The Marblehead Museum Archives are housed with the Museum Offices at 170 Washington Street. Available to scholars and researchers, the well-catalogued Archives are a treasure house of personal papers, books, journals, genealogical materials and over 20,000 photographs.

Among the highlights of the extensive collection are the journals of Ashley Bowen, an eighteenth-century Marblehead sailor, carpenter and jack-of-all-trades who recorded his observations in word and picture. His watercolor and ink drawings of vessels, buildings and daily life are invaluable sources of information and delight.

The Archives are a resource for histories of the buildings that comprise Marblehead’s townscape, as well as information about Marblehead inhabitants, from Revolutionary War General John Glover to 2004 Olympic Gold Medal cyclist Tyler Hamilton.

Appointments recommended.


Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Research fee $15, Free to members.

Mission: To Preserve, Protect and Promote the Unique History of Marblehead
Founded: 1898
History of the Marblehead Museum and Historical Society:

“A century ago, a group of far-sighted trustees of the Abbot Public Library recognized the need to collect and preserve materials relating to Marblehead and its people. To accomplish this, they formed a private organization that would be continually fostered by a large and active membership and they named it the Historical Society of Marblehead…The 1879 publication of The History and Traditions of Marblehead by Samuel Roads, Jr. reinforced the town’s fierce pride in its history and the need to preserve it.” From presidents to doorkeepers and from fundraising to flower arranging, volunteers have made substantial and subtle contributions to the Marblehead Historical Society. Hundreds of willing workers have responded to its needs bringing their skills and talents to the tasks at hand.”

from The Marblehead Historical Society 1898-1998, by Bette Hunt


Research fee $15, Free to members.

Marblehead Museum and Historical Society
161 Washington Street
Marblehead, Mass. 01954
Phone: 781-631-1768