The archives hold 1,100 collections of primary source documents on a wide variety of topics. The materials range from family collections to business records to the records of community and cultural organizations. The materials date from the 18th
century to the present. Here are just a few highlights:
The Smith Family Papers
The largest collection in the archive, the Smith Family Papers provide a rich record of one of the town’s founding families and represent in microcosm both the history of Peterborough and New Hampshire. The papers include business and household accounts, correspondence, and journals. Dr. Albert Smith’s papers include 50 years of household accounts, records of his medical practice, and materials collected for his 1876 town history and genealogy.
The Governor John Hardy Steele Papers
John Hardy Steele (1789-1865) was born in North Carolina and settled in Peterborough in 1811. He became involved in manufacturing and installed the first power looms in New Hampshire at the Phoenix Factory in 1817. Steele served as NH Governor in 1844 and 1845. The collection largely consists of letters to Steele, and copies of letters to friends, relatives, political acquaintances, and newspapers.
The Peterborough Transcript Collection
Transcript newspapers from 1876 to the present.
The Charles Wilder Factory Collection
Spanning the years 1860 to 1903, this collection is a fascinating record of the Charles Wilder Thermometer and Barometer Factory. The collection includes catalogs, accounts payable, accounts receivable, ledgers, sales logs, and correspondence for each year Wilder manufactured thermometers and barometers in town.
The Historical Society has several family collections that include genealogical materials. Among the families represented are: Ames, Babcock, Beverstock, Blair, Bocelli, Bowditch, Buss, Carter, Chase, Clark, Dunbar, Evans, Faxon, Gerry, Gilchrest, Gould, Green, Gregg, Hadley, Hamilton, Hannaford, Harriman, Hill, Hunt, Hunter, Jenkins, Jones, Kendall, Kyes, Lawrence, Little, Livingston, McNee, Miller, Moore, Morison, Morrison, Morse, Nay, Nichols, Paquet, Parish, Peaslee, Piper, Preston, Reed, Robbe, Robbins, Royce, Ryan, Seybolt, Shedd, Smith, Spaulding, Spofford, Stimson, Taggart, Taintor, Templeton, Towne, Townsend, Tufts, Waites, Walker, Wallace, Weston, Wheeler, White, Whittemore, Wilder, Wilson, Wood, Wright, Young, and Youngman.
If you don’t see your family name, contact us- we are always adding new materials to our collections.