What We Do

    • The chief business of the Colonial Society is to publish documents related to the early history of Massachusetts. On-line versions of nearly all Colonial Society publications are available free of charge on this website, and printed copies may be purchased for those that remain in print. See Publications for a complete list.  Scholars wishing to publish with CSM should submit proposals to Sally E. Hadden, Editor of Publications, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, according to the specifications found here.

    • From time to time, the Colonial Society convenes scholarly conferences to encourage research on subjects of special interest. We generally publish the proceedings of these conferences in order to make the information imparted there more widely available. See Conferences for a list of past conferences, with links to related publications. See Events for news of any forthcoming conferences.

    • To break down isolation among graduate students and promote the sharing of research, the Colonial Society periodically convenes a day-long Graduate Student Forum, where Ph.D. candidates report on their work in progress and receive supportive advice from the event's senior scholar facilitator and from CSM members and other graduate students in attendance. To learn about the upcoming forum, and how to participate in future forums, see Graduate Student Forums.

    • The Colonial Society holds regular stated meetings and occasional special events at which scholars speak about their work, often with reference to a recently published book. These events are normally open to the public at the Colonial Society's house as well as being available live over the internet. The schedule of upcoming events is on our Events page, and recordings of past events can be viewed at this link.

    • Together with University of Massachusetts-Boston, the Colonial Society sponsors The New England Quarterly, a scholarly journal devoted to New England life and letters. (See New England Quarterly for subscription information.)

    • To honor Walter Muir Whitehill, the editor of the Society from 1946 to 1978, the Society offers the Whitehill Prize in Early American History (including a $2,500 honorarium and publication in the New England Quarterly) for the best scholarly essay on a topic in early Massachusetts history. (See Whitehill Prize for contest criteria and a list of past winners.)

    • The Society offers the John Winthrop award year 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. See John Winthrop Award for details.

    • The Colonial Society is pleased to announce a pilot initiative to support educational programs that enrich K-12 students' understanding of colonial Massachusetts from its earliest contact between Native peoples and English settlers down through Revolution and Independence. Details and an application form may be downloaded at this link.  

    • Along with thirty other cultural agencies in the area, this Society is a member of the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, which offers grants designed to encourage projects that draw on the resources and strengths of the collaborating organizations. For further information, see the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium.

    • We help to maintain an important Boston landmark at 87 Mount Vernon Street. Our headquarters is one of a handful of intact private houses built by Boston architect Charles Bulfinch. (For a history of the building, see 87 Mount Vernon Street.)

    • For the history of the Society from its founding in 1892 through its centennial in 1992 see Historical Sketches of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1892-1952 and 1952-1992.

    What We Do Not Do

    • We do not maintain a library or manuscript collection.

    • We regret we do not have the staff to assist with genealogical queries or K-12 research papers.

    • For similar reasons, our headquarters at 87 Mount Vernon Street is not open to the public.

    • We publish documentary collections only and cannot assist with subventions for scholarly monographs.