National, Regional and Local Significance

The collections of Historic Beverly have a strong concentration on papers pertaining to the American Revolution and the maritime history of the early republic, and 19th and 20th century photographs of Beverly. The collection includes manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, ephemera, decorative arts, and other artifacts related to the history of Beverly and the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Highlights of the collection include:

Historic and genealogical material related to the earliest settlers of Beverly, including the men collectively known as the Old Planters: John Balch; Roger Conant; John Woodbery; William Trask; and Peter Palfrey. In addition to published genealogies we have family charts, photos, and miscellaneous documents, such as wills, deeds, letters and diaries. Related artifacts include dolls, toys, furniture, clocks, clothing and other textiles.

The personal and professional papers of both William Bartlett, the first naval agent under General George Washington, and Josiah Batchelder, Jr, a member of the General Court, Provincial Congress and first district surveyor and inspector of the port. These papers provide vital information on the history of Beverly and the American Revolution, and also tell the stories of other important maritime communities along the east coast.

Thousands of images in various formats, such as prints, negatives, slides, glass negatives, CDV’s. Tintypes, Ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, and movie film, VHS cassettes and DVDs of people, places and events related to Beverly, Essex County, and New England transportation.

The Walker Transportation collection contains images and information on the region’s transportation history.  The focus is on rail, but all forms of transport are included, with a wealth of images of train depots, airports, gas stations, fire departments, garages, bridges, and diners.