Boston Public Schools


Boston Public Schools


Explore the history of the Boston Public School System by taking a tour through the School Department Collections of the City of Boston Archives.

Collection Items

Boston Latin School Prize Book
This prize book containing essays and poems in both English and Latin was awarded to high achieving students at the Boston Latin School.

Pierpont’s National Reader
In 1829, the Boston School Committee voted to use Pierpont’s National Reader in the city’s public grammar schools. Pierpont’s replaced Murray’s English Reader which had been previously used. This 1836 edition would have been used for reading and…

Attendence Records from the School of Mutual Instruction
The School of Mutual Instruction was an experimental school in Boston. It relied upon a system in which older or more advanced students instructed the younger or weaker students under the supervision of the schoolmaster. Tokens with an attached…

Donation of Abiel Smith to the Town of Boston
In 1815, white businessman Abiel Smith died and bequeathed $4,000 to the Town of Boston for the education of African-American children. Boston’s school committee used the money to fund the already existing African School and later to fund the Abiel…

Classroom Instruction at the Horace Mann School
Student at the Horace Mann School taking part in classroom recitation.

Class of Miss. Kate Howard at the Horace Mann School
Recitation of class of Miss. Kate Howard at the Horace Mann School

Manual of the Public Schools of the City of Boston
This school manual contains lists of schools, school districts, teachers, school committee members, and other school staff.

Girls High School Admissions and Discharge Records
Discharge and Admissions record book from Girls High School

The Artisan
The Artisan, Boston Mechanic Arts High School. Students at Mechanic Arts published The Artisan six times each year. The periodical included student news, essays, and comics.

Household Science and Arts Textbook
This textbook, written by Boston Public School Household Science and Arts Director Josephine Morris, was used to teach young people to the basics of nutrition and hygiene and how to cook, clean homes, and tend gardens. Sample topics include …
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