Where to dig it
Many of these antiquarian treasure chests open reluctantly. Some operate by appointment only, and artifacts are sometimes stored off-site, so call ahead and check out the online catalogs before making a visit.
For security's sake, be prepared to fill out a brief application, show ID, and check your bags — nobody wants these treasures wandering off. Laptops and pencils are generally welcome, but pens are verboten to prevent any indelible accidents, and don't you dare let your cell phone's ring tone disturb the peace of the reading room.
BOSTON ATHENAEUM | 10 1/2 Beacon Street, 617.227.0270 | open Mon, from 8:30 am to 8 pm; Tues through Fri, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; and Sat, from 9 am to 4 pm (except during summer) | firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY | Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, third floor of the McKim Building, 700 Boylston Street, 617.536.5400 | open Mon through Fri, from 9:15 am to 4:45 pm | email@example.com
BOSTONIAN SOCIETY | 15 State St, Boston, 617.720.1713 x12 | open Tues through Thurs, from 10 am to 3:30 pm | firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUGHTON LIBRARY | at Harvard, Harvard Yard facing Quincy St, Cambridge, 617.495.2441 | open Mon and Wed through Fri, from 9 am to 5 pm; Tues, from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sat, from 9 am to 1 pm | email@example.com
HOWARD GOTLIEB ARCHIVAL RESEARCH CENTER | at BU, 771 Comm Ave, Boston, 617.353.3696 | open Mon through Fri, from 9 am to 3:45 pm | firstname.lastname@example.org
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY | 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, 617.536.1608 | open Mon, Tues, Wed, and Fri, from 9 am to 4:45 pm; Thurs, from 9 am to 7:45 pm; and Sat, from 9 am to 4 pm | email@example.com
SCHLESINGER LIBRARY | at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, 617.495.8647 | open Mon, Tues, and Fri, from 9:30 am to 5 pm; Wed and Thurs, from 9:30 am to 10 pm; and Sat, from 10 am to 4 pm