The Gibson House Museum is an archival repository for the social and cultural history of the Back Bay between 1860 - 1930. Our primary holdings focus on the Gibson family. We continue to collect in all areas of Back Bay history, including the lives and experiences of domestic staff during that time.
Access to the Gibson House Museum Archives is by appointment only. Please contact Meghan Gelardi Holmes, Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the collections available for research or to set up an appointment to view materials.
Gibson Family Papers 1870-1954
Guide to the Collection
Gibson House Museum
25 linear feet
The Gibson Family Papers were given to the Gibson Society, Inc., along with the house at 137 Beacon Street and its contents, in 1957. Parts of the Mary Ethel Gibson and Freeman Allen sub-series were subsequently donated by their descendants.
Gibson House Museum
Materials Removed from the Collection
Eleven letters between Freeman Allen and his grandmother, Harriet Beecher Stowe, were turned over to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford, Conn.) in 2013.
This collection consists of the papers of the Gibson family of Boston, Massachusetts, in particular Mary Ethel Gibson Allen, daughter and Boston socialite, her husband, Freeman Allen, doctor and grandson of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and their son, Henry Freeman Allen; and Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr., poet and Gibson House Museum founder.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Gibson Family Papers Collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, journals, and ephemera belonging to the immediate Gibson Family members as well as other relatives. The collection provides insight into the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century social and cultural history of Boston’s Back Bay. The strength of the collection is found in the Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr. series, which offers context for such varied topics as literary history; the relationship between Boston and summer communities, like Nahant, Mass.; and the LGBTQ experience between 1870 and 1940. The Mary Ethel Gibson Allen and Dr. Freeman Allen Correspondence subseries is another strength of the collection, and sheds light on the history of mental health and addiction.
Please click on the links to the right to view available finding aids for each series. More finding aids coming soon.