Skip to main content

Richard S. Bolan papers

Collection MS-1996-016: Richard S. Bolan papers


  • Creation: 1947 - 1975
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1962 - 1973

Scope and Contents

Richard S. Bolan Papers contain reports on urban planning and development in the greater Boston metropolitan area written by Bolan and his professional peers in both local government and academia. Also included are Bolan’s agendas, correspondence, drafts, meetings, minutes, notes, and other personal papers from his time working with and for the Citizens Housing and Planning Association, Boston Housing Authority, New England Community Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University, and the Boston College School of Social Work.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in reseach, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographic Note

Richard S. Bolan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1956. After graduation, Bolan worked as a professional urban planner in the greater Boston metropolitan area and directed staff activities in both neighborhood and project planning. From this position, he transitioned into academia by working for the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University and the Boston College School of Social Work. By the time Bolan left Boston for the University of Minnesota in 1985, he was an authority on Boston city planning.

Bolan’s work after Boston College focused on international development concerns. Through his position at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Bolan tackled the issues of environmental reform and sustainable development in Eastern Europe. Bolan taught geographic information systems classes, and he published a book, Urban Planning's Philosophical Entanglements: The Rugged, Dialectical Path from Knowledge to Action in 2017. As the professor emeritus of planning and public affairs at the University of Minnesota, Bolan taught doctoral level planning theory courses.


“Richard Bolan.” Humphrey School of Public Affairs. University of Minnesota, September 1, 2015.

Bolan, Richard S. “Richard Bolan - My 60 Years as a Planner.” American Planning Association. Accessed November 1, 2019.


11.25 Linear Feet (8 containers)

Language of Materials



Richard S. Bolan papers document urban development and city planning in the greater Boston metropolitan area from the early 1960s into the early 1970s. Included are published reports on the subject, as well as the notes, drafts, data, and correspondence of city planner Richard Bolan who studied and worked in the subject as both a government bureaucrat and an academic.


Arranged in two series: I. Urban Planning and II. Reports

Series I: Urban Planning is further divided into five subseries: A. Boston Housing Authority, B. Boston Regional Planning Project, C. Citizen Housing and Planning Association, D. Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and E. New England Community Development Corporation Housing Innovations.

Series II: Reports is further divided into six subseries: A. Development, B. Housing, C. Land Use, D. Planning, E. Transportation, and F. Urban Renewal.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time.

Related Materials

Citywide Coordinating Council Records, MS.1990.031, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Jane Jacobs Papers, MS.1995.029, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

School of Social Work Dean's Office Records, BC.1991.076, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Richard S. Bolan Papers
1947-1975 (bulk 1962-1973)
Nicholas Arata
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States