Cambridge Historical Commission

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The Cambridge Historical Commission is the city’s historic preservation agency. In their research library you’ll find books on the history of Cambridge and surrounding towns, local community groups, historic preservation, biographies and memoirs of Cambridge people, and more. They have records of all 13,000+ Cambridge buildings, thousands of photographs, and occasionally offer guided tours for…

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Early Black Cambridge Resource Hub

Lit up bottle tree grove with blue bottles against a twilight blue sky, with a building in the background

Are you interested in learning more about the history of race, slavery, and African American life in the Cambridge area? This guide highlights many of the resources available that touch on these topics, including primary, secondary, and public-facing sources (such as self-guided tours and websites). While this hub is focused on material related to the…

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“The Absolute Majority of the Population”: Women in Twentieth-Century Cambridge

This article was originally published as a chapter in Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, edited by Daphne Abeel, Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.  Inspired by Cambridge Historical Society’s 2020 theme—Who are Cambridge Women?—the author, Eva Moseley, has reviewed the manuscript and made a few updates which are noted in the text that follows. “The Absolute Majority…

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Serjeant Family Letters Transcribed

Thanks to generous funding from the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, the Serjeant Family Letters (1769-1840) have now been digitized and transcribed. This collection offers insight into the life of a Loyalist family in the years leading up to and following the Revolutionary War. The letters, transcribed below, illuminate the connections between family and religion…

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Recap: Cambridge Open Archives 2019

In late June, the Cambridge Historical Society participated in the eleventh annual Cambridge Open Archives, a free event organized by the Cambridge Historical Commission where archival repositories around Cambridge open their doors to visitors and highlight thematic collections. This year’s theme was “Politics and Activism in Cambridge (and Beyond).” Visitors to the Society learned about…

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50 Years Later: Harvard’s 1969 Protests

In Cambridge, as in the rest of America, the late 1960s were a period of unrest and upheaval. As we consider our 2019 theme “How Does Cambridge Engage?” we benefit from looking back fifty years to the Spring of  1969. The events of April 8th-10th, 1969 were a response to the Vietnam War and the social…

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Serjeant Family Letters, 1769-1840: Digital Collection

This collection was featured at our 2019 Open Archives. In 2019, the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati generously provided funding to digitize and transcribe the Cambridge Historical Society’s Serjeant Family Letters (formerly titled “The Winwood Serjeant Letters”). The collection is now accessible online (view it here). Winwood Serjeant (c.1730?-1780) was born in England and ordained…

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