Massachusetts Historical Society

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Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society, is an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and national treasures, including the personal papers of three presidents—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Through its research library, online resources, publications, exhibitions, and programs, the MHS makes its holdings accessible to anyone with an interest in the people and events that shaped our country. History is more than just a series of events that happened to individuals long ago. It is integral to the fabric of our daily lives. As the nation's first historical society, the MHS enhances the understanding of our nation's past and its connection to the present.

Paul Revere's handwritten account of his famous ride, Thomas Jefferson's and John Adams's manuscript copies of the Declaration of Independence, and Elbridge Gerry's annotated copy of the Constitution—these are among the many iconic American documents of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  Spanning four centuries, the Society's collections—the letters, diaries, and other personal papers of individuals and families, as well as their books, photographs, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, historical artifacts, and works of art—have become essential primary sources for the study and understanding of American history.