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Salem Witchcraft Trials Records

Salem Witchcraft Trials Records

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Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Title:Salem Witchcraft Trials Records
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:This collection contains various legal documents from the witchcraft trials held in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692/1693. Formerly titled, "Salem Witchcraft Papers of the Essex Institute Archives: Essex County Court of Oyer and Terminer, Salem Witchcraft Trials", the name has been changed to reflect the provenance of the documents within this collection, all documents having been given to the Phillips Libary by various families.
Collection Number:MSS 401

Series List

Scope and Content Note

Formerly titled, "Salem Witchcraft Papers of the Essex Institute Archives: Essex County Court of Oyer and Terminer, Salem Witchcraft Trials", the name has been changed to reflect the provenance of the documents within this collection, all documents having been given to the Phillips Library by various families.

The document in folder 19 (Elizabeth Fuller v. John Lee) does not, after much scholarly review, have anything to do with any witchcraft case (Rosenthal, 978).

The documents located in Folders 1 through 26 were digitized and can be found on a website hosted by the University of Virginia ( Folder descriptions were changed to match the descriptions used by the University of Virginia on its website. All documents were digitized by the Phillips Library in 2018 and can be found at the library’s digital collections web page (

Transcriptions of these documents, as well as additional witchcraft documents held in other archives, were published in Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's, The Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Transcriptions of the Court Records. Bernard Rosenthal's, Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt is another transcription that lists the events of the Witchcraft Trials chronologically.

Historical Sketch

The Salem Witchcraft Trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem Witchcraft Trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in various towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Ipswich, Andover, and Salem Town. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Barker, Mary, 1695-1721
Barker, William, Jr., 1677-1745
Bridges, Sarah, 1673-1725
Burroughs, George, c. 1652-1692
Carrier, Andrew, 1677-1749
Carrier, Richard, 1674-1749
Carrier, Sarah, 1684-1772
Carrier, Thomas, Jr., 1682-1740
Corey, Martha, 1620?-1692
Dounton, William
Eames, Rebecca, 1641-1721
Foster, Ann, c. 1617-1692
Good, Sarah, 1653-1692
Hale, John, 1636-1700
Hawks, Sarah, 1671-1716
Hobbs, Abigail, b. 1678?
How, Elizabeth, 1637-1692
Hubbard, Elizabeth, b. 1674
Ingersoll, Nathaniel
Johnson, Elizabeth, Jr., 1670-abt 1732
Johnson, Stephen, 1679-1769
Lacey, Mary, Jr., b. 1674
Lacey, Mary, Sr., 1652-1707
Lee, John
Marston, Mary, 1665-1700
Nurse, Rebecca, 1621-1692
Parker, Mary, 1637-1692
Parris, Samuel, 1653-1720
Perkins, Zacheus, 1647-1732
Pope, Joseph, 1650-1712
Proctor, Ann, Jr., 1679-1716
Proctor, Ann, Sr., 1661-1699
Proctor, Elizabeth, b. 1650
Proctor, John, 1632-1692
Putnam, Thomas
Rayment, William, Jr.
Sibley, Samuel, 1657-1708
Toothaker, Mary, 1644-1695
Tyler, Johanna, 1681-1717
Walcott, Mary, 1675-1752
Wardwell, Mary, 1673-1754
Wardwell, Sarah, 1650-1709
Wilds, Sarah, bpt 1627-1692
Legal instruments
Trial transcripts
Trials (Witchcraft)--Massachusetts--Salem
Witchcraft--Massachusetts--Salem--History--17th century
Danvers (Mass.)--History
Essex County (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)--History


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Salem Witchcraft Trials Records, MSS 401, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This collection, formerly named "The Essex Institute Collection" was created from documents in the Harriet Putnam Fowler Papers donated in 1931 (MSS 672), and from donors W.D. Pickman (1865), Daniel White (1850), and Alfred Putnam Goodell (1934). It includes one color photocopy of a manuscript document held at Karpeles Manuscript Archive in Santa Barbara, California.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Andrew French and Tamara Gaydos, March 2011. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, May 2018.

Related Material


Boyer, Paul and Nissenbaum, Stephen, eds. Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Transcripts. New York: De Capo Press, 1971. 3 vols.

Burr, George Lincoln, ed. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2002.

Dow, George Francis, ed. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts. Salem: 1911.

Rosenthal, Bernard, ed. Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. Ray, Benjamin and University of Virginia, 2002. or

Trask, Richard B., ed. The Devil Hath Been Raised: A Documentary History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March 1692. Danvers: Yeoman Press, 1992.

Related Collections

Essex County Court Archives, Salem Witchcraft Papers

WPA Transcripts

Microfilm #181 Witchcraft Transcriptions

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