Mass. Memories Road Show heads to Eastham on Sunday, May 7

When: Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Eastham Public Library | 190 Samoset Road | Eastham, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Do you have a connection to Eastham, Massachusetts? Do you live or work in Eastham? Are your roots in Eastham? Share your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Please bring 2-3 photographs in their original format (digital or print photographs) and your stories to be recorded. We will scan unframed pictures and copy digital images and return the pictures back to you. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Local support for the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show is provided by the Eastham Public Library.

For more information about the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show, contact Debra DeJonker-Berry at ddejonkerberry@clamsnet.org or by calling 508-240-5950 (ext. 3137).

The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide digital history project that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. It is produced by the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is co-sponsored by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund.

Download the flyer for the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show and remember to share it with your friends and family members!

Questions? Email carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu.

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Tales from the Tapes: Processing the Lecco’s Lemma collection

Guest post by Gayle Schechter

Show tapes from the Lecco’s Lemma show (writing by Willie Alexander).

Not many people are required to listen to hip-hop at their jobs, but for the past few months as a University Archives and Special Collections intern in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston, listening to hours of freestyles and beatboxing has all been part of a typical day’s work. Tasked with processing recordings of radio broadcasts from the Lecco’s Lemma collection, part of the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive, I’ve not only gained valuable experience with digital collections, but also gotten a crash course in the history of Boston hip-hop. The Lecco’s Lemma collection chronicles an era when hip-hop in Boston was still in its infancy, and when you would record your favorite songs off of the radio instead of searching for them on YouTube.

The Lecco’s Lemma collection contains recordings of radio broadcasts of Lecco’s Lemma, a local hip-hop program hosted by Magnus Johnstone from 1985-1986 on MIT’s WMBR and from 1986-1988 on Boston College’s WZBC. Along with nearly 200 audiocassettes of Lecco’s Lemma broadcasts, the collection also contains more than 200 demo tapes from area hip-hop artists sent to Johnstone to be played on air. In addition to airing local artists, those familiar with old school hip-hop would recognize many of the artists played on broadcasts of Lecco’s Lemma, from Boston-bred Gang Starr to New York City’s Run D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. The digitized recordings are available online here.

Show tapes from the Lecco’s Lemma show (writing by Willie Alexander).

While the Lecco’s Lemma collection provides a window into Boston’s underground hip-hop scene of the 1980s, the unique nature of the recordings created a number of issues to be considered by University Archives and Special Collections staff. Many of the recordings contain explicit language, necessitating content warnings for our digital collection. The do-it-yourself nature of recording demo tapes often meant artists would take commercially-released cassettes and dub their recordings over the originals. While one side of the tape may contain original beatboxes and rhymes from a Boston crew, the other side could contain half of a Donny Osmond album.

Cassette recordings of the Lecco’s Lemma radio program are not official recordings, but rather were created at home by Boston punk rocker Willie “Loco” Alexander, who recorded them off the radio on his boom box. One broadcast of the show can span a number of cassettes, and many cassettes contain portions of episodes recorded on different days creating instances where one object has more than one date associated with it.

Despite the challenges that the Lecco’s Lemma collection has presented, it’s been an honor to help preserve the history of hip-hop. Though the story of hop-hop in Boston has in many ways remained a well-kept secret, the Lecco’s Lemma collection shows that hip-hop artistry was very much alive and thriving in Boston during the 1980s.

Explore the Lecco’s Lemma digital collection online here.

Read more about the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive here and keep visiting blogs.umb.edu/archives for future updates.

Gayle Schechter is an M.S. candidate from Simmons School of Library and Information Science.


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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Saturday, April 22: Building a People’s History of Dorchester

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Dorchester Historical Society | 195 Boston Street | Dorchester, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Come and share your aspirations for Dorchester history. Help make Dorchester’s past visible. Please join us in a conversation about our communities’ histories, sharing your thoughts on what histories you want to know and explore. What history is missing and why does it matter to you?

History empowers us. Sustaining our communities and supporting active citizenship requires that we understand and share our histories. Building a people’s history depends on your participation.

For more information, contact:

  • Jane Becker, PhD (Graduate Internship Coordinator and Lecturer, History Dept., UMass Boston), jane.becker@umb.edu
  • Monica Pelayo, PhD (Dir. of the Public History Track and Assistant Professor, History Dept., UMass Boston), monica.pelayo@umb.edu

This program is part of the Dorchester History Initiative, which includes John McColgan, City Archivist, City of Boston Archives; the Dorchester Historical Society; UMass Boston’s Department of History (Public History Track); and University Archives and Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

Download the flyer for this event here and help spread the word.


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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Spring 2017 issue of New England Journal of Public Policy available on ScholarWorks

The most recent issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy is now available on ScholarWorks, the open access repository for scholarship and research at UMass Boston.

Describing the topics explored in this issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy, founding editor Padraig O’Malley writes: “This issue of the journal has three parts. The first part had its origins in a conference on extremism held at the Center for Study of Intractable Conflicts (CRIC), Harris Manchester College Oxford in October 2015; the second comprises four articles on conflicts referred to as ‘intractable’—Colombia, Syria, and Israel/Palestine—and a reflection on the Holocaust; the third is a stand-alone, one article that addresses the leadership attributes necessary to crack the iron walls of intractability.”

The New England Journal of Public Policy has been published since 1985 by the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Full issues of the open access journal are available on ScholarWorks.

In addition to the introductory note by journal editor O’Malley, who is also the John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation at UMass Boston, the contents of this issue include:

To view the full issue, and to explore back issues of this publication, click here.


ScholarWorks is the University of Massachusetts Boston’s online, open access institutional repository for scholarship and research. ScholarWorks serves as a publishing platform, a preservation service, and a showcase for the research and scholarly output of members of the UMass Boston community. ScholarWorks is a service of the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

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Mass. Memories Road Show heads to Nahant on Saturday, April 1

When: Saturday, April 1, 2017 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Nahant Town Hall | 334 Nahant Road | Nahant, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Do you have a connection to the Nahant, Massachusetts? Do you live or work in Nahant? Are your roots in Nahant? Share your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Please bring 2-3 photographs in their original format (digital or print photographs) and your stories to be recorded. We will scan unframed pictures and copy digital images and return the images back to you. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Local support for the Nahant Memories Road Show is provided by the Nahant Public Library, 01908, Nahant Council on Aging, Nahant Historical Society, Nahant Public Schools, Nahant S.W.I.M. Inc., and Northeastern University Marine Science Center, with funding from the Friends of Nahant Public Library and Nahant Cultural Council.

The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide digital history project that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. It is produced by the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is co-sponsored by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund.

Download the flyer for the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show here and remember to share it with your friends and family members!

Questions? Email carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu.

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