Events and Programs

NEHGS events in and around Boston

Learn with NEHGS experts and partner organizations at dozens of lectures, seminars, workshops, and other events, offered each year at the NEHGS research library and in the greater Boston area. Recent seminar topics have included Irish research, digital preservation, identifying family photographs, organizing your family history, writing and publishing your family history, and many more.

| June | July | Conferences | Exhibits | Online Events |


July 21 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records—and expert staff to help you navigate it all—NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

July 25 - Analyzing an Early American Family Tree: the Phippen Genealogical Chart of 1808
Presented by Richard C. Fipphen
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

This lecture will present the history of one of the most unique written family pedigrees to survive from the colonial and early national period: the Phippen Genealogical Chart of 1808, now owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The chart documents the English and early American origins of the Phippen family of Salem, Massachusetts, spanning 10 generations of the family in England and America, including our speaker’s great-great-great grandfather. In addition to several family arms, the chart consists of 80 individual boxes, most of them containing genealogical data. The recently published Phippen Genealogy, co-authored by our speaker and his late father John Fipphen, presents the first ever transcription of the chart. Richard will share the fascinating story of the chart’s 17th and 18th century origins. The pedigree, like a family Bible, was passed from one generation of the Phippen family in Salem to the next, and was acquired by the MFA in 1976, where a reproduction is on permanent display in the museum’s new American wing. Register today.


August 10 - 11, 2018
Celtic Connections Conference: Pathways to Our Past
Auburndale, MA
Learn more and register

Delve into your Irish ancestry by attending lectures presented by internationally recognized speakers, exploring the exhibit hall and meeting with staff from several organizations, and by networking with fellow family historians. Lecture topics include Irish, Scots Irish, Scottish and Welsh genealogy, culture, DNA, and new and exciting ways to interpret and discover your ancestral roots. For a full schedule, browse the conference brochure. All attendees receive a free day pass to New England Historic Genealogical Society Library and Archives in Boston (a $20 value, no expiration). Visit the NEHGS booth to meet with staff, browse our publications and receive special discounts, and enter to win raffle prizes Learn more about the conference and register today!

August 22 - 25, 2018
FGS Conference- On the Three Rivers: Past, Present, and Future
Fort Wayne, IN
Learn more and register

FGS returns to the Hoosier State in 2018 providing attendees convenient access to Allen County Public Library which houses one of the largest genealogical research collections available with records from around the world. Attend lectures by Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert and Senior Genealogist Rhonda R. McClure ( view the full schedule) and stop by the NEHGS booth to meet with staff members, browse publications and receive special offers, and enter to win raffle prizes. Learn more about the conference and register today!

September 13 - 15, 2018
New York State Family History Conference
Tarrytown, NY
Learn more and register

NYSFHC 2018 is the only statewide conference focused on New York genealogy and family history. In addition to educational opportunities, the gathering provides networking and social events, alongside the latest tools and methods for tracing New York families. The 2018 conference features two and a half days of lectures, workshops, and field trips, as well as a vibrant exhibit hall. Read the full conference schedule to see the huge range of topics our 45 sessions cover. Attend lecture by Editor of the Register Henry B. Hoff and Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press Kyle Hurst. Visit the NEHGS booth to meet with staff, browse our publications, receive special discounts, and enter to win raffle prizes. Learn more about the conference and register today!


August 1 – November 16, 2018
Memorials and Mourning: Material Expressions of Grief

NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
FREE and open to the public

Grief strikes each individual and community differently. There are many acts we perform to bring closure after a death occurs, from holding funerary processions, to building memorials, to attempting to contact a spirit from beyond. These acts of mourning are often accompanied by material artifacts to memorialize the life lost, even long after their passing. The items in this exhibit—from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections and the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS Archives—include letters of condolence, coffin plates, photographs, séance communications, mourning jewelry, and more from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Each object has its unique place in history, location, and society, yet they all serve the same purpose: to memorialize and mourn.

Permanent Exhibit
R.H. Stearns & Company: Boston’s Grand Department Store

7th Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
FREE and open to the public

The long-gone R.H. Stearns was once Boston’s most elegant department store. From its grand building on the corner of Tremont Street and Temple Place across from Boston Common, it sold the finest women’s clothing and accessories, as well as men’s and children’s clothing, luxury linens, china, silver, and crystal. The store was founded in 1847 and closed in 1978 and was particularly noted for its extremely loyal clientele of women from the Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

NEHGS has a variety of pieces in its Fine Art Collection that are on display in this small exhibition, from portraits of the founder and his son, to advertisements, porcelain, receipts, and even a 19th century charge coin! Come to our seventh floor reading room and take a peek into a grand part of Boston’s past.