the Beverly Historical Society
Collections Overview

The collections of the Beverly Historical Society are of national, regional and local significance, with a strong concentration on papers pertaining to the American Revolution and the maritime history of the early republic, and regional transportation history, as well as an important assortment of weapons, textiles, ceramics, furniture and paintings.

The collection is estimated to contain more than 750,000 objects and documents. The Society's holdings 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. Another significant collection are 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 not only provide vital information on the history of Beverly and the American Revolution, but also tell the stories of other important maritime communities along the east coast.

The Society is the home of the Walker Transportation Collection, the largest document collection of New England transportation material in existence.

The Society's collection includes manuscripts, books, photographs, maps, ephemera, decorative arts, and other artifacts related to the history of Beverly and the North Shore of Massachusetts. Please check this page again for more information about our collections. If you have any questions about our collection, please send a research request. Finding aids are available here; more will be available soon.

We have . . .


More than 500,000 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.



Militaria artifacts from colonial wars to Desert Storm, and a large selection of material associated with the local maritime industry.


18th, 19th and early 20th century paintings. Artists include Gilbert Stuart, Jane Stuart, James Frothingham, Frank W. Benson, Luke Prince, Frederick Coffay Yohn, and others.



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Manuscript collections from the 18th and 19th century include items like the document taken from the Capt. William Bartlett Collection. William Bartlett was George Washington's Port Agent for the area during the Revolutionary War.



Genealogical materials relating to the people of Beverly and greater Essex County. 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.


Beverly Historical Society
117 Cabot St.
Beverly, MA 01915

Copyright © 2011 Beverly Historical Society,Inc.
All rights reserved.
Phone: 978-922-1186