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Cambridge Room FAQ

Can I use the Cambridge Room outside the posted hours or when the archivist isn’t there?

If you would like to visit the Cambridge Room outside of the posted hours, please make an appointment with the archivist by email, archives@cambridgema.gov, or phone 617-349-7757. 

If you visit the library during the time when the room is closed, you will not be able to use the materials. The library has this policy in place to protect the rare and historic material that the Cambridge Room cares for and makes accessible to researchers.

Also, you will get the most out of your visit to the Cambridge Room if the archivist can work closely with you to help you find books and collections that cover your research topic.

For your convenience, we have digitized 90% of our Cambridge Genealogy resources (Research Your Family) as well as Cambridge House History or Neighborhood History materials (Research Your House).

Additionally, we can scan items to send to researchers remotely.



Do the books and other material circulate or leave the Cambridge Room?

The material in the Cambridge Room is rare and, in some cases, fragile. Therefore, use of the collection must be used under the supervision of the archivist. Materials cannot leave the Cambridge Room.

Are there any Cambridge books in the Circulating Collection?

There is a small section on the Second Floor of the Main Library, section 974.44, with a “Cambridge” placard noting the location in the stacks. Here you can find:

Can I research the Cambridge Newspapers on the Research Floor while the Cambridge Room is Closed?

Yes. Articles in The Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection (1848-2015) are freely accessible on any computer with an internet connection. You can use one of the computers on the second floor of the Main Library. Please ask a Research Librarian to log you in. 

Where can I find vital records like birth, marriage, and death certificates?

Please contact the Cambridge City Clerk’s office for vital records like birth, marriage, and death certificates.

Does the Cambridge Room have Cambridge High School yearbooks?

We have some yearbooks but not a full run of the public Cambridge High Schools. Please contact the Cambridge Room at archives@cambridgema.gov for more information.

Does the Cambridge Room have city records?

The Cambridge Room does not collect official city records.  But we do collect some reports published by the City of Cambridge. Most of the collection consists of reports from the 1970 to 2005. A description of the collection at the Cambridge Room Collection website. More recent reports are available on the City of Cambridge’s website. The Cambridge Room also has a full run of the City of Cambridge’s Annual Reports, available on the Cambridge Room Collection website.

Where can I find Cambridge School Committee records or Cambridge School records?

For School Committee Minutes, the Cambridge Room has a limited run of School Committee Minutes from 1912-1941. The work of School Department is covered in substantial detail in the Annual Reports between the years 1848-1941, available on the Cambridge Room Collection website. For more recent School Committee Minutes, visit the Cambridge School Committee’s website.

For School Records, visit the Cambridge School Department’s website.

Where can I find Police Records?

For more information about Police Records, click here. Please note that the Cambridge Police Department keeps no records prior to 1997.