About The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary

John Quincy Adams (JQA, 1767–1848) is one of the great American statesmen. The oldest son of John and Abigail Adams of Quincy, Massachusetts, his distinguished career in public service spanned six decades and included roles as diplomat, secretary of state, president, and congressman. For more than 68 years, JQA kept a diary of his public and private experiences.

Begun on 12 November 1779, the diary grew to over 15,000 pages by the time the final entries were penned before his death in 1848. The resulting 51 diary volumes comprise the longest continuous record of any American of the time and provide an unparalleled resource for students, scholars, and all lovers of history.

The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary will make JQA’s diary truly accessible for the first time by presenting a verified and searchable transcription of nearly 12,000 entries alongside the manuscript page images on the MHS website. Enhanced access to this free resource will include keyword and personal name search ability, along with topical search features based on themes in middle and high school American history curricula.

Through generous support of private foundations and corporate and individual donors, more than 5,700 pages of verified transcriptions are now available, covering JQA’s early legal, political, and diplomatic career (1789–1817), his time as secretary of state (1817–1825), and his presidency (1825–1829). These are currently searchable by date and keyword. Improved search features will soon be added, along with additional diary entries.


Interested in being a part of this historic endeavor? We are looking for individuals, near and far, to help with transcription. For more information, contact us at adamspapers@masshist.org


Private support is vital to the success of the project. Click the “Donate Now” button to make an immediate gift. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to the Massachusetts Historical Society and designated to the John Quincy Adams Digital Diary and mail it to The Adams Papers—MHS, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.


The project gratefully acknowledges the following individuals and organizations for their financial support:

Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund

  • L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro
  • Phyllis Lee Levin

Project efforts have been advanced by the valuable contributions of former Adams Papers staff and interns and the dedication of several volunteers:

Anthony M. Amore, Mary Quine Auerbach, Adam Berk, Nancy Bertrand, Perry Blatz, Kelsey Brow, Jeff DeToro, Ronnie Dooley, Josh Feigenbaum, Joan Fink, Katie Finnegan, Gwen Fries, Christina Gaebel, Timothy Giblin, Doug Girardot, Michael Lynn Griffin, Christopher Hall, Kenna Hohmann, Lauren Howard, Robert Huberty, Alison M. Kiernan, Jessica Leeper, Alyssa Machajewski, Cliona McCarry, Scott R. McKinley, Joan Quigley, Margot Rashba, Laura Richards, Emily Ross, Grace Stillwell, Peyton Tvrdy, Emily Wieder, L. J. Woolcock, and others