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Records of qualifications (oaths of office)

Identifier: 0300.002

Scope and Contents note

This collection includes records of oaths sworn by Elected Officials, Major Officers, Minor Officers and Police Officers. The volumes include the oath sworn on the conditions expressed by the Statutes of the Commonwealth and the Ordinances of the City along with the signatures of those taking the oath. The Elected Officials volumes include the Mayor and City Council members. School committee members and the Suffolk County Register of Deeds are included in the 1938-2004 Elected Officials volumes. The Major Officers include the City Clerk, commissioners, department heads, etc. The Minor Officers include constables, special police officers, weighers, etc.


  • 1858-2004


Historical note

Oaths of Office for the Mayor and City Council are required by a provision in the City Charter. Oaths for Major Officers and Minor Officers are required by conditions expressed in the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Ordinances of the City of Boston. The major officers include City Clerk, commissioners, heads of departments, commission members, board members, assessors, etc. The minor officers include constables, special police officers, weighers, undertakers, etc. By the twentieth century, the minor officers represented include primarily constables and weighers.

In 1939, the City Clerk requested the School Committee members to swear an oath of office based on Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1927, an act relating to city and town officers. Prior to January 1, 1940, School Committee members were not required to take an oath.

By ordinance passed December 23, 1862, each police officer before entering upon his duties was sworn to the faithful discharge of the duties assigned to him. The records of these oaths were kept in two volumes by the City Clerk from 1863-1877. In 1878, powers relating to the police were transferred from the Board of Aldermen to the Police Commissioner.


3.0 Cubic feet (22 volumes)

Language of Materials


Related Archival Materials note

Oaths of City Officers from July of 1850 to January of 1858 are recorded in a City Clerk record book of licenses, etc. See Series #0301.013.

Guide to the Records of Qualifications (Oaths of Office)
Kristen Swett
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)