Research Collections

Since 1881, the Society has collected, preserved, and made accessible for research a wide range of materials relating to the history of Boston. As we approach the 300th anniversary of the Old State House, we are committed to promoting scholarship that promotes our core mission. The library is a closed-stack repository with a small staff, so we must limit our reference services to questions that pertain to the topics of the history of the Old State House, eighteenth- century Boston, and Boston's role in the American Revolution, and to questions that relate directly to our manuscripts collection and photographs.

Highlights of our library collection include sources on Boston history, colonial history and the American Revolution, city directories from 1789 onward, and Massachusetts Revolutionary War military records. The archival collection comprises a wide selection of historical documents, including manuscript collections, financial records, broadsides, maps and plans, newspapers, and proclamations.

Search our online catalog to learn more about our holdings. The Society continues to add to its collections, relying on donations from members and friends to enrich its holdings.