The Society's Education Department offers primary-source-based workshops for K-12 educators and their students on a variety of topics. Participants become historians as they investigate a particular historical topic using a broad range of materials from the Society’s collections. Most programs also include an introduction to the library, a virtual tour of the MHS website or particular digital projects, and an opportunity to examine original documents and artifacts. Programs for teachers also address the various ways in which primary sources can be incorporated in to the K-12 curriculum.

The MHS Education Department frequently partners with local historical sites and institutions, as well as the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and both the Massachusetts and the United States Departments of Education to develop and deliver interactive programs using the Society's collections. The MHS is a registered Professional Development Provider in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and graduate credit is avaliable (for an additional fee) for many of our workshops.

Schedule a Program

Interested in bringing a group of teachers or students to the Society? The MHS Education Department will work with you to create a memorable educational experience! We can organize workshops on various aspects of these general themes:

  • Introduction to the MHS and primary sources
  • The Coming of the American Revolution
  • Slavery, Antislavery, and Abolition in New England
  • Civil War Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts and WWI

For more information, or to schedule your program, please contact the education department at (617) 646-0557 or

Upcoming Programs

Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
Framingham History Center in Framingham, Massachusetts
September 26 & 27, 2014
8:30am - 3:30pm
Registration Fee: $25

This two-day workshop will focus on how to use local resources – documents, artifacts, landscapes and the rich expertise in every town – to examine historical issues with a national focus. We will concentrate on the period just after the Revolution and the concerns and conflicts, hopes and fears, experiences and expectations of the people living in the Framingham area at a time of uncertainty, fragility, and possibility.

The workshop is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts. There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Saltonstall Foundation.Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Complete this Registration Form and mail/email it to the address listed on the form. Contact for more information or visit our web calendar.

Massachusetts Women in the First World War
October 17 & 18 2014
Registration Fee: $75

Women participated in the Great War in numerous ways, even before the United States officially entered the conflict in 1917. This two-day workshop will explore women’s many activities using the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Fort Devens Museum. At MHS, participants will analyze posters that used images of women as propaganda or encouraged women’s participation in various efforts, as well as letters, diaries, and photographs created by women who volunteered for the war effort at home and abroad. We will also spend a day with the Fort Devens Museum. When Camp Devens was built in 1917, few realized what an impact it had on surrounding towns and the legacy it would leave behind. Using maps, letters, photographs and other materials from WWI we can see how Camp Devens changed both the lives of the men and women who worked and trained here, and the physical landscape of the Nashoba Valley. The registration fee includes lunch both days, materials, and admission to the Fort Devens Museum.

To Register: Complete this Registration Form and mail/email it to the address listed on the form. Contact for more information.

Sources and Stories of the American Revolution
November 1, 2014
Registration Fee: $100

What do works like “freedom” and “liberty” mean to you? What did they mean to a patriot in 1763, an enslaved woman in 1770, or a Loyalist in 1783? Using documents from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, participants will analyze the ways in which Massachusetts men and women sought—and were often denied—their own freedoms during the era of the American Revolution. We will use the morning sessions to explore how different individuals or groups used the language of liberty to further their own cause, and what sorts of tactics they used to promote their ideas of freedom. Later in the day, historian Mary Fuhrer and educator Joanne Myers will introduce the participants to local records that can be used to research the lives of people living in Lexington in 1775. Through a series of hands-on research activities and a writing workshop, participants will choose one historical character from Lexington and examine his/her background, motivations, and the choices he/she made in the critical time period surrounding the beginning of the Revolution. The day will end with an opportunity to view rarely-seen original documents and artifacts from the Society’s collections.

To Register: Visit the EdCo website or contact for more information.

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