Nahant and Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show videos now online

The video interviews from the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show and Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show, held in the spring of 2017, are now available online. Over sixty people of all ages recorded their “stories behind the photos” in these two Massachusetts shore communities.

In both Nahant (on Boston’s North Shore) and Eastham (on Cape Cod), contributors spoke of their love for the seashore. Some individuals reflected on the joys of coastal life, recalling days of sailing, canoeing, fishing, or simply walking along the beach. Others described the power of nature and shared stories about the havoc wreaked by storms over the years. In Nahant, several video interviews documented activities of the Northeastern University Marine Science Center. Water was also on the mind in Eastham, where contributors expressed pride in the town’s new municipal water system.

Joseph Ayers at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show: Video Interview

Browse the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show video collection here.  Read about the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show here.

Road Show contributors shared stories about the circumstances of their arrival in town and the local relationships they have built. In Nahant, a few individuals recalled their first journey over the causeway connecting Lynn on the mainland to the island town. Chris Stevens remembered arriving and thinking “this is it, I’m home.” Other Nahanters grew up in town, left to live in Boston, and later returned back home.

Several Eastham residents recalled moving to town from near and far. Gail M. Callahan first arrived as a child, back when there was “nothing but beach.” With her family, she spent hours “clamming, fishing, and . . . picking blueberries.” Some contributors remembered visiting for a summer vacation and never leaving. Video interviews also document local organizations’ efforts to preserve the environment, both natural and man-made. The beaches and historic structures of both towns are safe in the hands of these devoted locals!

Judy Gaynes Sebastian at the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show: Video Interview

Browse the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show video collection here. Read about the Eastham Mass. Memories Road Show here.

Questions? Email carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu.


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. In partnership with teams of local volunteers, we organize public events to scan family and community photographs and videotape “the stories behind the photos.” The images and videos are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database. Since its launch, the project has gathered more than 10,000 photographs, videos, and stories from across the state. It is supported in part by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund at UMass Boston.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

Bookmark and Share

More than 1,000 videos from Mass. Memories Road Show at UMass Boston now online

Videographer Jack Clancy records an interview with Max Manadee at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show, April 1, 2017. The photographs, stories, and videos collected in Nahant will be online soon. Photo courtesy Dalia Shilas.

For over a decade, the Mass. Memories Road Show has celebrated and documented the stories that connect people in Massachusetts to their communities. In this period, the program has come a long way. With the help of volunteers and community partners, the Mass. Memories Road Show has collected over 8,000 images and more than 1,000 video interviews. The Mass. Memories Road Show collection includes contributions from nearly 40 communities and University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston continues to work toward representing all 351 towns in the Commonwealth.

“We began collecting video interviews at one of the Dorchester Mass. Memories Road Shows in 2006,” recalls Joanne Riley, University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections. Riley enlisted a UMass Boston undergraduate student to record the first interviews, and the Video Station soon became a standard feature of all Mass. Memories Road Show events. The Road Show team met Liz Clancy Lerner at the Quincy Mass. Memories Road Show in 2007 and the following year began working with her and her father Jack Clancy, of Best Dog Ever Films, to record and edit the videos in a consistent manner.

“Contributors are excited to describe their photographs,” explained Road Show program coordinator Carolyn Goldstein, “and many of them choose to sit for a video interview to share ‘the stories behind their photos’ or other memories.”

“Throughout the years I have laughed and cried at the stories I’ve recorded,” recalls Liz Clancy Lerner. “I’ve been thrilled at the enthusiasm I see for history in the communities I’ve visited. This is a special project that records what’s often seen as ordinary family stories, but when you dig a little deeper, and really hear how they impact individual families, you see how much these images and anecdotes truly are the beating heart of these Massachusetts communities. I can’t wait to hear more!”

All of the video interviews collected at the Mass. Memories Road Shows from 2006 through 2016 are available online now for research. Some of the newest additions to the collection are the video recordings from early Road Shows held in Dorchester, Quincy, Reading, Stoneham, and Duxbury. Interviews from more recent Mass. Memories Road Show events in Martha’s Vineyard, Spencer, and Hyde Park are also available.

Mary Doherty Manseau at the Dorchester Mass. Memories Road Show: Video Interview from UMass Boston Archives on Vimeo.

These videos preserve the family histories, childhood memories, activities, and experiences that together help tell the complex personal history of Massachusetts.

Explore the Mass. Memories Road Show video collection here.

Caroline Littlewood is a graduate assistant in University Archives & Special Collections and a graduate student in History (Public History Track) at UMass Boston.


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. In partnership with teams of local volunteers, we organize public events to scan family and community photographs and videotape “the stories behind the photos.” The images and videos are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database. Since its launch, the project has gathered more than 9,000 photographs and stories from across the state. It is supported in part by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund at UMass Boston.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

Bookmark and Share