Contact the Library

The Reader Services staff is available to answer questions about accessing MHS collections, preparing for a research visit, and other reference needs. The staff can be reached during library hours by telephone or email. Please note that all reference queries are answered in the order in which they are received. Due to the large volume of queries we receive, it can take up to two weeks for a staff member to contact you with an initial response.

When submitting a reference question, include your name and contact information, an explanation of your project or specific research interests, and a clear statement of your question(s). It is also helpful to inform the staff about sources you have previously consulted (institutions, books, collections, websites, etc.) when appropriate.

Please address your questions to:

E-mail: reference@masshist.org

Phone: (617) 646-0532

Fax: (617) 859-0074

Mail: Reader Services
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

Live Chat:

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If you require material from our offsite storage facility for an upcoming visit it is best to call 617-646-0532.

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Author Talk

Picturing Political Power: Images in the Women’s Suffrage Movement

3Jun 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

REGISTER HERE Picturing Political Power offers a comprehensive analysis of the connection between images, gender, and power. This examination of the fights that led to ...

Author Talk; Online Event; Adams Series

Laid Waste! The Culture of Exploitation in Early America

5Jun 2:00PM 2020
This is an online program

REGISTER HERE After humble beginnings as faltering British colonies, the United States acquired astonishing wealth and power as the result of modernization. Originating ...

Author Talk; Online Event

Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading

11Jun 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

REGISTER HERE The publishing phenomenon of summer reading started in the nineteenth century, as both print culture and tourist culture expanded in the United States. ...

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 ...

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