Old North Church, 1854
Daguerreotype of the old North Church right before it was razed in 1854. The current North Church was then constructed on that site in Market Square, Portsmouth, NH.
P0016_001, North Church Photograph Collection
Portsmouth Athenaeum, c. 1885
Davis Brothers cabinet card of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, Market Square, Portsmouth, NH.
PS0019, Small Photograph Collection
Frank Jones Mansion Parlor, c. 1875
In 1866, brewing magnate Frank Jones purchased a c.1830 house and extensively renovated it into a lavish and opulent showplace (as seen in the photograph). Jones also bought adjoining land, raising the size of his property to 400 acres, much of which he used for stabling and pasturing his race horses. The estate was known as Maplewood Farms, and the mansion house still stands at the intersection of Maplewood and Woodbury avenues in Portsmouth, NH.
PS2717_02, Small Photograph Collection
Ocean Boulevard Stroll, c. 1897
Victorian view of Hampton Beach with Great Boar’s Head in the distance, Hampton, NH.
PS1206_059, Small Photograph Collection
Market Square, c. 1904
Glass plate negative of the buildings along Pleasant Street and Market Square, Portsmouth, NH.
P0036_171, William Mather Lamson Collection
Cobbs' Radio & Television Store, c. 1955
Between 1947-1950, Thomas P. Cobbs opened Cobbs’ Radio & Television Service at 149-151 Deer Street at the corner of Depot Avenue. Cobbs was also the president for the Portsmouth Chapter of the NAACP. He and his wife Gretchen also lived at this address until urban renewal forced them out in 1968.
Seen behind Cobbs is the Boston & Maine passenger station and restaurant.
P15.077, Armsden Photograph Collection
Portsmouth Waterfront, 1924
Walter C. Staples photograph from the Memorial Bridge toward Portsmouth and the waterfront. The long wharves to the left of the bridge tower are now Prescott Park.
P0001_1501, Thomas C. Wilson Photograph Collection
Market Square Arch, 1900
The “Union Is Strength” arch at the entrance to Daniel Street, Market Square, Portsmouth, NH.
P0001_0001, Thomas C. Wilson Photograph Collection
Treaty of Portsmouth Stagecoach, 1905
A Perry Conner photograph shows the United States Navy personnel traveling to or from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during the negotiation of the Treaty of Portsmouth. The peace treaty was signed at the Shipyard on Sept. 5, 1905, ending the Russo-Japanese War.
P0001_0217, Thomas C. Wilson Photograph Collection
The Athenaeum’s Photographic Collection contains over 30,000 historic images that date from the 1850s through today. These images include prints, daguerreotypes, cabinet cards, glass-plate negatives, stereocards, Polaroids, and slides. Each of these images tells a story of Portsmouth and its environs, people, and culture. Popular subjects include the Isles of Shoals, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the 1905 Portsmouth Peace Treaty, Market Square, the North End, Wentworth-By-The-Sea and the Memorial Bridge. In addition to the Athenaeum’s collection, there are deposit collections such as the South Church, North Church, Star Island Corporation, and the Portsmouth Historical Society. Most of these images have been digitized and are found in our online search catalog.
As part of the archives, the photograph collection is stored in a climate-controlled vault.
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
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.
Building and Interior: Video and Still Photography Policy
Arrangements must be made in advance for the photographing of the Athenaeum’s interior spaces and collections. Consideration for staff time and normal use of library is essential. There may be a fee for this service.
Do you have North End images that you would like to digitally preserve? Please contact James.
Click the image to visit the North End House History digitized collection at the Portsmouth Public Library (PPL). This collection includes the photographs and appraisal reports of approximately 176 inhabited homes in the North End neighborhood from the Vaughan Street Urban Renewal Project, c. 1967. Nearly all of these homes were demolished.