Section 22. The agreement of association, an attested copy of the articles of organization or of articles in amendment of said agreement or of said articles and of the by-laws, with a reference on the margin of the copy of the by-laws to all amendments thereof, and a true record of all meetings of stockholders shall be kept by every corporation at its principal office in the commonwealth for the inspection of its stockholders. The stock and transfer books of every corporation, which shall contain a complete list of all stockholders, their residences and the amount of stock held by each, shall be kept at an office of the corporation in the commonwealth for the inspection of its stockholders. Said stock and transfer books and said attested copies and records shall be competent evidence in any court of the commonwealth. If any officer or agent of a corporation having charge of such copies, books or records refuses or neglects to exhibit them or to submit them to examination as aforesaid, he or the corporation shall be liable to any stockholder for all actual damages sustained by reason of such refusal or neglect, and the supreme judicial or superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity, upon petition of a stockholder, to order any or all of said copies, books or records to be exhibited to him and to such other stockholders as may become parties to said petition, at such a place and time as may be designated in the order, but in an action for damages or a proceeding in equity under this section for neglect or refusal to exhibit for inspection the stock and transfer books, it shall be a defence that the actual purpose and reason for the inspection sought are to secure a list of stockholders for the purpose of selling said list or copies thereof or of using the same for a purpose other than in the interest of the applicant, as a stockholder, relative to the affairs of the corporation.
The board of directors of any corporation having capital stock may fix in advance a time which, unless a shorter period is provided in the agreement of association or articles of organization or the by-laws of the corporation, shall be not more than sixty days before the date of any meeting of stockholders or the date for the payment of any dividend or the making of any distribution to stockholders or the last day on which the consent or dissent of stockholders may be effectively expressed for any purpose, as the record date for determining the stockholders having the right to notice of and to vote at such meeting, and any adjournment thereof or the right to receive such dividend or distribution or the right to give such consent or dissent, and in such case only stockholders of record on such record date shall have such right, notwithstanding any transfer of stock on the books of the corporation after the record date; or without fixing such record date the board of directors may for any of such purposes close the transfer books for all or any part of such period. In the case of any corporation having capital stock but not having directors the authority conferred by this section may be exercised by the board of trustees or other officers having the powers of directors.