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Boston History

Resources and tips for researching the history of Boston's people and places

Boston History

  • Boston's People - How to find out more about the famous, infamous and just plain folks of Boston
  • Boston's Places - Neighborhoods, streets and buildings: where are they, where did they go, why did they call it that? Tips on researching how Boston has been defined by its unique geography
  • Boston's Timeline - Significant periods in Boston history

We shall be as a city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are on us ~ John Winthrop, 1630


Lucky Boston: Its history has been chronicled by some great historians.  Whether you wish to begin with an overview of Boston's history or focus on an event or person, there are plenty of resources available for your needs.  Below you will find some classic resources for beginners and seasoned researchers alike.

In addition to the catalog selections below, you may find it helpful to search in the catalog for:

Boston, Mass - History

For primary and additional secondary sources, check out our special collections and databases pages.  For images and maps, check out our Flickr photostream, the Boston Public Library at the Digital Commonwealth and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL.