Lowell Historical Society Research Collection

Original Old Residents' Association Book Cabinet

Original Old Residents’ Association Book Cabinet

The Lowell Historical Society maintains numerous collections of writings, documents and photographs which are open for public research. The collections are comprised of the Society’s original archives as well as those of the Lowell Museum. The holdings of the Society, which differ in size and scope, are located at two neighboring facilities and use of the collections should be coordinated in advance of visitation. Most of the books, photographs, maps and documents are housed the UMass Lowell / Center for Lowell History while the remainder of the collection is in the Society rooms at the Boott Mill site.

Here are two collections that might interest a researcher – one recalls an well-known entertainment venue and the other an effort to preserve the information on very old local grave stones.

Commodore Ballroom Collection

Originally built as the Kasino, the Commodore Ballroom opened in 1924 to become the preeminent Lowell dance club under the ownership of Carl Braun and his family. This collection includes business records from 1936 to 1950 as well as tax filings and payroll information from 1937 to 1945. Also in the collection are song books, sheet music and over 200 autographed photos of musicians including Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Clooney Sisters, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Sammy Kaye, Vaughn Monroe, Artie Shaw and Jack Teagarden.

Cemetery Gravestone Rubbings

A project financed by the Lowell Historical Society, Lowell State College ( now the University of Massachusetts Lowell) undertook to document and preserve pre-1850 slate stones. The project was directed by Dr. Mary Blewett and involved the work of her students. The collection of imprint rubbings are from many of the oldest graveyards in the city including the Clark, Edson, Hildreth, Lowell, Mammoth Road, Old English, Pawtucket, Saint Patrick’s, School Street and Woodbine Cemeteries.

More collections will highlights will be over the coming weeks.


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