New Collections Available!

We are happy to announce that we have recently processed and updated finding aids from several collections in our holdings. Scroll down for descriptions and sample images from the following collections: Patsy Baudoin Collection of Cambridge Prints and Photographs, Edwin Freeman Bowker Collection, Honors and Awards Collection, Alan McClennen Senior Collection, Cambridge Militia Records, City of Cambridge Veterans’ Graves Registration Cards Inventory, and William Lawrence Galvin Collection.


Patsy Baudoin Collection of Cambridge Prints and Photographs

This collection, sometimes known as an artificial collection, consists of photographs, drawings, and prints of historical houses and locations in Cambridge.  Also included are several page clippings from various books including the Historic Guide to Cambridge, Ever New England, and other area guides to historic houses.

Johnston Gate, Harvard Yard

One (1) pencil sketch: Johnston Gate, Harvard Yard by W. Harry Smith (Artist)

Most of the houses depicted in the prints were built pre-Revolutionary War, from 1660-1763, and have a long history of famous residents, including Margaret Fuller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John White Webster.  Additionally, many of the houses are listed as National Historic Landmarks including the seven houses that make up “Tory Row” on Brattle Street.

Longfellow in his Study

Longfellow in his study ca. 1870-1880. Photographer unknown.

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

Edwin Freeman Bowker Collection

This collection is composed of five boxes and two flat files containing Edwin F. Bowker’s professional correspondence as a civil engineer and surveyor. Included are surveyor’s notes and records, draft sketches, manual calculations, notes on markers, drawings, plans, transcripts regarding property boundaries from deeds, and correspondence from mid-1886 through 1919.

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Documents related to property at Hasting and Monson Streets, 1920

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

Honors and Awards Collection

This collection contains certificates honoring the Cambridge Historical Commission and various Cambridge businesses and organizations for their service to the built environment of this community.

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Plaque and pencil sketch for the City of Cambridge Ruth L. Barron Award for Outstanding Community Service, 2014.

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

Alan McClennen Senior Collection

Included in this collection are maps, development studies, town reports, and traffic studies for the City of Cambridge with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1950s to the 1970s. Alan McClennen served as the Planning Director for the City of Cambridge from 1958 until 1968. Researchers interested in viewing the Alan McClennen Senior Collection will be engaged by topics on community development in the City of Cambridge during the mid-twentieth century. We would like to give a special thanks to volunteer Steve Kaiser, for to his contribution to the spreadsheet and box list for this collection.

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Booklet for Alewife Brook Park created by AD Little/Cambridge Corporation, 1968

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Memo on Railroad Grade Separations by the Cambridge Planning Board, 5 December 1950

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

Cambridge Militia Records

This collection contains nine record books detailing militia records for the City of Cambridge for the years 1846-1886. Each book contains lists of names recording those enrolled in the Cambridge Militia. At times these lists are accompanied by marginal notes.

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Militia roll: 1877 (“Ward Two Book”)

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Cambridge Militia Ledger: 1846-1859

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

City of Cambridge Veterans’ Graves Registration Cards Inventory

This collection contains veterans’ graves registration cards, filed in alphabetical order, for graves in various cemeteries in Cambridge. A majority of the graves are registered at Mount Auburn Cemetery and Cambridge Cemetery, but also include others, such as the North Cambridge Catholic Cemetery and Belmont Town Cemetery.

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

William Lawrence Galvin Collection

The collection contains print and photographic materials of William L. Galvin’s professional records and architectural drawings. This collection consists of correspondence, writing, articles, government records, photographs and drawings that depict Galvin’s professional career. The core of the collection consists of drawings for over 1,000 architectural projects, of which about 530 projects in Cambridge have been cataloged.

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Proposed Dormitory – Social and Recreational Center, Lesley College, undated

For the first time, indexes to photographs in the Galvin collection as well as rolled items not related to Cambridge are available. Follow the links above to view PDFs of these lists.

Over a 50-year career, 1927-1979, Galvin made a significant impact on the landscape of Cambridge through his numerous projects and constant support for progressive land use to fit a modernizing Cambridge community. This collection provides valuable insight into Galvin’s personality and professional work that has left a lasting mark on the landscape of the City of Cambridge.

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Drawing of Shea Cleaning Plant and Showroom, undated

Click here to view the finding aid for this collection.

To view the above collections, please make an appointment with our archivist, Emily, at egonzalez@cambridgema.gov. Our research hours are: Monday: 4:00-7:00 pm | Tuesday: 2:00-4:00 pm | Wednesday – Thursday: 10-12 and 2-4 pm.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to process collections and make them available for research!

 

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Getting to Know Your CHC Staff: Part 5

Welcome back to our ongoing series featuring the staff members who do wonderful work here at the CHC! This post introduces our new Survey Director, Eric Hill.

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Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Amherst, New Hampshire a quaint, historic New England village with an abundance of Colonial homes.

 

Where did you go to school? What was your degree?

I went to the University of New Hampshire and studied Geography with a focus on urban and human geography. Immediately after graduating, I moved half way across the country to Norman, Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma’s College of Architecture where I studied Regional and City Planning.

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Amazing Collegiate Gothic architecture at OU.

 

What are your interests or hobbies?
My favorite thing to do is travel. My goal is to visit all major world regions by the time I am 30 years old (still have a couple years to go). Besides travelling, I enjoy watching documentaries, hiking, and photography.

Lourve

Photo from my most recent trip to Paris and London.

 

Name some fun facts about you.

  • I am a sports fanatic and follow all New England sports teams along with the Oklahoma Sooners Football program and Paris St. Germain for soccer.
  • During graduate school, I got the opportunity to spend a month in Lusaka, Zambia and worked with children, teachers and a non-profit to work on designs for new schools and it was an experience that I will never forget.
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Before I got beat in soccer by kids half my age in Zambia.

 

 

When did you start working at the CHC?
I started working at the CHC in September of 2018 and previously worked for the Boston Landmarks Commission as a Preservation Planner.

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Acorn Street in Beacon Hill Historic District. I was the Preservation Planner for the neighborhood while in Boston.

What do you like best about working at the CHC?
My favorite part (so far) about working at the CHC is learning about the rich history of Cambridge and the layers of development from the Native American settlements of the past to the high-rise mixed-use buildings and neighborhoods of today.
Do you have other professional pursuits?
I hope to dive deeper into the modern movement and post-war Cambridge and advocate for the preservation of the (in my opinion) underappreciated and less well-known architectural styles and typologies of the 1940s-1980s.

Kimbell Art

My favorite building (Kimbell Art Museum) by my favorite architect (Louis I. Kahn). Sadly, Louis I. Kahn did not have any projects in Cambridge.

Give us a glimpse into your daily work or a current project.
Currently, I am giving myself a crash course on the centuries of people, events and places that make Cambridge, Cambridge. I am also reading up on the district guidelines for the Half Crown-Marsh Conservation District as I will be the planner in charge of design review for it.
What is your favorite photograph, artifact, or collection at CHC?
So far, my favorite collection is the W. L. Galvin Collection due to the quality and quantity of old plans and drawings of projects built, unbuilt and demolished.

Memorial Theater_Galvin

(Cambridge Memorial Theater drawing, 1931)

What do you like best about living or working in Cambridge?
Cambridge is a melting pot of not only architectural styles and history, but of people and cultures. It is a great place to work and during my lunch breaks, I always make an effort to walk around and enjoy the various cafes, shops and neighborhoods.

Did You Know?

Welcome to the first installment of a little blog series, “Did You Know?,” where we  highlight some of the documentary resources available at the CHC.

During the summer, we receive a lot of phone calls and emails inquiring after the Old Burying Ground in Harvard Square (sometimes referred to as the “Old Burial Ground”). Many people visit from out of town and would like to know where their ancestor, or person of historical interest, was buried — do we have a map of the burying ground? What about lists of burials? Records of specific epitaphs?

The answers: Yes, we have documentation on all of those things! It is important to note that, although this was the only burying ground in Cambridge until the early 1800s, many burial plots today remain unmarked.

Those interested in finding out more about the Old Burying Ground can make an appointment to check out the resources at our office, or find some of the digitized resources online.

Check out our list of some of these print and online resources:

  • We have a copy of the book, Epitaphs from the Old Burying Ground in Cambridge, (1845) by William T. Harris. This publication is also available online at Google Books.

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  • We also have several other useful books in our office.

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Paige’s essential early Cambridge history book, complete with helpful Supplement and Index, lists out the residents of Cambridge and their relations from 1630-1877. We often use this to figure out if a person died in Cambridge.

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Consulting Cambridge’s vital records to 1850 can also help locate a burial record. Cambridge Church Records, Records of the Town and Selectmen of Cambridge, and Proprietors Records of the Town of Cambridge, may also provide interesting genealogical clues and contextual information on the goings-on in early Cambridge.

  • For more information on the history of the Old Burying Ground, check out the book “Building Old Cambridge: Architecture and Development” (2016) by Susan Maycock and Charles Sullivan. The City of Cambridge’s Department of Public Works has an excerpt from the book on their website: https://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/ourservices/cambridgecemetery/oldburialground/historyandnotableburials
  • Other cemeteries in Cambridge:
    • Cambridge Cemetery, opened 1853, 617-349-4890
    • Roman Catholic, Archdiocese of Boston’s Genealogy and Cemetery Locations, 781-322-6300
      • North Cambridge Cemetery on Rindge Avenue, Cambridge, opened 1846
      • Sand Banks Cemetery (aka Mt. Auburn Catholic or Cottage Street cemetery), on Cottage St., Watertown, Searchable Database
    • Mount Auburn Cemetery, opened 1831, 617-547-7105
    • (No longer a cemetery) Cambridgeport Burial Ground, opened 1812, closed 1865. When this cemetery on Broadway in Cambridgeport was closed in 1865, existing burials were relocated to the new Cambridge Cemetery or another cemetery selected by the family of the deceased. The former burial ground was then re-purposed as a public park and called Broadway Common/Broadway Park and later renamed Edward J. Sennott Park.

To see these resources in person, or for answers to other questions, feel free to call the Historical Commission at 617-349-4683, or email us at histcomm at cambridgema.gov. Additionally, check out our other documentary resources on our page here.