Museum collections associated with a national park generally fall into three categories: museum objects that have a connection with the site, archaeological artifacts that were found in digs on the site, and archives of documents that are associated with the site.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site collects objects that relate to the buildings at Salem Maritime and the people who lived or worked in them, as well as books and manuscripts related to the history of Salem’s maritime trade.

Tan, gray and white boxes of various sizes on metal shelves.

Collection Spotlight

Explore different objects from our museum collection!


Salem Maritime National Historic Site collections can be accessed in person by appointment only. Researchers are encouraged to complete their preliminary research at other archives, libraries, and/or museum collections before approaching Salem Maritime. Access to materials is dependent upon their physical condition and level of processing to date by park staff. If you would like to inquire about researching the collection or set up a research appointment, please email the Curator, Dr. Emily Murphy.

Museum and archives collections have an important place in the mission of the National Park Service. The National Park Service cares for some of the largest and most diverse natural and cultural history collections in the world. It also keeps records and lists of our most treasured historic places for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of all. Our care of these collections furthers the National Park Service's mission to protect all resources within the land it manages, and ensures that these critical items are cared for in the public trust and shared with anyone who asks.

Nearly every unit of the National Park Service has some form of a museum and archives collection. These collections may include historic objects, natural history specimens, archeology, and archives. Museum and archives collections offer tangible evidence of who we were and who we are as a society and are available to the public through exhibitions, web exhibits, and research. For more information about museum collections in the NPS, please visit the Museum Management Program.

Last updated: January 3, 2022

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Mailing Address:

160 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970



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