The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Credit Where Credit Is Due: Thank You from the MHS

At this time of giving thanks, we at the Society reflect on all of those friends who have made our work possible. As part of the recent renovations to the building, we installed plaques to honor our supporters, both past and present, and we take the time now to thank them and all who have become part of our community at the MHS.

On January 24, 1791, the Rev. Jeremy Belknap convened a meeting with nine like-minded gentlemen with the goal of gathering and protecting the basic sources of American history. By the end of that meeting, and through their pledges of manuscripts, books, pamphlets, newspapers, and historical artifacts, the “Historical Society,” the nation’s first, was formed. A lot has changed since then. Today we have many more Members and a beautiful home at 1154 Boylston Street. But what hasn’t changed is our dedication to the Society’s original purpose of serving as a repository and a publisher, collecting, preserving, and disseminating resources for the study of American history. Through exhibitions, our library, lending to other institutions, online resources, publications, public programming, and film and television, the Society’s collections reach local, national, and international audiences.

None of this work would be conceivable without the countless numbers of people who have supported the Society’s work intellectually, financially, and through the contribution of documents and objects. Our first recorded gift was $20 from Ebenezer Hazard in 1798, and many others followed, both financial and material. Due to many generous donations, we hold in our collections millions of letters and diary entries, as well as photographs, maps, broadsides, artifacts, works of art, prints, and early newspapers. As a sign of our gratitude and respect, the First Two Centuries plaque on the right wall  of the lobby honors the top 100 donors to the MHS through 1991. On the opposite wall, the Third Century plaque honors recent major donors and will be updated annually.

New Donor Plaque
Scholars, researchers, Board members, donors, Fellows, staff, and visitors – we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you, from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Image: MHS Board Chair Charlie Ames and Trustee Bill Cotter pose in front of the new third century donor plaque. Photo by Laura Wulf.

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 4:10 PM