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Boston Urban Planning: Maps and Plans at the BPL

A guide for urban planning materials of Boston

About This Guide

This guide covers maps and urban planning resources of Boston and Massachusetts towns at the Boston Public Library. There is also a brief list of other institutions with Boston and Massachusetts urban planning materials.

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center - Hours

See the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center gallery hours, special hours, and research hours on their website.

Remote Reference and Research Services:

Related Resources

Maps and Plans at the BPL

Boston Redevelopment Authority Collection 

  • This collection consists of maps that were in the library of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which was transferred to the Boston Public Library in the early 1990s. It includes maps published by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, maps accompanying documents issued by the BRA, and maps in reports and proposals submitted to the BRA.

Boston Redevelopment Authority Maps and Plans

  • This collection includes working drafts, site plans, illustrations and published maps from the Boston Redevelopment Authority that have accumulated at the BPL. Final versions of some of these materials were included in BRA reports and proposals.

Lot Plans

Digitized City Planning Maps

  • Maps showing urban planning and development

Urban Atlases

For undigitized maps or other materials, search the catalog by Subject for [name of town] city planning

Government Documents at the BPL

These are the major municipal agencies that have been involved in urban planning in Boston. Some materials have been digitized and are available on Internet Archive or Digital Commonwealth.

For other towns, search the catalog by Author for [name of town] planning board

Archival Collections at the BPL

Dana F. Perkins Inc. Surveying Records

This collection includes documentation created by 3 Metropolitan Boston surveying companies giving a snapshot view of how their survey work was done from mid-19th century to mid-20th century (1839-1949). Maps, sketches, and drawings are represented from the W.A. Mason & Sons surveying company (1839-1947), the William H. Whitney surveying company (1886-1906), and the Fuller-Whitney Corporation (1882-1891). The materials include surveys of lands in the Metropolitan Boston area, outlying towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the landmark ‘Back Bay Filling Project,’ 1882-1891.

Robert Bayard Bellamy Surveying Papers

This collection comprises over 600 surveys from mid-19th to mid-20th century for towns across Massachusetts, with a handful covering other New England towns. The most represented surveyors are Robert Bayard Bellamy (1879-1962) and Frederic Endicott (1839-1918).