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.

 

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Upcoming Events

Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar; Online Event

Writing Uncompensated Emancipation into the Lost Cause

27Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

After the US Civil War, white southerners claimed federal reimbursements for the value of freed slaves Federal lawmakers rejected these claims in the Fourteenth Amendment ...

Online Event; Conversation

Jefferson: Then and Now

29Oct 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The reputations of all of the founders have changed dramatically over the course of American history, none more than that of Thomas Jefferson. Historians Annette Gordon ...

African American History Seminar; Online Event

Success to the Literary Society! Black Male Youth Organizing in Early Nineteenth-Century Boston

5Nov 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

In 1841, a dozen or so African American male youth aged twelve to sixteen established the Young Men’s Literary Society in Boston with the stated aim to promote ...

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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