Research at the MHS

The Massachusetts Historical Society strives to foster a research community that actively promotes the study of the history of Massachusetts and the nation. We offer an exceptional range of resources for making and sharing historical discoveries. Visitors can enjoy public talks, tours, exhibitions, scholarly seminars and conferences, and gain access to our unparalleled collections through our research library and our website.

The MHS offers ...

... more than two dozen brown-bag lunches annually, where scholars share their research
... dozens of afternoon sessions in five research seminar series
... support and assistance to more than 600 scholars every year
... more than 40 research fellowships in four annual competitions

The MHS welcomes a wide variety of researchers—representing 35 countries and all 50 states—from high school students, to family historians, to professors and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. These researchers network, share their findings, and exchange ideas.

We invite you to take advantage of our services.

Use the Library

The MHS Library is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday. Indulge your curiosity by planning a research visit.

Engage With Others

Network with other researchers and history enthusiasts at the MHS, and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Our Scholarly Community

Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars will discover fresh ideas that support and energize their work in our seminars, conferences, publications, and through our research fellowships.

Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize

Each year, the MHS invites submissions for the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize. One prize will be offered for a distinguished book in English on the history of Massachusetts published during the previous calendar year. The winning entry will be announced at a reception at the historical society in Boston. The author of the title selected will receive a letter of award and a prize of $2,500, and the author and publisher will receive publicity through announcements made by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Upcoming Events

History of Women and Gender Seminar

Transgender History and Archives: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

18Dec 5:30PM 2018
Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute

This panel aims to begin an interdisciplinary conversation in transgender history. What is the state of the field of transgender studies in history, archiving, and public ...

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

22Dec 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, ...

Early American History Seminar

The Consecration of Samuel Seabury and the Crisis of Atlantic Episcopacy, 1782-1807

8Jan 5:15PM 2019

Samuel Seabury’s consecration in 1784 signaled a transformation in the organization of American Protestantism. After more than a century of resistance to the office ...

From our Blog

“On the Borders of Nonsense”: John Quincy Adams, Poet

It was a rainy day in May 1839 and John Quincy Adams, stuck inside, was amusing himself writing poetry. He was trying to imitate the Roman poet Horace, and outdo the English poet Alexander Pope. ...

Barefoot Families and Demon Rum: The Work of an Urban Missionary

In June 1854, the Boston City Missionary Society appointed a Methodist Episcopal clergyman named Luman Boyden to serve as missionary to the poor in East Boston. The 48-year-old Boyden (pictured above, ...

Read more from our blog

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