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

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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