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Boston (Mass.). City Council


Historical note

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.

Found in 58 Collections and/or Records:

City Councilor Lawrence S. DiCara records

Identifier: 0120.001
Scope and Contents

Lawrence S. DiCara served as a City Councilor from 1972-1981. He served as President of the Council in 1978. Includes subject files, reports, correspondence, etc. This collection is unprocessed.

Dates: 1972-1981

City Councilor Thomas M. Menino records

Identifier: 0247.002
Scope and Contents

Mayor Thomas M. Menino served as City Councilor for District 5: Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain from 1984-1993. He served as President of the Council in 1993. Includes correspondence and subject files.

Dates: circa 1984-1993

City Documents

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.

Dates: 1834-1999

Committee on Building a New Courthouse records

 Series — Box SB - 008: Series II, Folder: 6-7
Identifier: 0140.028
Scope and Contents

Committee correspondence, reports and papers concerning the construction of a new Courthouse. Includes correspondence from Architect Alexander Parris.

Dates: 1834-1835

Committee on Streets records

Identifier: 0140.034
Dates: circa 1826-1840

Committee on Urban Renewal records

Identifier: 0140.030
Scope and Contents

Urban renewal plans and applications referred to the City Council Committee on Urban Renewal. Includes Government Center, West End, Charlestown, Campus High, Downtown-Waterfront-Faneuil Hall, Central Business District and others.

Dates: 1950-1986

Common Council badge

 Item — Box SB - 025: [Barcode: 00000482]
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.

Dates: 1884

Financial orders

Identifier: 0300.024
Scope and Contents

City Clerk's Office copies of loan orders, appropriations and transfers approved by the Mayor and City Council.

Dates: 1900-1989

Fourth of July orations

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...
Dates: 1803-1976 with gaps

Franklin Fund records

Identifier: 0100.014
Scope and Contents note This series includes records documenting the management of the Franklin fund from 1791-1902. This series is arranged in three sub-series: Sub-Series I: Proceedings; Sub-Series II: Financial records; Sub-Series III: Publications. Sub-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...
Dates: 1791-1902


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.

Dates: 1852-1909

Municipal Registers

Identifier: 0100.004
Dates: 1834-1991 with gaps

Nuisance complaints

Identifier: 7010.003
Scope and Contents

Includes two volumes documenting complaints of nuisances and disposition of complaints for 1825-1826 and 1828.

Dates: 1825-1828 with gaps

Opinions requested by City Council

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 0301.042
Dates: circa 1982-1984

Organization of the City Government of Boston

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, 1995-2006.

Dates: 1880-2006 with gaps

Personal records of Members of the Board of Aldermen and Common Council 1861-1890

Identifier: 0300.013
Scope and Contents note The Record Commissioners during the years 1891-1894 compiled the “Personal Records” of the members of the Board of Aldermen and Common Council. The collection includes forms from members of the City Councils from 1861-1890. Gaps do exist throughout this span. The publication “A Catalogue of the city councils of Boston, Roxbury, Charlestown…” printed by order of the City Council, 1909 contains a list of all the members of the City Councils from 1822-1909 with a biographical notes number....
Dates: compiled circa 1891-1894

Printing Department photographs

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 3100.005
Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of City Councilors from the 1990s-early 2000s used for printing purposes and photographs from various departments used in print jobs ca. 1980s-2000. (Departments include Elderly Affairs, Parks and Recreation, School, Transportation, CCouncil, Cultural Affairs.)

Dates: circa 1980s-2000s

Report of the Superintendent of the Boston Lunatic Hospital and Physician of the Public Institutions at South Boston

 Item — Box SB - 011: Series IV, Folder: 6
Identifier: 0140.025
Scope and Contents note

The Physician of the Boston Lunatic Hospital summarized the period from July 1, 1840 to June 30, 1841. In numerical tables and in prose, the report categorizes the admissions and discharges, the patients' ages occupations and marital status, and the duration and causes of their insanity. Separate tables provide admission and discharge statistics for diseases suffered by patients of the House of Industry hospital and at the House of Corrections hospital.

Dates: 1841 July 1

Research Office files

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.

Dates: 1975-1985

State Representative/City Councilor Raymond L. Flynn records

Identifier: 0246.002
Scope and Contents

Includes subject files. correspondence and campaign files of Mayor Flynn during his years as a State Representative and a Boston City Councilor. These records are unprocessed.

Dates: 1971-1983

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...
Dates: 1822-1823

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.

Dates: 1830

Washington Statue Committee records

Identifier: 0140.024
Scope and Contents note

The Washington Statue Committee records contain contracts, insurance certificates, bills and receipts, correspondence, and proposals concerning the fabrication, erection and dedication of the statue, as well as, a journal and ledger documenting the finances of the committee. The Washington Statue Fair records include bills, statements, an insurance policy, and counterfeit or broken bank notes from the fundraising event held in November 1859.

Dates: 1859-1872