Social Sciences Department, 2nd Floor, McKim Building, Central Library, 617-859-2261

Local Histories and Other Resources

The Library attempts to collect published histories of New England towns and cities. The Library also holds an extensive collection of county histories, many of which include genealogical and biographical entries for noted families and citizens. This collection is also supplemented by the Genealogy and Local History Collection.

Maps and Atlases

Among the Library’s map holdings is a particularly strong collection of Boston and Massachusetts maps.

  • Irish Townland Maps (for selected counties), 1846
  • Bromley Atlases
  • Street Guides (Historical and current)
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps


City Directories

The Boston Public Library has one of the most comprehensive collections of city directories in the country. City directories in microformat can be requested through the Microtext Department; print city directories are requested through the Delivery Desk. Some directories are stored off-site and may take several days to be retrieved.