Skip to Main Content

Archives Department

Guide to the Archives Department of Boston Public Library's Special Collections

Archives at BPL

The Archives Department
at Boston Public Library

Located in the BPL’s Central Library in Copley Square, the Archives Department manages, describes, and makes accessible archival collections across all curatorial areas within the BPL Special Collections department, including Arts (Fine Arts, Music, Photography, Prints) and Rare Books and Manuscripts, as well as the Leventhal Map & Education Center.

In collaboration with librarians and curators across Special Collections, BPL's archivists establish priorities and design best practices, standards, and workflows to make archival collections findable and usable for researchers.

Learn more about the BPL Special Collections Department and our collections on the Special Collections website

The Boston Public Library Archives Department facilitates open and equitable public access to archival collections held by the library. In partnership with Special Collections department staff, the department arranges, describes, and preserves our archival holdings using iterative and sustainable practices. Through reference support, user-centered discovery, and adherence to national standards for archival description, the department works to meet the needs of BPL users and adapt as research practices change over time. The Archives Department aims to describe BPL’s archival collections in ways that are inclusive and respectful to those who create and use them and the people and communities these collections represent.

We are a small but dynamic team focused on stewarding BPL's archival collections:

  • Eve Neiger, Lead Archivist
  • Margaret Peachy, Archivist
  • Kim Reynolds, Archivist
  • Crystal Rodgers, Archivist

To contact our staff please send an email to

We aim to acknowledge all inquiries within 72 hours. If you are asking a research question, please note that depending on the complexity of the question, it may take up to several weeks for our staff to gather all the pertinent information.

Anyone can access our archival collections!

Archival collections held by Special Collections are open to all.

Our collections are a great resource for anyone needing primary source materials, such as letters, documents, or photographs. Our collections can be used for a wide range of research purposes, from learning about local history for a high school paper, to gathering source material for a documentary film, to genealogical family research.

Black and white photograph of a large crowd on City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA.
Crowd at City Hall Plaza. Boston Pictorial Archive, Arts Department, Boston Public Library

Search the archival collections page header
Use the search box below to search and start finding materials in our archival collections.

Search results will open in a new window.


We are adding new collections to our database all the time! Please be aware that many of our collections are only minimally described. 

Contact us & hours

Connect with BPL Archives staff!
  • Questions about archival collections?
  • Need help navigating
  • Want to help us by suggesting changes to our collection descriptions?

Reach out to BPL Archivists directly at
The Special Collections Reading Room is open for appointments.

To make an appointment to see archival materials in the Special Collections Reading Room, please see the Special Collections: Plan Your Research Visit website.

Archives Department
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116