Student Programs and Class Visits

MHS staff offer primary-source-based workshops for K-16 students on a variety of topics. Participants become historians as they investigate a particular historical topic using a broad range of materials from the Society’s collections. Most programs also include an introduction to the library, a virtual tour of the MHS website or particular digital projects, and an opportunity to examine original documents and artifacts. All student programs and class visits are free of charge.

The Society is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Please be advised that there is limited parking for guests, and no dedicated bus parking. For local groups, public transportation is often the most efficient way to bring students to our building. (Visit our Directions page for more information about traveling to the MHS.)

Schedule a K-12 Class Visit

Interested in bringing a group of K-12 students to the MHS? Education staff will work with you to create a memorable educational experience!

We offer the following programs for K-12 groups of 40 or fewer students:

  • Intro to Primary Sources: What is a primary source, and how do we use them for historical inquiry?
     
  • Intro to the Archive: What does it look like to do research in an archive, and how can students find resources in an archive to support their own research?
     
  • Show-and-Tell: This shorter, customizable program is a straightforward show-and-tell of highlights from our collections. It can be offered as a standalone program or combined with either Intro to Primary Sources or Intro to the Archive. 

Programs last between 1-1.5 hours, depending on class size. 

For more information, or to schedule your program, please contact us at education@masshist.org.

Schedule a University/College Class Visit

Expose your students to the vast potential of conducting primary source research at the MHS. Our Education and Library staff team up to offer two types of programs aimed at college and first-year graduate level students. Please note that due to limited seating in the reading room, students cannot conduct independent research during a class visit. By request, our staff can work with the instructor in advance of the class visit to design an appropriate assignment that will bring students back to conduct research in the MHS reading room.

  1. Introduction to MHS – In this 90-minute program students receive a general introduction to the institution, learn about research potential of our broad collections, view examples of the different types of original resources we hold, and take an instructional tour of the MHS library.
  2. Customized program – Instructors can work with MHS staff to create a program based on the class topic or desired outcomes. In most cases the instructor and MHS staff collaborate to generate a list of specific items, often centered around a particular theme, to be displayed in a show-and-tell format.

In most cases we can accommodate groups of up to 30 students at one time. Please contact us if you would like to discuss options for larger groups.

For more information, or to schedule your program, please contact the Library at (617) 646-0571 or dhinchen@masshist.org.