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Central Artery/Tunnel Project, John "Jack" M. Quinlan photographs

Identifier: M219

Scope and Contents

The collection documents Jack Quinlan’s work as the Director for Public Affairs for the Central Artery/Tunnel project also known as “The Big Dig” (1991-2007). The 521 color photographs, circa 1991-2006, were used by Quinlan in slide presentations on the progress of the Big Dig. The slides include project design charts, as well as aerial photographs and detailed photographs of the construction. All slides are digitized and available in Northeastern University’s Digital Repository Service.


  • Creation: circa 1991-2006



John Michael “Jack” Quinlan was born July 11, 1935 in Natick, Massachusetts. Quinlan graduated from Harvard College in 1957. He began his government career as a Massachusetts state senator, serving from 1965 until 1975. After his time as a state senator he worked under United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler and was campaign manager for Jim Rappaport’s United States Senate campaign in 1990.

In 1991, Quinlan became a spokesperson for the Central Artery/Tunnel project also know as the "Big Dig" (1991-2007). The “Big Dig” project revitalized the Central Artery by replacing the elevated Interstate 93 with the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Tunnel and adding the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. In addition, Interstate 90 was extended to Logan International Airport and Route 1A with the creation of the Fort Point and Ted William Tunnels.

By 1997, Quinlan was promoted to the position of Director of Public Affairs for the project. As director, Quinlan gave tours of the Big Dig to various groups ranging from VIPs to school groups, and also gave presentations on the project. He also sent staff up in helicopters as often as every two months in order to document the changing landscape of the project. Quinlan was the director of public affairs until 2003.


1 cubic feet (1 container, 521 slides)




  • Globe Staff. “Library Board Meets.” Boston Globe, February 9, 2003. ProQuest.
  • Globe Staff. “Short Circuits.” Boston Globe, February 24, 1991. ProQuest.
  • Nyhan, David. “Quinlan announces for second spot.” Boston Globe, April 10, 1970. ProQuest.
  • Palmer, Thomas C., Jr. “Catching Up on the Big Dig.” Boston Globe, September 15, 1997. ProQuest.
  • Phillips, Frank. “2 in GOP Mull Kerry Challenge.” Boston Globe, November 9, 1989. ProQuest.
Central Artery/Tunnel Project, John "Jack" M. Quinlan photographs, circa 1991-2006
In Progress
Daniel Lavoie and Jill Chancellor
March 13, 2019
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Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US