Register O’Donnell Announces 38,000th Book Printed at Registry of Deeds

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell recently announced a significant milestone as the Registry completed printing its 38,000th book of recorded land documents.


Register O’Donnell noted, “During the COVID-19 state of emergency which began in Massachusetts on March 10, 2020, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, although closed to the public, has remained fully operational. Through the work of our dedicated employees, we have been able to continue Registry operations without missing a beat. Documents have been getting recorded, scanned into our online computer system so they can be viewed online via our website, and verified to ensure accuracy. Additionally, we continue to print documents. Our 38,000th book, which includes land documents such as deeds, homesteads, mortgages and mortgage discharges, is an important milestone in the history of the Registry and a true testament to the volume of work completed each and every business day here at the Registry of Deeds. The printing of books provides a link to the Registry’s rich history which dates back to its founding in 1793.” 


“While the Registry continues to print books, it should be noted the Registry also continues to embrace and utilize state-of-the-art technologies, allowing us to record land documents instantaneously. Documents are scanned and available for viewing within 24 business hours of recording at”


“Our online computer systems are backed up on a nightly and weekly basis. This redundancy allows the Registry to maintain a permanent record of all land document recordings in the event of a disaster affecting our building at 649 High Street, Dedham. Additionally, the Registry also microfilms all recorded land documents and ships the microfilm off-site to a secure location where it can be retrieved in the event of a catastrophe,” stated the Register.


As indicated previously, the general public and users of the Registry are currently unable to visit the Registry of Deeds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can not provide a time certain when public access will be restored, we are encouraged by news surrounding a viable vaccine. When the Registry does once again open its doors to the general public, residents and users will have options to view land documents by whichever means they are comfortable. Either hard copy via books or on-line by one of our many computer workstations available to the public or from the convenience of their home or work computer.


Concluding his remarks, Register O’Donnell stated, “During its existence, the core mission of the Registry of Deeds has remained unchanged; recording land documents in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Part of this charge is to serve as a depository for over 8 million land documents recorded from the Registry’s beginning in 1793 right up to the present day. While we have embraced the latest technologies to improve efficiencies, the printing of books allows us to maintain a permanent hard copy record of each recorded land document on-site and continue a tradition that also dates back to the founding of the Registry of Deeds in 1793. Please know that we are hopeful our doors will be open to one and all sooner than later. Until then, be healthy, be safe.”


To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and


The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at [email protected].



The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.