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Architecture Index Card Collection: Arrangement

A Guide to Searching the Architecture Index Cards in the Arts Department

Drawers in the Index Collection

The Architecture Index Card Collection is a collection of 3 x 5" index cards, each of which describes a separate architectural plan or collection of architectural plans, as well as other references to specific structures. There are a total of 105 drawers of index cards; each drawer contains an average of 917 cards. The Indexis organized by subjects as defined by Fine Arts librarians at the time, which include architects, geographic locations, Boston addresses and buildings. (More extensive description of subjects available below). Moreover, it also includes subjects such as U.S. Craftsman, national art schools, and Boston public art to a small extent.


Drawer Topics

Drawers 1 – 24: "Architect" 

Alphabetically arranged by architect’s last name or firm name. Card may detail dates of an architect’s buildings, specific addresses, and/or general biographical information. A card may point to another BPL resource, such as a published book that can be requested through our catalog, or occasionally, the card will reference “Building Inspector’s Reports” that can be requested through the City Archives using the specific address or volume number noted on the card. Drawer 24 contains information on non-American architects.

Drawers 25 – 27: "U.S. Craftsmen" 

Similar to Architect index cards, but referencing craftspeople who worked with architects in the building arts (tile flooring, brass inlays, gates or outside structures, for example). Arranged by media (plaster, frames, ceramic, etc.)

Drawers 28-29: "School Catalog" 

Contains addresses and contact information on specific art schools throughout the United States, arranged alphabetically by state and then by institution name.

Drawers 30 – 42: "U.S." 

Contains cards for structures outside Massachusetts, arranged alphabetically by state name. Emphasis on New England. Does include Massachusetts structures in more detail, arranged alphabetically by town.

Drawer 43: "Non-U.S." 

Contains cards for structures outside the United States, arranged alphabetically by country name.

Drawers 44 – 45; Drawer 72 – 73; Drawers 86 – 89: "Boston: General" 

Includes information on general Boston architecture including information on marketplaces, airports, architectural associations (Drawer 72), banks, barns, stables, bathhouses, bridges and tunnels (Drawer 73), hospitals, government buildings (Drawer 86), hospitals, orphanages, retirement homes (Drawer 87), hotels, and apartment complexes (Drawers 88-Drawer 89)


Drawers 46 – 71: "Address" 

Alphabetically arranged by street name and then sequentially by address number. The card can describe the building at the specific address, give construction or renovation dates for the building.

Drawers 74 – 80: "Buildings A-Z" 

Arranged by alphabetically by subjects, such as “Office Buildings” or specific building name (the names of hotels, stores, apartment complexes, workshops, studios, etc.)

Drawers 81 – 85: "Buildings: Religious" 

Includes information on churches, synagogues, and other places of religious significance throughout Boston and the surrounding areas.

 Drawers 90 – 98: "Houses" 

Arranged alphabetically by house name. May refer to architect, dates built or renovated, or reference published sources such as the Boston Globe or Damrell’s Half Century of Boston’s Building.

Drawer 100: "Boston Monuments" 

References public monuments belonging to the City of Boston, refers to published guidebooks, picture files, and newspaper and journal articles. Arranged alphabetically by artist’s last name, though there is a “General” collection at the beginning of the drawer, mostly referring to published newspaper articles on Boston’s production and installation of public art.

Drawer 101: "Museums" 

Contains alphabetically arranged subjects such as “Monuments,” “Historic Landmarks,” or specific institutions, such as “The Museum of Fine Arts.” Cards contain formation on architect of the institution, dates of the building, specific street location, and may point to published sources and news articles about particular buildings or objects.

Drawer 102: "Proposed Buildings, Public Utilities (Railways, etc.)" 

Alphabetically arranged by proposed structure name (“Beacon Yards,” or “Boating House”) with accompanying information about architects and specific dates, as well as references to published sources, such as articles in the Boston Globe. Includes information on the competition for City Hall. Public Utilities (mostly railway and subway information) is also included. Information on railways for non- Massachusetts states are included.

Drawers 103 – 104: "Schools" 

Alphabetically arranged by school name, cards usually detail building dates, specific address, architect, and/or and renovation work that has been performed.

Drawer 105: "Theaters" 

Cards alphabetically arranged by theater name, containing information on dates built, architects, and references newspaper and journal articles covering the development of the theater spaces, with occasional references to particular performances.