Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

0100. City Council

 Record Group
Identifier: 0100
The City Charter (Chapter 121 of the Acts of 1821) established the form of government as a Mayor; a Board of Aldermen, consisting of eight elected at large; and a Common Council, of forty-eight elected by wards; to be called when conjoined, "the City Council.” The Mayor and Aldermen were vested with the administration of the police, and executive power of the corporation generally, with specific enumerated powers. All other powers belonging to the corporation were vested in the Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council exercised by concurrent vote. Powers related to the administration of the Police were transferred to the Board of Police Commissioners by Chapter 244 of the Acts of 1878. Chapter 266 of the Acts of 1885, an act to amend the charter of the City of Boston, transferred to the Mayor the power to appoint, subject to the approval of the Board of Aldermen, all officers and boards elected by the City Council or Board of Aldermen, and all offices that may be established in the future. All executive powers vested in the Board of Aldermen were transferred to the Mayor to be exercised through the several officers and boards of the City in their respective departments, under the general supervision and control of the Mayor. Chapter 486 of the Acts of 1909 abolished the City Council and both branches thereof. The act established a City Council consisting of nine members elected at large. The City Council retained the power to approve ordinances and loan orders presented by the Mayor and the budget. All heads of departments and municipal boards, excluding the school committee and those appointed by law by the governor, would be appointed by the mayor without confirmation by the City Council. Chapter 479 of the Acts of 1924 provided for the election of 22 City Councilors, one from each ward beginning with the biennial election in 1925. Chapter 356 of the Acts of 1951 provided for the election of 9 City Councilors at large. Chapter 190 of the Acts of 1982 (Tregor Bill) made major changes to the financial operations of the City and to the budgetary powers of the Mayor and City Council. Chapter 605 of the Acts of 1982 provided for a City Council of thirteen members, one each from nine districts and three at large, effective with the preliminary election in September of 1983.

Found in 17 Collections and/or Records:

Board of Land Commissioners proceedings

 Series
Identifier: 0100.010
Scope and Contents Ordinance passed December 26, 1856, amended December 28, 1857 and May 8, 1861, established a Board of Land Commissioners which was responsible for the care and management of public lands belonging to the City of Boston so far as it related to improvements, sales and disposal of the same. The Joint Committee of the City Council along with one alderman and one common councilor chosen in November and December to serve for the following two years constituted the Board of Land Commissioners. The ...

City Council Committee hearing transcripts

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.002b
Scope and Contents note

This collection includes transcripts of City Council committee hearings dating from 1886-1937. It is not a comprehensive collection of all committee hearings from this time period. The transcripts in this collection are filed chronologically in the record cartons. However, the transcripts are organized by committee in this finding aid. The transcripts are typewritten verbatim records of hearings on various topics including building limits, bicycle path on the common, automobile vehicles, ...

City Council Committees on Celebrations records

 Collection
Identifier: 0140.013
Scope and Contents Records of committees appointed to oversee public celebrations for primarily the Fourth of July but also including Bunker Hill Day, Patriots' Day, Labor Day, Eulogies, etc. Includes correspondence, applications, programs, tickets, entertainment applications, etc.

City Council meeting and hearing transcripts and recordings

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.002a
Scope and Contents note

The City Council meeting and hearing transcripts span the years 1947-2015. This collection has been divided into 5 series: Series I - City Council debate; Series II - Committee hearing transcripts; Series III - Audiotape recordings; Series IV - Videotape recordings; and Series V - DVD recordings. Transcripts and recordings of City Council meetings and hearings are fairly complete from 1947-1970 and 1996-2015. There appears to be missing transcripts or recordings between 1970 and 1996 in all ...

City Council photographs

 Series
Identifier: 0100.013
Scope and Contents Photograph album documenting city boundary perambulation of 1896 by the City Council and framed portrait of members of the City Council of 1925.

City Council proceedings

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.001
Scope and Contents note

The City Council proceedings includes official records of the Board of Aldermen, 1822-1909; the Common Council, 1822-1909; and the Boston City Council, 1910-2015 with gaps. This collection has been divided into 5 series: Series I - Board of Aldermen; Series II - Common Council; Series III - City Council; Series IV - Published minutes; and Series V - Dockets filed separately.

The Board of Aldermen series includes minutes of the meetings of the Aldermen from 1822-1909; indexed ...

City Council reports and publications

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 0100.015

City Documents

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.003
Scope and Contents Published series of documents ordered to be printed by the City Council. Includes departmental annual reports, committee reports, orders, ordinances, annual addresses, and other reports.

Common Council badge

 Item — Box Artifact Box 1
Identifier: 0100.011
Scope and Contents note Badges were issued to members of the Common Council. Includes badge of Lyman H. Bigelow who served on the Common Council in 1884.

Fourth of July orations

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.007
Scope and Contents note This collection includes printed copies of Fourth of July orations. The first series includes copies of individual orations. Most are in pamphlet form but a number of them are in book form as well. The second series is a compilation of orations from 1803-1845 that was published in 18??. The third series consists of a resolution of thanks presented by the City Council to the orator for 1890, the Hon. Albert E. Pillsbury. This resolution was donated to the City Archives by the family of Albert E. ...

Franklin Fund records

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.014
Scope and Contents note

This collection includes records documenting the management of the Franklin fund from 1791-1902. This collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Proceedings; Series II: Financial records; Series III: Publications.

Series I includes the proceedings of meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Managers of the Franklin Fund. According to the first volume which covers 1791-1866, continuation of the records after 1866 can be found in the Proceedings of the Board of ...

Memorials

 Series
Identifier: 0100.006
Scope and Contents Memorial volumes ordered to be printed by the City Council. Includes memorials of prominent men, anniversary celebrations and dedications of buildings and monuments.

Municipal Registers

 Collection
Identifier: 0100.004

Organization of the City Government of Boston

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 0100.005
Scope and Contents Pocket guides including the members of city government, department heads and rules and orders of the City Council. Includes guides for 1880-1882, 1888-1889, 1905, 1920, 1923-1927, 1929, 1931-1935, 1938, 1940-1948, 1950-1982, 1985-1993, 1996-2006.

Research Office files

 Series
Identifier: 0100.008
Scope and Contents Files relating to the issue of the conditions and relocation of the Charles Street Jail. This collection is unprocessed.

Surveyors of Highways memorandum book

 Series — Volume 1
Identifier: 0100.009
Scope and Contents On 18 May 1822, Ephraim Marsh and Abram Babcock were appointed Surveyors Of Highways. The Surveyors of Highways were responsible for all requests concerning highways including paving, removal of trees, repairs of sidewalks etc. On 10 June 1823, the Massachusetts Legislature approved an act giving the City Council the power and authority of electing, if they see fit, the Mayor and Aldermen as Surveyors of Highways. On 18 June 1823, the City Council approved an order appointing the Mayor and ...

United States Census for Boston

 Item — Volume 1
Identifier: 0100.012
Scope and Contents note United States Census of Boston presented to the City Council to be kept for public inspection in the City Council room.