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Municipal registers

Identifier: 0100.004


  • Creation: 1834-1991 with gaps


Historical note

As a public document, the Municipal Register is as old as the City of Boston itself, the first volume having been published in 1821, a year before the government of Boston changed from town to city. Up to 1840, the title of the volume was: The Rules and Orders of the Common Council. From 1821, the document contained merely a register of the City Council and a list of the officers.

In 1829, the City Charter was published as a part of the volume and in 1830, the Acts relating to Boston, also the ordinances were added. In 1832, the size of the volume was increased by the addition of an index to the contents. The volume published in 1822 contained fifteen pages and for the year 1840 there were eighty-eight pages, including three pages of index.

The title the Municipal Register was adopted in 1841 when the publication became more ambitious, incorporating in its pages the Rules and Orders of the Common Council, joint rules, ordinances of the City, statutes of the Commonwealth relating to the City, a list of public schools, the City Government of 1841, the committees and departments (consisting at that time of the treasury, law, police, health, public lands and buildings, lamps and bridges, fire and public charitable institutions), and a list of ward officers.

From 1842 to 1864, it also contained a list of the members of preceding City Governments, a necrological record of those members, the latest ordinances and the special statutes relating to the City. In 1851, a list of the annual orators was added and in 1853 a map of the City and the rules of the Board of Aldermen. In 1876, statistics of registration and voting were included, carried from 1879-1924 in tabulated form.

From 1889 to 1896, inclusive, the Municipal Register also continued a compilation of the Charter with the revision of 1854 and the amendments of 1885 and thereafter. The Amended Charter of 1909 (15 pages) was added in 1910, and the various changes since that year have been indicated by footnotes.

In 1924, the important amendments to the Charter enacted in that year (10 pages) were included. The 1925 volumes contained, as the latest addition, descriptions of the ward boundaries as fixed for the 22 new wards (formerly 26) in December, 1924.

The 1980-81 volume contained the City Charter as amended by Stat. 1948. Chap. 452, and Stat. 1951, Chap. 376, commonly known as Plan A, including subsequent changes.

The 1990-91 volume contains excerpts from St. 1982, Ch. 190; St. 1982, Ch. 605; St. 1983, Ch. 342; St. 1986, Ch. 701 and the reorganization of the Boston School Department - St. 1987, ch. 613.

Source: Introduction to the 1990/1991 volume.


3.0 Cubic feet (133 volumes)

Language of Materials


Guide to the Municipal Registers
Kristen Swett
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)