Local History


Settled in 1629 as Mystic Side, Malden is rich in local and family history. The Mal den Public Library houses the local history and the family histories in the renovated Converse Memorial Building with other special collections. Anyone wishing to research their genealogy or some other subject relating to Malden are welcomed to set up an appointment to visit us. To conserve and protect these critical collections the Library may require you to you to leave identification with the librarian. We strongly recommend the use of pencils; the use of ball point pen is not permitted.

Library patrons in the Converse Memorial Building are reminded that local history and genealogical materials do not leave the Library. Microfilm prints from newspapers may be made; photocopying is not possible for yearbooks, city directories, poll books and damaged or fragile books. Please check with the librarian before attempting to photocopy.

For more information, please contact the library at (781) 324-0218 or send mail to cguigli@maldenpubliclibrary.org. The librarian will try to respond to all telephone and written requests within 2 weeks.

NOTE: Due to a high volume of requests and a shortage of staff, it may take longer than two weeks for us to complete your requests. We ask for your patience, and strongly recommend that you come visit us during local history hours on Wednesday, if you are able.


Collections Overview

The Local History Collection includes the vital records of the town of Malden from 1649–1850, city annual reports, poll books, city directories, high school publications, and many other titles on local churches, clubs and other organizations. In addition, there are many books, both fiction and nonfiction, written by local authors.

In the genealogical collection are many titles of New England families, the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the American Genealogical-Biographical Index, the Essex Institute Historical Collections, and guides to research techniques.

The Library also has a local newspaper index covering 1860–2001. This index, covering fourteen Malden newspapers as well as several decades of the Boston Journal, and the accompanying microfilm are available for research.


Selected Resources

Malden City Directories Published irregularly. Publisher varies. Early directories do not contain street indices. Library has city directories from 1869-1985, with missing issues.
Malden Poll Books Lists all voters or persons eighteen years or older. Originally called poll tax books beginning with 1884. Street indices do not appear until the 1930’s.
Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Town of Malden, 1649-1850.Cambridge: Printed at the University Press for the City of Malden, 1903. Deloraine Corey compiled these vital records at the request of Mayor Fareham in 1898.
Corey, Deloraine P.History of Malden, 1633-1785, Malden: Deloraine Pendre Corey, 1899. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in Malden local history. Contains extensive footnotes, 35-page index and a list of local soldiers and sailors serving in the Revolutionary War.
Randall, Ruth Kimball. Malden From Primitive Past to Progressive Present, Canaan, N.H.: Published for the Malden Historical Society by Phoenix Pub., 1975. The Malden Historical Society published this title to commemorate the three-hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of Malden’s founding. More a community narrative than a documented history.
Chamberlain, George Walter.Genealogical Records of Early Settlers of Malden, Malden: Malden Histoical Society, 1936. Great source for researching early families of Malden. 4 volume set based on probate records, registry of deeds, and town and church records.
Register of the Malden Historical Society. Malden: Malden Historical Society. Contains articles on notable residents, historical events, buildings and history of local organizations. Also list membership, bylaws and other minutia.
Bastille-Neily Architects and Consultants.Architectural Survey and Inventory, Malden, Massachusetts.Malden: Malden Redevelopment Authority, 1977. Malden Redevelopment Authority produced this publication to identify and make known to the public the valuable historic and architectural heritage of the city.
Malden Industries and Manufacturers, from about 1640-1951. Malden: Unpublished, 1951. Unpublished source containing basic information on local businesses, some items with photographs. Contains historical material.
Corey, Deloraine P.Malden Past and Present, Malden: Malden Mirror, 1899. Published to commemorate the two-hundred and fiftieth founding of Malden. Features biographical sketches of prominent residents.
Maldoniana Collection of pamphlets, city department reports, sermons, local organization publications and other ephemera material.
Walker, G.H. and Company, Atlas of the City of Malden, Boston: G.H. Walker, 1885. Indicates property lots, owners and outlines of existing buildings.
Walker, G.H. and Company, Atlas of the City of Malden, Boston, G.H. Walker, 1897. Same as above.


Additional Resources are Provided in Microform

Newspaper Index and Newspapers on Microfilm Arranged alphabetically by subject (i.e. name of person, family, organization, business, church or political office).
Obituary Index to Newspapers on Microfilm. Index begins with obituaries from 1973.
Malden, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850. Microfilm of original town records; film is difficult to read. Cannot make paper copies.