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A Portal to the Region’s Immigrant Past and Present
Boy saluting, immigrants arriving in Boston, Photograph by Edmunds E. Bond, ca. 1915. Courtesy of the Trustees of Boston Public Library.

Boy saluting, immigrants arriving in Boston, Photograph by Edmunds E. Bond, ca. 1915. Courtesy of the Trustees of Boston Public Library.

Global Boston is a digital project chronicling the history of immigration to greater Boston since the early nineteenth century. Examining different time periods and ethnic groups, the site features capsule histories, photographs, maps, documents, and oral histories documenting the history of a city where immigrants have long been a vital force in shaping economic, social and political life. To get started, try clicking on the Eras of Migration box below to explore different time periods in the region’s history.

Eras of migration

Eras of migration

For a good introduction to immigration in Boston and beyond, click here to explore four different eras of migration history from 1820 to the present. And for more detail, try out our interactive timeline of key events.

Ethnic Groups

Ethnic groups

A perpetual immigrant gateway, Boston has been home to dozens of immigrant groups over the years. Click here to discover the histories and personal stories of the region’s principle ethnic groups.

Immigrant places

Immigrant places

Immigrant communities have flourished across Boston as well as in nearby cities, towns and suburbs. Explore these immigrant places and how newcomers have inhabited and transformed them over the past two centuries.

Nativism and Racism

Nativism and Racism

While often described today as an immigrant-friendly city, Boston was once at the forefront of nativist political movements. These anti-immigrant movements helped shape national immigration debates and laws that would significantly change the racial/ethnic make-up of Boston and the nation.

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