ROLL CALL: Researching the Men Behind the 1919 Boston Police Strike

Screen shot of landing page for ROLL CALL, the website and database about the 1919 Boston Police StrikeToday, September 9, 2019, marks the centennial of the 1919 Boston Police Strike, when more than 1,100 Boston Police officers went on strike for fair wages, decent working conditions and their right to organize.

This past Saturday, more than 450 community members, volunteers, and descendants of Boston police strikers gathered at UMass Boston to commemorate the centennial with the launch of ROLL CALL: Researching the Men Behind the 1919 Boston Police Strike. A full video of that event is available here.

Crowd of attendees at commemoration event.

The goal of the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project is to uncover, document and preserve the stories of the men who were involved in this highly influential labor strike — a complex historical event that would have lasting effects in the City of Boston and across the country. ROLL CALL represents the culmination of several years of research by 82 volunteers, students, and staff from the Boston Police Archives, the City of Boston Archives, and the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston. Researchers have devoted more than 90,000 hours to documenting the lives of the strikers through meticulous biographical research, resulting in a searchable database.

Explore ROLL CALL to learn more about the strikers and the history of the strike, the research project, and how you can get involved and support the ongoing work of the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project.

Share photographs and stories of strikers

In order to build an accurate picture of each officer’s life, we rely on volunteers, descendants, and community members to share information and photographs of strikers, and to support and assist in the ongoing work of the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project. Visit the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project site to learn more about how you can get involved by contributing information and photographs of strikers.

Support the Project

Support the next stages of the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project! To expand the volunteer research efforts and to support the development of an online search system that can handle complex queries and a wide range of user interactivity, we seek to raise an additional $80,000. Your contribution of any size will be warmly welcomed towards reaching that goal.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to this project site (in the sidebar) to receive updates about the ongoing work of the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project, or contact us if you have questions about the project.

Learn more about the 1919 Boston Police Strike

ROLL CALL includes a number of resources about the history of the 1919 Boston Police Strike, including an interactive map and a historical timeline. You can also read more about the strike and about this research project in an article from this Sunday’s Boston Globe.


The 1919 Boston Police Strike Project is a collaboration between the Boston Police Department Archives and University Archives and Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

Logos for Boston Police Department Archives and UMass Boston

 

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