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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 Athenaeum manuscript collection includes over 150 large collections and over 1700 single items and small collection materials.
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
Prevent the Spread: A History of Smallpox Inoculation in Eighteenth-Century Portsmouth (part 1 of 2)
Athenaeum Archivist Katy Sternberger discusses the smallpox inoculation in Portsmouth, using the Henzell’s Island Inoculation Ledger, 1782, from the archives.
Gift of Research Material
The Athenæum is appreciative of donations of historic photographs, personal papers, business and organizational records, ephemera, maps, works of art, and books relating to the Piscataqua region. All contributions and gifts are tax-deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Deposits of records from other non-profit organizations, to provide proper care and public access for research, will be considered.
MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID
The Research Library and Randall Gallery are now open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Masks are optional.
Please note: Not all materials in the manuscript collection are available online. If remote research is requested, the first 15 minutes are free, after which our standard fee of $35 / hr. will be assessed. This fee is in addition to any image-associated costs. For more information, check our Fee Schedule below.
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.
Athenaeum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends: $.10 per page
All others $.25 per page
IMAGE USE FEES
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
Commercial: $100 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 1⁄2 hour is free, after which our standard fee of $30/hr. will be assessed.
To search the entire Athenaeum collection online, click on the button below.