Friday, July 19, 2024

Doug Brown shares research on his Standish Street home during History Cambridge’s “Hidden Huron Village” event in September. (Photo: History Cambridge)

Did you make a resolution that 2024 would be the year you learned more about the history of your house, your street, your neighborhood? Maybe you have long wondered about who lived at your address in years past, or maybe a recent event or encounter has made you newly curious about some aspect of Cambridge history. Whatever your interest or motivation, History Cambridge can help you find the resources to conduct your own local history research.

Are you looking for information about a Cambridge resident from the past? We have many resources that can help you research a person, including our own collections and those of other Cambridge institutions such as the public library, the Historical Commission, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the City Clerk’s Office. If you are seeking information about one of the city’s many historic buildings – public and private – you can find links on our website to local and regional land records, permits and historic newspapers.

If you are interested in conducting research by neighborhood or by theme, our History Hubs provide useful links to articles, tours, images and primary source documents from our own collections as well as those of other local institutions. Our History Hubs are always expanding, and currently include resource pages on Women’s History, Early Black Cambridge History, Indigenous History and on our 2023 and 2024 focus neighborhoods, Cambridgeport and North Cambridge.

Researchers are always welcome to access our collections, and much of our archive is available online. For resources that have not yet been digitized, our staff will work with you gladly to access the materials you may need. But the flow of historical information is not a one-way street – we want to hear about your findings and to share your findings with the rest of the Cambridge community! We are committed to “doing history together,” and the work of citizen historians is integral to our common understanding of our city’s past. We look forward to another year of collaboration as we work toward a fuller picture of the history of the place we call home.

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About History Cambridge

History Cambridge started in 1905 as the Cambridge Historical Society. Today we have a new name and a new mission. We engage with our city to explore how the past influences the present to shape a better future. We recognize that every person in our city knows something about Cambridge’s history, and their knowledge matters. We listen to our community and we live by the ideal that history belongs to everyone. Throughout 2023, we are focusing on the history of Cambridgeport. Make history with us at historycambridge.org.

History Cambridge is a nonprofit organization. Our activities rely on your financial support. If you value articles like this one, give today.


Beth Folsom is programs manager for History Cambridge.