An old proverb states that “the eyes are the windows into the soul.” A genealogy corollary is that “a photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors.”
I love old photos, whether they are portraits of my ancestors or historical photos of the period when they lived. And it is important to a complete research that one attempts to understand the environment that surrounds our ancestors’ lives if one wants to truly appreciate what they went through.
So where can they be found? Obviously, the best resource is our own photo albums and those that our relatives possess. But what about other resources? Many archives, historical societies, libraries, and genealogical societies have collections of old photos. And in the past few years, there has been a massive movement towards making these historical photo collections available online. Some have search capabilities where you can actually put in a surname or a location, the name of a building, or a historical event and find what is available.
For the state of New Hampshire, what collections are available for you to browse and/or search online? Here is a list of sites to start with. Please feel free to add in the comments other online resources that you might be aware of in the state.
Please be aware that there may be very strict rules regarding downloading or other use of the images that you may find. Copyright and other legal protections may be in force. Make sure that you read the limitations of use for any image that you find in these collections and wish to download and/or copy. It is your responsibility to adhere to the rules for all of these collections.
Please note that links to these sites may change in the future. The author (me) will not be constantly checking and updating these links, so if you find a broken link, please use your favorite search engine to locate the new link.
(Updated November 2023)
New Hampshire Historical Photo Archives
- Amherst Historical Society Digital Images
- Campton Historic Photos 1800s
- Cheshire County Photos
- Conway Public Library – Conway
- Dartmouth College Photographic Files
- Dartmouth College Photographic Records
- Dartmouth College Photographic Files
- Dover Historical Photographs
- Enfield Shaker Museum – Enfield
- Farmington History Museum
- Hampton Historical Photos
- Hillsborough Historical Society Historic Photo Collection
- Historic New England Photographic Collection
- Historic New Hampshire Pictures
- Historical Photographs Manchester
- Images of New Hampshire History
- Keene/Cheshire County Historical Photos
- Lakes Region History Online – Laconia
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs – New Hampshire
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Manchester Historic Association – Manchester
- Manchester Historical Photographs
- Moultonborough Historical Society Photos
- Nashua Historical Society – Nashua
- National Archives – Digital Photograph Collections
- New Castle Historical Society (NH) – New Castle
- New Hampshire Ancient Faces
- New Hampshire Dead Fred
- New Hampshire Historical Society Photographs
- New Hampshire History Network Photos
- New Hampshire Photographs and Multi-Media by County
- New Hampshire Public Libraries – A Digital Archive
- New Hampshire, DP.LA Photos
- New Hampshire, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
- Northwood Images
- Pelham Historical Photos
- Penny Postcards from New Hampshire
- Plymouth State University Photo Collections
- Portsmouth Athenaeum – Portsmouth
- Portsmouth Public Library Digitized Collections
- Rye Historical Society – Rye
- Smithsonian Images
- Southern New Hampshire University Archives
- Strawbery Banke Museum – Portsmouth
- University of New Hampshire Digital Collections
- Vintage Aerial Photos – New Hampshire
- White Mountain Prints and Graphics
For historic photos from other states and articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!