Researching Our Archives

The Townsend Historical Society maintains a research collection at our museum headquarters – the Reed Homestead located at 72 Main Street in Townsend Harbor. Our resources cover town history from the early eighteenth century through present day, including many records, manuscripts, house histories, photographs and more. Our archives are open a few times a year for research events, and by appointment. Our volunteers are happy to assist you with research as best we can.

Online Research Requests:

Personal Research Requests:
There is no charge for research questions that we can quickly answer, such as vital records, genealogy and reference questions to name a few common questions. For more detailed research requests, a $20 research fee applies to use the archives. This fee is due whether or not any information is found and directly supports the preservation of our archival material. The fee is waived for members so please consider joining.

Commercial Research Requests:
Commercial publications and related requests are subject to a $30 research fee. As with personal requests, this fee is due whether or not any information is found and directly supports the preservation of our archival materials. Commercial research fees are not waived.

Visiting the Archives:

The Townsend Historical Society can accommodate visiting individuals and scholars to our archives. We encourage you to contact us and make an appointment at least two-weeks in advance to ensure that we can plan for your visit. Our archivists will research your topic, note holdings and pull select items for your viewing. Photography (non-flash) of items is on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the visit. When visiting, it is important to note that only pencils should be used around artifacts and electricity is limited for computers and/or electronic devices.

Photo and Document Reproduction Costs:

The following fees apply to the cost of reproductions:
– Photocopies: Black and White – 25 cents per page; Color – 50 cents per page.
– Scanning and Emailed Documentation: $1 per page (10 page limit, per request). Please check with your email service to determine if there is a limit to attachment size.
– Quality Reproductions of Photos: 8″ x 10″ matte or glossy prints are $10 per image and may be watermarked/stamped with our logo.
– Large Quality Photo Reproductions: Available upon request.


The Townsend Historical Society is always accepting donations of items related to Townsend, Massachusetts. You will need to fill out the donation form below in order for our organization to accept the gift.