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Edward P. Boland congressional papers

Collection CA-1998-003: Edward P. Boland congressional papers


  • Creation: 1935-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1953 - 1989

Scope and Contents

Boland’s papers span more than thirty years in Congress in the House of Representatives for the 2nd District of Massachusetts. For much of his career he was the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and he also served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was involved in the Iran-Contra investigation in 1987. His congressional papers include legislative and committee files, constituent matters and issue mail, correspondence, campaign files, briefing binders, grant and project files, public relations materials, photographs, clippings, artifacts and ephemera, and audio and video recordings.

Boland was an extremely committed public servant for the 2nd District of Massachusetts. Much of his work involved responding to constituent issues and queries from business interests in his district. He worked on many urban development and planning projects in Springfield and fought unsuccessfully to prevent the closing of the Springfield Armory in the late 1960s. His legislative work was vast and he sponsored or co-sponsored many bills and resolutions throughout his career. He was also very involved and interested in the funding of space exploration and attended many events associated with NASA such as launches, splashdowns, and parties.


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research with the following exceptions: Series V. Subseries C. Immigration casework files; Series IX. Subseries B. Boxes 45-48 and 58-59; and files throughout the collection with financial or privacy concerns identified by the archivist.

Most audio and video recordings are not available for playback due to format impermanence and can not be reformatted by Burns Library at this time. Please let Burns Library Public Services know of your specific interest; when it becomes possible we will schedule reformatting.

Some audio and video recordings have been digitally copied; all original media was retained, but may not be played due to format. Digital use copies can only be accessed in the Burns Library Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in research, 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.

Biographical note

Edward Patrick Boland was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1911. The son of Irish immigrants he grew up in Springfield’s “Hungry Hill” working-class neighborhood. He graduated from Central High School in Springfield and attended Bay State Institute and Boston College Law School. He was a member of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives from 1934-1940 and served in the United States Army during World War II rising from private to captain in the Pacific theater. From 1941-1952 he was the Register of Deeds for Hampden County in Massachusetts. He was first elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1953 where he served until his retirement in 1989. He was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and on the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.

Boland first met Tip O’Neill during his time in the Massachusetts State House and they remained close friends and colleagues throughout their time in Congress working on legislative matters. They were also roommates for 24 years while working during the week in Washington D.C. before returning to their districts on the weekends. Boland was very close to the Kennedy family throughout his life, he served as John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign manager for Ohio in 1960 and nominated Ted Kennedy for his first try for the Senate at the 1962 Massachusetts Democratic Convention.

Colleagues would describe “Eddie” as most people called him as a determined but private person who shunned the spotlight, was deeply committed to public service, and worked in a highly bipartisan manner. In 1973, when he was 62, he married Mary Katherine Egan, President of the Springfield City Council and graduate of Boston College Law School. Mary worked as a lawyer for Egan, Flanagan & Egan in Springfield. They had four children together, Martha, Edward Jr., Kathleen, and Michael. Boland died on November 4, 2001 at the age of 90 and was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield, Massachusetts.


BOLAND, Edward Patrick (1911-2001). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present. Accessed January 31, 2020,

Oliver, Myrna. “Rep. Edward Boland, 90; Opposed Aid to Contras.” Los Angeles Times. November 6, 2001. Accessed January 31, 2020,


202.25 Linear Feet (164 containers)

1,510 Gigabytes (120 files with approximately 24 hours of audio and video recordings plus digital documents)


Papers that document the congressional career of Edward P. Boland in the House of Representatives for the 2nd District of Massachusetts. Composed of correspondence, photographs, audio and video recordings, artifacts and ephemera, clippings, publications, posters, and photograph albums.


The collection is divided into thirteen series: I. Administrative, II. Artifacts and ephemera, III. Campaigns, IV. Congressional memberships, V. Constituent services, VI. Correspondence VII. Democratic Party, VIII. Kennedys, IX. Legislative, X. Personal, XI. Presidents and Vice-Presidents, XII. Public relations, XIII. Travel

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Edward P. Boland and the Boland family in multiple accessions, 1990, 2018.

Related Materials

Margaret Heckler papers, CA.1998.004, John J. Burns Library, Boston College

Tip O'Neill congressional papers, CA.2009.001, John J. Burns Library, Boston College

Robert F. Drinan, SJ congressional papers, CA.1986.001, John J. Burns Library, Boston College

Separated Materials

Published works associated with this collection have been transferred within the Burns Library and can be found in the Boston College Library catalog.

Edward P. Boland Congressional Papers
1935-2003, bulk 1953-1989
Alison Harris
January 2020
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