Whaling Museum featured films
now available online!
Nantucket and Bones of History
Nantucket , a film by documentary filmmaker Ric Burns, captures the unparalleled beauty of the island and explores Nantucket’s global significance in this remarkable gateway film.
Created exclusively for the NHA.
Bones of History , created exclusively for the NHA by filmmaker John Stanton, documents the events surrounding the sperm whale that washed up on the eastern end of Nantucket in 1998 and now hangs as the centerpiece of Gosnell Hall at the Whaling Museum.
NEW! NHA University Weekly
NHA University is a weekly resource featuring videos, history topics, artifacts, transcription projects, and more. Intended to enrich at home learning for all coming to your inbox every Tuesday!
Digitization & Transcription
Project of the Week
Now available for transcription!
Follow along on this voyage and others from the comfort of your home by helping us transcribe our logbook collection.
“I was born, no matter where; my parents were, no matter who, my disposition to roam having carried me to Boston…” So begins the “Whim Whams and Opinions of M. E. Morrell,” written “by himself, for his own amusement” during a voyage aboard the ship Hero of Nantucket.

Though only 30 pages long, this journal makes for quite an interesting read! Morrell opens with an indigenous history of Nantucket before whisking us back to Nantucket as a whaling port in the 1820s as he gets ready to set sail.
If you are interested in learning more about the digitization and trscription process, please reach out to Sara David, NHA Digitization Archivist, at

The NHA thanks Connie and Tom Cigarran for their visionary gift to support this
digitization and transcription project. 

In Celebration of Women's History Month

A Paper Trail: Piecing Together
the Life of Phebe Hanaford
By Lisa M. Tetrault

In the first decade of the twentieth century, Phebe Hanaford was asked to help officiate at the funeral services for two leading women’s rights activists of the nineteenth century: the feminist philosopher Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the woman-suffrage organizer Susan B. Anthony. The two friends, who had shared a life of labor, died within four years of each other, and Hanaford knew them both well. One of the nation’s first female ministers, an author, feminist, and Nantucket native, Hanaford was intimately involved in the early women’s rights campaign for nearly the entire span of the seventy-five-year movement. The invitation in her old age to preside at the funerals of arguably the most famous women of the nineteenth century testified to Hanaford’s own prominence. Yet, for complicated reasons, this extraordinary woman is almost forgotten today.

Photo Phebe Hanaford, 1860's, P14374
Artifact of the Week
Silver Porringer 
Benjamin Bunker   
Gift of the Friends of the NHA 

One of only ten porringers positively identified as the work of Bunker, this lovely vessel is a testament to the elegantly simple, well-proportioned style favored by Nantucketers based on mainland examples. The inscription ELC stands for Edward (1738–1812) and Lydia Cary (1745–1814), originally from Charlestown, Massachusetts, who moved to Nantucket during the Revolution to avoid persecution as Tories.

The Carys owned and operated a prosperous rope-making business and invested heavily in the whaling trades. They were the parents of Nantucket China trader James Cary.. The couple’s beautiful gravestones are in Old North Cemetery, Edward’s bearing the verse inscription: Learn then ye living! by these mouths be taught Of all these sepulchres instruction true, That soon or late, death is your lot, And the next opening grave may yawn for you!
Read Historic Nantucket
from home!
The NHA’s publication  Historic Nantucke t draws readers into the history of the island. With over 80 issues available to read online, explore themes such as whaling, genealogy, and folk art and more! Written by contributing researchers and Nantucket Historical Association staff.
Follow us for a daily dose of Nantucket History!
Shared this week on @ackhistory

This flame stitch wallet from our collection is a technique of stitching also known as an Irish , Hungarian, Florentine, and bargello stitch, which indicates the uncertainty of its origins. This pattern was also used for pillows, stools, and fire screens.

These wallets were carried by both men and women during the last half of the eighteenth century.

Looking to explore Nantucket history while at home? Our collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and photos are easily accessible here. Get lost in Nantucket history today!

Read more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Shop the Museum Shop!
Item of the Week:
Tony Sarg's Nantucket Map Puzzle

The perfect at home activity!
This 200 piece puzzle is the famous Tony Sarg Nantucket map made exclusively for the Nantucket Historical Association.
The NHA is closed to the public; this includes the Whaling Museum, Research Library, Gift Shop, and Historic Properties. Presently, our plan is to reopen Monday, April 13.

All NHA public programs and events are cancelled through the end of April.
Nantucket Historical Association | 508.228.1894 |