Who we are

The Commonwealth Historical Collaborative (CHC) provides a single, comprehensive interface for the public to locate information about cultural and historical materials in Massachusetts. Built by and for a group of peers who work in historical societies, archives, libraries, and museums, the CHC is an opportunity to share information about collections, programming, initiatives, and opportunities for growth and professional development.

The CHC site includes basic information about each institution in the Commonwealth that houses cultural heritage materials and, for those who wish to take advantage, an opportunity to build an online catalog of holdings at no cost. CHC partners also offer consultation and support relating to all aspects of our operations, including collection description, preservation, promotion, and professional development of the staff.

Participation in CHC is free and encouraged.


Launched in 2015, the CHC grew out of a partnership involving the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at UMass Amherst (SCUA), the Massachusetts State Archives, the Massachusetts State Historic Records Advisory Board, MassHumanities, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.


The CHC directory and catalogs are built on WordPress blogging software, adapted for use for manuscript and archival collections using a model first developed at SCUA. All products arising from the collaborative are available for public reuse without charge in keeping with Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licensing.

Creative Commons licensing

The theme used for creating the CHC catablogs (“catabloggish”) and instructions are available upon request for sharing.

Partners and supporters

Mass. Board of Library Commissioners Mass Humanities Mass. State archives SCUA UMass

Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board logo

National Historical Publications and Records Commission logo