Adams Family Resources
The Adams Family Papers at the MHS are the most comprehensive and historically complete family collection held by an American cultural institution, public or private. The collection spans the years 1639 to 1889 and consists of the official records and writings of three generations of Adamses. This includes the papers of John and Abigail, John Quincy and Louisa Catherine, Charles Francis, and their extended families. Comprising nearly 300,000 manuscript pages, the materials chronicle the major historical events from before the Revolution to the end of the 19th century and also capture the social and cultural development of the family and the nation.
Since 1956, we have published over 55 scholarly volumes of the personal and public papers of the Adams family of Massachusetts. These family papers were written, accumulated, and preserved over a span of three centuries.
The lesson plans and other resources featured here were developed by the Society’s Swensrud and Adams Teacher Fellows, workshop participants, and MHS Education Department staff members. Each project uses primary sources from the Society's collection.
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The Adams Papers ... may be rightly described as a national treasure. There is no comparable written record of a prominent American family.
David McCullough, John Adams