Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars

The MHS organizes seven seminar series that operate from September to May. These sessions bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone.

How to Attend: Register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar by email. 

Subscribe: Purchasing a $25 seminar subscription gives you advanced access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. Subscribe now.

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The Seven Series

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Digital History Projects

Introducing in-progress projects that depend on digital methods, such as the use of computational tools for analysis of historical data.

Environmental History

Discuss American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Involves a variety of disciplines including urban planning and environmental management.

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

Discussing all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic.

African American History

Co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar

Concerning American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day.

History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

Discussing  new research in all aspects of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations.

New England Biography Series

Discussing the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. 

Are you interested in presenting?

Each winter, seminar organizers issue a Call for Proposals in order to fill a limited number of session slots in several of the seminar series. The annual deadline is 15 March for the sessions that will take place in the following academic year. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email

Upcoming Events

Author Talk; Online Event

Bank Notes and Shinplasters: The Rage for Paper Money in the Early Republic

7Dec 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

Before Civil War greenbacks and a national bank network established a uniform federal currency in the United States, loosely regulated banks saturated the early American ...

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar; Online Event

“To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats:” Gender, Labor, and Freedom in the Western Steamboat ...

8Dec 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

Free and enslaved Black women have been rendered nearly invisible in the historical andpopular imagination of the antebellum steamboat world. This essay examines how ...

Online Event; Special Event

MHS Holiday Celebration

9Dec 6:00PM 2020
This is an online program

All are welcome to join us for this FREE virtual event! Lights and gatherings are an especially meaningful symbol of hope, celebration, warmth, and remembrance for many ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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