Guide to the Telegram Collection, 1887-1918

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:
Telegram Collection
Nantucket Historical Association
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 Telegram Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Folder 8 gift of Roger Cabot.

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

  • Topical Terms
    • Shipwrecks.
    • Telegrams.
    • Weather—Observation—Massachusetts—Nantucket—19th century.
    • World War, 1914-1918.

Biographical Information

Telegrams in the collection were found under the floor of the Pacific Club Building, located at the foot of Main Street, in 1976. This building was the original office of the United States Weather Bureau from 1886 to 1902, during which time the telegraph office was also housed there.

Scope and Content

The Telegram Collection includes telegrams relaying personal messages regarding health and funerals, arrivals and reservations, visitors to Nantucket and permanent residents, merchants, political figures, newspaper reporters, and insurance agents.

Folder 4 contains telegrams pertaining to the victory of Democratic candidates in 1887. This election was the first time Nantucket went Democratic.

Folder 6 contains telegrams pertaining to the sighting of the British steamer Canonbury in distress off the coast of Surfside, Nantucket.


  • Box 1 Folder 1 Telegrams: General, June-July 1887
  • Box 1 Folder 2-3 Telegrams: General, 1-28 November 1887
  • Box 1 Folder 4 Telegrams: Election (Democrat victory), 8-9 November 1887
  • Box 1 Folder 5 Telegrams: Daily weather, 1-31 March 1888
  • Box 1 Folder 6 Telegrams: Sinking of steamer Canonbury, 28-31 March 1888
  • Box 1 Folder 7 Telegrams: General, 2 February-31 March 1888, October 1888
  • Box 1 Folder 8 Telegrams: World War I, 11 November 1918
  • Box 1 Folder 9 Telegram: Original tape of wireless mentioning President Theodore Roosevelt, undated

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff.

Finding aid by Sarah Lerner and Amelia Holmes, October 2018.

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