A Day in the Life of a Manuscript Processor at the Phillips Library

Orders from Elias Hasket Derby for Stephen Phillips, Jr., master of the ship Eliza for Bilboa, July 9,1794

The Phillips Library provides access for scholars and researchers to a remarkable collection of unique and rare materials.  Its patrons are curators and staff of the Peabody Essex Museum, scholars and researchers from around the world, local historians, and general readers.  The library collects printed materials and manuscripts related to the major collection areas of the museum, and it builds on traditional strengths developed over more than two centuries of collecting.

Many people are curious about what a manuscript processor or archivist in an art museum library does. Let’s start with what a manuscript is. Read more

A Floating Glimpse at the Gardner Family Papers

Photograph of unknown Gardner family member, undated

Hilary Streifer, Assistant Manuscript Processor, wrote the following post about a collection she recently processed.

The Gardner Family papers is a collection that focuses on three generations of one branch of the Gardner family—a prominent mercantile and shipping family in Salem, Massachusetts, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  The collection documents their vast land holdings, as well as their merchant and shipping businesses beginning with John Gardner (1736-1816), and including his sons, Richard Gardner (1774-1836), and John Gardner (1771-1847); and John (1771-1847) and his sons, John Gardner (1796-1870), Thomas W. Gardner (1798-1845), Samuel Gardner (1800-1856), and Henry Gardner (1809-1890).  Read more

Exciting New Library Acquisitions for August

Image from diary of Le Minh Truong, 1973-1974

The Phillips Library has recently acquired some rare and interesting items for its manuscript collection. Here is a sampling of a few of those gems.

North Vietnamese Diary and Photo Album

North Vietnamese Diary and Photo Album by Le Minh Truong, 1973-1974

This handwritten diary and photo album by North Vietnamese war correspondent and photographer Le Minh Truong (1930-2012), documents his journey along the Ho Chi Minh Trail from North Vietnam to Saigon between 1973 and 1974. Read more