Benjamin Howe Conant (1843–1921) took more than 4,000 photographs of children, families, homes, and businesses from 1890 to 1918. These superb images depict people, places and events in the Wenham area over a 30-year period.
The Benjamin H. Conant Collection contains 3,636 glass plate negatives, copy negatives, original mounted prints and postcards. Benjamin H. Conant used 8×10, 5×7, and 4×5 glass plate cameras, recording in his notebook date, subject, and plate number. Fortunately, most of the Conant notebooks survived and are in the Wenham Museum collection.
Community Preservation Act Funding
With thanks to the people of the Town of Wenham, the museum received Community Preservation Act funding in April 2015 to conserve and digitize the Conant Collection. While this collection is digitized and an online exhibit developed, previously scanned portions of the collection will not be available for public viewing via this website. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we look forward to sharing the complete collection with the community.
The Harold W. Boothroyd Photography Collection
The Wenham Museum’s other photographic collections include 100 glass plate negatives taken of Wenham at the same period by A.B. Norton. The 1970s are documented by negatives from the local newspaper, the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, and colored slides of Wenham taken by Dr. Newton Hyslop. The collection also includes albums from Wenham families, mostly tintypes, and single daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and stereographs, plus an assortment of miscellaneous prints and negatives.