the nelson dionne salem history collection

Salem Common, ca. 1890

About Salem’s Forgotten Stories

Salem’s Forgotten Stories is a series of books created by Nelson Dionne and Bonnie Hurd Smith to share the extraordinary information and images from the Nelson Dionne Salem History Collection atSalem State University Archives and Special Collections.

Our titles to date:

•  U. S. Coast Guard Air Station Salem, Massachusetts, 1935-1970.

•  Salem's Serves: Sites and Stories from the Military and Patriotic

   Heritage of Salem, Massachusetts, 1626-WWII.

Books in process:

When Salem Burned: The Great Salem Fire of 1914 and the Salem Fire Department

Salem's Bravest: Fighting Fire in Salem, Massachusetts, by Hand, Horse, and Motorized "Masheen"

• Salem Willows: Our Beloved and Historical Playground

Salem Gives: Early Philanthropy in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem Eats: Where We Ate, and What We Ate in Earlier Times

• Salem's Finest: A Pictorial History of the Salem Police Department

Future titles may include Salem Shops, Salem Celebrates, Salem Works, Salem Plays, Salem Has Talent, Salem Harbor, Salem Goes to Sea, Salem Gets Together (social and civic clubs), Salem Has Guests (VIPs, hotels, B&Bs), Salem and The Law, and Postcards from Salem.

About the Nelson Dionne Salem History Collection

The Nelson Dionne Collection is a rich source of material on the history of Salem. The collection focuses on the 19th-century to the present, with an emphasis on ethnic groups, business, travel and tourism, transportation, religious and social organizations, and the built environment. Included in the collection are books, photographs and postcards, stereographs, organization and business records, trade publications, and a wide variety of ephemera.  The collection is open to the public and is currently being used for scholarly projects, student and faculty work, and digital exhibits. The Archives and Special Collections is planning to scan much of the material and make it available on the Internet for all to use.
—Susan Edwards, Archivist, Archives & Special Collections, Salem State University

And you?

Please donate your own photographs, postcards, and other paper material about Salem to the Salem State Archives! Contact Susan Edwards, Archivist, at, or call her at 978-542-6781.

Salem Coast Guardsmen rescuing

a little girl off the coast of Nantucket.

About the

Nelson Dionne Salem History Fund
The Nelson Dionne Salem History Fund was created in 2014 to support Dionne's efforts to return Salem historical material to Salem, and to ensure that his archive is preserved and made available to all at Salem State. Contributions made payable to the Salem State University Foundation, which manages the Dionne Fund, are tax-deductible.

We invite you to support

this important work:


(Select Nelson Dionne's Fund in the drop-down menu next to "Direct my gift to.")

By mail:

Please make your check payable to the Salem State University Foundation and include "Dionne Fund" on the check.

Mail it to: Salem State University, Berry Library, Archives and Special Collections, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970. THANK YOU!

By purchasing our books!
Part of the proceeds from all of
our books go to the (nonprofit)
Nelson Dionne Salem History Fund.



Please contact

Bonnie Hurd Smith