Research at the MHS

The Massachusetts Historical Society strives to foster a research community that actively promotes the study of the history of Massachusetts and the nation. We offer an exceptional range of resources for making and sharing historical discoveries. Visitors can enjoy public talks, tours, exhibitions, scholarly seminars and conferences, and gain access to our unparalleled collections through our research library and our website.

The MHS offers ...

... more than two dozen brown-bag lunches annually, where scholars share their research
... dozens of afternoon sessions in five research seminar series
... support and assistance to more than 600 scholars every year
... more than 40 research fellowships in four annual competitions

The MHS welcomes a wide variety of researchers—representing 35 countries and all 50 states—from high school students, to family historians, to professors and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. These researchers network, share their findings, and exchange ideas.

We invite you to take advantage of our services.

Use the Library

The MHS Library is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday. Indulge your curiosity by planning a research visit.

Engage With Others

Network with other researchers and history enthusiasts at the MHS, and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Our Scholarly Community

Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars will discover fresh ideas that support and energize their work in our seminars, conferences, publications, and through our research fellowships.

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize

Each year, the MHS invites submissions for the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize. One prize will be offered for a distinguished book in English on the history of Massachusetts published during the previous calendar year. The winning entry will be announced at a reception at the historical society in Boston. The author of the title selected will receive a letter of award and a prize of $2,500, and the author and publisher will receive publicity through announcements made by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Upcoming Events

Author Talk

Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis ...

24Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement

25Sep 5:15PM 2018

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted ...

Author Talk

Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston

27Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became ...

From our Blog

Of Adamses & Ancestry

John A. Grace, Memoranda Respecting the Families of Quincy and Adams, 1841 For historian Henry Adams, the morning mail meant a fresh round of research questions. “Here comes your troublesome ...

Rachel Wall's Confession, the words of a Pirate?

For Talk Like a Pirate Day we bring you the words of a Pirate! The MHS holds an interesting broadside featuring Massachusetts' only female Pirate: Life, last words and dying confession, of ...

Read more from our blog

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