Microforms

The MHS holds over 700 microfilm sets, including material from more than 400 of our own manuscript collections, microfilm editions of manuscript collections owned by other libraries which complement our own manuscript collections, and a large number of early newspapers on microfilm. One of the advantages of microfilm collections is that many of them can be purchased and/or interlibrary loaned. 

Collections Available For Purchase

The commercial vendor ProQuest sells copies of 65 microfilm editions of MHS manuscript and research collections. You can view a list of all available MHS collections on their website. To order copies of these microfilms, contact ProQuest directly at 800-521-0600 ext. 72873, or via their webform. Materials from MHS collections sold by ProQuest may be purchased by individual reel.

To inquire about ordering MHS microfilms not sold by ProQuest, contact the library at 617-646-0571 or via email.

Collections Available for Interlibrary Loan

The MHS holds duplicate positive copies of more than 100 collections filmed by the Society. When available, the MHS will loan entire small film sets or portions of large film sets for 30-day periods. To make an interlibrary loan request or to check for collection availability please contact our Senior Cataloger at 617-646-0504 or via email.

Requesting Reproductions

When microfilm collections cannot be either purchased or loaned, it may be possible to obtain reproductions of portions of microfilm collections from the Reader Services Staff.  For more information about this service see Reference Reproductions

Upcoming Events

History of Women and Gender Seminar

Transgender History and Archives: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

18Dec 5:30PM 2018
Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute

This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state of the field of transgender studies in history, archiving, and public ...

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

22Dec 10:00AM 2018

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, ...

Early American History Seminar

The Consecration of Samuel Seabury and the Crisis of Atlantic Episcopacy, 1782-1807

8Jan 5:15PM 2019

Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of American Protestantism. After more than a century of resistance to the office ...

From our Blog

“On the Borders of Nonsense”: John Quincy Adams, Poet

It was a rainy day in May 1839 and John Quincy Adams, stuck inside, was amusing himself writing poetry. He was trying to imitate the Roman poet Horace, and outdo the English poet Alexander Pope. ...

Barefoot Families and Demon Rum: The Work of an Urban Missionary

In June 1854, the Boston City Missionary Society appointed a Methodist Episcopal clergyman named Luman Boyden to serve as missionary to the poor in East Boston. The 48-year-old Boyden (pictured above, ...

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