Is My House Historic

 Researching the history of your house.

A really good web location is the Advocacy piece of the Boston Preservation Alliance website

Check out the categories under Research & Resources at the left of the screen.

For some houses the original building plans are located at the Boston Public Library. In the late 1970s or early 1980s the Library retrieved part of the building records that were being discarded by Inspectional Services. The records are therefore incomplete, but it is worthwhile looking for plans of your house. Please call the Fine Arts Reference Department at the Library's main building in Copley Square, 617 536-5400. The Department staff can tell you their hours and how the materials are organized.

Maps of Dorchester

Maps of Dorchester can be helpful in finding the names of previous ownersand to see how a neighborhood and itsspecific lots developed over a period of time.

The territory that is Dorchester has appeared on maps at least from the time of John Smith's exploration of the New England coast. In addition the Smith map, there are many other individual maps of Dorchester either in the context of a wider region or of just the town itself. From the late nineteenth century into the twentieth, atlas makers produced plates showing more and more detail including the shapes of houses and their owners' names.

Please check the Dorchester Atheneum website for some of these maps. Inquiries about other maps or better-quality reproductions are welcome.

In addition to individual maps, you will find Dorchester atlases for 

1874
1882
1884
1889
1894
1898
1899
1904
1910
1918
1933

Additional information