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.

Medium: written materials (manuscripts, broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, books) | Pick a different topic


Web presentations of original newspapers from the collections of the MHS featuring the earliest published prose by Benjamin Franklin writing as Silence Dogood.
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Full title: Silence Dogood: Benjamin Franklin in The New-England Courant

This website presents includes images and transcriptions of fourteen newspaper essays by Benjamin Franklin, written in 1722 under the pseudonym Silence Dogood. Concise explanatory essays provide information about the setting in which Franklin composed what became his first published prose--his apprenticeship to his brother James, the printer of the Boston newspaper, The New-England Courant. Web presentations of the full issues of the 14 newspapers also are available allowing web users to examine the context in which the Silence Dogood essays appeared.

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Web presentations of hundreds of pages of Jefferson documents selected from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts at the MHS.
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Full title: Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive

Featuring selections from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts at the Massachusetts Historical Society, this digital collection (entitled, Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive) includes Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence, Farm Book, Garden Book, book catalogs, and architectural drawings.

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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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A new web presentation featuring letters, pamphlets, diary entries, legal notes, and engravings relating to the Boston Massacre.
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Full title: Perspectives on the Boston Massacre

Read and examine materials offering a range of perspectives about the Boston Massacre. Included are letters, diary entries, pamphlets, broadsides, newspaper accounts, printed depositions, orations, trial notes, and even bullets recovered from the site. Use a comparison tool to closely view any two of seven featured images side by side.

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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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A photographic history of the current home of the MHS.

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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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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Browse selections of newspapers, engravings, printed materials and manuscripts about the debate in Massachusetts about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution.
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Full title: Massachusetts Considers Ratifying the U. S. Constitution

The following web presentations of selections from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) relate to the debate about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution in Massachusetts (including the District of Maine). These materials have been assembled for a workshop, Ratification! The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788.

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Long Road to Justice

Online Exhibition  Long Road to Justice
Web version of a traveling exhibition about the African American experience in the Massachusetts courts. PLEASE NOTE: this exhibition features items and images that aren't part of the collections of the MHS.
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Full title: Long Road to Justice

Web exhibition by the Ruffin Society (website currently hosted at MHS) relating to a traveling exhibition about the African American experience in the Massachusetts courts. PLEASE NOTE: this exhibition features items and images that aren't part of the collections of 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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