General Collection
Photograph Collection
Artifact Collection
Oral History Collection
Reading Room

Exploring the Photo Collection

Main page without selections
The image below shows the main page of the Photo Collection when there is no active search and no active selection.

To search for photos related to specific people, places, things, or topics, type a search term in the search box. The search includes all fields in the online photo database. In the example below, the word “railroad” has been entered in the Search box and images related to railroads appear.

You can use the the Show dropdown menu to determine how many photos are displayed at one time. The image below shows the dropdown menu and the number of images that will be displayed — 10, 25, 50 or 100.

Groups lets you load groups of photos at one time. That way if you’re looking for photos with numbers around 2600, for example, you can select the 2501-3000 group. Otherwise, you’d have to start at photo 1 and page a few at a time to get to 1501. Groups dropdown loads batches of 500 photos at a time. That’s not ideal — 500 photos are still a lot to go through — but, if you set Show to 100, you can move through a group of 500 fairly quickly.

The image immediately below shows the dropdown menu for the selection of Groups and the image below that shows that the Group 1501-2000 has been selected.

Although many photos in the collection are undated, for those that are it is possible to browse the collection by Decade. You can see the photos for the early 1800s and for any decade from 1840 to 2010 by using the Decade dropdown. The image below shows the dropdown menu for the selection of Decades.

The Museum has several large collections of photographs, including the Baldwin Coolidge photos described in the Introduction, several collections from the MBL, and various family collections. You can see the photos in each of the larger collections at the Museum by using the Collections dropdown. The image below shows the Dropdown menu for Collections.

Making multiple selections
It is also possible to make multiple selections. In the image below, we have selected images from two Decades, one Collection, and one Group.

Ending a selection
To end a selection, click on the blue name of the selected Decade, Collection, or Group. The image shows that the Decade 1930s has been deselected and appears as strikethrough type.

Requesting more information or larger copies of the photos
The photos displayed are small version of larger files. If you’d like to see a larger version of a photo, contact the Museum Archivist, Susan Witzell at Let her know the file numbers of the images you’re interested in.

Return to Historical Photos

Archives Info

The Museum Archives are open for research year round on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. Appointments are encouraged.

To reach the archivist, Colleen Hurter, email

Become a Member

The Woods Hole Historical Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and celebration of the area’s unique and colorful past and present. Your support helps the Museum to continue this work and to further our mission.

Become a Member