Want to learn more about Dorchester’s Industrial School for Girls, nineteenth-century social services, Boston in the 1860’s, or conduct your own genealogical research? Dive into the resources below.


Family Search

Find A Grave

Roots Web via

U.S. GenWeb Project


Library and Archives:

Home for Little Wanderers Collection, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at BU

Annual Reports of the Industrial School for Girls, UMass Boston Archives and Special Collections

Boston City Archives

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Archives


Boston Public Library hosts the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Database 


The Boston Globe (via Proquest) – Check with your university or local library for free Proquest access.

Newspaper Database at the Boston Public Library – Note: Access requires a BPL library or researchers card.

Books and Articles:

Bagley, Joseph M. A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts (Hanover: UPNE 2016).

Boyer, Paul S. Urban Masses and Moral Order in America: 1820 – 1920 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978).

Brenzel, Barbara M. Daughters of the State: A Social Portrait of the First Reform School for Girls in North America: 1856 – 1905 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983).

Broder, Sherri. Tramps, Unfit Mothers, and Neglected Children: Negotiating the Family in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002).

Dudden, Faye E. Serving Women: Household service in nineteenth-century America (Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press, 1985).

Ginzberg, Lori D. Women and the Work of Benevolence: Morality, Politics, and Class in the Nineteenth-Century United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990).

Holloran, Peter C. Boston’s Wayward Children: Social Services for Homeless Children, 1830 – 1930 (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994).

Meltsner, Heli. The Poorhouses of Massachusetts: A Cultural and Architectural History (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co. Publishers, 2012).

O’Connor, Thomas H. Bibles, Brahmins, and Bosses: A Short History of Boston (Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1991).

Schneider, Eric C. In the Web of Class: Delinquents and Reformers in Boston: 1810’s – 1930’s (New York: New York University Press, 1992).

Sutherland, Daniel E. Americans and Their Servants: Domestic Service in the United States from 1800 to 1920 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981).

Vrabel, Jim. A People’s History of the New Boston (Amherst: UMass Press, 2014).