Cape Ann residents — Gloucester, Essex, Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea — are welcome to enjoy the special exhibition Unfolding Histories (as well as all the other exhibits on view) on the fifth day of each month.
Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900, the first major archival exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum, showcases the documentary holdings of eight institutions, ranging in size from the Cape Ann Museum to small, neighborhood historical societies. Lenders to this exhibition include Annisquam Historical Society, Cape Ann Museum, Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, Essex Town Hall, Gloucester’s City Hall, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library, Manchester Historical Museum, Sargent House Museum, and Sandy Bay Historical Society and Museums. The materials span from Native American life on Cape Ann, through the first European settlers in the 1640s, to the introduction of the railroad and other forms of mass transportation during the mid 19th century.
Organized thematically, Unfolding Histories lets the documents tell the stories of Cape Ann, thereby highlighting often neglected experiences and perspectives. This archival record richly depicts the political and social structures of our nation before its founding, through its early years and on up to 1900, and provides windows into the working and cultural life of a place that would become a haven for artists and writers. Unfolding Histories aims to make the presence of these collections on Cape Ann known to a wider scholarly and popular audience; to both residents of Cape Ann who are proud of their history, and to the professional and amateur historian who will surely be delighted to listen to the stories these archives might tell.