Membership

The Massachusetts Historical Society has two membership categories—Fellows and Members. Both groups are important to the life of the Society. Fellows and Members help support the Society's mission and receive benefits such as a subscription to our annual journal, the Massachusetts Historical Review, and invitations to special events.

Members

Membership at the MHS is open to all with an interest in American history. The Society welcomes Members from near and far to join its community of history lovers. The MHS offers a handful of different membership categories aimed to encourage participation in its various activities. Learn how to become a Member or renew your membership now.

Fellows

Election as a Fellow of the MHS is an honor bestowed by the Society on distinguished scholars and civic leaders. The Fellows are the legal governing body of the MHS, and therefore have the privilege of shaping the Society. Learn more about the MHS Fellows or renew your Fellow dues.



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Special Event, Member Event Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from ...

Photograph by Margaret HallFellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations. From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

Become a Member today!

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Public Program Lost Boston 13 June 2014.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Anthony Sammarco Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, ...

Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, libraries, clubs, squares and baseball fields that have been lost by demolition, fire, or neglect since the 1870s.  His new book, Lost Boston, is a nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and spaces in all their grandeur. Some lost places include Boston City Hall, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cyclorama, East Boston Airport, Braves Field, the Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, South Boston Aquarium, and the Howard Athenaeum.

Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of sixty books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995, and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston’s Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorchester: Volume II, Dorchester Then & Now, Boston’s North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his perennially popular books. Since 1996, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year in 2003 and where he serves on the Leadership Council. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a member of the Boston Author's Club and the Boston Athenaeum.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

details
Public Program At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton 19 June 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gregory N. Flemming Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old ...

Book cover, Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old fisherman captured by pirates, impressed as a crewman, subjected to torture and hardship, who eventually escaped and lived as a castaway and scavenger on a deserted island in the Caribbean--was at one time as well known as the tales of Cooper, Hawthorne, and Defoe. Based on a rare copy of Ashton's 1725 account, author Gregory N. Flemming's vivid portrait recounts this maritime world during the golden age of piracy. Fishing vessels and merchantmen plied the coastal waters and crisscrossed the Atlantic and Caribbean. It was a hard, dangerous life, made more so by both the depredations and temptations of piracy. Chased by the British Royal Navy, blown out of the water or summarily hung when caught, pirate captains such as Edward Low kidnapped, cajoled, beat, and bribed men like Ashton into the rich--but also vile, brutal, and often short--life of the pirate. Flemming drew not only on Ashton's own first-person account of his experiences, but a wealth of other materialsfrom the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Low's pirates.

Gregory N. Flemming is a former journalist who holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family in New England. His website is www.gregflemming.com.

details
July
Public Program "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in ...

Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

To Reserve: Register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

details
Public Programbegins Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 30 July 2014.Wednesday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

details
Public Programends Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 31 July 2014.Thursday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

details
August
Public Programbegins Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 6 August 2014.Wednesday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This event will take place in Searsport, Maine. What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Pepperell, Massachusetts & Milford, New Hampshire, July 30-31; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

details
Public Programends Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 7 August 2014.Thursday, 8:30AM - 3:30PM This event will take place in Searsport, Maine. What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before ...

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Pepperell, Massachusetts & Milford, New Hampshire, July 30-31; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

details
More events
Special Event, Member Event Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Preview Reception 11 June 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members

Photograph by Margaret HallFellows and Members are invited to a special preview reception of Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country. The evening will begin with remarks by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey. A reception and exhibition viewing will follow.

To commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, the MHS has organized the exhibition Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War focusing on two of the hundreds of women from the Commonwealth who went to France as members of the U.S. armed forces, the Red Cross, and other war relief organizations. From the Society’s extraordinary collection of women’s recollections, this exhibition features photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia related to Margaret Hall and Eleanor (Nora) Saltonstall, Red Cross volunteers in France. The exhibition will highlight Hall’s large-format photographs of the battlefront on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society. Both women were keen observers of the climactic months of the war and depicted what they witnessed in vivid detail.

Become a Member today!

close
Public Program Lost Boston 13 June 2014.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Anthony Sammarco

Historian and author Anthony Sammarco will explore some of the  sixty-eight houses, churches, libraries, clubs, squares and baseball fields that have been lost by demolition, fire, or neglect since the 1870s.  His new book, Lost Boston, is a nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and spaces in all their grandeur. Some lost places include Boston City Hall, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cyclorama, East Boston Airport, Braves Field, the Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, South Boston Aquarium, and the Howard Athenaeum.

Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of sixty books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history and development of his native city. He commenced writing in 1995, and his books Dorchester and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have made the bestsellers list. Boston’s Back Bay in the Victorian Era, Dorchester: Volume II, Dorchester Then & Now, Boston’s North End (and Il North End di Boston in Italian) and the Great Boston Fire of 1872, are among his perennially popular books. Since 1996, Mr. Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year in 2003 and where he serves on the Leadership Council. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a member of the Boston Author's Club and the Boston Athenaeum.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

close
Public Program At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton 19 June 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Gregory N. Flemming

Book cover, Called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe, the true story of Philip Ashton--a nineteen-year-old fisherman captured by pirates, impressed as a crewman, subjected to torture and hardship, who eventually escaped and lived as a castaway and scavenger on a deserted island in the Caribbean--was at one time as well known as the tales of Cooper, Hawthorne, and Defoe. Based on a rare copy of Ashton's 1725 account, author Gregory N. Flemming's vivid portrait recounts this maritime world during the golden age of piracy. Fishing vessels and merchantmen plied the coastal waters and crisscrossed the Atlantic and Caribbean. It was a hard, dangerous life, made more so by both the depredations and temptations of piracy. Chased by the British Royal Navy, blown out of the water or summarily hung when caught, pirate captains such as Edward Low kidnapped, cajoled, beat, and bribed men like Ashton into the rich--but also vile, brutal, and often short--life of the pirate. Flemming drew not only on Ashton's own first-person account of his experiences, but a wealth of other materialsfrom the Massachusetts Historical Society's collections, including hundreds of colonial newspaper reports, trial records, and the hand-written logbooks and correspondence from the British warships that patrolled the Bay of Honduras and fought with Low's pirates.

Gregory N. Flemming is a former journalist who holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family in New England. His website is www.gregflemming.com.

close
Public Program "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach

Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

To Reserve: Register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

close
Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 30 July 2014 to 31 July 2014 registration required This workshop will take place in Milford, New Hampshire, and Pepperell, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Searsport, Maine, August 6-7; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

close
Public Program Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation 6 August 2014 to 7 August 2014 registration required This event will take place in Searsport, Maine.

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed in New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • investigate what it was like to live in an old town in a new country and discover what changed for the inhabitants of different towns as new government structures were implemented.
  • discuss the concerns (both local and national) expressed by Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents in various towns while the American government was being created in the years after the revolution.
  • explore the ways in which geography, economy, and social/cultural practices influenced local concerns.
  • discover evidence of local concerns, and discussions of national policies, in primary sources held by local repositories and the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • explore new ways of engaging students and local communities in their history.

There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Additional two-day workshops will be held in Pepperell, Massachusetts & Milford, New Hampshire, July 30-31; in Falmouth, Massachusetts, August 13-14; and in Framingham, Massachusetts, September 26-27.

close

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