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
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.
Full title: Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries
This website presents searchable electronic transcriptions of diary entries written by Charles Francis Adams, Sr. between 1861-1865. On the eve of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Charles Francis Adams, Sr. minister to the Court of St. James's. He arrived in London on the very day Great Britain recognized the Confederacy as a belligerent. In 1863 Adams convinced the British government to prevent Confederate ironclad ships, built in Liverpool, from leaving port, thereby maintaining British neutrality. Charles Francis Adams, Sr., like his father (John Quincy Adams) and grandfather (John Adams) kept a sequence of detailed diaries. The transcription of Charles Francis Adams's diary entries from 1861-1865 has not been verified against the original manuscript, nor has any annotation been provided. The MHS makes this content available as a valuable research source but with the caveat that it is not yet an edition as established by modern documentary editing standards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.