Online Resources What is this? Our online resources are sets of digitized items which have been organized either around a common topic, such as the American Revolution, or to highlight a specific collection, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson.

Era: Era of the Revolution (circa 1764-1783) | Pick a different topic


Siege of Boston

Online Feature  Siege of Boston
Read manuscripts written by soldiers, residents, and prisoners who describe their experiences during the Siege of Boston, a tense 11-month period from April 1775 to March 1776 at the beginning of the American Revolution.
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Full title: The Siege of Boston: Eyewitness Accounts from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This website presents more than one dozen accounts written by individuals personally engaged in or affected by the Siege, including soldiers, prisoners (one imprisoned Loyalist and one Patriot), and residents along with the record of a town meeting during the Siege. These first-hand experiences recounted in 25 manuscripts (approximately 300 pages of letters, diaries, and documents from the Massachusetts Historical Society collections) give the human side of the American Revolution, a perspective often overlooked in histories that describe the Siege as a series of military events.

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The Massachusetts Historical Society presents the complete four volume set of Revolutionary-era Boston newspapers and pamphlets collected, annotated, and indexed by Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a shopkeeper in Boston.
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Full title: The Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.

Beginning in 1765 and continuing over the course of more than a dozen years, Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a Boston shopkeeper, collected Boston-area newspapers and arranged them into four volumes. He thoroughly read the articles, inserted many annotations, and created indexes for them. This website presents high-quality images of all index, newspaper and pamphlet pages; transcriptions of the index pages; and a search tool allowing user to search for words Dorr used in the index terms.

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Battle of Bunker Hill

Online Exhibition  Battle of Bunker Hill
Web exhibition about the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775 featuring eyewitness descriptions of the battle, along with contemporary maps and engravings.
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Full title: Battle of Bunker Hill

Web exhibition about the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775 featuring personal accounts and eyewitness descriptions of the battle, along with contemporary maps, drawings, engravings, broadsides, and artifacts, either preserved by the participants or found on the battlefield.

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Digital edition of the content of the previously printed documentary editions of The Adams Papers; includes full annotations, index, and a search tool.
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Full title: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses

With a fast and comprehensive search tool new in summer 2010, this is the digital edition of the content of the previously printed editions of the Revolutionary-era Adams Papers, a long-standing documentary edition prepared at the Massachusetts Historical Society. This digital edition includes all text of the historical documents, all editorial text, and a single index with consolidated entries for the 16 printed Adams Papers indexes. Another forthcoming digital edition will present the Winthrop Papers, a documentary edition created at the MHS.

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Images and searchable transcriptions of the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, the diary of John Adams, and the autobiography of John Adams.
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Full title: Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive

This searchable digital collection (entitled, Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive) presents images of manuscripts and digital transcriptions from the Adams Family Papers including the complete correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, the diary of John Adams, and the autobiography of John Adams.

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Web displays of manuscripts and early printed works about the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery in the state in 1780.
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Full title: African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts

This website features 117 items from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, including historical manuscripts and early printed works that offer a window into the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery under the Massachusetts Constitution in the 1780s.

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A selection of historical objects from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that provide the foundation on which its collections have been built and inform us today about how our ancestors lived.
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Full title: The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures

This companion website is divided into three parts according to John Adams’s scheme: "Politicks and War," "Mathematicks and Philosophy," and "Painting, Poetry ... and Porcelaine." It consists of artifacts, manuscripts, medals, paintings, engravings, furniture, clothing, and early publications. These historical objects form a solid foundation on which the collections of the MHS have been built and inform us today about how our ancestors lived.

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Web presentations of 185 items selected from the extensive Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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Full title: Highlights from the Saltonstall Family Collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society

The papers, photographs, art, and artifacts of the Saltonstall family, one of the founding families of Massachusetts, chronicle five centuries of family history and involvement in public life, from before the European settlement of America through the 20th century. Saltonstall family collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society include papers of Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), mayor and U.S. representative from Salem, Massachusetts; Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall's letters home to her family while serving as a volunteer in France during World War I; and the personal and political papers and photographs of U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979).

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Primary sources and contextual essays arranged into 15 topics relating to the events leading up to the American Revolution.
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Full title: Coming of the American Revolution

In the years between 1764 and 1776, America truly became a nation. Using letters, diaries, broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, and engravings, this website brings those tumultuous years to life for students of all ages. The site is organized around fifteen key topics and features more than 150 documents from the Society's collections. Additional resources include primary-source-based lesson plans developed by middle- and high-school educators, study questions, and contextual essays.

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Boston By Manuscript

Web Resource  Boston By Manuscript
Browse documents and artifacts relating to significant historical buildings, locations, and events in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Full title: Boston By Manuscript

The following web presentations of selections from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) relate to Boston history, places, and events. The following primary sources offer details and perspectives that should complement and supplement the existing knowledge base Boston experts have already established regarding the events and history of the city.

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Chronology of key events in the lives of members of the Adams family from 1735 until 1889.


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