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HIST 625: Reimagining Great Hall Research Resources

Spring 2023

Introduction to this Research Guide

This research guide lists some resources that may be helpful as you begin contextual research on your assigned artworks, and to research and narrow down your themes for your proposed interpretive plan. These are only starting points! This is by no means an exhaustive listing, and we fully expect that you will identify other sources and specific examples, especially as you research your subject and learn more about the relationships of these topics to the history of Boston, and the histories associated with Faneuil Hall.

The secondary sources are arranged by subject, but you do not need to choose among these subjects! There are many other possible subjects and themes, and we expect you to expand beyond these examples. In some subjects, we also offer some examples of historical events/movements/organizations/people who participated in revolutionary efforts or conflicts in the area.

Boston and New England History

Secondary Sources

Allison, Robert J. A Short History of Boston. Carlisle, Massachusetts: Commonwealth Editions, 2015.

Bagley, Joseph M. A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts. Hanover: University Press of New England, 2016.

Beagle, Jonathan M. “Remembering Peter Faneuil: Yankees, Huguenots, and Ethnicity in Boston, 1743-1900: Document View.” The New England Quarterly 75, no. 3 (2002): 407-408.

Bruggeman, Seth C. Lost on the Freedom Trail: The National Park Service and Urban Renewal in Postwar Boston. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2022.

Hirayama, Hina. “With Éclat”: The Boston Athenæum and the Origin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: Boston Athenæum, 2013.

Jones, Jacqueline. No Right to an Honest Living: The Struggles of Boston’s Black Workers in the Civil War Era. New York: Basic Books, 2023.

Kammen, Michael G. Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture. New York: Knopf, 1991.

Lindgren, James Michael. Preserving Historic New England: Preservation, Progressivism, and the Remaking of Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Martinko, Whitney A. “Progress and Preservation: Representing History in Boston’s Landscape of Urban Reform, 1820–1860.” The New England Quarterly 82, no. 2 (2009): 304–334.

Miletsky, Zebulon. Before Busing: A History of Boston’s Long Black Freedom Struggle. Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, 2022.

Nevins, Joseph, Suren Moodliar, and Eleni Macrakis. A People’s Guide to Greater Boston. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2020.

O'Connor, Thomas. The Athens of America: Boston, 1825-1845. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006.

O'Connor, Thomas. Bibles, Brahmins, and Bosses: A Short History of Boston. Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1976.

O'Connor, Thomas. Boston Catholics: A History of the Church and its People. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998.

O'Connor, Thomas. Boston Irish: A Political History. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995.

O’Connor, Thomas. Building a New Boston: Politics and Urban Renewal 1950-1970. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

O’Connor, Thomas. Civil War Boston: Home Front and Battlefield. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997.

O'Connor, Thomas. The Hub: Boston Past and Present. Northeastern University Press, 2020.

O’Connor, Thomas. Two Centuries of Faith: The Influence of Catholicism on Boston, 1808-2008. New York: Crossroad Publ. Company, 2009.

Page, Max, and Randall Mason. Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Peterson, Mark. The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019.

Puleo, Stephen. A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010.

Smith, Craig Bruce. “Claiming the Centennial: The American Revolution’s Blood and Spirit in Boston, 1870-1876.” Massachusetts Historical Review 15 (2013): 7–53.

Tager, Jack. Boston Riots: Three Centuries of Social Violence. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001.

Vrabel, Jim. A People’s History of the New Boston. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2014.

Wilson, Richard Guy, Shaun Eyring, and Kenny Marotta. Re-Creating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Wolff, Katherine. Culture Club: The Curious History of the Boston Athenaeum. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.


Primary Sources

Corridor to Revolutions

Digital Commonwealth

Digital Public Library of America

Massachusetts Historical Society collections

Revolutionary Spaces



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