Research Inquiries

The Portsmouth Historical Society is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors. General research inquiries may be made through Please allow one week for a volunteer to respond to your inquiry.

A response may include an answer to a general question or provide direction to additional resources or institutions that may have the answer you are looking for.

A Society volunteer will spend up to 30 minutes for each inquiry. A suggested donation of $25 would be greatly appreciated for non-members.

Additional research time is available at a rate of $10 per half hour for both members and non-members.

Collection Research

The Portsmouth Historical Society Collection consists of a wide range of letters, diaries, municipal records, probate records, ephemera and photographs. Records within the Society’s holdings date from the 17th century to the present day.

These collections are available for research by appointment only. A general reference library is available to peruse during museum open hours.

To schedule a research appointment, please complete the Research Request Form below.

Appointments must be requested at least two weeks in advance.

Appointments on Sundays from 2 to 4 PM are strongly encouraged. Appointments may also be made for Mondays thru Fridays, 10 AM to 2 PM. Appointments may be no longer than 2.5 hours.

Appointment requests must include the general scope or focus the researcher is interested in. This will assist the curator in preparing for the researcher’s visit.

Members of the Portsmouth Historical Society may request two (2) complimentary research appointments per year. Non-members may schedule their first research appointment for $25.

A $20 fee will be applied to each additional appointment for both members and non-members in a given year.

Your Research Appointment

If you’ve booked an appointment, the Society can’t wait to see you!

We are here to help you make new discoveries related to Portsmouth’s past.

Please note the following guidelines will be in place during your visit:

  • Backpacks, purses and coats must be left by the docent’s desk
  • The researcher must wash hands prior to handling the collections
  • Archival material will be given to the researcher one box at a time

The researcher will only be allowed to have the following on the research table:

  • Pencils
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Laptop or tablet (no cases)
  • Cell phone

Research Request Form

Agree to Terms and Conditions(Required)

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