Mission and History of the Museum
A Brief History of the Museum
The Woods Hole Historical Collection was founded in 1973 as a sub-committee of the Woods Hole Public Library. In 1976 it moved into its own building, Bradley House, next door to the Library. By 1995-1996, two more buildings had been moved to the site: the Yale Workshop and the Swift Barn housing the Small Boat Museum, and the name of the organization was changed to the Woods Hole Historical Museum.
The Woods Hole Historical Collection continues as the Archive portion of the Museum, as well as in the publishing of books and the journal Spritsail.
The Woods Hole Historical Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and celebration of the area’s unique and colorful past and present, beginning with its farming and fishing roots and wending through centuries of adventurous maritime enterprise, world-renowned scientific exploration and achievement, and the parallel history of summertime recreation that has transformed Cape Cod. This history is brought to life throughout the year with a roster of exhibits, talks, multimedia presentations, special publications, archival resources, as well as with the hands-on living history of our wooden boat-building and restoration programs.
Land Recognition Statement
The Woods Hole Historical Museum is located on the traditional and sacred land of the Wampanoag people who still occupy this land, and whose history, language, traditional way of life, and culture continue to influence Cape Cod.