Donate to the Collection

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.

How can I find out what my collection is worth?

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.

Upcoming Events

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

POSTPONED: “Our Turn Next”: Slavery and Freedom on French and American Stages, 1789-99

7Apr 5:15PM 2020

As the French abolitionist movement gathered momentum alongside the Revolution, Parisians could have seen hundreds of theatrical performances on themes related to race ...

Environmental History Seminar

POSTPONED: “Contrary to the Rules and Maxims of the Law and Nation”: The Destruction of Colonial ...

9Apr 5:15PM 2020

Long before industrialization, New Englanders dammed their rivers. The dams that powered saw and grist mills saved farmers days of backbreaking labor, but they also ...

Author Talk; Online Event

Virtual Book Talk: When It Was Grand: The Radical Republican History of the Civil War

10Apr 2:00PM 2020
This is an online event

In 1862, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison summarized the Civil War: “There is a war because there was a Republican Party. There was a Republican Party because ...

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 ...

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