King’s Hand-Book of Boston is Featured Book for March 2010

This “profusely illustrated” decorative book takes the reader through the Boston of 1878. The book begins with a sketch of Boston’s history proudly proclaiming that “no city in the United States has a more interesting history than Boston.” Then, it goes on to describe the city’s streets, railroads, hotels, public buildings, parks, libraries, universities, churches, hospitals, and a myriad of other institutions, organizations and establishments.
Especially striking is the list of “Benevolent and Charitable Organizations, Homes, and Asylums and the large number devoted to children including The Children’s Home, The Children’s Mission, The Massachusetts Infant Asylum, The Church Home for Orphans and Destitute Children; and The Baldwin-place Home for Little Wanderers. These instutions cared for thousands of children providing them them with shelter, food and clothing, education, religious instruction, and, for many, found them homes. The Balwin-place Home, for example, declared its mission to “rescue children from want and shame, ” while the Children’s Mission hoped to “rescue them from vice, ignorance and degredation.”

Overall, this book would be an excellent resource for researchers studying Victorian-era Boston or New England as well as enjoyable for just the casual reader.
If you would like to see this book, come to Special Collections and ask for SPEC COLL F73.5 .K56. We are located on the second floor of the Bartle Library just off of the North Reading Room.
We welcome you to come and explore Boston’s past!