The Archives & Research Center


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To learn more about the ARC or to schedule an appointment for researching the collections, please contact us at 781.784.8200 or

View our collections online >>

Hear more about what we do at the ARC...and see a nifty time-lapse video!

Delve deeper with The Archivist's Dream.

Collections and Exhibits Online
See paintings and photographs from the ARC in Of Farm and Family: Generations of Appleton Family Portraits

In 2008, The Trustees opened the state-of-the-art Archives and Research Center (ARC). Here, The Trustees are caring for our history – archives, objects, and artifacts that tell the stories of our properties, the organization itself, and our role in the land trust movement.

From letters written during the Civil War to books inscribed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Trustees founder Charles Eliot’s scrapbook to ribbons for prize-winning pigs, these treasures tell us not just about the history of our reservations, but about family, society, and the times in which they lived.

The goal of the ARC is more than just preservation, cataloging, and storage. Our ultimate goal is to share this rich historical material with others. Over time, the ARC will provide an extraordinary resource for scholars and educators with an interest in everything from Colonial dairy practices to the China Trade to the origins of the land trust movement.

The ARC represents a new level of stewardship for The Trustees and the opportunity to advance scholarship of Massachusetts’ history and culture. It also embodies our determination to preserve our cultural and historic resources with the same care as our natural ones. Thus a human dimension will enhance every meadow, field, forest, and wetland we protect, as the decisions made by generations of past owners are illuminated by the records they left behind. The ARC helps to connect the past, present, and future – it’s only by knowing and learning from what came before that we can truly shape tomorrow.