The South End Historical Society strives to collect, preserve and promulgate the physical, social and intellectual history of the South End of Boston.

The SEHS collections are primarily made up of archival material relating to  mid- to late-20th century Urban Renewal and architectural preservation. However, the collections also contain numerous images, maps, books, pamphlets, files, and other assorted items from all periods of the South End’s history.

The use our our collections is by appointment only. If you would like to make an appointment or you are researching a topic that does not appear in any of the finding aids, please email us at


The library at SEHS is not a circulating library and must be used on-site.

1972 South End Streets Survey

In 1972 the South End Historical Society (SEHS) photographed all extant properties in the South End to petition for the placement of the South End on the National Register of Historic Places. The application was successful and the South End was placed on the National Register in 1973. The images remain an important element of the SEHS’ collections today.

Legacy Collection

The Legacy Archival Material Collections is the accumulated arch`ival material that has been donated or purchased since the founding of the South End Historical Society in 1966 where the original order and provenance of the material is unknown or the item was a part of a small acquisition.

The Everett Family Letters, 1851-1859

These letters were written between 1851 and 1859 and contain correspondence between Otis and Elizabeth Blake Everett in Boston and their son Otis Blake  Everett who was working in India.

Collection on Public Housing in Boston’s South End

The Public Housing collection at the South End Historical Society contains records related to public housing developments and community organizations actively involved in the oversight and development of public housing in the South End.

Collection on Churches and Religious Institutions in Boston

The Churches and Religious Institutions collection at the South End Historical Society contains records related to the operations and developments of various religious institutions located in the greater Boston area.

The Chester Square Neighborhood Association Records. 1858 – 2010, Bulk, 1992 – 2010

This collection documents the Chester Square Neighborhood Association’s (CSNA) work in renovating the Chester Square Park in the South End neighborhood of Boston.