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Salem Witchcraft Trials Records, 1692-1693, undated

Identifier: MSS 401
Salem Witchcraft Trials Records
Salem Witchcraft Trials Records

Scope and Content Note

Please note that the physical collection has been returned to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

This is a collection of documents from the Court of Oyer and Terminer's Salem, Massachusetts witchcraft trials in 1692. All descriptions of the documents, and their authors, have come from Bernard Rosenthal's book Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Hands refers to the person whose handwriting has been identified in the document, for example, "hand #2 Stephen Sewall" means that the second set of handwriting has been identified as belonging to Stephen Sewall. Documents have been indexed by name--conducting another search by individual name(s) will narrow down your search to specific documents.

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 (

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.


  • Creation: 1692-1693, undated


Restrictions on Access


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.


0.25 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



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.

Physical Location

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court


This collection, formerly named The Essex Institute Collection and Salem Witchcraft Papers of the Essex Institute Archives: Essex County Court of Oyer and Terminer, Salem Witchcraft Trials, 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.



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

Salem Witchcraft Trials

Processing Information

Collection processed by Andrew French and Tamara Gaydos, March 2011. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, May 2018. Updated by Hilary Streifer, October 2020.

Processed by: Andrew French and Tamara Gaydos; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
October 2020
Description rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA