2008: In August, Land Court Department document images were made available back to Document 1 dated May 29, 1899.

2007 In June, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to 1983 for viewing and printing from our website.

In June, Land Court Department document images were made available back to December 19, 1980 for viewing and printing from our website.

In May, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to January 3, 1984 for viewing and printing from our website. Also, document indexes were made available back to 1964 for viewing.

In May: Register John L. O'Brien announced the Registry's latest Internet project, The Essex County Veterans Memorials. The project includes mapping all Veteran Memorials in Essex County by city and town. To date, 21 Communities have been documented; we hope to have the remaining 13 added to the site as soon as possible. Please enjoy a visit through our tribute to those who have been memorialized for patriotic service.  

In April: Register John L. O'Brien announced the new Native American Deeds collection. These deeds directly link us back to the days when Native American Indians lived on this land.

In March, Planning Department 150 years of indexes available for viewing, dating back to the very first plan recorded in 1741.

In March, Planning Department -- Atlases and Town Boundaries plans were made available for viewing and printing.

In February, Land Court Department document images and indexes were made available back to July 21, 1988 for viewing and printing from our website.

In February, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1890 for viewing.

In January, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to January 2, 1986 for viewing and printing from our website.

In January, Recorded Land Department document indexes were made available back to 1974 for viewing.

In January, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1905 for viewing.

2006: In December, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to November 3, 1986 for viewing and printing from our website.

In November, Land Court Department document images were made available back to September 1991 for viewing and printing from our website.

In November, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1920 for viewing.

In October, Recorded Land Department document indexes were made available back to 1979 for viewing.

In October, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1925 for viewing.

In September, Land Court Department document images were made available back to May 1993 for viewing and printing from our website.

In August, Land Court Department Certificate Plans were made available for viewing and printing from our website.

In August, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1930 for viewing.

In July, Land Court Department document images were made available back to January 1996 for viewing and printing from our website.

In July, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1945 for viewing.

In July, Land Court Department all recorded Condo Plans were made available for printing and viewing from our website.

In June, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1954 for viewing.

In May, Land Court Department document images were made available back to January 1999 for viewing and printing from our website.

In May, Engineering Department all engineering plans and graphic layout indicies, were made available for viewing and printing from our website.

In May, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to January 21, 1988 for viewing and printing from our website.

In April, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1958 for viewing.

In March, Planning Department plan indexes were made available back to 1961 for viewing.

In February, Recorded Land Department document images were made available back to 1990 for viewing and printing from our website. 

2005:: In October, Planning Department plan indexes and Images for Plans from 1967 to present are now available for viewing and printing from our website. In addition, Images from 1741 to 1966 are available and can be accessed by the book and page number. We are currently working on making indexes available for 1741 through 1966.

Native American Deeds Collection:  During the conversion of the 17th Century records, a special collection of deeds was discovered that was linked to the Native American people of what is now Essex County. the collection has been formatted for our website. The public can now view Native American Deeds whereby ancient lands were sold to English settlers in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The project is presented in two phases. Initially the documents are presented in handwritten script with a typed translation. There is also a map of tribal lands in the 17th Century. The second phase offers a narrative and illustrations to highlight the cultural and historical significance of these deeds.

This is one of several website initiatives designed to improve public access to original documents of history and to facilitate genealogical and property research.

Engineering Department: The Engineering Department was moved from the 4th floor of the Registry to the 1st floor and combined with the Planning Department. By accomplishing this, the public now has more access to this department.

2004: Veterans Memorial: This website initiative began when the Register of Deeds received correspondence from a family in Texas about a World War I veteran who came from Salem, MA. This prompted the contacting of local Veterans Agents throughout Essex County. New interest emerged in knowing more about veterans who have been memorialized by dedicated squares, bridges, and monuments.

Register O'Brien created a working relationship with the Veterans Agents by offering mapping capabilities to illustrate data produced by cities and towns. Thirteen communities have joined the project with others being added as their documentation is received.

This is an innovative partnership. In many states, veterans' information is recorded at the Registry. Here, we work together mapping local information.

In addition, starting in September of 2005, a pilot project will be launched to have school students do research on honored veterans in their neighborhood. This profile data will be added to the website to perpetuate the memory of fallen heroes. This certainly would be a great assignment for Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the various cities and towns.

2002: The Registry purchased the 'State of the Art' Dell Computer Server. The speed of this new system has improved data access for the public.

2001: Register O'Brien provided a computer interface from the registry's public access room to the Probate department.

2001: Register O'Brien and Secretary of State, William Galvin entered into a lease agreement for more registry space.

2000: Register John O'Brien receives the National Association of County Recorders Election Officials and Clerks "Public Official of the Year" award for the Registry's innovative use of technology to better service his constituents.

"O'Brien Brings Registry Office into High-Tech Age. Awarded "Public Official of the Year" by the National Association of County Recorders and Clerks." Lynn Item.

Editorial: "Progress Indeed." Banker & Tradesman. http://www.thewarrengroup.com

"Registries Seeking to Bring Online Records to the Public." Salem Internet Site a Nationally Recognized Model; Plans to test paperless transactions considered. Banker & Tradesman. http://www.thewarrengroup.com

Editorial: "Looking Ahead to e-filing." Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 2000.
"County Registry of Deeds Pioneers Electronic Filing." Lynn Item, October 18, 2000.
"Southern Essex Registry of Deeds Tests Electronic Signatures." Banker & Tradesman, October 9, 2000

1999: Register of Deeds, John O'Brien is awarded the Computerworld Smithsonian Award, honoring innovative use of information technology to benefit society.  Click here to see the award

Registry embarked on a program to convert its computer system to an open system thereby allowing Registered Land and the Planning Department to provide information on the World Wide Web. In addition, we implemented a program where the first 20 record books, dating back to 1639, will be on the Web for historical viewing with more volumes to follow. We developed an Oracle-based GIS information system for the 30 communities served by the Essex Registry to allow mapping, zoning, etc. on the World Wide Web.

Register O'Brien was awarded the Banker & Tradesman 125 award for his vision and leadership in making the South Essex District Registry of Deeds the first deeds office in the nation to provide both document images and indexes on the Internet free of charge for public viewing 24 hours per day.

Magazine cites Register O'Brien with the prestigious Banker & Tradesman 125 award. Lynn Item.

"Southern Essex Registry on Electronic Frontier." The Boston Globe.

"Galvin Stumping for Online Records in State Registries." Secretary of State William Galvin explains his proposal for an online registry of deeds system to the realtors at a conference in Newton, using the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds' website www.salemdeeds.com as a model. This will bring information such as zoning bylaws, topographical maps & recent assessments online. Banker & Tradesman.

Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds honored for historic website. Lynn Item.

"Essex Registry First to Put Images on World Wide Web." On January 11th, the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds became the first Registry in the U.S. to provide both document images and indices for public viewing on the World Wide Web. Salem News.

"Networked attached Storage: Essex County First with Land Records on the Web." Unisys Corporation. Storage Management Solutions, Volume 3, Issue 6.

1998: Registry launched its website and became the first Registry of Deeds to provide both document images and indices for public viewing, 24 hours a day, free of charge on the World Wide Web. Registry was nominated (for the second time) for the 1998 Computerworld Smithsonian Award. This prestigious award recognizes innovative uses of technology that benefit society.

Registry of Deeds system attracts out-of-state attention. State officials in Georgia want to replicate the high-tech document imaging system to provide images on the World Wide Web. Register O'Brien and his Assistant Michael T. Miles were invited to Atlanta. Lynn Item.

Deeds and land documents now on Web. Salem News.

"Essex County Registry Makes Land Records Available on the Internet," Unisys Corporation White Paper: Network Attached Disk Architectures.

1997: Registry began the development and testing of its website: www.salemdeeds.com

1996: Registry began the process of converting its computer system from a proprietary to an open system using Windows NT.

1995: Nominated for the Computerworld Smithsonian Award as an innovator of image technology in a government agency.

Document Witchcraft . Access to county land records expanded. INFORMATION WEEK.

1993: The first automated Registered Land system approved by the Chief Justice of the Land Court of Massachusetts.

1993: Registry imaging system featured at the AIIM (Association for Information & Imaging Management) conference in Chicago.

1988: Registry received the National Association of Counties Award for providing off-site access to indices to the Association of Realtors and Essex County Bar Association. This was the first in the nation.

1987: Registry received National Association of Counties Award for restoration of 3000 record books.

1986: Registry begins faxing documents to the public. First in Massachusetts.

1986: Registry received National Association of Counties Award for Automation of Land Records.

1984: Registry completes installation of its first on-line interactive Index System.