Contact the Library

The Reader Services staff is available to answer questions about accessing MHS collections, preparing for a research visit, and other general reference needs. The staff can be reached during library hours by telephone or email. Please note that all reference queries are answered in the order they are received, and due to the large volume of queries we receive, it can take up to two weeks for a staff member to contact you with an initial response.

When submitting a reference question include your name and contact information, an explanation of your project or specific research interests, and a clear statement of your question(s). It is also helpful to inform the staff about sources you have previously consulted (institutions, books, collections, websites, etc.) when appropriate.

Please address your questions to:

E-mail: reference@masshist.org
Phone: (617) 646-0532
Fax: (617) 859-0074

Mail: Reference Librarian
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

If you require material from our offsite storage facility for an upcoming visit it is best to call 617-646-0532.

Upcoming Events

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

POSTPONED: The Pacific Railroads and the Pacific Ocean: American Expansion, Asian Trade, and ...

31Mar 5:15PM 2020

The transcontinental railroads reshaped the United States—its politics, economy, culture and environment. But as this talk argues, late-nineteenth-century Americans ...

postponed Author Talk

The Hunt for History: On the Trail of the World’s Lost Treasures—from the Letters of Lincoln, ...

1Apr 6:00PM 2020
There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Nathan Raab, America’s preeminent rare documents dealer, describes his years as the Sherlock Holmes of historical artifacts and he shows us what the past can tell ...

The Revolutionary Era in Boston with Prof. Robert Allison

3Apr 2:00PM 2020
This is an online program.

Join us for a live virtual Q and A with Professor Robert Allison who will address your questions on the Revolutionary War in Boston and beyond. Subscribers will get ...

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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