Online Resources

The Heritage at Home website features an extensive list of online resources available from various organizations in Essex County.

This website highlights primary sources featured in the Cape Ann Museum’s 2018 exhibit. Documents from 9 local archives display the area’s wide-ranging history from 17th century Native American life to late 19th century literary culture.

Salem State University’s online collections include historic maps, photographs, and other primary sources from Salem.

See below for compiled lists of online resources about specific topics in Essex County’s history: African American History, Native American History, and Women’s History.

Click here for Teaching Resources.

African American History

The educational materials from Hamilton Hall include primary sources lectures about the Remond family. A worksheet and activity about the family’s history are also available.

This online exhibit mentions five people who had been enslaved in Salem at the House of Seven Gables in the 18th century.

Online exhibition from Salem Maritime

Website from the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport

The Salem Historical Society compiled this list of online resources related to Salem’s African American History. These include the National Park Service’s online tour History of Slavery at Salem Maritime.

This online exhibit details stories of enslaved black people in Beverly through a series of slides featuring documents from the archives of Historic Beverly.

The Topsfield Historical Society’s website includes a lecture by Jeanne Pickering in 2016 about slavery in colonial Topsfield. It also tells the story of Sara Baro Colcher who lived in in Topsfield after being taken captive from nearby Sierra Leone. A portrait of Sara can also be found in the collections of Historic New England.

Explore African American history in Cape Ann. Primary sources include an account book showing a man purchasing his own freedom and a procurement order for the Continental Army listing a black man from Gloucester who had previously been enslaved.

Additional primary sources can be found under the subject “African American History”.

Native American History

Complied by the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds, this site offers a variety of primary sources. Most notable of these are the deed records which date back to the early 1600s.

Explore Native American History in Cape Ann. Featured documents include votives from the Early and Middle Woodlands periods and colonial diaries referencing Native populations in Cape Ann.

The Marblehead Museum provides a recording this 2011 lecture by Don Doliber about Native American history in Marblehead.

The Manchester Historical Museum provides a recording of this 2020 lecture by Mary Ellen Lepionka about local Native American history.

Women’s History

This digital exhibit by Nahant Historical Society features an excerpt from Nahant on the Rocks (1991). It tells the story of local efforts for securing suffrage for women in Massachusetts. Although the 1895 and 1915 state referendums failed, the energy shifted to the national level and helped lead to the 19th Amendment in 1920.

This online exhibit by the House of Seven Gables explores the life and influence of the Salem philanthropist.

Explore women’s history in Cape Ann through documents such as an embroidery, an autograph book, and a receipt, all owned or made by women.

This 2020 lecture by Irene Axelrod is made available by The House of Seven Gables, discussing the legacy of Lynn’s inventor.

Teaching Resources

Amesbury Carriage Museum

Andover History and Culture

Cape Ann Museum

Hamilton Hall

The House of Seven Gables

Lawrence History Center

Marblehead Museum

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Whittier House and Museum