Archives Guide ~ School Department (0400)

Historical note

In 1789, the General Court of the Colony granted authority to “trust to appoint School Committees for the control of the Schools.” In accordance with the provisions of this act, the first School Committee for Boston was chosen October 20, 1789, “to exercise all the Powers relating to the Schools and School Masters, which the Selectmen or such Committees are authorized by the Laws of this Commonwealth on the Votes of this Town to exercise.” Under the reorganized plan of 1789, the public schools of Boston were administered by a committee consisting of twenty-one members, nine selectmen and one member from each of the twelve wards. For administrative purposes, the Board of twenty-one members was divided into various sub-committees. Sub-committees included a visiting committee, a committee to fill vacancies in the teaching staff and an examining committee.

Prior to 1818, the public schools admitted only children who had already received some rudimentary instruction. During that year, after considerable agitation on the part of the citizens of the town, primary schools were established. The citizens created in town meeting a special committee distinct and separate from the regular School Committee to safeguard the interests of the primary schools. This committee had a membership ranging from 36 at one time to 196 at another time. The Primary School Committee continued to have exclusive control of the primary schools until 1855, when these schools were placed under the jurisdiction of the general committee.

By terms of the Charter, authorization was granted the School Committee to have the general care and superintendence of the public schools. The number of members and terms of the School Committee fluctuated over the years through several charter revisions.

The office of the Superintendent of Schools was created in 1851. The appointment of teachers, however, still remained the prerogative of the School Committee. In 1876, the rules and regulations were revised and considerable nominal power was granted to the Superintendent and Supervisors, but the appointment of teachers was retained by the district subcommittees. The newly established Board of Supervisors became a board for the examination and certification of teachers. In 1884, the Superintendent was given additional powers. He was to be held responsible to the School Board as the executive in the department of instruction over all supervisors, principals, and other instructors.

With the reorganization of the School Committee in 1906, all sub-committees were discontinued. One of the most important features of the revised rules and regulations of 1906 was the conferring of direct authority and responsibility upon the official staff of the Committee. The Superintendent was designated as the executive officer of the School Committee in all matters relating to instruction and discipline in the public schools; and was given the power, subject to the approval of the School Committee, to appoint, reappoint, transfer and remove all directors, principals and teachers.

Chapter 108 of the Acts of 1991 replaced the elected School Committee with a board of seven members serving four-year terms, appointed by the Mayor from nominees.



0400.001 School Manuals 1869-1973 with gaps 58 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Directories listing all schools, districts, programs, administrators, teachers and custodians of the Boston Public Schools for the years 1869, 1871, 1875-1877, 1882, 1887, 1889-1891, 1893-1939, 1941, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1965 and 1972-1973.


0400.002 Rules and Regulations 1877-1935 with gaps 17 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Rules and Regulations of the Boston Public Schools published in the years 1877-1879, 1883, 1888, 1895, 1897-1898, 1900, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1927 and 1935.


0400.003 Curricula 1943-1991 4 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes copies of courses of study and curriculum guides for the Boston Public Schools. Courses of study and curriculum guides may also be found in the School Committee Annual Reports and Documents series.


0400.004 Graduation programs 1885-1979 with gaps 23 volumes, 3 microfilm reels

Scope and Contents note
Includes bound volumes of graduation programs of High Schools and Grammar Schools for the years 1885, 1890-1891, 1893, 1895-1897, 1904-1913 and 1918-1923; and graduation programs on microfilm of high schools for the years 1919-1979.


0400.005 Publications circa 1916-2000 approximately 150 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Publications produced by the Boston School Department. Includes Code of Discipline, contracts, handbooks, newsletters, reports, plans, etc.


0400.006 Scrapbook circa 1940 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Scrapbook of forms used by the School Department, circa 1940. Includes samples of office record cards, attendance and scholarship records, transfer cards, report cards, monthly reports, teacher record cards, etc.


0400.007 News clippings 1941-1943, 1946-1958, 1985-1988, 1993-2000 5 record cartons and 2 oversized record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes scrapbooks of news clippings, 1941-1943 and 1946-1958 and news clippings compiled by the Office of Communications, April 1985-February 1988 and 1993-2000 on topics relating to the Boston Public Schools.


0400.008 School History Collection circa 1820-1989 2 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Artificial collection of published works about individual Boston Schools, works by students and faculty, and works about the individual for whom the school is named.

Link to finding aid


0401.001 Committee on Superintending the School for Mutual Instruction records 1821-1823 4 folders

Historical note
The mutual (or monitorial) system of instruction, which had been created by English educator Joseph Lancaster, was widely popular in the early nineteenth century. The Lancasterian system relied upon having the older or more advanced students instruct the younger or weaker students under the supervision of the schoolmaster. On July 2, 1820, at a Town meeting, an appropriation of $1000 was voted and the School Committee was authorized to establish a School for Mutual Instruction. The School Committee voted on October 22, 1821 to create a committee of seven men to oversee and care for the School. The Committee found the school and its method of instruction to be superior and recommended their general adoption. The School Committee took charge of the school in September of 1823.

Scope and Contents note
Includes correspondence, reports, and records of the business of the Committee for Superintending the School for Mutual Instruction; reports of the schoolmaster, William B. Fowle, which provided attendance statements, tallies of token distributed and tokens redeemed, and minutiae concerning the functioning of the school; and reports on visits to the school by various committee members.

Link to finding aid


0402.001 Charlestown Free School Fund records 1835-1960 3 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes financial records of the Charlestown Free School Fund which provided support for the public schools in Charlestown.



0403.001 Photographs of School Headmasters circa 1870-1890 56 photographs and 1 photograph album

Scope and Contents note
Collection of photographs of school headmasters who served circa 1830-1878. Includes John D. Philbrick, Joshua Bates, Samuel W. Mason, Elbridge Smith, W.L.P. Boardman, William E. Endicott and others.


0403.002 School building photographs circa 1920-1960 2 document cases

Scope and Contents note
Collection of photographs of Boston Public School buildings. Most photographs show exterior views of buildings. A small number include interior views.

Link to finding aid



0405 School Committee


0405.001 Annual Reports and Documents 1845-1963 with gaps 147 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Annual reports and other documents including annual statistics, committee reports, curriculum, courses of study, etc. of the School Department. Includes School Committee annual reports, 1845-1850, 1852-1855, 1857-1963 and School Documents, 1853-1861, 1877, 1879-1905. Also includes Annals of the Primary Schools, 1818-1854; Report of Committee on Drawing, 1870-1877; and Report on Accounts, 1869-1877.


0405.002 Proceedings 1870-1996 115 volumes and 144 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes published proceedings of School Committee meetings, 1870, 1873-May 1987; verbatim transcripts of School Committee meetings, July 1936-June 1996; and School Committee board papers, September 1915-1991.


0405.003 Administrative records 1992-1997 48 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes subject files, reports, correspondence, orders etc. of the School Committee.


0405.004 School Committee Secretary Desegregation files 1963-1984 6 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes correspondence, meeting minutes, transcripts, student assignment plans, court orders and news clippings collected by Edward J. Winter, Secretary of the Boston School Committee from 1962-1984.

Link to finding aid


0405.005 School Committee Secretary's Circulars 1906-1914, 1920-1971 7 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Notices circulated to headmasters, principals and others by the School Committee Secretary. Includes amendments to the Rules and Regulations and salary schedules.


0405.006 Grants 1994-2002 11 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Grants submitted by the Superintendent to the School Committee for approval.



0410 Superintendent


0410.001 Superintendent's Circulars 1899-1990 with gaps 33 volumes and 1.5 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Administrative notices circulated to all school headmasters and principals by the Superintendent, 1899-1936, 1942-1952, and 1962-1990.


0410.002 Superintendent Lois Harrison Jones administrative records 1989-1994 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Subject and correspondence files of Superintendent Lois Harrison Jones. This collection is unprocessed.



0410.003 Superintendent's Annual reports 1919-1985 with gaps 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Collection of copies of the published annual reports of the Superintendent for the years 1919-1929, 1931, 1933-1946, 1948, 1950-1957, 1959-1973 and 1979-1985. Annual reports can also be found in the School Committee Annual Reports and Documents series.


0410.004 Deputy Superintendent's Memorandum 1978-1990, 1992-1999 4 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Memorandum circulated to cluster leaders, headmasters, principals and other administrative heads by the Deputy Superintendents, 1978-1990 and 1992-1999.



0415 Board of Superintendents

Historical note
The Board, originally known as the Board of Supervisors, was created under an act of the Legislature of 1875 and comprised the Superintendent of Schools and six associates. Initially, its duties for the greater part related to the supervision and direction of the work of teachers. It was also a board for the examination and certification of candidates eligible for service in the different grades of schools. Upon the reorganization of the School Committee in 1905, the Board of Supervisors became a Board of Superintendents. Many of the administrative details which previously had been performed by subcommittees of the School Committee were transferred by the regulations to the Board of Superintendents. The development of high schools, intermediate schools, vocational and continuation schools, and the various departments greatly increased the responsibilities of the board. The board served as the field officers of the Superintendent and as an advisory body for the School Committee.


0415.001 Proceedings 1907-1953 46 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Minutes of the meetings of the Board of Superintendents from 1907-1953.


0415.002 Circulars 1907-1948 19 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Notices circulated to school headmasters and principals from the Board of Superintendents, 1907-1948. Several volumes also include Board of Apportionment Circulars for 1918-1921 and 1923-1944. The Board of Apportionment was responsible for overseeing financial matters of the School Department.


0415.003 Examination papers 1876-1893, 1925-1962 with gaps 48 volumes

Historical note
The Board of Examiners, established in 1924, took over the duties formerly conferred upon the Board of Supervisors and Board of Superintendents relating to the examination of pupils for admission to the various schools and the examination and certification of candidates for all teaching and supervisory positions and promotions.

Scope and Contents note
Bound volumes of examinations given to candidates for qualification as teachers in the Boston Public Schools for the years 1876-1893, 1925-30, 1932-1935, 1937-1938, 1940-1957, and 1959-1962.


0415.004 Teacher Qualification registers and index 1876-1949 48 volumes and 6 card file drawers

Scope and Contents note
Registers of Certificates of Qualifications of Boston Public School teachers issued by the Board of Supervisors/Superintendents/Examiners. Registers document name, address, education, previous employment, appointments, resignations and death. Also includes a card index by last name of teacher.


0415.005 Register of Boston Public School teachers and index circa 1876-1906 2 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Alphabetical List of Instructors of the Boston Public Schools, 1876-1901 and Registry of Instructors, 1901-1906?.



0420 Schools

Scope and Contents note
Records of individual schools including student records, programs, photographs, portraits, yearbooks and student newsletters.


0420.001 Student records circa 1847-1990 317 volumes, 134 record cartons, 156 card file boxes, 124 document cases, 38 file cabinets and 7 microfilm drawers

Scope and Contents note
Student transcripts, office record cards and attendance records of primarily closed Boston Public Schools. Includes records of the following high schools and programs: Boston Technical High School/Mechanic Arts High School, pre-1952 only; Boston Trade School for Boys, pre 1929 only; Brandeis Vocational High School; Charlestown High School, pre-1917 only; High School of Commerce; Dorchester High School, pre-1946 only; Evening High and Trade Schools, pre-1978 only; Girls' High School; Girls' Trade High School; High School of Practical Arts; (Old) Roxbury High School; (New) Roxbury High School; Roxbury Memorial High Schools for Boys and Girls; South End Vocational School; Vocational High and Opportunity School; and Vocational Technical Institute. Also includes various elementary and middle schools. Contact Boston Public Schools Transcript Request line at 617-635-7327.


0420.010 Agassiz School photographs 1971-1976 7 folders and 1 flat box

Scope and Contents note
Includes photograph of the Agassiz School building, circa 1971; and class photographs, 1971-1974 and 1976.


0420.011 John A. Andrew School records 1885-1912 2 folders and 1 framed item

Scope and Contents note
Includes program of the Exhibition of the Andrew School from 1885, graduation programs from 1887-1912 with gaps, and a framed diploma from 1903.


0420.069 Barnes School photograph 1927 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of the Class of 1927.


0420.012 Boston Business School records 1890-1996 4 document cases and 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes administrative files, scrapbook, photographs and graduation programs of the Boston Business School formerly called Boston Clerical School.


0420.013 Boston High School yearbooks 1969-2000 with gaps 22 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1969-1975, 1977-1978, 1982-1995, and 1998-2000.


0420.014 Boston Latin School records 1917-1970 2 volumes and 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes Catalogs of the Boston Latin School, 1924-1970; "Graduates of the Public Latin School in Boston, 1816-1917", presented to Dr. Jeremiah S. Burke compliments of Patrick T. Campbell; and the 1952 yearbook.


0420.015 Boston Technical High School/Mechanic Arts High School records 1893-1991 6 record cartons, 3 document cases and 4 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes administrative files, scrapbooks of news clippings, photographs, and student newsletters. Also includes Mechanic Arts High School yearbooks for 1940-1941 and 1943-1944 and Boston Technical High School yearbooks for 1946-1958, 1960-1967, 1969, 1972, 1975-1985, and 1987-1991.


0420.016 Boston Trade High School for Boys yearbooks and photograph 1926-1947 6 volumes and 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1931, 1935, 1939, 1944, 1945, and 1947 and a photograph of the school orchestra from the 1926-1927 school year.


0420.017 Nathaniel Bowditch School photograph 1909 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of Class of 1909.


0420.018 Brandeis Vocational High School administrative records 1939-1953 3 document cases

Scope and Contents note
Includes reports, teacher assignments, diploma returns and attendance records.


0420.019 Brighton High School records 1915-1988 2 record cartons, 2 items and 1 framed photograph

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1938, 1944, 1950, 1954-1956, 1960, 1970-1974, 1977-1979, 1982, 1984-1985, 1987-1988; school newsletter "Towers" from 1961; two diplomas from the class of 1915; and a framed portrait of the class of 1921.


0420.020 Phillips Brooks School photograph 1920 1 framed photograph

Scope and Contents note
Framed portrait of the Class of 1920.


0420.021 Jeremiah Burke High School yearbooks 1948, 1950, 1968 3 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Yearbooks for 1948, 1950, and 1968.


0420.022 Patrick T. Campbell School photographs 8 photographs

Scope and Contents note
Panoramic photographs of the graduating classes of 1943, 1947-1950 and 1952-1954.



0420.023 Charlestown High School records 1852-2005 5 record cartons, 2 document case and 1 flat box

Scope and Contents note
Includes a register of visitors to the School, 1852-1872; framed portraits of the classes of 1926 and 1927; photograph album of Class of 1937; graduation programs, 1873-1885, 1878-1987, 1991-1992; and yearbooks, 1926-1933, 1935, 1937-1944, 1946-1950, 1952-1954, 1957-1970, 1972, 1974-1975, 1977-1979, and 1990-2005.


0420.024 Grover Cleveland School photograph 1932 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of the Grover Cleveland School Class of 1932.


0420.025 Comins School photograph 1912 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of the Class of 1912.


0420.026 High School of Commerce records circa 1913-1940 3 volumes, 4 photographs and 2 items

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1938-1940; photograph of unidentified sports team, circa 1913-1914;
framed photographs of the Classes of 1919 and 1920; framed photograph of the baseball team from circa 1916-1919; diploma from 1920; and framed school cadets certificate.


0420.027 Dorchester High School records circa 1852-1992 5 record cartons, 5 document cases, 1 framed map, 2 framed photographs and 1 artifact

Scope and Contents note
Records of Dorchester High School, Dorchester High School for Boys and Dorchester High School for Girls. Includes administrative records, textbooks, framed copy of the first issue of "The Shrine" 1855, student magazines, programs, framed map of Dorchester from 1930, artifacts, photographs and yearbooks. Artifacts include DHS pins and a megaphone. Photographs include Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Fencing teams from the early 1900s; various classroom and school scenes from the early 1900s; and graduating classes of 1914, 1917 and 1926. Yearbooks include DHS 1923-1925, 1960, 1975-1978, 1980, 1982, 1984- 1988, and 1990-1992; DHSB 1941-1945, 1947-1949, and 1951-1953 and student magazines, 1929-1939; DHSG 1927-1929, 1932, 1935-1939, 1942-1943, 1946 and 1950-1952.


0420.028 Dudley School publications 1911-1915 3 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Published copies of "The Dudley Record", a student newspaper, from 1911-1915.



0420.029 East Boston High School photographs and films 1975-1982 1 photograph box and 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes photographs of football teams from 1975-1979 and 1981-1982 and film reels of football games from 1975-1978.


0420.030 William E. Endicott School photographs 1983-1992 7 folders

Scope and Contents note
Class photographs of the William E. Endicott School from 1983-1987 and 1991-1992.


0420.031 English High School yearbook 1949 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Yearbook for 1949.


0420.032 Edward Everett School programs 1875-1925 5 folders

Scope and Contents note
Includes Exhibition programs, 1875-1883, 1885-1886; graduation programs, 1887-1894, 1897-1919; and Edward Everett Evening School graduation program from 1925.


0420.033 Everett School diploma 1916 1 item

Scope and Contents note
Diploma from 1916.


0420.034 Fairmount School photographs circa 1960-1965 1 photograph box

Scope and Contents note
Photographs of students in school yard performing May pole dance, circa 1960-1965.



0420.035 Fenway Middle College High School publication 1993 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Publication from 1993 called "Our Future Community".



0420.036 Old Franklin School photograph undated 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Undated photograph of the Old Franklin School in use as a veterans' post. The school was built in 1845.


0420.037 Margaret Fuller School photographs 1972-2000 with gaps 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes class photographs from 1972-1975, 1978-1984, 1986-1988, 1991 and 2000.


0420.038 Thomas Gardner School photograph and diploma 1926 1 photograph and 1 item

Scope and Contents note
Includes photograph of the Class of 1926 and diploma from 1926.


0420.039 Girls' High School records 1920-1969 1 record carton, 5 volumes, 2 photographs, 2 dipllomas and 2 artifacts

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1969; student newsletter "The Distaff" from 1937-1965 with gaps; photographs of the Class of 1920 and 1929;  diplomas from 1920 and 1929; class ring from 1929; and small pennant.


0420.040 Girls' Latin School yearbooks 1969, 1971 2 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Yearbooks for 1969 and 1971.


0420.041 Girls' Trade High School lantern slides circa 1914 34 slides

Scope and Contents note
Lantern slides from a presentation on the school circa 1914. Includes views of students, classrooms and student projects.

View photographs


0420.042 Alexander Hamilton School records 193?-2000 1 portrait, 1 framed print, 1 framed photograph and 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes portrait of Alexander Hamilton, 193?; print of Alexander Hamilton, undated; photograph of Principal Emeritus Mary T. O'Connell, 1957-1975; school banner, trophy, 1989; and miscellaneous photographs, circa 2000.


0420.043 Mary Hemenway School photographs 1940, 1947 2 folders

Scope and Contents note
Class portraits from 1940 and 1947.


0420.072 Hyde Park High School records 1886-2008 12 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks from 1923-1924, 1926-1944, 1946-1987, 1989-1999, 2002, and 2004-2008; graduation programs from 1874-1947; class day exercises;  handbooks; and photographs documenting school cadets, construction, school building, classroom and student life.


0420.044 Jamaica Plain High School records 1895-1984 2 record cartons and 2 photograph boxes

Scope and Contents note
(Old) West Roxbury High School was renamed Jamaica Plain High School in 1923. Includes yearbooks for 1942, 1946, 1951, 1956 and 1984; student newsletters 1895-1967 with gaps; Agricultural Department photographs, circa 1925-1940; and yearbook photographs, circa 1950s. See also (Old) West Roxbury High School.


0420.070 Frederic W. Lincoln School photograph and diploma 1911 2 framed items

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of Class of 1911 and diploma of student in Class of 1911.


0420.045 Longfellow School photograph circa 1908 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of Longfellow class, circa 1908.


0420.073 Lowell School photograph 1925 1 item

Scope and Contents note
Framed photograph of the Class of 1925.



0420.046 Madison Park High School yearbook 1979 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Yearbook for 1979.


0420.047 Horace Mann School for the Deaf photographs circa 1869-1920 1 photograph box and 3 photograph albums

Scope and Contents note
Includes photographs of the school buildings and classes; and three unidentified photograph albums documenting trip to Europe circa 1869-1871.

View photographs


0420.048 Mechanic Arts High School records

Scope and Contents note
See Boston Technical High School.


0420.049 Mather School photographs and diploma 1922-1952 with gaps 23 photographs and 1 diploma

Scope and Contents note
Includes panoramic photographs of the graduating classes of 1922-1923, 1925, 1927-1928, 1930, 1932, 1934-1935, 1938-1939, 1941 and 1945-1952; and a diploma from 1932.


0420.050 John D. O'Bryant High School yearbooks 1993-2004 with gaps 7 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Yearbooks from 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2001-2004.



0420.051 Henry L. Pierce School photograph 1899 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of the Class of 1899.


0420.068 Practical Arts, High School of Alumnae Association records 1911-2010 2 record cartons and 1 oversized item

Scope and Contents note
Includes proceedings, 1911-2010, Yearbooks, 1951-1952, diploma, Alumnae Association
banner, Gavel - Gift of the Class of 1911; Shell - Gift of the Class of 1940; photographs,
programs, memorabilia, etc.


0420.074  Frederick O. Prince School photographs and program 1967-1971 3 photographs and 1 folder

Scope and Contents note
Includes photograph of the Class of 1967; Grade 8 photograph; Grade 5 photograph, 1970; and graduation programs, 1970 and 1971.


0420.052 Rochambeau School photographs 1940, 1947 2 folders

Scope and Contents note
Class portraits from 1940 and 1947.



0420.053 Theodore Roosevelt School photograph 1929 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Photograph of the Class of 1929.


0420.054 Roslindale High School records 1937-2000 5 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Roslindale High School was renamed West Roxbury High School in 1977. Includes yearbooks from 1937-1976, graduation programs, student newsletters and four 16mm film reels of football games between Roslindale and Brighton in 1968 and Roslindale and Boy's Trade on 10 October 1969. See also (New) West Roxbury High School.



0420.055 (New) Roxbury High School yearbook 1977 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Yearbook from 1977.


0420.056 (Old) Roxbury High School photographs circa 1880-1917 3 document cases

Scope and Contents note
Includes photographs of headmaster, assistants and students of the Class of 1880; alumni photographs; framed photograph of the Class of 1907; and photograph of 75th anniversary banquet in 1929.


0420.057 Roxbury Memorial High School for Boys yearbooks 1936-1960 with gaps 13 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Yearbooks for 1936-1937, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1948, 1952-1956, and 1959-1960.



0420.058 Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls records 1928-1960 with gaps 4 volumes, 2 pamphlet boxes and 1 photograph

Scope and Contents note
Includes yearbooks for 1947, 1949, 1958 and 1960; student newsletter "Enterprises", 1928-1931 with gaps; programs; and photograph of the Class of 1931.


0420.059 William E. Russell School photographs 1940-1991 with gaps 8 folders and 6 framed photographs

Scope and Contents note
Includes panoramic photographs of the Classes of 1940, 1952-1953, 1963 and 1965; and class photographs from 1972, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1987-1988, and 1990-1991.


0420.060 Robert Gould Shaw School photographs circa 1900-1963 with gaps 3 photographs

Scope and Contents note
Includes photograph of unidentified class of the Robert Gould Shaw School, circa 1900; and panoramic photographs of the classes of 1960 and 1963.



0420.061 Elbridge Smith School photographs 1940, 1947 2 folders

Scope and Contents note
Class portraits from 1940 and 1947.


0420.062 Charles Sumner School graduation program 1912 1 item

Scope and Contents note
Graduation program from 1912.


0420.063 Umana Harbor Technical High School yearbooks 1979-1987 with gaps 5 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Yearbooks from 1979-1980, 1982-1983 and 1987.


0420.064 (New) West Roxbury High School records 1977-2001 with gaps 3 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Records of West Roxbury High School formerly called Roslindale High School. Includes yearbooks 1977-2000, graduation programs, student newsletters, and student produced slide presentation and audio cassette narration on construction of new Southwest High School, ca. 1976-1977. See also Roslindale High School.


0420.065 (Old) West Roxbury High School yearbook and student newsletters 1895-1923 1 record carton and 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
(Old) West Roxbury High School was renamed Jamaica Plain High School in 1923. Includes
1919 yearbook and issues of the student newsletter "The Clarion" 1895-1923 with gaps. See also Jamaica Plain High School.


0420.066 Phillis Wheatley School records 1991-2000 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Includes the yearbook from 1994 and miscellaneous plaques and medals from 1991-2000.



0420.067 Roger Wolcott School diploma 1912 1 item

Scope and Contents note
Diploma from the Roger Wolcott School, 1912.



0430 Department of School Buildings

Historical note
Chapter 473 of the Acts of 1901 established in the City of Boston a Schoolhouse Department under the charge of a board of three Commissioners appointed by the Mayor without confirmation. The authority and duties of the board were those formerly conferred and imposed upon the City Council and the School Committee in relation to selecting lands for school purposes and requesting the Street Commissioners to take the same, providing temporary school accommodations, and making, altering and approving designs and plans for school purposes; erecting, completing, altering, repairing, furnishing, and preparing yards for school buildings and making contracts and selecting architects for doing said work. The board was also required to take measures to secure proper ventilation, proper sanitary conditions, and protection from fire for existing school buildings. Annual reports were first made in 1901.

Chapter 351 of the Acts of 1929, “An Act to establish a board of commissioners of school buildings and a department of school buildings in the City of Boston” was accepted by the voters at the City Election held 5 Nov 1929. By the provisions of the Act, the board consisted of three citizens of Boston who otherwise were neither officials nor employees of said city, one appointed by the Mayor without approval of the civil service commissioners, one by the School Committee and one chosen by the two appointed or appointed by the Governor if the appointees fail to choose a commissioner within thirty days after the second appointed. By Section 2 of the Act, the Department of School Buildings was established under the charge of a Superintendent of Construction who was elected by the Board of Commissioners, to serve at the pleasure of the board. Upon the election of a Superintendent of Construction, the Board of Schoolhouse Commissioners and the Schoolhouse Department were abolished.

Chapter 642 of the Acts of 1966 established the Public Facilities Department for the more efficient and economical construction and alterations of municipal buildings. The Department of School Buildings was abolished and its functions in part were transferred to the Public Facilities Department and to the School Committee. The School Committee had the exclusive power and authority to perform necessary alterations, maintenance and repairs of public school buildings and their yards and furnishings.


0430.001 Proceedings 1901-1929 28 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Minutes of the Board of Schoolhouse Commissioners, 1901-1929.


0430.002 Contracts and specifications 1902-1938 with gaps 8 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes a set of bound volumes of contracts and specifications for school buildings, 1902-1938 with gaps.  The set is numbered volumes I-XVLI.  Volumes VI, VII and X are missing.


0430.003 Annual reports 1901-1965 with gaps 29 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes copies of the annual reports of the Schoolhouse Department/Department of School Buildings for the years 1901-1915, 1918-1919, 1921, 1925, 1928, 1934-1935, 1943-1946, 1948-1949, 1951, and 1963-1965. Annual reports can also be found in the City Documents series.



0431 Department of School Health Services

Historical note
The Department of School Hygiene was established by Chapter 295 of the Acts of 1907. Regular medical inspection of the schools was maintained by the Health Department from 1894-1915. The School Committee took charge of this function on September 1, 1915. In order to modernize titles, the name of the department was changed on May 4, 1964 to Department of School Health Services.


0431.001 Subject files 1925-1977 2 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Subject files of the Department of School Health Services formerly called the Department of School Hygiene. Topics documented include budgets, immunizations, dental issues, drugs, nurses, school physicians, polio, vision and hearing.

Link to finding aid



0432 Department of Student Support Services

Historical note
The Department of Student Support Services was established in 1970 when instructional programs for students with special needs and student support programs were consolidated under an Associate Superintendent for Special Services. The department was reorganized in 1976 pursuant to the regulations of Chapter 766 which mandated services to children with special needs. The Department of Student Support Services provided effective programs and services for Boston's students ages 3-21 who were found to have special needs.


0432.001 Records 1975-1987 2 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes administrative files, correspondence and reports. This collection is unprocessed.



0433 Bilingual Education Program records

Historical note
Projects in the Bilingual Education Program was funded under Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The pilot project was funded for the school year 1974-1975.


0433.001 Records 1974-2000 (Bulk, 1983-2000) 7 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes administrative files, staff meeting minutes, project files, curriculum, sample lesson plans, publications and photographs.



0450 Desegregation-Era records

Scope and Contents note
The Boston Public Schools Desegregation-Era Records collection dates from 1952 to 2004(bulk, 1975-2000), and is comprised of seven record groups, reflecting different divisions of the school administration. The record groups include: The Department of Implementation; The Department of Implementation II; The Citywide Parents Council; The Citywide Parents Council II; The Office of General Counsel; Desegregation Related Grants; and The Department of Statistics. The collection contains administrative, programmatic and legal papers of the Boston Public Schools documenting their efforts to comply with court-ordered desegregation. It offers insight into the turmoil faced by school employees as they attempted to maintain peace, cooperate with the law and regain the trust of the community. See also School Committee Secretary Desegregation files.

Link to finding aid


0450.001 Department of Implementation records 1952-2002 (Bulk, 1975-2000) 186 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The Department of Implementation was established as a result of Judge W. Arthur Garrity's June 21, 1974 decision in the civil case of Morgan vs. Hennigan (US District Court of Massachusetts). The department's mission was to carry out the court's orders to desegregate Boston Public Schools. Its specific duties were to facilitate, monitor, coordinate, develop and provide accurate information on all matters pertaining to the court ordered desegregation. The Department of Implementation Desegregation-era records spanning from 1975-2000 (bulk), document the evolution of the department and the work of several divisions including the Executive Director; the Senior Officer; the Transportation Unit; the External Liaison Unit; the Student Services Unit; and the Records Management Unit. This series also contains publications pertaining to desegregation, collected by the department.

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Link to finding aid II


0450.002 Citywide Parents' Council records 1971-2004 (Bulk, 1975-2000) 85 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The Citywide Parents Council, Inc. (CPC) was a community/school based, non-profit, advisory organization established by Federal District Court mandate (Judge Arthur Garrity in the case of Tallulah Morgan vs. James Hennigan) in 1974. The CPC operated as an autonomous entity of the school system from 1974 to 2004. The Citywide Parents Council Records document the organization's mission to foster parental involvement in the schools, provide positive input into educational policies, and hold the Boston Public Schools accountable for providing a quality education to all students. This series contains the records of parent councils at all levels: citywide (CPAC, CPC); district (CDACs, DPCs); and school councils (REPCs, SPCs).

Link to finding aid I
Link to finding aid II


0450.003 Office of General Counsel records 1975-1998 (Bulk, 1976-1990) 43 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The Office of General Counsel (OGC), today known as the Office of Legal Advisors (OLA), has a mission to "provide quality legal services to the Superintendent of Schools and the Boston School Committee in a manner that is best aligned with the goals of improving teaching and learning within the Boston Public Schools". The OGC played an instrumental role in both the Morgan desegregation case (1974-1994) and the Allen special education case (1976-1996). The Office of General Counsel records document the work of this department on both cases, as well as, work on a few lesser-known cases.

Link to finding aid
Link to finding aid: Morgan Case files
Link to finding aid: Allen Case files


0450.004 Desegregation Related grants 1967-1986 (Bulk, 1972-1981) 23 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The Desegregation Related Grants Collection contains the records of several Offices and individuals within the Boston Public schools relating, primarily, to three Grants: Elementary and Secondary School Aid Act of 1965 (ESEA); Emergency School Aid Act (ESAA) and Chapter 636, an Amendment to the Racial Imbalance Act. The federal ESEA was designed to provide resources to programs for disadvantaged students, and ESAA, as well as the State funded Chapter 636 Amendment, provided funds specifically for programs designed to ameliorate the effects of a segregated school system.

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0450.005 Department of Statistics records 1967-1973 2 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The Department of Statistics of the Boston Public Schools was responsible for the collection of data and production of reports pertaining to Pupils, Teachers, Departments, and Adult Education; maintaining a street directory and boundary lines of school districts; and maintaining a list of vacant seats at each school. It also produced statistics for the state and federal government required by the Massachusetts Racial Imbalance Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Department of Statistics Collection contains the files from 1967 to 1973 pertaining to Boston Public Schools students and teachers.

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