A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Sources for Further Reading

This website features selected items from the exhibit The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. See a checklist of all the items in this exhibit.

Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. One section is comprised of the Correspondence between John and Abigail Adams. Massachusetts Historical Society. Web. Accessed 19 June 2013.

Bell, J. L. "Boston 1775: Powder Horn (search results)." Boston 1775. Web. Accessed 19 June 2013

Chippendale, Thomas. The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director: Being a Large Collection of the Most Elegant and Useful Designs of Household Furniture, in the Most Fashionable Taste. London: Printed for the author; also by T. Becket and P.A. de Hondt, 1762.

Massachusetts Historical Society. Collecting History. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2009.

---. Witness to America's Past: Two Centuries of Collecting by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston: The Society : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1991.

Snow, Caleb H. A History of Boston, the Metropolis of Massachusetts: From Its Origin to the Present Period; With Some Account of the Environs. 2nd ed. Boston: A. Bowen, 1828.

Biographies of Notable 18th-Century Persons

Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.

Paul Revere: Artisan, Businessman, and Patriot-The Man Behind the Myth. Boston: Paul Revere Memorial Association, 1988.

Russell, Phillips. John Paul Jones: Man of Action. New York: Brentano’s, 1927.

Unger, Harlow G. John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

Walmsley, Andrew S. Thomas Hutchinson and the Origins of the American Revolution. New York: New York University Press, 1999.

Weston, Thomas. Peter Oliver: The Last Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay; A Sketch. Boston: Cupples, Upham & Company, 1886.


Exhibition: 13 June to 7 September 2013

What is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? This exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

The exhibit runs from 13 June through 7 September 2013, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Back to top