Browse Collections: 12

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Community Diary: Portsmouth COVID-19 Pandemic 2020

The Portsmouth Public Library is endeavoring to historically document this unusual time in our shared Portsmouth, New Hampshire History. As always, staff of the Special Collections Room are physically collecting printed accounts, articles, and documents for the history files.To further our mission to document and make accessible Portsmouth history, we have started this diary project to capture the social, economic and personal accounts of the impact this pandemic has had on our residents and…
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Henry Clay Barnabee Collection

Henry Clay Barnabee was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1833, the son of a stage-driver turned innkeeper in Portsmouth. At the age of twenty, Barnabee moved to Boston, where he worked in the dry goods business while also pursuing acting and amateur singing. In 1859, he married Clara George of Portsmouth in Warner, New Hampshire, where her family originated. They made their home in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. In 1865, Barnabee made his formal performance debut and began touring New…
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Portsmouth 350, Inc.: 350th Anniversary Materials

Historic materials from the 350th anniversary of the City of Portsmouth, celebrated in 1973.
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The Dorothy Sturgis Harding Christmas Card Collection

This collection of 19 original Christmas cards was created by artist and long-time Portsmouth resident Dorothy Sturgis Harding (1891-1978). These cards are part of a larger amalgamation of Harding memorabilia and were gifted to the Library by Portsmouth resident Joan Christy in January 2018. The Dorothy Sturgis Harding Christmas Cards are drawn in pen and ink on card stock and were used for holiday greetings in years spanning 1947 through 1976. According to local residents, Harding's…
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The Helen Pearson Drawings

A series of drawings created between 1908-1913 by local artist and Portsmouth native, Helen Pearson (1870-1949). In 1993, local historian and long-time editor of the Portsmouth Herald, Ray Brighton called Helen Pearson “…one of the best artists Portsmouth ever produced whose talent has been largely forgotten.” Born in Portsmouth on Nov. 13, 1870, Pearson was trained as a concert pianist and attended Boston’s Cowles Art School. She played piano with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra in New…
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The Helen Pearson Bookplate Collection

A collection of 336+ historic bookplates and corresponding material from local artist and musician Helen Pearson. These bookplates were accumulated from her travels, acquaintances, other collectors and membership into several national and international bookplate societies. The collection was initially created and organized by Pearson. It arrived at Portsmouth Public Library as a bequest upon her passing on August 19, 1949. The collection was added to and at least partially mounted by then…
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Louis J. Mackles Postcard

This collection of 400+ postcards, depicting buildings and scenes of Portsmouth and the Seacoast area, was donated to the Portsmouth Public Library by the family of Louis J. Mackles in May of 2015. It was given specifically by Ross A. Moldoff, Gloria F. Moldoff and Harold Moldoff, who felt the collection should be made available for study and enjoyment. The rehousing of the physical collection into archival albums was made possible by the Moldoffs as well. Mr. Mackles collected postcards…
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The Adams Collection

This collection is an assemblage of work by Captain Edward H. Adams. They are photographic representations of The Adams Collection which includes about 175 of his original models and carvings. The Adams Collection was previously housed at the Sheafe Warehouse, and is now cared for by the Special Collections staff at Portsmouth Public Library, on behalf of the City of Portsmouth Trustees of the Trust. The Captain was born Edward Hamlin Adams to Joseph and Olive Adams on October 22, 1860.…
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Sarah Haven Foster Wildflowers

The Portsmouth Public Library’s Special Collections Room holds several albums containing nearly 1000 individual Sarah Haven Foster watercolors. These were painted locally and during travels abroad. They depict a wide array of buildings, landscapes, and wild flowers. Most of the images are painted in miniature, some as small as postage stamps. Sarah Haven Foster (1827-1900), was the daughter of John Welsh Foster (1789-1852) and Mary (Appleton) Foster. She had one sister, Mary Appleton Foster,…
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Sarah Haven Foster Views of Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Public Library’s Special Collections Room holds several albums containing nearly 1000 individual Sarah Haven Foster watercolors. These were painted locally and during travels abroad. They depict a wide array of buildings, landscapes, and wild flowers. Most of the images are painted in miniature, some as small as postage stamps. Sarah Haven Foster (1827-1900), was the daughter of John Welsh Foster (1789-1852) and Mary (Appleton) Foster. She had one sister, Mary Appleton…
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Haven School Neighborhood Project

The Haven School Neighborhood Digital Collection has been created for several reasons. The library chose to increase access to this important collection because, in part, that is what a public library does, but also because of the importance of this neighborhood to the history of Portsmouth. The members of this community within a community have a story to tell and the nature of that community has dramatically changed.[more] The core of this collection was scanned from photo albums of historic…
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North End House History

This collection of images comes from Portsmouth’s North End, circa 1967. It is the area bordered by Market, High, Congress, Bridge, Maplewood, and Russell Street. This area was re-developed during the 1960’s as part of a Federally funded Urban Renewal movement that followed World War II. Primarily an Italian neighborhood, approximately 176 inhabited homes and active businesses were documented prior to removal.View Parcel Map[more]Approximately one dozen buildings - some dating back to the 1700s…