Needham History Center & Museum

We tell the stories that show how our town is unique and special, about how our town grew into the place that it is today – and about how our history helps us to understand our contemporary life.


Museum · Exhibits · Archives · Research · Schoolhouse Rental
New Gifts · Heirloom Shoppe


Upcoming Events

Current Exhibits

Deja View: Life in Needham through the Cartoons of Needham’s Bob Larsen

For years, Bob Larsen drew a weekly editorial cartoon for the Needham Times. His observations were witty, but affectionate; barbed, but never mean. Bob was a keen observer of his fellow-townsfolk, and this exhibit shows some of his best work – the events, old friends, urgent concerns, and all of the ins and outs that weave the fabric of our community. Here are highlights, come in to see the rest.

Mapping Needham, 1770-1970

Maps of Needham show the rapid pace of change in our town.  From a time when streets were few, and houses so sparse that each one could be plotted and labeled, to the many subdivisions that created our current streetscape. The maps are pictures of Needham’s transition from a farming town, to a manufacturing town, to a densely-populated residential suburb.  Here are highlights, come in to see the rest.

The Needham Theatre in its Prime (online)

The Needham Theatre opened in 1915 when movies were a novelty, and closed in 1989 when it could no longer compete with the blockbuster multi-plex economics of the modern cinema industry. Needham’s cinema was a beloved institution that not only showed movies, but became an important downtown landmark and a primary source of community entertainment.  This exhibit is online only.

3D Interactive Tour & Exhibit

Matterport Tour by Capture Visual Marketing

Start the video, then click on the Dots to take the tour

The History of Needham in 100 Objects

Celebrating our 100th anniversary with a look at some of the artifacts and treasures collected along the way.  From ancient hunters to the Revolutionary War, from farmers, scientists, and suffragists to record-setting athletes and intrepid explorers, Needham boasts a rich history of outstanding people and remarkable accomplishments. Our town – and our world – has been shaped by their deeds and devotion, foresight and perseverance. Here are highlights, come in to see the rest.

Quick Links