Ask Libby

Elisabeth Oldham
Elizabeth Oldham, at the dedication of the NHA Research Library, April 2001

From her desk at the Research Library, Elizabeth “Libby” Oldham was an invaluable resource on Nantucket history to all—from renowned writers and filmmakers, to genealogists tracing their island roots, to school children wanting to hear “everything you know about whaling” for a class project. Hence, she became known as “the seat of all wisdom.” Inquiries came from around the world and around the corner. Libby particularly enjoyed a challenge that would send her deep into the library’s resources and archives for the answer.

The NHA mourns the loss of Libby, our dear friend and colleague, on June 20, 2018. More

Below are just some of Libby’s responses to research questions. Stay tuned for more.


The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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