Massachusetts Historical Society

Donate to the Collection

The MHS actively collects personal and family papers—diaries, letters, and other personal records—and, to a lesser extent, the records of institutions and organizations such as churches and clubs that document the history of Massachusetts and the nation. The MHS collects materials from all time periods and all segments of the population and is particularly interested in acquiring letters, diaries, and other personal accounts written by soldiers and volunteers serving abroad, including the writings of those who remained on the home front, and personal papers and organizational records that document the environmental history of Massachusetts. The MHS also collects printed materials, photographs, art, and artifacts that provide context for our manuscript collections.

Please contact the MHS before sending material to be sure that it fits our collecting policy. If you would like to discuss a possible donation of research materials, please contact the Senior Vice President for Collections & Content Development ( Please contact the Curator of Art & Artifacts, Emerita ( about donating art or artifacts.

How can I find out what my collection is worth?

The MHS collects material for its historical value. As an interested party in a possible donation, the Society is unable to provide a financial appraisal of a collection's value.

We can, however, provide information about how you can get your materials appraised and, if you are planning a donation to the MHS, we can arrange for a professional to appraise the material at the Society. If a donor has acquired a prior appraisal or obtains an appraisal at the time of donation, the Society would appreciate receiving a copy of the written appraisal. Please contact the Vice President for Collections ( for more information.

The MHS is a non-profit institution. Donors are eligible for a tax-deduction to the full extent of the law. The MHS recommends that donors check with an attorney or financial advisor about any and all tax implications.

The Latest