Contact the Library

The Reader Services staff is available to answer questions about accessing MHS collections, preparing for a research visit, and other reference needs. The staff can be reached during library hours by telephone or email. Please note that all reference queries are answered in the order in which they are received. Due to the large volume of queries we receive, it can take up to two weeks for a staff member to contact you with an initial response.

When submitting a reference question, include your name and contact information, an explanation of your project or specific research interests, and a clear statement of your question(s). It is also helpful to inform the staff about sources you have previously consulted (institutions, books, collections, websites, etc.) when appropriate.

Please address your questions to:

E-mail: reference@masshist.org

Phone: (617) 646-0532

Fax: (617) 859-0074

Mail: Reader Services
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

Live Chat:

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If you require material from our offsite storage facility for an upcoming visit it is best to call 617-646-0532.

Upcoming Events

Brown Bag; Online Event

“We Have Always Regarded the Question of Slavery, as Really and Essentially That of Labor”: The ...

24Sep 12:00PM 2020
This is an online program

In the years before the Civil War, Boston was at the forefront of numerous American radical and reform movements. At the same time, the city was also a site of ...

Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar; Online Event

"No unseated crowd is liable to be orderly" : Organizing Audiences around Spectacle in the ...

29Sep 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

Crowd control technologies—turnstiles, bleachers, stanchions, and seats—channel bodies through the spaces of cultural performance: theater, music, and sport. ...

Online Event; Conversation

Will Public Education Survive?: A Look at the Threats to Education Systems from Privatization and ...

30Sep 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The rise of the Religious Right has coincided with the privatization movement in public schools. While some may feel that this is coincidental, there is reason to believe ...

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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