Visiting the Library
The Massachusetts Historical Society's library operates differently than most public or university libraries. While we strive to provide researchers with access to the contents of all our collections, the preservation of our unique materials is our primary concern. To that end, we enforce strict security protocols. Explore the pages in this section in order to become familiar with library policies and procedures so that you can make the most of your visit to the library.
Prepare for your first visit by learning about Portal1791 (our online request system), the researcher registration process, how to request materials, and basic security policies.
Learn what personal materials are allowed into the library and what materials the MHS provides for researchers.
Find advice on where to begin your research, how to search the MHS catalogs, and how much time you will need to complete your research.