Making a History: Columbia Point photographs and memories now available

Nate, 1970. Photographer: Deborah Goldberg. Contributor: Deborah Goldberg.

Nate, 1970. Photographer: Deborah Goldberg. Contributor: Deborah Goldberg.

The photographs, stories, and videos collected as part of “Making a History of Columbia Point: A Participatory Exhibition” are now available for research online at openarchives.umb.edu. The event, held at the Harbor Point Clubhouse on Saturday, May 9, 2015, was the culminating practicum project of Professor Jane Becker’s graduate public history seminar (History 625) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The students presented an informal temporary display exploring the history of this part of Dorchester, and they invited community members, past and present, to help tell the story. Attendees added events to an historical timeline and defined and identified the locations of important places in the community. Ten participants brought a total of 100 photographs and other documents to be scanned and added to the digital collections at UMass Boston. Together, these materials provide a variety of perspectives on how Columbia Point changed from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Conways after First Communion, St. Christopher's Church. 1950s

Eileen Conway’s First Communion, 1960. “My mother worked hard to keep us well dressed. Pictured: Eileen Conway, my mother Marie Conway, and Frank Conway.” Contributor: Jim Conway.

Many former residents shared memories of attending St. Christopher’s Church over the years. They contributed photographs of first communions, Easter Sunday, and other religious occasions. Images of parish sports teams and community events organized by the church are also included.

The Sisters of Notre Dame are documented in many of the photographs gathered. Project Care and Concern, an organization dedicated to serving low-income individuals and families, and the Notre Dame Montessori School, which operated for decades in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church, are documented in the collection.

Easter Junior Gems, 1963 ir 1964.

Easter Junior Gems, 1963 or 1964. “Favorite place ever, PERIOD!!! Pictured, from left to right: Leo Manning, Tom ‘Greek’ Stephens, Joe Steverman, Paul ‘Red’ Chadwick, Jimmy Carter, [?] Donahue, and Peter Connell. Location: probably 100 Monticello Avenue.” Contributor: Jim Chadwick.

In video interviews, contributors shared memories of growing up in the public housing projects. Daily life in the neighborhood is represented in photographs of “gangs” of teenage boys dressed in uniform sweaters and images of older members of the community attending Christmas parties at the Columbia Point Senior Center.

Eleven black-and-white photographs document the early days of the Phillips Brooks House Association summer school on Columbia Point. Through this program, launched in the late 1960s, a number of students from Harvard University lived in the housing project and served as “big brothers” to neighborhood children.

For a reflection on this project by Paige Kinder, one of the students in the class, please visit www.archivespublichistory.org.

25th anniversary celebration at Notre Dame Montessori School, 1994. Contributor: Sister Elizabeth Calcagni.

25th anniversary celebration at Notre Dame Montessori School, 1994. Contributor: Sister Elizabeth Calcagni.

For questions about the practicum project and the public history of Columbia Point, please contact Carolyn Goldstein at carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu and Jane Becker at jane.becker@umb.edu.

Explore the images and stories gathered at this event here.

For more resources on the history and development of Columbia Point, please visit umb.libguides.com/columbia-point.

University Archives and Special Collections at UMass Boston is actively seeking to build its Dorchester and neighborhood collections. Do you have collections related to the history and development of Columbia Point that you are interested in donating to the Archives? If so, please review our policies and guidelines for collection donations and contact us at library.archives@umb.edu.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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September 9, 1919: “At their eve. Roll Call 5:45 the police men struck…”

Four of the officers who went out on strike on Sept. 9, 1919. (Click to enlarge.)

Four of the more than 1,100 men who went out on strike on Sept. 9, 1919. (2) (Click to enlarge.)

Dorchester resident Anna Muirson Johnson Bellamy’s diary entry on Tuesday September 9, 1919 ends with a brief news bulletin: “At their eve. Roll Call 5:45 the police men struck, laid down their insignia & walked off.” (1)

The Boston police had voted to unionize and were protesting low wages and harsh labor conditions, but the Police Commissioner and the Governor refused to negotiate, the city experienced several days of lawlessness and the State Guard was called in.  “The striking officers were dismissed, and once order was restored, the force was restocked with a new, non-union rank and file. The Boston police would not again unionize until 1965.”(3)

Even though the 1919 Boston Police Strike had lasting effects on the City of Boston and helped propel Calvin Coolidge to the presidency, little is known of the fates of the individual officers who risked so much to go out on strike.  To fill in this knowledge gap, University Archives and Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is collaborating with Boston Police Department archivist Margaret Sullivan and community volunteers on a collective research project to document and preserve the stories of the more than 1,100 men who took part in the strike.

Between now and September 9, 2019 – the 100th anniversary of the strike – volunteers from local organizations, classrooms, and the general public will research each of the striking officers, searching for information in census records, vital records, draft registrations, photographs, obituaries, family stories and more. The eventual biographical encyclopedia and research database will be made freely available online.

Organizations or individuals interested in participating in the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project are invited to contact project staff at library.archives@umb.edu.

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Sources:

1. Anna Muirson Johnson Bellamy’s diaries have been donated to University Archives and Special Collections by her grandson, local historian and Dorchester native Robert Bayard Severy, as part of the rich collection of family papers and artifacts he has gifted to the University. Some of these are processed and open for research (see Bellamy Family Papers (1865-1960) SC-0017), while others, including a number of the diaries, are awaiting processing.

2.  Tappen, G. Arthur.  The officers and the men, the stations without and within of the Boston Police, Boston : Twentieth Century Biography Co. (1901).

3. Herwick, Edgar B. III. “The Boston Police Strike That Impacted Labor For Generations” August 15, 2014. http://news.wgbh.org/post/boston-police-strike-impacted-labor-generations.

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Linda Lawrence papers, 1974-1975: Now open for research

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the Linda Lawrence papers, 1974-1975, have been processed and are available for researchThe finding aid for this collection is available here.

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Linda Lawrence and her cohort in Charlotte, NC were featured in Boston newspapers. Image source: SC-0196 Linda Lawrence papers, 1974-1975

This collection documents Lawrence’s participation as a student delegate to Charlotte, North Carolina to learn about the school desegregation process from students there. Materials in this collection include correspondence and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings regarding the Boston students’ trip.

Linda Lawrence was a student at Hyde Park High School in the 1970s and watched the Boston school desegregation and busing process unfold around her. As seniors in 1974, Lawrence and three other students traveled by invitation to Charlotte, North Carolina. Lawrence and her cohort were members of Hyde Park High School’s Bi-Racial Committee and, on this trip, met with the Charlotte Student Coordinating Council. Through group discussions they learned about the North Carolinian students’ experience with court-ordered busing for the previous four years and their strategies of patience and openness for combating school discord.

View the finding aid for Linda Lawrence papers here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.

University Archives & Special Collections is planning to digitize and make materials from this collection available online in the future. Subscribe to Open Archives News for updates.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Boston Harbor Cleanup Case comes to a close: Records and stories from University Archives and Special Collections

Judge A. David Mazzone speaks at the 2001 Honorary Degree Dinner. Judge Mazzone donated his papers related to the Boston Harbor Cleanup Case to the university in 2001 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree as part of that year's commencement exercises.

Judge A. David Mazzone speaks at the 2001 Honorary Degree Dinner. Judge Mazzone donated his papers related to the Boston Harbor Cleanup Case to UMass Boston in 2001 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree as part of that year’s commencement exercises.

Boston’s harbor is clean. Or at least it’s a lot cleaner than it used to be.

According to a recent Boston Globe article, the “US District Judge Richard G. Stearns last month issued the 239th compliance order in the 1985 lawsuit that led to the Boston Harbor cleanup project, declaring an end to the construction phase of the massive combined sewer overflow project.” The Globe also notes that this is the “oldest active case in the federal court system in Massachusetts.”

The Boston Harbor Cleanup Case set into play one of the largest public works projects ever undertaken in New England, resulting in the construction of a new primary wastewater treatment center at Deer Island, facilities at Fore River Shipyard in Quincy to process sewage sludge, a tunnel from Nut Island to Deer Island, and a 9.5 mile outfall tunnel to discharge treated effluent offshore in Massachusetts Bay. These four major construction projects were designed to deal with the problem of untreated sewage water which had been dumped into Boston Harbor for decades. The Boston Harbor Cleanup Case was originally filed in three separate lawsuits, including a case that landed on the desk of Judge Paul Garrity of the Massachusetts Superior Court (University Archives and Special Collections holds the chambers papers related to another of Judge Paul Garrity’s cases, on the receivership of the Boston Housing Authority in the 1970s and 1980s). These separate lawsuits culminated in Federal District Judge A. David Mazzone’s 1985 ruling that made the cleanup of the Boston Harbor a non-voluntary, court-ordered mandate.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston holds a range of materials related to the Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor cleanup case, including the extensive chambers papers of Judge Mazzone, who had jurisdiction over the cleanup case from 1985 to 2004 and who passed away in October 2004.

Included among Judge Mazzone’s chambers papers are a total of 193 compliance orders (as the Globe notes, there would ultimately be 239 compliance orders) issued by Judge Mazzone between 1985 and 2004, as well as reports, audio-visual materials, and interviews with key figures in the cleanup case.

Interested in learning more about the environmental and polluted conditions of the Boston Harbor prior to the cleanup case? University Archives and Special Collections recently digitized this 1969 film from the records of the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, Inc. titled “Boston – Harbor/City/Islands” which explores the connections between the city and the harbor, including activities and histories of the Boston Harbor Islands.

The finding aid for the Judge Mazzone papers is available here and the finding aid for the records of the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, Inc. is here.

For questions about these collections or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Boston – Harbor/City/Islands (1969): Film highlights Boston Harbor and islands before cleanup

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the film Boston – Harbor/City/Islands (1969), part of the records of the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, has been digitized and is available for viewing. This rare footage gives viewers a close-up look of the city and of the Boston Harbor and islands before the cleanup efforts of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The film is by Derek Lamb and Lawrence Rosenblum, and was produced by Stanley Jacks and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969.

The Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, Inc., is a non-profit environmental and educational organization that encourages public use of the islands, balanced with the need to protect their fragile ecosystem and historic environment. The Friends provides services to the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area through volunteer programs, public education, and advocacy efforts. The records of the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands document the organization’s various activities and includes files kept by staff, as well as by-laws, conference planning materials, correspondence, notes, publications, and ephemera.

View the finding aid for the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands records here. And view the film Boston – Harbor/City/Islands here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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