Who We Are

    Founded in 1892, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts is a non-profit educational foundation designed to promote the study of Massachusetts history from earliest settlement through the first decades of the nineteenth century.

    The chief business of the Colonial Society is to publish documents related to the early history of Massachusetts. All ninety-one volumes of the Society’s publications are freely available to the public either for download or consultation through this website. (See Publications for a complete list.)

    The Colonial Society is pleased to announce two new publications. The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson, Volume 3: January - October 1770, edited by John W. Tyler and Margaret Hogan, is available from the University of Virginia Press and Amazon.The 400th Anniversary Edition of William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation, edited by Jeremy Bangs, Francis Bremer, and Kenneth Minkema can be obtained from our co-publisher the New England Historic Genealogical Society https://shop.americanancestors.org/products/of-plimoth-plantation-by-william-bradford-the-400th-anniversary-edition?_pos=1&_sid=eb71a08ac&_ss=r&pass-through=true. Both publications are also available online (see Publications page).

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    Forthcoming Publications

    The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson, Vol. 4 (November 1770 - June 1772)
    edited by John W. Tyler and Margaret Hogan

    The Memoirs of Josiah Cotton & Allied Documents
    edited by Douglas Winiarski

    The Papers of Francis Bernard, Vol. 6
    edited by Colin Nicolson

    The Diary of William Bentley
    edited by Thomas Knoles


    Next Meeting

    Thursday, May 13th, 7 P.M. via ZOOM
    The Salem Witch Trials
    A conversation with EMERSON W. BAKER, II Professor of History, Salem State University, MARY BETH NORTON, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of History Emerita, Cornell University, and BENJAMIN RAY, Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus, University of Virginia.
    This annual event, inaugurated this year, was established to honor the Society’s long-serving former President.
    Below is the zoom link for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
    Members are encouraged to invite guests by forwarding the link.


    Thursday, June 24, 7 pm via Zoom. Joseph Bagley will speak about his book, Boston's Oldest Buildings and where to Find them. 7 pm.

    The Winthrop Prize
    The Colonial Society of Massachusetts is pleased to announce a bi-annual award for the best work dealing with the history and cultures of the peoples who shaped the region now known as New England in times leading up to and including the seventeenth century. The first award will be for works published in the calendar years 2019 and 2020. The Society is seeking works of exemplary scholarship written in a clear and engaging style. All nonfiction historical works published over a two year period and focus on the history and cultures of the peoples of New England are eligible. Broader works which make an important contribution to New England history, and biographies that address the life of someone closely connected with the region are also eligible. Works must represent original exemplary scholarship and be written in a clear and engaging style. Monographs and edited collections are eligible. Books for children’s and young adult audiences, textbooks, genealogies, and books that are primarily journalism will not be considered. Self-published works and re-publications are not eligible. The volume should have an appeal to the general reader.

    For information on how to submit works for consideration contact Dr. Francis J. Bremer (francis.bremer@millersville.edu).