The Salem witch trials of 1692 are a fascinating and complex event in American history. Each year our museum receives requests from hundreds of students for information about the witchcraft trials for academic projects. This page provides information and resources to support student research.
Our Frequently Asked Questions page has been developed to answer the most commonly asked questions related to the Salem witch trials.
Check out our Recommended Reading list for suggestions of books about the Salem witch trials, witch trials in New England, European witch trials, and for young readers.
An overview of the existing Salem Witch Trials Primary Sources describes the various surviving records of the witchcraft trials and provides links to digital transcriptions.
Each year our Department of Education offers virtual lectures covering a variety of subjects. Some of these lectures may address your research questions.
Our Witch Trials Online Sites Tour allows you to view sites related to the 1692 Salem witch trials in Essex and Middlesex counties, plus the greater Boston area. Select a town or city to learn about relevant locations and view pictures. Included are original houses, foundations, grave sites, historical markers, and approximate locations of homes that are no longer standing.
Our blog includes posts covering a wide range of subjects related to the history of witchcraft. Recent blogs include: “Cotton Mather: Villain, Bystander, or Somewhere in Between?”, “The Metaphor of Salem and the New York Slave Rebellion of 1741”, “Remembering Candy and Mary Black”, “Magical Creatures, Artifacts, and Folk Belief”, “The 17th Century World of Witchcraft”, and more.
A chronology of events prior to the Salem trials can be found here.
A chronology of the Salem witch trials can be found here.
Useful Online Resources
This is an exceptional online resource containing primary source and secondary source materials related to the Salem witch trials. If you would like to view images of the original court documents from the Salem witch trials, this website has a selection of many of the digitized records.
The Danvers Archival Center houses a rich collection of objects, including several items related to the Salem witch trials. In 1692, what is now the town of Danvers was known as Salem Village. The first afflictions, witchcraft accusations, and examinations took place in this area. This website contains a lot of great information, including an “Ask the Archivist” FAQ, information about Salem witch trials sites located in Danvers, and information about the Danvers Witchcraft Victims Memorial.
Located in Rowley, Massachusetts, this library is one of the oldest in the country and houses numerous seventeenth century documents. Primary and secondary sources can be viewed by appointment. Additionally, a selection of witch trials documents included in the Peabody Essex Museum’s collection can be viewed here.
Academic Project Inquiries
If you are completing an academic project that requires an interview, we ask that you complete the bulk of your research before reaching out to our Department of Education. After having developed thoughtful research questions and seeking to answer these questions on your own, please contact [email protected] to set up an interview.