Virtual Reference and Chat Services

Welcome to the MHS Virtual Reference page! During our current building closure we want to make our reference staff available to you in real time. Librarians are available for live meetings by appointment via Zoom, or you can live chat with a member of the reference staff. Please remember that while we do not have physical access to our collections, the help we can offer may be limited.

Virtual Meetings

The Library Reader Services team is utilizing Zoom to conduct virtual one-on-one meetings with researchers. This option allows you to see and speak with a member of our reference staff and to present your research questions in-person, rather than via e-mail or voicemail.

If you would like to schedule a virtual appointment with a librarian, please e-mail library@masshist.org and a staff member will coordinate with you to find a convenient time.

Live Chat

Another way to communicate with the MHS library staff is to conduct a live chat session with a librarian. To initiate a live chat session with a librarian, just click the "Ask a Librarian" button below. Your chat box will open in a new tab and the first available librarian will respond.* The service is available Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday,10:00AM-4:00PM, on Tuesday, 1:00PM-7:00PM, and on Friday, 10:00AM-1:00PM (all times Eastern). Chat is unavailable on holidays when the library is closed.

Ask a Librarian chat

 

 

 

 

*If the system says that we are "Busy" then it means we are currently handling as many chats as we can at one time. Please check back in a little while and try again. Thanks!

Upcoming Events

African American History Seminar; Online Event

Emancipation In America, Seen Through One Man's Dreadlocks

3Dec 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

1864. A ship leaves its New England port carrying a USCT regiment to fight Confederates on the Louisiana front. But on the way, a showdown takes place when Pvt. John ...

Author Talk; Online Event

Bank Notes and Shinplasters: The Rage for Paper Money in the Early Republic

7Dec 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

Before Civil War greenbacks and a national bank network established a uniform federal currency in the United States, loosely regulated banks saturated the early American ...

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar; Online Event

“To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats:” Gender, Labor, and Freedom in the Western Steamboat ...

8Dec 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

Free and enslaved Black women have been rendered nearly invisible in the historical andpopular imagination of the antebellum steamboat world. This essay examines how ...

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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