There are several ways to search for information about the Society's collections.
ABIGAIL, the Society's library online catalog, is the place to start your search for information about MHS holdings. Updated frequently, ABIGAIL provides access to manuscripts, books, pamphlets, broadsides, photographs, art, artifacts, and other formats of material.
Many of the Society's manuscript and photograph collections are described in more detail in searchable online collection guides. Collection guides not yet online are available in the Society's reading room.
The Online Adams Catalog (OAC) contains more than 110,000 records representing every known document related to the Adams family dating from 1630 to 1889.
Approximately 350,000 individual manuscripts are described in an item catalog available on microfiche at the MHS. Although many of the descriptions have been revised or superceded, and more have been added, The Catalog of Manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society (published by G. K. Hall, 1969; 1980 supplement) is available in more than 150 U.S. libraries and remains a useful resource for descriptions of individual manuscript items.
Although more records are added to ABIGAIL daily, graphics are currently accessible only through the card catalog in the reading room.
Researchers with questions about research strategies or the Society's library holdings should contact the Reader Services staff.