Skip to main content

Expo Boston 76 Collection

 Collection — Container: MS 5083
Call Number: MS 5083

Scope and Contents

This collection contains clippings from Boston, New England, and national newspapers from 1965 to 1971 that document the plans of the organization 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. had to hold an international exposition in Boston, Massachusetts. Expo Boston 76 was intended to mark the United States' bicentennial. Among the subjects reported on are reusable land, the development of the Boston Harbor Islands, and the New Community. Other subjects cover the Philadelphia's bid for the fair, and the South Boston and Dorchester neighborhoods.

Included are newspaper clippings, reports, photographs, audio cassettes, slides, film, and an artist rendering of the proposed site.


  • 1964-1970
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/00/2010


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. In addition, we do not assert any additional restrictions on copies of items beyond those that might exist in the original.

As such, we cannot grant or deny permission to use copies of items held in our collections.

It is the sole responsibility of the user to make his or her own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law. Provision of a copy from the Boston Public Library should not be construed as explicit permission to use it for any particular reason.


If you are using a credit line, please use “Boston Public Library” with the collection or call number, if available.

Biographical or Historical Information

The efforts to bring an International Exposition to the city of Boston began in 1962 when a group from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, lead by Gilbert H. Hood, Jr., visited the Seattle World’s Fair. Inspired by Seattle’s fair and believing that such an event would greatly benefit both Boston and New England, the Chamber of Commerce joined with the City of Boston to explore the possibility of hosting an Exposition to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States. In 1963, the Chamber of Commerce joined with the city of Boston and formed a non-profit organization called 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. (Freedom 75). The purpose of Freedom 75 was to raise enough money to finance a study to determine whether an exposition was economically feasible and if it would receive local support. The study was completed in 1965 with favorable results.

Encouraged by the positive feedback, enough money was raised to begin planning the fair. The proposed site was the Harbor Islands. From 1967-1969, fair organizers created a vision not only for the Expo 76 itself, but for the permanent re-use of the land and buildings after the event was over. In spite of the opposition to the fair by residents of South Boston, as well as the the City Council, the Boston delegation presented the “Freedom Fair” to the presidentially appointed American Revolution Bicentennial Commission in September 1970. Rather than designate any one city to host the fair, the Commission decided to have celebrations throughout the country. Boston celebrated the Bicentennial in July 1976 with a parade of an international fleet of tall ships in Boston Harbor.


5.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection documents the plans of the organization 75 World Freedom Fair, Inc. had to hold an international exposition in Boston, Massachusetts. Expo Boston 76 was intended to mark the United States' bicentennial.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Physical Access Requirements

This collection is stored off-site and requires a 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Please consult the Rare Books Department for further information.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

James Matthew

Accruals and Additions

August 2011

Related Materials

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department holds a significant amount of material relating to World’s Fairs of North America, and other fairs and expositions including those abroad.

Processing Information

Finding aid was prepared by Kimberly Reynolds and Jessica Holden, September 2011.
Expo Boston 76 Collection
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