Manuscripts include hand-written and typescript material dating from the founding of the colony in 1636 through material written as recently as last year. Strengths of the collection include diaries and other personal papers; business records from the textile, shipping, and financial industries; church records; records of organizations such as trade unions, charitable societies and fraternal groups and military records from the American Revolution, the Civil War and other conflicts. The holdings are currently estimated at 5,000 cubic feet, including over a thousand separate collections.

The most comprehensive access to manuscript materials is through a paper card catalog and detailed inventories located in our Reading Room. Electronic versions of many detailed inventories along with a complete listing of our manuscript collections are available via the Master List of Finding Aids page.