Research Tips from Richard: Phillips Exeter Academy’s Class of 1945 Library

Richard E. Winslow III, Local Historian Emeritus, has worked in Special Collections at the Portsmouth Public Library for 30 years. For one day each week, he offered patrons assistance with their research on a wide array of local history and genealogical topics – but every day Richard is in pursuit of history, visiting many local and regional collections. He is a local historian and author on topics such as the Naval Shipyard, the Gundalow, submarines, shipbuilding, privateers, Frank Jones, and more.

Untitled-1Of note, Richard is also an avid outdoor enthusiast, regularly paddling the great rivers of the U.S. and Canada.  His articles chronicling those adventures may be found in many newsletters, and journals, such as Qayaq.

Richard will be joining our blogging team to offer the research tips he’s collected throughout his years of work! 

Not known by many researchers, but close to Portsmouth, is Phillips Exeter Academy’s outstanding facility, the Class of 1945 Library – an architectural gem! Designed by Louis Kahn, this building is the largest secondary school library in the world, and a valuable storehouse of books, journals, magazines, archives, and films.


One of my areas of interest is mountaineering, and the PEA collection on this topic is terrific, including donations of the legendary climber Robert H. Bates, a longtime faculty member. His books, journals, clothing, and equipment from these ascents or near-ascents are housed in the Robert H. Bates Memorial Room, dedicated to his memory.

Along with this open hospitality at the library, visitors are free to explore the other buildings on campus, in particular, the Phelps Science Center, the Lamont Art Gallery, and the athletic facilities.

If a library visitor seeks lunch or dinner, he does not need to drive to the Exeter Inn or to the downtown restaurants. One simply walks out of the library, and heads for the adjacent building – the Academy Dining Room. Upon entering, he checks in with the meal clerk/cashier, pays a nominal sum, and partakes of an outstanding buffet. At the numerous tables, he can join the students and faculty.

Phillips2Go! Explore! Enjoy! The Academy radiates with a special feeling in the air. Who knows what you may find or what new friends you may make.

To contact the Library, call (603)-707-4054 or send them an email at


Richard E. Winslow III

Local Historian Emeritus, Portsmouth Public Library

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