Massachusetts Historical Society

High Resolution Images

The Society provides publication quality, high-resolution digital images of material in our collections. In most cases when reproducing manuscript items the MHS produces full-color 300-600dpi uncompressed RGB TIFF files. More detailed information about image outputs can be found here.

Please note that, depending upon the image(s) requested, the turnaround time on high-resolution digital images and photo prints may be up to six weeks. Rush services are offered but must be confirmed with the rights and reproductions librarian.

If you would like to consult with the rights and reproductions librarian regarding a reproduction or publication/permission request please call 617-646-0542 or send an e-mail to

Reproduction Fees

$45.00/image for items with an existing digital master
$60.00/image for items imaged from the original

Items that cannot be imaged using standard equipment are priced on a case-by-case basis.

Submitting Requests

Requests should be submitted through Portal1791 using the Reproduction/Use Permission request form. Use ABIGAIL, the collection guides, or online resources to locate the item(s) to be imaged. Submit a separate request for each item. In cases where only a collection-level record for the material exists, initiate a request for the collection and indicate in the Special Requests filed of the Reproduction/Use Permission request form which specific item you wish to request.

The rights and reproductions librarian reviews all requests. You can expect an initial response within ten business days to provide a cost estimate and request any additional information that may be needed to clarify your order. Once the order details are approved, you will receive notification of an invoice available in your Portal1791 account. The Invoices page in Portal1791 provides detailed instructions for approving and paying your invoice. The invoice must be approved and/or paid before your request is processed.

Fulfillment of standard orders can take up to six weeks from the date of order confirmation. When the images are ready for delivery, you will receive a notification including payment status. Payment must be made before the images are made available for pick-up through your Portal1791 account. If rush delivery was arranged, delivery will be made as negotiated.

Files will expire after 30 days, after which time a new request must be made and additional charges may apply. TIFF images are packaged in a zip file with the associated use statement. Download the zip file and follow your system instructions to unzip the file and view/save the contents locally.

Rush Service

The MHS evaluates requests for rush service on a case-by-case basis. If approved, expedited requests filled within five business days of order confirmation will incur a 150% surcharge in addition to the standard reproduction fees.

Use of High-Resolution Images

The MHS does not restrict the use of images of items in the public domain or of items for which it holds copyright. For items under copyright which is not held by the MHS, it is the sole responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission to publish from the rights holder.

All published images must be accompanied by the credit line "Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society."

Alternative Vendors for MHS Image Materials

Some of the most frequently requested items from the MHS collections are available for purchase and licensing through the Bridgeman Art Library. For a list of images available through Bridgeman, click here.

Images of over 50 maps owned by the MHS are available for purchase through Historic Map Works, a company that maintains a digital map database of North America and the world. For a list of MHS images available for purchase, as prints, through Historic Map Works click here.

Please note that licensing policies may differ when purchasing images through alternate vendors.

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