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The ability to witness the streets of 19th century Boston would be quite a treat for those who love urban geography and history. This well-done set of documents from the digital collection from Tufts University makes that possible (in a fashion). The project was created with support from a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, along with funds provided by The Bostonian Society and other anonymous gifts. The project brings together photographs, maps, and city directories that let visitors explore the streets of Boston in the 19th and 20th century. First up is the "Cowpaths" area. Here visitors can use this map-based tool to discover image and directory information and then plot it on a map. It's an inventive and powerful tool that provides a greatly enhanced understanding of sociospatial change and relationships in the city during this period. Next visitors should look at the "Monuments" area to peruse almost 100 different maps, including historical maps of ward boundaries and such. Moving on, the "People" area provides access to nine different Boston city directories from 1845 to 1925. Also, there's a "Personal Paths" area, which uses this data to map out the lives of small business clerks in the 19th century, changing ethnic neighborhoods, and the life of Dr. George Parkman, who was killed by John Webster in what was called "The Murder of the Century".
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