Salem and the North Shore: An Historian's Storehouse

Photograph of the Salem Customs House, a large two story brick building built in the Federal style, with end chimneys and a huge fan light over the central door.

Boasting a lively role in shaping the American past, Salem and its North Shore neighbors enjoy an unusually rich legacy of historic materials. Whether your academic goals will take you into the classroom, the museum, a Ph. D. program, or back into your own community with a greater appreciation of History, our extended network of historians and friends offer the expertise and resources to support the graduate candidate's studies. 

Our historic community is, of course, associated with the early periods of the nation's development a base for Puritan colonization, the site of the Witchcraft Trials of 1692-93, the paragon of Far Eastern maritime trade, a center for early industrialization, an amalgam of ethnic populations.  You will find an abundance of sources to support your interest in every period of the American past.

Photo: Salem Customs House, part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.


Research Resources

The Ropes Mansion, a two and a half story double pile Georgian mansion, with hipped roof  containing three pedimented dormers.

Photo Caption: Ropes Mansion, Peabody Essex Museum



The Department maintains strong ties with local institutions and research facilities. You will find ample resources to support your research in social, religious, political, economic, military, women's, ethnic, or other topics of history. In addition, within a 100-mile radius, students can access:

  • Historical societies and associations, including the Massachusetts Historical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and hundreds sponsored by local communities.
  • Museums, such as the House of Seven Gables, Newburyport Customs House Maritime Site, Paul Revere House, Peabody-Essex Museum, Pioneer Village, Plimouth Plantation, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Strawbery Banke, Sturbridge Village, and the U.S.S. Constitution.
  • Research libraries, such as the American Antiquarian Association, Boston Public Library, Boston Athenaeum, Danvers Archival Center, John F. Kennedy Library, Massachusetts Archives, and Duncan Phillips Library.
  • National Historic Sites, including those of Lexington, Lowell Industrial, Salem Maritime, and the Saugus Ironworks.