Special Collections List

Special Collections



The Boston Public Library is working to digitize its historical collections that are in the public domain. Links to specific online collections are provided in the physical collection descriptions below.


Special collections are held and maintained in a variety of departments of the Central Library. Please use the department links and phone numbers below to determine access restrictions and departmental hours. Online finding aids for certain collections are available through hyperlinked titles or by searching the Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database.

Public Service in the Print Department will be suspended this summer in order to complete an inventory of the collection. The last day of Public Service will be Friday, June 19, 2015. All existing appointments will still be honored. Many images from the print department can be found on the Digital Commonwealth and Flickr.

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Aarons, Jules Collection (Print Department)

Photographs by Boston street photographer Jules Aarons taken in the neighborhoods of Boston, including the West End and North End, from 1947 to 1976.

Abbe, Dorothy Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection represents the life's work of Dorothy Abbe, printer, graphic designer and photographer, who with William Addison Dwiggins founded and ran the Püterschein-Hingham Press (1947-1956) in Hingham, Massachusetts. After his death, Abbe lectured widely on behalf of Dwiggins and published two important books on him and his work. She also widely collected fine press book from other printers of her generation. Along with these works is her correspondence with the various printers, book designers and photographers. This voluminous collection complements and completes the Dwiggins collection.

Abbey Theatre Collection (Print Department; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The history of the Irish National Theatre from 1905-1978 described through letters (136), manuscripts, programs (705), playbills, publicity materials, drawings, and other ephemera.

Abdalian, Leon Collection (Print Department)

Glass-plate and film negatives of Boston-area historical and architectural landmarks taken by Abdalian, a Boston based freelance commercial photographer from 1913-1960.

Adams, Abigail Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Of the twenty-two letters in this collection, twenty are addressed to John Thaxter, Jr. in which Abigail Adams writes about the war-time economy, the changing attitudes of American women, and the importance of public service. Other subjects include her management of the family farm, her husband’s absence, and her impressions of people such as General Burgoyne and events such as the siege of Newport.

Adams, Bertram E. Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Personal papers, monographs, and serials related to the career of magician Adams with a special focus on Harry Houdini.

Adams, John (1735-1826) Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Deposited with the Boston Public Library in 1894, the John Adams Library includes thousands of volumes collected by the second president during his lifetime (1735-1826) as well as numerous volumes donated by his family members. One of the greatest private collections of its day, the Adams Library remains one of the largest original early American libraries still intact. This remarkable collection represents the intellectual tastes of an influential thinker, writer, and political philosopher who helped shape the Constitution of the United States and drafted the Massachusetts Constitution, the oldest functioning written constitution in the world. John Adams’s library spans the fields of classics, literature, history, politics, government, philosophy, religion, law, science, mathematics, medicine, agriculture, language and linguistics, economics, and travel. The collection is of particular interest to scholars and historians because Adams recorded thousands of interpretive and critical manuscript annotations in the margins of hundreds of his books. Selected books have been digitized, transcribed, and made available online.

Online access: The John Adams collection is accessible through the BPL’s online catalog and the John Adams Library website. A digitized catalog of the collection is available through Internet Archive.

Adams, John P. (1871-1902) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Please note: the John P. Adams Papers description has been replaced by the Boston Watchmakers Collection

Adlow, Elijah Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains approximately 10,000 legal documents from predominantly the late 18th and early 19th centuries relating to Suffolk County and Massachusetts. The earliest records begin before the Revolution and include the Colonial Court Records, Supreme Judicial Court records, writs of attachment and execution, criminal complaints, jail construction and prisoner lists.

L’Adunata dei Refratteri Collection (Delivery Desk; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This voluminous collection is composed of the papers of L'Adunata dei Refrattteri, the longest running newspaper of the Italian-American anarchist movement, published in New York from 1922-1971. The correspondence of Max Sartin, Osvaldo Maraviglia, Pio Turroni and others who were associated with the newspaper comprise the majority of the collection. For access to the newspaper, see the records in our online catalog: 1989 microform reels and 1996 microform reels. Also known as the Fondo L'Adunata Collection.

Allen, Fred (1894-1956) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts; Delivery Desk, 617.859.2244)

The work of the Boston bred comedian and radio personality through his correspondence, scripts, records, tapes, and photographs. Allen’s personal library has been cataloged and the titles are available through the assistance of a librarian.

American Actors and Actresses, 1860-1910 (Print Department)

A collection of 1,200 cabinet photographs (6"1/4 x 4"1/4) and carte de visite photographs (4" x 2"1/2) of actors, actresses, and theatrical scenes. Although the subjects are American, 24 of the 96 photographers represented in the collection are European. The collection contains 509 photographs by Napoleon Sarony, the leading American photographer of theatrical personalities of the period.

American Historical Prints (Print Department; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This 18th and 19th century collection includes portraits of Benjamin Franklin; scenes, portraits, and maps depicting the American Revolution; a small group of prints focused on the War of 1812; portraits of famous Americans; and a collection of caricature and graphic satire from about 1820 to the end of the century.

American Irish Pioneers Foundation (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the proposed plan for establishing a settlement house in Dublin as a memorial to the Irish Pioneers who aided in the establishment and building of the United States.

Americans for Democratic Action Collection
    See: Brown, Larue

Ames, Ellis (1809-1884) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of approximately 2,000 letters and documents relating to 19th century Massachusetts legal cases, land deeds, and other documents (chiefly Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol Counties).

Anarchists and Radical Newspapers from Il Fondo L’Adunata Collection (Research Services)

Over 700 anarchist newspapers and periodicals from around the world including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, and within the United States from Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Call Numbers: HX821.A343 1989x, HX821.A434 1989x.

Anti-Slavery Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The nucleus of this collection was presented to the Library in the late 1890s by the family of William Lloyd Garrison and other individuals involved in the anti-slavery movement. The collection features artifacts, books, documents, letters, and pamphlets from Boston Reformer Wendell Phillips and 50 volumes of letters and papers of orator and abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison dating from the 1830s through the 1870s, totaling more than 16,000 items. The collection also contains daguerreotypes of several abolitionists; the papers of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society; and the papers of Maria Weston Chapman and Deborah Weston, Amos Augustus Phelps, Lydia Maria Child, Samuel Joseph May, and John Bishop Estlin. Other items include the account books of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator; records of the American, New England, and Massachusetts Anti-Slavery societies; scrapbooks concerning Anthony Burns and John Brown; and the files of Ziba B. Oakes, a slave broker from Charleston, South Carolina. Note: The papers of the Weston sisters are on microfilm, together with the finding aid.

The library also has extensive holdings of printed material relating to the anti-slavery movement. The libraries of William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Theodore Parker are here, all rich in relevant pamphlets and broadsides. The Hunt Collection on the West Indies is another fine resource from a different perspective, as is the E.A. Phelps British Anti-Slavery Society Papers. In addition, an 89-page unpublished typed index to The Liberty Bell is available in the Rare Books Department.

Online access: The Anti-Slavery Manuscripts collection is accessible through the BPL's online catalog, in the library's online collections and directly through Internet Archive.

Archives of American Art Microfilm Collection (Arts Department)

This is a Smithsonian Institution Collection on deposit in the Boston Public Library which documents visual arts in the United States (artists, dealers, critics, museum personnel, collectors, etc.) through manuscript and printed materials from the 18th century to the present. The catalog can be accessed at the Smithsonian web site: www.siris.si.edu.

Armstrong Collection
    See: Wheeler, Leeds Armstrong Collection

Art in the Boston Public Library (Arts Department)

A card index by artist, subject and title to the paintings, sculptures and decorative art in the Library’s collection. Information relating to medium, size, date of execution, date of presentation, donor, and location, as well as a listing of references of other sources is provided. This file does not inventory Print Department Collections.

The Artz (Victorine T.) Collection of Literature
    See: Longfellow Memorial Collection


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Barlow, Samuel L.M. (1826-1889) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The Boston Public Library was a major purchaser of books from the February 1890 sale of the library of Samuel L.M. Barlow, an important collector of Americana, who himself had acquired the earlier collection of Colonel Thomas Aspinwall. This collection of Americana contains the first Latin edition of the Columbus Letter; the first edition of Richard Hakluyt’s Principal navigation…of the English Nation; Nicolas Bautista Monardes’ Joyfull newes out of the newfound world; Ann Bradstreet’s The tenth muse; George Mourt’s A relation…of the English Plantation; and rare works of the 15th through the 16th centuries in Dutch, French, and Spanish. It also includes a manuscript Copie of the Court booke of the Governor and Society of the Massachusetts Bay in New England dating from 1653 or earlier, the only known copy of original records in existence. A list of the Library's purchases may be found in its Bulletin, vol. IX (1890, p. 359-376).

Barton, Thomas Pennant (1803-1869) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Barton was a prominent and well-to-do Philadelphian, who began his book collecting in Paris where he served from 1833 to 1835 under the Ministry to France for President Jackson. Barton was the earliest American collector of Shakespeare; this collection was acquired in 1873 from Barton's widow.

A literary collection particularly strong in English and Continental literature. The Shakespeariana material is the first in the United States to include four folios of the collected works and some 45 early quarto editions of individual plays. The collection also contains many translations and commentaries; Shakespeare’s 16th and 17th century sources; an extensive collection of portraits and illustrative material (some in proof form); many manuscripts, including the original subscription list for Boydell’s Shakespeare, with the autographs of George III and Queen Charlotte; correspondence of John Britton and Halliwell-Phillipps; many other Shakespeare autograph letters, and the notes of editors and commentators inserted in appropriate volumes; two manuscripts in the hand of David Garrick; and an early version of the music to Macbeth, now attributed to Richard Leveridge. The collection also contains volumes from the libraries of Barton’s father, naturalist Benjamin Smith Barton, and his father-in-law, Edward Livingston (a Congressman, Secretary of State, and Minister to France), the sixteen-volume set of DeBry’s Voyages; hundreds of pamphlets from the French Revolution; works on jurisprudence and criminal law; and American public documents and political pamphlets. Many of the volumes contain notes and memoranda of bibliographical value made by Barton.

Background information on Barton and his library may be found in the Catalogue of the Miscellaneous Portion of the Collection (1888); Boston Public Library Bulletin, 4th series, v.3 (1921), pp. 173-177; and "America’s First Shakespeare Collection," by John Alden, in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, v. 58 (1964) pp. 169-173.

Online access: A digitized catalog for this collection is available through Internet Archive.

Barton, Thomas Pennant (Correspondence relating to his library) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection, which was removed from the book The Sketch of Thomas Barton’s Library, contains correspondence from the bookseller Thomas Rodd regarding the selling and purchase of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Other letters are responses to Barton’s description of his library and the First Folio. Barton was the first collector of Shakespeare in the United States.

Bassett, Sarah Ware (b.1872) Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

500 volumes collected by this Boston author of children’s books including her own works and those of her contemporaries and friends.

Beaulieu, Wilfred (1900-1979) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains the papers of Wilfred Beaulieu, the founder of the Franco-American newspaper, Le Travailleur (1931-1979) including correspondence with writers and personalities in the U.S. and Canada such as Lionel Groulx, Remi Tremblay, Auguste Viatte, Ferdinand Gagnon, Felix Gatineau, Yvonne Lemaftre, and Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau. There are more than 100 typescripts and manuscripts which were sent to Beaulieu for publication in Le Travailleur.

    See also: Franco-American Newspapers Collection Santerre, Richard Collection

Benedict, Milo Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains thirty letters written between 1835-1885, ten of which were written by Milo Benedict to his family. In these letters Benedict discusses the progress he is making musically, his activities, and the places he visited in Boston. Other letters include those from his siblings Nell and Gill to the family in which they describe their work and leisure time.

Bennett, March G. Papers
    See: Brown, Larue

Benny, Jack (1894-1974) Letters and Clippings (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

141 items, 125 letters mostly written by Jack Benny to Frank Remley, the left-handed guitarist who played on the Benny radio shows. The letters are almost all comments on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! articles. Many of the clippings from Ripley’s are present with the letters. (Ms.3336)

Benois, Alexandre (1870-1960) Papers (Print Department; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains costume and stage designs, drawings, watercolors, portraits, correspondence, photographs, prints, post cards and clippings documenting the life and work of this stage and costume designer who was associated with Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

Bentley, Harry C. (1877- ) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Bentley was the founder of Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. The collection contains about 700 volumes on American accounting and bookkeeping by American authors before 1901.

Benton, Josiah (1843-1917) Collection of the Book of Common Prayer (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Benton was president of the Boston Public Library Trustees. The collection contains 1,500 different editions of the prayer book, a set of primers (from 1526 to 1557), liturgical monuments of the Churches of England, Scotland, and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, and other material illustrative of the development of the prayer book. Notable items include both the Whitechurche and Grafton printings of Edward VI's first Prayer Book of 1549, Merbecke's Prayer Book of 1550, the Scottish Liturgy of 1637, the first American edition of the Prayer Book of 1710, and more than 100 translation including the Mohawk Prayer Book of 1715. In addition, the Benton Collection contains a representative selection of 60 volumes printed by early English printer John Baskerville (1706-1775).

The Bieler Press (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains books and ephemera published by The Bieler Press between 1978 and 1990. The Bieler Press was founded by Gerald Lange in Poynette, Wisconsin in 1974.

Blackall, Clarence (1857-1942) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Sketchbooks of foreign travel and architectural details, as well as scrapbooks of articles by and about Clarence Blackall, Boston theater and commercial architect.

Bond, Edmunds E. (1871-1969) Collection (Print Department)

Bond was a commercial photographer in Orono and Rockland, Maine before joining the staff of the Boston Globe as a news photographer in 1904. Bond had a long and distinguished career with the Globe that lasted until his retirement in 1956. The collection is the remains of his personal photographic archive including negatives, lantern slides, and photographic prints. The photographs range from 1904 into the 1950’s.

Boston Architecture Reference File (Arts Department)

The file is a card index of references to written descriptions, critiques, histories, illustrations, renderings, and plans of Boston buildings and their architects Most references are to published sources, although they may refer to original photographs, architectural drawings, and other unpublished materials held in the collections of the Boston Public Library and other libraries.

Boston Art Archives/New England Art Information File (Arts Department)

The file was started as a vertical file of ephemera on Boston artists. Over the years it has expanded in coverage of New England artists, as well as contemporary artists across the country who are not adequately covered in reference sources. Types of materials included in this file are: exhibition announcements, calendars of events, gallery/organization newsletters, press releases, reviews of exhibitions, checklists and small exhibition catalogs, obituaries, illustrations, gallery histories, bibliographies on artists, and miscellaneous biographical information. This index also references citations to American artists found in published sources.

Boston Authors Club (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains correspondence, poems, meeting minutes, and annual reports of the Boston Authors Club and it documents the activities of the Club from 1907-1914, 1940-1944 (annual reports), and 1919-1947 (meeting minutes). The responses of Boston authors to Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s idea in 1887 of forming a club where literary themes could be discussed and where works of literature could be promoted are also included.

Boston Authors Club Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection containing 2,000 titles by most of the 20th century authors residing in the Boston metropolitan area as well as ephemeral material relating to the Club from its founding in 1887. Higlights include poetical tributes to Julia Ward Howe on her 86th birthday and to Alice Brown on her 62nd. The Club is still active, continuing to contribute books by its members.

Boston Browning Society Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Given to the library in 1897, the collection contains monographs by and about Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning with photographs, manuscripts, first editions, and many biographical and critical works. The collection includes the Browning sketchbook, containing 29 caricatures and drawings by Robert Browning, and almost 200 by his father; proof sheets of Sordello, with corrections in the poet’s own hand; a copy of Bells and Pomegranates (1841-1846); and copies of some of Elizabeth Browning’s poetry in her own hand. The Society’s early records, a lock of Robert Browning’s hair, and a jewel box once belonging to Elizabeth Browning are included as well.

Boston City Records (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This material includes tax assessor’s records from 1789, Paul Revere’s tax bills, City Clerk files starting in 1629 and early manuscript records of Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Roxbury. Tax records before 1822 are accessed through Rare Books. Tax records between 1822-1895 are located in the Boston City Archives (West Roxbury).

Online access: Many of these records are availble in our Government Information online collections, in the "Regional - Boston and Massachusetts" section, along with additional city records.

Boston Election Department Scrapbooks, 1907-1916, 1927-1948 (Research Services)

Newspaper clippings documenting the Department’s activities. On call number: JS617.A3.

Boston Herald -Traveler Photo Morgue (Print Department)

Over 500,000 photographs by staff and contributing photographers, including the major wire services, covering the years from c.1906 to 1972. The archive has sections organized both biographically and by subject and covers local, national and international subjects.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Boston Latin School Archives (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The Latin School, founded in 1635, is the oldest educational institution in continuous existence in the United States. There are 5,000 items including correspondence, records, documents, reports and photographs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The printed material consists of works published by and for the School: yearbooks, invitations, programs, student publications, periodical articles, works by classical authors, Latin and Greek grammars, and materials donated by the Boston Latin School Alumni. Highlights include orders of exercises, annual prize drills, attendance records, public declamations, books and memorabilia of the Boston Latin School Association.

BOSTON MARITIME INDUSTRIAL HISTORY Books and manuscripts relating to ships, the sea, Boston Harbor, and the commerce thereof. Included are Account Books - Mass - Boston (for companies located on the docks, dates are dates of the records); Boston--Commerce; Boston--Wharves; Log Books (only those not concerned with whaling and fishing; Maps--Boston Harbor (Leventhal Map Center); Merchants, American--Mass--Boston; Ships--Inspection; Shipbuilding; West Indies--Commerce--Boston; Wharves--Boston, Chelsea, Charlestown, East Boston; printed items such as the Boston City Directories (also available on microfilm) containing maps of the city and listings of wharves and businesses located on the wharves; and Ships and the Sea: A Catalog of an Exhibition of Books and Manuscripts in Tribute to Boston's Maritime Past, July 1-September 30, 1966 in the Boston Public Library. Boston’s Maritime Industrial History collection items held by the Microtext include Passenger and Immigration Lists; Crew Lists; Lloyd’s publications; Commercial Newspapers; General Newspapers; Customs Lists; Naval History; Papers; Dissertations; Diplomatic Records; and Local Histories. (See also the Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection below. Also, please view the Massachusetts’ Historical Society’s Boston Port & Seamen’s Aid Society Records. Researchers may contact the Boston Marine Society at www.bostonmarinesociety.org for permission to use its Boston maritime history library.)

Boston (Mass.) Overseers of the Poor Indentures (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 1,212 indentures that document the efforts of the Overseers of the Poor of the City of Boston to manage the children of the poor by placing them in house-holds where these children would have food, clothing, and shelter and receive a basic education in exchange for their labor.

Boston Pictorial Archive (Print Department)

A collection of photographs, lithographs, engravings and other media of Boston subjects including buildings, street scenes, parks and events from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The bulk of the collection spans the years from 1860 to 1930.

Online access: Selections from the Boston Pictorial Archive are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Boston Picture File (Arts Department)

The file contains photographs and clippings describing Boston buildings, parks, monuments, streets, etc. Material in this file has been indexed in the Boston Architecture Reference File. A postcard collection of about 1,500 items depicting Boston buildings is also part of this pictorial archive.

Boston Postcard Collection (Print Department)

Postcards donated by collector William Crane and others containing images of Boston architecture and advertisements of Boston businesses.

Online access: Selections from the Boston Postcard collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

    See also: Postcard Collections

Boston Public Library. Special Events Collection. Celebration Series.

Grand Army Encampment. [Waltham, MA: Graphic Microfilm of New England, n.d.] (Research Services) A microfilm collection of newspapers, pamphlets, and other miscellaneous material. On call number: E462.1.A19G7.

Boston Public Library. Special Events Collection. Disaster Series. [Waltham, MA: Graphic Microfilm of New England, n.d.] (Research Services)

Newspaper clippings and whole issues which covered the disasters.

  • Boston Fire. Call Number: F73.5.B74414
  • Chicago Fire. Call Number: F548.42.C4
  • Fire Scraps. Call Number: TH9448.F54
  • Parker Hurricane Collection. Call Number: F9.P37
  • Portland Maine Great Fire. Call Number: F29.P9P95
  • San Francisco Earthquake. Call Number: F869.S3825

Boston Public Library. Special Events Collection. Historical Series. Civil War Papers. [Waltham, MA: Graphic Microfilm of New England, n.d.] (Research Services)

Newspapers and clippings documenting the events:

  • Civil War Clippings. Call Number: E461.C58
  • Emancipation Proclamation, January-June 1863. Call Number: E453.E4
  • Secession Documents. Call Number: E458.1.S43

Boston Public Library. Special Events Collection. Presidential Assassination Series. [Waltham, MA: Graphic Microfilm of New England, n.d.] (Research Services)

  • Garfield Papers. Call Number: E687.9.G37
  • Kennedy Papers, volumes 1-141. Call Number: E842.9.J2
  • Lincoln Papers. Call Number: E457.5.L69
  • McKinley Papers. Call Number: E711.9.M33

Boston Public Library Architectural Drawings (Arts Department, by appointment)

The Library’s drawings related to its own buildings include plans for the 1850’s building and the 1880’s competition for the building in Copley Square. The primary collection for the drawings of the McKim, Mead, and White-designed building (1888-1895) is found at the New York Historical Society, New York City.

Boston Public Library in Newspaper Clippings, 1895-1934 (Research Services)

Call Number: Z733.B75B75.

Boston School Committee Archives (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection consists of the original documents and related papers of the Committee from 1792 through 1870.

Boston Streets Construction Projects (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains twenty-three letters written by Boston citizens of various neighborhoods to city officials dated between 1853 and 1870. The letters contain neighborhood construction project proposals to sell property or building materials to the City, sidewalk and street development requests, and complaints regarding damage resulting from City construction.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Program Scrapbooks (Arts Department, by appointment)

These scrapbooks, which are part of the Allen A. Brown Music Collection, represent a compilation of reviews, essays, feature articles on individual musicians--performers, composers as well as those affiliated with the Orchestra--from its inception in 1881 to 1960. The scrapbooks complement the actual programs located in the music research collection. The Boston Orchestra Programs are fairly complete from 1881 to date. In 1993, the Library collaborated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a preservation microfilming project, partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to microfilm the Library’s Boston Symphony Orchestra scrapbooks and those of the Boston Symphony Orchestra dating from 1889 to 1973. Positive microfilm of both sets are located at both institutions.

Boston Theatre (Federal Street) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the administrative, financial, and performance history of the Federal Street Theater, the first independent theater in Boston, from its beginning in 1793 to 1852. Included are agreements, deeds, and meeting minutes.

Boston Theatre and Opera House (Washington Street) Collection, 1847-1855 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the construction and design of the theatre building. Design proposals and drawings of the sites are included.

Boston Theatre Archives (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A history of the performing arts in Boston from the 1850’s to the early 20th century. Programs, playbills, clippings, reviews, photographs, production materials, play typescripts, correspondence, and tickets are some of the formats represented in this Collection. Theaters covered include: the Boston Theatre, Federal Theatre, Washington Gardens Amphitheater, Gaiety Theatre, Windsor Theatre, and Hooley’s Theatre.

Boston Tradition in Sports
    See: Boston Garden Collection Boston Herald- Traveler Photo Morgue De Mar, Clarence (1888-1958) Collection Foster’s Encyclopedia of Games Golf Scrapbook Collection Hedlund, Oscar ( 1909-1973) Collection Hirshberg, Al Collection History of the Boston Base Ball Club Jack Johnson: In the Ring and Out Kaese, Harold (1909-1975) Collection Kelley, John A. (1907- ) Collection Lewis, George Edward "Duffy" (1888-1979) Collection McGreevey, Michael T. "Nuf Ced"Collection Malaney, Jack Collection Mokray, William George "Bill" (1907-1974) Collection New England Base Ballist Rickard, George Lewis "Tex" (1871-1929) Collection Silverman, Sam (1913-1977) Collection Wood, Joe "Smoky Joe" (1889-1985) Collection

Boston Watchmakers Collection (1871-1902) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection of papers record the business transactions of Boston watchmaker John P. Adams, who sold and repaired watches from his location at 10 State Street. The collection also reflects his dealings with multiple manufacturers of watches and watch parts, all located in Boston or the Boston vicinity. Most notable are the several invoices and letters from E. Howard & Co., located at 114 Tremont Street. Also included are several letters from customers inquiring about both the purchase and repair of their watches.

Please note: the Boston Watchmakers Collection description replaces the John P. Adams Papers description.

Bowditch, Nathaniel (1773-1838) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Bowditch was an astronomer, mathematician, and mariner, and is remembered for his work on ocean navigation, and especially for his book The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802. In addition to the multiple editions of The Practical Navigator and The New American Practical Navigator, this collection also includes 3,000 volumes on mathematics, astronomy and navigation from his personal library. Other material includes early editions of Galileo, Newton, and LaPlace; numerous treatises on comets and sundials; long runs of scientific periodicals; and Bowditch's personal manuscripts. The Papers of Nathaniel Bowditch in the Boston Public Library: Guide to the Microfilm Edition. Edited by James W. Montgomery and Laura V. Monti. Boston Public Library, 1983.

Bowdlear, Samuel G. and Austin C. Wellington Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The correspondence in this collection dates from 1862 to 1865 and contains 107 letters between Samuel Bowdlear and Austin Wellington – 28 from Wellington and 79 from Bowdlear. Samuel Bowdlear’s correspondence documents life in Boston, Massachusetts during the Civil War. Those from Austin Wellington record his experiences both in battle and his first encounters with slavery, African American troops, and the living conditions of Confederate men and women.

Brew, J.O. Streetcar and Railroad Collection (Print Department)

Books, journals, pamphlets, timetables, photographs and more than 13,000 postcards of streetcar and rail transportation.

    See also: Postcard Collections

Broadsides Collection (Print Department; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

In the Print Department are 136 broadsides advertising 19th century theater productions which include the venue, date, time, cast members, and production titles. The collection includes broadsides for the Boston Athenaeum’s January and February 1863 productions featuring John Wilkes Booth as Othello and other characters. The 2,000 plus American historical and political broadsides (18th and 19th century) in Rare Books cover Boston theatre, the anti-slavery movement, fugitive slave law, and Boston imprints.

Brown, Allen A. (1835-1916) Music Collection (Arts Department, selected material by appointment, please inquire)

An amateur musician and avid collector, Mr. Brown donated his collection to the Boston Public Library in 1894. Clearly delineated in the terms of his gift was the fact that it was to be a non-circulating, research collection. At the time of the gift, there were approximately 6,900 volumes. By the time of his death, the collection had grown to around 16,000 volumes. The collection is particularly strong in music of the turn of the century. One of its particular strengths is in 19th century opera, both published and manuscript scores-several of these are performance manuscripts. Part songs, chamber music, orchestral music and oratorios only represent part of the collection. It also contains pamphlets, musical polemics, biographies, monographs, and serials dating from all periods of music. A regular concert-goer, Brown amassed collections of concert programs from the Boston area and from the places he visited while on business. For certain performing groups such as the Handel & Haydn Society he approached friends and acquaintances for their files to make his more complete. Among his collection are also autographed scores dedicated to him by Boston composers whom he encouraged. Today the collection continues to grow and now contains over 40,000 volumes.

Online access: Selections from the Allen A. Brown Music collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Brown, Allen A. (1835-1916) Theatre Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A wealth of material related to drama including works related to burlesque, circus, vaudeville, modern dance, ballet, Yiddish theater, Shakespeare, and opera donated to the Library in 1909. The monographs, now numbering about 7,000 volumes in the collection, are described in an annotated catalog. There are 165 scrapbooks which contain serial and newspaper clippings, magazine articles and theatrical portraits. Among the strong points of the Brown Collection are the 18th and 19th century dramatic periodicals, both English and American; the near complete files of playbills for 19th century Boston theaters; and a collection of 20 unique broadside programs printed before 1801.

For additional theater-related collections, see: the Jack Benny letters and clippings, the Fred Allen collection, the Hanlon Family collection, the Boston Theatre Archives, the Tremont Theatre Archives, the Lila Viles Wyman Collection of the Dance, the Italian Libretti and Ballet Collections, the Bertram E. Adams collection of books relating to magic, and the Lotta Clark pageant collection.

Online access: A digitized catalog for this collection is available through Internet Archive.

Browning Collection
    See: Boston Browning Society Collection

Brown, John Correspondence relating to... (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains correspondence relating specifically to the unsuccessful armed slave rebellion led by abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859) on the Union garrison in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Of the 200 letters in the collection, 15 are written by Brown to his family, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Bulfinch, Charles (1763-1844) Architectural Collection (Arts Department; Rare Books & Manuscripts, by appointment)

The collections contain specifications and original drawings, including five original drawings showing the 1805 enlargement of Faneuil Hall, legal documents with the architect’s signature, and manuscripts in Bulfinch’s hand.

Byrne, Donn (1889-1928) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Irish novelist Donn Byrne (born Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne, 1880-1928) and his wife, Dorothea Donn Byrne, who was a playwright.


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Canadian Photographs Collection (Print Department)

The collection contains landscape, documentary, and genre photography from the turn of the century taken by Alexander Henderson, William Notman, and his son William MacFarlane Notman.

Chamberlain, Mellen (1821-1900) Collection of Autographs (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Chamberlain was a lawyer and judge who served as Librarian of the Boston Public Library from 1878-1890. This collection forms the nucleus of the Library’s extensive manuscript holdings with 20,000 letters, documents, portraits, autographs, and engravings relating to American and European history and literature from the end of the 15th century through the 19th century. Highlights of the collection include unique documents from the Salem witchcraft trials and William Dyer's letter of 1659 pleading for the life of his imprisoned wife Mary; items on contemporary topics from the American Revolution; correspondence and papers of Prof. Benjamin Stillman, Samuel Henley, Rev. Thomas Raffles, Dorothea Dix, Chief Justice Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Jr., and John Hancock; and more than 250 "seals of eminent persons." The best overview of the collection is found in A Brief Description of the Chamberlain Collection.

Online access: A digitized catalog for this collection is available through Internet Archive.

Christopher Columbus Community Center Records (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the Christopher Columbus Community Center’s mission to provide alternative recreational opportunities for youth within the Italian-American community of Boston’s North End. Established in 1972, the Christopher Columbus Community Center sought to maintain a community center that provided a creative environment for youth to explore their interests and potential. It was part of the North End Teen Collaborative, a four-agency organization which worked to strengthen youth programs in the North End.  The Center partnered with the North Bennet Street Industrial School for two years, streamlining their programs and resources.  Included in the collection are board of governance meeting minutes, grants and contracts, and administrative records which document the organization’s work throughout the 1970s.

Citizens for Participation Politics (CPP)
    See: Grossman, Jerome Collection

City Directories (Research Services; Delivery Desk)

There are approximately 13,000 directories from across the country. The Boston directories, in hard copy, date from 1809 to the present; the earliest one on microfilm is dated 1789. Directories from New England cities and around the country may be available on microfilm or in hard copy.

Civil War Collection
    See: 20th Regiment Collection

Clark, Lotta A. Pageant Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Personal papers, production materials, photographs, correspondence, and clippings comprise the collection of pageant producer and Charlestown native Clark from 1907-1916.

Clemens, Samuel L. (1835-1910) Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the relationship between the American novelist Samuel Clemens (1835-1910) and the sculptor Kurt Gerhardt (1875-1910). Clemens financed Kurt Gerhardt’s education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 1885, helped Gerhardt secure a commission from President Ulysses S. Grant. Other subjects include Clemens' health, travel plans, business matters (among them his lecture tour and finances) and an altercation involving an unauthorized biographical publication. Also discussed are book illustrations and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Cocoanut Grove Fire Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection consists of material gathered by retired firefighter Charles Kenney, Jr. from 1990-2002 in preparation for a book (unpublished) on the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire of 1942. Among the subjects documented are Kenny’s methyl chloride theory, possible sources of responsibility for the start of the fire, and the response of the Boston Fire Department. The collection includes transcripts and cassette tapes of interviews of survivors and firefighters, newspaper and magazine clippings, maps and diagrams of the club, the Reilly Commission hearing transcript, and copies of official documents such as Boston Fire Department.

Codman (Henry and Philip) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains approximately 2,000 volumes on landscape gardening, botany, natural history and domestic architecture with works by Humphrey Repton, John Claudius Loudon, and FrederickLaw Olmstead. Online access: A digitized catalog for this collection is available online through Internet Archive.

Coffin Family Papers (1830-1961) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Extensive collection of letters, diaries, notebooks, account books, receipts, documents and photographs relating to the Coffin Family of Newton and Boston. (Ms. 3337)

Coletti, Joseph Arthur (1898-1973) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Coletti, a noted sculptor and assistant to John Singer Sargent, created many pieces located in Massachusetts, the United States, and Europe. He created the bust of John Deferrari, a benefactor of the Boston Public Library, now located in the Boston Room of the Johnson Building. The Collection contains drawings, photographs, papers, and personal memorabilia.

Connick, Charles J. and Associates Archives (Arts Department. by appointment)

The Connick Studios (1913-1986) specialized in stained glass with pieces in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. John the Divine in New York City, the American Church in Paris, and Marsh Chapel at Boston University. The collection includes records and descriptions of almost all of the firm’s commissions, the studio’s library on stained glass and medieval symbolism, and most of the preparatory drawings and photographs for the windows.

Online access: Selections from the Connick collection are viewable online on Flickr.

Connolly, James Brendan (1868-1957) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of first editions brought together by a South Boston author.

Cooling, Lois Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection consists of eighty-six items, primarily letters, from American author Henry Miller (1891–1980) to Lois Cooling. Cooling was a friend of Miller's and his typist. Also included in the collection are water colors, several typescripts, and articles about Miller.

Copley Square Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Renderings of late 19th century/early 20th century schemes for Copley Square, Boston and design boards for 1980’s national competition to re-design this public space.

Council for a Livable World
    See: Grossman, Jerome Collection

Cram, Ralph Adams (1863-1942) Personal Papers (Arts Department, by appointment; Finding Aid.)

Cram was the leading American ecclesiastical architect of the 20th century. The Cram Collection includes correspondence, watercolors, sketches, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, manuscripts, and a genealogy.

    See also: Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor

Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson/Cram and Ferguson Collections (Arts Department, by appointment)

Original drawings, office files, photographs of this Boston-based architectural firm (1890’s-1950’s), given by its successor firm of Hoyle, Doran and Berry. Due to terms of the gift, use of this collection is restricted to academic and scholarly research; any other usage (i.e., architectural design, renovation and alterations of existing Cram structures) requires permission of the donor.

Crocker, George Glover Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the leadership role of George Glover Crocker (1843-1913) in the development of public transportation in the city of Boston as well as his participation in government service for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Crosett Collection (Print Department)

The collection contains photographs, drawings, etchings, clippings, and photographs related to the performing career of Teresa Cerutti-Simmons a turn of the century interpretive dancer famous in the United States and Europe. The etchings by Cerutti-Simmons depict women performing both popular dance and traditional and folk dance from several different cultures.

Currier, Thomas Florian (1837- ) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Chiefly letters to Currier relating to the political interests, personal lives and professional careers of Currier and his family and friends of Amesbury, Massachusetts. (Ms.2966)

Cushman, Charlotte S. (1816-1876) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection includes correspondence, playbills, clippings, and monographs of the noted Boston actress along with guest registers from the Boston chapter of the Charlotte Cushman Club.

Cutler Collection (Print Department)

A collection of glass and film copy negatives of old views of Charlestown.


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Daumier, Honore Collection (Print Department)

In 1948 the Library acquired the Maroni Collection of lithographs by Honore Daumier. The collection consists of a total of 4,108 prints, with many images represented by more than one state. Included as well are fifty-seven proof prints with notes by the artist and five albums. Daumier was a political and social satirist whose images provide biting commentary on government, the legal system, medicine, the visual and performing arts, and the growing middle class. The lithographs date from 1830 to 1872 and reflect mid-19th century Parisian society.

Delano, Benjamin (1807-1882) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Correspondence and documents relating to Benjamin Delano and his son Joshua, shipowners and merchants of Kingston, Massachusetts; documents of the ships Cordova, King Philip, Navarro, Monte Christo, White Wing, and the fishing trade at Grand Banks.

Delatre Collection (Print Department)

Consists of many prints and a number of documents and memorabilia which were in the famous Paris print workshop of Auguste Delatre and his son Eugene when it closed after World War II. The workshop served artists and set standards for artistic printing of etchings in black and white, and color. Charles Meryon, James McNeil Whistler, Sir Francis Seymour Haden, Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, Jacques Villon, Mary Cassatt, and many other artists came to the studio to seek the help of the Delatres, father and son. Many prints by Auguste and Eugene Delatre are a part of the Delatre Collection; many prints which they printed for other artists are found in the Wiggin Collection and other Print Department collections. The collection is significant for the study of printmaking in Paris beginning in the 1840s.

De Mar, Clarence (1888-1958) Collection (Research Services)

A scrapbook on the Boston Marathoner on call number: GV1065.D4.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

DePol, John Collection (Print Department)

Includes lithographs, etchings, wood engravings, original prints used as illustrations, as well as ephemera illustrating the work of the artist &endash; Christmas cards, broadsides, and notices &endash; many combining type and wood engravings. Born in New York City in 1913, DePol developed his artistic talent outside of normal schooling. World War II brought the opportunity to study lithography at the School of Technology in Belfast and the experience of service in the European theater. Many of his wartime sketches were turned into etchings at the Art Students League in New York when he returned from the war.

DeVoto, Mark Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Various manuscripts of Walter Piston’s textbook Harmony, including the complete typescript with musical examples and excerpts of the fourth edition revised and expanded by Mr. DeVoto. There are photocopies of harmonic/music theory exercises.

Dickens, Charles Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains twenty-two letters by Charles Dickens (1812-1870), written between 1839-1868, that discuss either a variety of subjects, such as the Tavistock House theatricals, financial help for orphans, or the 'Ragged School Movement', or provide insight into his personal life, including the health of his wife, the cadetship for one of his sons, and his brother-in-law's funeral expenses.

Dickinson, Emily Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains approximately 70 letters and 43 poems sent by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) to Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911). In addition, letters written between Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd regarding the publication of Dickinson's poems are also included.

Dix, Dorothea Lynde correspondence with George Barrell Emerson (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains nineteen letters written to George Barrell Emerson in 1847 in response to a circular letter sent to schools in Boston, inquiring about the state of their libraries.

Drawings for Children’s Books (Print Department)

A growing collection of original drawings for children’s books, including a drawing by Arthur Rackham; thirteen drawings by Kate Greenaway; Robert McCloskey’s sketchbooks for Make Way for Ducklings; and several drawings by C.W. Anderson, Judith Gwyn Brown, Barbara Cooney, Doris and George Hauman, Fritz Kredel, Elizabeth MacKinsty, Katherine Milhous, Henry C. Pitz, and others.

Dselskaley, Eugene Collection
    See: Picture Research Collection

Dwiggins, William Addison (1901-1986) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Dwiggins was a type designer, calligrapher, typographer, illustrator, marionette designer and performer, and writer from Hingham Massachusetts. The collection includes holograph manuscripts, type designs, correspondence, photographs, paintings, woodcuts, stencil prints, woodcarvings, architectural sketches and diagrams, and layouts and correspondence relating to his book and type designs as well as marionettes, a marionette theater, tools, furniture and related material. See also the Dorothy Abbe Collection.

Dwight, John Sullivan correspondence regarding Brook Farm (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 32 letters written to John Sullivan Dwight between 1840-1848 regarding life at Brook Farm. The letters cover a variety of subjects including George Ripley’s (1802-1880) resignation from the Purchase Street church in 1840; Sophia Ripley’s (1803-1861) description of early life on the Farm; Albert Brisbane’s (1809-1890) comments of the progress of associationism; the future prospects of the community after the Phalanstery fire; and William Henry Channing’s (1810-1884) thoughts about the future of the reform movement.


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E. A. Phelps British Anti-Slavery Society Papers (n.d., 1845) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Written by the committees of the British and Foreign Anti-slavery Society in 1845, these resolutions protested the imprisonment of anyone who assisted a runaway slave in the southern United States.

Easter Rebellion Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Books, pamphlets, and posters relating to the Irish Republican Rebellion that began on Easter Monday, 1916.

Ehrlich, Richard (1901-1981) and Virginia Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of 900 manuscript notes, letters and autographs of famous American and European personages of the late 18th through the early 20th centuries along with family scrapbooks on performing art subjects from the 1930’s-1950’s.

Emerson, George Barrell Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 19 letters written to George Barrell Emerson in response to a circular letter sent to schools in Boston, inquiring about the state of their libraries.

English (British) Civilization Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The English (British) Civilization Collection contains more than 1,500 letters and documents that were either purchased by the Boston Public Library or were donated. The material was written by royal, political, military, literary, scientific, and artistic figures, together with other individuals who contributed to British and Irish history and culture predominantly throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Evans, John and Company Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Provides a multifold example of the works of Evans and his firm in architectural sculpture. The collection includes photographs, correspondence and sketchbooks of architectural details and of headstones.

Expo Boston 76 (Rare Books & Manuscripts; Delivery Desk)

This collection contains clippings from Boston, New England, and national newspapers dating between 1963 and 1971 that document the plans of the organization 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. to hold an International Exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts. The expo was intended to mark the United States bicentennial. Among the subject reported on are reusable land, the development of the Boston Harbor Islands, and the New Community. Other subjects cover the City of Philadelphia's bid for the Expo, world's fairs, and South Boston and Dorchester neighborhoods. Included in the collection are photographs, slides, and an artist rendering of the proposed expo site.


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Face to Face/Michael McCurdy Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the conception, publication, and sale of the wood engraving collection Face to Face: Twelve Contemporary American Artists Interpret Themselves in a Limited Edition of Original Wood Engravings, a project of Michael McCurdy and Robert Hauser, printed in 1985. The collaboration of the two printers and the professional activities of Michael McCurdy, are also documented.

Fantin-Latour, Henri (1836-1904) (Print Department)

There are 376 lithographs dating between 1865 and 1900 on performing art subjects with many related to opera and music.

Feer, Robert Collection
    See: World’s Fair Collection

Felicani, Aldino (1891-1967) Sacco-Vanzetti Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection dates from 1914-1967 (bulk 1920-1927) and documents the efforts of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee to free Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti from prison after they were found guilty of the murders of Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli on July 14, 1920. In particular, the collection documents the Committee's fundraising and propaganda campaign, and Frederick Moore's investigation and defense strategies. In addition, the roles of Elizabeth Glendower Evans and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn had in the defense, and Aldino Felicani’s creation of the Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Committee are also documented. Records consist of correspondence, manifestos, trial notebooks, financial records, and scrapbooks. Broadsides, manuscripts, legal records, and photographs are also included. Among the collection’s memorabilia are broadsides, the armbands mourners wore at the funeral, Sacco and Vanzetti’s commingled ashes and death masks. The BPL has created a booklist about Sacco and Vanzetti and also has published a book of the proceedings of a symposium about the famous men.

Fiedler, Arthur (1894-1979) (Arts Department, by appointment)

The collection includes scrapbooks, photographs, periodicals, catalogues, programs, correspondence, and memorabilia from 1898-1980.

Field, Kate (1839-1896) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Consists of approximately 1,500 letters pertaining to English and American literature collected by this St. Louis-born journalist, actress, and author. As a young woman, Field traveled to Europe where she formed enduring friendships with the Brownings, the Trollops, George Eliot, Charlotte Cushman, and other distinguished people of her time.

Folsom, Charles Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Includes about 2,000 pieces of correspondence between editor and librarian Charles Folsom and major literary figures of 19th century New England.

Fondo L'Adunata Collection

    See: the L'Adunata dei Refratteri Collection

Foster, R.F. Foster’s Encyclopedia of Games. 8th ed. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., c1897. (Research Services)

Call Number: GV1243.F78 1897x.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Francis, Joseph Greene Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection includes nine letters from author Joseph Greene Francis to Dorothy McMichael Collins written between 1915 and 1925. Topics in the letters include reminiscence of time spent in Maine with Collins. Francis published two children’s books: A Book of Cheerful Cats and Other Animated Animals (1892) and The Joyous Aztecs (1929).

Franciscan Collection
    See: Sabatier, Paul/Franciscan Collection

Franco-American Collections
    See: Beaulieu, Wilfred Collection Franco-American Newspapers Collection Santerre, Richard Collection

Franco-American Newspapers Collection (Research Services)

There are 63 Franco-American newspapers published in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island with an additional 6 titles published in Illinois, Michigan, and New York.

    See also: Beaulieu, Wilfred Collection Santerre, Richard Collection

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Consists of 1,200 books and pamphlets by, about or printed by Benjamin Franklin, together with engravings illustrating his life. The first gift came from Dr. Samuel Green in 1880, and consisted of 135 books and 87 portraits and engravings, all of which related in some way to Franklin. This was supplemented by consequent gifts from various sources. Many Benjamin Franklin portraits are also held in the Print Department’s collection of American Historical Prints.

Freiligrath (Ferdinand) Collection
    See: Montgomery Sears/Freiligrath Collection

Fuller, Margaret Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains approximately 154 letters, poems, fragments, and journal extracts written by Margaret Fuller (1810-1850). Also included are letters written between Thomas Wentworth Higginson and people who knew Fuller regarding his biography of her.


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Galatea Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection devoted to the history of women and particularly strong in 19th century books by and about women, presented to the Library by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) of Cambridge in 1896. As there was no similar collection in any library, Higginson desired this to be the nucleus of a collection on the history of women. Since 1900, $100 a year was received from Andrew Carnegie up to Colonel Higginson’s death in 1911 for additions to the collection, which now has more than 4,000 volumes. The collection also contains manuscript material featuring the work of Emily Dickinson. Highlights include a number of inscribed presentation copies (to Higginson), items in a variety of European languages, and the fact that this was one of the earliest book collections formed in this country devoted exclusively to women.

A catalog of this collection was published in 1898, but many volumes have been added to this collection through gifts, transfers, and purchases. These additions include a number of important periodicals such as the Lowell Offering (1843-1845), Woman’s Era (1894-1897), and Woman’s Journal (1870-1917). The collection is documented in the Research Publication’s microfilm series, The History of Women.

Online access: The Emily Dickinson manuscript material from the Galatea collection is available through the BPL's online collections. A published (but incomplete) catalog of this collection can be found through Internet Archive.

Gallini, Natale Italian Libretto Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of 3,856 libretti documenting the history of melodrama in Italy from the 17th-20th centuries.

Garrison, William Lloyd Collection
    See: Anti-Slavery Collection

Gavarni, Guillaume (1804-1866) Collection (Print Department)

Over 400 lithographs produced between 1839-1866 containing images related to actors, costumes, dancers, musicians, opera, masked-ball scenes, and sheet music cover illustrations.

Geiringer, Karl Collection (Print Department)

A collection of over 600 glass negatives from about 1830-1910 containing portraits of European composers including Beethoven, Berlioz, Bertoldi, Brahms, Gluck, Handel, Haydn, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Padereweski, Paganini, Rossini, Salieri, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Stravinsky, Verdi, Vivaldi, and Wagner.

Genealogy and Family History Collections (Research Services)

The Research Services Department maintains a separate catalog of family genealogies which includes analytics and vertical file material not in the main library catalogs, and a unique index of family coats of arms, chiefly from the British Isles with over 20,000 entries. Resources on immigration include transcribed passenger lists and related indexes, in addition to microform copies of official lists and indexes, primarily for New England, but also including New York and selected Gulf and Atlantic ports; and indexes to naturalization petitions for the New England states. Census records for the New England states, Massachusetts vital records, newspapers, and military records for the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are among the resources available.

Gest, Morris (1881-1942) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Actor Gest was the son-in-law of the dramatist-actor-manager David Belasco (1859-1931). The collection consists of 22 silver print photographs and William Winter’s 1920 two-volume biography of Belasco.

Gilbert, John Gibbs (1810-1889) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

About 470 monographs on performing arts subjects and plays collected by Boston actor-manager Gilbert.

Golf Scrapbook Collection (Research Services)

A scrapbook of newspaper clippings from Boston papers, covering 1917-1923, is available on call number: GV982.M4G6.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor (1869-1924) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Goodhue, a virtuoso draftsman and designer, designed many notable buildings around the country. The Goodhue Collection includes designs, drawings, and drawings given by John and Carol Rivers.

    See also: Cram, Ralph Adams

Goodstein-Aue, Justin H. Collection (Print Department)

The Justin H. Goodstein-Aue Collection was created by Goodstein-Aue, a Boston-based photographer who spends much of his time documenting historic businesses and local neighborhoods. This digital collection includes images created at James Hook & Co., a family business founded in 1925 and located on Boston's waterfront. Goodstein-Aue spent about a year documenting the company's daily life and, after a fire destroyed much of the business in May 2008, his images are a lingering reminder of its former glory.

Online access: The Goodstein-Aue collection is accessible through the BPL's online image collections at Flickr.

Gould, Elizabeth Porter (1848-1906) Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains books and correspondence by major authors of the late 19th century from the collection of this Boston author.

Goya Collection (Print Department)

Goya’s La Tauromaquia, a series of 33 prints (Delti Catalogue numbers 224-256) depicting bullfighting scenes, many of which were based on actual events.

Grant, Moses Jr. Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection includes the correspondence and documents dating from 1812-1862 of Moses Grant, Jr. (1785-1861), a paper dealer from Boston, Massachusetts. Subjects covered include paper orders, the temperance movement, and Grant’s philanthropy.

Graphics Collection of Private Presses (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Includes works by John Baskerville; Dove Press; and incunabula, fine printing, and binding from the 16th century to the present.

Greenleaf, Simon correspondence with James Henry Elliot (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains forty letters written by Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) from 1830-1838 concerning the education of James Henry Elliot (1810-ca.1839).

Griswold, Rufus (1815-1857) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains the letters of Rufus Griswold (1815-1857), editor of Graham’s Magazine and publisher of American literature and poetry in the mid-19th century.  The letters document his relationships – both business and personal – with his contemporaries. Most notable in the collection is the correspondence between Griswold and Edgar Allan Poe. Also included are manuscripts of poems, articles, and newspaper clippings.

Gulesian, Grace Warner (1884-1984) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Music manuscripts spanning 1911-1967 by a Boston-area composer, pianist, and playwright.


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Haitian Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection dates from 1714 to 1916 (with gaps) and documents French colonial rule of Saint Domingue, the slave insurrection, the beginning of Haitian self-rule, and the development of the Republic of Haiti.

Hale, Edward Everett (1822-1909) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection dates from 1852-1908 and contains correspondence, documents, and photographs of Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), the Unitarian minister, author, and philanthropist.

Hale, Philip (1854-1934) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Music critic Philip Hale was known for his program notes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Through newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks musical events, performers, performance styles, and popular tastes of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries are documented.

Handel & Haydn Society Archives (1770-1964) (Arts Department, by appointment; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The Handel & Haydn Society donated its archives to the Library in 1978. Included in the collection are over 600 printed items, many of which are Society publications, scrapbooks, programs, business and legal records including the first constitution and secretary reports; other monographs, musical scores both published and manuscript, musical collections and anthologies, and serials. In 1989 with partial funding from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Library collaborated with the Society to preserve on microfilm the Society’s programs and scrapbooks held in the Society’s collection and those in the Library’s Allen A. Brown Music Collection and the Society’s archives housed in the Library’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Department. Both the Society and the Library have positive microfilms of the programs and scrapbooks.

The portion of the collection housed in the Rare Books department dates from 1815-2011 and documents the founding and development of the Handel and Haydn Society, whose mission it is to promote the appreciation and performance of classical music. In particular, the collection documents the Society's growth from a group of local Boston merchants to that of the oldest continuing performance arts organization in the United States, and records the organization's outreach efforts. Records consist of correspondence, annual reports, meeting minutes, presidential addresses, and scrapbooks. Programs, posters, newspaper clippings, and photographs are also included. (Finding aid for Rare Books collection)

Hanlon Theatrical Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the performances of the Hanlon brothers during the 1870s and 1880s in both the United States and Europe. In addition, the lives of the Hanlons after their theatrical careers are also documented. Included are scrapbooks, costume sketches, photographs, and scripts.

Harding, Chester Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains eighteen letters dating from 1820-1867 that were either written to or about Charles Harding, 1792-1866, the American portrait painter. They concern social introductions, his portraits, and his book My Egotistography.

Harris, Charlotte Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Along with a substantial fund to purchase books published prior to 1850, this collection was originally bequeathed to the Charlestown Branch. The nucleus of 1,118 books was transferred to the Central Library in 1900 and has grown to more than 5,000 volumes.


Haven and Hoyt Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Original drawings, office files, and photographs of the Boston-based firm’s practice (ca. 1900-1930). The collection includes renderings and photographs of the Boston architect, Edmund March Wheelwright.

Hawthorne, Sophia correspondence with James and Annie Fields (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains approximately 251 letters written to James Thomas Fields (1817-1881), the publisher and friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), and his wife Annie Adams Fields (1834-1915), between the years 1851-1904 by members of the Hawthorne family and they document both the personal and professional nature of their relationship.

Hayes, Roland (1922-1971) Letters (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains nine letters dating from 1922-1971 that document Roland Hayes’ (1887-1977) friendship and business relationship with Kate Seaman and several other correspondents. Hayes was one of the first African-American singers to gain national and international fame, specializing in classical songs as well African-American spirituals. Topics include his public performances and plans for production and distribution of recordings. Also included are two photographs.

Heckel, Albert A. Print Collections (Print Department)

Contain prints dating from the 17th to the 20th century. Most strongly represented are prints from England and France of the 19th century, notably a group of landscape etchings by English artist Seymour Haden and prints by French printmaker Charles Meryon. The collection also contains prints by Henri Fantin-Latour, Jean Francois Rafaelli, Edgar Degas, Maxime Lalanne, and Charles-Francois Daubigny.

Hedlund, Oscar Collection (Research Services)

Scrapbooks of clippings on the track star and track events from 1908-1946. Call Number: GV1061.H4.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth (1823-1911) Galatea Collection
    See: Galatea Collection

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Of the 159 letters in this collection, many deal with abolition, women’s suffrage, and literature. Correspondents include abolitionists, writers, and suffragettes such as Lydia Maria Child, Sarah Orne Jewett, Louise Chandler Moulton, Harriet Spofford, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, Anne Whitney, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Also included is correspondence from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Abby Kelley Foster. In addition, there are letters from Una Hawthorne and Rose Hawthorne Lathrop as well as Mabel Loomis Todd.

Contents of these letters range from extending, accepting, and declining invitations to meet, exchanging poetry, soliciting Higginson’s criticism and advice, expressing appreciation of Higginson’s own poetry, administrative concerns relating to the Boston Authors Club, discussion of women’s suffrage events, and inviting him to speak at functions or contribute to literary journals.

Hine, Lewis Collection (Print Department)

Collection of photographic prints from the early 20th century taken by photographer and social activist Lewis Hine, most in connection with documenting child labor in Massachusetts and New England.

A History of the Boston Base Ball Club. Compiled by George V. Tuohey. Boston: M.F. Quinn & Co., c1897. (Research Services)

Call Number: GV875.B64T3 1897a.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

History of the Boston Street and Elevated Railways (Research Services)

Newspaper clippings document the subway, West End Street Railway, and Boston Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad. On call number: HE491.B78B7.

Hollywood in Pictures (Print Department)

The collection contains about 500 black and white photographs of performers from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The photographs include movie stills, portraits, and posed fashion shots.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 29 letters from Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) to various correspondents, dating from 1852-1892. Primary recipients are Phineas Barnes and Clara Barnes Martin, friends of Holmes who write about personal and family matters. Other letters pertain to Holmes’ literary endeavors and reminiscence of Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Also included are letters to James T. Fields and Bram Stoker.

Holt Collection (Print Department)

The Holt Collection, though predominantly concerned with the European vision of the Islamic world, includes prints in other areas of subject matter. In relation to the performing arts, the collection includes: ten Italian watercolor drawings of theatrical caricature, c.1830; three Italian theatrical costume designs executed as watercolor drawings, c.1830, four French and English hand-colored lithographs of costume design; and one hand colored lithograph by Ajello and Doyen titled, Quadrilles des Quatre Saisons (Paris, 1834). An important element of the collection is a series of twelve hand-colored etchings, Coleccion de las Principales Suertes de una Corrida de Toros by Antonio Carnicero (Madrid, 1790), which were an influential predecessor for Goya’s Tauromaquia.

Howells, William Dean (1837-1920) Letters (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection consists of twenty letters written by the American writer William Dean Howells (1837-1920) that cover a span of thirty-five years. The majority of the letters, dated between 1869 and 1888, are to James Ripley Osgood (1836-1892) the editor of the Atlantic Monthly in which Howells critiques manuscripts submitted to the magazine while he was assistant editor. In other letters to Osgood, Howells discusses his plans for and progress of his own work.

Humphrey, Robert Laning (1896-1988) Journalistic Archives (Arts Department, by appointment)

Journalist and publicist, Laning Humphrey assisted an unknown violist by the name of Arthur Fiedler to advertise and raise funds to sponsor free concerts on the Esplanade in 1929. By 1935, he was the full time publicist for Symphony Hall, a position he maintained until around 1969. During his years as publicist, journalist, and Keeper of the Casadesus Musical Instrument Collection at Symphony Hall, he amassed an enormous collection of newspaper reviews and articles, photographs of the Hall, musicians, conductors, soloists, covering both the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops and Tanglewood and the Esplanade. Materials include press releases, correspondence, and serials.

Hunt, Benjamin P. (1808-1877)/ West Indies Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Consists of 8,000 books and manuscripts relating to the discovery and history of the West Indies, with special emphasis on Haiti and Barbados. A one-time resident of Chelmsford who died in 1877, Hunt bequeathed to the Library his collection of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, charts, and engravings on the West Indies, together with his manuscripts, and notes. Hunt was long engaged with commerce in Haiti and the West Indies. A careful student of manners and customs, he brought together at an early date a unique collection of books relating to the islands. Printed material ranges from the 16th to 20th century, including rare Haitian imprints from the imperial press, nearly 200 French documents concerning the colonies, numerous pilot guides, legal codes, and works on history, politics, and natural science. Manuscripts include Henry Howard’s three volume Journal, written while an officer in the British army occupying Santo Domingo; Hunt’s own extensive unpublished notes on Haiti; and 18th and 19th century documents related to the French occupation.

There is a hand-written annotated catalog of Hunt’s own library along with a typed checklist that brings together most of the Haitian manuscripts. The collection has been described in some depth in More Books (Oct. 1929, p. 313-321) and in the B.P.L. Quarterly (1959, p. 21-32, 131-142, 210-216).


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Il Fondo L’Adunata (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains the correspondence of  major figures in the writing, editing, publication, and dissemination of L’Adunata. In addition, subjects also include matters of the leadership and development of the Italian-American Anarchist movement from 1917-1985. See also L’Adunata dei Refratteri Collection.

Impressions Workshop Collection (Print Department)

Partly acquired by purchase beginning in 1963, but chiefly the gift of Stephen Andrus, owner of the workshop from 1967 to 1984. An important printmaking workshop serving artists, Impressions Workshop was founded by George Lockwood in Boston in 1959. The collection consists of thousands of lithographic proofs and etchings by many different artists and includes some woodcuts and silk screen prints. Also included are business records, books from the Impressions Workshop library, and extensive photographic documentation by Steven Trefonides of the workshop, its staff, and visiting artists.

Incunabula at the Boston Public Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Incunabula are defined as books printed before January 1, 1501. The term comes from the Latin for "things from the cradle," i.e. the cradle of printing. The library has approximately 525 titles in this category. Johann Gutenberg is credited with inventing printing from moveable types somewhere between 1450-55. The two earliest titles in the library's collection are attributed to Gutenberg - a leaf from his famous bible ("The Gutenberg Bible") printed between 1454-55 and the Catholicon printed in 1460. The latter is one of only 10 copies located in the United States and the only one printed on vellum (calfskin). Also found among the incunabula category is the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), the first encyclopedic history of the world; the extraordinary Hypnerotomachia Poliphila (1499); Divina Commedia (1481) by Dante Alighieri with etchings by Sandro Botticelli; early editions of The Golden Legend and Canterbury Tales; as well as the writings of Eusebius, Boccacio, Martialis and Thomas Aquinus. Early printers represented in the collection include Johann Gutenberg, Sweynheym and Pannartz, Anton Koberger, Gunther Zainer, Peter Schoeffer, Nicholas Jenson, Geoffrey Tory, William Caxton and Richard Pynson. Information about the contents of the collection is found in the card catalog in Rare Books and in Frederick Goff's Incunabula in American Libraries.

Ireland: Union to Free State Collection (The majority of holdings are available from the Delivery Desk, 617.859.2244. Please consult a librarian.;   Rare Books & Manuscripts.)

19th and early 20th century Irish material consisting of over 3,000 pamphlets, posters, photographs, scrapbooks and several thousand press cuttings that relate to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, including Home Rule, the Easter Rebellion, and the Irish Volunteers.

Irish History, Modern

See: Modern Irish History Collection

Irish Legal History Collection (Entries are in the Online Catalog; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Close to 1,000 items dating from 1615-1880. Includes Statutes of the Irish Parliament to 1801, reports of trials and legal proceedings, practitioner’s books, rare Irish editions of classic legal texts and pamphlets on a variety of legal and constitutional controversies.

Irish Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection, which dates between 1916-1960, covers such subjects as the formation of the Irish Republic, the struggle for independence from Great Britain, the Irish Republican Army, and the anti-partisan movement. It includes correspondence relating to Éamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith. Also included are photographs, copies of the Irish Bulletin, and newspaper clippings.

Italian Libretti and Ballet Collections (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This famous collection of Maestro N.G. (Natale Gallini) of Milan was acquired by the Boston Public Library in 1967. Of the libretti from the 17th through 19th centuries that make up this extensive collection on Italian operatic production, two-thirds are from the 1800s. Lists of performers, composers, writers, set designers, and theaters create a marvelously well-rounded history of Italian lyrical drama. Because many of the libretti also contain descriptions of the dances that either preceded or followed the opera, much historical information on the ballet can be culled from this collection. In 1967 the Boston Public Library also acquired 1,112 Italian ballet synopses dating from 1769 to 1900, which complement the libretti group.


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Jack Johnson: In the Ring and Out, by Jack Johnson. Chicago: National Sports Publishing Co., 1927. (Research Services)

Call Number: GV1132.J7A18.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Japan Paper Company Collection (Print Department)

Contains remarkable samples of handmade papers with advertising messages presented in distinguished illustrations and typography by leading American designers from 1915 through 1935. An importer of handmade papers from all over the world, the Japan Paper Company became a part of Stevens, Nelson Co. which later was absorbed into Andrews, Nelson, Whitehead. The Boston office of the Japan Paper Company was established in 1916 under the direction of Herbert Farrier, from whose estate the collection came to the Boston Public Library.

Jones, Leslie Collection (Print Department)

A collection of approximately 40,000 glass and film negatives along with several thousand photographic prints taken by Boston Herald-Traveler photographer Leslie Jones, from his personal collection. Jones was a photographer for the Herald-Traveler from 1917 to 1956 and took photographs documenting aviation, crime, sports, Boston scenes, fires, maritime subjects, celebrities and other newsworthy events.

Online access: Selections from the Leslie Jones collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Juvenile Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Includes two "Donatus leaves" from the popular Latin schoolboy grammar, originating in Holland in the middle of the fifteenth century. Among the various American collections one may find nearly 100 versions of the New England Primer and its competitors, some fifteen miniature or "Thumb" Bibles, and such rarities as Janeway’s A Token for Children (Boston, 1728) and Perrault’s Tales of Passed Times by Mother Goose (New York, 1795). English and Scottish juvenilia include more than 250 early nineteenth century chapbooks such as The Universal Battledore, The Invisible Prince, A New Middle Book, and The Infantile Cabinet of Beasts. Illustrated books include numerous works of Kate Greenway, Walter Crane, and Randolph Caldecott.


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Kattenberg, Burns Collection (Print Department)

Approximately 19,000 postcards depicting Boston architecture and New England views.

    See also: Postcard Collections

Kavanagh, Michael and Antoinette Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection dates from 1933-1957 and contains the correspondence of Michael and Antoinette Kavanagh, both of whom worked in the theatre, from producers and family members. Also included are photographs, playbills, and play scripts.

Kelley, John A. (1907- ) Collection (Research Services)

Scrapbooks of items on the Boston Marathoner who has competed since 1928. Call Number: GV1065.K4.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Kessler, Minuetta Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Manuscripts, clippings, and correspondence of the Boston-area pianist, teacher and composer Minuetta Kessler. Materials date from 1919-1989.

Killam, Horace Correspondence, 1864 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The thirty-five letters, written between April 29 and December 24, 1864 record the experiences of Horace Killam, an 18-year-old Union soldier from Boxford, Massachusetts. Killam joined the 59th Massachusetts Infantry in April 1864, participated in Battle of Spotsylvania, was a prisoner of war, and died in a parole camp in Annapolis, Maryland.

Koussevitzky, Serge (1875-1951) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Koussevitzky was director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924-1949.

Mrs. Olga Koussevitzky donated her husband’s collection from their summer home, Seranak, located in the Berkshires to the Library in 1974. The collection includes 1,644 scores-both published and manuscript-several of them signed by the composers; monographs, sound recordings, photographs, scrapbooks, concert programs and several framed items including his honorary degrees.

Online access: Selections from the Koussevitzky collection are accessible through the BPL's online sound archives.


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LANE/MEAD BOSTON MARITIME COLLECTION (Rare Books & Manuscripts) This collection contains many items that capture and reflect the industrial development and history of the Port of Boston, including a Vessel Log of  Peabody & Lane; 3 volumes of the Peabody & Lane Corporate Record books; one Vessel's Log of Patterson, Wylde & Co.; 46 day books of the P&O Co.; 5 volumes of the Port of Boston Handbook; 2 volumes of the International Longshoremen’s Association Scrapbooks, 1 box of the correspondence of Athur Lane, 2 boxes of correspondence and material donated by the Boston Shipping Association, and more. (See also the Boston’s Maritime Industrial History collection above. Also, please view the Massachusetts’ Historical Society’s Boston Port & Seamen’s Aid Society Records. Researchers may contact the Boston Marine Society at www.bostonmarinesociety.org for permission to use its Boston maritime history library.)

Online access: Selections from the Lane/Mead collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Lang, Benjamin J. (1837-1909) Scrapbooks (Arts Department, by appointment)

Concert programs and clippings from 1861-1906 document the musical life of a Massachusetts native who performed as pianist and organist and served as conductor of the Apollo Club, Cecilia Society, and Handel & Haydn Society.

Lang, Frances M. Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Diaries of Benjamin Lang’s wife describing their life, activities, and correspondence for the period 1876, 1891-92, and 1901-20.

Lang, Margaret Ruthven (1867-1972) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The daughter of Benjamin and Frances, Lang was a noted Boston-area composer of about 200 songs and other works including three overtures, three solos with orchestra, an a capella chorus, six piano works, chamber music, and the choral work In Praesepio, the Christmas cantata Heavenly Noel, and the Dramatic Overture. The collection also includes diaries, photographs, and related material.

Langton, Jane (1970-2007) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The papers of mystery writer and native Bostonian Jane Langton document the research, writing and publication process of nineteen books written between 1970 and 2007. The books represented include all eighteen Homer Kelly mysteries and Acts of Light, a compilation of Emily Dickinson poems that Langton wrote the introduction for. Papers include correspondence, research notes, and publicity materials.

Larcom, Lucy Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Throughout the seventy letters to her friend Ada Elise Locke, American writer Lucy Larcom (1824-1893) discusses her work, love of nature, and Christian beliefs. Larcom also includes details of the sermons she heard preached by Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) at Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and mentions her friendship with John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892).

Lewis, George Edward "Duffy" (1888-1979) Collection (Research Services)

A scrapbook of items on Red Sox left fielder Lewis. Call Number: GV865.L43A3.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Lewis, John A. Library of Americana (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Rare books relating to American history collected by Lewis, a Barnstable native and at various times a newspaper and railroad man, presented to the Library by his widow in 1890. There are several works by William Penn, more than 200 works by Increase and Cotton Mather (including Increase Mather’s The Wicked Man’s Portion – the first work printed in Boston), and works by William Cooper. The collection also contains such rarities as William Hubbard’s Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians, with the "White Hills" map (1677); John Underhill’s Newes from America 1638); and the Massachusetts Psalter (1709). Several of the issues from Benjamin Franklin’s press, including copies of the Poor Richard Almanack, are represented.

Lewisson, Walter Updike Collection of Washingtoniana (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Covers the life and times of George Washington, with 6,000 volumes, many of which were printed before 1800. Received in October 1930 by bequest from Walter Updike Lewisson, this major collection includes books, pamphlets, broadsides, and newspapers. Among the rarer items are a dozen editions of Washington's Farewell Address printed in 1796, and about 220 of the eulogies and funeral orations delivered during the official period of mourning between December 1799 and February 1800. This last group is representative not only of contemporary American oratory, but of local printing in small towns as well as in major centers. Much of this collection is uncataloged.

Libretti Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

A growing collection of uncataloged opera librettos dating from 1848. The collection has a representative selection of both the well known and lesser known composers.

Literary Dublin Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A record of the second literary revival of the 1950’s through the works of such authors as Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, and Flann O’Brien.

Longfellow Memorial Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A 25,000 volume library of works by major British and American authors, including rare editions. In 1896, Miss Victorine Artz of Chicago gave the sum of $10,000 for the purchase of valuable rare editions of the writings, either in verse or in prose, of American and foreign authors. Other gifts and purchases of literary works have been incorporated, including nearly 900 volumes from the estate of Louis Chandler Moulton, and more than 300 others form the library of Elizabeth Porter Gould. The former were often inscribed presentation copies, often with autograph letters inserted. Among first editions to be found in the collection are such classics as Through the Looking Glass, Treasure Island, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Gulliver's Travels, Moby Dick, and The Scarlet Letter and various editions of Aesop's Fables in many languages. The collection also includes strong representation of such diverse authors as Samuel Beckett, James Brendan Connolly, Francis Marion Crawford, Charles Dickens, Eugene Field, John Galsworthy, William Dean Howells, J.R. Lowell, John Masefield, Sean O'Faolain, William Gilmore Simms, James Stephens, W.M. Thackeray, G. Whittier, Edmund Wilson, and Humbert Wolfe, as well as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. There is also an extensive, though not exhaustive, collection of works by and about Walt Whitman (220 volumes). Note: this collection is informally known as the Artz (Victorine T.) Collection of Literature.

Lothrop Family Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 190 letters addressed to Daniel Lothrop (1831–1892) and Harriet Mulford Stone Lothrop (1844–1924). Additionally, there are twenty-two letters to their daughter and Margaret Lothrop (1884-1970); however, the bulk are to Harriet.

Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron (1803-1873) correspondence with Charles (William Charles Mark) Kent (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 138 letters written between 1851-1872 by Edward Bulwer Lytton to writer and journalist Charles William Mark Kent. In the letters, Lytton discusses politics, his writing, and his health. Some letters provide news of possible government appointments and in others Lytton consoles Kent on the state of his health.


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Mack Family Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 33 letters written to David Mack, who helped establish the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, his wife Lucy, and their daughter Isabelle  by various friends, including William Lloyd Garrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Celia Thaxter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Peabody, and Lucy Stone.

MacQueen, Peter Papers, (1871-1922) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains correspondence and other material relating to the journalistic career of Peter MacQueen.

McClosky, David Blair (1902-1988) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

The large working collection of teacher, vocal coach and singer David Blair McClosky contains vocal classical works from all periods of music.

McGreevey, Michael T. "Nuf Ced" Collection (Research Services; Print Department)

Donated by this owner of a Columbus Avenue saloon, this collection consists of more than 170 photographs of professional baseball in Boston and personal scrapbooks from the 1890’s to 1912. Originally displayed at McGreevey's tavern, Third Base, the photographs form the largest collection of its kind. The scrapbooks have been microfilmed and are on call number: GV865.M29A3.

Online access: Selections from the McGreevey collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

McKinley, William Thomas (1938-2015 ) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Over three hundred works of living composer, jazz pianist and educator William Thomas McKinley were donated to the Library in 1996. The compositions represent all of the different periods of Mr. McKinley’s compositional development. Although the works are in the process of being cataloged, Jeffrey Sposato’s book, William Thomas McKinley: A Bio-Bibliography serves as finding aid to the collection at this Library as well as those maintained at Mr. McKinley’s residence. Besides being a record of Mr. McKinley’s prodigious compositional output, the book includes bibliographical notes and performance history.

Maginnis and Walsh Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

The Maginnis and Walsh Collection contains the work of this architectural firm from 1913 to 1952. Charles D. Maginnis (1867-1955) and Timothy F. Walsh (1868-1934) were the leading architects in the American Roman Catholic tradition from 1900 to World War II. Two hundred and sixteen individual commissions are represented in the collection. Included in the collection are the plans of 62 churches and several convents and monasteries.

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center

The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library (NBL Map Center) was created to promote the use of maps as an important educational tool to understand human history, civilization and the world today. The NBL Map Center seeks to preserve, catalog, study, and exhibit the Boston Public Library's historically significant collection of 350,000 (World, European and United States) maps, that will be integrated with the latest technological advances of Global Information Systems (GIS). Please visit the Map Center website for more information and previews.

Marchard Orchestra Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Founded by Jack and Harry Marchard in 1932, the Boston-based orchestra played the "Champagne Circuit" of society balls, debutante parties, country club dances and college and prep school functions throughout the eastern and midwestern United States. There are 130 songbooks and over 1,500 musical scores and parts both published and in manuscript. Also included are publicity materials, reviews, and clippings.

Massachusetts Charitable Societies Records, 1876 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents 47 charitable societies that existed throughout the state of Massachusetts in 1876. Statements from the various societies provide information regarding their individual history, purpose, patrons, finances and officers. Among the organizations that are represented in the collection and are still active are the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Catholic Charities of Massachusetts (particularly St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston), and the Seamen’s Orphan and Children’s Friend Society in Salem (as Children’s Friend and Family Services).

Massachusetts Newspapers (Research Services; Newspaper Room; Rare Books & Manuscripts)
There are holdings for over 10,000 newspaper titles published in the Commonwealth from 1690 to the present. The originals of Massachusetts colonial newspapers are in Rare Books. Researchers are requested to use the microfilm copies due to the fragility of the original papers.

Massachusetts Political Action for Peace (Mass Pax)
    See: Grossman, Jerome Collection

Massachusetts Political Archive (Print Department)

Photographs, scrapbooks and other material related to Boston and Massachusetts State politics. Includes the Curley Collection of photographs and memorabilia related to Mayor and Governor James M. Curley, photographs of all the 20th century Boston mayors and photographs and prints of many 19th century Boston mayors. Also includes material related to the Kennedy and Fitzgerald families including photographs of JFK’s political career from his first term in congress to his presidency.

Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars Records, 1888-1911 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the functions and interactions the Society had with its members and other branches of the Society. The Society of Colonial Wars was established in 1892 for the purpose of honoring and preserving the memory of men who protected the American colonies between 1607 and 1775 through military means or civil service. In 1893, the Massachusetts branch of the Society was formed in Boston.. The correspondence reflects committee and officer appointments, genealogy requests, monument construction notes, events such as dinners and Colonial Wars Day, and donations to the Library of Congress and other historical societies. Records include membership lists, invitations, and programs.

Massachusetts 20th Regiment Association Collection
    See: 20th Regiment Collection

Medieval Manuscripts (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Dating from the 10th to 16th centuries, covering a wide range of subjects, representing a wide variety of schools of both script and illumination in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and England. From a nucleus of twenty items acquired in 1901 at the sale of the library of the Earl of Ashburton, this collection has grown to encompass more than 250 volumes and single leaves. The major part of the collection is comprised of religious and devotional texts, but there are also a number of secular and scientific titles. Most of the items are described in DeRicci's Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in North America, and in the 1962 Supplement by William Bond, and some have been extensively studied in articles in More Books and elsewhere. Treasures include: the 10th century lectionary from the Abbey of St. Illidius; the 13th century Flemish Psalter with its eight full-page miniatures glowing with burnished gold; the early 15th century Grandes Heures from the Quebriac family; the 14th century German pictorial life of St. Augustine; and the set of miniatures from an early 16th century Spanish Book of Hours. Non-European manuscripts include several Armenian examples, three Hebrew scrolls, a 15th century Persian copy of Nizami's Khamsah illustrated by Ali Mahmud, and three palm leaf Pali manuscripts.

Merrill, Richard Collection (Print Department)

Collection of approximately 10,000 film negatives by photographer Richard Merrill who contributed photographs to the Boston Herald-Traveler and other publications. Photographs were taken in the late 1930’s and 1940’s with a concentration on local radio history and the war effort during World War II on the Boston home-front.

Modern Irish History Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Over 1500 books, pamphlets, broadsides, leaflets, typed documents and letters, holograph letters, and ephemera covering the Fenian period to the early days of the Irish Free State, Fenian and post-Fenian organizations at home and overseas, land disturbances, Parnell, Home Rule, the rise of the Labour party, the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, the Treaty, the Civil War, and the beginnings of the Free State.

Montgomery Sears / Freiligrath Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of German literature, primarily poetry – epic and dramatic as well and lyric – of the late 18th and the 19th centuries, once the library of the Romantic poet Ferdinand Freiligrath. Besides the valuable folk song collection and the early almanacs, the collection includes first editions by important German authors and some thirty presentation copies with autograph inscriptions by the authors. The collection has 2,000 volumes.

Munn, James Buell Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A scholarly gathering of 25,000 volumes collected by this eminent Professor of English at Harvard University. This collection has strong holdings in Biblical literature, poetry, 18th- and 19th-century French literature, and 20th-century first editions, such as Ernest Hemingway and T. S. Eliot. Much of the collection has been dispersed in the Library stacks and can be found in the Research Library Catalogs, with the first editions and rare items (2,200 volumes) housed in the Rare Books Department.

Münsterberg, Hugo Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains 3,000 letters by statesmen, authors, educators, and other major figures from the late 19th- and early 20th-century. Born in Prussia in 1863, Münsterberg was an important research pioneer in experimental psychology and taught at Harvard University for many years.

Music Program Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

1700 concert and theater programs from Boston-area concerts, New York, and other American venues held from 1818 to date. The oldest materials are from London theaters; many of these programs represent theaters or organizations no longer extant. The Boston organizations represented include the Faelten Pianoforte School, the Boston Opera House, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Handel & Haydn Society.


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National Theatre Collection, 1837-1864 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the theatre’s several changes in management, plays performed, and financial history.

NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children
    See: National Council of Teachers of English

New England Art Information File
    See: Boston Art Archives/New England Art Information File

New England Base Ballist: a Weekly Journal, an Advocate of the National Game, Field Sports and the Drama. August 6, 1868-December 31, 1868. (Research Services)

Call Number: GV1033.N36x.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

New England Fireworks Company Records, 1927-1930 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The New England Fireworks Company was operated by Pasty J. and Sabot A. Napolitan. The company, which was located in Springfield, Massachusetts, created fireworks and made displays on commission throughout New England, usually for celebrations. Records include correspondence and invoices.

Nichols, Malcolm E. (1876-1951) Collection (Research Services)

Boston Mayor, 1926-1929; he also served on the Boston City Council and in the legislature as a senator and representative. Nichols promoted a census proposal for Greater Boston, saw work start on the East Boston tunnel, and established the Boston Traffic Commission and Boston Port Authority. The collection contains 23 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings documenting his administration which have been microfilmed and are on call number: F73.54.N52A5 1986x.

North End Union Records (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the North End Union’s efforts to strengthen the Italian-American community of Boston’s North End through education, fitness, and job training programs. Established in 1892 by the Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Churches, the North End Union served the neighborhood until 1998 by providing adult training courses, senior support, the nation’s first supervised child care center, and a wide range of youth programs. The primary goals of the North End Union were to enhance the quality of life for residents of the North End and Waterfront neighborhoods by expanding their horizons for personal, social, and vocational success. Included in the collection are board of directors meeting minutes, grants and contracts, and photographic images and scrapbooks.


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Oakes, Ziba B. Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The 652 letters in this collection document the business of Ziba B. Oakes, a slave broker, who lived in Charleston, South Carolina. The letters were written to business associates and cover all aspects of the slave trade business including pricing, selling instructions, and resolving problems with runaways. Oakes's real estate business and other financial matters are also documented.

O’Connor Edwin (1918-1986) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the life and career of American novelist Edwin O’Connor. It contains correspondence, copies and drafts of his written works, published reviews, and some autobiographical materials relating to his years as a student at the University of Notre Dame, his service in the US Coast Guard, and his professional career as both a radio announcer and writer.

O’Meara, Stephen (1854-1918) Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Covering the period 1880-1918, from his years as manager and publisher of the Boston Journal through his two terms as Police Commissioner (1906-1918) of Boston, this manuscript collection provides a vivid picture of Boston and Massachusetts through correspondence, business papers, and memorabilia. Call Number: Ms.Am. 2432.

Opera and Ballet Collections (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Approximately 2,800 watercolor and pen and ink drawings for the opera and ballet, primarily Italian and German, from the second half of the 19th to the early 20th centuries. The two greatest 19th-century designers for the stage, Luigi Bartezago (1820-1905) and Alfred Edel (1859-1912) are well represented. The majority of the designs are associated with productions at La Scala in Milan, while others relate to opera and ballet in Genoa, Naples, Perugia, Rimini, Rome, Trieste, Turin, Venice, and Paris.

O’Reilly, John Boyle (1844-1890) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains correspondence from and to the editor of the Boston Pilot (1876-1890).

O’Reilly, Mary Boyle (1873-1939) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection consists of 57 letters documenting the career of philanthropist and World War I correspondent Mary Boyle O’Reilly (1873-1939), daughter of Irish author and Fenian John Boyle O’Reilly. Mary Boyle O’Reilly was a foreign correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association and was at one time a resident of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The collection’s correspondence, written by such political figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, Thomas Power O'Connor, Hugh Gibson, and Theodore Roosevelt, offers perspectives on foreign affairs during and after World War I. Topics discussed are foreign diplomacy, America’s involvement with the League of Nations, O’Reilly’s publications and commissions, and her father, John Boyle O’Reilly.


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Palmer, Elizabeth correspondence with Joseph Pearse Palmer (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The subjects of the twenty letters in this collection written between 1771 and 1785 by Elizabeth Palmer to her husband Joseph Pearse Palmer range from her doubts of ever being happy with him, her concerns about the family’s finances, and her desire to have the problem between John Hancock and Palmer’s father, General Joseph Palmer, resolved.

Paris International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The 24 silver-plated photographs in this collection feature the German and Soviet pavilions that were built for the 1937 Paris International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life. Also included are panoramic views of the two pavilions with the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadéro, and various fountains and gardens.

Parsons, Thomas William Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Parkman was active in city and state politics serving in the City Council from 1926-1929 and in the Massachusetts Senate from 1929-1936. He was part of the first Tobin administration as Corporation Counsel and as one of the Mayor’s advisors. The collection contains personal papers, scrapbooks, and memorabilia.

Parker, Theodore (1810-1860) Library (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Approximately 20,000 volumes and manuscripts, including grammars, dictionaries of foreign languages, encyclopedias, Latin and Greek classics, literary histories, and books on jurisprudence, German theology, and material on the anti-slavery controversy. Highlights include Migne's Patrologia (1844-1855) and the Speculum quadraplex of Vincent de Beauvais, published between 1473 and 1474. A leading American intellectual born in Lexington (1810), Theodore Parker became a great reader and later taught school. In 1836 he was ordained a Unitarian minister and became involved in the anti-slavery movement. He bequeathed his books to the Boston Public Library in 1860. Among Parker's devoted friends were Matilda Goddard and Caroline Coddington Thayer, each of whom presented the Library with the complete writings of Parker, including magazine articles and newspaper clippings. The Library is a major repository of Parker manuscripts, brought together from a number of sources with a typed checklist. Besides correspondence, it includes an autograph notebook with a complete list of Parker's 1,000-page draft of his letter to the Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society when he left Boston on his last journey. Most of the volumes and pamphlets are included in the Index to the Catalogue of the Books in the Bates Hall of the Boston Public Library; the manuscript catalog of the Parker library under Ms.f.Am 1381 on Rare Books microfilm reel 1045.

Peabody and Stearns Collection of Architectural Drawings (1870-1917) (Arts, by appointment)

Includes architectural plans, presentation sketches and blueprints (totaling more than 1,400 rolls and representing 571 projects), as well as the firm's office project file.

Peirce, Isabel Carret (n.d., 1850-1888) Letters  (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains fourteen letters written to Isabel Carret Peirce (1831-1888) of Lincoln, Massachusetts, between 1850 and 1888. Letters written to Isabel from her sister Adeline date from 1870-1888 and describe life on a Cuban sugar plantation during and after the Ten Years War (1868-1878). Letters written to Isabel from her mother, sisters, and aunt in Massachusetts during the 1850s discuss local trips and other family news.

Peron Era Political Pamphlets and Monographs Collection (Research Services)

A unique library of pamphlets and monographs relating to General Juan Domingo Peron and the political life of Argentina from the end of World War I to 1958. In Microtext on call number: F2849.P312 1988x.

Peterfield-Trent , William/Defoe, Daniel Collection
    See: Trent/Defoe Collection

Phillips, Mary Elizabeth Correspondence with Robert Kegerries, 1915-1926 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Edgar Allen Poe biographer Mary Elizabeth Phillips wrote 65 letters to Robert Kegerries, an actor who adapted and performed Poe’s The Tale Tell Heart on stage over one hundred times. These letters reflect Phillip’s research process, including her trips to New York and Philadelphia, and to Poe’s ancestral home in Scotland. Kegerries served as a reader and researcher and loaned Phillips items in his Poe collection. Phillips did much of her work in the Boston Public Library, and in 1926 published Edgar Allan Poe, the Man.

Photographs of the American West (Print Department)

Includes Carleton Watkins photographs of Yosemite Valley, Eadward Muybridge’s nine panel panorama of San Francisco from California Hill, 1877, Alexander Gardner’s photographs from Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, Timothy O’Sullivan’s and William Bell’s photographs for the War Department’s Wheeler Survey from 1871 to 1874, A.J. Russell’s The Great West Illustrated, photographs by W.H. Jackson and John K. Hillers, photographs of Indians by Rinehart and others.

Online access: The Photographs of the American West collection is accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Photographs of India (Print Department)

Includes 1,990 19th century photos of Ahmedabad, Bombay, the imperial assemblage at Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajputana.

Photographs of the Near East (Print Department)

Includes 19th century photographs of Thebes, Jerusalem, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Greece, and of the land and people of the upper Nile.

Picture Research Collection (Print Department)

Received by the Library in 1983 as a gift from John H. Livens in honor of Boston collector Eugene Dselskaley, this is a vast and unusual collection of 19th and 20th century pictorial materials, containing nearly 200,000 items. These include prints, engravings, and chromolithographs covering a diversity of subjects, including portraits, political cartoons, fashion plates, views of the country, exotic people and animals, business and advertising images, allegorical pictures, old Russian prints, scenes of Boston and New England, and illustrations from literature.

Piston, Walter (1894-1976) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment; Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Approximately 2,275 items that belonged to the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Professor emeritus of Harvard University. The collection includes 25 music manuscripts or holographs, composed between 1933 and 1976, plus about 400 monographs on various subjects, 243 sound recordings, photographs, bound scores by other composers, antique instruments, and personal effects. The third floor of the McKim Building houses a replica of Piston’s Belmont home study.

Postcard Collections (Arts Department; Print Department)

   See: Boston Postcard Collection; Brew, J.O. Streetcard and Railroad Collection; Kattenberg, Burns Postcard Collection; Tichnor Brothers Inc. Postcard Collection; United States Postcard Collection

The Arts Department has 1,500 postcards of Boston buildings and street scenes.

Prang, Louis & Company Collection (Print Department)

Consists of an estimated 15,000 chromolithographs including landscape reproductions based on paintings by nineteenth century American artists and many scrapbooks of greeting cards. With the Hallmark Historical Collection in Kansas City, Missouri, the Prang & Company Collection is one of the two major sources of information on Prang's lithographs.

Online access: Selections from the Louis Prang collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

Preston, William G. (1842-1910) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

This collection of architectural drawings is one of the most complete records of the works of a 19th century American architect with more than 10,000 designs, encompassing more than 600 civic, commercial, and residential projects. Preston designed buildings in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Georgia. The Library also received Preston's clipping collections.

Prince, Thomas Library of the Old South Church (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains approximately 2,000 volumes from one of this country's first book collectors and includes additional books and manuscripts of the Mathers and their associates. The collection is rich in early New England history, literature, and theological works of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the first fruits of the American press: two copies of the Bay Psalm Book (1640), the famous verse translation of the Psalms by John Cotton and other divines of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Eliot's Indian Bible (1661); and other works considered indispensable for the library of the 17th century scholar and clergyman. Also includes numerous 16th and 17th century editions of the Bible.

Online access: A digitized catalog for this collection is available through Internet Archive. The first and second parts of the catalog deal with American and foreign printed works; the last consists of the Mather, Cotton, and Prince papers.

Print Department’s Collection of Irish Material (Print Department)

19th and 20th century works of art on paper commemorating events in Irish history, the beauty of the Irish landscape, and the creativity of Irish artists and writers. Included are vintage photographs, and post cards, 19th century lithographs, a series of 19th century watercolors of Irish Round Towers by Gordon MacDonald Hills, illustrated broadsides published by the Cuala Press, and prints and photographs by contemporary Irish artists including Margaret Irwin, David Goldberg, and Fergus Bourke.

Printing History Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection is the result of the first Keeper of Rare Books, Zoltan Haraszti’s farsighted interest in and purchase of hundreds of incunabula and products of the fine French press. Contents of the fine press collection are documented in the catalog and a series of informal lists that also cover types of bindings and binders. An extensive imprint file groups books by place and date of publication. See also: Incunabula at the Boston Public Library

Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston Archive (Arts Department, by appointment)

Archives of a unique chamber orchestra-one of five cooperative orchestras in the United States. Founded in 1978 by Larry Hill, the orchestra is dedicated to performing music written for small forces, usually 20-35 players. The decisions for programming, hiring of conductors and guest artists are governed by board consisting of members of the Orchestra. The archives hold programs, advertisements, secretarial and business records of the Orchestra from its inception to the present.

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Rendell, Kenneth / White Mountain Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains 500 19th- and early 20th century books relating to conservation of and recreation in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Rickard, George Lewis "Tex" (1871-1929) Collection (Research Services)

A scrapbook on the boxing and sport promoter. Call Number: GV165.R5A3.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Rines, Joseph (1902-1986) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Rines was a composer, arranger, radio music director, and producer. The collection consists of song lyrics, song and dance band music, radio scripts, and newspaper clippings, as well as scrapbooks, correspondence and photographs from about 1925-1954.

Robertson, Joseph W. Correspondence (Print Department)

This collection contains eighteen letters between Joseph W. Robertson, a Union soldier from Fall River, Massachusetts, and his wife Phebe, and an unnamed sister. Robertson joined the Union Army in New Bedford, Massachusetts on January 11, 1861. The letters recount daily life in Union-occupied Beaufort, South Carolina.

Roby, Luther A. Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents Luther A. Roby’s career in the shipping industry and contains records relating to the management of his ships and shipping related business.

Ruskin, John Correspondence with Mrs. Francis Alexander (nee Lucia Gray Swett), (1814-1916) and Francesca Alexander (1837-1917), 1882-1889 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Mrs. Francis Alexander (1814-1916) and Francesca Alexander (1837-1917) were introduced to John Ruskin (1819-1900) in 1882 while they were living in Italy, and an immediate correspondence was formed. Many common themes run throughout the 300 letters, such as the writers’ emotional and physical well-being, art, Ruskin’s affairs, professional activities, news about mutual acquaintances, and spiritual beliefs. Ruskin’s letters to Francesca focus on her development as an artist. The collection also contains enclosures forwarded by Ruskin such as letters from important acquaintances, news articles, manuscript proofs, and several of his drawings.


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Sabatier, Paul (1858-1928)/ Franciscan Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The collection contains about 4,000 volumes on the life of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) and the Franciscan order. This is the working collection of a major scholar containing early manuscripts (both original and Sabatier’s many careful copies of those in European collections) and thirty-eight volumes from the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as hundreds of important later works, Franciscan periodicals, and numerous off-prints and presentation copies of books from students of St. Francis throughout the world. Many of these items contain Sabatier’s extensive manuscript notes. A description may be found in More Books (1931), pp. 273-286.

Sacco-Vanzetti Collection
    See: Felicani, Aldino Sacco-Vanzetti Collection

Sanromá, John B. (1900-1997) Collection (Arts Department, by appointmentPrint Department)

Close to 5,000 photographs, some with negatives, taken by John B. Sanromá. Mr. Sanromá was staff photographer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the first "candid" camera photographer for the Boston Herald. Also included are samples of his work as a portrait photographer. Subjects include Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops and other area orchestras, musicians, celebrities including his brother pianist Jesus Maria Sanromá, politicians, park events, and weddings, all dating from the 1930s. The Print Department has Sanromá photographs for non-music related subjects.

See: South End Project Area Committee

Shaw, Mary Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 204 items, the majority of which are letters addressed to Mary Shaw, an American actress and suffragette, during the years 1882 to 1908. These letters focus mainly on planning professional and personal social engagements. News surrounding the theater community is also discussed. Letters from her business partner George Fawcett (1860-1939), outline his plans for their jointly owned theater company and its finances. In addition, there are 18 written letters by Shaw to her sister, Helen. Among the subjects Shaw writes about are travel, women’s rights, and her career. Also included are manuscripts of plays, poems, playbills, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Snyder, Leo (1918-1984) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

Boston born and educated, Leo Snyder earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from New England Conservatory. He was on the faculties of New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University and Northeastern University. In addition to teaching, he also wrote program notes and guides for the Boston Opera Company and the Brockton Symphony. He contributed to Listen magazine and worked as critic-at-large for NPR radio station WBUR. Among the works in this collection are his secular cantata The Book of Americans, his opera, The Princess Marries the Page, Love is a Language, The Christmas Tale, and The End is Coming. The collection includes completed scores and sketches.

Society of Arts and Crafts Boston Archives (Arts Department)

The collection includes organization and financial records dating from 1897, exhibition files, publicity material, files of craftsmen’s correspondence, price lists, photographs and drawings of early exhibitions and craftsmen. This collection was microfilmed by the Archives of American Art.

Society of Printers Records, 1913-2014 (Rare Books & Manuscripts, by appointment)

This collection documents the activities of the Society, especially its monthly meetings, annual William A. Dwiggins lecture, and fall pilgrimages. Speaker selection, meeting arrangements, membership nominations, and the 50th, 75th, and 100th anniversaries are also documented. The collection includes correspondence, meeting minutes, meeting announcements, and photographs

Spaak, Eleanor Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the journalistic career of Boston native Eleanor Spaak, who wrote a design and society column for Home Furnishings Daily from 1965-1968 and also published articles in Newsday and Design Times. In addition, the collection documents the twelve year run (1980-1992) of Society Rag, a magazine created by Spaak that highlighted philanthropic Bostonians who were active in the city's art and cultural institutions. Subjects covered include trends in fashion, design, art and architecture; lives of actors & artists; New York Society events; European royalty and other well-known personages; fundraising galas; home decor; museum exhibits; and antiques. Materials include magazines, research notes, photographs, slides, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Spanish and Portuguese Literature Collection
    See: Ticknor, George Library of Spanish and Portuguese Literature

Stolz, Robert Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection includes eighteen letters dated between 1973-1974 from Robert Stolz (1880-1975) to Dima Paul Shishko (1910-1992) and contains information about Stolz’s recordings of music by Johann Strauss and Viennese marches and waltzes.

Strickland, Charles and Strickland, Brigham, and Eldredge Collections (Arts Department, by appointment)

Original drawings, office/project files, and photographs of these Boston-based firms (early 1900’s-1970’s).

Stuart, Bertha Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains the research material gathered by Barbara Adams Hebard for a biography (unpublished) of Bertha Stuart (1869 –1953), an American book cover artist. The research became the basis for an exhibit on Stuart featured in the Rare Books Department of the Boston Public Library. Included is the exhibit catalog, biographical material, correspondence between Stuart and her employer, Henry Holt, and sketchbooks and book covers.


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Tennyson, Emily (1858-1873) Letters (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The 81 letters in this collection written by Emily Lady Tennyson (1813-1896) to Margaret Gatty (1809-1873) reveal the decades' long friendship between the Tennyson and Gatty families. Lady Tennyson’s letters provide insight into many aspects of daily life in the Tennyson household, including the progress of Lord Tennyson’s writing and various business dealings, family travels, and the health of the children. In addition, the letters include the responses of Lord and Lady Tennyson to books written by both Mr. and Mrs. Gatty.

Thayer, Eliza Library (d. 1876) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Relates to history and biography, including a large number of costly illustrated works containing many historical portraits and a set of Granger's Biogrphycal History of England (1824). The nucleus of this collection consisted of 890 volumes given to the Library in 1877 under the bequest of Miss Eliza Thayer of Roxbury. From time to time, her sisters gave from their own libraries many valuable illustrated books and memorials of Theodore Parker. The entire collection now numbers 5,398 volumes. A printed index for printed material and an index for the portrait collection are both available in Rare Books. See also the Theodore Parker Library.

Thaxter, Celia (1835-1894) Correspondence, (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The majority of letters in this collection of correspondence of American author and poet Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) are addressed to the American writer Annie Fields (1834-1915) and document Thaxter's daily life. The letters cover a number of subjects including family and domestic life, gardening, writing projects, her experiences with Spiritualism as well as visits with, and discussions of, the notable writers, artists, musicians and spiritualists of her day.

Thompson, Benjamin and Jane Collection of Bostoniana (Print Department)

19th century billheads, and advertisements of Boston businesses; engravings of 19th century life in Boston; books on Early American life; Boston advertising tins and souvenirs.

Tichnor Brothers Inc. Postcard Collection (Print Department)

Approximately 25,000 office proofs of postcards of the United States published by the Boston firm Tichnor Brothers Inc.

Online access: Selections from the Tichnor Brothers collection are accessible through the BPL's online collections.

    See also: Postcard Collections

Ticknor, George (1791-1871) Library of Spanish and Portuguese Literature (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection was bequeathed to the Library in 1871. A Harvard professor of Spanish and French and a founder of the Boston Public Library, George Ticknor developed this collection while traveling through Spain and Portugal in 1818. He decided to purchase Spanish books because they were so rare in the great bookmarts. The destruction of books during the Inquisition had been very great, and few copies remained of many fine works. Ticknor also left a bequest for $4,000 for a trust fund, the income of which is devoted to maintaining the integrity of the collection. The collection has grown from the original bequest of 3,907 books to 10,000 volumes today. It covers many aspects of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American literature and history, including books on art, science, law, and theology. It is especially rich in every phase of Spanish literature from early editions of Don Quixote (1605) to the manuscript of Lope de Vega's El Castigo sin Venganza; from the earliest edition of Celestina (Seville, 1502) to the Obras of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the 17th century Mexican poetess. The collection is an important source for major collections of authors such as Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Benito Geronimo Feyjoo y Montenegro, Luiz de Camoens, Luiz Velez de Guevara, and Fernan Caballero. Among the rare historical and political works can be found the Constituciones de Catalunya. Circo tra tados (1493) by Alonso Ortiz which contain the earliest reference to the discoveries of Columbus.

A published catalog by G.K. Hall is available in print and online.

Tosti, Cardinal Antonio Collection of Engravings (Print Department)

Contains 5,100 early rare plates and engravings in 129 volumes and portfolios. Given to the Library in 1869 by Thomas Gold Appleton, the collection was brought together by Cardinal Antonio Tosti of Rome, at one time treasurer of the Pontifical Government.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de (1864-1901) Collection (Print Department)

Lithographs, prints, and posters from 1890-1901 provide a glimpse into the world of fin-de-siecle Paris with images of authors, musicians, cafÈ singers, dancers, and popular performers.

Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm (1853-1917) Theater Music Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

This collection consists primarily of manuscripts and published scores of incidental music for over 60 plays produced by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, manager of London’s Haymarket Theatre from1887, and later of Her Majesty’s Theater, from1897 until 1916. Materials include full-scores, orchestral parts, stage band music, typescripts or books, song lyrics, printed editions of plays, correspondence, and production items. Items within the Collection include the unpublished full scores by Mascagni (The Eternal City, 1902) and several autograph full scores by the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, including four of his five known sets of incidental music and six short pieces that he wrote for Israel Zangwill’s The God of War.

Tremont Theatre Archives (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Spanning the period 1839-1843, the administrative and financial records for a Boston theater.

Tremont Theatre Collection, 1839-1843 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains correspondence written by actors, actresses, and musicians seeking and accepting engagements, financial records, and legal documents.

Trent (William Peterfield) Collection of Defoe and Defoeana(Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A library of 5,000 volumes brought together by William Peterfield-Trent. Trent worked on the life and writings of Daniel Defoe (1661?-1731) for decades. Besides multiple editions, issues, and states of the major works, and hundreds of pamphlets ascribed to Defoe, Trent gathered thousands of pamphlets by the contemporaries of William and Mary, Queen Anne, and George the First. Many of the monographs have Trent’s notes concerning authorship and scarcity on the title page and wrappers. The collection also includes works by John Dunton, Jonathan Swift, John Oldmixon, and John Toland; numerous tracts dealing with the Heauly and Sacheverell controversies; and a long run of pamphlets concerning the Dissenters or Nonconformists. A catalog of the works (1966) is available.

Triangle Collection (Entries are under "Ireland" and "Irish" in the Research Library Catalog on microfiche)

Irish pamphlets related to biography, economics, history, literature, and politics from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries.

Trustees Records: McKim Building Art and Architecture Correspondence, 1859-1965 (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection documents the planning, design, and installation of the art work that is located in the McKim Building of the Boston Public Library. In particular, the creation of and the controversies surrounding the murals by John Singer Sargent and Edwin Austin Abbey are documented. Other subjects include Frederick MacMonnies’ sculptures ‘Bacchante’ and ‘Anne Hutchinson,’ and the influence Augustus Saint-Gaudens had on the building’s conception. In addition to the history of the artwork, this collection also documents the plans for the architectural details, such as the design of the courtyard, the exterior inscriptions, and the bronze doors created by Daniel Chester French. Moreover, details concerning the day-to-day construction work, including building schedules, installation of heating and plumbing systems, fire proofing, material delivery, and cost estimates are recounted. Records include contracts, reports, drawings, photographs, brochures, petitions, invoices, and newspaper clippings.

Tupper Scrapbook Collection (Print Department)

This collection of 1,993 photographs from the 1880’s and 1890’s records one family's travels to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Algeria, Italy, Greece, and Egypt. Most of the photographs appear to have been purchased by the travelers at major stopping-places and sites. They reveal the business that local photographers did with well-to-do travelers making a grand tour.

Online access: Selections from the Tupper Scrapbook collection are available in the BPL's online collections.

20th Regiment Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains books relating to military affairs, specializing in the Civil War and Massachusetts. In 1896, the surviving members of the 20th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, donated $10,000 remaining from funds collected for the marble memorial lion in the McKim staircase to establish a special collection of books "of military and patriotic nature." Strong in regimental histories with a near complete run of the General Orders of the various Departments of the Union Army, and in contemporary sheet music (southern as well as northern), the collection also includes 10 scrapbooks of patriotic envelopes and 9 portfolios of the battle and camp photographs by Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner. As part of their original gift, members of the 20th Regiment Association donated copies of their own diaries, reports, and letters. To these have been added other manuscript material pertaining to both North and South. While works concerning other wars and military engagements are not as extensive, there are interesting items from the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, and the monumental sets of official records of the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the American Expeditionary Force. There are also 345 volumes of personal narratives and other works on World War I, the gift of Mary Boyle O'Reilly. The collection continues to grow, now also adding materials focusing on Massachusetts' participation in World Wars I and II.


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United States Postcard Collection (Print Department)

Approximately 65,000 postcards of views of the United States.

    See also: Postcard Collections

UrbanArts, Inc. Records (Arts Department, by appointment; Finding Aid)

The collection provides a comprehensive history of the UrbanArts Institute public art activities of Boston and is a vital resource for scholars and historians of public art administration, urban planning, and contemporary Boston history.



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Vinton, Frederick Porter Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains letters from thirty-one correspondents to Boston artist Frederick Porter Vinton (January 29, 1846 – May 19, 1911) between 1875 and 1911. The letters contain information regarding sittings for portraits, the satisfaction of the clients, and the reception of the finished portraits.


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Ward, Robert DeCourcy Collection
    See: Immigration Restriction League Collection

Washingtoniana Collection
    See: Lewisson, Walter Updike Collection of Washingtoniana

West Indies Collection
    See: Hunt , Benjamin P./West Indies Collection

Whaling and Other Nautical Papers (1696-1974) (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

The majority of this collection documents the many aspects of the whaling and shipping industries from 1696-1974, such as outfitting and financing of voyages to daily life on board a 20th century whaler to the price of whale oil. In addition, the lives of sailors' families at home, the business transactions of many ship owners – among them Samuel Osborn of Edgartown, Massachusetts – and transactions of several business agents in Boston and London are documented. Also included are scenes of 20th century whaling stations and expeditions, and 19th century whalers, barks, and schooners at sea. Records consist of correspondence, invoices, receipts, account books, crew records, insurance records, contracts, and photographic images.

Williamson, William D. Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains eleven letters written to William D. Williamson (1770-1846) between 1820-1844 and discuss the history of Maine. Also included is genealogical research pertaining to the Williamson family, extracts of court cases and legal documents, and documents concerning the settlement of Maine.

Wheeler, Leeds Armstrong Collection (Print Department)

Formed by Wheeler and given by his family in his memory, this collection includes many black and white lithographs and chromolithography from the Boston firm of Armstrong and Company, active from about 1870 to 1900. Included are photographs and memorabilia of Armstrong, and pictures, documents, and notes relating to the Armstrong business, which for a time was the Lithographic Department of the Riverside Press, Cambridge, part of Houghton Mifflin & Co.

White Mountain Collection
    See: Rendell, Kenneth/White Mountain Collection

Whiting, Harriet S. Collection (Print Department)

Photographs, postcards, programs, playbills, and correspondence related to early 20th century opera.

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892) Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Contains more than 300 volumes relating to and by Walt Whitman. The collection was founded by Whitman's earliest biographer, Dr. Richard M. Bucke. In 1896, four years after the poet's death, Bucke gave to the Library a large group of Whitman's material, much of which he had received as one of Whitman's literary executors. Included with the collection were 17 photographs and 20 manuscripts (letters and rough drafts of poems). Additions to the original gift include the collections of two other executors, gifts from several of Whitman's publishers, and another group of volumes from the biographer.

Wiggin, Albert H. Collection (Print Department)

A treasure house of prints, drawings, watercolors, and books brought together by Wiggin, who grew up in Boston and began his banking career here before becoming president of the Chase Bank of New York, a post which he held from 1911 to about 1930. Presented to the Library in 1941, the collection includes important Old Master prints, a small collection of Old Master drawings, and is rich in nineteenth century and early twentieth century French, British, and American works of art on paper. Major holdings include notable drawings and prints by English landscape artist Thomas Rowlandson, and major collections of prints by Goya, Honore Daumier, Alphonse Legros, Henri Fantin-Latour, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jean-Louis Forain, George Bellows, and many others.

Wight, William E. Business Papers (Print Department)

This collection documents the housing development business of William E. Wight in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Between the years 1906-1910, Wight developed triple-decker houses in that neighborhood. Included are receipts which detail the contracting services and supplies provided in these developments. Most documents relate to properties located along Kenberma Road in Dorchester.

Wood, Joe "Smoky Joe" (1889-1985) Collection (Research Services)

Scrapbooks of material on early Red Sox pitcher Wood. Call Number: GV865.W6A3.

    See also: Boston Tradition in Sports

Wilson, John Gideon (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection consists of 619 letters written to John Gideon Wilson, the chairman and managing director of J. & E. Bumpus, Ltd. Bookshop, by American and British authors, publishers, and clients regarding both the buying and selling of books and personal matters.

Woodhull, Victoria Papers (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection is composed of approximately 515 letters, dating from 1883-1927, that documents the relationship between Victoria Woodhull (September 23, 1838-June 9, 1927) and her third husband John Biddulph Martin (1841-March 21, 1897).

Many common themes run throughout the letters, such as the spouses’ emotional and physical well-being, daily events, and their publication activities. The collection also contains Woodhull and Martin’s correspondence from relatives and colleges and a significant amount of newspaper clippings that document Woodhull’s lifelong interests, among them equal rights, sexual freedom, and marriage. Included in the collection are photographs, manuscript fragments and drafts, and newspaper clippings.

Works Progress Administration.
Card Index to the Genealogical Columns of the Boston Evening Transcript, 1915-1935 (Research Services)

Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project Collection (Print Department)

Contains photographs of work by artists participating in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project for Massachusetts. The different works of arts and crafts recorded in this collection number over 1,000 and include oils, watercolors, drawings, prints, tempera, metal work, murals, and masks.

Worlds Fairs Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

Brought together by historian Robert Feer, this collection contains well over 3,000 items including manuscripts, official printed records of the fairs, ephemera, photographs and souvenirs. Originally limited to material relating to World's Fairs of North America, this collection has been expanded to incorporate other fairs and expositions including those abroad.

Wyeth Family Correspondence (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

This collection contains 73 letters written by members of the Wyeth family between 1902-1929 and relate family activities, news, and trips.

Wyman, Lilla Viles Collection (Rare Books & Manuscripts)

A collection of 183 dance books covering such topics as Swedish folk dances, Buddhist ceremonial dances, ballroom dancing, classical ballet, and the history of the polka.


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Young, Victor (1900-1956) Collection (Arts Department, by appointment)

The collection contains 1400 items, primarily conductor’s scores, vocal/piano scores, lead sheets, and instrumental parts, once used by film composer, arranger, and conductor Victor Young. Best known for his Academy Award winning score for Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Young also composed the music for more than 300 films, two Broadway shows, and numerous hit songs and commercials.