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0300. City Clerk, Office of the

 Record Group
Identifier: 0300
The first mention of a Town Recorder is the following action of the Selectmen, July 5, 1641: “Our brother John Oliver (a selectman) is chosen Treasurer for the Towne, and to keep the Towne’s booke.” From 1693 to 1822, the custodian of the Town records was called the Town Clerk. Section 10 of Chapter 110 of the Acts of 1821 stated that the City Clerk shall have all the powers, and perform all the duties belonging to the Town Clerk of the Town of Boston. As provided by the City Charter, the City Clerk of Boston is elected by the City Council for a term of three years. The Office of the Clerk, under the direction of the City Clerk, accepts, files, records, and maintains all municipal records. The City Clerk publishes the agenda for all City Council meetings, records all Council and related Mayor actions, and edits and compiles the minutes of Council meetings. The Department also maintains the City Council document system database and publishes, on a yearly basis, all ordinances and amended codes. The City Clerk is also responsible for overseeing the work of the Archives Commission. Services to the public include the sale of various licenses and permits, notarizing and attesting to documents and filing, recording and copying papers in the custody of the Clerk. Services to City government consist of providing informational resources and technical assistance, administration of the state's open meeting law, administration of oaths of office, attestation of various legal papers and custody of records. The Archives Commission oversees the protection of City records, files and other items of historic interest.

Found in 81 Collections and/or Records:

Accident notices

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001176]
Identifier: 0301.044
Dates: 1982-1995

Address of greeting presented to the City of Boston by the City of Manchester on the occasion of the visit of the Lord Mayor

 Item — Box SB - 049: [Barcode: 00001242]
Identifier: 0300.019
Scope and Contents

Address of Greeting presented to the City of Boston by the City of Manchester on the Occasion of the visit of the Lord Mayor.

Dates: 1931 October 12

Agreements filed with the City Clerk

Identifier: 0301.053
Dates: 1939-1995 with gaps

Air Pollution Control Commission parking freeze permits

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 0301.041
Dates: circa 1979-1986


 Item — Box SB - 038: Series III [Barcode: 00001231]
Identifier: 0301.051
Dates: 1862-1866

Amendments to Zoning Code

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001179]
Identifier: 0301.036
Scope and Contents

Amendments to the Zoning Code filed with the City Clerk's Office, 1966-1971.

Dates: 1966-1971

Annual reports of public utilities

Identifier: 0301.004
Scope and Contents note The annual reports of the Public Utilities are filed chronologically. Companies include New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, Boston Edison, Quaker Building Company, Dedham and Hyde Park Gas and Electric Light Company, Boston Gas Company, Worcester Gas Light Company, Commonwealth Gas Company. Most companies filed the Department of Public Utilities Statement of Expenses and Revenues form except for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company which filed a copy of the published...
Dates: 1934-1989

Assignments for the benefit of creditors

Identifier: 0301.006
Scope and Contents

Sec. 41 of Chapter 203 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires the filing of a valid copy of an assignment a debtor has made for the benefit of creditors with the City Clerk's Office. Includes one index volume of assignments filed 1897-1942 and a card index of filings for circa 1947-1995.

Dates: 1897-1942, 1947-1995

Assignments of wages

Identifier: 0301.005
Scope and Contents

Sec. 12 of Chapter 154 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires the authorization to collect the future wages or salary of a person to be filed with the City Clerk. Includes indexes from 1857-1861; 1865-1883; 1885-1889; 1899-1906; 1912-1942; and 1943-1993. Also includes records of filings from 1865-1869; 1877; 1880-1881; and 1992-2005.

Dates: 1857-2005 with gaps

Attachments of bulky property

Identifier: 0301.008
Scope and Contents

Records of attachments of articles of personal property which by reason of their bulk or for other cause can not be immediately removed were filed with the City Clerk's Office. Includes filings from 1912-1918 and 1940-1984.

Dates: 1912-1984 with gaps


Identifier: 0301.007
Scope and Contents

Includes state audits of city accounts conducted by the Bureau of Accounts, Department of Corporations and Taxation in compliance with provisions of Chapter 44 of the Massachusetts General Laws, 1950-1965 and audits of city departments conducted internally and by independent certified public accountants, 1971-1979.

Dates: 1950-1979 with gaps

Board of Estimate and Apportionment records

Identifier: 0300.006
Scope and Contents

Established by Chapter 434 of the Acts of 1898, "An Act Relative to the Finances of the City of Boston." Repealed by Section 1 of Chapter 449 of the Acts of 1899. The records were transferred to the custody of the City Clerk when the Board was disbanded. Includes hearing transcripts and records.

Dates: 1899

Boston zoning code and enabling act

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001175]
Identifier: 0301.045
Dates: 1997 as amended to 2003

Brattle Street Church records

 Series — Box SB - 017: Series IV; Series I, Folder: 3-5
Identifier: 0301.050
Scope and Contents

Includes miscellaneous correspondence, etc. of the Brattle Street Church. Includes a diagram of pews with names of owners.

Dates: 1832-1858

Business certificate filings

Identifier: 0301.001
Scope and Contents note This series includes records of business certificate filings from 1907-2013. It is divided into two sub series: Indexes and Certificates. The indexes from 1907-1979 are in bound volumes. The indexes for 1980-1982 and 1983 are in card file drawers. The index covering 1984-1994 is stored in four binders and the indexes for 1995-2010 are in single volumes. The index includes date of filing, name of business, name of owner, address of business and address of owner. The indexes to the business...
Dates: 1907-2017

Campaign expense returns

Identifier: 0301.021
Scope and Contents

Includes returns of expenses filed by candidates at State and Municipal Elections and returns of expenses filed by treasurers of Political Committees.

Dates: 1905-1912

City Census records

Identifier: 0300.010
Scope and Contents note The City Census records span the years 1820-1855 and are divided into two series: Returns and Report. The collection includes returns for the city censuses of 1820, 1835, 1837, 1840, 1850, and 1855. The 1820 census returns include volumes for wards 5, 9, 11, and 12 only. These volumes list names, property ownership, buildings and livestock. The 1835 census returns include 12 volumes, one for each ward and South Boston, as well as a map for ward 4 and commentary. The 1837 census returns...
Dates: 1820-1855 with gaps

City Clerk Department annual reports and publications

Identifier: 0300.025
Dates: 1800-1980

City Clerk's Office photographs

 Series — Box SB - 012: Series V, Folder: 1-3
Identifier: 0300.004
Scope and Contents note

Includes photographs documenting greetings from Boston, England for 225th anniversary in 1955; one photograph of City Clerk Wilfred Doyle, circa 1928; and one photograph of unidentified individual in City Clerk's Office (possibly City Clerk Edward J. Donovan), 1907.

Dates: 1907-1955

Collective bargaining agreements

Identifier: 0301.031
Scope and Contents

Copies of collective bargaining agreements between the City of Boston and City unions filed in the City Clerk's Office, 1965-1994.

Dates: 1950-1996 with gaps

Commission on revising the City Charter proceedings

 Item — Box SB - 039: Series Series VI [Barcode: 00001241]
Identifier: 0300.030
Dates: 1873-1874

Committee of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety minutes [transcript]

 Item — Box SB - 011: Series IV, Folder: 9
Identifier: 0300.015
Scope and Contents

Twentieth century transcription of minutes of the Boston Committee of Correspondence Inspection and Safety from 1776. The minutes from 1776 appear in the "List of Records in the Custody of the City Clerk's Department" published in 1899. However, the location of the original minutes is unknown at this time. This typewritten transcript appears to have been produced sometime in the twentieth century.

Dates: Other: 1776

Committee on Sale of Lands near Court Street (County Lands) records

 Series — Box SB - 008: Series II, Folder: 1-3
Identifier: 0300.023
Scope and Contents

Appointed by the Court of Common Pleas, the Committee was responsible for the sale at public auction of all lands with appurtenances lying between the County Courthouse and Court Street. Includes correspondence, deeds, etc.

Dates: 1826-1828

Complaints against dogs

 Series — Box SB - 016
Identifier: 0301.030
Scope and Contents

Complaints against dangerous dogs filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Dates: 1886-1903

Contracts and leases

Identifier: 0301.012
Scope and Contents note The City Contracts collection consists of records from 1852-1869, with the bulk of materials from 1862-1869. There is a small amount of leases for apartment buldings, but the majority of the records deal with either the construction of public buildings or the maintenance of Boston. There are numerous contracts for New City Hall, City Hospital, Public Garden, and school houses. These have been grouped together into a subseries for each prospective year (i.e., records for school houses in 1862...
Dates: 1852-1869

Declarations of Trust

Identifier: 0301.002
Scope and Contents note

The Declarations of Trust are filed chronologically by date of filing in City Clerk's Office. Entries for the Declarations of Trust filed between 1909-1983 are included in the indexes to the Business Certificates. For the index from 1984-2011, contact the City Clerk's Office.

Dates: 1909-2015

Election scrapbooks

Identifier: 0300.014
Scope and Contents note

Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings documenting election results, 1867-1901.

Dates: 1867-1908

Enrolled militia

Identifier: 0300.016
Scope and Contents

Lists of enrolled militia for the years 1844-1862, 1864 and 1867.

Dates: 1844-1867 with gaps

Environmental notification forms

 Series — Box SB - 041: [Barcode: 00001252]
Identifier: 0301.054
Dates: 1982

Fence viewer decisions

Identifier: 0301.033
Scope and Contents According to Sec. 6 of Chapter 49 of the Massachusetts General Laws when a dispute arises concerning the part of a partition fence which under this chapter each party is required to build or maintain, either party may apply to the fence viewers, who, after notice to each party and a hearing, may in writing assign to each his share thereof, and may direct the time within which each party shall erect or repair his share; which assignment, being recorded in the office of the city or town clerk...
Dates: 1889-1931