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Corcoran’s Department Store Collection

 Collection
Identifier: CHC008

Collection Description

This collection consists of one flat box of materials relating to Corcoran’s. The collection documents the history and development of a long and successful family-run department store that was an important part of the Cambridge community.

Dates

  • 1888-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1940s

Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Access

Collection is available for research under the CHC rules of use.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives.

Historical Note

In 1881 John H. Corcoran founded Corcoran’s in the Hyde Building at 579-587 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and sold dry goods such as buttons, ribbons, collars, etc. John H. Corcoran died in 1924, and his sons Paul and John took over the business. In 1941 the store moved to a new building at the corner of Essex Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Corcoran’s had 23 departments, including cosmetics, home furnishings, lingerie, children’s, men’s, and women’s clothing, etc. Another store was opened in Harvard square in 1949. After Paul Corcoran died in 1974, his son, Paul Jr., sold the building in Central Square and signed a ten year lease with the new owners. When the lease was up for renewal in 1984, the Central Square store closed, and in 1987 the Harvard Square store closed as well, ending Corcoran’s 106-year presence in Cambridge.

Extent

1 flat box

Abstract

This collection consists of one flat box of materials relating to Corcoran’s. The collection documents the history and development of a long and successful family-run department store that was an important part of the Cambridge community.

Physical Location

Collection is stored on-site.

Provenance

Donated by Paul Corcoran, Jr., July 2000.

Processing Information

Likely processed by Molly Alexander. Finding aid by Emily Magagnosc, March 2017. Encoded by Brittany Fox, February 2021.
Title
Inventory of the Corcoran’s Department Store Collection, 1888-1981
Author
Likely processed by Molly Alexander. Finding aid by Emily Magagnosc, March 2017. Machine-readable finding aid by Brittany Fox, February 2021.
Description rules
Finding Aid Was Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives Repository

Contact:
831 Massachusetts Avenue
2nd Floor
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 US
617-349-4683