Welcome to ABIGAIL, the Massachusetts Historical Society's online library catalog. ABIGAIL provides access to the majority of the Society's collections of manuscript and printed materials, and--in the near future--will provide access to its entire collection, including graphics and artifacts.
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ABIGAIL at a glance
- Almost 3,600 descriptions of manuscript collections, approximately 99% of the Society’s manuscript holdings. Descriptions of approximately 350,000 manuscript items are available on microfiche at the Society. Most of the item descriptions also have been reproduced in the Catalog of Manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society published by G.K. Hall in 1969 and in a 1980 supplement, available at many libraries.
- More than 180,000 descriptions of books and other printed materials. This number includes our biography, local history, and general research collections, early imprints, newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, and serials.
- More than 1600 records for separately published maps and atlases.
- 380 descriptions of photograph collections. Most of the approximately 120,000 separate items in the photograph collections are or will be cataloged by collection, rather than as individual items, but 50,000 photographs are currently described through a combination of online finding aids and ABIGAIL records. There are separate catalog descriptions for 800 individual images in the Society’s daguerreotype and ambrotype collection in ABIGAIL.
- Approximately 1400 records for works of art, artifacts, and graphic materials. This number includes portraits, paintings, silhouettes, sculpture, and miniature portraits. Catalog records for the Society’s artifact and graphics collection will be added on a regular basis beginning in 2013.
For assistance with graphic materials and artifacts, please consult the reader services staff if you do not find what you are looking for.