Resources for Jewish Genealogy in Boston

This page is a brief summary and update of the contents of Resources for Jewish Genealogy in the Boston Area, by Warren Blatt (Boston: Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, 1996), a 275-page hardcover book.


National Archives - New England Region

380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02452-6399   (781) 647-8100
Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm, Weds 8:00am-9:00pm; 1st Sat 8:00am-4:30pm (microfilms only)

Massachusetts State Archives

220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125 (617) 727-2816
Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00, Sat 9:00-3:00

Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

150 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02125-3105   (617) 740-2600
Mon-Fri 9:00-12:00 and 2:00-4:30.

Massachusetts Vital Records: Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911-present.
(for earlier records, see Massachusetts State Archives).

- Alphabetical indexes in five-year compilations.
- Some birth and marriage records restricted.
- Certified copies: In Person: $12.00 each; By mail: $22.00 each.
- $6.00/hour research fee.

Boston Public Library

Copley Square, Boston, MA 02117 (617) 536-5400
Mon-Thu 9:00-9:00, Fri-Sat 9:00-5:00

Social Sciences Department:

Microtext Department:

Hebrew College Library

160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459   (617) 559-8600
Mon-Thu 9:00-9:00, Fri 9:00-5:00, Sun 9:00-3:00

100,000 volumes, covering all areas of Judaic studies.

Microfilm collection includes:

State Library of Massachusetts

State House, Boston, MA 02133   (617) 727-2590
Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00

Reference services are located on the third floor in Room 341,
Newspapers and periodicals are on the fourth floor in Room 442,
Special Collections are in the basement, Room 55.

Online catalog.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 536-5740
Tues-Sat 9:00-4:45; Weds & Thurs till 8:45pm. Closed Mondays.

A research library of over 200,000 books, focusing on New England family and local history. Oldest and largest genealogical society in U.S., founded in 1845.

Harvard University Libraries

Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 495-2411
Mon-Fri 9:00-9:45, Sat 9:00-5:00, Sun 12:00-5:00

Oldest library in the United States, and largest university library in the world.

HOLLIS = Harvard OnLine Library Catalog -- telnet to

Brandeis University - Goldfarb Library

P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02254 (781) 736-4685
Mon-Thu 8:30-12, Fri 8:30-8, Sat 10-8, Sun 12-12

LOUIS = Brandeis OnLine Library Catalog -- or telnet to

Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts

1320 Centre Street, Suite #306, Newton Centre, MA 02159   (617) 244-6509
Mon-Thu 9:00-5:00, Fri 9:00-2:00

American Jewish Historical Society

160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459   (617) 559-8880
Mon-Thu 9:00-5:00, Fri 9:00-2:00

The AJHS holds over 80,000 books and 6 million archival items pertaining to the history of American Jewry.

See Avotaynu XI:3 (Fall 1995) for a major article on genealogical resources at the American Jewish Historical Society. This article is available on-line here.

See the AJHS Manuscript Collection Catalog, available online at JewishGen.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hayden Memorial Library, Building 14S, 77 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
(617) 253-5685
Mon-Thu 8-12, Fri-Sat 8-8, Sun 12-12

Science Library's Map Room has an extensive map collection, including detailed maps of Eastern Europe. Other maps are available at Rotch Library.

National Archives - Pittsfield

100 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201-8230   (413) 445-6885
Mon-Fri 9:00-4:00; (Weds to 9:00pm, Sept-May)

Located in the Berkshire Mountains two hours west of Boston, this federal repository has copies of all of the same microfilm records as the National Archives, New England Region, plus:

LDS Family History Centers

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Church operates the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, the largest genealogical library in the world, and over 3,500 Family History Centers worldwide, including five in the greater Boston area:

The collection includes over two million reels of microfilm, including thousands of reels of 19th-century East European Jewish vital records, from Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Belarus, and Lithuania. Microfilm may be borrowed from Salt Lake City for a small fee.

The Family History Library Catalog™ (FHLC), the catalog of the holdings of the library in Salt Lake City, can be searched online at Guidance on their holdings relating to Massachusetts can be found in the FHL Massachusetts Research Outline.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Jewish Genealogy

Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, Inc.

JGSGB Resources

Prepared by Warren Blatt, October 1995.
Updated Jan 1996, Nov 1996, Mar 1997, Jun 1997, May 1998, Oct 1998, Nov 1998, Dec 1998, Apr 1999, Oct 1999, Feb 2000, May 2001, Aug 2001, Feb 2003, Apr 2003.