Published Collections

The desire to make the content of its manuscript holdings more accessible has been at the heart of the Society's centuries publishing program for more than two centuries. Towards that end, the MHS supports the publication of documentary editions that make the content of manuscripts available through careful transcriptions and notes that provide historical context.

Pedagogues and Protesters: The Harvard College Student Diary of Stephen Peabody, 1767–1768

Cover image, Pedagogues and Protesters

Edited by Conrad Edick Wright

On April 4, 1768, about one hundred angry Harvard College undergraduates, well over half the student body, left school and went home, in protest against new rules about class preparation. Their action constituted the largest student strike at any colonial American college. Many contemporaries found the cause trivial and the students’ decision inexplicable, but in the undergraduates’ own minds it was the culmination of months of tensions with the faculty.
Pedagogues and Protesters recounts one year (May 1767–May 1768) in daily journal entries by Stephen Peabody, a member of the class of 1769. The best surviving account of colonial college life, Peabody’s journal documents relationships among students, faculty members, and administrators, as well as the author’s relationships with other segments of Massachusetts society. To a full transcription of the entries, Conrad Edick Wright adds detailed annotation and an introduction that focuses on the journal’s revealing account of daily life at America’s oldest college.

324 pages, 18 b&w illustrations
Published by the University of Massachusetts Press in association with the Massachusetts Historical Society

$90.00 Hardcover (2017)   ISBN: 978-1-62534-255-3
$27.95 Paperback (2017)   ISBN: 978-1-62534-256-0


Winthrop Papers Digital Edition

This Winthrop Papers Digital Edition presents the digitized content of the previously published volumes from the Winthrop Papers documentary edition, a publication of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers now have online access to the contents of volumes 1 through 4, comprising annotated transcriptions of Winthrop document composed primarily in the 16th and 17th centuries.

For information about the printed volumes, see below.

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: The World War I Memoir of Margaret Hall

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country Cover

Edited by Margaret R. Higonnet with Susan Solomon

In August 1918, a Massachusetts-born woman named Margaret Hall boarded a transport ship in New York City that would take her across the Atlantic to work with the American Red Cross in France, just then gripped in devastating and seemingly interminable conflict with Germany. The year she spent near the Western Front was eye opening; careful not to let her experience slip away like a strange dream, she captured it in rich detail in a series of letters, journals, and nearly 300 photographs that she would weave into a powerful narrative when she returned stateside. That narrative, a manuscript in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is now published for the first time.

Read more about Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country. 

256 pages, 83 b&w illustrations

Distributed by the University of Virginia Press.

$35 Paperback (2014) ISBN: 978-1-936520-07-7

Thomas Jefferson's Granddaughter in Queen Victoria's England: The Travel Diary of Ellen Wayles Coolidge, 1838-1839

Front cover of the book Thomas Jefferson's Granddaughter in Queen Victoria's England

Edited by Ann Lucas Birle and Lisa A. Francavilla

Ellen Wayles Coolidge arrived in London in June 1838 at the advent of Queen Victoria's reign—the citizens were still celebrating the coronation. During her nine-month stay, Coolidge kept a diary that reveals the uncommon education of her youth, when she lived and studied at Monticello with her grandfather Thomas Jefferson. This volume brings the full text of her diary to publication for the first time, opening up her text for today's readers with carefully researched annotations that provide the historical context. Read More

464 pages, 22 color and 13 b&w illustrations and 2 maps
Distributed by the University of Virginia Press

$45 Hardcover (2011)    ISBN: 978-1-936520-02-2

A Woman's Wit & Whimsy: The 1833 Diary of Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy

Cover of the Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy diary

Edited and with an introduction by Beverly Wilson Palmer

Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy, the youngest daughter of Josiah Quincy--onetime U.S. Congressman, former Mayor of Boston, and President of Harvard University--was a discerning 21-year-old woman of privilege when she kept a diary during the spring and summer of 1833. Quincy's lively and satirical accounts of Harvard University soirees and Boston cotillions portray a world where rites of courtship predominate and appearances are both significant and deceiving.

192 pages, 8 illustrations
Originally copublished with Northeastern University Press
For information about the availability of this title, please contact the Publications Department

$47.50 Hardcover (2003)   ISBN: 1-555535-75-5
$18.95 Paperback (2003)   ISBN: 1-555535-74-7

New Year in Cuba: Mary Gardner Lowell's Travel Diary, 1831-1832

Cover the Mary Gardner Lowell Diary

Edited and with an introduction by Karen Robert

Lowell's journal of the adventure that took her from the safe and comfortable environs of Beacon Hill to Cuba and the burgeoning cities of the American frontier is published here for the first time. Lowell described in vivid detail each event and observation of a journey that crossed many boundaries: between abolitionist Boston and slave-holding Cuba, between the parlor and the sugar mill, between the refined Northeast and the hinterlands of the Caribbean and the river towns of the Mississippi Valley. Lowell writes with fine precision and a critical eye, salting her narrative with gossip and a good dose of humor. Her diary also provides insights into class, race, and gender relations as well as the evolving relationship between the U.S. and Cuba in the antebellum period.

208 pages, 8 illustrations
Originally copublished with Northeastern University Press
For information about the availability of this title, please contact the Publications Department

$45.00 Hardcover (2003)    ISBN: 1-555535-59-3
$17.95 Paperback (2003)    ISBN: 1-555535-58-5

Buried from the World: Inside the Massachusetts State Prison, 1829-1831

Edited and with an introduction by Philip F. Gura

Front cover of the book Buried from the World

Between 1829 and 1831, Jared Curtis, chaplain at the Massachusetts State Prison in Charlestown, interviewed every one of the over 300 inmates and recorded their biographies in two leatherbound notebooks. Those notebooks, fully transcribed and well annotated after their discovery in 1998, form the basis for Buried from the World. The one or two paragraphs that Curtis devoted to each man capture in poignant shorthand lives otherwise lost to history, including details of age, race, upbringing and education, temperance, and the crime that brought that individual to Charlestown. Gura's introduction places the document in its historical context, including a review of 19th-century prison reform and the daily regimen and conditions within the state prison.

332 pages, 8 illustrations
Distributed by the University of Virginia Press

$30.00 Hardcover (2002)    ISBN: 0-934909-79-2

Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Collections series, published since 1792, fulfills the Society's mission by making documents from the manuscript collection available to researchers beyond the walls of its library. These volumes adhere to the highest standards of documentary editing.

Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall

Volume 1 (1835-1855), Collections vol. 90
In Print November 2006
 Edited by Helen R. Deese
648 pages
$75.00 ISBN:  0-934909-90-3

Volume 2 (1855-1866), Collections vol. 91
In Print July 2013
 Edited by Helen R. Deese
762 pages
$75.00 ISBN:  978-0-936520-05-3

Order from the University of Virginia Press


     Read about Caroline Healey Dall.

The Papers of Robert Treat Paine (1746-1814)

The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, Volume 4:1778-1786

Edited by Edward W. Hanson

The fourth volume of this series encompasses Robert Treat Paine’s time as Massachusetts Attorney General. The documents in this volume highlight the quest for order in a nation gripped by violence and upheaval. Paine dedicated himself to reforming and enforcing the laws. Outside of the courtroom, Paine obsessed over stabilizing the economy, and this volume showcases his fiery views on seemingly mundane topics like price control and counterfeiting. While Paine focused on stabilizing the state, he often neglected his family life. His correspondence with his wife reveals her dissatisfaction when faced with wartime shortages and the challenges of raising a growing brood of children on her own. The volume concludes with one of Paine’s most influential cases, the first of many treason trials in the aftermath of Shays’s Rebellion.

Collections vols. 87, 88, 89, and 92
Order from the University of Virginia Press
Fifth volume forthcoming.

    Read about Robert Treat Paine.

The Papers of Leverett Saltonstall (1816-1845)

Collections vols. 82 through 86
Order from the University of Virginia Press

The Saltonstall Papers (1607-1815)

Collections vols. 80 and 81
Contact the Publications Department for availability.

Ordering Information

All Collections volumes are hardbound.
Volumes 85-90, and standing orders for future volumes, are available from The University of Virginia Press (1-800-831-3406).

Collections vols. 1-79 are available on microfilm.

For the availability of earlier printed volumes, including cumulative indexes, please contact the Publications Department at

Winthrop Papers

Containing the letters of John Winthrop, Sr., his son John Winthrop, Jr., and their correspondents, this collection details the early years of the New England colonies. One of the most important manuscript sources about colonial New England, the Winthrop Papers are central to the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and to the study of American history. This series provides annotated transcriptions, prepared for a scholarly audience, of the most valuable documents from this resource.

Volume 6, 1650-1654

Edited by Malcolm Freiberg
571 pages, 1 color illustration
$65.00 Hardcover (1992)  ISBN: 978-0-934909-75-4

Contact the University of Virginia Press to order volume 6.

Volumes 1-5

Volumes 1 through 5 are out of print.
The Winthrop Papers Digital Edition, published by the MHS, comprises all of the content of printed volumes 1 through 4. Contents for later volumes are in progress.

Volume 5, 1645-1649
Edited by Allyn Bailey Forbes, 1947
445 pages

Volume 4, 1638-1644
Edited by Allyn Bailey Forbes, 1944
568 pages, 1 color illustration, and 1 map

Volume 3, 1631-1637
Edited by Allyn Bailey Forbes, 1943
581 pages, illustrations

Volume 2, 1623-1630
Edited by Stewart Mitchell, 1931
379 pages, illustrations

Volume 1, 1498-1628
Edited by Worthington C. Ford, 1929
488 pages, 4 color and 10 b&w illustrations, and 1 map

About the Editors

Under the editorship of Dr. Francis J. Bremer (e-mail at, Millersville University, future publication plans include

  • continuation of volumes of correspondence that will conclude with the period of the American Revolution. Dr. Mark Peterson (University of Iowa) and Dr. Alison Games (Georgetown University) will edit the next volumes in this series.
  • a second series of volumes organized by topic. These will include a volume of Religious Manuscripts, a collection of Legal Papers, and The Medical Notebooks of John Winthrop, Jr.