Publications

The Massachusetts Historical Society began publishing books in 1792 and is one of the oldest, continually operating publishers in the United States. The categories below provide an overview of the work made available by the MHS, including printed books, electronic publications, and a newsletter and scholarly journal.  

The MHS Publishes

As part of its mission, the MHS maintains its own publishing program and hosts the offices of the Adams Papers Editorial Project. Follow the links below to find more information about these resources.

Print and Digital Editions Published by the MHS

The MHS publishes works that provide information about and make available the content of some of its most significant collections and the people who created them.

Featured Publication (January 2016)

The Private Jefferson: Perspectives from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country coverWith essays by Peter S. Onuf, Andrea Wulf, and Henry Adams

One of U.S. history’s most eminent figures, Thomas Jefferson is as elusive as he is revered. The Private Jefferson opens a window onto the third president’s inner life by digging into the single largest cache of Thomas Jefferson’s private papers, held at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Generously illustrated with over 100 full-color reproductions of architectural drawings, letters, and other manuscripts.

Read more about The Private Jefferson.

Adams Papers Editorial Project

The Adams Papers project was founded in 1954 to prepare a comprehensive published edition of the manuscripts written and received by the family of John Adams of Quincy, Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Historical Review (annual journal)

Available in print or digital format, the Massachusetts Historical Review (MHR) publishes essays, photo-essays, historical documents, and review articles each autumn. Every issue offers pieces rich in narrative grace and thoughtful analysis, prepared for all readers interested in the history of the Commonwealth, from its settlement to the 21st century.

MHS Miscellany (newsletter)

The MHS issues the Miscellany, its newsletter, twice a year, and distributes it to the Society's Members and Fellows. Find out more.

Upcoming Events

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

20Jan 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, ...

History of Women and Gender Seminar

The "Woman Inventor" as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights ...

23Jan 5:30PM 2018
Location: Massachusetts Historical Society

After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the formation of American nationhood and citizenship. Part of a larger book ...

Conversation

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Award & Reception

25Jan 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Please join us for a special evening in which Tamara Plakins Thornton will receive the 2017 Gomes Prize for Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: How a 19th ...

From our Blog

Life in the Boarding House: Elizabeth Dorr’s Diaries

During a recent search in our online catalog, ABIGAIL, I came across two subject headings that caught my attention – “Single women” and “Boardinghouses—Massachusetts ...

No Mere 'Adventurer': P. T. Barnum, Iranistan, and the Swedish ...

March 7 1882 Sir, I send Cards as you  request. I am too full of elephants to command much sentiment. All my thoughts & cares at present are locked up in two trunks - one of ...

Read more from our blog

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