MHS Response to COVID-19

Dear Friends,

We can’t wait to welcome you back to 1154 Boylston Street to explore our galleries, attend programs, and use the reading room! There are many factors involved in creating a safe environment for staff and visitors. We are taking the time to consider all of the aspects and our teams are working on a phased reopening approach that puts the safety of our staff and visitors first. While the MHS will remain closed to the public into 2021, our staff is hard at work—most in a remote capacity—planning online events, virtual exhibitions, and remote reference services. 

We are grateful to our community for their patience and support during this fluid situation and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our building when we are able. Continue reading below to learn about our remote reference services and online programming. And please check our website and social media channels for additional updates.

All the best,

Catherine Allgor
MHS President

Reader Services

The MHS is currently closed to both staff and the public in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. MHS library staff members are available to remotely assist you with your research and are working hard to make as many collections and services accessible as possible. Please don't hesitate to reach out for individualized assistance.

Programs & Events

Though the MHS will not have any in-person programs or events until at least 2021, we do have a full slate of online author talks, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, and brown-bag lunch programs. Please visit our online calendar and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for program listings. Join our e-mail list to receive weekly e-mails with calendar information and timely updates.

Donate to the MHS Collection

We continue to actively add to our collection. Please contact the Vice President for Collections and review our collecting policy before sending any material.

MHS Staff & Facilities

All MHS employees continue to be compensated during the closure. While we are closed to the public, our staff remains hard at work answering research questions, providing digital content, and devising new ways to provide engaging content to our community.  Under the governor’s “safer at home” advisory, many of our staff members are working remotely. However, we have continuously monitored the security and maintenance systems of our building. A thorough cleaning is completed each week and staff continues to maintain the building every day.

Support the MHS

The generosity of our friends and community has sustained the MHS for more than 229 years, and today your support enables us to fulfill our mission to promote understanding of the history of Massachusetts and the nation by collecting and communicating materials and resources that foster historical knowledge. While the MHS remains closed to the public, limited staff members are on site to fulfill reference requests; catalog and digitize collections; and protect our building. Working remotely, we are offering an engaging and varied selection of online programs; building a virtual community of scholars; delivering online resources to educators; helping researchers with their work; providing access to our collections; and continuing to publish.  A gift to the MHS Fund not only helps to keep this work going but it will also enable us to reopen in a safe and responsible manner. Please consider supporting the MHS today.

Become a Member

Membership at the MHS is open to all. We welcome friends from near and far to join our community of history lovers. Learn more about our membership categories and join today!

We offer you a warm virtual welcome and look forward to when we can see you in person!

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Seminar; African American History Seminar

From Jobs and Freedom to Jobs and Opportunity: Andrew Young, Growth, and the Illusion of Job ...

4Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and economic opportunity to investigate how Democrats abandoned their 1970s goal ...

Online Event; Seminar; Environmental History Seminar

Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs

9Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

As we begin to consider climate as an everyday problem, it's valuable to see how people did that in the past. With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: Redlining: From Slavery to $8 in 400 Years

11Mar 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In 2015, the Boston Federal Reserve found the median net worth for Black families in Boston was $8, in stark contrast to $250,000 for white families. This discrepancy is ...

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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