Nantucket Historical Association

About Nantucket Historical Association

The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) tells the inspiring stories of Nantucket through its collections, programs, and properties.

The NHA is a nonprofit organization that collects and preserves the objects, documents, and structures that tell the stories of Nantucket Island. The NHA is steward of an artifact collection of more than 30,000 objects, including complete skeletons of a 40-foot finback and a 46-foot sperm whale. The NHA’s Research Library is a special-collections repository of primary resources focusing on Nantucket history, and houses more than 5,000 volumes and 60,000 photographs, as well as manuscript documents such as ships’ logs, account books, family papers, and scrapbooks. The Whaling Museum, which received national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2007, is the NHA’s newly renovated state-of-the-art flagship venue, and serves as the center of a campus that includes twenty-two historic properties and sites. The association has more than 3,000 members and serves growing audiences of year-round and seasonal residents and visitors to the island from throughout the country and the world.

With a burgeoning year-round population estimated at nearly 11,000, Nantucket, an island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is among the state’s fastest growing counties, having grown 12.6 percent since the 2000 US Census. With an influx of seasonal residents and destination travelers, the population swells to as many as 70,000 during the summer months. As of 1996, the entire island of Nantucket is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The Nantucket Historical Association has been voted one of the fifty best nonprofits to work for in the United States by the NonProfit Times. Its Whaling Museum is, according to travel writer Andrew Harper, “one of the top ten places to see before you die."


Education Intern

June 2019 - August 2019 Nantucket, MA
“I enjoyed working on a variety of tasks within the Nantucket Historical Association. Some of the tasks included creating child friendly activities that have context relating to historical sites. It was an amazing experience to be given the responsibility to create these activities from the research phase to running the activities at two different sites for the Historical Association. One of the activities was the history of corn husk dolls and how to make them, and another showed the different ways herbs were used in colonial times such as certain herbs being used to make salves. I was also able to work with many other employees and interns who also shared a love of history and tried their best to give amazing tours of the historic sites. The two main historic sites I worked at were the Old Mill and the Oldest House. The Nantucket Historical Association is an amazing association that cares about history and tries to turn history into a fun and exciting experience for visitors rather than just a one dimensional way of learning.”
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