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Collections & Archives


The House of the Seven Gables has a rich collection of objects and archival material from the late 1600s to the present. Our collection particularly focuses on the people who have lived and worked at the site, the history of the buildings and grounds, our founder Caroline Emmerton, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life, family and work, and the Settlement Association founded here in 1910 to support the immigrant communities living in the neighborhood.


In 2020 The Gables received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funding supported an inventory process, improvements to storage, and digitization for select segments of our historic archives. A generous donor, Ms. Selina Little, has allowed us to further our work and continue to make the archives collection available to the public.


The Sampling of the Archives collection includes:

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne papers related to his life, work and family (Hawthorne Family Papers).
  • Caroline Emmerton papers related to the site and the museum and Settlement Association she founded here (Caroline Emmerton Papers.)
  • Family papers – Papers relating to the families who occupied the buildings owned by The House of the Seven Gables throughout their histories (Upton Family Papers, Elizabeth Upton Haywood Eaton Collection).
  • Settlement Association papers – materials related to the history and operation of the Settlement Association (House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association Records).
  • Book collection – including first edition Hawthorne works, books owned by Susanna Ingersoll, and many others.
  • Photographs/oral histories/slides/films relevant to the site and its history.
  • Postcard Collection.


Items you see here are arranged into collections headed by a collection guide (finding aid) followed by each item within that collection. If scrolling, collection guides (finding aids) appear before the individual items of each collection. You may also find the guides by searching in quotes: “A guide to the ___” followed by the collection name. Please note that books and objects will be added at a future date.


The House of Seven Gables Settlement Association welcomes offers of donations to our collections and is grateful to be considered by donors. All gifts to our collections and archives must first be approved by the collections manager who will provide the donor with legally mandated paperwork to be completed prior to receipt of the material.

The Museum has limited storage, so is only able to accept items related to: the families that have lived and worked here; the site and buildings; the Derby Street neighborhood and associated Settlement work; and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work, life and family.

Please do not send or leave donations without first contacting Collections Manager Susan Baker at

If you wish to use or reproduce materials from the collections or archives for any reason, please contact Julia Wacker, Marketing Department, at, who will inform you if there are any restrictions on a case-by-case basis.