About the Athenæum Archives The Athenaeum collects, preserves, and makes available photographs and manuscripts related to the history of the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire. The archives contain nearly 100 large manuscript collections, nearly 1000 single items and small collection manuscripts, and over 12000 photographs.
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 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.
Note: Quick reference requests will be met as time allows.
In-depth research requests will be billed at $30/hr. with a 1 hour minimum.