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New England
9/25/2009
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island

Boston is the third largest genealogical research center in the country after Washington, DC, and Salt Lake City because of the high concentration of libraries and archives in the area. Not only that, but many of them are either within walking distance of each other or on public transportation lines. The oldest public transportation system in the United States, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, <www.mbta.com>), affectionately known as the “T” by residents, is organized by color and easy to use. Rail lines connect to Logan Airport and Amtrak, and the MBTA offers a special visitor package ($6 a day) that you can purchase online. So leave your car at home and save on parking.

A first stop for any genealogist is the astounding hub of facilities in the Back Bay neighborhood. The New England Historic Genealogical Society (101 Newbury St., 617-536-5740, <www.newenglandancestors.org>) has extensive holdings on New England, of course, but also has one of the largest collections of Canadian materials in the United States and a reading room dedicated to British resources. This membership organization collects genealogies and local histories from across the country. Visitors pay a $15 per day fee applicable to a membership. Recently renovated, the library features five floors of books, manuscripts, CDs and microfilm packed into one building with librarians on every floor.

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