Call it “Mystery Photo Monday.”

Officials from the State Library on Monday reached out to the public for help identifying a series of old black-and-white photographs of busy work sites that were taken somewhere, at some point in time, in Massachusetts.

“The State Library needs some assistance with identifying photographs in its collection!,” officials wrote on Flickr.com, above the five pictures they’re hoping to gather information about. “They were probably taken in Boston (or at least Massachusetts) and depict various construction projects.”

Officials said they are hoping to nail down a list of specifics for each image: where the photo was taken, including the city, town, neighborhood, and street, if possible; the approximate date each picture was taken; and what construction projects are depicted in each one.


“Your information will help us identify these photos,” the state agency said on Twitter, in a call-out to its more than 2,000 followers.

According to its Facebook page, the library is in the “midst of a large-scale photo cataloging project,” and came across a handful of photographs that lacked information.

Two of the photographs shared show aerial views of a large construction project being done along a winding river and series of highways.

A third image depicts a group of men staring at the camera as they stand near a work site that includes an unfinished sidewalk in what appears to be a residential neighborhood.

The last two images posted by library staff look as though they were taken in a city setting, with workers toiling away in deep holes filled with equipment.

The State Library and its collections are located at the State House, on Beacon Hill. It’s there that people can find “a specialized collection of books and other items that focuses on Massachusetts state and municipal publications and histories, legislative research materials, and other law volumes.”


The library has spent the last decade digitizing materials from Massachusetts’ history, in an attempt to make it more easily accessible to people online, according to its website.

As for the digitized photos tweeted out Monday, officials are asking anyone with clues about the images to contact its special collections department with any pertinent information. Suggestions can be sent to special.collections@mass.gov.

Some of the other photos the library is trying to identify:

State Library of Massachusetts
State Library of Massachusetts
State Library of Massachusetts
State Library of Massachusetts

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.