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Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell : Dorchester Collection (Photographs, manuscripts and publications), 1742-2006


Quantity

14 boxes

Provenance

Anthony Mitchell Sammarco donated his collection of Dorchester and Boston historical material to the Archives and Special Collections Department in July 2005, April 2006 and December 2009.

Biography

Anthony Mitchell Sammarco is a noted local historian who has lectured and written extensively on the history of Dorchester, the many neighborhoods of Boston, and Milton. He also has made numerous presentations on the history of Dorchester and Boston institutions and organizations. He has been the treasurer of Bonney’s Express for more than twenty years. He a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston and has attended the American Institute of Banking.

Mr. Sammarco is the resident curator of the Milton Historical Society’s Suffolk Resolves House. He writes a weekly history column for the Milton Times. He began writing for Arcadia Publications in 1995; many of his titles on Dorchester and Boston history have been widely acclaimed. Mr. Sammarco also teaches history at the Urban College of Boston. He has received numerous awards from local historical societies and organizations.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of material acquired by and given to AMS.   The collection also contains AMS’s background research material for his lectures and writings. The material is the primary source for the images in several of AMS’s publications on Dorchester and Boston history, primarily in the Images of America series by the Arcadia Publishing.  The later accession is source material for his publication The Baker Chocolate Company; a sweet history.

The collection included the papers of Ruth Raycraft, a family friend and nurse who served in World War II. Those papers were organized separately as Archives Collection 124.

The collection is organized into seven series:

Series I. Photographs and postcards, 1825-2004.

This series consists primarily of photographs and postcards. Most are identified. It also includes other visual reproductions such as engravings, photographs of paintings, etc. All dates are approximate. Some photographs are identified with the date of the construction of the buildings pictured, some with the date of the photograph. Many are undated. The series is arranged into five subseries: People; Institutions; Street Scenes and Vistas; Houses; and Miscellaneous.

Series II. Manuscripts and archives, 1742-1998.

This series contains a wide variety of miscellaneous manuscripts, papers, essays, and letters relating to Dorchester. These items were collected over time by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco. The series includes papers from the Clapp family, such as a 19th century line-a-day diary, and school papers on the history of Dorchester from a 1917 and 1929 8th grade class. Some of the essays include photographs of Dorchester sights. Manuscripts include the minutes of the International Organization of Oddfellows’ Forest Lodge meetings from 1930 to 1934 and a census conducted by Edward Jones in 1853. There are also individual papers, such as a dog license from 1864 and a militia inspection return from 1828. 

Series III. Ephemera, 1809-1996.

The series is organized into three subseries: Organizations/Institutions; Maps; and Clippings and Publications. The first consists of a variety of advertisements, announcements, buttons and pins, event tickets, expense reports, graduation exercises, pamphlets, post cards, and programs. The maps section contains a selection of maps of Dorchester, some of which were issued as parts of advertisements or originally found in publications. Also included are maps of other Boston neighborhoods. The clippings/publications subseries contains a wide variety of clippings from newspapers, books and magazines on Dorchester topics, as well as topics related to the history of Massachusetts. Included are several issues of The Youth’s Companion, mainly from the first decade of the 1900s, as well as biographies and obituaries of notable people. Also included are clippings on Anthony Mitchell Sammarco and the various local history programs he has conducted.

Series IV.  Artifacts, 1911 and undated.

This series contains four artifacts acquired by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco. They include: an antique spoon with the Baker Chocolate trademark; a Dorchester Mutual Fire Insurance Company paper clip, which is metal with blue paint; a small second prize trophy from the June 10, 19ll, Dorchester Day celebration of the Dorchester Gentlemen’s Club; and an ornate plate with a depiction of the Dorchester Temple Baptist Church.

Series V. Research Material, 1835- 2006.

The series is organized into five subseries: Correspondence; Organizations/Institutions; Individuals and Families; Resources; and AMS Writings.  The first series consists of correspondence between AMS and a variety of people and institutions. The organizations/institutions subseries contain photocopies of a variety of publications including: advertisements, articles, company inventories, newspapers, passages from books, and photographs.  These cover a variety of topics including: churches, hospitals, libraries, local businesses, and schools.  The individuals and families section includes both AMS’s correspondence with the families and copies of individual’s personal correspondence.  The series also contains clippings from books and newspapers including articles, passages, and pictures.  In addition, copies of historic building information forms can be found here.  The resources subseries includes a wide range of materials related to local history collected from newspapers, books and magazines. There are large groups of clippings on the history of Dorchester and of Medford, which are mainly composed of copies of photographs.  There are also clippings on topics such as: banks, bibliographies, genealogies, interviews, libraries, obituaries, schools, hospitals and historic buildings.  AMS writings include copies of articles and publications written by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco on a variety of local history topics. Further AMS writings can be found in the organizations and institutions subseries under the relevant topic.

Series VI. Publications, 1800-2006.

The original donation of the collection included more than 200 monograph and serial publications. Appropriate titles have been cataloged separately and are in Special Collections. Some duplicate titles were discarded. The complete bibliography of titles added to special collections is available with the inventory of the collection in the department.   The publications are primarily about the history of Dorchester and Boston. There are also a number of publications by Dorchester institutions and organizations.

This series is comprised of material acquired initially by Mr. Sammarco as background research and presentation items for his slide lecture on the history of the Walter Baker Company. It also served as the source material for his 2009 publication, The Baker Chocolate Company, a sweet history (History Press). The collection of ephemera and research material was donated to the Archives and Special Collections Department in December 2009.

Series VII. Baker Company Ephemera, 1860?-1995

This series is comprised of material acquired initially by Mr. Sammarco as background research and presentation items for his slide lecture on the history of the Walter Baker Company. It also served as the source material for his 2009 publication, The Baker Chocolate Company, a sweet history (History Press). Included are pamphlets, advertisements, cookbooks, and premiums. The collection of ephemera and research material was donated to the Archives and Special Collections Department in December 2009.