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About the Phillips Library Collections



The Phillips Library is the documentation and research division of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.    The collection presents a detailed account of the global nature of commercial outreach by Essex County residents in the 18th and 19th centuries during the “golden age” of shipping.  Logbooks, merchant account books, shipbuilder’s records, customhouse records, and documentation of travels and exploration to the Pacific can all be found within its print and manuscript collections.  At one time, Salem was the largest trading port on the east coast.  Logbooks in the collection document the relationship between Salem and Japan as early as 1799.  China trade is also represented through manuscripts found in the collection and by the Frederick Townsend Ward print collection, one of the world’s largest collections of Western-language materials on Imperial China. 

 

In addition, the history of Essex County is strongly represented by manuscripts from its prominent citizens such as Nathaniel Bowditch, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lucy Larcom, Samuel McIntire, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, George Peabody, and John Greenleaf Whittier, as well as the Crowninshield, Derby, Hemenway, and Phillips families of Salem. 

 

Please consult our web site for additional information about the library, its collections, and public hours for the Reading Room.   Patrons also may research the collection via our online catalog, Philcat.

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