Research at the MHS

The Massachusetts Historical Society strives to foster a research community that actively promotes the study of the history of Massachusetts and the nation. We offer an exceptional range of resources for making and sharing historical discoveries. Visitors can enjoy public talks, tours, exhibitions, scholarly seminars and conferences, and gain access to our unparalleled collections through our research library and our website.

The MHS offers ...

... more than two dozen brown-bag lunches annually, where scholars share their research
... dozens of afternoon sessions in five research seminar series
... support and assistance to more than 600 scholars every year
... more than 30 research fellowships in four annual competitions

The MHS welcomes a wide variety of researchers—representing 35 countries and all 50 states—from high school students, to family historians, to professors and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. These researchers network, share their findings, and exchange ideas.

We invite you to take advantage of our services.

Use the Library

The MHS Library is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday. Indulge your curiosity by planning a research visit.

Engage With Others

Network with other researchers and history enthusiasts at the MHS, and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Our Scholarly Community

Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars will discover fresh ideas that support and energize their work in our seminars, conferences, publications, and through our research fellowships.

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize

The MHS invites submissions for the 2016 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize. One prize will be offered for a distinguished book in English on the history of Massachusetts published in 2015. The winning entry will be announced at the historical society’s annual reception in Boston in the fall. The author of the title selected will receive a letter of award and a prize of $2,500, and the author and publisher will receive publicity through announcements made by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Upcoming Events

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar; The Irish Atlantic

Moving News, Affecting Relief: The Irish Famine’s Trans-Atlantic Circulations

28Mar 5:15PM 2017

The ships that carried Irish famine victims across the Atlantic also carried tragic accounts of those left behind; in response, North Americans sent millions of dollars ...

Brown Bag

An Actor’s Tale: Theater, Culture, and Everyday Life in Nineteenth-Century U.S. America

29Mar 12:00PM 2017

Hughes will discuss her monograph-in-progress, inspired by the diary of U.S. actor Harry Watkins (1825-1894). In “An Actor’s Tale,” she deploys ...

Author Talk; Politics of Taste

Tea Sets and Tyranny: The Politics of Politeness in Early America

29Mar 6:00PM 2017
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Even as eighteenth-century thinkers from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson struggled to find effective means to restrain power, contemporary discussions of society gave ...

From our Blog

This Week @ MHS

Even though March is on its way out, it seems bent on imposing its will. Escape the late-winter bluster in the week ahead with some history: - Monday, 27 March, 6:00PM : First up this week is a ...

Gertrude Codman Carter’s Diary, March 1917

Today we return to the 1917 diary of Gertrude Codman Carter. You may read the previous entries here: Introduction | January | February All but the last page of March 1917 is sliced out of the diary; ...

Read more from our blog

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