The MHS Library

Open to All

The library is free and open six days a week and welcomes researchers of all ages and experience levels. The library does not lend materials, but anyone wishing to view the collections can register as a researcher through our Portal1791 online request system and use materials in the library. In many cases, we can reproduce selected materials and send them to researchers who cannot visit the library in person.

Use the Library

Our library consists of an orientation room, a reading room, a reference area, and several microfilm reading stations. The library staff assists researchers with navigating our catalogs and collection guides, developing research strategies, and locating other libraries that may hold materials of interest. Our goal is to help researchers find the resources they need to complete their projects.

The “Visiting the Library” section of our website outlines library policies, procedures, and research practices. We strongly encourage researchers to review this information and to register for a Portal1791 account before visiting the library.

Please contact the Reader Services staff (617-646-0532 or by email) with any questions about preparing to use the library. Or, click on the button below to start a live chat.

 

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Upcoming Events

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar; Online Event

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

6Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

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

Online Event; Conversation

Clean Water, Green Space, and Social Equity

7Oct 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The chain of green spaces and waterways that comprise the Emerald Necklace park system is an invaluable urban oasis. Described as “the lungs of the city” this ...

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar; Online Event

Queer Institutions – A Panel Discussion

8Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

This panel discussion considers the queer histories of two modern institutions: colleges and prisons. Marc Stein explores how activists at more than twenty colleges went ...

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 ...

Read more from our blog

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