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Collections and Archives

Artifact Collection

  • Objects relevant to the architectural, domestic and work lives of the families that lived in the historic buildings owned by the House of the Seven Gables throughout their histories (17th-20th centuries). This includes the property-owning families and their staff and other workers.
  • Materials relating to the Settlement Association’s operations and the immigrant communities it serves.
  • Materials relating to the institutional history of the House of Seven Gables.

Archives: Institutional and Special Collections

Institutional Collections

All materials related to the operations and institutional history of The House of the Seven Gables museum, property, and store.

Special Archival Collections

  • Hawthorne Papers
  • Emmerton Papers
  • Family papers – papers relating to the families who occupied the domestic buildings owned by the House of the Seven Gables throughout their histories (17th-20th centuries). Each will require their own special collection.
  • Settlement Association Collection – all materials related to the history and operations of the Settlement Association
  • Ephemera – House of the Seven Gables and property, Settlement, Hawthorne
  • Book Collection
  • Photographs/Oral Histories/Slides/Etc. relevant to the House of Seven Gables, Settlement, and related areas
  • Salem materials relevant to the history of The House of the Seven Gables and the Museum

Gifts and Bequests

  • Must fit within the Scope of Collections outlined above
  • Must be accompanied by a Deed of Gift or similar document transferring unrestricted ownership rights
  • Requires ad-hoc collections committee and Board Approval before formal accessioning into the collection
  • Please contact Susan Baker – Leavitt at 978-306-7009 if you have an artifact or archival item you would like to consider donating.

Preventative Care and Conservation

The House of Seven Gables acknowledges its legal and ethical responsibility to provide prudent care and protection for its collections, which are part of a common cultural heritage preserved now and in the future for the benefit of the public.

The environment is a critical factor in the long-term health of the collections.  Continued improvement of environmental conditions is a priority for collections both in storage and on exhibition, recognizing the limitations inherent in the historic buildings of the institution.  Environment refers to temperature, humidity and light levels, pest activity, dust and pollution levels, and housing issues. Regular monitoring and preventative cleaning and maintenance are required.

Access and Use


Collections and some Archival objects may be exhibited either in the historic houses on the property or in temporary exhibitions in the Visitors Center or may be loaned to other institutions.


The House of Seven Gables welcomes requests for access to its collections.  Visitors to the collections must make an appointment and must be supervised by an approved staff member at all times.

Rights, Permissions and Reproductions Policies

The House of the Seven Gables provides case-by-case fee-based access to its holdings for educational, personal and some commercial use, provided that ownership of the materials is properly cited. Written permission of the copyright holders and/or other rights holders is required for publication, distribution, reproduction or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use. The publication includes, but is not limited to, print, film, slide presentation, video, television, and electronic transmission. Transmitting an image or file on the Internet is equivalent to reproducing and distributing that image in print.

Materials held by The House of the Seven Gables may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law and/or by the copyright laws of other countries. Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials. For web sites and digital files originated by The House of the Seven Gables, we retain all rights, including copyright, in all data, images, and text.

If someone uses either published or unpublished materials from our collections in a publication, they must first determine whether the work has passed into the public domain and is no longer under copyright protection, or find the copyright holder and get permission to reproduce the material.

Other than use for personal, educational or non-commercial purposes, each collection or type of material in The House of Seven Gables may have different copyright or other reproduction restrictions placed on it. If someone wishes to use or reproduce materials from the collections or archives for any reason, the Marketing Department will inform the individual or organization if there are any restrictions on a case-by-case basis.