Books about Boston: A Selection






  • Architectural Records in Boston: A Guide to Architectural Research in Boston, Cambridge, and Vicinity. Nancy Schrock, ed. Massachusetts Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records, Inc. Mugar Ref. XNA 735 B7 A72 1983
  • Architecture after Richardson : regionalism before modernism– Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow in Boston and Pittsburgh. Margaret Henderson Floyd. Chicago : University of Chicago Press in association with the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 1994. Mugar NA737.L66 F66 1994.
  • The architecture of Charles Bulfinch. Harold Kirker. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. Mugar NA737.B8 F69
  • Architecture of H.H. Richardson and his contemporaries in Boston and vicinity : 1972 annual tour, Society of Architectural Historians: tour notes. Robert Bell Rettig. Philadelphia : The Society of Architectural Historians, 1972. Mugar NA735.B7 R4M
  • Architecture, Boston. Boston Society of Architects. Barre, Mass. : Barre Pub., c1976. Mugar NA735.B7 B67 1976.
  • Back Bay : a living portrait. Barbara W. Moore and Gail Weesner. Boston : Centry Hill Press, 1995. Mugar NA735.B7 M66 1995.
  • Boston after Bulfinch; an account of its architecture 1800-1900. Walter Harrington Kilham. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1946. Mugar NA735.B6 F46.
  • Boston Architects and Builders: Compiled from the Boston Directory 1789-1846. Christopher Hall. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Commission for the Preservation of Architectural Records (Mass COPAR).Continued by the Directory of Boston Architects, 1846-1970 (Mugar Ref. NA 55 B6 D5 1984). Mugar Ref. XNA 55 B6 B67 1989.
  • Boston: distinguished buildings & sites within the city and its orbit as engraved on wood by Rudolph Ruzicka. Walter Muir Whitehill. Boston: D.R. Godine, c.1975. Mugar NE 1112.R89 W47.
  • Boston : a topographical history. Walter Muir Whitehill. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. Mugar F73.3 .W57 2000
  • Boston architecture. Donald Freeman.Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press [1971, c1970] Mugar NA735.B6 F70.
  • Boston architecture, 1637-1954; including other communities within easy driving distance. Henry Russell Hitchcock. New York, Reinhold Pub. Corp. [1954]. Mugar NA735.B6 F54.
  • Boston architecture, 1975-1990. Naomi Miller and Keith Morgan. Munich : Prestel ; New York, c1990. Mugar Lib. Reserve NA735.B7 M55 1990.
  • Boston Landmarks Commission: How to Research a Historic Building in Boston Links to City of Boston Inspectional Services, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts State House Library, and many more.
  • “Boston Government Service Center,” in Timothy Rohan, The Architecture of Paul Rudolph.  New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 114-128.
  • Boston landmarks. M.A. De Wolfe Howe.New York, Hastings House [1946]. Mugar F73.37 .F462.
  • Boston visions : a national design competition. Boston, MA: Boston Society of Architects, c1989. Mugar NA735.B7 B78 1989.
  • “Boston’s City Hall: end or eve of an era?” inSelected writings on architecture, preservation, and the built environment.James Marston Fitch and Martica Sawin. New York: W.W. Norton, pp. 48-54. Mugar Library NA27 .F58 2006.
  • Boston’s granite architecture, c. 1810-1860. John Morrill Bryan. Thesis (Ph.D.)–Boston University, 1972. Mugar PhD 1972 br
  • Building early urban America : architectural and social development in Boston’s North End, 1826-1850 . Nina Rolnick Meyer. Thesis (Ph. D.)–Boston University, 1986. Mugar PhD 1986 meyBuilding Victorian Boston: the architecture of Gridley J. F. Bryant. Roger Reed. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Mugar Library NA737.B743 R44 2007
  • Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston. Ed. Keith Morgan. Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2009. Mugar: Reference X NA735.B7 B85 2009
  • Built in Boston : city and suburb, 1800-1950. Douglass Shand-Tucci. Boston : New York Graphic Society, 1978. Mugar NA735.B7 T8.
  • Built in Boston : city and suburb, 1800-2000. Douglass Shand-Tucci. Amherst, MA : University of Massachusetts Press, c1999. Mugar NA735.B7 S53 1999
  • Bulfinch’s Boston, 1787-1817. Harold Kirker. New York, Oxford University Press, 1964. Mugar F73.44 .F64
  • Catalogue of Books Relating to Architecture, Construction and Decoration in the Public Library of the City of Boston. 2d ed with an additional section on city planning, 1914. Arranged by subject with author and subjects/places index. (IA) Mugar Ref. XZ 5945 F14.
  • The Changing Face of Boston over 350 Years. Boston : Massachusetts Historical Society, 1980. Mugar Ref. XF73.37 .M35 1980.
  • Charles Bulfinch, architect and citizen. Charles Alpheus Place. Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, c1925. Mugar NA737.B8 F25.
  • Establishing a threshold : twelve architectural practices in Boston. Curated by Margaret Reeve and Alex Krieger. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Graduate School of Design, c1985. Mugar NA735.B7 E77 1985.
  • Garden Squares of Boston. Phebe S. Goodman. Hanover, NH: University of New England Press, 2003. Mugar SB466.U65 B6728 2003
  • Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston.  Mark Pasik, Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and essay by Keith Morgan.  New York: Monacelli Press, 2015. Mugar Memorial Library Stacks (NA735.B7 H47 2015
  • Houses of Boston’s Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917. Bainbridge Bunting. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967. Mugar Ref. XNA 7238 B6 F67.
  • Large Boston Garden sketchbook. Maurice Brazil Prendergast.New York: G. Brazilier in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. In storage–see Circ ND 1839.P74 A4 1987.
  • The life and letters of Charles Bulfinch, architect, with other family papers, edited by his granddaughter, Ellen Susan Bulfinch. New York, B. Franklin [1973]. Mugar NA737.B8 A3 1973.
  • Lost Boston. Jane Holtz Kay. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, c1980. Mugar NA735.B7 K39.
  • “Macallen Building, Boston, Massachusetts,” in Green architecture now! = Grune Architektur heute! =L’architecture verte d’aujourd’hui!. Philip Jodidio. Los Angeles: Taschen, c2009. Mugar Library NA2542.36 .J63 2009.
  • Mr. Bulfinch’s Boston. Raymond W. Stanley, ed. Boston, Old Colony Trust Co., 1963. Mugar NA737.B8 F63.
  • New architecture in Boston. Joan E. Goody. Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press [1965]. Mugar NA735.B7 G6.
  • Origins of the American school building: Boston public school architecture, 1800-1860. Rachel Remmel. Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Chicago, 2006. BU
  • A People’s History of the New Boston.  James Vrabel. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2014. Mugar Memorial Library Stacks (F73.52 .V73 2014 )
  • Planning the city upon a hill: Boston since 1630. Lawrence W. Kennedy. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992. Mugar Library HT 168.B6K46 1992.
  • School Treasures: Architecture of Historic Boston Schools. Doris Cole. Weston, MA: Font & Center Press, 2002. Mugar LB 3218 M4C65 2002. Online full texts of many of the works listed below are indicated by (PG) for Project Gutenberg and (IA) for the Internet Archive).
  • “Toward the Boston Public Library, 1881-1892,” in Guastavino Vaulting : The Art of Structural Tile.  John Allen Ochsendorf.  New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.



  • Book of Boston. Robert Shackleton. First published in 1916 by the Penn Publishing Company, Philadelphia.
  • Boston Neighborhoods: a food lover’s walking, eating, and shopping guide to ethnic enclaves in and around Boston. Lynda Morgenroth. Mugar Reference X TX907.3.M42 M67 2003.
  • Boston Society of Architects’ AIA Guide to Boston. 2d ed. Susan Southworth. Topographical, arranged by districts and neighborhoods. Mugar Ref. XNA 735 B7 S69 1992.Boston Women and the Law: A Walking Trail through Four Centuries of Boston Women’s Legal History. Bonnie Hurd Smith. Law Annex KF299 .W6 S65 2008.
  • Boston’s French secrets: guided walks that reveal Boston’s French heritage. Rhea Atwood.Mugar Ref. XF 73.9 F8 A88 2004.
  • Buildings and Landmarks of Old Boston: A Guide to the Colonial, Provincial, Federal, and Greek Revival Periods, 1630-1850. Howard S. Andros. Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, c2001. Mugar Ref. XNA735.B7 A53 2001.
  • Buildings and Builders: An Architectural History of Boston University. by Nancy Salzman. Descriptive guide presented in five walking tours. Includes annotated index. Mugar Ref. XLD 514 S34 1985.
  • Built Environment: A Guide to State Government Records of Massachusetts. [Boston, Mass.] : Massachusetts Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, [1993]. Mugar Ref. XCD 3294 B85 1993.
  • The city observed, Boston : a guide to the architecture of the hub. Donlyn Lyndon. New York : Random House, c1982. Mugar NA735.B7 L96 1982.
  • Complete illustrated guidebook to Boston’s public parks and gardens. New York: Silver Lining Books, 2002.
  • Guide to Public Art in Greater Boston: from Newburyport to Plymouth. Marty Carlock. Rev. ed. Boston: Harvard Common Press. Mugar Ref. XN 884.5 B67 C37 1993.
  • King’s Dictionary of Boston. Edwin M. Bacon. 1883. Cambridge, MA: Moses King. (IA) Mugar Ref. XF 73.5 E83. Covers arts, religion, society, health, buildings, parks, people in entries such as “Ether Monument,” commemorating the discovery of anesthetics; “Political Dining-Clubs,” peculiar to the city; and “Young’s Hotel.”
  • Massachusetts: a guide to its places and people. (IA) Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts.  Informative with amusing insights into the city’s character.  Also in print: Mugar Library Ref. XF70 .F295 1973
  • Museums of Boston: a guide for residents and visitors. Nicole Berard. Yardlley, PA: 2007. Mugar Ref. X AM13.B65 B47 2007.
  • Old landmarks and personnages of Boston. Samuel Adams Drake. Boston: J.R. Osgood & Company, 1873. (Making of America)
  • Political places of Boston: from the backrooms to the golden dome: a guide to the stories of 50 sites from the colonial era to the present. Clint Richmond. 2004. Mugar Ref. XF 73.18 .R53 2004.
  • Re-imagining Boston’s Stalled Projects.By Casey Ross, Globe Staff, and Jesse Nunes, Staff.Boston Globe.
  • Re-imagining Boston’s City Hall buildilng. By Casey Ross, Globe Staff and Marino Eccher, Correspondent. Boston Globe.
  • The stranger’s new guide through Boston and vicinity. Being a complete handbook, directing visitors where to go, when to go, and how to go through the city and suburbs.  Source of local merchant advertisements.  Boston: A. Williams & Co., 1869. (Making of America)
  • Victorian Boston Today: Twelve Walking Tours. ed. Mary Melvin Petronella for The New England Chapter of the Victorian Society of America. Mugar Reference X F73.18 .V53 2004.
  • Walking Tours of Boston’s Made Land. Nancy C. Seasholes. 2006. MIT Press.Mugar Reference XF73.18 .S43 2006.



  • Boston Photographs. Santi Visalli. New York : Rizzoli, 1988. Mugar Ref. XF73.37 .V57 1988.
  • Boston Then and Now. Elizabeth McNulty. San Diego, Calif. : Thunder Bay Press, c1999. Mugar Reserve XF73.37 .M38 1999.
  • Boston then & now : 59 Boston sites photographed in the past and present. Peter Vanderwarker. New York : Dover Publications, c1982. Mugar F73.37 .V36 1982.
  • Cityscapes of Boston : an American city through time. Robert Campbell. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992. Mugar Ref. XNA735.B7 C36 1992.
  • Great Buildings of Boston: A Photographic Guide. George M. Cushing. New York : Dover Publications, 1982. Mugar Ref. XNA 735.B7 C8 1982.
  • Historic Photos of Boston. Timothy Orwig. Nashville: Turner Publishing Company, 2007. Mugar Ref. X F73.37 .O78 2007
  • Images of America Series: Boston. Dover, N.H. and Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, various dates, various call numbers.  For more titles search by the author, Anthony Mitchell Sammarco. Photographic books of Boston and its neighborhoods in the Mugar Library, Boston University, collection.  In print.
  • Into the Streets, 1947-1976: Photographs of Boston. Jules Aarons. [Boston] : Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1999. Mugar TR647 .A18 1999.
  • Old Boston in early photographs, 1850-1918 : 174 prints from the collection of the Bostonian Society. Bostonian Society. New York : Dover Publications, 1990. Mugar F73.37 .B773 1990.
  • Over Boston: aerial photographs. David K. Gleason. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. Mugar Folio F73.37.G55 1985.Online full texts of many of the works listed below are indicated by (PG) for Project Gutenberg and (IA) for the Internet Archive.


  • American Notes. Prefaces and Chapter 3: Boston. Charles Dickens. lst ed., 1850; 2nd ed., 1868.
  • Almanack for Bostonians, 1939. being a truly amazing and edifying COMPENDIUM….by Workers of the Federal Writers’ Project. (IA) Click for sample page.
  • Antigone and Politics in the Nineteenth Century: the Boston 1890 Antigone,” in Helene P. Foley, Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage, 2012, pp. 125-130.  Mugar Library PA 3131.G554 2012  “In 1890, the Saturday Morning Club of Boston, a group of socially prominent young Boston women…interested in ‘general enlightenment and cultivation’  (Boston Daily Advertiser, March 13, 1890) gave four performances of Antigone in Boston’s Bumstead Hall…”
  • Boston 200 neighborhood history series. Boston : Boston 200 Corporation, c1976. [v. 1. pt. 1.] Black Bostonia. [pt. 2.] Brighton. [pt. 3.] Charlestown. [pt. 4.] Chinatown. [pt. 5] Dorchester. [pt. 6.] East Boston. [pt. 7.] The Fenway.–[v. 2. pt. 1.] Hyde Park. [pt. 2.] Jamaica Plain. [pt. 3.] Mission Hill. [pt. 4.] The North End. [pt. 5.] Roslindale. [pt. 6.] South Boston. [pt. 7.] West Roxbury. Mugar F73.6 .B6M v. 1-2.  These books are available online via the Internet Archive.
  • “Boston and Its “Literary PUblishers”,” in Sarah Otis Thompson, American Book Design and William Morris, 1977, pp. 38-54. Mugar Z 116 A3 T47. In the same book, “Bruce Rogers and J.M. Bowles (Houghton Mifflin, Riverside Press), pp. 55-68; “Commercial Printing in Boston.” pp. 69-75; “Arts and Crafts Years of Daniel Berkeley Updike,” pp. 76-95.
  • Boston and the Boston legend. Lucius Morris Beebe. Mugar F73.3 .B44.Boston Cosmopolitans: international travel and American arts and letters. Mark Rennella. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Mugar Library F73.5 .R46 2008.
  • Boston: Democracy as a State of Mind, in Leo Damrosch. Tocqueville’s Discovery of America. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010. Mugar
  • Boston Firsts. 40 Feats of Innovation and Invention That Happened First in Boston and Helped Make America Great. Lynda Morgenroth. Baker’s Chocolate (1765), Boston Cream Pie (1856), Boston Terriers (1860s-1879s), Gerrymander (1812), etc. Mugar Reference X F73.36 M67 2006
  • Boston’s archeological legacy : the city’s planning and policy document Boston Landmarks Commission (Boston, Mass.) Stone Stacks HT168.B6 B77 1985.
  • Boston’s ballparks and arenas. Alan Foulds. Mugar GV415 .F68 2005.
  • Boston’s “changeful times” : origins of preservation & planning in America. Michael Holleran. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Mugar Reserve Room F73.37 .H5 1998.
  • The Directory of Boston Photographers, 1840-1900. Information on 890 studio photographers and 204 related professionals taken from the Boston Business and City Directories. Separate list of women photographers. Lists of album manufacturers, dealers, publishers, and supply, apparatus, and copying firms. Ronald Polito. Mugar Ref. X TR25.B66 P64 1985.
  • Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (IA) (1918).
  • The good city: writers explore 21st century Boston. Emily Hiestand and Ande Zellman. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004. Mugar F73.35 .G66 2004.
  • Highway to the Past: the Archaeology of Boston’s Big Dig. Edited by Ann-Eliza H. Lewis. Mugar F73.39 .H54 2001.
  • A History of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. Frederic Kidder. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell, 1870. (Cornell University Library Digital Collections: Historical Monographs Search)
  • “Collecting Dutch Paintings in Boston” Ronni Baer, in Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, edited by Esmee Quodbach, pp. 108-121.
  • Look Again: Essays on the Boston Athenaeum’s Art Collections. Michael Wentworth. Boston: Boston Athenaeum, 2003. Mugar N521.A8 W46 2003.
  • The many voices of Boston : a historical anthology, 1630-1975. Howard Mumford Jones. Boston : Little, Brown, [1975] Mugar F73.3 .J66.
  • Mapping Boston. Edited by Alex Krieger and David Cobb. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press, 1999. Mugar Lib. Reserve GA430 .M36 1999.
  • The memorial history of Boston, including Suffolk County, Massachusetts. 1630-1880. Justin Winsor, editor. Boston, J. R. Osgood and co. 1880-81. . Mugar Reference X F73.3 .E80.
  • One boy’s Boston, 1887-1901. Sammuel Eliot Morison. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1962. Mugar F73.5 .F62
  • A People’s History of the New Boston.  James Vrabel. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 2014. Mugar Memorial Library Stacks (F73.52 .V73 2014 )
  • Planning the city upon a hill : Boston since 1630. Lawrence W. Kennedy. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c1992. Mugar HT168.B6 K46 1992.
  • Portrait of a port: Boston, 1852-1914. William Henry Bunting. Cambridge, Mass., Belknap Press, 1971. Mugar HE767.B7 B8.
  • Samuel Prince’s Letter Describing the Boston Uprising (1689)
  • Strained sisterhood: gender and class in the Boston female anti-slavery society.  Deborah Gold Hansen. University of Massachusetts Press, 1993.  Mugar Library E449 .H25 1993 and online.  Annual reports available online via Internet Archive.
  • Streetcar suburbs : the process of growth in Boston, 1870-1900. Sam Bass Warner. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c1978. Mugar HN80.B7 W3 1978.
  • Theatres of Boston: a stage and screen history. Donald King. Mugar PN2277.B6 K56 2005.
  • A topographical and historical description of Boston. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff. 2d. & rev. ed. Mugar F73.3 .E71.
  • When in Boston: a time line and almanac. Jim Vrabel. Boston: Northeastern University Press, c.2004. Mugar Reference X F73.3 .V73 2004.
  • Yankee ship sailing cards… Allan Forbes and Ralph M. Eastman. Boston, State Street Trust Co. [1948-52] Mugar NE965 F48.

Online Books with “Boston” in Titles or Texts

Subject Headings in the Library Catalog

Click on these selected Library of Congress Subject Headings for additional titles in the Boston University Libraries collections.  The links are to the retired catalog; the call numbers are valid.

Keyword or subject search for books on Boston not available in Boston University Libraries. Boston University faculty, students, and staff may request books via Interlibrary Loan or check out books from nearby participating libraries with a Boston Library Consortium Card.