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Online Collections

Finding Aids
This database of finding aids has detailed information about collections in the Cambridge Room. You can search or browse the finding aids to help determine whether information within a specific collection is relevant to your research. Collections include photographs, maps, atlases, personal papers, and records of organizations.

Subjects include:

  • Activists
  • African Americans
  • Artists
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Immigrant Communities
  • Newsletters and Newspapers
  • Nonprofit Organizations and Businesses
  • Photographers and Photographs
  • Poets and Poetry
  • Politicians and Women Politicians
  • Urban Planning

Browse subjects

Text Collections
Flip page-by-page or search through Cambridge Room books freely available on the Internet Archive. Collections include:

  • City of Cambridge Annual Reports (1846-2000) - These books were published annually and include reports on the projects and finances for each of the city’s department, including the School Department, School Committee, and Cambridge City Hospital.  From 1946 to 1941, the annual reports were filled with details like department employee rosters and salaries.  With the city’s adoption of the Plan E form of government in 1942, the format of the annual reports changed.  The reports were substantially reduced in length and the department budgets were published separately
  • Cambridge City Directories (1848-1972) - These directories include residents (listed by last name), businesses, city officials, clubs, organizations, and schools in Cambridge. The volumes were published annually until the mid-1920s, ceasing publication in 1972
  • Cambridge Poll Lists (1904, 1932-1947) - These lists, sometimes called Police Lists or Street Lists, are the registered voters in Cambridge. The Poll Lists are separated by sex with different volumes for men and women, and organized by obsolete wards and precincts. When looking for an individual, search the volumes by last name

Photo Collections
Browse or search the Cambridge Room’s photograph and graphic collections on Digital Commonwealth. Photographs and graphic material are organized by albums.

Video Collections
Watch historic Cambridge videos on the Cambridge Room’s Vimeo site. Videos are organized by individual collections.

Newspaper Collection
The Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection is fully searchable and contains all Cambridge newspapers published between 1846 and 2015. Newspaper titles include the Cambridge Chronicle (the City’s newspaper of record), Cambridge Press, Cambridge Sentinel, and Cambridge Tribune.