Massachusetts Archives and Libraries

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United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries

MA State Archives exterior.jpg
The following archives, libraries, and societies have major collections or services helpful to genealogical researchers.

Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727–2816

Its online searchable collections include:

National Archives—New England Region (Boston)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6399
Phone: (781) 663-0130
Fax: (781) 663-0154

National Archives—Northeast Region (Pittsfield)
10 Conte Drive
Pittsfield, MA 01201-8230
Phone: (413) 236-3600
Fax: (413) 236-3609

Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square
Salem, MA 01970-3783 USA
Phone: (978) 745-9500, (866) 745-1876
For the Hearing Impaired: (978) 740-3649

State Library of Massachusetts
State House, Room 341
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 727–2590
Fax: (617) 727–5819

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 536–5400
Fax: (617) 536–4306

Two important inventories of Massachusetts records are:

  • Historical Records Survey. Preliminary Edition of Guide to Depositories of Manuscript Collections in Massachusetts. Boston, Massachusetts: Historical Records Survey, 1939. FHL book 974.4 A2hg This work lists major manuscript collections and their locations.
  • Wright, Carroll D. Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records of Parishes, Towns, and Counties. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter, 1889. FHL book 974.4 A3cr and FHL film 865449 item 2 and FHL fiche 6046869. Gives a brief description of the town records that existed in 1889 and which may still be available.

Massachusetts Digital Collections

Hand and keyboard.jpg Massachusetts
Online Records
Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

Web Sites

Look for computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Massachusetts in local, state, national, and international sources. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. The following sites are important gateways linking you to many more sites:

US GenWeb
A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and nation.

A quality list of sites and resources that includes a large, regularly updated research coordination list.

The Family History Library and Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.