About The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary

John Quincy Adams (JQA, 1767–1848) is one of the great American statesmen. The oldest son of John and Abigail Adams of Quincy, Massachusetts, his distinguished career in public service spanned six decades and included roles as diplomat, secretary of state, president, and congressman. For more than 68 years, Adams kept a diary of his public and private experiences.

Begun on 12 November 1779, the diary encompassed over 15,000 pages by the time the final entries were penned before Adams’ death in 1848. The resulting 51 diary volumes comprise the longest continuous record of any American of the time and provide an unparalleled resource for students, scholars, and all lovers of history.

The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary makes JQA’s diary truly accessible for the first time by presenting verified and searchable transcriptions of entries alongside the manuscript page images on the MHS website. Enhanced access to this free resource will include keyword and personal name search ability, along with topical search features based on themes in middle and high school American history curricula.

Through generous support of private foundations and corporate and individual donors, 11,600 pages with verified transcriptions are now available, covering JQA’s legal, political, and diplomatic careers (1789–1817), his time as secretary of state (1817–1825), his presidency (1825–1829), and his tenure in the United States House of Representatives (1830–1848). All available entries are currently searchable by date and keyword. Improved search features are forthcoming, along with transcriptions of additional entries.


Interested in being a part of this historic endeavor? We welcome individuals, near and far, to help with transcription of the diary or related JQA materials. For more information, contact us at adamspapers@masshist.org


Private support is vital to the success of the project. Click the “Donate Now” button to make an immediate gift to the Adams Papers. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to the Massachusetts Historical Society and designated to the Adams Papers and mail it to The Adams Papers—MHS, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.


The project gratefully acknowledges the following individuals and organizations for their financial support:

Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund

  • L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro
  • Phyllis Lee Levin

The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary is maintained by Neal Millikan, William Beck, and Sara Martin, with the assistance of current Adams Papers staff: Karen Barzilay, Rhonda Barlow, Gwen Fries, Kaz Gebhardt, Sara Georgini, Miriam Liebman, Susan Martin, Molly Nebiolo, Amanda Norton, C. James Taylor, Mary K. Wigge, and Hobson Woodward.

Project efforts have been advanced by the valuable contributions of former Adams Papers staff and interns and the dedication of many volunteers:

Sophia Alessandri, Anthony M. Amore, Mary Quine Auerbach, Adam Berk, Nancy Bertrand, Perry Blatz, Kelsey Brow, Jeff DeToro, Ronnie Dooley, Josh Feigenbaum, Joan Fink, Katie Finnegan, Christina Gaebel, Timothy Giblin, Doug Girardot, Michael Lynn Griffin, Christopher Hall, Kenna Hohmann, Lauren Howard, Robert Huberty, Alison M. Kiernan, Jessica Leeper, Alyssa Machajewski, Cliona McCarry, Scott R. McKinley, Joan Quigley, Margot Rashba, Laura Richards, Emily Ross, Grace Stillwell, Peyton Tvrdy, Lucy Wickstrom, Emily Wieder, L. J. Woolcock, and others