Thank you for your interest in conducting research with the Cambridge Historical Society. In compliance with Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory, our archivist is remotely monitoring emails, but we have limited access to the materials that help us answer questions. Please keep this in mind when making requests, which can be sent to email@example.com.
Please note that we are not currently scheduling appointments for in-person researchers. We will resume normal operations when local and state authorities advise us that it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, if you are a Cambridge resident, we invite you to respond to our Cambridge & COVID-19 Survey. Consider this an opportunity to add your voice to the historical record!
Thank you for your inquiry!
The Cambridge Historical Society holds specific records relating to the history of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Response time for requests is minimum a week, but can be variable depending on the inquiry’s nature/complexity
- Searches are limited by time, fees may apply
TO VIEW MATERIALS IN OUR COLLECTION:
- Please provide specific box and folder numbers for your request from our finding aids.
- Suggest some days that work best for you. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5PM. Because of our small staff, we cannot accommodate drop-in researchers.
FOR IMAGE REQUESTS:
- Please make arrangements at least three weeks before your deadline. We cannot accommodate last minute requests.
FOR GENEALOGICAL REQUESTS:
Unfortunately, we do not hold genealogical records. Here is a list of great resources for your family history needs:
Middlesex County Registry of Deeds
Middlesex County Courthouse
208 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 494-4500
The registry of deeds maintains all land ownership records for Middlesex County. Searchers must do their own research; the registry does not answer phone or main inquiries.
Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727-2816
The State Archives contain vital statistics from 1841-1905, early census records, early tax records, Port of Boston passenger lists, and some early land, military, and court records. For vital statistics prior to 1841, contact individual city or town clerks.
Cambridge City Clerk
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 349-4260
The City Clerk will search city records for Cambridge births, deaths, and marriages dating back to 1635. Write or phone for fee schedules. Researchers may do their own research free during office hours.
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (Massachusetts)
470 Atlantic Avenue (2nd floor)
Boston, MA 02210-2224
Phone: (617) 753-8600
The State Registry contains records of births, marriages, and deaths since 1906. There is an index for divorces after 1950.
National Archives – New England Region
380 Trapelo Rd.
Waltham, MA 02154
Phone: (781) 647-8100
The National Archives contain United States census records, 1790-1920, naturalization records, passenger arrival lists (New England ports only), some Revolutionary War military and pension records, and access by microfilm to the holdings of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. note: The National Archives do not contain any vital records.
Middlesex County Probate Court
Middlesex County Courthouse
208 Cambridge Street, 2nd & 3rd floors
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 494-4545
The court maintains records of all wills probated in Middlesex County. Searchers must do their own research; the court does not answer phone or mail inquiries.
Boston Public Library
666 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02117
Phone: (617) 536-5400
The Social Science Department contains published family histories. The Microtext Department contains, on microfilm or microfiche: federal census records for New England, ship passenger lists for New England ports, court and probate records for Middlesex, Suffolk and Hampshire counties, many Massachusetts town records, city directories from over 200 cities and towns in the U.S., including Cambridge, and the largest collection of microfilmed newspapers in the state.
State Library of Massachusetts
341 State House
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 727-2590
New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 536-5740
NEHGS contains copies of Massachusetts vital records up to 1895, and a large collection of local and family histories of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland. Non-members are admitted to use the Society’s collection for a daily fee. The Society also provides a list of professional researchers.
Family History Center – Cambridge
2 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street)
Cambridge, MA 02138
Family History Center – Weston
150 Brown St., Rte 30
Weston, MA 02193
The Family History Centers give access to the massive genealogical databases of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latterday Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. The extensive national and international records collected by the church are not limited to Mormons, and are of great value to all genealogists. Instruction in searching the records is given at the local Family History Centers.
The Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly New-towne) Massachusets: 1630: Google Books
Records of the Church of Christ at Cambridge in New England, 1632-1830, comprising the ministerial records of baptisms, marriages, deaths, admission to covenant and communion, dismissals and church proceedings. [Internet Archive]
Epitaphs from the Old Burying-Ground in Cambridge, Volumes 1 [Internet Archive]
Epitaphs from the Old Burying-Ground in Cambridge, Volumes 2 [Internet Archive]
History of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1630-1877: With a Genealogical Register – Lucius Robinson Paige: Google Books