Citation Permissions

Researchers citing and quoting from unpublished materials held at the MHS must request permission from the Society through their Portal1791 account. The reference librarian reviews all requests to ensure there are no copyright or other restrictions on the materials. When a request is approved, you will recieve use permission notification through Portal1791.

There are no fees charged for citation/quotation permission.

Submitting Citations

To initialize your request, locate the collection from which you plan to cite or quote material using ABIGAIL and submit a reproduction/use permission request through Portal1791.

The MHS grants citation permission at the collection level so there is no need to itemize individual citations in your request. When prompted to provide information regarding specific materials for reproduction you may simply write "Entire collection" in the field.

You will need to submit a separate request for each collection. 

When providing a project description, please include:

●     Title of work and publication title (if relevant)

●     Publisher or sponsoring institution

●     Actual or planned date of publication, presentation, exhibition opening, etc.

●     Mailing address where you wish to receive the permission letter.

Once your request has been submitted the reference librarian will review the collection for copyright or other restrictions and, if the request is approved, issue a use permission confirmation notice delivered to your Portal1791 account and via email. 

Published Materials

The MHS does not have a role in granting permission to cite or quote from published works including, but not limited to, books, broadsides, pamphlets, and journals. When a work has been published, the intellectual copyright lies with the author until the copyright expires.

Cornell University provides a useful chart showing the Copyright Term and Public Domain in the United States as well as a checklist for fair use of published materials that may be helpful to you in determining whether or not any published materials you wish to reproduce are protected by copyright.

Crafting Citations

Please review our citation guidelines as you finalize your citations. If you have questions about how to cite a specific document, please contact the reference librarian. In your email, provide as much detail regarding the item as you can so that we may assist you to the best of our abilities.

The MHS does not provide verification of quotations.

Exempt Categories

The following uses are exempt from the formal use permissions process:

●     Academic assignments, other than theses/dissertations

●     Lectures, presentations, and classroom use

●     Personal blogs/websites, and social media platforms

Please follow the citation guidelines to ensure proper identification of materials used.

Upcoming Events

Special Event

Celebrating National History Day in Massachusetts at the State House

22Apr 10:00AM 2019
For questions and to register, contact Elyssa ...

Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase) 24 Beacon Street, Boston   The Massachusetts Historical Society, the state sponsor of National History Day in ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Boston’s North End: Post-World War II Italian Immigration, Segmented Assimilation, and the ...

23Apr 5:15PM 2019

This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of segmented assimilation. Depending on age, gender, parental style, and ...

Special Event; Member Event; Exhibition

“Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception

25Apr 6:00PM 2019
Please note: space at this event is limited.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s ...

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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 ...

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