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Special Collections
If ever there was a heart and soul of an organization, this is it for Andover Historical. Our Special Collections include documents, photographs, glass-plate negatives, maps, and artwork. We hold the records of Andover institutions such as the South Church, Free Christian Church, and the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS).
Below is a brief summary of our larger manuscript collections. The manuscript collections information presented here will be expanded as existing information is transcribed for the website. A complete listing of our manuscripts is also available by searching the card catalog at Andover Historical.
Special Collections are available upon request during open hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays 10am to 4pm.
To learn more about our Special Collections, send us a message on our Stay in Touch page
civil war letter andover
Punchard High School Football Team
AHS #1978.4016
The Punchard Free School opened its doors in 1856. Students studied mathematics, natural science, mental and moral philosophy, the Latin and Greek languages, rhetoric and logic. The first graduating class in 1859 recognized seven students. In 1902 the school's name changed to Punchard High School.
Letter from Captain Horace Holt 
MS 2012.043.8
Andover Civil War drummer boy George Smart served in Horace Holt's division. Smart died of disease while he was just 17 years old. Holt sent this letter to George Smart's father Hugh Smart. The letter was donated to Andover Historical along with Smart's drum, sticks, and photograph.
Manuscript Collection

A sample of some of our larger manuscript collections, available at Andover Historical upon request.
Research inquiries can be emailed to

Ms S 2
John Frye "Junior" Papers
Deeds, official town papers and estate papers of John Frye “Junior, 1682-1753 and other members of his family (34 items)
Ms S 3
Hezekiah Ballard Papers
Chiefly deeds and papers concerning land distribution of Hezekiah Ballard, Jr., 1720-1803 of Andover. Also papers of other members of the Ballard family. (30 items)
Ms S 4
Zebediah Chandler Papers
Chiefly deeds and papers concerning land distribution of Zebediah Chandler, 1683-1766, of Andover and the descendents of his brother John, 1680-1741(20 items)
Ms S 52
Joshua Chandler (1758-1817) Papers
Chiefly bills and receipts, 1758-1871 of four generations of Joshua Chandlers. Also town assessors' record, 1800-1812 and c. 1850. (Volume: 5 inches)
Ms S 73
Captain Benjamin Hitchings Papers
Account Book, orders, and shipping papers of sea captain sailing between Boston, Europe, India and Indonesia, 1816-1821 (28 items)
Ms S 129
Hill Family Papers
Penmanship book of Asa Hill, c. 1834; an account book and receipts of Ira B. Hill, 1891-1902, owner of livery stable. (11 items)
Ms S 134
Taft Collection
Chiefly ledgers found in house built by David Gray, in 1812. Material by David Gray, 1762-1844; David Gray, 1798-1870; Henry Jenkins Gray, 1806-1881 and Henry Gray, 1852-1909. Also, Samuel Cummings, 1774-1816; Charles Cummings, 1804-1873; Abiel Pearson, M.D., 1755-1827 and William Griffin, Jr., 1766-1830. Includes town records, especially Overseers of the Poor. (Volume: 18 inches)
Ms S 156
Mary Ann Loring Currier Papers
Chiefly letters, 1831-1843, addressed to Mary Ann Loring, who in 1835 married Anthony D. Currier of Newburyport. (73 items, in one volume)
Ms S 157
H. Winthrop Peirce Papers
Costumed drawings and theatrical programs for pageants, 1918-1921 (15 items)
Ms S 158
George W. W. Dove Papers
Chiefly mounted newspaper clipping concerning collapse of Pacific Guano CO., 1889 and Cook Arctic Expedition of 1894. Also Civil War Military Papers. (Volume: 2 inches) 1812. Material by David Gray, 1762-1844; David Gray, 1798-1870; Henry Jenkins Gray, 1806-1881 and Henry Gray, 1852-1909. Also, Samuel Cummings, 1774-1816; Charles Cummings, 1804-1873;
Ms S 159
Mary Jean Craik Papers
Letters, 1920-1954, from political figures sent to a patriotic nurse. (38 items)
Ms S 162
John G. Russell Papers
Chiefly correspondence of John G. Russell, shoemaker, member of West Parish Church and Spiritualist. Includes material by other member of his family and paper shoe patterns. (55 items)
Ms S 163
Lydia Zanpe Whitlock Papers
Chiefly bills and receipts of New Jersey widow, coping during the Revolution. (92 items)
Ms S 171
Lydia Clark Abbott Flint Papers
Chiefly letters, written 1814, concerning student life in Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass., a female seminary. (31 items)
Ms S172
Mary James Abbott Papers
Chiefly letters, written 1836-1838, concerning the experiences of Mary James Abbott of Andover, 1810-1857, as a schoolteacher and Protestant missionary in French Canada. Also material by other members of the Abbott, Foster, and Holt families and from the South Church, Andover. (219 items)
Ms S 196
Punchard Free School Trustees Records
Chiefly minutes, 1850-1980, of trustees in charge of endowed secondary school which became public high school. (6 folders)
Ms S 197
Punchard Free School Records
Chiefly programs from prize essay contests and graduation exercises, c.1870-1950. Also copies of student periodicals, 1880-1957, of an endowed secondary school which became public high school. Also architectural drawings. (10 inches, oversize portfolio)
Ms S 205
Mehitable Abbott Russell Papers
Twenty-nine letters, written between 1805 and 1857 to Mehitable Abbott Russell. She had gone from Andover to Maine, but four, perhaps five of her daughters returned to Andover to work in the textile mills and described their experiences. (29 items)
Ms S 210
Samuel McLanathan Papers
Correspondence and deeds, chiefly concerned with the sale of property on Summer Street, Andover in 1865 (29 items)
Ms S 212
Samuel Jenkins, 1775-c.1845 Papers
Chiefly deeds, of four generations of Samuel Jenkinses, 1765-1846 (29 items)
Ms S 213
Franklin H. Stacey Papers
Chiefly printed regulations and questionaires kept by a member of the Andover Selective Service Board during World War I (63 items)
Ms S 230
Obadiah Foster Papers
Fifteen deeds, sixty-five bills and receipts, 1729-1829, of Obadiah Foster, 1741-1780, and his family, with his estate settlements by his redoubtable widow, Hannah Ballard Foster Chandler, 1748-1838 (80 items)
Ms S 231
Mary Caldwell Papers
Twelve deeds, one note of hand, 1762-1843 concerning property in the Scotland District of Andover (13 items)
Ms S 235
Nathan Foster Abbott Papers
Five notebooks: personnel expense, 1848-1857. Pay and labor records of the laborers of Andover roads, 1854; diaries 1878-1891 of Andover machinist who became a farmer (5 volumes)
Ms S 242
Charles Shed Daybook
Shed Family daybook, used first from 1803 to 1808 by an unidentified spinner, handweaver and tailor, second, from 1818 to 1821 by Charles Shed, a young boy (1 volume)
Ms S 259
Henry S. Robinson
Civil War material including diary by Lieutenant in 36th Massachusetts Regiment. Also diary of his daughter-in-law, as a married women in East Boston, 1884-1885 (46 items)
Ms S 313
Bessie P. Goldsmith Papers
Chiefly lectures and articles on Andover history, c. 1920-1965. Includes family papers and historical reminiscences by John Houghton Flint, b.c. 1880, and 1880, and others. (5 inches)

Ms S 352
Currency Collection
Chiefly Confederate bills by included bills from colonial and U.S. New England Banks, counterfeit U.S. and others. (123 items)
Ms S 376
West Parish Church Records
Running records of rural Congregational Church, 1826-1957. (Four linear feet)
Ms S 420
Mary Byers Smith Papers
Chiefly correspondence, journals, addresses and historical sketches concerning John Smith, 1796-1886, and his brother Peter, 1802-1880. They came penniless from Scotland and prospered in Andover as proprietors of Smith and Dove Co., manufacturers of linen twine. Also material by other family members. (Four inches)