Skip to Main Content

Center for Lowell History/ 2019

Tewksbury Almshouse/Hospital Collection


This collection consists of digitized patient intake records from the Tewksbury State Almshouse dating primarily from 1860 to 1884. These records consist of hand-written interviews with patients at the time of admittance. Funding for this project was provided through a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) to the University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries in partnership with the Public Health Museum of Tewksbury.

When available, records were scanned from the original almshouse ledgers now owned by the Public Health Museum. These records date from 1873 to the 1940s. Due to privacy concerns, however, digitization will eventually extend only to the 1890s. 

Besides the original ledgers, a second set of records were sent to the state. This set was later microfilmed by the Massachusetts State Archive before being destroyed due to their poor condition. For records prior to 1873 that are no longer available in their original ledger format, microfilmed records were scanned dating from the 1860s to 1873. Few records survive prior to 1860.

In total, 24,000 records are now available here from the original ledgers plus another 18,000 from the microfilm. All records are searchable by name, age, gender, birthplace, race, and year of admittance. In addition, over 1,000 alias names have been added and nearly 800 birth records have been cross referenced with their mother's admittance records.

Besides the help provided by the MBLC, the Public Health Museum, and the Massachusetts State Archives, gratitude is owed to the Center for Lowell History whose volunteers gathered metadata details and Digital Scanning Inc. (DSI) which digitized the microfilm.

To view the entirety of the records, visit our collection in the Digital Commonwealth.


Tewksbury Almshouse Intake Sample Records [1854-1884]