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Boston Building Department photographic collection, 1920s-1930s

PC016 (RS13167)

Description

The Boston Building Department Photographic Collection includes over 1,000 original prints and negatives by W. W. K. Campbell. The prints document buildings that had come to the Department's attention as a result of complaints about their safety. Many items possess attached documentation regarding the nature of the complaint and the action taken to correct it.

All communities incorporated into Boston, as well as those in the downtown area, are represented by images, such as South Boston, Charlestown, East Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Brighton, and Chelsea.

The collection is a record of urban decay and building traditions associated with working class neighborhoods that are not well documented. Photographs of many late-eighteenth and early-nineteeth-century structures show that they had fallen on hard times. For the most part, the images tend to be strictly documentary, though there are occasional glimpses of the surrounding streets and inhabitants.

Source: Guide to the Library and Archives, 9.

Details

Collection Name
Boston Building Department photographic collection, 1920s-1930s
Collection Code
PC016
Dates
1920-1939
Physical Description
ca. 1,000 photographic negatives : black-and-white
ca. 1,000 photographic prints : black-and-white
Collection Type
Photographs
Description Level
Collection
GUSN
171268
Reference Code
PC016

Historical/Biographical Note

W. W. K. Campbell worked as a photographer for the Boston Building Department in the 1920s and 1930s.

Source: Guide to the Library and Archives, 9.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged geographically.

Record details

Originator
Campbell, W. W. K., Mr. (Photographer)
Descriptive Terms
commercial buildings
dwellings
historic buildings
municipal government
neighborhoods
urban areas
urban blight
working class
Material Type
black-and-white negatives
black-and-white prints (photographs)
Places
South Boston (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Charlestown (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
East Boston (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Roxbury (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Dorchester (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Brighton (Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts) [neighborhood]
Chelsea (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)

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  • Boston Building Department photographic collection, 1920s-1930s (current record)

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