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Boston (Mass.). Institutions Department


Historical note

The origins of the Institutions Department date back to 1823 with the establishment of the House of Industry. By Chapter 449 of the Acts of 1895, the public institutions were placed under the charge of one commissioner, known as the Institutions Commissioner. By Chapters 395 and 451 of the Acts of 1897, the control of the institutions was divided, and they were placed under the Children’s Institutions Department, the Pauper Institutions Department, the Insane Hospital Department and the Penal Institutions Department.

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

Almshouse records

Identifier: 8501.100
Scope and Contents note The records in this collection consist of three volumes documenting persons admitted to the almshouses on Deer and Rainsford Island from 1853-1914. There are two registers and one index. The registers cover the dates November 1853 through August 1914. The dates of the index are January 1893 through August 1914. The Registers record the name of every person who entered the Almshouse along with a register number, age, place of birth, date admitted, date discharged, whether the person was...
Dates: 1853-1914

House of Correction records

Identifier: 8502.001
Scope and Contents note The records for the House of Correction range in date from 1848 through 1970, with the bulk of the dates covering 1878 through 1970. Both the House of Correction at South Boston and the Deer Island House of Correction are represented. The records consist entirely of large volumes including Registers, Indexes, Log Books, various Financial Records, as well as Pardons and Permits. The Registers, in addition to an inmate register, include records of inmate personal property, commitments...
Dates: 1848-1979; Majority of material found within Bulk, 1878-1960

House of Industry records

Identifier: 8501.002
Scope and Contents note This collection contains the registers and indexes for the inmates who were sentenced to the House of Industry on Deer Island. The registers cover January 1858 through April 1897 with four gaps. The gaps appear at June 1865 – August 1869, April 1876 –November 1879, September 1881 – August 1882, and September 1894 – August 1895. There are both male and female indexes. The female indexes cover the dates November 1881 through June 1904. The male indexes span February 1879 through July 1896 with a...
Dates: 1858-1904

Institutions annual reports

Identifier: 8500.001
Scope and Contents Includes copies of annual reports of the Board of Directors of Public Institutions, 1857-1886 and 1888; Commissioner of Public Institutions, 1890-1891, 1893-1894, 1897, and 1928; Institutions Registration Department, 1901, 1913-1915; and one bound volume of City Documents relating to the Lunatic Hospital, Inspectors of Prisons, Directors of Public Institutions and Rules and Regulations, 1863-1869. Annual reports can also be found in the City Documents series.
Dates: 1857-1928 with gaps

Institutions Department photographs

 Series — Box: SB - 013, Folder: 5
Identifier: 8500.003
Scope and Contents Photographs of trip taken by administrators of the Institutions Department and Long Island Hospital to Prawl's Island, New York to take possession of the LT 462 which was renamed the James M. Curley.
Dates: 1946

Marcella-street Home records

Identifier: 8503.001
Scope and Contents note The records for the Marcella-street Home consist of only one volume. This volume is a register of those children sentenced by the court who entered the Marcella-street Home from its opening in April 1877 through its closing in November 1898. The Marcella-street Home housed only boys from the time of its opening until 1881 when girls were transferred there from the Almshouse at Deer Island. Entries for girls begin to appear in the register in October 1881. The register recorded a...
Dates: 1877 April - 1898 November

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

 Item — Box: SB - 011, 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