"We intend to be an active, not a passive, literary body. . .not to lie waiting, like a bed of oysters, for the tide (of communication) to flow in upon us, but to seek and find, to preserve and communicate literary intelligence, especially in the historical way."So wrote Jeremy Belknap in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society's corresponding secretary, to describe the founders' aspirations. Massachusetts Historical Society was the first historical society in the western hemisphere and the first institution of any description devoted primarily to collecting Americana and publishing in American history. Belknap began to build the holdings of the Society's library almost immediately.
The Society, now entering its third century, encompasses four principal activities: its library, publications, the Center for the Study of New England History, and public programs.
The Society also has an informative web site.
1154 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02215
Library hours are: