MHS Response to COVID-19

Dear Friends,

We can’t wait to welcome you back to 1154 Boylston Street to explore our galleries, attend programs, and use the reading room! There are many factors involved in creating a safe environment for staff and visitors. We are taking the time to consider all of the aspects and our teams are working on a phased reopening approach that puts the safety of our staff and visitors first. While the MHS will remain closed to the public into 2021, our staff is hard at work—most in a remote capacity—planning online events, virtual exhibitions, and remote reference services. 

We are grateful to our community for their patience and support during this fluid situation and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our building when we are able. Continue reading below to learn about our remote reference services and online programming. And please check our website and social media channels for additional updates.

All the best,

Catherine Allgor
MHS President

Reader Services

The MHS is currently closed to both staff and the public in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. MHS library staff members are available to remotely assist you with your research and are working hard to make as many collections and services accessible as possible. Please don't hesitate to reach out for individualized assistance.

Programs & Events

Though the MHS will not have any in-person programs or events until at least 2021, we do have a full slate of online author talks, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, and brown-bag lunch programs. Please visit our online calendar and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for program listings. Join our e-mail list to receive weekly e-mails with calendar information and timely updates.

Donate to the MHS Collection

We continue to actively add to our collection. Please contact the Vice President for Collections and review our collecting policy before sending any material.

MHS Staff & Facilities

All MHS employees continue to be compensated during the closure. While we are closed to the public, our staff remains hard at work answering research questions, providing digital content, and devising new ways to provide engaging content to our community.  Under the governor’s “safer at home” advisory, many of our staff members are working remotely. However, we have continuously monitored the security and maintenance systems of our building. A thorough cleaning is completed each week and staff continues to maintain the building every day.

Support the MHS

The generosity of our friends and community has sustained the MHS for more than 229 years, and today your support enables us to fulfill our mission to promote understanding of the history of Massachusetts and the nation by collecting and communicating materials and resources that foster historical knowledge. While the MHS remains closed to the public, limited staff members are on site to fulfill reference requests; catalog and digitize collections; and protect our building. Working remotely, we are offering an engaging and varied selection of online programs; building a virtual community of scholars; delivering online resources to educators; helping researchers with their work; providing access to our collections; and continuing to publish.  A gift to the MHS Fund not only helps to keep this work going but it will also enable us to reopen in a safe and responsible manner. Please consider supporting the MHS today.

Become a Member

Membership at the MHS is open to all. We welcome friends from near and far to join our community of history lovers. Learn more about our membership categories and join today!

We offer you a warm virtual welcome and look forward to when we can see you in person!

Upcoming Events

Online Event

The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

17May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential black electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: The War on Drugs in Massachusetts: The Racial Impact of the School ...

19May 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In the 1980s, Massachusetts embraced the War on Drugs, enacting harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. It took decades to confront the reality ...

Online Event

Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism

26May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

When we talk about patriotism in America, we tend to mean one form: the version captured in shared celebrations like the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. But ...

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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