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HOLLIS 9460588

Cambridge Tenants' Union. Records, 1967-1999: Finding Aid.

Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138


Harvard Law School
20 April 2016

© 2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 9470588
Creator: Michael Turk
Title: Cambridge Tenants' Union. Records
Date(s): 1967-1999
Quantity: 13.3 linear feet in 32 boxes and 3 oversized boxes
Abstract: Contains materials related to the creation of Cambridge Tenants' Union and the organization's involvement in promoting rent control and other housing issues in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Processing Information:

A survey of the collection revealed little in the way of original order or record groups. At some point prior to processing materials were grouped together in folders by Law Library staff. In the absence of a usable original order, the arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing with contents being placed into constructed series and grouped into subseries. Therefore, folders and to a limited extent single documents were reorganized to create the final arrangement. Two exceptions to this were: 1) Original order was preserved to the extent that all naturally occurring labeled folders were kept intact and 2) the papers of Cambridge Tenants' Union Treasurer Elizabeth Van Ranst remained together. Select original folders in which the label does not appear to match the contents have been noted. Extraneous copies (more than two) of documents were removed.

Relevant acronyms

Processed by Rachel Scavera, April 2016

Acquisition Information:

Donated to the Harvard Law School Library by Michael Turk in 2004.

Access Restrictions:

All restrictions are noted in the container list below. Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Historical and Special Collections staff for further information.

Use Restrictions:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Historical and Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Scope and Content

The Cambridge Tenant's Union (CTU) Records cover the entirety of the organization's period as an active group in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1986 – 1999. There are also documents from the group’s predecessor, the Cambridge Rent Control Coalition, dating back to 1967. The bulk of this collection is organizational records and materials related to the Cambridge Tenants' Union's political and legal activism. Also included are studies and reports, involvement with other groups, and press coverage of relevant issues. The majority of the collection is textual, comprising of correspondence, logs, petitions, flyers, publications, questionnaires, pamphlets, studies, clippings, newspapers, and related printed matter. Other formats present are a small number of items such as buttons, postcards, and cassette tapes.

Series List/Description

Historical Information


Selected Search Terms

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Researchers seeking related materials should search under these terms in Hollis.
Rent control
Tenants' associations
Social movements
Rent Control - Massachusetts -Cambridge
Landlord and tenant - Massachusetts
Housing - Massachusetts - Cambridge
Condominiums - Massachusetts - Cambridge


Within each series and/or subseries individual items or folders are identified by box and folder number. For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.