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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
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.
- Lots are parcels of land that can be owned by individuals or other legal entities. Auctioneer plans advertise lots to be auctioned for sale, usually by cities or real estate companies. Some auctioneer plans are annotated with sale information.
Digitized City Planning Maps
- Maps showing urban planning and development
- Show building-level information for towns, and can be used to see changes over time. Atlases of Boston from 1861 to 1938 are available in Atlascope. Later atlases of Boston and atlases of other towns have not yet been digitized, but are listed in the guides below.
For undigitized maps or other materials, search the catalog by Subject for [name of town] city planning
Government Documents at the BPL
Archival Collections at the BPL
Dana F. Perkins & Sons Collection
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.
Severy Map Collection
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).