Collecting and preserving hip-hop history in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston

Members of the hip-hop community fill out paperwork about photographs and items they plan to contribute to the Mass. Memories Road Show.

Volunteers and contributors at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition.

Well over 200 community members joined us at the Boston Public Library this past Saturday to share photographs, objects, and memories at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition. In all, we collected about 300 digital images of items ranging from photographs and concert posters to t-shirts and album covers. We also recorded about 60 video interviews with community members throughout the day about their connections to hip-hop in Boston and Massachusetts.

Six people in front of a graffiti painting.

Cindy Diggs (AKA “Mother Hip Hop”), center, with contributors at the Mass. Memories Road Show. Diggs served as Director of Hip-Hop Community Engagement for the event.

It will take University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston 2-3 months to fully process this collection and make it available for the world to see at openarchives.umb.edu. Once it’s there all contributors will be notified.

Logo for National Endownment for the Humanities

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations in this program do not necessarily express those of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

This event was supported by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor, as well as support by the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund. It is part of a larger project called “Local Rappers, DJs, B-Boys, and Graff: Documenting the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Community from the 1970s to the present.” Learn more about this project here.

Contribute to the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive

In 2016, University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston launched the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive with an initial donation by Pacey Foster of recordings from the Lecco’s Lemma radio program. Learn more here and explore the Lecco’s Lemma Collection.

Image lists the kinds of materials we collect: Audio and video recordings (cassettes, videotapes, and film reels); Original photographs, negatives, and slides; Flyers, promotional materials, and unique publications and magazines; Letters, diaries, and other firsthand accountsAs we continue to develop this new collection area, University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston is now focusing on donations of original and unique archival materials from musicians, DJs, breakdancers, graffiti artists, producers, promoters, and fans that will help us document the rich heritage and legacy of hip-hop culture in Boston and Massachusetts.

Do you have original and unique materials related to hip-hop in Boston and Massachusetts that you think should become part of the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive? Contact an archivist at UMass Boston to learn more.

What’s next: Digitized Massachusetts Rock Against Racism videos online soon

Massachusetts Rock Against Racism (RAR) was co-founded in the Boston area in 1979 at a time when the City of Boston and its surrounding areas were “rocked by racism.” The RAR organizational records are part of University Archives & Special Collections. Learn more and view the finding aid here. We recently completed digitization of approximately 100 videos from the RAR collection and this summer,  thanks to a grant from the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, we will complete descriptive work on these videos, which include documentary films, outtakes, interviews, and concert footage.

As a sneak peek of what this amazing collection has to offer, embedded below is “Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin’: A Rockumentary,” which was filmed at Madison Park High School in Roxbury, Mass., on June 9, 1985. The footage includes performances by a number of artists, as well as a breakdance battle between the Floor Lords and HBO.

Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin’: A Rockumentary, Presented by Mass. Rock Against Racism (1985 June 9) from UMass Boston Archives on Vimeo.

The digitized and described Massachusetts Rock Against Racism collection of videos will be available online soon. Keep visiting this site for more information and for updates.

If you have questions about the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive, please contact an archivist at UMass Boston or connect with the project on Facebook.


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.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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Special Issue of New England Journal of Public Policy features select writings by Marcy Murninghan

Cover for Special 2018 Issue of the New England Journal of Public PolicyThe 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. The Special Issue is titled “Wealth, Power, and the Public Interest: Building Equity Culture and Civic Stewardship” and features eleven articles written by Marcy Murninghan.

In his editor’s note for this issue, New England Journal of Public Policy founder and editor Padraig O’Malley writes about Murninghan’s work: “I have known Marcy Murninghan since the early 1980s when she worked for the late Robert Wood, once president of the Massachusetts University system, then superintendent of the Boston School System during the heyday of court-ordered desegregation. During this tumultuous period in Boston’s history, Murninghan played a significant role, tasked by Wood to plan and direct the structural organization of the department. Since then her career has taken many turns. She has churned out a plethora of reports and analyses for foundations, universities, the corporate world, and media monoliths. The result is a formidable body of work, from which the articles for this issue of the journal draws a tranche.”

And in her introduction to this issue, Murningham describes the articles selected for inclusion: “America faces a reckoning, a crucible of what Reinhold Niebuhr observed more than eighty years ago. Our democratic principles and traditions are imperiled by the power of financial oligarchs and unfettered money flows, which have contributed to massive inequality that, in turn, has given rise to political unrest and a sense of cultural unmooring. The articles presented here are both descriptive and normative, setting forth a complex social problem with seemingly bottomless proportions and then offering a design or set of remedial actions to alleviate them. Drawing on my professional experience going back to the mid-1970s, I wrote these pieces to generate new knowledge, new capabilities, and new vistas that open opportunities for growth and well-being—all the while knowing that no problems ever can be solved permanently and that sometimes solutions in one era become new problems in another.”

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. After folding in 2006 due to financial constraints, the New England Journal of Public Policy resumed publication in 2013 as an online, open access journal. Full issues of the entire run of the New England Journal of Public Policy are available on ScholarWorks.

Apart from Murninghan’s introduction and the editor’s note by 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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Saturday, Nov. 18 at Freedom House: Documentary screening hosted by Massachusetts Rock Against Racism and Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive

Screenshot from the documentary film, "Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin"

Screenshot from the documentary film, “Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin’” (1985).

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Doors open at 2:30 pm, program runs from 3:00–5:00 pm

Location: Freedom House | 5 Crawford St. | Dorchester, Mass. 02121 | Click here for directions.

Massachusetts Rock Against Racism (RAR), in partnership with the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive and the Healey Library at UMass Boston, is hosting a reunion of the RAR community at Freedom House in Dorchester, Mass.

The event will feature a special screening of “Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin,’” a thirty-minute documentary produced by youth members of RAR in 1985 that documents a legendary b-boy battle at Madison Park in Roxbury, Mass. The records of Massachusetts Rock Against Racism are part of University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston. View the finding aid for the collection here, and keep visiting blogs.umb.edu/archives to be notified when recordings from the collection are digitized and available online.

Flyer for Rock Against Racism Event at Freedom House on Nov. 18After the film screening, we will have a World Café-style discussion focused on the Rock Against Racism movement, local hip-hop history, and the engagement of youth in arts and culture as a tool for racial justice work.

This event is free, open to the public, and family friendly. To learn more and to RSVP, click here.

This event is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive, Freedom House, and the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, and is supported in part by the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund.

Download the flyer for this event and share it with your friends and colleagues.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment to view the materials at UMass Boston, 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 welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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Exhibition celebrates thirty-year history of Joiner Institute’s Writers’ Workshop

The exhibition includes two wall displays. Pictured here, attendees at the exhibition’s opening reception view mounted translations of Zen poems from early Vietnam.

Earlier this summer, University Archives & Special Collections worked with staff from the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston on an exhibition celebrating the thirty-year history of the Institute’s Writers’ Workshop.

The display, in the Walter Grossmann Memorial Gallery in the Healey Library, includes a range of materials related to the Writers’ Workshop, as well as archival materials, photographs, and artwork from the Archives’ Joiner Institute collections.

This year’s Writers’ Workshop Festival and Celebration, which was held in June, “celebrated 30 years of community and creative responses to war” and continued the Institute’s “tradition of focusing on the intersections of writing, war, social justice, and peace making.” In this exhibit, we look back on the history of the Writers’ Workshop, as well as the wide range of accomplishments and activities of the Joiner Institute since it was established in 1982. Additionally, this display features materials from a number of archival collections in University Archives & Special Collections that document the history of the Vietnam War (many materials were originally collected by or in collaboration with the Joiner Institute).

This display was organized in close collaboration with the Joiner Institute.

University Archives & Special Collections has curatorial responsibility for material acquired by the William Joiner Institute (formerly the William Joiner Center) as part of its mission to study the effects of the Vietnam War on our society, as well as the study of war and social consequences more broadly. The collections of archives, manuscripts, photographs, and videos primarily explore veterans’ issues and experiences.

Explore the Joiner Center/Institute collections and collections related to war and social consequences. For a guide to researching the Vietnam War, click here.

Visit the display in the Grossmann Gallery on the 5th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. The exhibition will run through the fall of 2017.

For questions about the exhibition and 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 welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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Mass. Memories Road Show program manager Carolyn Goldstein interviewed on Where’s Wilmington? television show

Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston, was featured on a recent episode of Where’s Wilmington? 

The show’s host, Lisa Kapala, spoke with Carolyn and with Charlotte Wood, Assistant Director of the Wilmington Memorial Library, about the Wilmington Mass. Memories Road Show event scheduled for Saturday, September 30, at Wilmington High School. Click here to view the video online.

Charlotte Wood (left) and Carolyn Goldstein (right) on Where’s Wilmington? Click image to view video.

 

To learn more about this Road Show, see the Wilmington Town Crier article and download a flyer about the event.

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.

Questions? Email carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu or cwood@wilmlibrary.org.


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.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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