Park Museum Collection Profile
Adams National Historical Park

Collection Summary

The park encompasses not only the Old House (the Adams Family Mansion, circa 1730) with its "objects of national significance" but the birthplaces of two presidents: John Adams (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-1829). The Old House was home to Congressman Charles Francis Adams, who also held the delicate position of ambassador to England during the Civil War. It was he who built the Stone library to house the family's books and papers. The historian Henry Adams wrote his famous nine-volume history of the United States there. The historic integrity of the site and associative collections are superior. The holdings serve to interpret the Adams family history over five generations, and illustrate the changing relationship of the artifacts to the family members. The collection includes examples of American painting; decorative arts that include glass, ceramics, silver and furniture; prints and engravings; photographs and family albums; the book collection in the Stone Library (12,000 volumes) and maps. The park also has an associated archeological collection. Many elements of the collection are significant in their own right, apart from the historic structures and the objects' associative histories. This is particularly true of the eighteenth century American paintings, the Chinese export and European porcelain, and many individual pieces of furniture. Significant holdings include:

Primitive American Painting Collection
The Stone Library Book Collection
Decorative Arts Collection
The Print Collection

Collection Size 200,398
 
Facilities Exhibiting Museum Items Carriage House
John Adams Birthplace
John Quincy Adams Birthplace
Stone Library
The Old House
 
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