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John Adams Papers

 Collection — Container: MS Adams
Call Number: MS Adams

Scope and Contents

This is an artificial collection that was created with letters from the Mellen Chamberlain, Americana, and English Civilization collections and contains 61 letters written by John Adams before he was President, primarily to Dr. Benjamin Rush. In addition, there are three letters written to Adams and 15 others either written about him or in which he is mentioned. In addition, there are 82 items that were removed from the inside of Adams's books (approximately 35 of those are notes written in Adams's hand) that make up the remainder of the collection.


  • 1764-1906


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Thank you for your interest in the Boston Public Library’s collections.

In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. In addition, we do not assert any additional restrictions on copies of items beyond those that might exist in the original.

As such, we cannot grant or deny permission to use copies of items held in our collections.

It is the sole responsibility of the user to make his or her own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law. Provision of a copy from the Boston Public Library should not be construed as explicit permission to use it for any particular reason.


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180.00 Items

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Arranged in four series:

Series 1 Letters written by John Adams

Series 2  Letters written to John Adams

Series 3  Letters written about John Adams

Series 4  Items removed from John Adams's books

Related Materials

Additional manuscripts related to John Adams, including correspondence and documents in Adam's hand, are held elsewhere in the manuscript collections of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. A selection of these were cataloged and digitized as part of the American Revolutionary War Manuscripts project and are available through The Internet Archive.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Dawn Bovasso in 2005.
John Adams Papers
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-12: Related materials note updated by Eve C. Neiger, 2020 December.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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