Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

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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.

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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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Anti War Riots in Harvard Square, April 15, 1970, from the Boston Herald Photograph Collection, copyright United Press International Photo.

The following photograph collections are now available for researchers to use:

Adams, Bertram (Bertram Adams Photographs, ca. 1960-1969)
Barnes, James (James Barnes Photographs, 1980-1989)
Boston Herald Photographs, 1924-1997
Cambridge Chronicle Photographs, 1973
Glass Plate Negatives, ca. 1904-1909
Half-tone Blocks, ca. 1909
Photographs, 1872-1998

Search all 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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The location of the Charles H. Cutting Fish and Oyster Market, 359 Main Street.

Last week, we asked our readers to help us identify the photograph of the Fish and Oyster Market pictured below.  Thanks to PJN, we learned that it is the Charles H. Cutting Fish and Oyster Market, located at 359  Main Street, on the corner of Moore Street.


We found this ad in the Cambridge Historic Newspaper Collection, in the May 21st 1887 edition of the Cambridge Chronicle.

359 Main Street is now the location of Newtowne Court – Moore Street no longer exists.


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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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