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

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar; Online Event

“Our Turn Next”: Slavery and Freedom on French and American Stages, 1789-99

6Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

As the French abolitionist movement gathered momentum alongside the Revolution, Parisians could have seen hundreds of theatrical performances on themes related ...

Online Event; Conversation

Clean Water, Green Space, and Social Equity

7Oct 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The chain of green spaces and waterways that comprise the Emerald Necklace park system is an invaluable urban oasis. Described as “the lungs of the city” this ...

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar; Online Event

Queer Institutions – A Panel Discussion

8Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

This panel discussion considers the queer histories of two modern institutions: colleges and prisons. Marc Stein explores how activists at more than twenty colleges went ...

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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