1919 Boston Police Strike Project online course up and running

Police officer John J. Doyle went on strike in 1919. Source: Steve Doyle.

Police officer John J. Doyle went on strike in 1919. Source: Steve Doyle.

On September 9, 1919, more than 1,000 City of Boston police officers walked off the job to fight for union recognition and improved working conditions. In the days that followed, they lost their employment and public sympathy, their stories relegated to historical footnotes.

One hundred years later, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Joseph P. Healey Library and the Boston Police Department Archives will celebrate the centennial of the 1919 Boston Police Strike. Together, the two institutions will launch a comprehensive database profiling the men who went on strike. This project is dependent on volunteers. To date, a growing team of community researchers have investigated the stories of over 500 “men behind the strike.”

Each volunteer researcher receives training in biographical research methods and our project-specific worksheet. After demonstrating proficiency with the research process, researchers are invited to fill out a worksheet for a striker. Every single worksheet takes us one step closer to a complete database of striker biographies.

Volunteer researchers learn to build a biographical profile from the information contained in a single duty roster card. Source: Boston Police Department Archives.

Volunteer researchers learn to build a biographical profile from the information contained in a single duty roster card. Source: Boston Police Department Archives.

A new online course, “Doing Biographical Research: The 1919 Boston Police Strike Project,” provides training to prospective researchers remotely. The course is free, self-paced, and open to the public. Researcher and recent “Doing Biographical Research” graduate Kayla Skillin said of the course:

The online course that was put together by the project staff was a great introduction to the project and really outlined what they are looking for for each striker. I think this would be a great course to take not only for volunteers, but also anyone who would like to improve on their own online genealogy research skills!”

Get on board!

To learn more about the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project, visit http://blogs.umb.edu/bpstrike1919.

Interested in getting involved and staying connected? Join the mailing list.

Want to jump right to the course? Enroll here!

 

 

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