Bringing American history to life with primary sources.

The purpose of the Primary Source Cooperative at the Massachusetts Historical Society (the Cooperative, MHS) is to publish online the work of editors who are preparing the content of archival and other manuscript records for scholarly and public access.

Etching portrait of R.B. Taney, in coat and bow tie.

The Papers of Roger Brooke Taney

The first comprehensive edition of the papers of Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864). Taney was one of the most consequential jurists of antebellum America. After serving in the administration of President Andrew Jackson, Taney served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1836 to 1864. Read now

Photograph, portrait, of Richards with grey hair in a bun, glasses, and slight smile.

Ellen Swallow Richards Papers

Chemist Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) advocated for women’s professional and educational opportunities in science. She was the first woman to attend and teach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and she started a Women’s Laboratory there. Her applied work in water chemistry led her to develop a theoretical approach to how humans should clean up the environment. She also became prominent in the home economics movement and helped institute home economics education in schools. Read now

Catharine Maria Sedgwick Online Letters

Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) was the most highly regarded woman writer in the Early National period of American literature. This edition presents authoritative and unexpurgated transcriptions of all surviving letters written by Sedgwick over seven decades.  Read now

Etching portrait of J.Q. Adams, seated in a chair, showing from waist up.

John Quincy Adams Digital Diary

The John Quincy Adams Digital Diary is a publication of the Adams Papers editorial project at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Adams (1767-1848) kept a diary from 1779 to 1848. Verified transcriptions of all entries are published alongside manuscript page images. Read now

About the Grant

Announced in 2017, the NHPRC-Mellon Foundation Digital Editions Publishing Cooperatives initiative sought “to address a unique set of challenges affecting both the documentary editing community and the larger public it serves”—the persistent dearth of “outlets for reliable, sustainable, authoritative, and field-driven publication and discovery of digital editions.” More.

About the Coop

The Primary Source Cooperative is a grant-funded initiative hosted by the MHS and assisted by the Digital Scholarship Group at Northeastern University. It is a collaborative self-publishing endeavor designed to help documentary editing projects create digital editions. More.