Welcome to our Digital Heritage collection!
The Peabody Institute Library, Peabody's Digital Heritage collection presents historical photographs relating the history of our community.
The area now known as Peabody was settled in 1626 as part of Salem. It was later separated from Salem and incorporated as part of Danvers. In 1855, Peabody split from Danvers to become South Danvers, but its name was changed in 1868 in honor of local philanthropist, George Peabody. Like many local communities, Peabody was initially an agricultural town, but developed into an industrial center. Peabody's main industry was leather tanning, which remained an important part of its economy into the latter part of the twentieth century.
The Peabody Institute's collections include historic glass plate photographs, images from the Boston Mat Leather Company, as well as images from the Oak Knoll Estate, which was designed by Samuel McIntire and stood on the land now occupied by the North Shore Mall.
These images show the workings of the Boston Mat Leather Company, one of many companies making up Peabody's leather processing industry.