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About the Project

The Massachusetts Chronicles – a living legacy for Plymouth 400

The Massachusetts Chronicles represents a new way of looking at more than 400 years of state history. At the heart of the project is a book that has been specially written in partnership with Plymouth 400 and a range of prestigious partners and state story telling institutions including Plymouth Public Schools, Bridgewater State University, The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, The Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead, The Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, The Nipmuc Nation, Plimoth Plantation, Pilgrim Hall Museum, The Commonwealth Museum, The John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and The Freedom Trail.

The book features more than 60 stories, written in the style of a newspaper, that begin before the Pilgrims began to settle on these shores more than 400 years ago. The stories follow the highs and lows of people living in what is now Massachusetts, providing a uniquely rich and highly accessible way to appreciate the diversity of state history.

The book also includes a 100-moment timeline divided into six themes: Commerce, Conflict, Culture, Politics, Science and Sport.

Massachusetts Chronicle Book
The book includes over 60 unique articles, detailing the history of Massachusetts.


The book has been written by Linda Coombs, a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe, and Mark Skipworth, journalist and former editor of the Daily Telegraph in London. It is the third state history book in a series of Chronicles published by What on Earth Publishing, a specialist in children’s non-fiction books. Learn More about What On Earth Publishing

An Educational Legacy

The Massachusetts Chronicles is accompanied by a comprehensive Educator’s Guide that features more than 60 activities designed around the book that can be used by educators in upper Elementary and Middle school grades. The guide, mapped to state standards across a range of subjects including social studies, has been written by a team of professional educators under the co-ordination of Rob Powers, social studies lead for Plymouth Public Schools.

Bridgewater State University

As one of the nation’s top teacher-training colleges, Bridgewater State University is providing a range of initiatives to support the roll out of the Massachusetts Chronicles throughout the state’s schools system. This includes the donation of a class set (32-copies) per school as well as a giant laminated 12 ft long wallchart edition of the timeline that is featured in the book. These resources, plus a printed Educators Guide, will be distributed to all schools throughout the state in the Fall of 2020, as part of the Plymouth 400 commemorations. Taken together these resources represent a donation to the state worth more than $1 million, and has been made possible thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Bruce and Patricia Bartlett. Teachers will also be able to earn professional development points through the Massachusetts Chronicles Microcredential which is currently being developed by Bridgewater’s faculty of Education and will be available from September 2020.

Massachusetts Chronicle Timeline
Each set includes a giant, 12 ft long wallchart timeline with over 100 key moments throughout history.

Living Legacy

The Massachusetts Chronicles timeline features a series of QR codes that denote different centuries. Point any smartphone or tablet camera at these codes, and you will be transported to playlist of videos that tell moments of state history through the eyes of today’s students. Pupils can contribute to this living legacy by filming and uploading their own videos. Full instructions are available for educators  and students in the Educator’s Guide.

Further Information

Project Partners

Plymouth 400 and the Massachusetts Chronicles team would like to thank all of its project partners:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead Aquinnah
Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe
The Freedom Trail Foundation
Nipmuc Nation
Bridgewater State University
Pilgrim Hall Museum
John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Commonwealth Museum
Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
Plimouth Plantation
Plymouth Public Schools

Contact Us

The Massachusetts Chronicles

Plymouth 400
6 Main St. Ext.
Plymouth, MA 02360
United States