Featured Collections

Featured Library Collections

Featured Collections

George Peabody

A native son of Essex County, George Peabody, a 19th century investment banker turned philanthropist, established institutions on two continents to continue his social interests. A statue of him stands in London, and the Peabody Essex Museum bears his name. The Phillips Library is honored to be the repository of 145 linear feet of his business and personal papers. For further information see peabodyhistorical.org

Nathaniel Hawthorne

With Salem as the birth and dwelling place of Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is understandable that the Phillips Library is a major hub of Hawthorne scholarship. In addition to the more than four feet of Hawthorne manuscripts, the library holdings include papers of the residents of Salem who were contemporaries and commentors on one of the leading 19th century American literary figures. The C. E. Fraser Clark Collection of Hawthorniana augments the primary materials, and makes it possible to view all of the American editions and literary criticism of this premier writer. The museum is also home to the 1840 portrait by Charles Osgood of Hawthorne, probably the best known of all the Hawthorne images.

For more on PEM's Hawthorne collection please visit our bicentennial exhibition.

Edward Sylvester Morse

The library is the repository of the papers and sketches of Edward Sylvester Morse, “father of Japanese archaeology,” and director of the Peabody Museum from 1880 to 1916. A polymath best remembered in his homeland for his books Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings (1886) and Japan Day by Day (1917), he is revered in Japan for his influence in creating interest in Japanese folk culture and art. As the curator of mollusks he contributed to the library’s holdings in natural history, and his collecting of Japanese art provided a basis for the Asian holdings of the museum. For further information see http://www.oocities.com/jmgould39/morse.html

Frederick Townsend Ward China Collection

The Frederick Townsend Ward Collection is one of the world’s outstanding collections of Western-language materials on the history of Imperial China. Approximately 10,000 books, pamphlets, broadsides, and periodicals, and many rare maps, prints, and photographs document the history and culture of China and the interactions of China with the West up to the early 20th century establishment of the Chinese Republic. The publications document diplomatic and commercial relations between China and the Westerns nations, and missionary activities in China from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Included in the Ward Collection are some of the most comprehensive holdings in the world of Chinese coastal newspapers in English. In addition to the original works acquired early in the 20th century at the bequest of Elizabeth C. Ward in honor of her brother, the library continually adds to the collection, being especially diligent in acquiring graphic representations, newspapers, and periodicals.

Herbert Offen Research Collection

The Herbert Offen Research Collection focuses on books about Chinese furniture, architecture and gardens, with supporting sections that explore Japanese and Korean studies of like topics.

Visit Offen Collection Page