Welcome to the blog of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives & Library, where we share highlights from existing collections; staff and researcher favorites; new donations and processed collections; and tell intriguing tales about Cambridge history. The Commission Archivist maintains the space and Commission staff, interns and archives assistants contribute regular updates.

The Commission maintains a public archive and research library focusing on the city’s architecture and built environment, with strong collections on the social, business, and industrial history of Cambridge. Holdings include information on every Cambridge building; manuscript collections on significant Cambridge people and businesses; atlases and historic maps; historic photographs, including a significant collection on construction of early rapid transportation in Cambridge and Boston; a non-circulating research library; architectural plans; and a Cambridge object collection.

Cambridge Historical Commission Archives & Library Staff

Emily Gonzalez, Archivist

Meta Partenheimer, Digital Projects Archivist

About the Cambridge Historical Commission

The Cambridge Historical Commission, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was established in 1963 to administer the city’s historic districts, to survey Cambridge’s architecture and publish its findings, and to research and mark historic sites. Commission staff now administer two historic and four neighborhood conservation districts, as well as local landmarks, and properties covered by preservation easements. The Commission also reviews demolition permit applications for all structures over fifty years old. The Commission maintains a public archive of the city’s architectural and social history; staff members present informational and educational programs to local schools, organizations, and community groups. Preservation grants and institutional preservation grants are offered to low- and moderate-income home-owners and to non-profit institutions; technical assistance on preservation issues is provided; historic paint color consultations are available; and an active publication program is maintained.

As a department of the City of Cambridge municipal government, the CHC abides by the City’s Social Media Policy, www.cambridgema.gov/socialmedia. The City’s homepage is www.cambridgema.gov.