Browse Exhibits (14 total)

Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass.


The town of Wakefield, Massachusetts is a community of 24,664 residents approximately 10 miles north of Boston. Wakefield was settled as Lynn Village in 1638 and was incorporated as Wakefield in 1868. Wakefield covers 7.9 square miles and has two bodies of water: Lake Quannapowitt and Crystal Lake. Wakefield has an open town meeting and is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen.


Explore Wakefield by topic or browse the Beebe Memorial Library's collections.


Beverly Public Library


Beverly, originally part of Salem and the Naumkeag Territory, was first settled in 1626 by Roger Conant, and incorporated in 1894. Along with many other cities and towns north of Boston, Beverly is important both to maritime and to industrial history. Known by some as the "birthplace" of the American Navy, Beverly produced the first ship, the Hannah, ever commissioned by the U.S. military. Beverly is also home to the country's first cotton mill, built in the late 18th century. In the early twentieth century, the United Shoe Machinery Company was developed in Beverly and provided thousands of jobs for the next 85 years.

Beverly's two collections, one of images and one of postcards, present a vibrant view of the city's history. Select one of the collections to explore the Beverly Public Library's digital history resources or search by topic.


Everett Public Library

The City of Everett is a community of 42,935 situated on the northern border of Boston. Everett was part of Malden from the time it was first settled until 1870, when it became a town. In 1892 Everett was incorporated as a city. Until 2013 Everett had the only bicameral city government, consisting of a Board of Aldermen and a City Council, in the country. Its charter was revised in 2014 and Everett now has a single City Council as its governing body.


Lynn Public Library


Lynn was settled by colonists from the New England Company in Salem in 1629 on land that originally included what is today Swampscott, Nahant, Lynnfield and Saugus. Early settlers were farmers and fishermen. During the late 1700's, Lynn developed the first leather tannery in the country by the nineteenth century had become a major shoe manufacturer, known as "the ladies's shoe center of the world." The population grew with the influx of shoe industry workers and Lynn became a city in 1850.

Lynn's development as an industrial center was paralleled by its emergence as a summer vacation destination during the 19th century. Located just nine miles north of Boston, Lynn was the perfect location for the summer estates of the well-to-do citizens of Boston.

Lynn, one of the most diverse cities in Essex County, is also the largest, with a population of more than 89,000. The Lynn Public Library has a large and varied collection of historic images divided among several collections. These images provide a fascinating look at Lynn during the early twentieth century. Browse one of these collections or search by topic.


Peabody Institute Library, Danvers

Though just 17 miles north of Boston, the town of Danvers, 13.5 square mile area and population of 25,000, still retains much of the hominess and architectural heritage of old New England. There are still over a dozen houses in Danvers dating from the 17th century, many associated with the witchcraft tragedy of 1692. In 1752, Danvers became independent from Salem, and soon witnessed the growth of various neighborhood villages, each having its era of prominence.


Peabody Institute Library, Peabody


The area now known as Peabody was settled in 1626 as part of Salem. It was later separated from Salem and incorporated as part of Danvers. In 1855, Peabody split from Danvers to become South Danvers, but its name was changed in 1868 in honor of local philanthropist, George Peabody. Like many local communities, Peabody was initially an agricultural town, but developed into an industrial center. Peabody's main industry was leather tanning, which remained an important part of its economy into the latter part of the twentieth century.

The Peabody Institute's collections include historic glass plate photographs, images from the Boston Mat Leather Company, as well as images from the Oak Knoll Estate, which was designed by Samuel McIntire and stood on the land now occupied by the North Shore Mall. Explore Peabody by browsing one of these collections or select a specific topic.


Phillips Academy


The rich history of Phillips Academy (1778) and Abbot Academy (1829) is preserved in the Phillips Academy Archives. Over the years, many students and outside scholars have used historical materials in Archives and Special Collections in support of countless research projects. This repository is intended to support the Academy’s motto of “Non Sibi” by providing access to these treasures to individuals around the world.

If you have any questions about materials contained in these collections, or if you have information to contribute to the descriptions associated with any image, please contact the archives at

, ,

Reading Public Library


Reading was incorporated as three parishes on June 10th, 1644, taking its name from Reading, England. The first parish, later known as South Reading, became Wakefield in 1868. A special grant in 1651 added land north of the Ipswich River to the Town of Reading. This area in 1853 became the separate Town of North Reading. During its early years, the area which is currently the Town of Reading, was known as Wood End, or Third Parish. The Town of Reading, population 23,708, covers 25.7 square miles. Reading voted in Home Rule Charter in March of 1986. This form of government focuses the policy and decision making function in a very few elected boards and committees, and provided for the creation of the Town Manager position to be responsible for day to day operations of the local government.

Please select a collection to explore the Reading Public Library's digital history resources or search by topic.


Saugus Public Library


The town of Saugus, Mass. was settled in 1629 and incorporated in 1815. Saugus is a diverse community consisting of 11 square miles located approximately 13 miles North of the City of Boston and with a population of approximately 27,000. The town is geographically divided North to South by the famous Route 1. This 3-mile strip of highway is home to many popular restaurants and retail stores, as well as a Regional Shopping Center.
Saugus is home to the historic Saugus Iron Works, which was the first integrated iron works in North America. Saugus was also the birthplace of the ice-making industry in the United States.

These historic image collections cover a wide range of subjects depicting Saugus' past. Select a collection to browse or search by topic.