Publishing the history & culture
of Southeastern New England  •  Since 1981



The Spinner Archives contains hundreds of unique portraits of famous people such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, The Rolling Stones, Amelia Earhardt, Charlie Chaplin, Mother Theresa, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, and Queen Elizabeth

News / Events

Can you think of watershed events? The ’38 Hurricane? The Argo Merchant spill? The Strike of ’28? The Granite Block fire? Sacco and Vanzetti? The Brinks Robbery? The Arctic Fleet Disaster? Armistice Day? Coconut Grove? The day you were born? We probably have it.


Probably America’s oldest industry, the New England fishing industry has nourished our country for nearly 400 years. The Archives contains hundreds of photos, at sea and dockside, that depict its fearsome majesty and quiet beauty.


The area’s rich ethnic makeup is on display in the Archives. This includes Portuguese, French, Cape Verdean (above), Polish, Irish, Italian, English, Lebanese, Greek, and many others.


Graced with some of the country’s most splendid architecture, our region abounds with original examples of colonial, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic, Queen Anne, Cape Cod, 19th Century, and much more.


For many years, New England was the world center in textile manufacturing. Although the region witnessed unrelenting growth and prosperity, few remnants of this glorious age remain—except for hundreds of powerful images that bear witness.

Rural Scenes

Behold the rustic beauty of our rural areas. Craggy shores, lazy rivers, dense woodlands, old grist mills and dreamy backroads are signature images of New England. Let your walls tell the story.


New England was once the whaling Mecca of the world. Luckily, there is a vast photographic record of the hundreds of wooden ships and courageous crews that embarked on dangerous voyages to bring light (through whale oil) to the world.


A unique aspect of the Collection are the many photos depicting streets and buildings in the cities and towns of southeastern New England. While trolleys, autos and people fill the streets with vitality of the times, the pictures fill our hearts with dreams of yesteryear.

Preserving History

The Spinner Photographic Archives is an important community resource---accessible and affordable to the general public. As we seek and obtain images of industry, recreation, and events, we build a scrapbook of daily life and familiar places. Just as Spinner books celebrate people and culture, our images present an inexhaustible exposé of architecture, art, hard work, leisure, celebration, innovation, tragedy, and more.

There are maritime scenes and wooden ships, whaling voyages and fishing trips, draggers, steamships, and wharf scenes. The industrial workplace is well represented with photos of cotton and silk mills, shoe factories, tool-makers and more. There are blacksmiths, coopers, shoemakers, storekeepers, dairy farms, cranberry bogs, apple orchards, and vineyards. There is architecture, urban renewal, transportation, celebration and disaster; street scenes, military scenes, parks, beaches, rivers, and bays; famous people, infamous people, unknown people, and much more. The images represent the passing of time, people, places and events.

Over One Million Images Now Available

The Spinner Archives consists of more than one million photographs—historical and contemporary—relating to southeastern New England and beyond.

Our collection includes rare old photographs made from original glass-plate negatives, photographic prints, lantern slides and artwork, as well as contemporary color transparencies and digital images.

The Archives is stocked with images of New Bedford, Fall River, Dartmouth, Fairhaven and the other surrounding towns; and there is also a fine representation of Cape Cod and the Islands, Plymouth County, western Rhode Island, Boston and Cape Ann. In addition, there are thousands of historical images of people, events, and places from around the world.

The Spinner Photographic Collection

Inquire about purchasing photographic prints ~ 508-994-4564

For example . . .

View the Collection

Rail workers, New Bedford, MA.
Gift of Florence Benoit.

The Spinner Publications Photostream on Flickr is organized by sets representing individual collections as well as topics. These photographs originate from a number of sources including families, museums, and professional photographers. For example, we have posted representations from the collections of the New Bedford Fire Museum, the Milicent Library, The Standard-Times, and photographer Milton Silvia.

The photostream contains about 15,000 images—a fraction of our entire collection. Because of limited resources, we are not able to provide many with descriptions, except within the title, and we welcome your input. New images will be posted regularly.

If you have photos you’d like to share, donate or sell, please call. We will preserve them and we will utilize them to tell the story of our region.

For Information Call


Photograph from the collection of the Milicent Library

Photograph from the collection of the New Bedford Fire Museum