From the 1897 Cambridge Election, Cambridge Election and Campaign File (055).

Vote, Vote, Vote:  Cambridge Campaign History

Exhibition Location: L2 during Special Events and 2nd Floor of the Main Library

Stop by to see historic Cambridge candidate campaign literature.  We’ve chosen some of our favorites, spanning the elections of 1897 to 1981, in honor of the November 3, 2015 municipal elections.


Bumper sticker from the 1981 Cambridge Election.  Cambridge Campaign and Election File (055).

Edward W.  Quinn, Mayor of Cambridge, 1918-1930.  Photograph from the Cambridge Annual Documents, 1920.

Are you curious about the correspondence of early Twentieth Century Cambridge Mayors?  Now available to researchers is the collection, Cambridge Mayor Letter Books, 1912-1920.  This collection contains carbon copy typescript letters from the office of J. Edward Barry (April 1911 – April 1914), Timothy W. Good (April 1914 – January 1916), Wendell D. Rockwood (January 1916 – January 1918), and Edward W. Quinn (January 1918 – January 1930), mayors of the City of Cambridge from 1912 to 1920.

View the finding aid to the collection here or read below for more information on each of the mayors featured in the collection:

Edward Barry (1874-1932) was mayor of Cambridge, Mass. from 1911-1914. He graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College, and worked in the railroad business before entering politics. He served on the lower body of City Council from 1900-1902, and he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1906. He became the Democratic candidate for mayor in 1911, serving for two terms. He was also elected president of the Association of Railroad and Steamship Agents in 1912.

Timothy W. Good (1872-1951) was mayor of Cambridge, Mass. from 1914-1915. He was educated in the public schools of Cambridge, and once he graduated, he started working as a banker. His positions include director of the Guarantee Trust Co. of Cambridge, trustee of Hibernia Savings Bank, director of the Cambridge Realty Co, and a vice president of Manufacturers National of Cambridge. In 1899, he started his political career by becoming a member of the 21-member City Council of Cambridge (also known as the Common Council). Good then went on to become the president of the Board of Aldermen in 1903, and he was the Democratic candidate for mayor of Cambridge, elected in 1914.

Wendell D. Rockwood was a direct descendant of the Puritans of New England. He was a member of the Citizen’s Municipal Party and was mayor of Cambridge, Mass. from 1916-1918.

Edward W. Quinn was involved in the politics of Cambridge, Mass. and was the mayor from 1918-1930 during the early part of the twentieth century. In 1912, he was the Superintendent of the Streets under Mayor J. Edward Barry. In 1918, he was the Democratic candidate for mayor, and he held office for 12 years. Quinn died in 1931.



The Cambridge Sentinel, one of Cambridge’s major newspapers during the first half of the Twentieth Century has been digitized.  October 1903 to December 1947 is now freely available and keyword searchable.  Enjoy!

Police Brutality Hearing, January 1971, George Greenidge (right) and friends testifying to police beatings, copyright Olive Pierce

Former Cambridge resident and lifelong political activist, Olive Pierce captures the every day tension in ordinary people’s lives.  This important collection of photographs spans Pierce’s 40-year career and features three projects focusing on Cambridge, two in mid-coast Maine, and one in Iraq.  View the description of the collection and finding aid here.

Olive Pierce’s photograph Collection


Sumako Cohn and the Art of Origami
Exhibit located in the Children’s Room on the Third Floor

Sumako (Ohashi) Cohn was born in Hokkaido, Japan. From 1968-1969, she studied oil painting at the Asagaya School of Art in Tokyo. Cohn moved to Boston in 1976, where she began to make watercolors of houses and local landmarks. Cohn has taught workshops on Japanese ceramics, tea ceremonies, and zori, Japanese sandal weaving. Her artwork has focused on acrylic paintings, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, ink drawings, watercolors, paper doll collages, origami, and pop-out cards. She has exhibited her work in Massachusetts, Japan, and Hawaii.

Carriage House, Highland Avenue, February 25, 1979, from the Sumako Cohn Prints (019), copyright Sumako Cohn.

When Sumako Cohn came to Boston in 1976 from her native Japan, she was fascinated by the varied shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and moods of the old houses of New England.  She began making watercolors of the houses in Cambridge that most peaked her interest.  This recently acquired collection of watercolor prints is an artist’s rendering of Cambridge’s most unique houses.

View the description of the collection and finding aid here.




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