Healey Library receives two National Endowment for the Humanities grants in support of archival collections and community collaboration

The Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is proud to announce that it has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access to support the work of the library’s University Archives and Special Collections department.

Logo for National Endownment for the HumanitiesThe Preservation Assistance Grant will allow University Archives and Special Collections in the Healey Library (UASC) to contract with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) to assess the physical condition of the department’s extensive archival holdings. In addition, the grant will support a public photograph preservation training workshop that will be open to volunteers and professionals working in local historical societies and museums. UASC will use the assessment, resultant recommendations, and knowledge gained in the workshop to develop a 5-year preservation plan to ensure continued access to the unique collections.

“This support from the NEH is a tremendous opportunity to enable us to continue to improve how we preserve our collections,” explained Patricia Bruttomesso, the grant’s principal investigator and the department’s Archival Collections Project Manager. “We are grateful for the funding that will allow us to benefit from NEDCC’s expertise and share knowledge about preserving archival collections with other cultural institutions in the Boston area and across the Commonwealth.”

Edo G, Tony Rhome, Lisa Lee, and Pacey Foster speak on a panel as part of the launch event for the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive in November 2016.

Edo G, Tony Rhome, Lisa Lee, and Pacey Foster speak on a panel as part of the launch event for the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive in November 2016. Photo courtesy of Michael R. Colford.

UASC also received funding through NEH’s Common Heritage grant program to support a project called “Local Rappers, DJs, B-Boys, and Graff: Documenting the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Community from the 1970s to the present.” This funding will enable UASC and project partners at the Boston Public Library to work with the local hip-hop community and scholars to host a digitizing day event to collect photographs, stories, and other materials that will be added to the Healey Library’s Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive. It will further support four public programs at the BPL showcasing the four original elements of hip-hop culture—music, dance, DJs, and graffiti.

“We are looking forward to holding a thematic Mass. Memories Road Show event where everyone connected to hip-hop—musicians, DJs, dancers, graffiti artists, producers, and fans—can bring materials to document their experiences and share personal stories,” says Carolyn Goldstein, the grant’s principal investigator and the department’s Public History and Community Archives Program Manager. “The event will allow UMass Boston’s Healey Library to continue to build a unique collection documenting hip-hop in Massachusetts and, in collaboration with the Boston Public Library, engage a broad public in learning all about this important culture and its place in the Commonwealth.”

“Development of public programs is underway, which will further enable discovery of this important and historic hip hop archive, and Boston Public Library invites all to celebrate Boston’s unique music culture with us beginning this spring,” said Gianna Gifford, Boston Public Library’s Chief of Adult Library Services.

UMass Boston professor and hip-hop historian Pacey Foster notes that “Boston has had a vibrant Hip-Hop scene since the very early 1980s but never quite got the recognition it deserved from the popular press or commercial outlets. As a result, perhaps more than any other major metropolitan area in the nation, the story of Boston hip-hop remains relatively unknown. This project presents an incredible opportunity for the Hip-Hop community in Boston to share their stories and ensure that they remain accessible for generations to come.”

For more information about these grant-funded programs and about University Archives and Special Collections, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

About University Archives and Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoUniversity Archives and Special Collections in the 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 carry out its mission, UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices.

For more information about these grant-funded programs and about University Archives and Special Collections, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these initiatives and programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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