Northeast Museum Services Center

Northeast Museum Services Center We assist with the preservation, protection, management, documentation, and conservation of National Park Service museum and archival collections in the Northeast Region.
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The Northeast Region, one of seven regions that make up the National Park Service, is responsible for the care and preservation of more than 26,000,000 nationally significant items. The NPS museum collections in the Northeast include the landscape drawings of Frederick Law Olmsted, the library of John Quincy Adams, archeological collections from Jamestown, Civil War archival collections at Gettysburg, and natural history specimens collected from Shenandoah.

Mission: The mission of the Northeast Museum Services Center (NMSC) is to support and strengthen park management, partnerships and programs that preserve and protect natural and cultural resource collections within Northeast Region sites of the National Park Service and make those collections accessible for research, education and public enjoyment.

02/04/2020
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Need a chuckle? Watch our friends at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site recite some of Van Buren's 1837 address. (If you're interested in steamboats and post offices, this speech is for you!)

Have you ever wondered what Martin Van Buren would say in a State of the Union address?

Probably not. But we are going to show you anyway!

In the days before email and easily accessible online reports, speeches such as the #SOTU seemed less symbolic and heavier on detail. Van Buren’s 1837 address is a whopping 11,452 words and reading it straight through would take the average person about 70 minutes. So, we’ve taken the liberty of reading some of our favorite (i.e. most unintentionally funny) passages.

Enjoy some of Van Buren’s best run-on sentences, wild topic changes, and precise facts and figures. Plus, a lot of information about the post office. A lot. #SOTU1837

Calling all creative types! 🎨We hear there’s a game today? We would love to see your NPS/Museum matchups! Who do you wan...
02/02/2020

Calling all creative types! 🎨

We hear there’s a game today? We would love to see your NPS/Museum matchups! Who do you want to see play today??

Is there a large sporting event today? What if there were teams playing based on national parks?

Yellowstone Geysers vs Everglades Gators?

Olympic Marmots vs Salem Maritime Water Witches?

Gettysburg Monuments vs Mammoth Cave Sharks?

Can you design football helmets for your favorite park match-up? Use this template to help you get started! Don’t forget, there are 419 park units to use as inspiration. Show us those art skills! No one is judging. Well, we are. And the entire internet. Have fun!

#FindYourPark

Yellowstone National Park Salem Maritime National Historic Site Gettysburg National Military Park Mammoth Cave National Park Olympic National Park Everglades National Park

02/01/2020

Tomorrow's the big day! Well yes, the Super Bowl, but also... GROUNDHOG DAY! Will the wise rodent see his shadow, or not? What's your hunch? Tell us what you predict, or hope for, by clicking on this beautiful pearlware plate from Minute Man National Historical Park (those sure look like snowflakes!) or this lovely porcelain tea bowl (those flowers sure spell spring!) from Salem Maritime National Historic Site!

Pocket watch, sure!  But have you heard of a POCKET SUNDIAL?  According to the Corning Museum of Glass they were common ...
01/30/2020

Pocket watch, sure! But have you heard of a POCKET SUNDIAL? According to the Corning Museum of Glass they were common companions to pocket watches! Check out this gorgeous example from the museum's collection. 🌞

Object of the Week: Pocket Sundial, France, about 1775. 2018.8.15. http://bit.ly/2t48kr4

Sundials become more, not less, common after the invention of the pocket watch; they were needed to calibrate the pocket watches, which needed to be reset daily. This unusual sundial features a glass dome that allowed the gnomon, or the part of the sundial that casts a shadow, to remain upright rather than being folded and made it quicker for someone to use the sundial. The dome on the sundial highlights two of the purposes for glass in scientific instruments: to enable visibility and to provide protection for delicate moving parts.

Did someone say #DollyPartonChallenge?We simply couldn't sit back and watch everyone else have fun without creating a fe...
01/27/2020

Did someone say #DollyPartonChallenge?

We simply couldn't sit back and watch everyone else have fun without creating a few memes ourselves. Please enjoy NMSC's contribution with some ceramic and glass artifacts that just may *break* the internet. 🤓

Cheers to Kate at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site for all of her ongoing and amazing w...
01/24/2020

Cheers to Kate at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site for all of her ongoing and amazing work with the LONG museum collection! We at NMSC have been privileged to work with Kate on several occasions and always appreciate her wealth of knowledge and her friendly demeanor. Where would our parks be without our rockin' curatorial staff?? (And btw - we love this choice of favorite museum object!)

For today's #ShowandTell we want to highlight a talented staff member, Kate! You know her as the voice of our weekly Show & Tell posts. She has taken up an acting post as the site's Archives Specialist.

For the past seven years, Kate has served as the Museum Technician at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters NHS, supporting the park through her work with the archives, collections and interpretation. She is a friendly source of knowledge for staff, researchers and visitors alike. Among her many accomplishments, in 2016 Kate transcribed nearly 2,000 letters written by Fanny Longfellow, the poet's wife. Digital access to this resource has enabled our rangers to share Fanny's unique perspective with visitors.

In her new role, Kate will care for and provide access to the archives for researchers. Kate says of all the 35,000 objects in the collection, her current favorite is the bust of Fanny, pictured here.

In the first image, Kate examines newly accessioned objects for the collection, including a photo, diamond pendant, purple glass necklace, photos of Longfellow's granddaughter and an engraved spoon.

- Ranger Anna

[First image: woman examining a necklace with gloved hands and magnifying glass.
Second image: marble bust from shoulder up of woman, sporting an off-the-shoulder dress and ringlet hairstyle ]

In archeology lies the key (the teeny-tiny key!) to the past...🗝
01/22/2020

In archeology lies the key (the teeny-tiny key!) to the past...🗝

Yesterday, we hosted two members of the American Veterans Archaeological Recovery team in our Boston offices. Brad and Z...
01/18/2020

Yesterday, we hosted two members of the American Veterans Archaeological Recovery team in our Boston offices. Brad and Zeth were part of the AVAR team who partnered with our Northeast Archeology Program , American Battlefield Trust and many others to conduct an approved and supervised excavation at Saratoga National Historical Park.
In addition to a tour around Boston National Historical Park, Brad and Zeth learned more about the long-term curation of the Saratoga objects and gave us insights into the parallels between objects in the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park collection with modern warfare.
We look forward to continuing and building upon this relationship between AVAR and the National Park Service.
➡️ https://www.battlefields.org/learn/videos/vets-study-archaeology-heal-mental-and-physical-wounds-avar

Better late than never!  What could be more fun on a Friday night than learning about those confounding red wares?  Our ...
01/18/2020

Better late than never! What could be more fun on a Friday night than learning about those confounding red wares? Our workshop last week at the Society for Historical Archaeology conference included discussion and examples of several types of red-ish wares, including Iberian storage vessels, North Devon sgraffito, Elers-type stoneware, and American redware with lead or manganese glaze. We’re sharing some of our workshop tips here – check it out! (More info with each photo.)

One of the hot topics of discussion during our Identifying Historic Ceramics workshop last week was: CREAMWARE, PEARLWAR...
01/15/2020

One of the hot topics of discussion during our Identifying Historic Ceramics workshop last week was: CREAMWARE, PEARLWARE, OR WHITEWARE? If you're stumped by refined white earthenwares, consider these two tips! #1: The glaze on creamware appears yellowish, especially in places where the glaze pools like footrings or stamped maker's marks. The glaze on pearlware, on the other hand, has a bluish tint. #2: Certain vessels shapes can clue you in to dates and therefore ware type. Canova-shaped cups (aka double-curve), for example, aren't seen until ceramics had largely made the switch from pearlware to whiteware! #WhatsThatWare

If you missed NMSC's Identifying Historic Ceramics workshop at the Society for Archaeology's annual conference last week...
01/13/2020

If you missed NMSC's Identifying Historic Ceramics workshop at the Society for Archaeology's annual conference last week, never fear! We're going to be sharing some tips on our page this week. TIP DU JOUR: Rhenish Brown Stoneware and English Brown Stoneware both appear on early colonial American sites, and it can be hard to distinguish between the two. English Brown has flecks of hematite in the paste, making it look as if it's been sprinkled with pepper! #WhatsThatWare

Did you catch us at the The Society for Historical Archaeology's fair at the Boston Public Library this past Saturday? W...
01/13/2020

Did you catch us at the The Society for Historical Archaeology's fair at the Boston Public Library this past Saturday? We met lots of families who got to chat with our team of archeologists, and even got to color and design their own children's mugs. We had a great time!

What a week! #sha2020This past week, NMSC staff hosted a workshop on "Identifying Historic Ceramics" and also gave paper...
01/13/2020

What a week! #sha2020

This past week, NMSC staff hosted a workshop on "Identifying Historic Ceramics" and also gave papers on their research at the 2020 The Society for Historical Archaeology conference in Boston. We had a wonderful time sharing our research with our colleagues and will be sharing some of it with you, so stay tuned! What do you want to hear more about?

What Salem Maritime National Historic Site said!!NMSC archeologists will be at a table for the archeology fair at the Bo...
01/10/2020

What Salem Maritime National Historic Site said!!

NMSC archeologists will be at a table for the archeology fair at the Boston Public Library tomorrow. Stop by and visit us, and learn a little bit about archeology!

Looking for something free and educational for you and the family to do this weekend? Join us and many other heritage and history exhibitors at the "Family Fun with Archaeology" event sponsored by The Society for Historical Archaeology.

Dig up some fun with us from 10AM to 2PM this Saturday at the Boston Public Library! (MZ)

#2020ParkVision #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

This week, NMSC is participating the the The Society for Historical Archaeology's annual conference in Boston.  Yesterda...
01/09/2020

This week, NMSC is participating the the The Society for Historical Archaeology's annual conference in Boston. Yesterday, our archeology team conducted a four-hour workshop on identifying historic ceramics. Alicia and Jessica presented on ceramics found on North American sites, and the whole team was on hand to answer questions. Are you bummed you missed it?? We'll be highlighting some of the tips we shared on Facebook next week!

Got an old bottle with liquid in it?  Considering recent antique-bottle-content-sampling news, please check out our 2011...
01/04/2020
Unearthing White Magic: Witch Bottles in the Archeological Record

Got an old bottle with liquid in it? Considering recent antique-bottle-content-sampling news, please check out our 2011 blog post about witch bottles before diving in for a taste! ;)

In 1983, National Park Service archeologists conducted a survey of the City Point Unit of Petersburg National Battlefield in Hopewell, Virginia. The excavation included a series of test trenches d…

Ceramic identification skills a little rusty?  Never fear!  NMSC is holding a workshop next week at the Society for Hist...
01/03/2020

Ceramic identification skills a little rusty? Never fear! NMSC is holding a workshop next week at the Society for Historical Archaeology's annual conference. Did you miss the signup? Don't worry! We'll be sure to post some helpful highlights on our page!

Happy New Year! We could think of no better way to ring in the first day of a new decade than to showcase some museum co...
01/01/2020
Who’s Your Number One?

Happy New Year! We could think of no better way to ring in the first day of a new decade than to showcase some museum collections. Please enjoy some of our number ones... catalog number ones that is! If you enjoy these, stay tuned to our Facebook for more number ones on the first of the month!

No, not your number one draft pick. Nope, not your favorite boy band member. What NMSC wants to know is…what’s your Number One Museum Object? Many museums use the “trinomial” system to create catal…

Drumroll please...Presenting our #1 most popular post of 2019! We are so glad you enjoyed our posts so much this year. T...
12/31/2019

Drumroll please...

Presenting our #1 most popular post of 2019! We are so glad you enjoyed our posts so much this year. This post alone reached over 50,000 people. We are quite looking forward to 2020. Happy New Year from NMSC!

It's important to know what your kids are up to on the internet. To help, NMSC put together this handy guide to inform you about some hip acronyms being used nowadays.

Runner up!! 🍩 This post didn’t make the top 3, but was very popular.  Who doesn’t love a good donut!? Stay tuned for num...
12/31/2019

Runner up!! 🍩

This post didn’t make the top 3, but was very popular. Who doesn’t love a good donut!? Stay tuned for number 1 of 2019 coming later!

Today is National Doughnut Day! And here in the NMSC archeology lab, that's got us thinking about GLAZE! Both of the glorious objects pictured here are glazed. Check out our scientific study that compares and contrasts the glaze on a doughnut and the glaze on this beautiful redware bowl from the archeology collection at Salem Maritime National Historic Site!

Our #2 most popular post of 2019! Click to see some of the comments, we couldn’t believe some of the things past curator...
12/30/2019

Our #2 most popular post of 2019! Click to see some of the comments, we couldn’t believe some of the things past curators have done!

Forgiveness.

Has a previous curator: Used catalog numbers twice? Accessioned things more than once? Used fast food bags and/or beer boxes to store artifacts? Item level cataloged the archives? What other curatorial sins are we missing?

It is okay. It is time to forgive. #museummantras

Our #3 most popular post of 2019! #unscience
12/30/2019

Our #3 most popular post of 2019! #unscience

We're jumping on the #unscienceathing bandwagon. Check out this 18th century bottle from Salem Maritime National Historic Site for a laugh on this Monday morning!

A new decade is upon us! To honor this past year, we will be re-sharing our top three most popular posts of 2019. Starti...
12/28/2019

A new decade is upon us! To honor this past year, we will be re-sharing our top three most popular posts of 2019. Starting tomorrow we will unveil our third most popular post! Any guesses?

Which one was your favorite??

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house, Not a creature was stirring..." except maybe a LOUSE. 😲 Doub...
12/24/2019

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house, Not a creature was stirring..." except maybe a LOUSE. 😲 Double-sided bone combs like this one from the archeology collection at Minute Man National Historical Park were common in the 18th and 19th centuries and were used primarily for removing lice. We hope that any stealthy visitors you have this evening have fur and antlers, and not a thorax and antennae! Merry Christmas from NMSC! (Photo by Norm Eggert for NMSC)

It's Christmas Eve and we're feeling festive!  NMSC recently came across this lovely postcard while processing archives ...
12/24/2019

It's Christmas Eve and we're feeling festive! NMSC recently came across this lovely postcard while processing archives from Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. Happy Holidays to you and yours from the Northeast Museum Services Center!

Happy Hanukkah from NMSC! Please enjoy this post from Minute Man National Historical Park highlighting a menorah in thei...
12/23/2019

Happy Hanukkah from NMSC! Please enjoy this post from Minute Man National Historical Park highlighting a menorah in their museum collection.

Did you know there is a brass 7-branch menorah in The Wayside, Home of Authors?

According to the catalog record, this menorah was purchased by Harriet Lothrop around 1906. Visitors often ask why this menorah has 7 branches instead of 9, and the simple answer is that this is a Temple menorah as opposed to a Hanukkah menorah. Unfortunately we don’t know why Harriet purchased it, but we are glad she did so we could highlight it!

Have you been good this year?  In the 19th century, transfer-printed mugs like this one from an NPS archeology collectio...
12/17/2019

Have you been good this year? In the 19th century, transfer-printed mugs like this one from an NPS archeology collection were popular holiday gifts for children. (Because what kid doesn't want a cup extolling industry and temperance?) And we all know what you get if you're naughty! 😉

Do you know what today is?  Or do you need Jason to remind you?  😱  Although this might look like a certain notorious ho...
12/13/2019

Do you know what today is? Or do you need Jason to remind you? 😱 Although this might look like a certain notorious hockey mask, it's actually an artifact from the archeology collection at Minute Man National Historical Park! Can you tell what it is?

OK folks, it's time to play CAPTION THAT PHOTO...WITH A SONG!  We've been working on inventorying the archeology collect...
12/10/2019

OK folks, it's time to play CAPTION THAT PHOTO...WITH A SONG! We've been working on inventorying the archeology collections at Minute Man National Historical Park and recently came across this fabulous pair of eyeballs! (Don't worry, they're glass, from a doll.) Cool, creepy, or both, we know they're inspire some song lyrics, so... GO! 🎼👀

12/10/2019
Boston National Historical Park

Hey, we beg to differ! These brave rangers from Boston National Historical Park sound pretty good to us! Thanks, BOST, for getting us into the holiday spirit with some festive caroling! 😊⛄️

National Park Rangers are skilled at many things, singing Christmas Carols is not among them.

#JingleBells #RangerFail #CommandantsHouse

National Park Service
12/07/2019

National Park Service

Seventy-eight years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, survivors, veterans, and visitors from around the world come together in remembrance. At Pearl Harbor National Memorial, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, learn about one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II. Visit https://www.nps.gov/valr/learn/historyculture/national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day.htm to learn more.

Image: Pearl Harbor inscription at the National World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

#PearlHarborRemembranceDay

HUNGRY?  Maybe it's time to whip up a batch of brain balls!  You may have seen us post about historic recipes and vessel...
12/05/2019
Hedgehogs and Brain Balls: Connecting Historic Recipes to Historic Vessels

HUNGRY? Maybe it's time to whip up a batch of brain balls! You may have seen us post about historic recipes and vessels from NPS archeology collections a couple of weeks ago. Check out our latest blog post that explores these recipes a bit more and highlights beautiful vessels from NPS archeology collections too!

Redware pots, creamware plates, pearlware pitchers… As an historical archeologist, I never tire of these words or the objects they represent. While recently researching historic foodways for fun …

Did someone say snow? We are loving this Blizzard of 1978 photo of Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National...
12/03/2019

Did someone say snow? We are loving this Blizzard of 1978 photo of Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site. Luckily, the Boston area didn’t get as much snow today as in this photo. NMSC hopes everyone is staying warm and dry today! ❄️

Who else is snowed in? And just a week ago it was fall 🤷‍♀️Oh, New England. Happy snow day!

[Image of a woman cross-country skiing in front of Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters NHS after a 1978 blizzard.]

Address

Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA
02129

General information

Our work is organized into four program areas: Documentation (Archival and Archeological Collections) Preservation Research and Planning Collections Conservation

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(617) 242-5613

Alerts

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Welcome history lovers to a program in the Great Falls Historic District on Sunday, November 3, free lecture at 3:00 pm. Reception at 2:00 pm, $25 per person. Park on Market Street across from the Paterson Museum. Take trolley to the Art Factory 70 Spruce Street.
the best
Came here to vote for #sara but couldn't find it!