyman Spalding, 1803
The collections include papers of many notable Portsmouth men including John Langdon, Governor of New Hampshire and member of the Continental Congress; Tobias Ham Miller, nineteenth century publisher and Congregationalist turned Universalist minister; William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence; and John Sise, nineteenth century merchant and insurance agent. Collections of family papers include diaries, correspondence, and personal papers that highlight the lives of both men and women in Portsmouth. Among others, the Athenaeum has papers for the Pepperrell, Coues, Hill, Ladd, Parrott, Spalding, Wendell, and Treadwell families. For scholars of women’s history, the papers of the Portsmouth Female Asylum, the Bridget Graffort Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution offer a glimpse into the lives of women through organizational involvement. Collections related to Portsmouth businesses and private organizations can also be found at the Athenaeum including records for Green’s Drug Store, the Portsmouth Yacht Club, the New Castle Bridge Association, and the Mechanic Fire Society.
The Athenaeum is the deposit location for the records and papers of many of Portsmouth’s churches including the North Church, South Church, St. John’s Church, Temple Israel, and Central Baptist Church. Numerous historic houses and organizations have also placed their records and collections on deposit at the Athenaeum including the Portsmouth Historical Society, the Warner House Association, the Wentworth-Gardner Association and the Moffatt Ladd House. Of particular interest to many researchers is the Athenaeum’s collection of materials related to the Isles of Shoals including materials related to Celia Thaxter. The Athenaeum owns the photograph collection of Lyman Rutledge and is the deposit location for the papers and photographs of the Star Island Corporation.
FROM THE VAULT
The latest news from the Portsmouth Athenaeum archives
In the midst of re-numbering the entire library catalog, Librarian Robin Silva has uncovered some interesting history. In October 1907, a book had been discovered in the Athenaeum's stock room, left there anonymously. Published in 1905, the book was The Clansman: An...
Alphabetical list of Finding Aids
As a private, non-profit library the Portsmouth Athenaeum relies on the financial support of our membership, as well as those who utilize our collection.
The fees assessed for photograph reproduction and use fund the administration, care, preservation, and processing of the photographs in our collection. A great deal of staff time and supplies are required for our collections to be made accessible for research and preserved for future generations.
Research assistance conducted by staff is free of charge for the first 15 minutes. Additional time is charged at $35 per hour. The research fee is in addition to any reproduction fees.
Please note, on-site research requests take precedence, and remote requests (via e-mail or phone) will be handled as time and staffing allow.
- Athenaeum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends: $.10 per page
- All others $.25 per page
Display: lecture, presentation, performance, exhibit, signs, etc.
- Proprietors, Subscribers & Non-Profits: First image, gratis Up to 5 Images: $20 Additional, $5 each
Personal use (researchers, individuals, etc.): $10 per image
- Commercial: $25 per image
Advertising & Non-Editorial Use: Unbound materials, postcards, posters, brochures, calendars, etc.
- Proprietors, Subscribers & Non-Profits: First image $10, Additional $5 each
Personal or Commercial Use: First image $25, Additional $10 each
- Commercial: $25 per image
Print media for sale: books (per print run), periodicals, clothing, calendars, CD, DVD, etc.
- Proprietors, Subscribers & Non-Profits: Up to 5 images $20, Additional $5 each
Commercial: First image $25 per image, $100 Cover use
Website: 75 dpi only includes watermark and link to www.portsmouthathenaeum.org
- Proprietors, Subscribers & Non-Profits: $10 per image, per year
Personal use (researchers, individuals, etc.): $10 per image, per year
Film / Video Broadcast TV program, commercial studio release, news magazine, YouTube, etc. Inquire about World Rights
- Proprietors, Subscribers & Non-Profits: $5 per image
- Personal or Commercial use: please inquire
Additional Fees: CD Rescanning or new scan
- $2 per item/page
Payment is by check or cash only. If additional research is required, the first 15 minutes are free, after which our standard fee of $35/hr. will be assessed.
Gifts of Research Material
Deposits of records from other non-profit organizations, to provide proper care and public access for research, will be considered.