Online Resources What is this? Our online resources are sets of digitized items which have been organized either around a common topic, such as the American Revolution, or to highlight a specific collection, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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Striking photographs of Native Americans taken between 1860 and 1913, selected from four different collections held by the MHS.
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Full title: Photographing the American Indian: Portraits of Native Americans, 1860-1913

This web exhibition includes carte-de-visite photographs taken in the 1860s and 1870s depicting posed portraits of Cheyenne, Pawnee, Sioux, and Ute men and women. Selections of Adam Clark Vroman's arresting photographs of the landscape and native peoples of the American Southwest in the 1890s showcase the wide tonal range and pleasing aesthetic quality of platinotypes. Also included are dramatic images taken by Joseph K. Dixon during the Wanamaker expeditions, 1908-1913, used to advocate for the rights of Native Americans.

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Early Photographs

Online Feature  Early Photographs
Online presentation of early photographs (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and stereoviews) depicting people and places.
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Full title: Early Photographs from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Browse online presentations of early photographs from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS). These images include portraits taken by some of Boston's most notable photographers as well as depictions of locations in and around Boston.

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View one entire album assembled by Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams and selected letters and documents conveying her approach to photography.
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Full title: Marian Hooper Adams: Selected Photographs and Letters

This website presents 48 photographs (one entire album) from the Marian Hooper Adams photograph collection, five selected letters from the Hooper-Adams papers, and two letters by Henry Adams (from a new acquisition) in which he reflects on his wife's death. This website also provides information about Clover's approach to photography by presenting a digital facsimile of a notebook Clover kept from May 1883 to January 1884 in which she listed many of her photographs and commented on exposures, lighting, and other technical details.

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Photographs depicting life and work on sugar plantations in Cuba in the late 19th century.
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Full title: Atkins Family in Cuba: A Photograph Exhibit

A selection of photographs providing a unique visual record of life and work on sugar plantations in Cuba during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These photographs were taken and collected by Boston merchant Edwin F. Atkins and other members of his family are from the Atkins Family Photographs. Edwin Atkins was a dominant force in the U.S.-Cuban sugar market and his firm, E. Atkins & Co., established sugarcane plantations along the southern coast of Cuba near the cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad.

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Photographs of Francis Blake

Online Exhibition  Photographs of Francis Blake
A selection of photographs, including stop-action images, taken by Francis Blake, in the nineteenth century.
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Full title: The Photography of Francis Blake

A selection of photographs taken by Francis Blake, an innovative man who lived in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century. In the 1880s Blake designed a focal-plane shutter that allowed him to take photographs with exposure times of 1/1000 to 1/2000 of a second and he took stunning stop-action images of trains, pigeons, horses, bicyclists, and athletes.

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Web presentations of 185 items selected from the extensive Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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Full title: Highlights from the Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society

The papers, photographs, art, and artifacts of the Saltonstall family, one of the founding families of Massachusetts, chronicle five centuries of family history and involvement in public life, from before the European settlement of America through the 20th century. Saltonstall family collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society include papers of Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), mayor and U.S. representative from Salem, Massachusetts; Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall's letters home to her family while serving as a volunteer in France during World War I; and the personal and political papers and photographs of U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979).

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54th Regiment

Online Feature  54th Regiment
Visual materials from the MHS relating to the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
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Full title: The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soliders to be raised in the North during the Civil War. Browse online presentations of photographs and broadsides relating to a notable Civil War army regiment.

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A selection of Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall's letters and photographs conveying her experiences as a volunteer in France during World War I.
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Full title: Nora Saltonstall Papers and Photographs from the Highlights from the Saltonstall Family Collections

During World War I Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall (1894-1919) volunteered in France, first with the Bureau of Refugees and Relief (a division of the American Red Cross that provided lodging for refugees), and then with an American Red Cross dispensary. Presented here are a selection of Nora's letters to her family describing her experiences written from November of 1917 through the end of 1918, her passport, and photographs taken by and of Nora, including one taken just weeks prior to her death in the summer of 1919.

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A photographic history of the current home of the MHS.

Antislavery Images

Digital Collection  Antislavery Images
Online displays of photographs, paintings, and other visual materials illustrating the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery.
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Full title: Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts

This website presents digital images of 840 visual materials from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that illustrate the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery. Included are photographs, paintings, sculptures, engravings, artifacts, banners, and broadsides that were central to the debate and the formation of the antislavery movement.

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Margaret Hall served as a member of the American Red Cross in France during World War I and took many photographs depicting soldiers, canteens, and the extensive destruction and ruin following the war.
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Full title: Photographs from the World War 1 Memoir of Margaret Hall

This website allows users to browse and search all 246 photographs and 29 additional illustrative items from Margaret Hall’s typescript narrative, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919. As a member of the American Red Cross in France during World War I, Massachusetts-born Margaret Hall worked at a canteen at a railroad junction in the town of Châlons. On her return home she compiled a typescript narrative from the letters and diary passages that she wrote while overseas. Her words offer a first-hand account of life on the Western Front in the last months of the war. She also copiously illustrated the text with her own photographs, which depict soldiers, canteens, and the extensive destruction and ruin following the war.

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Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865, features important manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts from the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections that convey how Boston became a center of the national antislavery movement.
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Full title: Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865

The Massachusetts Historical Society holds many important manuscripts, photographs and artifacts that relate to the abolitionist movement in Boston. This website includes a range of materials from the first antislavery tract published in America, The Selling of Joseph by Samuel Sewall, (printed in New England in 1700) to a broadsheet with William Nell's tribute in December 1865 to last issue of The Liberator (the country's leading abolitionist newspaper).

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