Membership

The Massachusetts Historical Society has two membership categories—Fellows and Members. Both groups are important to the life of the Society. Fellows and Members help support the Society's mission and receive benefits such as a subscription to our annual journal, the Massachusetts Historical Review, and invitations to special events.

Members

Membership at the MHS is open to all with an interest in American history. The Society welcomes Members from near and far to join its community of history lovers. The MHS offers a handful of different membership categories aimed to encourage participation in its various activities. Learn how to become a Member or renew your membership now.

Fellows

Election as a Fellow of the MHS is an honor bestowed by the Society on distinguished scholars and civic leaders. The Fellows are the legal governing body of the MHS, and therefore have the privilege of shaping the Society. Learn more about the MHS Fellows or renew your Fellow dues.



Join Us at an Upcoming Program

Public Program Marching in the Margins: 19th-Century African American Women in the Civil War 25 April 2014. Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM this event is free Gallery Talk L'Merchie Frazier, Museum of African American History details
Public Program Jefferson & Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation 30 April 2014. Wednesday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm John Ferling Annual Jefferson Lecture

Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggle—both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal—between two titans. Join us as we explore their complicated rivalry.

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Member Event, Special Event John F. Kennedy Medal Presentation 7 May 2014. Wednesday, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM free eventregistration required at no cost SOLD OUT

The event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0552. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to attend the presentation of The John F. Kennedy Medal to David McCullough.

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Public Program The Adams Portraits & Other Treats: 18th-Century Artist Benjamin Blyth 8 May 2014. Thursday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Bettina A. Norton

Learn more about Benjamin Blyth, the Salem artist of the Society’s iconic portraits of John and Abigail Adams, who also left a large, delightful number of other portraits of local families, merchants, and participants in the American Revolution.

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Special Event Bus Trip to the Redwood Library & Athenæum 9 May 2014. Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM this event requires a feeregistration required This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle members.

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to enjoy a day at the Redwood Library and Athenæum in Newport, R.I. Space is limited. There is a $60 fee.

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Public Program Created Equal: Walking Tour of Boston Black Heritage Trail 10 May 2014. Saturday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM free eventregistration required at no cost Boston African American National Historic Site

Series participants are invited on a walking tour of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail in conjunction with the Created Equal Film & Discussion Series.

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Public Program, Special Event An Historical Look at the Goodridge Same Sex Marriage Decision 15 May 2014. Thursday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which stated that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Marshall will talk about this landmark decision.

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Public Program Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices 16 May 2014. Friday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. The editors who have prepared her work for publication and a biographer who has used it will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

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Public Program Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service 23 May 2014. Friday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell details
Public Program The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942 28 May 2014. Wednesday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Nigel Hamilton

This new book provides a close-up, in-the-room look at how FDR took masterful command and control of the Second World War, from wresting key decisions away from Churchill and his own generals, to launching the first successful trial landing in North Africa, and beginning to turn the tide away from the Axis.

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Public Program, Special Event A Conversation with David S. Ferriero 4 June 2014. Wednesday, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009.

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Special Event, Member Event Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception 11 June 2014. Wednesday, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members

Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The WWI Memoir of Margaret Hall. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

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Public Program Lost Boston 13 June 2014. Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM this event is free Anthony Sammarco details
More events
25 April 2014 this event is free Public Program

Marching in the Margins: 19th-Century African American Women in the Civil War

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Gallery Talk L'Merchie Frazier, Museum of African American History

Massachusetts women played a vital role in recruiting, supporting, and caring for the men who fought in the Civil War. Learn more about their heroic efforts through Society's current exhibition Tell It with Pride. L'Merchie Frazier, Director of Education at Boston's Museum of African American History will be on hand to discuss some of the evocative photographs and objects on display.

To Register: This program is free and open to the public.

30 April 2014 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program

Jefferson & Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm John Ferling Annual Jefferson Lecture

Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggle—both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal—between two titans. Both men were visionaries, but their visions of what the United States should be were diametrically opposed. Jefferson believed passionately in individual liberty and a more egalitarian society, with a weak central government and greater powers for the states. Hamilton sought to build a powerful national government that could ensure the young nation’s security and drive it toward economic greatness.

John Ferling, a leading authority on late 18th and early 19th century American history, is the author of many books, including Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War for Independence, Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, and Jefferson in the American Revolution, and the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic.

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

7 May 2014 free eventregistration required at no cost Member Event, Special Event

John F. Kennedy Medal Presentation

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
SOLD OUT

The event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0552.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to attend the presentation of The John F. Kennedy Medal to David McCullough.

5:30 PM: reception

6:00 PM: presentation of the medal with remarks by David McCullough

Seating is limited.

Kennedy Medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

The John F. Kennedy Medal is awarded by the Massachusetts Historical Society to persons who have rendered distinguished service to the cause of history. It is not limited to any field of history or to any particular kind of service to history.

8 May 2014 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program

The Adams Portraits & Other Treats: 18th-Century Artist Benjamin Blyth

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Bettina A. Norton

Benjamin Blyth, the Salem artist of the Society’s iconic portraits of John and Abigail Adams, also left a large, delightful number of other portraits of local families, merchants, and participants in the American Revolution. His brother Samuel, a jack-of-all trades in the construction and home-decorating trades, was far more successful. But because of Benjamin’s flight from Salem to Virginia in 1782, he and his brother seemed to swap careers. Therein lies the tale.

Bettina A. Norton is a retired museum professional. She has published widely in her field, American historical prints. In later years, she was editor and publisher of The Beacon Hill Chronicle and is currently Editor Emerita of the Boston Musical Intelligencer. She is author of Edwin Whitefield: Nineteenth-Century North American Scenery; History of the Boston Naval Shipyard, 1800-1974; Trinity Church: The Story of an Episcopal Parish in the City of Boston; ‘To Create and Foster Architecture: History of the Boston Architectural Center; Prints at the Essex Institute; and over 60 articles on American graphic arts, architecture, and social history. She has lived with her family in a house on Beacon Hill since 1941, and in 1967 she founded Hill House, its community center.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Image: Abigail Adams. Portrait, pastel on paper by Benjamin Blyth, circa 1766.

9 May 2014 this event requires a feeregistration required Special Event

Bus Trip to the Redwood Library & Athenæum

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle members.

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to enjoy a day at the Redwood Library and Athenæum in Newport, R.I. Enjoy lunch and tours of the library. A bus will leave the MHS at 9 AM and return by 5 PM. Space is limited. There is a $60 fee. To register, please call 617-646-0543 or e-mail awolfe@masshist.org.

Join an MHS Fund Giving Circle today!

10 May 2014 free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program

Created Equal: Walking Tour of Boston Black Heritage Trail

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Boston African American National Historic Site

Series participants are invited on a walking tour of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail offered in conjunction with the Created Equal Film & Discussion Series. The tour is presented by our partner organization, Boston African American National Historic Site.

For more information, please call 617-646-0557 or e-mail education@masshist.org.

15 May 2014 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Special Event

An Historical Look at the Goodridge Same Sex Marriage Decision

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which stated that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Marshall will talk about this landmark decision.

Chief Justice Marshall is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, having retired from the Court in December 2010. Appointed to the position in 1999 by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, Chief Justice Marshall was the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, and the second woman appointed to serve as an Associate Justice in the Court's then three hundred and four year history when she was first appointed to the bench in 1996 by Governor William F. Weld.

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

16 May 2014 this event is free Public Program

Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. Bring your lunch and join us for a conversation with the editors who have prepared her work for publication, and a biographer who has used it. They will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

Image: Louisa Catherine Johnson. Miniature oil portrait, circa 1792.

23 May 2014 this event is free Public Program

Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell

Bring your lunch and join us as we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the 1924 U.S. Foreign Service Act ("The Rogers Act"), which created the US Foreign Service. We will explore the role of Massachusetts statesmen and diplomats in establishing the U.S. Foreign Service and in pioneering America's diplomatic history and tradition. The Rogers Act was authored by Massachusetts Congressman, John Jacob Rogers (1912-1925) of Lowell, Massachusetts, supported in the US Senate by Henry Cabot Lodge, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1893-1924), and signed into law by former Massachusetts Governor, President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). Men from Massachusetts have also played important roles in America's diplomatic corps, from Boston-born American envoy Benjamin Franklin (America's first diplomat at the father of American diplomacy) to our current Secretary of State, former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

HdG, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell is a U.S.-, U.N.-, Vatican-trained & Oxford-educated diplomatic scholar formerly with The American Academy of Diplomacy, and a member of the American Foreign Service Association. She heads the Franklin-Rogers MA Public Commission on American Diplomacy & The U.S. Foreign Service, whose mission includes the promotion of knowledge and appreciation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as "the birth-state of American diplomacy."

Reservation requested: (617) 646-0557 or education@masshist.

28 May 2014 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941–1942

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Nigel Hamilton

Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful—and underappreciated—command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR’s White House Oval Study—his personal command center—and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.

Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren’t ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton’s account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies’ favor and FDR’s genius for psychology and military affairs is clear.

Nigel Hamilton is a bestselling and award-winning biographer of President John F. Kennedy, General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery, and President Bill Clinton, among other subjects. He is a Senior Fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and first president of the Biographers International Organization (BIO).

To Reserve: There is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

4 June 2014 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program, Special Event

A Conversation with David S. Ferriero

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). He was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world. Mr. Ferriero was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.Before joining the NYPL in 2004, Mr. Ferriero served in top positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. In those positions, he led major initiatives including the expansion of facilities, the adoption of digital technologies, and a reengineering of printing and publications.

Mr. Ferriero earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science, also in Boston. After serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he started in the humanities library at MIT, where he worked for 31 years, rising to associate director for public services and acting co-director of libraries.

To Reserve: Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

11 June 2014 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Special Event, Member Event

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members

Photograph by Margaret HallFellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The WWI Memoir of Margaret Hall. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

Become a Member today!

13 June 2014 this event is free Public Program

Lost Boston

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Anthony Sammarco

Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, libraries, clubs, squares and baseball fields that have been lost by demolition, fire, or neglect since the 1870s.  His new book, Lost Boston, is a nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and spaces in all their grandeur. Some lost places include Boston City Hall, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cyclorama, East Boston Airport, Braves Field, the Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, South Boston Aquarium, and the Howard Athenaeum.

Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of sixty books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995, and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston’s Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorchester: Volume II, Dorchester Then & Now, Boston’s North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his perennially popular books. Since 1996, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year in 2003 and where he serves on the Leadership Council. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a member of the Boston Author's Club and the Boston Athenaeum.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.


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