Collections

The Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the nation’s most respected research libraries. Our extraordinary collections provide an unparalleled record of American history and are enjoyed by scholars and the public alike.

The MHS possesses a remarkable assembly of personal papers of three presidents, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The collections also contain accounts of the lives of thousands of ordinary Americans.

Explore the collections

The collections are available to all in person, online, and through exhibitions and programs. Learn more about doing research at the MHS

Use these tools to view highlights, digital collections, and other online resources.

Upcoming Events

Conversation; Housing as History

Housing as History: the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Orchard Gardens

13Nov 6:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

By the 1980s the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury was facing significant challenges. Absentee landlords had allowed property to deteriorate, left units vacant, or ...

Conversation

Atlas of Boston History

14Nov 6:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Few American cities possess a history as long, rich, and fascinating as Boston’s. The Atlas of Boston History traces the history of Boston from late prehistoric ...

Conversation; Legacies of 1619

Legacies of 1619: Black Radicalism / Black Power

16Nov 4:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30.

Facing the hegemonic force of slavery, discrimination, and disenfranchisement, communities of color have resisted and presented radical models of empowerment. Along with ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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