The oldest historical society in the United States is what we now call the Massachusetts Historical Society, which was founded in 1791 by Jeremy Belknap. He was joined by nine other Bostonians who helped him create "The Historical Society," an organization truly devoted to collecting materials for the study of American history. This like-minded group gathered family papers, books, and artifacts from their personal collections which led to the creation of the nation's first historical repository. Due to the absence of any other American historical repositories during this time, the MHS took on a national role - Something that is still evident in its collections and publications. To this day, Belknap's original vision of preserving, collecting, making resources accessible, and communicating manuscripts that promote the study of Massachusetts as well as the nation is still thriving.