Research at the MHS

The Massachusetts Historical Society strives to foster a research community that actively promotes the study of the history of Massachusetts and the nation. We offer an exceptional range of resources for making and sharing historical discoveries. Visitors can enjoy public talks, tours, exhibitions, scholarly seminars and conferences, and gain access to our unparalleled collections through our research library and our website.

The MHS offers ...

... more than two dozen brown-bag lunches annually, where scholars share their research
... dozens of afternoon sessions in five research seminar series
... support and assistance to more than 600 scholars every year
... more than 40 research fellowships in four annual competitions

The MHS welcomes a wide variety of researchers—representing 35 countries and all 50 states—from high school students, to family historians, to professors and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. These researchers network, share their findings, and exchange ideas.

We invite you to take advantage of our services.

Use the Library

The MHS Library is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday. Indulge your curiosity by planning a research visit.

Engage With Others

Network with other researchers and history enthusiasts at the MHS, and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Our Scholarly Community

Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars will discover fresh ideas that support and energize their work in our seminars, conferences, publications, and through our research fellowships.

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize

Each year, the MHS invites submissions for the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize. One prize will be offered for a distinguished book in English on the history of Massachusetts published during the previous calendar year. The winning entry will be announced at a reception at the historical society in Boston. The author of the title selected will receive a letter of award and a prize of $2,500, and the author and publisher will receive publicity through announcements made by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Upcoming Events

History of Women and Gender Seminar

How to Be an American Housewife: American Red Cross “Bride Schools” in Japan in the Cold War Era

22Jan 5:30PM 2019
Location: Massachusetts Historical Society

In 1951, the American Red Cross in Japan began offering “schools for brides,” to prepare Japanese women married to American servicemen for successful entry ...

Biography Seminar

Writing Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

24Jan 5:30PM 2019

Join us for a conversation with David Blight about the challenges of writing his biography of Frederick Douglass, the fugitive slave who became America's greatest orator ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969

29Jan 5:15PM 2019

Uncertainty about media technology’s affective and political power plagued post-World War II efforts to expand media use in schools around the nation. Would ...

From our Blog

Images of the 1925 bombing of Damascus

These images are part of a series of 24 photographs of the October 1925 bombing of Damascus found at the MHS in the papers of Sheldon Leavitt Crosby,* a professional American diplomat in the interwar ...

“Light, airy, and genteel”: Abigail Adams on French Women

When Abigail Adams arrived in France in August 1784, she must have felt like she had just landed on the moon. In all 39 years of her life, Abigail had never been south of Plymouth, north of Haverhill, ...

Read more from our blog

Have you seen?