The New England Society for the Promotion of Manufactures and the Mechanical Arts record book contains 146 pages of meeting minutes of the society for the duration of its existence, 1826-1868. The volume begins with copies of legislative acts of the Boston City Council and Massachusetts state government incorporating the society. As stated in the Act of Incorporation, passed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, March 3, 1826, the society’s purpose was:
the promotion and encouragement of domestic manufactures of all descriptions, and of mechanical skill, in every department of industry, by public sales and exhibitions of the products of the arts, by awarding premiums for new inventions, and for the best specimens of skill, by introducing any new discoveries, which may be made in other countries, and by collecting models of inventions…and communicating the same to the manufacturers and mechanics of New England. (p. 2)
The society held an inaugural meeting on June 1, 1826, to create its by-laws. The remainder of the volume contains meeting minutes, including lists of its current members and officers, financial accounts, winners of the society's awards, and plans for exhibitions and public sales. The society's 1868 dissolution is reflected over the course of several late entries.