Collections

The Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the nation’s most respected research libraries. Our extraordinary collections provide an unparalleled record of American history and are enjoyed by scholars and the public alike.

The MHS possesses a remarkable assembly of personal papers of three presidents, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The collections also contain accounts of the lives of thousands of ordinary Americans.

Explore the collections

The collections are available to all in person, online, and through exhibitions and programs. Learn more about doing research at the MHS

Use these tools to view highlights, digital collections, and other online resources.

Upcoming Events

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar

“What the Women Can Do:” Doctors’ Wives and the American Medical Association’s Crusade ...

18Feb 5:15PM 2020

In the mid-twentieth century, the American Medical Association opposed attempts to create a national health program in this country, through lobbying and public outreach ...

Author Talk

Mother is a Verb: An Unconventional History

19Feb 6:00PM 2020
There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30.There ...

Pregnancy, birth and the encounter with an infant: how have these experiences changed over time and cultures? Blending memoir and history, feminist Sarah Knott draws on ...

African American History Seminar

POSTPONED: Emancipation In America, Seen Through One Man's Dreadlocks

20Feb 5:15PM 2020

This event has been postponed and will take place in the fall of 2020. 1864. A ship leaves its New England port carrying a USCT regiment to fight Confederates on the ...

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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