City of Boston Archives

Images and documents from the City of Boston Archives
Looking towards the West End from Leverett Circle, 1952,  Public Works Department photograph collection (Collection #5000.009)
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Looking towards the West End from Leverett Circle, 1952,  Public Works Department photograph collection (Collection #5000.009)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.

For more photos from this collection, click here

todaysdocument:

Forty years ago: Desegregation in Boston Public Schools

Boston, Massachusetts, has long been a crucible for social, cultural, and political change. But Boston is also a city of contradictions.

Forty years ago, a group of parents filed a formal complaint in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.  The case beings with this simple sentence: “This is a class action brought by black children attending the Boston public schools and their parents.”

Tallulah Morgan et al. v. James W. Hennigan et al., United States District Court Civil Action Case File No. 72-911-G—known as the Boston schools desegregation case—occupies 54 large storage boxes in the National Archives at Boston.  The case was presented over a period of two years, and on June 21, 1974, Federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity ruled that the School Committee of the City of Boston had “intentionally brought about and maintained racial segregation” in the Boston public schools.

The response to the implementation was protest, at times violent, but eventually the Boston Public Schools would change.

During the summer of 2014, a group of educators from across the country—elementary through college—spent a week at the National Archives at Boston and Chicago studying issues of civil rights.

They scanned documents like the above letter from Mrs. Sumner Bernstein. She wrote to Boston Public Schools Superintendent Leary explaining how her initial support of Boston school desegregation turned to anger and fear after her daughter’s experience at Boston English (10/22/1974, from the Records of District Courts of the United States). All of the newly digitized documents are available online by entering “Primarily Teaching 2014” in the documents search box.

They also used these newly digitized primary sources to create online teaching activities related to education equality:

You can create your own activities on this subject with the tools available on DocsTeach!

via Education Updates » Forty years ago: Desegregation in Boston Public Schools

Advertisement for “Decorations and Illuminating Goods,” 1890 , City Council proceedings, (Collection #0100.001), City of Boston Archives.
 This work is free of known copyright restrictions.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.

Advertisement for “Decorations and Illuminating Goods,” 1890 , City Council proceedings, (Collection #0100.001), City of Boston Archives.

Public Domain Mark 
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ourmarathon:


The mayor of New Castle, Delaware writes to Mayor Menino to offer the support of his city. He tells of the long history of mutual aid and support between Boston and New Castle.

View more letters to the city of Boston here. 

ourmarathon:

The mayor of New Castle, Delaware writes to Mayor Menino to offer the support of his city. He tells of the long history of mutual aid and support between Boston and New Castle.

View more letters to the city of Boston here

Petition to revoke circus license, 1889, City Council proceedings, (Collection #0100.001), Item 1889-0441-C, City of Boston Archives.
 This work is free of known copyright restrictions.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.

Petition to revoke circus license, 1889, City Council proceedings, (Collection #0100.001), Item 1889-0441-C, City of Boston Archives.

Public Domain Mark 
This work is free of known copyright restrictions.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.

Dorchester  Tunnel, Section J, Birdseye view of Andrew Square Station, looking easterly, 1917 April 27, Dorchester Rapid Transit photographs,  (Collection # 8300.002)
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Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more photos from this collection, click here

Dorchester  Tunnel, Section J, Birdseye view of Andrew Square Station, looking easterly, 1917 April 27, Dorchester Rapid Transit photographs,  (Collection # 8300.002)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more photos from this collection, click here

Newbury Street at Massachusetts Avenue, 1939 January 25,  Public Works Department photograph collection (Collection #5000.009)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.
For more photos from this collection, click here

Newbury Street at Massachusetts Avenue, 1939 January 25,  Public Works Department photograph collection (Collection #5000.009)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.Please attribute to City of Boston Archives.

For more photos from this collection, click here

Center Wing and Hospital for Old Women, Long Island Hospital, circa 1949,  Long Island Hospital records, (Collection #8500.200) City of Boston Archives
 This work is free of known copyright restrictions.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more images from this collection, click here

Center Wing and Hospital for Old Women, Long Island Hospital, circa 1949,  Long Island Hospital records, (Collection #8500.200) City of Boston Archives

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This work is free of known copyright restrictions.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more images from this collection, click here

Theodore Lyman School, Paris Street, East Boston,  circa 1920-1940, School building photographs circa 1920-1960   (Collection # 0403.002)
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  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more photos from this collection, click here

Theodore Lyman School, Paris Street, East Boston,  circa 1920-1940, School building photographs circa 1920-1960   (Collection # 0403.002)

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  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives. For more photos from this collection, click here

Old North Church, 1975 July,  Peter H. Dreyer slide collection, Collection #9800.007, City of Boston Archives.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives and credit Peter Dreyer. For more images from this collection, click here

Old North Church, 1975 July,  Peter H. Dreyer slide collection, Collection #9800.007, City of Boston Archives.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.  Please attribute to City of Boston Archives and credit Peter Dreyer. For more images from this collection, click here