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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:
https://www.leventhalmap.org/research/

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.

Surveyor Collections

  • Dana F. Perkins Inc. Surveying Records
    The Dana F. Perkins, Inc. surveying records consists of surveys, notebooks, and ancillary surveying documents from firms and individual surveyors acquired by the company, as well as some surveys created by Dana F. Perkins, Inc. The majority of items were created by W.A. Mason & Son, with the next largest group of items created by Fuller & Whitney (later William H. Whitney). Other surveyors with a significant number of materials are Charles D. Elliot, Dana E. Perkins, and Dana F. Perkins. The bulk of surveys date from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and show property boundaries, structures, owners, planning, and infrastructure such as public transit and utilities. Most surveys are for towns in eastern Massachusetts, with Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville being the most heavily represented. 
  • Robert Bayard Bellamy Surveying Papers
    The Robert Bayard Bellamy surveying papers consist primarily of surveys of properties in eastern Massachusetts circa 1860-1950, with the bulk of surveys done approximately 1890-1930. Surveys show property boundaries, structures, owners, planning, and infrastructure such as public transit and utilities. The majority of surveys are by Robert Bayard Bellamy (1879-1962). Other heavily represented surveyors are his predecessor Frederic Endicott (1839-1918), his brother Arthur Muirson Bellamy (1881-1968), and his father-in-law John Norris McClintock (1846-1914).

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

Overview of Property Survey Collections

Collection Date Range Cities/Towns 
Auction plans 1833-1915  Boston, MA 
Survey and plans by Aspinwall & Lincoln  1828-1906 

Boston, MA 

Brookline, MA 

Milton, MA 

Winthrop, MA 

Robert Bayard Bellamy Surveying Papers  1890-1930 

Arlington, MA 

Bedford, MA 

Bellingham, MA 

Billerica, MA 

Boston, MA 

Braintree, MA 

Brookline, MA 

Cambridge, MA 

Canton, MA 

Chelsea, MA 

Cohasset, MA 

Dedham, MA 

Dighton, MA 

Duxbury, MA 

Everett, MA 

Fitchburg, MA 

Foxborough, MA 

Framingham, MA 

Franklin, MA 

Hopedale, MA 

Hull, MA 

Lexington, MA 

Malden, MA 

Marblehead, MA 

Mattapan, MA 

Medford, MA 

Melrose, MA 

Merrimac, MA 

Milton, MA 

Natick, MA 

Needham, MA 

Newton, MA 

North Adams, MA 

North Andover, MA 

North Reading, MA 

Norwell, MA 

Norwood, MA 

Peabody, MA 

Plainville, MA 

Quincy, MA 

Randolph, MA 

Revere, MA 

Salem, MA 

Saugus, MA 

Sharon, MA 

Somerville, MA 

South Easton, MA 

Stoughton, MA 

Swampscott, MA 

Tewksbury, MA 

Tyngsboro, MA 

Wakefield, MA 

Walpole, MA 

Waltham, MA 

Wareham, MA 

Watertown, MA 

Wayland, MA 

Wellesley, MA 

Weston, MA 

Westwood, MA 

Weymouth, MA 

Whitman, MA 

Wilmington, MA 

Winchester, MA 

Woburn, MA 

Worcester, MA 

Yarmouth, MA 

Damariscotta River, ME 

Floral Park, NY 

Lake Winnipesaukee, NH 

Laramie, WY 

Newport News, VA 

Niagara, NC 

Lower Passaic River, NY 

Pawtucket, RI 

Plainfield, NJ 

Windham, CT 

Dana F. Perkins, Inc. Surveying Records  1817-1965 

Arlington, MA 

Bedford, MA 

Belmont, MA 

Billerica, MA 

Boston, MA 

Bradford, NH 

Braintree, MA 

Brookline, MA 

Cambridge, MA 

Dedham, MA 

Everett, MA 

Framingham, MA 

Gloucester, MA 

Hull, MA 

Lexington, MA 

Lowell, MA 

Lynn, MA 

Malden, MA 

Maplewood, MA 

Marblehead, MA 

Medford, MA 

Milton, MA 

Natick, MA 

Needham, MA 

Newton, MA 

North Andover, MA 

North Reading, MA 

Quincy, MA 

Reading, MA 

Somerville, MA 

South Yarmouth, MA 

Stoneham, MA 

Swampscott, MA 

Wakefield, MA 

Waltham, MA 

Watertown, MA 

Waverly, MA 

Wayland, MA 

West Everett, MA 

Weston, MA 

Weymouth, MA 

Wilmington, MA 

Winchester, MA 

Winthrop, MA 

Woburn, MA 

Riverside, FL 

Great Falls, NH 

El Paso, TX 

Manchester, VA 

Winchester, VA