Though our building remains closed to visitors, the MHS is open for business! Learn more about our online offerings and latest updates.[[ ]]
The Massachusetts Historical Society actively collects personal and family papers—diaries, letters, and other personal records—and, to a lesser extent, the records of institutions and organizations such as churches and clubs that document the history of Massachusetts and the nation. The MHS collects materials from all time periods and all segments of the population and is particularly interested in acquiring letters, diaries, and other personal accounts written by soldiers and volunteers serving abroad, including the writings of those who remained on the home front, and personal papers and organizational records that document the environmental history of Massachusetts. The MHS also collects printed materials, photographs, art, and artifacts that provide context for our manuscript collections.
Please contact the Historical Society before sending material to be sure that it fits the Society's collecting policy. If you would like to discuss a possible donation of research materials, please contact the Director of Collections Services. Please contact the Curator of Art about donating art or artifacts.
The MHS collects material for its historical value. As an interested party in a possible donation, the Society is unable to provide a financial appraisal of a collection's value.
We can, however, provide information about how you can get your materials appraised and, if you are planning a donation to the MHS, we can arrange for a professional to appraise the material at the Society. If a donor has acquired a prior appraisal or obtains an appraisal at the time of donation, the Society would appreciate receiving a copy of the written appraisal. Please contact the Director of Collections Services for more information.
The Massachusetts Historical Society is a non-profit institution. Donors are eligible for a tax-deduction to the full extent of the law. The MHS recommends that donors check with an attorney or financial advisor about any and all tax implications.