Bicycling tours, AIDS rides, and scrapbooks: Explore the history of bicycling in these newly-processed collections

The Wheelmen (first issue), volume 1, number 1, summer 1970

The Wheelmen (first issue cover), volume 1, number 1, summer 1970.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that a number of our collections related to the history of bicycling have been processed and are now available for research. This is the first of several planned posts on Open Archives News that will highlight some of the recently-processed collections in University Archives & Special Collections related to the history of bicycling.

One recently-processed collection is related to The Wheelmen, an organization founded in 1967 at Hoopes Reservoir in Wilmington, Delaware. The organization’s mission is to promote the restoration and riding of antique bicycles produced before 1918 and encourage bicycling. Members receive a subscription to the biannual magazine The Wheelmen as part of their dues. The Wheelmen publication includes research articles, stories, book reviews, and pictures from the past and present. The back cover of the publication contains a list of The Wheelmen National Officers and Captains at the time of that issue’s publication. University Archives & Special Collections holds a full run of The Wheelman from 1970 through 2015. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Read more about the generous donation of The Wheelmen and view a video of the magazine’s Publications Chair, Stephen Hartson, riding a replica of a late nineteenth-century high wheeler on the UMass Boston campus in our April 2016 story “High Wheelin’ around the UMass Boston campus.”

Sharon's Bicentennial Bicycle Tour: Re-enactment of the Historic "Wheel Around the Hub," flyer, 1965

Sharon’s Bicentennial Bicycle Tour: Re-enactment of the Historic “Wheel Around the Hub” flyer, 1965.

The Stuart Bradford Nova Scotia Bicycling Tour collection documents the Nova Scotia bicycling tour that followed the League of American Wheelmen Round-up event in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1969. The Rockport Rally was led by Dr. Paul Dudley White and included trick bicycle riders, unicyclists, and high wheelers. The day after the rally, cyclists participating in the Nova Scotia Tour continued on to Bar Harbor, Maine, where they took a ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for a week of cycling. Cyclists came from as far as Chicago, ranged in age from 11 to 61, and included members of the League of American Wheelmen, the Charles River Wheelmen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Cyclists Touring Club. Materials in this collection include the National League of American Wheelmen Bulletin, maps, and information on the Nova Scotia post-roundup tour in 1969. View the finding aid for this collection here.

The Charles River Wheelmen, Post-Roundup tours of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, 1969

The Charles River Wheelmen, Post-Roundup tours of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, 1969.

The Chet Johnson bicycling collection documents the October 12, 1965, re-enactment of the annual bicycle tour “Wheel Around the Hub” by the Boston Bicycle Club in 1879, as described in a February 1880 issue of the popular magazine Scribner’s Monthly. The original tour traveled one hundred miles around Greater Boston, with bicyclists from a number of bicycling clubs riding high wheelers. The re-enactment in 1965 followed the original route, which included Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Brook Farm, First Canal, Fairbanks House, Dedham, Readville, Blue Hill, Ponkapoag, Canton, and Sharon’s Cobb Tavern. Materials in the Chet Johnson collection include newspaper clippings, a flyer, Chet Johnson’s Safety League Membership Card, a decal, and a pamphlet from the Bicycle Institute of America. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Daily Ride Guide, Massachusetts Red Ribbon Ride, 2005.

The Andi Genser AIDS bicycle rides collection (2005 to 2010) documents Genser’s participation in AIDS rides, including the Red Ribbon Ride of 2005. The Red Ribbon Ride raises funds and awareness to support AIDS organizations. Genser was a manager at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts from 2006 to 2010 and organizer of the Red Ribbon Ride since the 1990s. Materials in this collection consist of a Red Ribbon Ride binder, which includes a pamphlet, photocopied photographs, Daily Ride Guide, and flyers. View the finding aid for the collection here.

“A Tramp on Wheels” “Kid” St. Onge, 1898.

The Fred St. Onge scrapbooks, circa 1896-1922, outline St. Onge’s multiple careers as a Boston bicycle racer during the 1890s, an international vaudeville trick rider from 1900 to 1915, and a traveling salesman and cycling extravaganza man (circa 1915-1930). The bulk of the scrapbooks consist of newspaper clippings. Other items include correspondence, notes, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, and photographs. View the finding aid for the collection here.

Read more about the various bicycling-related collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston here. And learn more about researching the history of bicycling here.

For questions about 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. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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University Archives and Special Collections digitizes UMass Boston course catalogs, bulletins, and schedules

University of Massachusetts Boston Undergraduate Bulletin, 1965-1966

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that our collections of course catalogs and undergraduate and graduate student bulletins have been fully processed and digitized. See below for more information about using these resources to study the history of UMass Boston.

These newly digitized collections include a range of catalogs related to UMass Boston, including course schedules from 1966 to 2010, undergraduate catalogs from 1965 to 2011, Graduate Studies Bulletins from 1976 to 2012, and Continuing Education Bulletins from 1982 to 2013.

Catalogs include information about UMass Boston colleges, departments and programs, and courses, as well as information about university administration, enrollment, tuition and financial aid, student life, and the university’s accreditation. Course descriptions in each catalog include course numbers, course names, brief descriptions, and the number of credits per course. Click on the collection titles below to review the contents of each collection.

University of Massachusetts Graduate Bulletin, 1976-1977

Explore these catalogs and bulletins on our digital collections site here.

For questions about this collection 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. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Eastern Massachusetts Older Women’s League (OWL) records now available for research

Older Women’s League (OWL) records

Eastern Massachusetts Older Women’s League (OWL) records

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the records of the Eastern Massachusetts Older Women’s League (OWL), 1988-2015, have been processed and are available for research.

This collection documents the activities of the Eastern Massachusetts Older Women’s League. Materials consist of files kept by staff and include by-laws, conference planning, correspondence, notes, publications, and ephemera.

Founded in 1980, the Eastern Massachusetts Older Women’s League (OWL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research, education, and advocacy activities to improve the status and quality of life of midlife and older women. Many of these improvements were aimed towards women’s access to high-quality, affordable health care, ensuring that all women have the tools necessary to build personal economic security, while advocating for the right of all people to maintain control of decisions affecting their well-being through the end of life.

The finding aid for this collection is available here.

For questions about this collection 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 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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High Wheelin’ around the UMass Boston campus

University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston recently accepted a donation of the complete run of The Wheelmen magazine (1970-2015) from donor Stephen Hartson, the magazine’s Publications Chair, and his father, Robert Hartson.

After signing the donation forms, Stephen Hartson treated us by taking a spin around the plaza outside the Healey Library on his replica of a late 19th century high wheeler, or “ordinary” bicycle. Stephen made it look effortless, gliding smoothly over the stone and concrete of the plaza (see video below).

Stephen Hartson rides a high wheeler, or ordinary, bicycle outside the Healey Library at UMass Boston from UMass Boston Archives on Vimeo.

For more information about researching the history of bicycling, visit umb.libguides.com/bicycling. To read more about bicycling collections in University Archives & Special Collections, click here.


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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WUMB-FM Collection: Now open for research

The WUMB-FM collection is now open and available for research. This collection, one of the largest in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston, documents the administration and operation of the WUMB radio station at the university from 1969 through 2012. WUMB boxes

WUMB was founded in the fall of 1968 by a group of undergraduate students in the basement of the Sawyer building at 142 Berkeley Street in Back Bay, near UMass Boston’s original Park Square campus. The founding group wanted to provide a radio service that was not available elsewhere, and discussed offering not only music but talk shows.

On October 31, 1968, students formed the Radio Station Committee of UMass Boston and drafted a constitution. The committee consisted of a chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer, and secretary, which were elected each April. Pat Riccio (Monteith), interested in getting involved in university activities as a freshman and a member of the radio station’s founding group, would serve as treasurer, secretary, music director, and, finally, as general manager until 2012.

The station began as a closed-circuit station called WUMB-AM and went on the air for the first time on December 14, 1969. By 1970, it was broadcast within the cafeteria on campus on Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, except during vacations, reading periods, and exams.

On June 30, 1980, the station received the last Metro-Boston area FM license from the Federal Communications Commission and became UMass Boston’s official non-commercial radio station. On September 19, 1982, WUMB officially went on the airwaves with an all-student and volunteer staff, broadcasting to an audience of 1.5 million people. The license was received after years of numerous amendments and resubmittals of lost information, as well as some objections from other commercial and non-commercial radio stations in the area. The license was made possible with support from Chancellor Carlo Golino and his chief of staff, who was an attorney, advocating for the radio station in written letters. Read more about the history of WUMB-FM in the historical note section on page two of the finding aid.

The WUMB-FM collection includes original and photocopied documents, official records (constitution, minutes, by-laws), mimeograph copies, Ditto copies, notes and correspondence, playlists, program guides, surveys, listener correspondence, performance agreements, newspaper articles, lyrics, promotional materials, photographs, contact sheets, slides, negatives, CDs, cassettes, VHS tapes, and more.

Some digitized reel-to-reel audio from the WUMB collection is available through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WUMB and UMass Boston are listed among the America Archive’s participating organizations) by clicking “view all records” here. Materials from the collection that may also be of interest to researchers include the records on the Boston Folk Festival, which was organized by WUMB-FM from 1995 to 2011. This series includes documents on festival planning, songwriting contest lyrics, photographs, posters, and promotional materials.

Read past Open Archives News posts about the WUMB-FM collection:

View the finding aid for the WUMB-FM collection here.

For questions about this collection 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 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 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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