Presidential Papers

The Massachusetts Historical Society holds the papers of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and the largest collection of Thomas Jefferson’s private papers, in addition to many other valuable presidential papers and artifacts from throughout United States history. In addition, the Society is home to letters written by every U.S. president from George Washington through George H. W. Bush.

Adams Family Resources

Portrait of John AdamsThe Adams Family Papers at the MHS are the most comprehensive and historically complete family collection held by an American cultural institution, public or private. The collection spans the years 1639 to 1889 and consists of the official records and writings of three generations of Adamses, including John and Abigail Adams and their extended families.

Thomas Jefferson Papers

engraving of Thomas JeffersonThe Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts contains almost 9,000 pages of correspondence, personal manuscript volumes including his library catalog, and more than 400 architectural drawings.

Other Presidential Papers

Engraving of Abraham LincolnIn addition to major collections of papers of John and John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the MHS also holds hundreds of letters written by every U.S. president through George H.W. Bush. See the Guide to Presidential Letters at the Massachusetts Historical Society

Upcoming Events

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

In Search of the Costs of Segregation

27Nov 5:15PM 2018

Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was ...

Brown Bag

Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977

28Nov 12:00PM 2018

This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. ...

Author Talk

After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet

29Nov 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Looking for something to do before the Thanksgiving holiday? Here's a look at what is planned at the MHS this week: - Monday, 19 November, 6:00 PM: Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic ...

Women at Sea: Ann Johnson and Abbie Clifford

In 1849, the ship Lanerk sailed from Boston to California as part of the Gold Rush. On the ship was a clergyman named Truman Ripley Hawley, and the MHS recently acquired a transcript of his diary of ...

Read more from our blog

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