The key to the future is in the remnants of the past.
As an organization, we exist to help people connect – whether the connection is with a person, an experience, or with an idea. To that purpose, the Collection is, by far, our most important and treasured resource.
Introducing the Collection…
Over its one hundred years existence, the Scituate Historical Society has amassed a variety of priceless artifacts and objects documenting our town’s cultural, social, and artistic development. In a commitment to thoughtfully safeguard these collections, the Historical Society – with the support of Scituate’s Community Preservation Act funds – recently completed construction of The Carol Miles Archives. This modern facility is a tremendous addition to the scholarly resources housed at our Schoolhouse Headquarters.
Our Collections are large and quite varied. They include artwork, papers, and belongings representing specific individuals, families, groups, and their stories. Of particular interest are materials documenting the town’s maritime heritage, including 19th century logbooks, journals and artifacts.
Quite unique to our Society’s archives is an extraordinary collection of fashion, costumes and textiles from the late 18th century forward.
Another significant strength of the Archives is an extensive and important photographic collection, dating from the late 1800s to the present. This collection includes portfolios of such major historic photographers as T.E. Marr and Life Magazine’s Hansel Mieth as well as more contemporary bodies of work by local professional and amateur artists.
Featured items from the Collection will be added on an ongoing basis, so come back often and visit.
These Collection Highlights were funded in part by the Scituate Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Interested in Researching our Collection?
At the Schoolhouse, our Archivist and volunteers assist historians, students, homeowners, and genealogists – researchers at all levels – with their inquiries.
In addition to the Collection Archives, the Schoolhouse offers both Genealogy and Reference Libraries. Here, works of general and local history, genealogy, and fiction that focus on the subject of Scituate can be found. The Reference Library contains titles and information files relating to ships and navigation, maritime history, lighthouses, architecture, decorative arts, and sea stories. The Genealogy Library contains genealogical information files and titles by family name. Importantly, let’s not fail to mention the Library’s collection of maps, charts and plats!
Although an appointment is not necessary to access the materials in the Libraries, an advance appointment is necessary to meet with our Archivist. Please contact our Archivist in advance to discuss your research requests to ensure a more fruitful visit. We look forward to hearing from you!
Interested in making a donation to our Collection?
Over the years, the Scituate Historical Society has built its collection through the generosity of individuals, families, and organizations. The Society continues to welcome donated materials that record the history of Scituate.
It is important to contact our Archivist before sending material – in order to be sure that the material fits the Society’s Collections Policy. We are only interested in materials that are relevant to Scituate’s history, are in stable condition, and have satisfactory provenance, clear title and no restrictions on use. If we are not the right fit for your donation, we will try to help you find an appropriate institution.
And thank you so much for considering the Society!