The MHS Library

Open to All

The library is free and open six days a week and welcomes researchers of all ages and experience levels. The library does not lend materials, but anyone wishing to view the collections can register as a researcher through our Portal1791 online request system and use materials in the library. In many cases, we can reproduce selected materials and send them to researchers who cannot visit the library in person.

Use the Library

Our library consists of an orientation room, a reading room, a reference area, and several microfilm reading stations. The library staff assists researchers with navigating our catalogs and collection guides, developing research strategies, and locating other libraries that may hold materials of interest. Our goal is to help researchers find the resources they need to complete their projects.

The “Visiting the Library” section of our website outlines library policies, procedures, and research practices. We strongly encourage researchers to review this information and to register for a Portal1791 account before visiting the library.

Please contact the Reader Services staff (617-646-0532 or by email) with any questions about preparing to use the library. Or, click on the button below to start a live chat.

 

Ask a Librarian chat

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Conversation

11 Places That Have Shaped Innovation in Boston, 1636-2021

12Apr 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

Author of the recently-published book Innovation Economy and longtime Boston Globe columnist, Scott Kirsner, will take you on a photographic tour of 11 places ...

Seminar; Environmental History Seminar; Online Event

Kaleidoscope Metropolis: Autonomy and Integration in the Fractured City

13Apr 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

By the 1950s, just as technocratic consensus settled on the opinion that Boston’s metropolitan problems demanded municipal consolidation, meaningful regional ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: Boston School Desegregation through the Rearview Mirror

15Apr 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In 1972, a group of African American parents sued city and state officials over segregation within the Boston Public Schools. After a trial, a federal court determined ...

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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