• Susan O'Connor

Inside the Massachusetts State Archives with John D. Warner, Archivist for the Commonwealth



An Evening with

John D. "Jack" Warner, Ph.D.

Archivist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT via Zoom


Dr. John Warner will present an inside view the Massachusetts Archives through the lens of his role as Archivist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the next M:O.R.E event.


John D. “Jack” Warner, Ph.D., Archivist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will discuss how to access the records and artifacts held at the Massachusetts State Archives; how records become part of the Massachusetts Archives Digital Repository; how his work with the State Historical Records Advisory Board affects future resources; and how you can get involved at the Archives.


If we analyze Dr. Warner’s current responsibilities, you can see his impact on records preservation and access, both of keen interest to genealogists. John Joseph Osborne grew up as an orphan and an only child—that’s what family and friends were always told. There was never any talk of his childhood or teenage years, and there was even some uncertainty as to where he had been born. It was as though he had sprung from thin air fully formed. If anyone knew the real story, they weren’t sharing it.


Dr. Warner’s involvement with the Massachusetts Archives Digital Repository makes this presentation valuable to genealogists across the country.

  • As a liaison between the Massachusetts Historical Records Advisory Board and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives, he is the funnel through which national funding for local preservation flows.

  • As Historical Records Coordinator he oversees the Veterans' Heritage Grant Program.

  • He leads the Records Management Unit of the Secretary of State's Office, which oversees records management for all state agencies as well as city and town clerks. The working documents of today are the resources of tomorrow.

  • He serves as Secretary ex officio of the Records Conservation Board and is a statutory designee to the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources.

  • Last but not least, Dr. Warner’s responsibilities at the Massachusetts State Archives include the administration of the Archives Division which has a staff of twenty-six and an annual operating budget of over $850,000.


Dr. Warner has been the Archivist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 25 years. He

received his Ph.D. from Boston College where he specialized in nineteenth century American history. His dissertation was titled: "Crossed Sabres, A History of the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, An African-American Regiment in the Civil War." He holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Rhode Island. He studied international politics at Georgetown University where he received a BSFS degree. Dr. Warner served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve for 30 years retiring in 2018 as the Chief of the Waterside Security Division, Port Security Unit 301 (Cape Cod).

This presentation is free, but pre-registration is required. Click here for registration.


Co-sponsors: Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society - New England (AAHGS-NE), Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB), Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG), New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG), The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society (WMGS).

Dr. Warner provided the photograph of himself in the M:O.R.E. logo. The other image comes us courtesy of the Fans of the Massachusetts State HIstorical Records Advisory Board as they examine ledgers and loose documents revealing the first women in Merrimac (Mass.) registering to vote in 1920. (Facebook post of 8 Jan. 2020)





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