Marblehead Archive Facility

The Marblehead Historical Commission has initiated planning for a Town-wide shared Archival Facility. It is intended that this facility be a common repository for multiple town organizations with historical materials and artifacts. This facility is intended to address the need for :

  • preservation of Marblehead’s historical records and archives by creating a secure, environmentally controlled facility
  • increased space for historical records and objects
  • a single site for researchers – who today must contact many organizations to find information about Marblehead’s history

More information about the Archival Facility can be found in the attached Marblehead Town-Wide Archive Study 2017-04-09.

We have engaged Michele Pacifico, a nationally recognized consultant on archival facilities, to conduct a planning project leading to a Master Plan for a Town-wide Archives. The Commission is able to do this thanks to the generous bequest of Ralph and Rita Terrien. The planning project is expected to be a multiple year project and is composed of five phases:

  1. Determine the partners – organization selection
  2. Determine the organizational requirements for a shared archival facility
  3. Determine the programmatic requirements for a shared archival facility
  4. Evaluate potential sites for a future archival facility
  5. Prepare a Master Plan to create a town-wide archival facility

The project is being guided by a Selectmen appointed Archives Advisory Committee.

The initial meeting with potential archives participants was held on July 10, 2017, with information supplied by Chris Johnston, MHC Chairman  and Consultant Michele Pacifico .

Project Phase I:

The first phase of the project has been completed, with a Phase 1 Report Issued. Status of the planning project was reviewed with potential archives participants on Dec. 11, 2017.

The report and it’s appendices can be read and/or downloaded by clicking on these links:

Marblehead Archival Facility Phase 1 final report 2017-10-23

Marblehead Archival Facility  Phase 1 Appendices Final

Project Phase II:

A Status Report on the planning project was presented to the Selectmen on April 25, 2018. Click on the link to read the report.

Status Presentation on the planning project presented to participating organizations on June 14, 2018

Project Phase III:

Archival Facility Requirements Document created and accepted by the Archives Advisory Committee:


Project Phase IV:

Multiple potential locations for the Archival Facility were evaluated. The lower level of the Mary Alley Office Building was selected by the Archives Advisory Committee as the lowest cost location that satisfied the needs of archives and has sufficient space.

A status report on the project was presented to the Selectmen on Oct. 30, 2019. Click on this link to read the report.

The project timeline, as of March 2021 can be seen at this link.

Project Phase V:

The SmithGroup, a national architectural/engineering firm with experience in the design of archives facilities has been selected to conduct design and cost studies for the Marblehead Archives. This work will begin in April, 2021 and be completed by July, 2021. It will form the basis for fund raising for the facility and preparation for going to the 2022 Town Meeting for remaining funding.

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