Guide to the Microfilm Edition
This collection consists of microfilm copies of twenty-seven volumes of scrapbooks (numbered 8-34) kept by Martin M. Lomasney, Irish democratic politician and boss of Boston's Ward 8. Included are newspaper clippings, political flyers, circular letters, palm cards, and sample ballots covering Lomasney's political career, city and state primaries, and elections. Lomasney served in various positions, including Boston's Board of Aldermen and the Massachusetts House and Senate. Included are materials pertaining to such figures as James Michael Curley and John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald. While most of the collection is on microfilm, a small amount of ephemera is extant.
Martin Michael Lomasney was born on Dec. 3, 1859 in Boston. He was the son of Maurice Lomasney and Mary Murray, Irish immigrants who fled to the United States during the great potato famine. After the deaths of his parents and two siblings, Martin and his brother Joseph moved in with an aunt and worked odd jobs in order to survive. After leaving school in the eighth grade, he became the leader of an Irish street gang, and eventually befriended a local Democratic ward boss, who gave him employment as a lamplighter and a health inspector.
From this position he worked his way into local politics. Eventually he became boss of Ward 8, but his real power came from his involvement in the Hendricks Club which he used to control the vote in his ward. The control of Ward 8 provided Lomasney with a disproportionate amount of influence in city and state politics.
Lomasney had a long and influencial career as a Boston politician. In addition to his work as ward boss, he served on the Boston Board of Aldermen from 1893 to 1895, served one term in the Massachusetts Senate, and intermittent terms in the General Court. He also influenced many politicians' campaigns throughout the country.
He died in Boston on Aug. 12, 1933.
The Martin M. Lomasney scrapbooks fill twenty-seven volumes, numbered 8-34. Volumes #1-7 are missing from the collection.
The scrapbooks were kept by Martin Lomasney, a Boston democratic politician and, for many years, the boss of Ward 8 in the city. The contents are primarily newspaper clippings, political flyers, circular letters, palm cards, and sample ballots. Lomasney was at various times a member of the Boston Board of Aldermen, the Massachusetts Senate, and House of Representatives. Included are materials pertaining to such figures as James Michael Curley, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, and Henry Cabot Lodge.
Organization of the Collection
The scrapbooks were disbound and fragments of clippings were reattached. Because many of the clippings were folded to fit into the volumes, the fold line is where much of the breakage had occurred. To remedy this, the clippings were matched and taped together. In many cases, the clippings were so brittle and cracked that entire sections were missing or could not be reattached for microfilming.
In many cases, clippings had to be unfolded for filming. Unfolding often obscured other items on the same scrapbook page. As a result, pages often had to be filmed more than once to show all of the sections unobstructed. The page numbering which appears in an upper corner will assist users in determining which pages required multiple microfilm images.
The scrapbooks are arranged chronologically. The materials within earlier volumes follow a fairly strict chronological order, while clippings in later volumes are often out of order. As a result, the dates of individual volumes in the contents list represents the bulk of the materials; the volumes contain occasional items outside the dates listed. Users should also be aware that inclusive dates occasionally overlap from one volume to the next.
All of the scrapbooks were kept in Mark Twain's Perforated Interleaved Scrap Books published by Daniel Slote and Company of New York. Unused index pages and other front matter were not filmed. Detached clippings and other loose materials were filmed at the end of each volume. Small undated fragments of clippings were not filmed.
Due to the severe deterioration of the scrapbooks, the contents of the volumes have been discarded, with the exception of ephemeral printed materials such as circular letters, flyers, ballots, and palm cards.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Note: Volumes 1-7 are missing from the collection.
This series consists of ephemeral printed materials such as circular letters, flyers, ballots, and palm cards, that were removed from the scrapbooks before they were discarded.
Arranged by volume.
Martin M. Lomasney scrapbooks, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.