Archive for the ‘Photographs’ Category

Copyright, Jeffrey Dunn.

We’re excited to give you a preview of our newest acquisition, photographs by longtime Cambridge photographer Jeffrey Dunn.  Once the collection has been made available online, we will let you know.

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CR Collections

Our collections are now searchable online!  We’ll be adding new collections every week.  Search collections here.

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This photograph shows the 2000 block of Massachusetts Avenue, which is just north of Porter Square, featuring the business of Alexander Souter, house and decorative painter.  The building also houses a carpenter and a carriage painter and repairer.  The photograph, taken sometime between 1904 and 1909, is from the Cambridge Room’s Glass Plate Negative Collection (002).

Below is painter Alexander Souter’s advertisement from the October 19, 1912 edition of Cambridge Chronicle:

And here’s what 2015 Massachusetts Avenue looks like today:


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Graduation photograph of Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway, class of 1948, from the Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway Papers (067).

Cambridge City Hospital School of Nursing:
Elizabeth Conway’48 Memorabilia

Exhibition Location: 2nd Floor of the Main Library

Six months after the Cambridge City Hospital opened to the public on June 1, 1917, it began a three-year program to train and graduate nurses.  The school was open to women “desirous of learning nursing” who had “a good education” and a doctor’s certificate of health.  Seven students enrolled in the first year and three graduated in the first class in June, 1920.

The school curriculum included practical work in the medical, surgical, obstetrical and children’s wards, operating room, X-ray and Out Patient Departments, and the “accident room.”  Students also took classes in various subjects ranging from Anatomy to Theoretical Nursing.  Students received a small monthly allowance that increased to $10 in their final year.  The nurses-in-training were expected to live at the hospital, a tradition that continued until the last of its students graduated in 1965. Featured in the exhibit is memorabilia from the Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway Papers.

Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway was born on March 11th, 1927 to William and Elizabeth A’Hearn.  Along with her seven siblings, Elizabeth grew up in an apartment on Raymond Street in North Cambridge.  She enrolled in the Cambridge City Hospital nursing program in 1945 and lived for the next three years on Camelia Avenue where the students were housed. One of Conway’s fondest memories in school was receiving her first nursing cape as a gift from her older brother Billy.  She also enjoyed the camaraderie of her classmates, teachers, and doctors.  She cherished her nurse’s bib signed by her friends and instructors.   Elizabeth graduated as a Registered Nurse in February of 1948.

After graduation, Elizabeth moved to Philadelphia where she held various nursing positions before marrying and having eight children.  She returned to nursing in the late 1970s.  Before she retired in 1990, Elizabeth was recognized by the City of Philadelphia for her dedication to nursing.  Conway died at the age of 87 on June 21, 2014.

001 005
Elizabeth A’Hearn Dorety Conway’s Nursing bib, signed by classmates, teachers, and doctors.

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Photograph of the Cambridge Public Library from the Timothy Dungan-Levant Photographs (046). 

The Cambridge Room has a new collection of photographs by local photographer, Timothy Dungan-Levant.  The collection includes photographs of the Library as well as street scenes of Cambridge.  See the full gallery here.

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This photograph is from our Glass Plate Negatives Collection (002), taken around 1900.  Unfortunately, we don’t know any other information.  Does anyone know where in Cambridge this photograph was taken?

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New Collection at the Cambridge Room, Rico, Jefferson Park, 1974,
© Olive Pierce.

Explore behind-the-scenes at eight unique Cambridge archives.


Several archives are participating for the first time. The MIT Museum’s Hart Nautical Collection will share its bounty. Visitors will enjoy a rare glimpse of archives at three Harvard museums: the Peabody and Semitic museums, and the Harvard Art Museums. Old favorites will return: Longfellow house, Cambridge Room, Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library, and MIT Institute Archives.

See the complete schedule below.

How does it work?

Each day, two small groups will be welcomed into two neighboring archives at specific times, for 45 minute tours. Open Archives is a free event, but visitors must register in advance, as space is very limited. To register, please email archives@cambridgema.gov and specify day or days. Registrants will be contacted with tour details. Send general questions to the archives email or call the Cambridge Historical Commission, 617 349 4683.

Tours visit the archive, NOT the site or the museum.

Monday, June 15, 4:00-6:00 PM
Longfellow House-Washington’s HQ National Historic Site AND
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

Tuesday, June 16, 3:00-5:00 PM
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard AND
Harvard Semitic Museum

Wednesday, June 17, 6:00-8:00 PM
The Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library AND
Harvard Art Museums

Thursday, June 18, 3:00-5:00 PM
MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections AND
MIT Museum’s Hart Nautical Collection

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