Skip to main content

Dana F. Perkins, Inc. surveying records

Call Number: MS.LMEC.0006

Scope and Contents

The Dana F. Perkins, Inc. surveying records consists of surveys, notebooks, and ancillary surveying documents from firms and individual surveyors acquired by the company, as well as some surveys created by Dana F. Perkins, Inc. The majority of items were created by W.A. Mason & Son, with the next largest group of items created by Fuller & Whitney (later William H. Whitney). Other surveyors with a significant number of materials are Charles D. Elliot, Dana E. Perkins, and Dana F. Perkins. Some surveyors are represented by only a few items. Surveys without attribution are also included.

The bulk of surveys date from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and show property boundaries, structures, owners, planning, and infrastructure such as public transit and utilities. Most surveys are for towns in eastern Massachusetts, with Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville being the most heavily represented. The records also include manuscript drafts of surveys in ink or pencil; finalized plans (both manuscript in ink and printed); blueprint maps; plans and reports on the development of Boston's Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods; surveyor field books; auction plans; and other documents related to surveying, planning, or the surveyors represented in the collection.


  • 1817 - 1965


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Dana F. Perkins, Inc. (1882-)

Dana F. Perkins, Inc. (Perkins, Inc.) is a civil engineering and land surveying firm in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Dana Edson Perkins (1861-1934) founded his civil engineering and land surveying company in 1882 after graduating from the Massachusetts State Agricultural College (now University of Massachusetts Amherst). After his death, his firm was merged into the surveying firm of his son Dana Fielding Perkins (1887-1962), which was founded in Wakefield, MA in 1919.

From the 1920s to 1950s, Dana F. Perkins acquired about 30 local engineering and surveying companies--including their maps and records--as the owners died or retired. In 1945, Perkins, Inc. moved to Reading, MA. After Dana F. Perkins' death, the firm passed to his son Willard F. Perkins (1922-1998). Willard F. Perkins' daughter Janet Perkins Lougee (1952-) purchased the firm from him in 1991.


40 Cubic Feet (Approximately 500 oversize folders, 11 legal-size storage cartons, 3 flat boxes, 4 rolls, and 27 catalog card drawers)


The records are organized into 17 series by surveyor or type of map. Materials within each series are arranged according to the surveyor's numbering when present.

  1. James A. Bancroft
  2. Joseph Bancroft
  3. E. F. Bowker
  4. Clarence E. Carter
  5. Charles D. Elliot
  6. Charles J. Elliot
  7. Fuller & Whitney (later William H. Whitney)
  8. George F. Hartshorne
  9. William Butler Jones
  10. George Kimball
  11. W.A Mason & Son
  12. J.C. & W.T. Monahan
  13. Dana F. Perkins, Inc.
  14. Walter C. Stevens
  15. Kimball Webster
  16. Miscellaneous auction and lot plans
  17. Miscellaneous area plans

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Janet Lougee of Dana F. Perkins, Inc. by gift and purchase, 2009 and 2023.

The bulk of the W.A. Mason & Son records and Fuller & Whitney (later William H. Whitney) records were donated in 2009 by Janet Lougee and Terri Olvera, descendents of Dana F. Perkins. A second group of materials that were being sold off by Dana F. Perkins, Inc., consisting of materials by various surveyors and publishers, was purchased from Janet Lougee in 2023.

Separated Materials

General maps and atlases were added to the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center general collection.

Processing Information

The initial materials received in 2009 were arranged according to the surveyors' numbering. Series names were devised by the library staff based on surveyor and type of map.

Materials acquired in 2023 had been ordered by size and geography by the seller. Library staff grouped materials by surveyor and where possible, ordered by surveyor's numbering. Surveys that were part of previously acquired groups were interfiled in those groups. Surveys without attribution, or surveyors represented by two or fewer items, were grouped by type. Non-survey materials--general, published maps and atlases--were added to the general collection. Duplicates were removed and discarded following library practices.

Guide to the Dana F. Perkins, Inc. surveying records
Lauren Chen
2024 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116 United States