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

Online Event; Seminar; African American History Seminar

From Jobs and Freedom to Jobs and Opportunity: Andrew Young, Growth, and the Illusion of Job ...

4Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and economic opportunity to investigate how Democrats abandoned their 1970s goal ...

Online Event; Seminar; Environmental History Seminar

Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs

9Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

As we begin to consider climate as an everyday problem, it's valuable to see how people did that in the past. With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: Redlining: From Slavery to $8 in 400 Years

11Mar 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In 2015, the Boston Federal Reserve found the median net worth for Black families in Boston was $8, in stark contrast to $250,000 for white families. This discrepancy is ...

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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