The Massachusetts Historical Society presents the complete four volume set of Revolutionary-era Boston newspapers and pamphlets collected, annotated, and indexed by Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a shopkeeper in Boston.

  • Newspaper engraving: initial AAbout this WebsiteDescription of Dorr's process, his indexing, the annotations and reference marks he used, the provenance & scope of the collection, and more.
  • Newspaper engraving: woman freeing caged bird.BrowseBrowse by volume, newspaper, year, and pamphlet title.
  • Newspaper engraving of ship at sea.SearchSearch the transcribed text of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.'s indexes and descriptions of newspapers supplied by MHS staff.
  • Newspaper engraved seal.Collection OutlineA detailed table of contents for the whole collection, comprised of four volumes.

Revolutionary-era Newspapers

This collection is comprised of 805 newspaper issues primarily published between 1765 and 1776 in Boston and surrounding towns. High quality digital images of 3,969 newspaper and pamphlet pages are available. Browse by year or title to select specific issues.

Collected by a Shopkeeper in Boston

Beginning in 1765, and continuing over a dozen years, Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a merchant and a member of the Sons of Liberty, collected, annotated, and indexed newspapers and pamphlets. He wrote that he sought “to form a political history” and arranged his collection into four volumes. See the collection outline for an overview of each volume.

Dorr was well-versed in the heated politics of the day and he annotated many newspaper pages with his opinions, cross-references to articles elsewhere in his collection, and sometimes noted the identities of anonymous contributors to the newspapers. Dorr also systematically indexed the contents of his collection, writing 4,969 index terms on 133 index pages. Digital images and electronic transcriptions are available for Dorr’s handwritten index pages. Search Dorr’s index to his collection of newspapers and pamphlets.