Press Room

Marta Crilly from Boston City Archives Visits for Local and Family History Series

by awilliams

MartaCrillyOn the evening of Wednesday, February 24, Marta Crilly, Archivist for Reference and Outreach at the Boston City Archives, stopped by as part of the BPL’s Local and Family History Series to discuss how local historians and genealogists can draw upon Boston City Archives’ records for research.

The Boston City Archives, located in West Roxbury, opened in 1989 and house more than 35,000 cubic feet of materials as part of their mission to preserve and provide public access to City of Boston records. The records span several hundred years and include everything from tax to voting to school records. The information contained within these records can provide genealogists and historians with everything from a person’s former address, age, and occupation to height and weight. Institutional records, which include materials from hospitals, the almshouse, and the House of Corrections, can often shed light on more personal information, as well. For instance, penal records note all the possessions on a person at the time of entrance, and documents from organizations such as the Temporary Home for Women and Children can include details about how and why a person ended up there. The Archives also house Boston Public School records, which include yearbooks, student newspapers, school manuals, and more.

Crilly also emphasized the City Archives’ commitment to increasing access to records through digitization. The Boston City Archives have already digitized over 11,000 photographs documenting Boston’s past, and the public can also remotely access tax records as well as online exhibitions, including explorations of Boston’s fire department and the Horace Mann School for the Deaf.

The Local and Family History Lecture Series runs through May and features lectures of interest to both amateur genealogists and local historians. See the full schedule via