The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) tells the inspiring stories of Nantucket through its collections, programs, and properties.
The NHA is a nonprofit organization that collects and preserves the objects, documents, and structures that tell the stories of Nantucket Island. The NHA is steward of an artifact collection of more than 30,000 objects, including complete skeletons of a 40-foot finback and a 46-foot sperm whale. The NHA’s Research Library is a special-collections repository of primary resources focusing on Nantucket history, and houses more than 5,000 volumes and 60,000 photographs, as well as manuscript documents such as ships’ logs, account books, family papers, and scrapbooks. The Whaling Museum, which received national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2007, is the NHA’s newly renovated state-of-the-art flagship venue, and serves as the center of a campus that includes twenty-two historic properties and sites. The association has more than 3,000 members and serves growing audiences of year-round and seasonal residents and visitors to the island from throughout the country and the world.
With a burgeoning year-round population estimated at nearly 11,000, Nantucket, an island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is among the state’s fastest growing counties, having grown 12.6 percent since the 2000 US Census. With an influx of seasonal residents and destination travelers, the population swells to as many as 70,000 during the summer months. As of 1996, the entire island of Nantucket is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The Nantucket Historical Association has been voted one of the fifty best nonprofits to work for in the United States by the NonProfit Times. Its Whaling Museum is, according to travel writer Andrew Harper, “one of the top ten places to see before you die."