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Kenneth E. Reeves Papers, 1982-2019

Identifier: 169

Collection Overview

Ranging from 1982-2019, this collection contains documents, photographs, and ephemera from Kenneth Reeves' campaigns, terms as councilor and mayor, and personal life. The first two series of this collection contain a large range of campaign material, clippings and stories from local and national magazine and newspapers about Reeves, a small number of agenda from meetings, and a small number of photographs. The third series, composed of Reeves' personal items, contains a large number of photographs of St. Paul AME Church's Christmas performance of the Messiah from 1982 and 1983, as well as two portraits of Reeves, one painted by local citizen Al Sayles and one by acclaimed artist Gale Fulton Ross.


  • 1982-2019
  • Majority of material found within Bulk 1982-2007

Access to Collection

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyrighted: The materials in this collection are subject to copyright and intellectual property restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Researchers must obtain written permission from the copyright owner(s) if they wish to publish materials from this collection. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.


Kenneth E. Reeves was born in 1951 in Detroit, Michigan and first moved to Cambridge to study at Harvard University as an undergraduate. He graduated from Harvard in 1973. After attending law school at the University of Michigan, Reeves returned to Cambridge and practiced as a lawyer while becoming involved in local politics. In 1990, Reeves was elected to the Cambridge City Council and later served as the city's mayor between 1992-1995 and 2006-2008. When first elected mayor, Reeves became the first openly gay African American mayor in the United States.

During his time on the city council, Reeves was a member of the Cambridge Civics Association Slate and the Working Committee for a Cambridge Rainbow.


6.9 Linear Feet

4.5 Cubic Feet

3 boxes (1 Hollinger, 2 oversized)

1 flat file (1 Flat file)

1 loose items (Art work propped against wall.)

150 Items

30 Photographic Prints (Approximate 30 photos spread throughout all boxes and flat files.)

Language of Materials


Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into 3 series:

Series 1: Election/Re-election, 1989-2019

Series 2: Mayor/Councilor, 1983-2019

Series 3: Personal, 1982-2019

There are approximately 150 items across 3 series.

Custodial History

This collection was donated by Kenneth E. Reeves on April 30th, 2019.

Processing Information

Processed by Joan Brunetta in January 2020 and November 2022-May 2023 under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy.
Kenneth E. Reeves Papers, 1982-2019
Joan Brunetta under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy.
January 2023 and April-May 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02138 USA