Adams Family Resources

The Adams Family Papers  

Signatures of John, Abigail, and John Quincy AdamsThe Adams Family Papers at the MHS are the most comprehensive and historically complete family collection held by an American cultural institution, public or private. The collection spans the years 1639 to 1889 and consists of the official records and writings of three generations of Adamses. This includes the papers of John and Abigail, John Quincy, Charles Francis, and their extended families. Comprising nearly 300,000 manuscript pages, the materials provide a comprehensive look at major historical events from before the Revolution to the end of the 19th century.

The Adams Papers Editorial Project

Since 1956, we have published over 50 scholarly editions of the personal and public papers of the Adams family of Massachusetts. These family papers were written, accumulated, and preserved over a span of three centuries.

Teacher Resources About the Adams Family

The lesson plans and other resources featured here were developed by the Society’s Swensrud and Adams Teacher Fellows, workshop participants, and MHS Education Department staff members. Each project uses primary sources from the Society's collection.

Adams Timeline

Screenshot of Adams Family TimelineSpanning the years 1735 to 1889, the Adams Timeline is a searchable collection of important events and happenings in the lives of John and Abigail Adams and their immediate family.

 

 

Ask the Adams Scholars

Please send all reference queries to adamspapers@masshist.org.

The Adams Papers ... may be rightly described as a national treasure. There is no comparable written record of a prominent American family.

David McCullough, John Adams

Upcoming Events

Conversation

Robert Treat Paine’s Life & Influence on Law

11Dec 12:00PM 2018
THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT.

Join us for a special event with the current Attorney General looking at the first Massachusetts Attorney General’s life and influence on law and order during the ...

Environmental History Seminar

A Nice History of Bird Migration: Ethology, Expertise, and Conservation in 20th Century North ...

11Dec 5:15PM 2018

This paper focuses on the historical relationships between migratory birds, scientists, and amateur experts in 20th-century North America, especially Margaret Morse Nice. ...

Brown Bag

Ecology of Utopia: Environmental Discourse and Practice in Antebellum Communal Settlements

12Dec 12:00PM 2018

During the 1840s, members of short-lived intentional communities debated strategies for “getting back to nature” and explored emerging meanings of &ldquo ...

From our Blog

Barbara Hillard Smith’s Diary, December 1918

Today we return to the 1918 diary of Newton teenager Barbara Hillard Smith. You may read our introduction to the diary, and Barbara’s previous entries, here: January | February  ...

Remembering Former President George H. W. Bush

As the United States remembers former President George H. W. Bush, who died on Friday, 30 November 2018, at the age of 94, the MHS remembers him too. George H. W. Bush addressing guests at the MHS ...

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