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; Conversation

Boston in Film: From Eddie Coyle to Manchester by the Sea

9Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE The 1973 film The Friends of Eddie Coyle was not a box office smash but it became a cult classic and was particularly popular among film makers and film ...

Author Talk; Online Event

These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson

15Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE Emily Dickinson’s interior world was extraordinary. She loved passionately, was hesitant about publication, embraced seclusion, and created 1,789 ...

Brown Bag; Online Event

Anatomical Acts: Exploring the Intersections between Popular Anatomy and Popular Theatre in ...

16Jul 12:00PM 2020

In this informal presentation and Q&A, Mia Levenson, a short-term research fellow at the MHS, will contextualize her research as the intersection of three historical ...

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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