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 | Conferences | Exhibits | Online Events |


June 19 - 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.

June 21 - Kreplach & Dim Sum—Yes, there are Jews in China!
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
7:00–9:00 PM Cost: $36; Shabbat Dinner and Performance

Join acclaimed musician and presenter Robyn Helzner and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England, for a special evening of music, education, entertainment, and dinner. The extraordinary presence of Jews in China is celebrated in this unforgettable presentation featuring lively stories, photos, video, and music. Learn about the history of Jews in China from the 8th and 9th century to present day, focusing on the areas of Kaifeng, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Items from the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center archives will also be on display. Kosher-style dinner catered by Mei Mei. Register today!

June 22, June 29, and July 6 - Building Your Genealogical Skills, Three-Week Class
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
2:00–4:00 PM Cost: $75

Take your research skills to the next level! With the sheer number of online resources at your fingertips, it's easy to dive in to your family history research without any formal training as a genealogist. Certainly you'll learn along the way, and devise your own methods, but it's also easy to become overwhelmed and form bad habits. Whether you are new to genealogy, want to refresh your skills, or learn best practices, this course will set you on the right path to getting the most out of your family history research. Topics include: how to record your findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research, and more. Each class includes skill-building exercises to help students apply their new found knowledge. Register today!


May 8 - 11, 2019
NGS Family History Conference
St. Charles, MO

Join NEHGS, fellow family history enthusiasts, seasoned genealogy experts, and other organizations at the 2019 NGS Conference. Choose from more than 150 lectures presented by many nationally recognized speakers, explore an exhibit hall filled with more than 80 exhibitors, and network with more than 2,000 genealogists. Be sure to visit our booth in the exhibit hall for special conference savings and meet members of our staff. Learn more about the conference.


The Origins and Legacy of the Mayflower
First Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

The story of the Mayflower is the quintessential American story—one that resonates across four centuries with themes of democracy, religious freedom, and cultural heritage. While not the first group of European settlers to arrive on the shores of America, the Mayflower landing has become synonymous with the founding of America. But who were these Pilgrims, what motivated their departure from England, and why has their story been so ensconced in our nation's history? This exhibit seeks to explore the origins of the Mayflower migration and its lasting legacy, as expressed through anniversary commemorations, American mythos, and modern-day descendants. Items in this exhibition are drawn from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections and the Fine Art Collection at New England Historic Genealogical Society. This exhibition has been generously supported by Anne Louise C. Van Nostrand, Brenda Williams, and Elizabeth H. Owens. Braille version of the exhibit made possible by the Flora Nichols Beggs Trust.

The History of Wampum Belts
First Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

From precolonial to contemporary times, wampum belts have been an integral part of the living, indigenous traditions that continue to be used for ceremonial purposes, adornment, and to record or reflect specific events and agreements. This exhibit explores the history, usage, and meaning behind wampum belts and their place in Wampanoag culture. Produced by SmokeSygnals, a Native American owned marketing and communications company.

R.H. Stearns & Company: Boston’s Grand Department Store
Permanent Exhibit
7th Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
FREE and open to the public during regular library hours

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.