Images are one of the most popular collections in the Society's library. This vast and rich resource of 250,000 images gives us an intimate view into the people and places of the past, revealing New Hampshire's fascinating history in a compelling and personal way.
The Society's outstanding collection of historic photographs is organized by subject, by town, and by individual persons. Other large specialized collections include the Civil War photographs of Henry P. Moore, the Bill Finney collection documenting Canterbury (NH) Shaker Village, and the Bernard Boutin collection of 20th-century political photographs. Enjoy a tour through our online Photograph Sampler.
To find a photograph on a certain topic, researchers start in the subject files. Headings used for these files are from the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, published by the Library of Congress.
To find a photograph depicting a particular community, researchers begin with the town files. These photographs document about 200 New Hampshire towns and are especially strong for the cities of Concord, Portsmouth, Manchester, and Nashua. Of all the towns, Concord is by far the most detailed. This extensive collection provides a comprehensive view of life in the state's capital city and includes many files for specific streets and buildings. The years most strongly represented in the Concord collection are 1880 to 1920. Browse through our online list of town files for the community you're researching.
To find a picture of a particular person, researchers look in the people files. Here you'll find photographs of New Hampshire's most prominent citizens, including U.S. President Franklin Pierce, Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, and U.S. Senator and famous orator Daniel Webster.
Produced between 1856 and 1935, stereographs are sometimes called stereograms or stereo views. They are double photographs or printed images paired so that, when viewed with a stereoscope, they produce a three-dimensional image. The stereograph collection is arranged by town, with subdivisions for larger towns. Enjoy a tour through our online Stereograph Sampler.
The Society's extensive postcard collection creates a compelling picture of life in the Granite State. These images reveal what people valued, how they spent their time, and what they thought was important. A postcard may be the only visual remnant of a building, monument, or person. The postcard collection is arranged by town with subdivisions for larger towns. Enjoy a tour through our online Postcard Sampler.
The Society's collection of more than 20,000 slides offers another rich resource for visual imagery of the Granite State.