Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
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Boston, MA 02115
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:The Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts.
Title:Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts records
Date:1951-2004 (bulk 1970-2000)
Reference Code:M131
Location Code:58/3, FF5/D5
Extent:6.85 cubic ft. (9 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The collection documents the administrative and public efforts of the Boston Society of Vulcans to raise the number of minorities in the Boston Fire Department; to support and council those employed within the fire service; to promote and teach fire safety, CPR, and community first aid training in designated high-risk neighborhoods; and to serve as a watchdog entity for the concerns of minorities employed within the fire service. Record types include organizational correspondence, legal documentation, budget reports, newspaper clippings, fundraising material, negatives, photographs, audiocassettes, newsletters, documents from the annual Lloyd Phillips Scholarship, and memorabilia. Also documented is the International Association for Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF), its function as the leader of organizations like the Boston Society of Vulcans, as well as many of the member organizations that made up the IABPFF.
Historical Abstract:The Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts was founded in 1971 for the recruitment of African American and other minorities into the fire service. In 1972 the Boston Society of Vulcans, with assistance from the NAACP, Attorney Thomas Mela, and the Justice Department, filed a class action suit against the Civil Service Commission, which resulted in the City of Boston having to hire minorities on a one to one basis until they represented 26% of the fire fighting force. In addition to recruiting, the Vulcan Society also works to create more upward mobility for minority firefighters, as well as performing charitable activity for local communities.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into four series: 1. Administration; 2. Programs and Recruitment; 3. Outside Organizations; and 4. Audio and Visual Material.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Robert Powell

  • The Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts
  • The International Association of Black Professional Firefighters

  • Firefighters -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Boston (Mass.) -- Race relations

Restrictions:Personnel Records are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Related Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Boston Society of Vulcans, which is accessible at:*/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by David Barnett, June 29, 2007