Archival Collections

CHC archival collection boxes

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To view of any of these collections, or if you have research questions, please contact us by e-mail, phone (617-349-4683) or schedule an appointment.

Finding Aids

Alphabetical Index (by collection name)      
Topical Index (by subject category) 

The Cambridge Historical Commission's collections include architectural survey materials for all present and past Cambridge buildings; a photographic archive of 60,000+ negatives and photographic prints of Cambridge buildings, individuals, and businesses; maps; and a cross-index of Cambridge architects and builders. There are also archival materials covering the history of notable Cambridge residents such as Frederick Hastings Rindge, local architects and entrepreneurs, Cambridge families and immigrant groups, organizations such as the Cambridge Social Union (Cambridge Center for Adult Education), and businesses such as the Peter Gray Corporation.

The Cambridge Historical Commission offers researchers and the general public online access to over 80 archival finding aids pertaining to Cambridge, Mass. subject matters. These subjects, beginning as early as the 18th century and going through the 2000s, paint a vivid picture of the business, celebratory, educational, historic preservation, personal, religious, and social life of a vibrant city. We welcome you to browse through our holdings.

The finding aids are indexed below both alphabetically and topically. Most of the finding aids can be viewed as PDF files. Click on the collection name to open the finding aid .pdf file.

As of December 2020, this webpage is no longer being updated with new or edited PDF finding aids, as we work on migrating all of our finding aids to an open source database, ArchivesSpaceWhile you can still search the list of existing finding aids below, be sure to check out the growing selection of finding aids - for both new and existing collections - on our new ArchivesSpace page by clicking here.   

Why ArchivesSpace? The finding aids on ArchivesSpace are encoded in EAD-XML format, making them easier for researchers to access and explore. The content in the finding aids remains the same, but the format is much more interactive and interconnected. For example, ArchivesSpace allows us to link within a finding aid to related photographs, audio, and webpages. A user can also click on a subject tag in a finding aid (like "Cambridgeport") and immediately connect to related collections. 

Give it a try! Check out one of the finding aids, Cambridge Manual Training School/ Rindge Manual Training School/ Rindge Technical School Collection here and tell us what you think. Thank you to Alyssa Pacy, archivist at the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library, for hosting and sharing this ArchivesSpace database with us.

Alphabetical Index:

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Topical Index: Subject Guide to the Archives

Built Environment


Commercial Enterprises

Historic Preservation



Politics & Government

Public Philanthropy

Social, Educational, & Religious Subjects

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Arnold S. Schutzberg Collection
Arnold S. Schutzberg Collection
Batchelder Family Collection
Batchelder Family Collection