The MHS Library

Open to All

The library is free and open to researchers of all ages and levels of interest in our collections six days a week. The library does not lend materials, but any person interested in using the collections can register as a researcher and use materials in the library. In many cases selected materials can be reproduced and sent to individuals who cannot visit the library in person.

Use the Library

Our library consists of an orientation room, reading room, several microfilm reading stations, and a reference area. The library staff assists researchers with navigating the catalogs and collection guides, developing research strategies, and locating other libraries that may hold material of interest. Our goal is to help every researcher locate the resources they need to complete their projects.

Researchers planning a visit to the library are strongly encouraged to explore the pages in this section to familiarize themselves with library policies and procedures and to visit Portal1791 to register before visiting.

Please contact the Reader Services staff (617-646-0532 or by email) with any questions about preparing to use the library.

Library Hours

9:00 AM - 4:45 PM Mon. - Fri.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Sat.

Please see our events calendar for holidays and other closings.  

Upcoming Events

Brown Bag

Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps

30May 12:00PM 2018

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions ...

Author Talk

Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & ...

30May 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each ...

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

2Jun 10:00AM 2018

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, ...

From our Blog

Immigration and Trade in Early 20th-Century Worcester

The Rockwood Hoar Papers at the MHS document the life and career of Rockwood Hoar, a Worcester, Massachusetts lawyer and politician who lived from 1855 to 1906. Hoar was the son of United States ...

Odd Accounts : Ship Sketches and More in the Smith Family Papers

As many of my colleagues have pointed out in the past here on the Beehive, one of the joys of working with the manuscript collections at the MHS is finding something unexcpected when going through a ...

Read more from our blog

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