The Allan Forbes Collection, assembled and organized while Allan Forbes, Sr. was head of the State Street Trust Company, features over 2,000 prints and paintings from several countries. Objects range from sixteenth-century Dutch engravings to nineteenth-century Japanese woodcuts, including a small collection of rare books about whaling. Forbes originally cataloged the archive into 16 subject areas and by country of origin; in 1940 he donated the collection to MIT. In 2017, this collection was retrospectively cataloged and digitized at the MIT Museum through a grant from the National Park Service’s National Maritime Heritage Grant Program, with support from MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and additional support from the MIT History Faculty and the MIT Global Studies and Languages Section.

Repository: MIT Museum, Hart Nautical Collection

Creator: Allan Forbes, Sr.

Title: Allan Forbes Whaling Collection

Dates: [inclusive] 1502 – 1940

Extent: 2,165 marine prints, original art and books

Location: MIT Museum. An appointment is required to view the collection.

Credit: Gift of Allan Forbes, Sr., 1940