Oxford Street Wall Posters

Oxford Street Wall Posters 牛津街牆面海報

In Boston, the practice of using public posters—primarily in Chinese and both handwritten and printed—dates to the early 1900s, and centered on a community bulletin board and its surrounding wall at the intersection of Oxford and Beach Streets. Until the early 1970s, this was the central place for communicating information about employment possibilities, legal assistance, local and international news, and political advertisements. Concerns about immigration and residency status, including an announcement of the repeal of the infamous Exclusion Act, were made visible here. Although the original board has long since disappeared, photographs of the posters and some of their readers have been preserved. The Sampan newspaper, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England and now in its fourth decade of publication, currently offers news coverage of many of the same topics that once populated the wall.


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Oxford Street Bulletin Board, 1941   牛津街公告牌,1941年

From the early 1900s until the 1970s, the postings on this expanse of wall were the community’s primary source for news, announcements, and job postings. Sections of the board were reserved for different organizations and topics.




Reading News in the War Years, mid-1940s   在戰爭年代閱讀新聞,20世紀40年代中期

Locals posted printed and handwritten accounts of WWII, a topic of much interest and concern to the community. During these difficult years, the bulletin board helped foster cohesiveness and served as a neighborhood resource center.


Images courtesy of the Chinese Historical Society of New England 圖片由紐英倫華人歷史協會提供