“My Respects to good Freinds there, & be sure to live in all that cheerfulness of Mind wch. Results from the consciousness of an honest heart & in all that freedom of Spirit which having Virtue for its Support defyes Vice in all its Pomp to do its Worst.”

—Robert Treat Paine (the elder) to Eunice Paine, 13 October 1754

Robert Treat Paine’s Bookcase

This richly carved and embellished oak cabinet and bookcase was made for Robert Treat Paine (1835-1910). Created ca. 1880, it may have been designed by the noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson. A monumental piece of library furniture—more than eight feet long and five feet high—the bookcase is now held at the MHS. The words inscribed on the upper doors are “Wisdom is better than Rubies” (Proverbs 8:11).

View the bookcase close up here.

MHS News

Season 3 of The Object of History Launches 15 October

The MHS podcast returns on 15 November with a story about the cultural significance of teeth in the 18th century. In this episode, experts examine a portrait of George Washington in which he does not resemble the familiar face on the one-dollar bill. Could this portrait be related to Washington’s longtime struggle with dental health? To find out, listen to ‘Holding the Atlantic World in His Mouth’: George Washington, an MHS Portrait & the Culture of Teeth in the 18th Century.

This episode will be available on Wednesday, 15 November. Listen to it here.

Upcoming Events

Monday, 13 November | 6:00 PM

Wars Civil & Great: The American Experience in the CivilWar & World War I

Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS; Dr. David Silbey, Cornell University; Dr. Brian Allen Drake, University of Georgia; and Dr. Kathleen Logothetis Thompson.

Register to attend in person.

Register to attend online.

Tuesday, 14 November | 5:00 PM

“Come by Water & Not by Land”: Water Sovereignty & Rival Ecologies in Mid-Atlantic Iron Country 1608–1783

Sophie Hess, University of Maryland, with comment by Christopher L. Pastore, University at Albany, State University of New York.

Register to attend online.

Thursday, 16 November | 5:00 PM

Across Barbed Wire & Racial Lines: Interracial Friendship & Girlhood During World War II

Sonia C. Gomez, Santa Clara University, with comment by Yuichiro Onishi, University of Minnesota.

Register to attend in person.

Tuesday, 28 November, 5:00 PM: “Get Your Grassroots, Ladies”: Pioneering a Path to Upgrade Household Employment in Boston, MA, 1960s–1970s with Mia Michael, Wayne State University, with comment by Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island.

Wednesday, 29 November, 6:00 PM: Gay Community News at 50: GCN’s Impact & Legacy with Gerard Cabrera, Gilda Bruckman, and Haden Smiley, moderated by Michael Bronski, co-sponsored with The History Project.

Friday, 1 December, 3:00 PM, & Saturday, 2 December, 9:00 AM: Empire & Its Discontent, 1763–1773, a conference.

Monday, 4 December, 6:00 PM: A Constitutional Culture: New England & the Struggle Against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire with Adrian Chastain Weimer, Providence College.

Wednesday, 6 December, 5:00 PM: “For the Entertainment of Her Friends”: Working Actresses, Society & Performance in Boston, 1790–1830 with Emma Futhey, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services University, with comment by Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University.

Wednesday, 13 December, 5:30 PM: MHS Members & Honorary Fellows Holiday Party.

See full calendar.

Looking for More?

Registration and Events


Visit www.masshist.org/events for more information and to register.

Interested in Past Programs?


If you missed a program or would like to revisit the material presented, please visit www.masshist.org/video.

Click below to view the video, Mecklenburgh Square, Radciffe Yard & Beyond: A Conversation with Francesca Wade & Maggie Doherty on Writing Women's Lives, with Maggie Doherty, Harvard University, and Francesca Wade, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, moderated by Megan Marshall, Emerson College. Enjoy more videos by subscribing to the MHS YouTube channel after you view the video.

Exhibition and Library Hours

Now Open! The Dye is cast: Interests & Ideals That Motivated the Boston Tea Party. The exhibition is open through 29 February 2024. Learn more about the exhibition and explore items from our collection related to the Tea Party


Our galleries and library are open Monday and Wednesday through Friday, from 9:30 AM to 4:45 PM, Tuesday from 9:30 AM to 7:45 PM, and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (the galleries and library open at 12:00 PM the second Tuesday of the month). Please note that the last admission is 45 minutes prior to closing.

Please check our hours and admissions for hours, building closings, and other events.

An advance appointment is strongly encouraged. Please log in to your Portal1791 account to select your preferred visit dates.


Set up an appointment via Zoom or live chat with a member of our reference staff. 


Learn more at www.masshist.org/library.

The MHS Fund and Membership

Our Members make it possible for us to offer an array of complimentary services including admission to our exhibition galleries and library, online access to our collections and digital editions, and onsite and remote reference services for all. Membership begins with a fully tax-deductible contribution of $250 or more to the MHS Fund. All Members enjoy a full year of social, cultural, and educational experiences, including invitations to our annual Holiday Party, FREE program registration, and Member Week perks. Learn more and join today!
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