Massachusetts Historical Society

MHS Features

Who We Are

Making the Past Last 

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures. etc. 

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Chat With a Reference Librarian

Live Chat

Communicate with the MHS library staff through a live chat session. To initiate, click on the "Ask a librarian" link, submit your question in the chat box, and the first available librarian will respond. The service is available Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (excluding holidays). 

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Collections

Accessible To All

The extraordinary collection of the MHS provides an unparalleled record of American history and is enjoyed by scholars and the public alike. There are millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures. Along with many famous documents such as Paul Revere's own account of his famous ride, the collection contains accounts of the lives of thousands of ordinary Americans.

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Support the MHS

Give a Gift

Support the MHS to promote the study of American history and deepen our understanding of the diverse stories that define our nation's past. Help make the MHS a place where history happens.

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National History Day

National History Day

National History Day (NHD) in Massachusetts is a year-long interdisciplinary program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12.

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History Source

Source sets highlighting the diverse voices of the ordinary and extraordinary people who changed Massachusetts and the nation.

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Underrepresented Communities

Showcasing MHS collections and resources documenting individuals and communities who have traditionally been unrepresented in the historical record.

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Presidential Papers

Presidential Papers

The MHS holds the largest collection of Thomas Jefferson’s private papers including more than 400 architectural drawings as well as many other valuable presidential papers and artifacts from throughout United States history. This includes hundreds of letters written by every U.S. president through George H.W. Bush.

Explore our presidential papers

Adams Family Papers

Illuminating the Adams Family Story

The Adams Family Papers are the most comprehensive and historically complete family collection held by an American cultural institution, public or private. In addition to illuminating the family story, the documents offer valuable insights to the political, social, and cultural fabric of American society.

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..cornerstone of democracy...

A world where historical understanding is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

Our Vision | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

we promote ...

We promote understanding of the history of Massachusetts and the nation by collecting and communicating materials and resources that foster historical knowledge.

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Conrad E. Wright Research Conference on Citizenship

Conrad E. Wright Research Conference on Citizenship

Being the centennial of both the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and Immigration Act of 1924, scholars of Native American and U.S. immigration history grapple with the legacies of settler colonialism. 11-13 July 2024 at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Suffolk University in Boston. Conference details

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