Visiting the Library

The Massachusetts Historical Society's library operates differently from most public or university libraries. While we strive to provide researchers with access to all our collections, our primary concern must be to preserve our unique materials, and for that reason we enforce strict security protocols. The pages in this section—What to Expect, What to Bring, and How to Prepare--will help you become familiar with our policies and procedures.

Library Hours

Beginning on September 7, 2021, the MHS library will reopen to the public for onsite research visits. To protect the health of researchers and staff amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the MHS Library has implemented the following temporary policies:

  • The library will open Monday - Friday, 10AM to 4:45PM. 
  • Research will be by appointment only. 
  • Appointment requests must be made by 2pm Thursday of the previous week.
  • Researchers must provide proof they have received an FDA approved Covid-19 vaccination prior to arriving at the MHS
  • A well-fitted mask covering the nose and mouth must be worn in all public spaces

Please visit our Appointment Request Form to select your preferred visit dates.   

The MHS Library is committed to providing all researchers with access to our collections and will continue to offer expanded reference and reproduction services. Researchers who are unable to visit the MHS at this time are encouraged to explore our virtual reference options and reproductions services for more information about the resources available to all researchers at this time.