Internet Scout and the Sumner Tunnel construction photographs in University Archives & Special Collections

Shield_in_final_positionI’ve been following Internet Scout since 1994 and have long found the site to be a wonderful digital compendium of high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and humanities resources on the Web, selected by a “team of librarians and subject matter experts who select, research, and annotate each resource.”

The other day I was browsing the site and was excited to find an entry for the Sumner Tunnel construction photographs that noted local historian Anthony Mitchell Sammarco purchased and donated to University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston several years ago. The experts at Internet Scout describe the collection as “a remarkable digital archive” and I couldn’t agree more.

Bracing_of_light_pole_in_North_SqThe photographs, taken from 1929 to 1933, document the construction of the first Boston Harbor tunnel, later called the Sumner Tunnel (after William H. Sumner) when it opened to travelers and commuters. The tunnel, which opened on June 30, 1934, was constructed to handle automobile traffic from the North End of Boston to East Boston. The Boston Globe reported, on July 1, 1934, that approximately 13,000 automobiles passed through the tunnel in the first 24 hours of operation.

View the finding aid for the Sumner Tunnel construction photographs here and view the digital collection here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact or 617-287-5469.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email