May 25, 2022

Massachusetts: Special Collections: Museum, Advocates Spar Over Future of Phillips Library

From The Salem News:

Ask museum leaders [Peabody Essex Museum] what they want, however, and they say exactly the same thing the advocates are saying: to “save the Phillips Library.”

The two sides have very different ideas, however, over how to save the library and its 400,000 historical documents, manuscripts, books and ledgers.

Museum officials shocked the region in early December when they announced, at a meeting of the Historic Commission to discuss renovations to the former Phillips Library buildings, that the library itself wouldn’t be returning there. Instead, the building would be used for staff offices with minimal, if any, public access, and the library’s collections would be moved, along with other museum artifacts, to a new collection center in Rowley.

Direct to Full Text Article (1037 words)

See Also: Salem Documents Requested to Remain at Phillips Library (via The Salem News)

See Also: Bulk of Phillips Library Collection Won’t Return to Salem (via The Salem News; December 7, 2017)

See Also: Phillips Library Web Site ||| Official Statement From Peabody Essex Museum re: Phillips Library

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.