About the Microtext Department
The Microtext Department holds the major part of the Boston Public Library's holdings of
microfilm, microfiche, and microprint. The Department's holdings include roughly 163,000
rolls of microfilm, 2.5 million microfiche, and 6,345 boxes of microprint.
The Department's holdings are based on
format. The subject areas covered by the Department overlap the coverage of other
departments. The Department's holdings complement and supplement the holdings of the
Among the Department's holdings are:
- biographical dictionaries
- business and trade directories
- census population schedules for New
- genealogy and local history
- immigration passenger lists
- newspapers, with a concentration on
- presidential papers
- regimental histories of the American
- retrospective collections of American,
British and Canadian publications
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlases
- United States city directories
- compiled collections of:
Interlibrary Loan Policy for Microforms
We will loan many of our microfilms via Interlibrary Loan (available through your local library); however, most Massachusetts newspapers are unavailable for loan due to their high use in the library. There may be exceptions in cases where we have a duplicate copy, and for non-English titles. We recommend you ask.
We do not loan microfiche.
About the Obituary Database
The Obituary Database is an index of obituaries that appeared in the Boston Globe and
the Boston Herald. Currently, this database includes obituaries published between
1953 and 2010.
If you cannot find who you are looking
for in the Obituary Database, there could be several possibilities:
- The person did not have a full length
obituary. Most of the deceased have only death notices, which are not part of this
- The date may not have been entered into
the database (dates included: 1953 to 2010). To find an obituary for dates
not covered in this database, consult a member of the Research Services Department staff.
If you have any problems, feel free to
consult a member of the Research Services Department staff at the Boston Public Library. The phone
number is: 617-536-5400.
Newspapers on Microfilm
Newspaper Directories Online
Genealogy and Family History Resources (Social Sciences Department, Boston Public Library)
Search the BPL's Obituary Index Database
For department updates visit the Research Services Facebook page