New England Historic Genealogical Society

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New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. The exterior of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston

Established in 1845, NEHGS is the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. We provide expert family history services through our staff, original scholarship, data-rich website, educational opportunities, and research center to help family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

We are a member-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the study of family history in America and beyond, by educating, inspiring, and connecting people through our scholarship, collections, and expertise.

We offer the most comprehensive resources in the country for researching family history:

An Expert Staff: Our professional genealogists are among the most respected and advanced in the profession. With research specialties including early American, New England, New York, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish genealogy, our expert staff can assist family historians by providing research advice in-person, over the phone, or in writing. Our expert staff can also conduct research on behalf of family historians, providing authoritative, documented research reports and family tree charts.

Original Scholarship: To support the research of family historians around the world, we produce the most significant original research and important publications in genealogy, including, since 1847, the longest continually published academic journal in the field, The Register. In addition to the quarterly journal, we publish a quarterly magazine, ten to twenty books per year, and a weekly electronic newsletter. As the leader in genealogical scholarship, we also produce important study projects such as The Great Migration Study Project, covering those who arrived in New England between 1620 and 1640; The Early New England Study Project, 1641–1700; Families of Western Massachusetts in 1790, capturing families heading west at the time of the 1790 census, and the forthcoming Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 which will cover families that settled Vermont, the last frontier of New England.

Website: is the most-used genealogical society website in the world. It provides family historians access to more than 400 million records spanning the U.S. and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American records, and the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines. Special strengths in our content include English, New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia materials.

Education: Designed to benefit family history researchers of all levels, we provide exclusive, in-depth learning opportunities through lectures, seminars, intensive research programs, tours to libraries and archives, online courses and webinars, and special events .

The main reading room at the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Research Center: Open to the public, members and visitors are invited to visit our eight-story library and archive where we offer the largest collection of original family history research materials in the country. Our collection, which continues to grow through acquisition and preservation activities, dates from the fourteenth century to the present and spans North America, Europe, and beyond. It includes more than 28 million diaries, letters, photographs, and other manuscripts, and more than 200,000 books and microforms.

If you have any research questions, you can email our staff via our “Ask A Genealogist” section of the website.

Visiting us


The 99–101 Newbury Street location is fully wheelchair accessible. Also, a wheelchair is available for use by request.


Open Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Sunday and Monday: Closed


Thursday, 1 January 2015 — Closed for New Year's Day
Saturday, 14 February 2015 — Closed for Presidents Day
Saturday, 23 May 2015 — Closed for Memorial Day
Friday, 3 July 2015 — Closed for Fourth of July
Saturday, 4 July 2015 — Closed for Fourth of July
Saturday, 5 September 2015 — Closed for Labor Day
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 — Closes at 1 pm
Thursday, 26 November 2015 — Closed for Thanksgiving
Thursday, 24 December 2015 — Closes at 1 pm
Friday, 25 December 2015 — Closed for Christmas
Thursday, 31 December 2015 — Closes at 1 pm
Friday, 1 January 2016 — Closed for New Year's Day


Photocopies and printouts (from computer and microfilm printers) cost 25 cents per page, except library catalog printouts, which are free. Copy cards for use with the photocopiers are available from a vending machine in the seventh-floor reading room. Copies from the photocopiers and microfilm scanners may also be saved to flash drives at no charge. Flash drives are available for purchase at the library.


NEHGS welcomes visits by groups from genealogical societies, historical societies, schools, churches, and other organizations. Our staff can provide an orientation and tour of the library, as well as customized presentations about our resources, website, collections, or other special topics as needed. Please provide at least one month’s notice before bringing a group of ten people or more to the library. Group discounts may be available. Availability for group visits on certain days may be limited due to special events at the NEHGS library.

To schedule a group visit, or for more information, please call our Education Department at 617-226-1226, toll-free at 888-286-3447, or contact us by email at

If your group is new to genealogical research, a helpful video can be found in our Online Learning Center: Getting Started in Genealogy

Please use our Library Guide and collections overview to familiarize your group with the resources available here.