Digital Collections & Books

Witch hanged by devils

Some online collections are massive, whole libraries full of manuscripts, books, ephemera, and more. These are grouped here:

17th Century Colonial New England with special emphasis on the Essex county witch-hunt of 1692 by Margo Burns

Colonial North America at Harvard Library

Cornell University: Witchcraft collectionThe World Bewitch’d: Visions of Witchcraft from the Cornell Collections exhibit; Student research papers

Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts collections online

Digital Public Library of America: explore items from libraries, archives, and museums

Famous Trials: Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692) by Professor Douglas O. Linder

Massachusetts Libraries: Special collections database for 650+ libraries, archives, historical societies and town clerk’s offices

Salem State University: Archives and Special CollectionsArchives (photos) on Flickr

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project by the University of Virginia

Buildings & Land

First Period New England: New England History and Material Culture to 1730 by David Moffat and Ryan Conary

Historic American Buildings Survey

Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS)

National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service

Massachusetts Land Records offices in state

Massachusetts Land Records 1620-1986 (images) on FamilySearch

Northern Essex Registry of Deeds: Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, and North Andover (since 1869)

Southern Essex Registry of Deeds: Salem and others not listed above

Middlesex North Registry of Deeds: Lowell

Middlesex South Registry of Deeds: Cambridge

Our Colonial Homes by Samuel Adams Drake (1894)

County Histories

History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men by D. Hamilton Hurd (1888) Volume 1, Volume 2

Municipal history of Essex County in Massachusetts by Benjamin F. Arrington (1922) Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4

Standard history of Essex county, Massachusetts, embracing a history of the county from its first settlement to the present time, with a history and description of its towns and cities. The Most historic county of America by Cyrus M. Tracy (1878)

History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Containing Carefully Prepared Histories of Every City and Town in the County by Samuel Drake (1879) Volume 1, Volume 2

History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men by Duane Hamilton Hurd (1890) Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3


Goody Parsons Witchcraft Case: A Journey to 17th Century Northampton

Pioneers of Massachusetts by Charles Henry Pope (1900)


The History List: find historic sites, events, and exhibits near you


See Roadtrips pages for digital collections and books for individual locations. See Digital Records page for genealogy resources.