Massachusetts Archives and Libraries
see the Massachusetts Genealogy Guide page.
These archives, libraries, societies, and museums preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in Massachusetts.
NationalNational Archives Northeast Region (Boston)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6399
Phone: (781) 663-0130
Fax: (781) 663-0154
Internet: National Archives Northeast Region (Boston)
- CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT documents, photos, and maps of 80 federal agencies, War of 1812, fortifications, coastal facilities, World War II research at Harvard and MIT, federal bankruptcy courts, First Circuit Court of Appeals, Navy, Coast Guard, westward expansion, ethnology, genealogy, Revolutionary War, Civil War, captured German records, territorial papers, censuses, passenger arrival records for Boston and New England, Canadian border crossings.
Pittsfield Federal Records Center
10 Conte Drive
Pittsfield, MA 01201-8230
E-mail: [mailto: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org]
- The Pittsfield Center has CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT federal government agency and court documents. Their large genealogy microfilm collection has been transferred to the Berkshire Athenaeum listed below.
101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3007
Telephone: 617-536-5740; Library 617-226-1231
- Best overall collection for New England vital records and probates, and excellent collection for Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe. The manuscript collection for member only has diaries, letters, account books, business papers, church and town records, sermons, maps, wills, deeds, unpublished town and family genealogies, photos, and papers of the region's best genealogists since 1850.
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-1634
- Best known for its U.S. newspaper collection of over 18,000 bound volumes 1704-1820, history, genealogy, Bibles, maps, biography, directories, Native Americans, women, canals, railroads, photos, manuscripts.
- Government records, censuses, military records, land records, naturalizations, divorces, probate, name changes, and adoptions. Only 18 of the 328 volumes of the excellent Massachusetts Archives Collection, aka Felt Collection, of 1629-1799 history are indexed online. The Archives' online searchable collections include:
- The Massachusetts Archives Collection Database (1629-1799) serves as a searchable, descriptive index and catalog for documents of eighteen volumes of the Massachusetts Archives Collection.
- Index to Passenger Manifests (1848-1891)
- Index to Vital Records (1841-1910)
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215-3695
E-mail: Contact Us
- Excellent historical materials, original town records, newspapers and genealogies. This collection does not repeat the New England Historic Genealogical Society collection.
State House, Room 341
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 727–2590
Fax: (617) 727–5819
Internet: State Library of Massachusetts
- Published books, periodicals, and town histories, government publications, state and local histories, city directories, maps, tax records, newspapers and indexes.
1 Wendell Ave
Pittsfield, MA 01201
- Best genealogical respository in western Massachusetts, including newspapers, books, and family histories. Now includes the former Pittsfield Federal Records Center's 60,000 microfilms of censuses, Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrants, service records 1784-1901, Mexican War, Civil War, World War I, New England naturalizations, 1791-1966, passenger arrivals at Boston, New York, Philadelphia and east coast ports, Canadian border crossings, Indian enrollment cards, and Russian Consular records.  
700 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 536–5400
Fax: (617) 536–4306
- Their collection includes New England newspapers, city directores, town records, county and local histories, and genealogies.
- Great collection of manuscripts including deeds, vital and town records from the 15 towns created from old Dedham (south of Boston).
Haverhill Public Library
99 Main Street
Haverhill, MA 01830
- One of New England's largest collections of original manuscripts, books, periodicals, and surname folders, local history collection, genealogy databases, Massachusetts vital records to 1910, federal and state censuses, 9,000 New England town and family histories. 
Cambridge, MA 02138
- Manuscripts and rare books from many nations, but especially New England, Britain and Europe, historical archives of publishing history, political and missionary archives, paintings and artifacts. Largest volume of primary historical documents.
43 Amity Street
Amherst, MA 01002
- The Boltwood Collection includes 20,000 documents, genealogies, family folders, genealogy periodicals, newspapers, and local histories with an emphasis on Amherst and the Pioneer Valley. 
- 10,000 family folders for northeastern families.
East India Square
161 Essex Street
Salem, MA 01970-3783 USA
Telephone: 978-745-9500, or 866-745-1876
For the Hearing Impaired: 978-740-3649
- Can often help find trans-Atlantic ship logs, and ship images.
- Almost all published histories and genealogies of early Massachusetts settlers are here.
Springfield History Library and Archives (formerly Connecticut Valley Historical Museum Library)
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, Massachusetts 01103
Internet: Springfield History Library and Archives
- Can help identify Massachusetts emigrants headed west using vital records, land records, and probate records from many New England towns. They also have French Canadian records, the Loiselle Index, New York passenger arrivals, computer databases, over 20,000 genealogy books, 6,000 microforms, 50,000 photos and 2.5 million manuscripts including diaries, and account books. 
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
Internet: http://www.library.umass.edu/ and their Online Guide to Genealogy
- Very large set of biographies, genealogies, and never-published histories, and church, business, fraternal, insurance, and manufacturing records. They also have the Massachusetts Archives Collection microfilms, Franklin, Hampshire, and Suffolk counties' probate records, especially Connecticut River Valley towns.
Vermont History Center
60 Washington Street
Barre, Vermont 05641-4209
- Their collection includes a comprehensive name index of Massachusetts people, strong collection of family and town histories of New England, vital records, cemetery transcripts, genealogical periodicals, manuscripts, maps, and photos.
Weston Massachusetts Family History Center
150 Brown Street
Weston, Massachusetts 02493-2604
- The largest Family History Center in New England. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. They have published town and county histories of New England, social histories, vital records, family histories, and major indexes.
- For additional information, see also Massachusetts Repositories.
Two important inventories of Massachusetts records are:
- Historical Records Survey (Massachusetts). Preliminary Edition of Guide to Depositories of Manuscript Collections in Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts: Historical Records Survey, 1939). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 974.4 A2hg. This work lists major manuscript collections and their locations.
- Carroll D. Wright, Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records of Parishes, Towns, and Counties (Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter, 1889). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Film 865449 item 2; Fiche 6046869; Book 974.4 A3cr. Gives a brief description of the town records that existed in 1889 and which may still be available.
- William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 124. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
- Genealogy Resources in Berkshire Athenaeum (accessed 14 November 2013).
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 5, 57, and 59.
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 59.
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 57.
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 124-25.
- Genealogy Resources in Haverhill Public Library (accessed 14 November 2013).
- Collections and Finding Aids in Jones Library - Special Collections (accessed 14 November 2013).
- Springfield History Library and Archives in Springfield Museums (accessed 14 November 2013).
- Genealogy Research at the Vermont Historical Society in Vermont Historical Society (accessed 14 November 2013).