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Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site: Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters

Research access guide for the Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site.

General Information

Facility: Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
Address: 105 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 876-4491
FAX: (617) 497-8718
Email: email
Hours: Hours of Operation

About the Longfellow House:

Built in 1759, the house become the first headquarters for George Washington after he assumed control of the American forces during the Revolutionary War. Later, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived there as a boarder, and was given the house as a wedding gift by his father-in-law.

Researh Grants: To encourage study of the materials contained in the Longfellow House the Friends have established two $1,200 grants for researchers who travel to study there. 

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Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of August 2014

The Longfellow House includes a fine arts collection, historic furnishings, Japanese and Chinese collections, a 12,000-volume library, and an archives and manuscript collection. The Japanese and Chinese collections include ceramics, paintings, bronzes, literature, furnishings, Japanese obi and kimono, over 350 photographs of Meiji-era Japan, and other items from the mid-nineteenth century.

The Longfellow House's collection is important not simply for its content but because it was one of the earliest traveler's collections brought back to the Boston area from Japan, by Charles Longfellow, Henry's son. After serving in the Civil War Charles traveled extensively and was especially taken by Japan. He spent a twelve month period there from June 1871 and became fascinated with Japan just as it emerged from its isolation. Charles traveled throughout Japan, recorded his travels in a diary and was photographed widely. The artifacts he brought back were seen by and helped fuel the interests of later collectors including William Sturgis Bigelow, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Edward Sylvester Morse.



A selection of digitized Japanese and Chinese photographs from the Longfellow House's 19th century collection.

A selection of digitized items from the 19th century collection at the Longfellow House.


How to Use the Facility


While entrance to the Longfellow House and its grounds is free, visitors may only view the interior of the house on guided tours.

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
Copyright 2017
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