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Richard Sobel Community Housing Collection, 1965-1975

Identifier: 010

Collection Overview

This collection contains Richard Sobels' research material for his report, "Community/University Housing and Relations: Cases in Cambridge and Other Places," (1975) and his book: The Politics Joint Community and University Housing Development: Cambridge, Boston, and Beyond (2014). The research focuses Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's expansion through real estate and building projects into the city of Cambridge. The collection contains information on the tenant movement in Cambridge, including the Cambridge Tenants Organizing Committee (located at 595 Massachusetts Avenue), Hard Times (located at 90 Hampshire Street), and Urban Planning Aid (located at 639 Massachusetts Avenue. The Wellington-Harrington Renewal Project, including the Stop Kendall Square Project, and the Cambridge Corporation are featured. Several housing sites that Harvard developed or proposed to develop are covered, including Inman Square (116 units at Prospect and Cambridge Street, River-Howard (102 units at River and Howard Streets), Mount Auburn-Putnam (94 units of elderly housing), the Convent site (800 units in Roxbury and Huntington Road and Riverway.) The materials cover MIT's relationship with Northgate Community Corporation and the proposed Simplex-Northwest project, which included 1,630 units with 750 low income and elderly housing.

Also included in the collection is the rare publication titled "Report to the Cambridge Community from the Office of Government and Community Affairs of Harvard University, October 1972," otherwise known as the Daly Report, named after Charles U. Daly, Vice President for Government and Community Affairs. The Daly Report outlines Harvard's policies and plans for growth, housing, and community planning.


  • 1965-1975

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Access to Collection

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

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 holder(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.


Richard Sobel was born in Chicago. He received a bachelor degree from Princeton University and a doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research explores the relationship between citizens and governments, and focuses on the policy implications of privacy and confidentiality within the post-911 era. Sobel has taught at Princeton, Smith, University of Connecticut, Harvard, Northwestern, and has been a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Kennedy School, Law School, and Medical School. He was a board member of the Eastern Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and the founder and director of the Cyber Privacy Project. He has served as a member of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union Technology and Privacy Committee, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Political Science Association. Sobel has authored six books and has published many articles in leading American newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.


.4 Linear feet

.5 Cubic Feet

1 boxes (Legal Hollinger box)

300 Items

Organization of Collection

Approximately 300 items grouped alphabetically.

Custodial History

Donated by Richard Sobel on September 30, 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Alyssa Pacy in May 2014.
The Finding Aid to the Richard Sobel Community Housing Collection, 1965-1975 010
Alyssa Pacy
May 4, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

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

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02138 USA