The following is an annotated bibliography of sources, such as books, articles, and digital projects that are relevant to Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.


  • Chu, Doris C.J. Chinese in Massachusetts: Their Experiences and Contributions. Boston, MA: Chinese Culture Institute, 1987.
    • Access: 
    • This book overviews the history of Chinese communities in Massachusetts, including but limited to Chinatown. It discusses the various careers of early Chinese immigrants–as sailors, university students, and laborers–and goes on to explore the various aspects of Chinese communities in Massachusetts as they grew over the centuries.
  • Grub Street, Inc.. My Legacy is Simply This: Stories from Boston’s Most Enduring Neighborhoods: Charlestown, Chinatown, East Boston, Mattapan. Boston: Grub St., Inc., 2008.
    • This is an anthology of short memoirs written by seniors living in one of four Boston neighborhoods: Chinatown, Charleston, East Boston, and Mattapan. The book was the product of The Memoir Project, a cooperation between the then-mayor of Boston Thomas Menino and Grub Street which enabled editors to work with senior residents to tell their stories. The memoirs written by residents from Chinatown are available in both English and Chinese.
  • Liu, Michael. Forever Struggle: Activism, Identity, and Survival in Boston’s Chinatown, 1880-2018. United States: University of Massachusetts Press, 2020.
  • To, Wing-kai and The Chinese Historical Society of New England. Chinese in Boston: 1870-1965. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
    • Access: 
    • This book covers the history of Boston’s Chinatown from 1870 to 1965, examining the origins of Chinese immigration to Boston and the subsequent development of their communities, cultures, and activist organizations across the decades.


  • Van Even, Catherine. “An Early History of Boston’s Chinatown.” National Park Service. 2021. 
    • This article offers a brief overview of the early history of Boston’s Chinatown, spanning the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
  • Murphey, Rhoads. “Boston’s Chinatown.” Economic Geography, vol. 28, no. 3 (July 1952): 244-255.
    • Access: 
    • This article is a geographical history of Boston’s  Chinatown neighborhood in the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century, focusing on the architecture, streets, and urban design. It also describes various immigrants in the neighborhood across the decades–not only Chinese, but also Syrian, Jewish, and Irish immigrants and their means of income. 
  • Boston 200 Corporation. Chinatown: Boston 200 Neighborhood History Series. Boston: Boston 200 Corporation, 1976.

Digital sources (digiwebsite, documentary, and walking tour):

  • Lee, Tunney, Chinatown Atlas,
    • This website is a digital history project on Boston’s Chinatown. It includes resources such as maps, archives, graphs, and narrative history articles on Boston’s Chinatown. 
  • Lawrence, David, Reanne Estrada, and Mike Blockstein. A Chinatown Banquet: Exploring Boston Chinatown. San Francisco, CA: Center for Asian American Media, 2006. 
    • Access: 
    • This documentary explores Boston’s Chinatown, consisting of interviews with residents about their experiences. The topics touch on the neighborhood’s history, culture, gentrification, activism, and community organizations among others.
  • “Chinatown/South Cove Tour.” Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. 2023. 
    • This walking tour of Chinatown and the South Cove is part of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. It focuses on activism and organizations by Chinese immigrant women, passing by relevant buildings, businesses, and public artworks.