Library Catalogs

There are several ways to search for information about the Society's collections.

ABIGAIL

ABIGAIL, the Society's library online catalog, is the place to start your search for information about MHS holdings.  Updated frequently, ABIGAIL provides access to catalog records for manuscripts, books, pamphlets, broadsides, photographs, art, artifacts, and other formats of material. 

Collection Guides

Many of the Society's manuscript and photograph collections are described in more detail in searchable online collection guides. Collection guides not yet online are available in the Society's reading room.

Online Adams Catalog

The Online Adams Catalog (OAC) contains more than 110,000 records representing every known document related to the Adams family dating from 1630 to 1889.

Other catalogs

Approximately 350,000 individual manuscripts are described in an item catalog available on microfiche at the MHS.  Although many of the descriptions have been revised or superceded, and more have been added, The Catalog of Manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society (published by G. K. Hall, 1969; 1980 supplement) is available in more than 150 U.S. libraries and remains a useful resource for descriptions of individual manuscript items.

For Further Information

Researchers with questions about research strategies or the Society's library holdings should contact the Reader Services staff.

Upcoming Events

Author Talk; Online Event

The Last Brahmin: Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and the Making of the Cold War

21Sep 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

A key figure in American foreign policy for three decades, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. of Massachusetts, a well-heeled Eastern Establishment Republican, put duty over ...

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar; Online Event

“The Horrid Deeds of our Enemies”

22Sep 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

The American Revolution was waged not only on the battlefield, but in the realm of culture. American homes and the wartime violence within them—particularly ...

Online Event; Author Talk

Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French

23Sep 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

Daniel Chester French is America's best-known sculptor of public monuments, having created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial, the John Harvard statue, and The Minute ...

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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