Why you should give to the Dorchester Historical Society:

 The Society collects, preserves and shares Dorchester history, and it assumes the responsibility of caring for items so that they are intact for future generations.

Responsibility to Preserve Dorchester History

 Although the Society has never had a budget for acquisitions, Dorchester stakeholders have recognized the value in having the Society act as the repository of buildings, archives, maps, books, photographs, paintings, textiles, pewter, pottery and other items related to Dorchester history.  The Society has acquired extraordinary collections through donations over its long existence.  Both the donors and those who benefit from the Society’s collections expect the Society to preserve and share the items it has received.


 The Society owns five historic buildings at two different locations that help illustrate Dorchester history from the 17th century to the present, and it needs help to maintain them. The Society has completed a facilities-planning project supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to determine priorities for the preservation of the buildings and landscape.

       Executive Summary of the Facilities Plan

       Barn Fundraising Case Statement


The Society must preserve its collections in the best conditions possible.  This means a large investment in acid-free folders and storage boxes and other archival-quality materials.  This also means that sometimes the Society must hire professional restorers to bring items back to their original condition. 

Responsibility to Share Dorchester's History


The Society needs donations to support the preparation of new exhibits on many aspects of Dorchester's history. Some of the exhibits that are already in place are the Walter Baker chocolate company, Dorchester architectural history, Dorchester Pottery, Roswell Gleason pewter, agricultural implements and needlework created by Dorchester residents over three centuries. The Society displays many artifacts including furniture, paintings, photographs, maps and other pieces made in Dorchester or used in Dorchester over the course of its history.

Monthly Programs

The Society needs donations to support its ambitious schedule of monthly programs plus special events to help tell the stories of Dorchester's history.


The Society depends on donors for its operating budget to pay for heat, electricity, insurance, and all the rest.  The Society has no staff, and all donations go to direct expenses that allow the Society to pursue is mission.


Additional information