MHS News

The MHS brings documents by John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson and other artifacts online on Google Arts & Culture for Presidents Day

Over 80 items from the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture by people around the world due to a new partnership between Google and the Society. Thanks to this new virtual collection, users will be able to see correspondence between John Adams, Abigail Adams, and John Quincy Adams as father and son progressed from American diplomats serving abroad to President of the United States; manuscripts from Thomas Jefferson’s private papers including a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and architectural drawings detailing plans for Monticello, and many other treasures of the Society in just a few clicks at This all comes as part of Google Arts & Culture's Presidents Day collection, ( celebrating the history of the United States presidency from George Washington to present day.  Explore a president's journey to and time in the Oval Office--from exciting political campaigns, to their first days in office, and finally defining moments of the presidency.

Digital exhibits
Specially curated virtual exhibits, "From Diplomats to Presidents: John Adams and John Quincy Adams" and "The Private Jefferson," have been developed for the online visitors who can discover two interactive stories, curated by experts at the MHS. One of the digital exhibitions tells the story of John Adams and John Quincy Adams rise from diplomats to president while the other opens a window on the inner life of the revered yet elusive Thomas Jefferson.

Some of the most important items of the online exhibitions are:

  • Treaty of Paris, page with signatures and seals, September 3, 1783
  • Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, November 2, 1800
  • Letter from John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, December 24, 1814
  • Monticello: Final Elevation of the first version, Thomas Jefferson, before March 1771?
  • Manuscript copy of Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776

MHS President Dennis Fiori said, "the MHS is pleased to work with Google Arts & Culture on this project to celebrate the history of the United States presidency. This is a terrific platform to bring together documents and artifacts from organizations across the nation including samples from our extensive holdings of personal papers from three presidents: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson."

About the Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the nation's preeminent research centers, with collections that provide an unparalleled record of the vibrant course of American history. Since its founding in 1791, the MHS has fostered research, scholarship, and education. With millions of pages of manuscript letters, diaries, and other documents, as well as early newspapers, broadsides, artifacts, works of art, maps, photographs, and prints, the MHS offers a wide-ranging perspective on the United States from the earliest beginnings of the nation to the present day. Exhibition galleries are open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

About Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders from over a thousand organizations worldwide. Google Arts & Culture has been created by the Google Cultural Institute and it is available for free for everyone on the web, on iOS and Android. Read more here


Published: Friday, 17 February, 2017, 12:00 AM