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Harbottle Dorr Collection of Annotated Massachusetts Newspapers, 1765-1776

Location: Microfilm PN 4897 M29 H3


“On January 7, 1765, in the middle of the Stamp Act controversy, Boston shopkeeper Harbottle Dorr took the current issue of the Boston Evening-Post and commented on its contents in the margins. Every week thereafter, he collected one or both of the Evening-Post or the Boston Gazette, (sometimes adding a Boston Post-Boy & Advertiser) and continued expressing himself in the margins on the events, referring backward and forward in a maze of cross-references to other documents and stories relevant to the events reported in the news.

The final result 12 years later was an astonishing archive–3,280 pages of annotated newspapers, plus the appended documents and Dorr’s own indexes to the four volumes he compiled. This entire unbroken run of annotated Boston newspapers will not only allow students of American history a unique look at the pre-Revolutionary era in New England, but will also provide insight into the thinking of citizen Dorr on the controversies and topics of the times. ” (UMI Research Collections – Massachusetts Historical Society Collections)

How to search the collection

Volume I (also Reel 1) covers the years 1765-1767; Volume 2 (also Reel 2) covers the years 1768-1769; Volume 3 (also Reel 3) covers the years 1770-1771; and Volume 4 (also Reel 4) covers the years 1772-1776.


There is no printed index or guide to this collection. However, Pickler Memorial Library now has America’s Historical Newspapers which allows users to search these dates for the Boston Evening-Post and the Boston Gazette.

For more information about this subject in our Library Catalog, check out these
Subject Categories:

American newspapers -- Massachusetts.

Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Massachusetts -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 -- Sources

Time Period: 18th Century  

Subject keywords: Journalism, U. S. History