History Initiative

HMH History and Archives

Telling Our Story

As a global learning company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has influenced the evolution of education and literature for nearly two centuries. We take pride in our history; it celebrates individuals and accomplishments from our past and informs the decisions we make for our future. Most importantly, an understanding of where we come from unites and strengthens HMH’s global employee community.

Our History

With roots dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s history began in Boston, bringing to life the voices of celebrated authors and thinkers, such as Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Virginia Woolf. In 1882, HMH’s education division was established with Riverside® Literature Series, placing HMH at the forefront of the rapidly expanding education market. HMH has led the way within this changing landscape by fully integrating its industry-leading education content with technology and services, as well as through a number of strategic acquisitions.

Cultivating Curiosity Exhibit and Timeline

Cultivating Curiosity, HMH’s corporate history exhibit, was launched at our Boston headquarters in 2012. Developed in collaboration with the Boston Children's Museum, Cultivating Curiosity chronicles HMH’s contributions to literature and learning over the last 180 years, featuring items like personal correspondence from Virginia Woolf, a first-edition biology textbook from 1925, and the desk used by Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, and others at the Old Corner Book Store (Houghton Mifflin’s mid-nineteenth century headquarters). A comprehensive company timeline based on the Boston exhibit also hangs in a dozen HMH offices worldwide.

HMH Archival Program

Our staff Archivist works closely with HMH employees to identify, document and preserve company materials of historic value (including correspondence, contracts, manuscripts, photographs, and other artifacts). In an effort to share HMH’s story with an even wider audience, we occasionally loan select materials to museums or government organizations for events and exhibits (past partners include the Brandywine River Museum, the Morgan Library & Museum, and the U.S. Department of State's Art in Embassies Program).

If you have an inquiry related to HMH archives, please contact hmh.csr@hmhco.com.