A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

About The John Quincy Adams Diary Digital Projectbeta

John Quincy Adams (JQA, 1767–1848) is one of America’s great 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, JQA kept a diary of his public and private experiences.

Begun on 12 November 1779, the diary grew to over 15,000 pages by the time the final entries were penned before his 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 Diary Digital Project will make JQA’s diary truly accessible for the first time by presenting a verified and searchable transcription of each entry 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.

With the generous support of corporate and private donors, work is nearing completion on a 2,000-page subset of the diary covering JQA’s time as secretary of state (1817–1825).

Work is underway on the presidential period (1825–1829), and funding is being sought to complete the remaining diary.


Interested in being a part of this historic endeavor? We are looking for individuals, near and far, to help with transcription. For more information, contact us at adamspapers@masshist.org


Donate Now

Private support is vital to the success of the project. Click the “Donate Now” button to make an immediate gift. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to the Massachusetts Historical Society and designated to the John Quincy Adams Diary Digital Project 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

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

Adam Berk, Nancy Bertrand, Kelsey Brow, Josh Feigenbaum, Gwen Fries, Christina Gaebel, Timothy Giblin, Christopher Hall, Robert Huberty, Alison M. Kiernan, Cliona McCarry, Joan Quigley, Margot Rashba, Emily Ross, Grace Stillwell, Emily Wieder, L. J. Woolcock, and others