Announcing Mass. Memories Road Show events for 2017

Join us on the road!

University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston is excited to announce that the Mass. Memories Road Show will be visiting four communities in Massachusetts in 2017 to collect family photographs and stories from individuals in those communities.

  • Nahant              Nahant Town Hall                           Saturday, April 1
  • Eastham           Eastham Public Library                 Sunday, May 7
  • Wilmington    Wilmington High School               Saturday, September 30
  • Marshfield      Ventress Memorial Library           Saturday, October 28
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Click the image to download a copy of this flyer.

Keep visiting blogs.umb.edu/archives for updates about these events.

Browse the Mass. Memories Road Show collection here.


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.

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Hyde Park Mass. Memories Road Show photographs and stories now online

The photographs, stories, and videos gathered at the Hyde Park Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now for research.

"When my aunt and my mom get together it is awesome to see their different ways of being and yet so much alike. They feed off each other and are the ties that bind our family together. My aunt loves to talk and my mother not as much and yet it’s the ying and yang that makes the rest of us smile. The love and life lessons run through us all. Much love Aunt Bonnie and mom. Pictured, from left to right: Boonie Booker and Carolyn Harrell. Contributor: Antoinette. Harrell.

The matriarchs, April 2016. “When my aunt and my mom get together it is awesome to see their different ways of being and yet so much alike. They feed off each other and are the ties that bind our family together. My aunt loves to talk and my mother not as much and yet it’s the ying and yang that makes the rest of us smile.” Pictured, from left to right: Boonie Booker and Carolyn Harrell. Contributor: Antoinette Harrell.

Held at the Hyde Park Municipal Building, or “Muni,” on May 14, 2016, the event was organized by the Friends of the Hyde Park Library and sponsored by the Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) Hyde Park Community Center and Spin350 Creative. Over twenty local volunteers collaborated with a team of UMass Boston staff members and public history graduate students, as well as “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Show events, to welcome more than 100 adults and children with connections to the Boston neighborhood.

Grandfather did the cooking (he's wearing the apron) and he is pouring his homebrew. Pictured, from left to right: my uncle Joe Whalen, my aunt Francis Whalen, my father's father John, uncle John, Darlene Vance, uncle Bob Voss, Jim Hennessey, my grandmother Anna Vance, my aunt Pauline Kominski, my aunt Sophie Sarno, and my father's cousin John Sarno. Location: Williams Avenue. Contributor: Robert Vance.

The party never stops–three-family gathering on Williams Avenue, 1950s. “Grandfather did the cooking (he’s wearing the apron) and he is pouring his home-brew. Pictured, from left to right: my uncle Joe Whalen, my aunt Francis Whalen, my father’s father John, uncle John, Darlene Vance, uncle Bob Voss, Jim Hennessey, my grandmother Anna Vance, my aunt Pauline Kominski, my aunt Sophie Sarno, and my father’s cousin John Sarno.” Contributor: Robert Vance.

Participants shared images of informal family gatherings such as birthday parties, weddings, and holiday celebrations. Community life in Hyde Park over the years is also well documented in the collection. Many individuals contributed photographs of themselves as students attending Most Precious Blood, Hyde Park High School, and other local schools. Others remembered coming together to play with neighbors and to participate in sports competitions, parades, and the creative arts.

New England Tel. "Working on Harvard Street switchboard in Hyde Park. Pictured, from left to right: teacher Mary Miles, Mary Hannon, Mary Lou Leary, and unidentified woman. Contributor: Mary Lou Greene.

New England Tel., 1949. “Working on Harvard Street switchboard in Hyde Park. Pictured, from left to right: teacher Mary Miles, Mary Hannon, Mary Lou Leary, and unidentified woman. Contributor: Mary Lou Greene.

Several photographs document men and women at work in local restaurants, banks, bakeries, convenience stores, and other family enterprises in the neighborhood.

We were asked to be the first family in Hyde Park to receive a single stream recycling bin. Liam was the first to use it. Pictured, from left to right: Rob Consalvo, Janice Kenney, Larry Kenney, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Ryleigh Kenney, and Liam Kenney. Contributor: Janice Kenney.

“In 2007, we were asked to be the first family in Hyde Park to receive a single stream recycling bin. Liam was the first to use it. Pictured, from left to right: Rob Consalvo, Janice Kenney, Larry Kenney, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Ryleigh Kenney, and Liam Kenney.” Contributor: Janice Kenney.

A number of individuals chose to preserve memories of their involvement in politics and community activism. Photographs document neighborhood residents running for elected office, saving the local public library, and cleaning up the Neponset River. Many people shared photographs of themselves taken with the late Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who was born in Hyde Park in the 1940s and lived there until his death in 2014.

Browse the Hyde Park Mass. Memories Road Show collection.


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.

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Spencer Mass. Memories Road Show photographs and stories now online

Duct tape prom dress, 2007.

Duct tape prom dress, 2007. “My daughter, Christin, worked on this dress for months. She even made the sandals, purse, and necklace out of purple and white duct tape. She wore it to her high school prom. I’m so proud to be her mother.” Contributor: Denise Formosa.

The photographs and stories gathered at the Spencer Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now for research.

Held at the Spencer Town Hall on April 3, 2016, the event was organized by the Richard Sugden Library, Spencer Cable Access, the Spencer Historical Commission, and the Spencer Board of Selectmen.

Over twenty local volunteers collaborated with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Shows to welcome nearly 80 adults and children with connections to the small town west of Worcester.

The Andrews family on Easter Sunday, 1969.

The Andrews family on Easter Sunday, 1969. “Pictured, from back to front, left to right: Donna Andrews, Darlene Andrews, Debbie Andrews, Nancy Andrews holding Diana Andrews in her lap, Dale Andrews, Denise ‘Buffy’ Andrews, and Albert ‘Sonny’ Andrews, Jr.” Contributor: Nancy Andrews.

Participants shared photographs and stories of themselves and their families at home in Spencer over the years. Many individuals contributed memories of marching in parades, performing in bands, and participating in sports competitions as well as a variety of other community activities. Images of life at work in local businesses and factories document aspects of town’s industrial heritage.

Several people brought materials documenting places in Spencer that are important to them, such as family farms, Peloquin’s Beach at Lake Whittemore, and St. Joseph’s Abbey. The 1955 flood and the great fire in Joe’s Junkyard in 1988 are among the memorable events represented in the collection.

Peloquin's Beach, c. 1938.

Peloquin’s Beach, c. 1938. “Pictured: my grandfather Albert R. Peloquin, my great uncle Robert Peloquin, and my great grandfather Albert J. Peloquin with an unidentified lifeguard. Location: Lake Whittemore.” Contributor: Vito J. Colonna.

The video interviews from this event are not yet available and will be added to the collection at a later date. Visit blogs.umb.edu/archives for updates.

Browse the Spencer Mass. Memories Road Show collection here.


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 8,000 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.

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Making a History: Columbia Point photographs and memories now available

Nate, 1970. Photographer: Deborah Goldberg. Contributor: Deborah Goldberg.

Nate, 1970. Photographer: Deborah Goldberg. Contributor: Deborah Goldberg.

The photographs, stories, and videos collected as part of “Making a History of Columbia Point: A Participatory Exhibition” are now available for research online at openarchives.umb.edu. The event, held at the Harbor Point Clubhouse on Saturday, May 9, 2015, was the culminating practicum project of Professor Jane Becker’s graduate public history seminar (History 625) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The students presented an informal temporary display exploring the history of this part of Dorchester, and they invited community members, past and present, to help tell the story. Attendees added events to an historical timeline and defined and identified the locations of important places in the community. Ten participants brought a total of 100 photographs and other documents to be scanned and added to the digital collections at UMass Boston. Together, these materials provide a variety of perspectives on how Columbia Point changed from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Conways after First Communion, St. Christopher's Church. 1950s

Eileen Conway’s First Communion, 1960. “My mother worked hard to keep us well dressed. Pictured: Eileen Conway, my mother Marie Conway, and Frank Conway.” Contributor: Jim Conway.

Many former residents shared memories of attending St. Christopher’s Church over the years. They contributed photographs of first communions, Easter Sunday, and other religious occasions. Images of parish sports teams and community events organized by the church are also included.

The Sisters of Notre Dame are documented in many of the photographs gathered. Project Care and Concern, an organization dedicated to serving low-income individuals and families, and the Notre Dame Montessori School, which operated for decades in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church, are documented in the collection.

Easter Junior Gems, 1963 ir 1964.

Easter Junior Gems, 1963 or 1964. “Favorite place ever, PERIOD!!! Pictured, from left to right: Leo Manning, Tom ‘Greek’ Stephens, Joe Steverman, Paul ‘Red’ Chadwick, Jimmy Carter, [?] Donahue, and Peter Connell. Location: probably 100 Monticello Avenue.” Contributor: Jim Chadwick.

In video interviews, contributors shared memories of growing up in the public housing projects. Daily life in the neighborhood is represented in photographs of “gangs” of teenage boys dressed in uniform sweaters and images of older members of the community attending Christmas parties at the Columbia Point Senior Center.

Eleven black-and-white photographs document the early days of the Phillips Brooks House Association summer school on Columbia Point. Through this program, launched in the late 1960s, a number of students from Harvard University lived in the housing project and served as “big brothers” to neighborhood children.

For a reflection on this project by Paige Kinder, one of the students in the class, please visit www.archivespublichistory.org.

25th anniversary celebration at Notre Dame Montessori School, 1994. Contributor: Sister Elizabeth Calcagni.

25th anniversary celebration at Notre Dame Montessori School, 1994. Contributor: Sister Elizabeth Calcagni.

For questions about the practicum project and the public history of Columbia Point, please contact Carolyn Goldstein at carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu and Jane Becker at jane.becker@umb.edu.

Explore the images and stories gathered at this event here.

For more resources on the history and development of Columbia Point, please visit umb.libguides.com/columbia-point.

University Archives and Special Collections at UMass Boston is actively seeking to build its Dorchester and neighborhood collections. Do you have collections related to the history and development of Columbia Point that you are interested in donating to the Archives? If so, please review our policies and guidelines for collection donations and contact us at library.archives@umb.edu.


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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Salted, Pickled, and Smoked: New Bedford Fishing Heritage images available

James Costakes. 'This is Jimmy Costakes, called Jimmy the Greek. He was engineer and part owner with Gary Earl of the 'Stephen R." Jimmy lived on Oxford Street in Fairhaven.' Contributor: Dawn Costakes.

James Costakes. ‘This is Jimmy Costakes, called Jimmy the Greek. He was engineer and part owner with Gary Earl of the ‘Stephen R.’ Jimmy lived on Oxford Street in Fairhaven.” Contributor: Dawn Costakes.

The photographs and stories collected at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center’s Digitizing Day are available for research at openarchives.umb.edu, the digital collections site for University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston. The May 21, 2016, event was part of a year-long effort of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center to digitize the cultural heritage of New Bedford’s fishing community.

The event was a collaboration involving the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (NBFHC), New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the New Bedford Free Public Library, MIT Sea Grant, and the Claire T. Carney Library at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Funding for this project was provided to NBFHC through a Common Heritage grant program from the National Endowment for the Humanities and included support for technical assistance from the Joseph P. Healey Library at University of Massachusetts Boston.

Home at last. Manuel F. Sylvia, cook on the 'Moonlight' arriving at State Pier in New Bedford after being lost at sea, without power, for 36 hours. Contributor: David A. Sylvia.

Home at last. “Manuel F. Sylvia, cook on the ‘Moonlight’ arriving at State Pier in New Bedford after being lost at sea, without power, for 36 hours in December 1962.” Contributor: David A. Sylvia.

Thirty-five individuals shared over 75 photographs and other documents related to New Bedford’s fishing industry from the 1950s to the present. Many of the images depict men at work on fishing vessels at sea over the years. Other photographs document the many family enterprises that make up the city’s fishing industry, including processing plants and marine electronics services. Contributors shared documents describing the work, compensation, and union organization of fish lumpers as well as other commercial fishing jobs.

Staff from University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston and volunteers from the department’s Mass. Memories Road Show program trained volunteers, registered contributors, scanned images, and recorded stories at the event.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center will continue to collect digital copies of images and stories from individuals and families connected to the city’s fishing industry. Anyone interested should contact the center at 508-993-8894 or by email at info@fishingheritagecenter.org.

Lost of lobster. Lobster tow on the 'Lillian B.' All in one tow, normally you get only a few baskets, maybe two. Pictured:

Lots of lobster. “Lobster tow on the ‘Lillian B.’ All in one tow, normally you get only a few baskets, maybe two. Pictured, from left to right: Karluf Bendiksen, Bjarne Bendiksen, and Chet Emery.” Contributor: Reidar Bendiksen.

Browse the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Digitizing Day collection.


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 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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