Community. Leadership. Civics. Self-government. Ideas as revolutionary and relevant today as they were 400 years ago!
For centuries, the stories of indigenous and colonial communities, like Patuxet and Plymouth, have been told in isolation, implying little to no cross-cultural interaction. But new research by archaeologists and historians reveals far more integrated communities. Explore the ancient homelands of the Indigenous people of the northeast, the new lives begun on those shores by Mayflower’s passengers, and the complex geopolitical landscape the two communities shared.
Plimoth Plantation is a great place for kids, adults, families, schools, and groups to have a powerful experience of the past. From hands-on workshops to overnights to outreach programs, we have an educational program that’s right for you. We invite everyone to join the conversation, and we strive to inspire curiosity, change, and community. For more information on Plimoth Plantation educational programs, please call (508) 746-1622 ext. 8359 or email email@example.com
History @ Home™: Digital Learning with Plimoth
We’re taking Plimoth’s award-winning education programs out of the 17th century and going online. Join engaging, interactive virtual workshops and thought-provoking discussions from home and discover the powerful stories of people who actually lived along these shores of change 400 years ago.
Visit our events calendar for upcoming programs!
Ready to book History @ Home™ for your school, scout group, homeschool co-op, or another special group? Submit an online Education Program Request, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at x8358
History @ Home™: LIVING HISTORY VIRTUAL PROGRAMS
People of the Dawn
Explore Wampanoag culture and traditions with Plimoth’s contemporary Indigenous Museum Educators. Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century. In this one-hour program, students will explore the connection the Wampanoag and other Native People have to their seasonal way of life, their respect for all living beings, and the ways they continue to carry on their traditions today.
Fact or Fiction? Investigating the First Thanksgiving
Discover the real history of Thanksgiving and long-held traditions of gratitude in Indigenous and colonial America.
What really happened at the First Thanksgiving? Who was at the table and why? Explore the history behind the legend by comparing accounts of the harvest feast and examining colonial and Indigenous artifacts.
Colonial First Families: Their New Worlds and Everyday Lives
Meet a 17th-century Pilgrim and learn about their new life in a world unknown to them. Our Museum teacher will portray an actual resident of 17th-century Plymouth Colony, speaking with the regional dialect and wearing period-appropriate clothing. Using reproduction artifacts and the narrative throughlines of risk, transformation and community, your visitor will share stories about the difficult decision to leave home, Mayflower’s transatlantic journey, the first winter and spring in Plymouth, and the harvest feast we know today as the First Thanksgiving.
13 Moons and 12,000 Years
Join Darius Coombs, Director of Wampanoag and Algonquian Interpretive Training and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, for a unique conversation that explores 12,000 years of Wampanoag history and how communities past and present have adapted and sustained their seasonal, 13-moon lifecycles amid changing natural, social, and political landscapes. Best for grades 6-12.
“Aren`t you hot in those clothes?” Join us for a fun, interactive sneak-peek into our 17th-century wardrobes and discover how style and fashion can offer valuable new insights into the daily lives of Plymouth Colony’s residents 400 years ago.
Simple Machines & A(maize)ing Grains - STEM at the Plimoth Grist Mill
Simple machines, water power, and whole grains are a recipe for success at the Plimoth Grist Mill - a working exhibit of our Museum! Discover how 17th-century engineers and entrepreneurs harnessed the power of nature to fuel their communities.
History @ Home™ Express! HANDS-ON HISTORY VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS
Discover how archaeology and oral tradition helps us better understand 17th-century Wampanoag lifeways. Learn the importance of pottery to Wampanoag families and make your own pot using traditional methods. Bring your own clay or play-dough or make your own using all-natural pantry staples.
Write Like a Pilgrim
Much of what we know about Plimoth Colony comes from letters written by colonists and visitors to New England to family or friends. Learn how to write like a Pilgrim using a real 17th-century alphabet and create your own unique signature, inspired by those of Plimoth and Paxtuet's leaders. All you need is a writing utensil and paper.
Wampanoag children learned through stories and play. Join Plimoth's Indigenous Culture & History Associate, Tim Turner, for a hands-on retelling of the classic Haudenosaunee tale, "The No Faced Doll," and make your own corn husk doll to take home. Cornhusk is available online or at your local grocery store. Need a cornhusk substitute? Try baking parchment paper instead.
More than 90,000 teachers and students visit Plimoth annually to explore intertwined cultures, investigate changing landscapes, and understand 17th-century worldviews through immersive hands-on experiences with historical objects, written documents, and oral tradition. Plimoth's School & Outreach Programs can help your group engage in and explore these shared histories in many different ways, whether you are on a field trip, bringing Plimoth to your classroom or meeting, or visiting with us online!
Ready to visit? Submit an online Education Program Request, email email@example.com, or call us at x8358
Wampanoag (Native) and Colonial Museum teachers visit classrooms all over the country! For locations that require more than a three-hour drive, Long-Distance Programs and Virtual Programs are a great option - our teachers have traveled as far as California and Alaska! We also offer Traveling Workshops, bringing games, music, and dance to the classroom.
Ready to book? Make an online reservation request. For more information, including cost and availability, call (508) 746-1622 ext. 8359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our in-school classroom visits are delivered by Native museum teachers, who dress in modern clothing and speak from a modern perspective. This allows them to discuss the story of their people in past and present times. Our museum teachers will bring a variety of artifacts for students to touch and view.
Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom.
Life in 1627 Plymouth Colony (PreK - 2)
Imagine the first Thanksgiving! Your students will learn about the feast by meeting a Pilgrim and playing with every-day objects from Pilgrim daily life.
Our Museum teacher will dress like a Pilgrim, but speak to the students from a modern perspective. The teacher will wear accurate reproduction Pilgrim clothing and will arrive with a variety of reproduction objects from colonial daily life. In this program, your Museum teacher will begin by introducing the students to Colonial artifacts and clothing, inviting comparisons to their own household objects and wardrobes in the present day. During the second half of the program, students will rotate through a series of “Pilgrim Life” play centers in small groups.
Each program is a 45-minute to one-hour presentation to one classroom.
Peoples of the Dawn Land (Grades 2-5)
Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century, as well as their current lives and communities. Students will gain an understanding of the connection the Wampanoag and other Native people have to Mother Earth, their seasonal way of life and their respect for all living beings. Our Native American Museum Teacher wears modern clothing and speaks from a modern perspective so that they can discuss the story of their people in both past and present times. They will share artifacts of traditional life, such as wooden bowls and spoons, animal furs and tools.
Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom.
First Families: Their New Worlds and Everyday Lives (Grades 2-5)
Our Museum Teacher will portray a resident of 1627 Plimoth Colony, using their life story to frame the program. Your Museum Teacher will speak with a regional, English dialect of the 17th century and wear accurate reproduction clothing to bring the world of Pilgrims to life. Using reproduction artifacts to enhance your classroom’s experience, your visitor will share the Pilgrim story from hiring Mayflower in England, through the journey and the first winter, to Thanksgiving in Plymouth. Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom.
These active hands-on Traveling Workshops focus on a lighter side of 17th-century English life. Each fun-filled program weaves historical background with plenty of hands-on exploration and activities. Workshops are led by non-costumed Museum teachers and require a large open area such as a gymnasium. Programs can be held outside, weather permitting, but please make sure to have a back-up indoor space reserved.
Hands-on Wampanoag Craft (Grades 3-12)
In the 17th century, the Wampanoag people made their own toys and household implements. In this program, a Native Museum teacher will lead a craft workshop. Students will make a corn husk doll or a clay pot. While they work, students will learn about Wampanoag culture, including the significance of the raw materials, the use of the object they have made, and the roles of Wampanoag men and women - who would have made this object in the 17th century?
Music & Dance (Grades 3-12)
The Music and Dance workshop provides the opportunity for students to explore two popular forms of 17th-century entertainment: singing and dancing. After talking about the role of music and dance in the lives of 17th-century English people in general, and the Pilgrims in particular, students learn popular songs from the time and perform a country dance.
Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework: 2.7, 2.8, 3.12.
17th-Century Games & Sports (Grades 2-12)
Hard work was the norm for families in 17th-century England and New England, but children and adults also played games and sports. Students will learn about the role of play in a 17th-century child's life by participating in popular English pastimes such as nine-pins, hoop-rolling, and telling riddles. This workshop may be held outside, weather permitting. We require an indoor space to be reserved as a back-up for inclement weather.
Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework: 2.7, 2.8, 3.12.
Can't travel to us? We can visit you via the web! Using two-way interactive videoconferencing, SKYPE, students will be able to visit with a Plimoth Plantation Museum Educator during engaging, informational and interactive hour-long virtual field trips. Your students can talk with a Wampanoag (Native) Museum teacher, chat with a Pilgrim, or learn all about the history of Thanksgiving. Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom; maximum of 25 students per classroom. For schools outside Southern New England only.
enhance your visit to Plimoth
17th-century Wampanoag and Colonial museum workshops, winter workshops and overnight programs offered by Plimoth's Education Department are a unique way to enhance your field trip or tour of our living history exhibit sites. Each program is one hour long for a maximum of 25 people. For more information including pricing and availability, call (508) 746-1622 ext. 8359 or email email@example.com or make an online reservation request.
The First Thanksgiving: Play Centers
Experience the 1621 harvest feast through play! First, hear the story, then play the story by rotating through centers with reproduction Wampanoag and Colonial objects from the first Thanksgiving.
Work & Play: a Games Program
How did Wampanoag and Colonial children work and play? Learn about work, then play the Native and English games children would have played in 17th-century New England!
Wampanoag Lifeways & Culture: an Object Discovery (Grades 3-12)
Explore traditional Wampanoag Culture and Lifeways through hands-on object discovery. Guided by a Native Museum Teacher, students will have the opportunity to handle reproduction artifacts and animal furs while asking questions about both 17th-century and contemporary Wampanoag communities. This workshop is available from March - November.
Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks: 2.7, 2.8, 3.2, 3.12, 4.11, 4.15.
Reading and Writing in the 17th Century (Grades 3-6)
Students discuss the many different ways 17th-century children were educated, whether in a classroom, through an apprenticeship, or at home). Try writing with a quill pen and ink and compare it to today’s writing tools. Create a personalized unique 17th-century signature to take home.
Tell the Story: Reading, Writing, and Wampum Belts (Grades PreK - 5)
People in the past recorded stories in many different ways. Pilgrims shared stories with written words on paper, and the Wampanoag shared stories with designs on wampum belts. Students learn the 17th-century alphabet and practice writing using chalk on slate, or quill and ink on old-style paper, then learn about wampum belts and create their own original design.
The Mayflower Compact (Grades 3-5)
Young citizen-students explore the Mayflower Compact as a founding document of our democracy and create their own 17th-century signature with quill and ink.
A 17th-century History Mystery (Grades 3-5)
Students work in teams and use clues hidden in historic art to discover the identity of a mysterious artifact.
A Civil Body Politic: Civics, Community Building, and the legacy of Mayflower Compact (Grades 6-12)
Students study the Mayflower Compact - and those individuals who crafted it - as an inspiration for the democratic vision of our nation’s 18th-century founders. Students engage with the original language of the document to better understand the Mayflower Compact as government by the consent of the governed before drafting their own classroom compact.
Fact or Fiction? Investigate The First Thanksgiving (Grades 6-12)
What really happened at the First Thanksgiving? Who was at the table and why? Students explore the history behind the legend by comparing written and oral accounts of the harvest feast and examining colonial and indigenous artifacts.
The Colonial Winter Workshop is a comprehensive program providing a solid foundation for a unit on the Pilgrims. The two-part workshop includes a classroom visit and a hands-on workshop at the Museum and includes a packet of teaching resources. A two-class program, each class a maximum of 25 students. (Two Classroom Visits: one for each class. One Workshop for two classes.) Only available December - February.
Part 1: Classroom Visit
Learn about 1627 Plimoth Plantation from an actual Pilgrim in your classroom! Our Museum teacher will portray an actual resident of 1627 Plimoth Colony, using the person’s life story to frame the one-hour program. For that hour the year is 1627 and your Museum teacher will speak with a regional, English dialect of the 17th century, wearing accurate reproduction clothing.
Using reproduction artifacts to enhance your classroom’s experience, your visitor will share the Pilgrim story, from hiring Mayflower in England, through the journey and the first winter, to Thanksgiving in Plymouth. As a highlight of the program, two children will be invited to try on Colonial children's clothing!
Part 2: Hands-On Workshop at Plimoth Plantation
This two-and-a-half-hour workshop takes place in our Visitor Center and in two of the reproduction houses of our English Village.. One class begins the day outdoors in the English Village in the year 1627, working alongside Colonists, experiencing the chores of a child in 1627 Plymouth. The second class begins the day indoors, in the Visitor Center, where the students practice writing with quill pens and examine reproduction artifacts to determine what the objects reveal about the lives of the Colonists. After completing the first round of activities the classes change places, so both groups experience both the indoor and the outdoor activities.
Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks: 2.7, 2.8, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.12, 4.11, 4.14, 4.15.
Lesson Ideas & Field Trip Resources
We have lots of historical resources to help you plan your a lesson or classroom unit and prepare your students for a field trip including an online Thanksgiving activity, a Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip, information about Pilgrim ancestry, and historical essays just for kids.
The award-winning interactive activity where kids become history detectives to solve the mystery of what really happened at The First Thanksgiving
This 30-minute video is a recast of Scholastic's "Virtual Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation" that aired to over 1 million students on November 16, 2010.
Biographical information on the Pilgrims. This is a great resource for teachers who have students research Pilgrim individuals or families. Also, check out the great essays on children in Plymouth Colony.
Professional Development & Teacher Workshops
Designed to excite and inspire teachers, our programs blend classroom instruction with hands-on, experiential activities and visits to the Museum’s living history sites! Our professional development programs draw upon the expertise and wealth of resources that make Plimoth Plantation one of the most well-known and respected living history museums in the country. Workshops are taught by Native and non-Native presenters. In addition to covering historical content that meets state and national curriculum standards, workshops also address the processes of studying American History and effective methods for incorporating museum resources into the classroom. Whether a two hour in-service or a two- or three-day program at Plimoth Plantation, let us design an authentic, stimulating and innovative program for your group. A perfect fit for groups studying Plymouth Colony history, early Colonial history, Native American history, immigration, and cultural interactions.
Workshops can include:
- Presentations by Museum staff and historians
- Primary source document workshops (Mayflower Compact, 1621 Treaty, The First Thanksgiving)
- Hands-on, historic workshops (Wampanoag artifacts, Wampanoag pottery, Colonial cooking, Colonial games)
- Visits to the Museum’s living history sites (Mayflower II, 17th Century English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, and Craft Center)
- Historic Dining (“A Taste of Two Cultures,” “A Wampanoag Social Feast” and “Eat Like a Pilgrim”)
- Teaching Materials (teachers receive 10% discount on educational materials in our shops)
- An overnight experience at the Museum (some of our groups have slept on Mayflower II and our Colonial and Wampanoag education sites)
New England Historic Site Collaborative (NEHSC)
Plimoth Plantation is pleased to be a part of the NEHSC, a group of nine New England historic sites, museums, and libraries collaborating on a series of weeklong teacher training programs. For more information, visit the NEHSC or download the NEHSC workshop brochure. The programs offer a variety of hands-on, intensive and engaging experiences and explore themes of:
- Colonial Encounters
- The American Revolution
- Slavery and Reform
- 19th-century Industry
Planning your next field trip? New England K-12 educators can sign up for our Teacher Partner Program and come for a planning visit and enjoy free admission to the Museum’s main living history exhibits and our STEM exhibits at the Plimoth Grist Mill as well as discounts on professional development, teacher resources, and more! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 746-1622 x8359.
Looking for help on a homework assignment? We have lots of kid-friendly articles about 17th-century life, or you could take a virtual field trip to Plimoth! Learn about what it was like to be a Pilgrim or Native child in the 1600s, the story of the First Thanksgiving, and even how to Talk Like a Pilgrim.
Don’t let the name fool you - adults are welcome too!
Youth & Family Programs
Did you know? The Pilgrims taught their children reading and writing at home, and the Wampanoag used the natural world as an outdoor classroom where they could teach life skills.
The Museum is an ideal place to let your children explore the past by being curious, interacting with Museum staff, and trying new things. Come on your own, or as a group. Groups of 15 or more who reserve in advance receive a group discount.
Bring a homeschool co-op or a group of friends and arrange for a special Wampanoag or Pilgrim hands-on activity. Our popular overnight programs are also available for homeschool groups (minimum 20 people) during our regular museum season (mid-March through November) and includes full museum admission for two days, themed dining, a series of hands-on history workshops, modern sleeping accommodations, and a continental breakfast.
Can’t make it to us? Our Museum Educators will bring the past to you either online or in-person! For more information or to book with us, please call Program Services at (508) 746-1622 x 8359 or email email@example.com or make an online reservation request.
History is alive and in the making at Plimoth! Come from the day or stay the night. Host a meeting, complete a service project, or earn a badge while exploring the 17th-century worlds of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag Homeland. Our immersive, hands-on scout patches and programs are specially designed for 21st-century scouts who are inspired by the brave people of our shared past to take risks, innovate, make change, and lead with courage.
To book a scout program, please submit an online program request form. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 746-1622 x8358 for additional information. Can’t make it to us? Our Museum Educators will bring the past to you either online or in-person!
Workshops are flexible and easily adapt to any grade level or area of interest. All are welcome.
Explore the 17th century like never before with our exclusive patch programs. Plimoth Plantation Patches make great souvenirs and are available for purchase in the Main Museum Shop! Boy Scouts can work toward the Outdoorsman and Naturalist badges during a workshop or overnight as well as ideas for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.
Discover community leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Plimoth Colony and the Wampanoag Homeland. Scouts immerse themselves in the daily lives of 17th-century Wampanoag and English people and compare them to their own today.
Be a citizen scientist at the Plimoth Grist Mill, our newest living history exhibit in the heart of Downtown Plymouth. Explore simple machines, experiment with water power, and discover the power of whole grains at the working reproduction of the first mill built in Plimoth Colony.
Let Plimoth Plantation host your next pack or troop meeting or service unit trip!
Whether you’re Daisies or Cadettes, Tigers or Eagle Scouts, you pick the day, and we`ll plan an evening of hands-on activities and exploration that will help fulfill your badge, award, journey, achievement or other requirements. Let us know what programs you’re working on and we’ll suggest activities for you. Programs are two hours long and are led by a Museum teacher. (Scout meetings are available on weeknights only.)
For more information, including cost and availability, contact us at (508) 746-1622 x8359 or emailing email@example.com or make an online reservation request.
Just visiting for the day? Contact our Group Sales office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 746-1622 x8359 for more information about group admission rates for 15+ scouts and adults.
Interesting in Volunteer or Service Projects? Contact email@example.com or (508) 746-1622 x8287 for more information.
Plimoth Family Workshops
Spend an hour or several weeks learning at one of our hands-on Plimoth Family Workshops! For more information about our programs, please visit www.plimoth.org/calendar, call Public Programs Manager, Christina Coleman at (508) 746-1622 ext. 8107, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Overnights in the 17th Century
A unique experience for families and small groups! Step into the world of Plimoth! Dress in colonial clothing and spend the night in the 17th-Century English Village! Enjoy a personal behind-the-scenes tour of our English Village, create a delicious hearth-cooked meal, and play games that the pilgrims would have enjoyed! Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of an evening in Plimoth Colony.
For more information, including cost and availability, contact us at (508) 746-1622 x8359 or emailing email@example.com.
Take your experience in 17th-century New England to the next level with one of our popular “Night at the Museum” programs, including Colonial, Wampanoag, and 17th-Century Overnights! Each program includes a themed historically-inspired meal, hands-on activities using traditional techniques and materials, and a nighttime visit to the living history sites to discover the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Plimoth Colony and the Wampanoag Homeland after dark.
To book an overnight program, please submit an online program request form. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 746-1622 x8358 for additional information.
Workshops are flexible and easily adapt to any grade level or area of interest. All are welcome—we host school groups (elementary through high school), scouts, homeschoolers, church youth groups, and students from colleges and universities.
Explore, create and learn about Wampanoag culture with a Native Museum Educator. You will share a Wampanoag feast, visit a wetu (home), experience 17th-century Native life with a hands-on artifact activity, and use traditional materials and techniques to craft something you can take home.
What was life like for a Pilgrim in Plimoth Colony? After eating a Colonial New England dinner, you will experience an English child’s life by writing with a quill pen and playing some of the games children would have played in the 1620s. Take a nighttime walk with your Museum Educator to discover the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Plimoth Colony after dark.
Explore the lives of the people who lived here in the 17th century, both Colonial and Wampanoag. After visiting the sites, you will learn about each culture with an evening of activities—eat a 17th-century meal, play 17th-century games, create something to take home with you, and discover the nighttime sights, sounds, and stories of Patuxet/New Plimoth! Schools, let us know how we fit into the unit you are working on, and we will be sure to tailor the activities to your curricular needs.
The Center for 17th-Century Studies at Plimoth
The Center for Seventeenth-Century Studies at Plimoth (The Center) is a collaborative community of scholars and lifelong learners who amplify Plimoth Plantation’s living history offerings, originals and archaeological collections, research, and oral histories to stimulate thought-provoking conversations that interpret 17th - Century Atlantic World experiences and apply that knowledge and understanding to today’s world.
We believe that history is transformative. It empowers us with stories of peoples and ideas. It enables us to cultivate a better understanding of who we are. At The Center, we create space for conversations and experiences interwoven with elements that are immersive and participatory, inclusive and social, personal and relevant, lively and fun. We invite everyone to join the conversation, and we strive to inspire curiosity, change, and community. We can`t change history - but history can change us, and we can change the future.
INTERNSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS
The Internship Program at Plimoth Plantation supports students or career-change professionals with an interest in America’s early histories, Indigenous studies, museum education, theater, horticulture, and a passion for sharing it with the public. Plimoth Plantation's interns enjoy an intensive experience as diverse as the Museum itself as they take part in the day-to-day work of one of our nation's most important living history museums. This immersive, nine-week program combines hands-on fieldwork with enrichment opportunities, professional development, and career readiness.
By participating in the Internship Program at Plimoth Plantation, interns will:
- Gain invaluable professional experience while applying their chosen field of study in a unique museum setting
- Explore our unique approach to public history and the humanities in weekly fieldwork sessions with the Museum’s Directors and Curators;
- Make life-long friends and expand their professional networks;
- Participate in a vibrant living-learning community at the Center for 17th-Century Studies at Plimoth
Summer 2020 internships
INTERNSHIP DATES: May 18 - July 24, 2020
APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1, 2020
To apply for the Internship Program at Plimoth, interested candidates must submit an online application including an updated resume or CV, writing sample, and references. Due to a high volume of applications, only those internship candidates selected to interview for the program will be contacted. Acceptance into the program is made on a rolling basis, and all candidates can expect notification regarding their status in the week following the application deadline. Unless otherwise noted, all internships are unpaid. Academic credit is available for all internships. Questions about the Internship Program at Plimoth can be directed to email@example.com or (508) 746-1622 ext 8287. Please also see our list of FAQs.
Scholarship & University Partners
Plimoth Plantation's ground-breaking living history is rooted in decades of thorough research into the complex histories and lifeways of the colonial and Indigenous peoples of the Northeast. The Museum's commitment to fostering innovative new scholarship enables us to better educate, entertain and engage 21st-century audiences in stories from our shared histories through award-winning programs and exhibits.
Collections & Research Library
Plimoth Plantation’s Archaeology Collections include objects from over fourteen sites, primarily in Plymouth, Barnstable and Duke counties, and include objects from 8-10,000 years ago through the 20th century. In addition to offering insight on over 8,000 years of human activity in the area, they form the largest repository of 17th-century archaeological material in New England. As a result, the Archaeology Collections are an invaluable research tool for archaeologists, material culture specialists, artists, scholars and others studying the region. These artifacts serve as the basis for numerous research projects, museum exhibits and publications, including books that are foundational to the field of Historical Archaeology. Research Library access is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indigenous Archaeological Collections
The Native Archaeological Collection focuses on the Native peoples of southeastern New England, from the Archaic to Woodland periods. This group of objects includes the collections of Henry Hornblower II, Jesse Brewer, and Henry Hallet. Hornblower's and Brewer's collections include objects from Plymouth, Barnstable and Dukes counties. Hallet's collection ranges from Plymouth and Bristol Counties in Massachusetts to eastern Rhode Island. Finds from Plimoth Plantation-sponsored fieldwork in Plymouth County are also included in this subcollection.
Colonial Archaeological Collections
The Colonial Archaeological Collection includes artifacts from specific sites, primarily in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties, from colonial and early American sites ranging from the 1620s through the 18th century. These assemblages are used for study, exhibition and reproduction.
The Originals Collections include a wide variety of both historical and modern objects that shed light on 17th-century material culture. It is an invaluable research tool for archaeologists, artists, material culture specialists, scholars and others studying the period by offering insight into 17th-century aesthetics, craftsmanship, construction techniques, tools, and daily life. Artifacts in this collection serve as the basis for research projects, exhibits and reproduction items. The Originals Collections is divided into the following subcollections:
Items in this subcollection illustrate the material culture with which the Pilgrims and Native people of southeastern Massachusetts would have been familiar, from approximately 1550 to 1700. These artifacts represent domestic, rural and maritime life and include tools and implements, fine art pieces, furniture, ceramics, textiles, and glass.
Fine Crafts Collection
The Fine Crafts Collection includes objects such as the Plimoth Jacket, Native headdresses and reproduction pottery that were made for Plimoth Plantation by modern artisans using period techniques. This collection may include architectural or furniture fragments, other hand-crafted objects, and tools used to make them. These items are not regularly used for interpretive or educational purposes but may be included in exhibits, special programs or research projects.
The Mayflower II Collection consists of the ship, shallop, the ship’s boat, fragments of the ship that have been removed during restoration and deemed worthy of accessioning and items connected with her 1957 voyage. Archival material pertaining to the ship’s construction, voyage, maintenance, and restoration are kept in the separate Mayflower II Archive, which is overseen by the Archivist. Because of the diverse nature of this collection, the ship, ship’s boat and fragments removed during restoration are the responsibility of the Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations, the artifacts associated with the 1957 voyage are the responsibility of the Curator of Collections.
Since 2013, an archaeological field school from the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston, in partnership with Plimoth Plantation and the Town of Plymouth, has been working in downtown Plymouth as part of Project 400: The Plymouth Colony Archaeological Survey. The field school consists of five weeks of excavation in the summer, followed by analysis in the UMass Boston laboratories during the rest of the year. The project includes re-assessment of the past archaeology of the Plymouth Colony and new excavations to locate sites that were part of the early colonial town. Working with community partners and descendant organizations, including the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and local museums, we are undertaking a series of initiatives focused on the Plymouth Colony to help advance a complex, inclusive, and scholarly understanding of the region’s Colonial and Native communities.