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March 31, 2004

Other things to see and do

This is the place to ask questions about things in and around Boston that are not related to the convention. Are you interested in genealogy, museums, whale watching, walking tours, shopping ....

March 31, 2004 | Permalink


For genealogists, I would recommend visits to the following institutions in the Boston area:

The Boston Public Library (Central Branch)
Copley Square (www.bpl.org)
Green Line to Copley Square or Orange Line to Back Bay - two blocks from Hynes Convention Center
This library is connected to Ancestry Plus, the enhanced version of Ancestry.com. It has census data (images and many indices), passenger lists, military records, and some city directories. The library has extensive microfilm holdings of city directories, Civil War regiment histories, and even some NARA Revolutionary War information. These services are free, although there are charges for photocopies and printing. There are also free Internet computers. The 15 minute computers are free, but the one hour computers require a library card number. You can apply for a courtesy card at the front desk.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
$15 day fee for research

If you are doing research related to the New England area, the chances are very good that NEHGS will have what you're looking for. Because they charge a day fee, it is a very good idea to use their online catalog or call ahead to see if they have exactly what you need.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Resources
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street
Dorchester, MA
Location is next to Bayside Expo Center
Red Line to JFK/UMass
Fee: $9.00/hour for research room; $18 for certificates

Massachusetts is one of few states to allow researchers to review original birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates themselves. I have used this service myself and have found it to be an invaluable resource. This is the location to use if you are looking for a vital record from 1911 to the present.

Massachusetts State Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston MA
Red Line to JFK/UMass
UMass Shuttle Bus to Archives (ask driver)
Genealogy-specific information: http://www.state.ma.us/sec/arc/arcgen/genidx.htm

The State Archives are open to the public. They do have strict rules - all personal property is to be left in an on-site locker, and notetaking is to be done with pencils only. The rules make no mention of laptop computers, so you may wish to check with them. Some of their records go back to the 1600's, and they have vital records from 1841-1910. They also have passenger lists, naturalization files, census information, etc.

National Archives and Records Administration
Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, Massachusetts 02452-6399

Public Transportation: The only public transportation to this location would involve taking the Red Line to Harvard Square and the 73 bus to the end of the line. The facility is a 1.5 mile walk from there. It would be best to drive. NARA has too many holdings to detail here - see the information at the above link.

Posted by: Deb Cebulski | March 18, 2004 04:27 PM

An extensive Art Deco exhibit from the Victoria & Albert Musuem will be at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts over the worldcon time frame. Boston is one of only two U.S. cities to host this exhibit; the other is San Francisco.

For info on the exhibit from the V&A:


For info on the traveling show including photos:


Posted by: Janice Gelb | March 15, 2004 08:26 PM

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