Guide to the Marie M. Coffin Collection, 1812-1965

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Marie M. Coffin Collection
Mitchell, Marie M., 1900-1976
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Marie M. Coffin Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Boxes 1-3 gift of the estate of Marie M. Coffin of Nantucket, Mass. in 1979 (Acc. 1979.87); Folder IVj gift of Nantucket Historical Trust in 1980 (Acc. 1980.72).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Coffin family.
    • Coffin, Marie Marden, 1900-1976.
  • Corporate Name
    • Commercial Wharf (Nantucket, Mass.).
    • Historic American Buildings Survey.
  • Topical Term
    • Historic houses—Massachusetts—Nantucket.
    • Local histories—Massachusetts—Nantucket.
    • Theater—Massachusetts—Nantucket—History—20th century.
    • Wildflowers.

Biographical Information

Marie Marden Coffin (1900-1976), born on Nantucket, Mass., was a local historian of the island. Her work with Everett U. Crosby, an authority on Nantucket history, her marriage to C. Clark Coffin (1900-1988)—a descendent of early Nantucket settlers who was Town Clerk for 35 years—and her interest in collecting primary-source material all contributed to her knowledge of Nantucket history.

She wrote full descriptions of historic houses for the Historic American Buildings Survey when the group studied Nantucket, and at the time of the Bicentennial, she did similar work for the Nantucket Historical Association committee awarding medallions to pre-1812 Nantucket houses. Mrs. Coffin also compiled information for The History of Nantucket Island – A Bibliography of Source Material with Index and Inventory, 1970.

Scope and Content

The Marie M. Coffin collection includes historic Nantucket booklets and narratives collected by Mrs. Coffin, as well as Coffin family correspondence, clippings, and land transfers. Also includes two personal scrapbooks, one on wildflowers, and materials from Mrs. Coffin’s historical research, including her work on Nantucket houses for the Historic American Buildings Survey.


  • Box 1 Folder Ia “Rules and Orders to be Observed by the House of Representatives”, 1812
  • Box 1 Folder Ib “Echoes from Nantucket’s Oldest House” manuscript, 1904
  • Box 1 Folder Ic “A Looking Glass for the Times” by Peter Folger, 1883, 1943-1948
  • Box 2 Folder IIb “A Nest of Love Disturbed” reprinting, 1935
  • Box 2 Folder IIc “A Nantucket Tea Party” by Ruth Starbuck Wentworth, circa 1887-1938
  • Box 2 Folder IId “Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Paul Cuffe, a Pequot Indian” printing, 1839
  • Box 2 Folder IIe Coffin family papers, 1787-1904
  • Box 3 Folder IIIa Scrapbook of Marie Marden Coffin, 1920-1965
  • Box 3 Folder IIIb Wildflower scrapbook, 1935
  • Box 3 Folder IIIc Coffin reunion materials, 1959
  • Box 4 Folder IVa Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1965
  • Box 4 Folder IVb Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1965
  • Box 4 Folder IVc Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1966
  • Box 4 Folder IVd Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1966
  • Box 4 Folder IVe Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1966
  • Box 4 Folder IVf Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1966
  • Box 4 Folder IVg Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1967
  • Box 4 Folder IVh Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1967
  • Box 4 Folder IVi Historic American Buildings Survey files, 1968
  • Box 4 Folder IVj Bibliography of source material, 1969-1970
  • Box 4 Folder IVk Bicentennial plaques, 1976
  • Box 4 Folder IVl Correspondence regarding Nantucket painters, 1967-1969
  • Box 4 Folder IVm Nantucket Cottage Hospital appreciations for services, 1970
  • SV-12/1 Commercial Wharf day book, 1835-1871

Items Separated

  • Separated Volume (SV-12/1)

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, June 2018.

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.

> >