Historic Court Records Transferred to Judicial Archives at Columbia Point
The Supreme Judicial Court and Peabody Essex Museum announced the recent transfer of pre-1820 Essex County court records to the Judicial Archives, a separate institution holding permanent court records housed within the Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point, Boston. The records, which were transferred July 1, were placed in the custody of the Peabody Essex Museum under a Supreme Judicial Court order in 1980 following the overcrowding of judicial facilities.
"I am grateful to the Peabody Essex Museum for its careful stewardship of these records, and I am pleased that it will be able to store these records within the Judicial Archives," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland. "These court records are invaluable to researchers and other interested persons for the light they shed on aspects of life in Massachusetts during the colonial era and the first years of independence."
"We are delighted that the Supreme Judicial Court now has the capacity to store these records, and honored to remain the custodian of the Salem Witchcraft Papers of 1692 and Quarterly (County) Court (1636 - 1686) transcripts done by the Work Progress Administration in the 1930s," said Barbara P. Kampas, the Head of Library Collections of the Peabody Essex Museum.
These documents are located in the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum, which provides researchers, curators, and the general public access to 400,000 printed volumes and an extensive collection of manuscripts, ephemera, broadsides, pamphlets, and periodicals.
The Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum is located in Plummer Hall on the campus of the Peabody Essex Museum in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. More information about the Phillips Library is available at http://www.pem.org/library. The Judicial Archives is located at the MA Archives located behind the UMASS/Boston campus and adjacent to the JFK Library. Directions are available at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcidx.htm.
For access to the Essex County Court records and other Judicial records contact the MA Supreme Judicial Court division of Archives & Records Preservation (617) 557-1082.