Publications

The Massachusetts Historical Society began publishing books in 1792 and is one of the oldest, continually operating publishers in the United States. The categories below provide an overview of the work made available by the MHS, including printed books, electronic publications, and a newsletter and scholarly journal.  

The MHS Publishes

As part of its mission, the MHS maintains its own publishing program and hosts the offices of the Adams Papers Editorial Project. Follow the links below to find more information about these resources.

Print and Digital Editions Published by the MHS

The MHS publishes works that provide information about and make available the content of some of its most significant collections and the people who created them.

Featured Publication (January 2016)

The Private Jefferson: Perspectives from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country coverWith essays by Peter S. Onuf, Andrea Wulf, and Henry Adams

One of U.S. history’s most eminent figures, Thomas Jefferson is as elusive as he is revered. The Private Jefferson opens a window onto the third president’s inner life by digging into the single largest cache of Thomas Jefferson’s private papers, held at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Generously illustrated with over 100 full-color reproductions of architectural drawings, letters, and other manuscripts.

Read more about The Private Jefferson.

Adams Papers Editorial Project

The Adams Papers project was founded in 1954 to prepare a comprehensive published edition of the manuscripts written and received by the family of John Adams of Quincy, Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Historical Review (annual journal)

Available in print or digital format, the Massachusetts Historical Review (MHR) publishes essays, photo-essays, historical documents, and review articles each autumn. Every issue offers pieces rich in narrative grace and thoughtful analysis, prepared for all readers interested in the history of the Commonwealth, from its settlement to the 21st century.

MHS Miscellany (newsletter)

The MHS issues the Miscellany, its newsletter, twice a year, and distributes it to the Society's Members and Fellows. Find out more.

Upcoming Events

Environmental History Seminar

The Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919 ...

16Jan 5:15PM 2018

In 1919, state engineers proposed solving Boston’s water supply crisis by damming the Swift River, flooding a western Massachusetts valley and evicting 2,500 ...

Brown Bag

Skulls, Selves, and Showmanship: Itinerant Phrenologists in 19th-Century America

17Jan 12:00PM 2018

"Come, then, one and all, and learn to know yourselves." With these words, a traveling phrenologist advertised his lecture to the public. Proponents of phrenology ...

Author Talk

Pauline Maier Memorial Lecture - Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention

17Jan 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

James Madison’s Notes on the 1787 Constitutional Convention have acquired nearly unquestioned authority as the description of the U.S. Constitution’s creation ...

From our Blog

This Week @ MHS

First things first in this weekly round-up: The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 15 January, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 16 January. Now that we have ...

A Midwinter’s Tale

  At eight o-clock on a January morning in 1891, and a world away from the ice-caked streets of his native New England, 52-year-old Henry Adams leisurely began to go about his day. Armed with ...

Read more from our blog

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