Cambridge Archives Project
This site is meant to help researchers, students and members of the public navigate the different organizations that hold archival collections related to the City of Cambridge and the people, places and organizations that have called Cambridge home. The site has two primary functions: First to inform people who are interested in doing research on what collections exist and where they can be found and second to allow people who are interested in making a donation of material to compare the policies and strengths of different institutions to determine what organization will be the best home for their material.
Cambridge Buildings and Architects by Christopher Hail.
This comprehensive database, created by Hail when he was a librarian at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, lists Cambridge buildings by street, including the style of the building (i.e., three-decker), when it was built and by who, and any structural changes. There is also an alphabetical listing of personal names of architects and the names of buildings. Available for download are high quality, color images of select Cambridge houses and buildings. Also included are Harvard University buildings located outside of Cambridge.
The Cambridge Chronicle Online * (Date Range: August 4, 2005 to Current)
Browse by date or search by keyword. The Cambridge Chronicle is a weekly newspaper that serves Cambridge. Founded in 1846, it is the oldest surviving weekly newspaper in the United States.
Cambridge City Directories
Search, browse, and download Cambridge’s City Directories published between 1848 and 1910. These directories contain street listings by last name and by street, business directories and advertisements, maps, ward maps, listings of city services and city officials, schools and colleges (private and public), associations, churches, and clubs. They also contain census data like state and city population totals.
Heritage Quest Online *
This database searches federal census records and digitized books containing family and local histories from the United States.
Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection
All historic newspapers in the Cambridge Public Library’s collection that do not have copyright restrictions are fully searchable and freely available. Newspapers include the Cambridge Chronicle (1846-1923), the Cambridge Press (1887-1889), the Cambridge Sentinel (1903-1912), and the Cambridge Tribune (1887-1923), with over 650,000 articles covering major historical events from Cambridge’s incorporation as a city in 1846 to the early years of prohibition. Genealogists, historians, local history buffs, and curiosity seekers alike can easily discover and enjoy Cambridge history.
*You must have a Cambridge Public Library Card to use these databases.
Preserving your Family Collections
If you have a cherished family collection or you are the steward of a private collection, the Northeast Document Conservation Center (located in North Andover, Massachusetts) has a series of helpful hints to ensure that your treasures will last.
Tracing Your Roots: genealogical resources in the Boston and Cambridge area
This pamphlet, written by the Cambridge Public Library, helps guide family history research.