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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“Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition travels to the Boston Public Library this Saturday

hip hop flyerTime: Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Boston Public Library | Central Library in Copley Square| 700 Boylston Street | Johnson Building | Boston, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Are you a member of the Massachusetts hip-hop community? Artists, producers, DJs, and fans from 1970s through the present day are invited to share photographs, objects, and memories at the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition. Record your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Bring three items (photos, flyers, posters, or clothing) that tell your hip-hop story! We will scan photos, copy digital images, and record your story. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Download the flyer for the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show and remember to share it with your friends and family members! View the event listing on Facebook.

This event is supported by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. 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.” In addition to enabling UASC and project partners at the Boston Public Library to work with the local hip-hop community and scholars to host this thematic Mass. Memories Road Show, the grant will further support four public programs at the BPL showcasing the four original elements of hip-hop culture—music, dance, DJs, and graffiti–to be held later in 2018 and in 2019. Read more here

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.

 

Questions? Email Cindy Diggs, Director of Hip-Hop Community Engagement at info@masshiphoparchive.org or Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager, UMass Boston, at 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 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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Mass. Memories Road Show heads to Amesbury on Saturday, April 21

Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Amesbury High School  | 5 Highland Street | Amesbury, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Do you have a connection to Amesbury, Massachusetts? Do you live or work in Amesbury? Are your roots in Amesbury? Share your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Please bring 2-3 photographs in their original format (digital or print photographs) and your stories to be recorded. We will scan unframed pictures and copy digital images and return the pictures back to you. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Local support for the Amesbury Mass. Memories Road Show is provided by the Amesbury Carriage Museum and the Amesbury Council on Aging.

For more information about the Amesbury Mass. Memories Road Show, contact Doreen Brothers at (978) 388-8138 x 546 or brothersd@amesburyma.gov, or John Mayer at (978) 834-5058 or jmayer@amesburycarriagemuseum.com. Read more about the event 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. 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.

Download the flyer for the Amesbury Mass. Memories Road Show and remember to share it with your friends and family members!

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 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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Grossmann Gallery art exhibit showcases Native American resilience

Michelle Napoli, Koyanni Alwas/Singing Tree, mixed media on canvas (2017)

 

A new exhibit in the Joseph P. Healey Library’s Grossmann Gallery highlights the work of three Native American artists and examines the theme of Native American resilience through art.

Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, February 1, at 4:00 pm. The event is sponsored by UMass Boston’s Institute for New England Native American Studies (INENAS), the Joseph P. Healey Library, the Student Alliance for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program. It will include talks by the artists, Interim Dean of University Libraries Joanne Riley, and Dr. J. Cedric Woods, the director of INENAS, which is housed at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at UMass Boston.

The three featured artists are Michelle Napoli (Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria—Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo), Nia Holley (Nipmuc Nation), and Kristen Wyman  (Natick Nipmuc). “All three of these artists are inspired by their connections to their coastal homelands,” said Woods.

“The artists use materials such as abalone shells, quahogs, and wampum in their work, which have environmental and cultural significance to their Tribes,” Woods continued. “All three of them are navigating the tensions between their Native cultures and the urban society they live in. And each of them is also unique artistically.”

Visit the display in the Grossmann Gallery on the 5th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. The Grossmann Gallery is open during the library’s regular hours: 7:30 am–10:00 pm on Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am–6:00 pm on Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm on Saturday, and 11:00 am–5:00 pm on Sunday. The exhibition will run through the summer of 2018.

For questions about the exhibition, please email Cedric.Woods@umb.edu or call 617-287-5784.


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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Healey Library receives two National Endowment for the Humanities grants in support of archival collections and community collaboration

The Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is proud to announce that it has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access to support the work of the library’s University Archives and Special Collections department.

Logo for National Endownment for the HumanitiesThe Preservation Assistance Grant will allow University Archives and Special Collections in the Healey Library (UASC) to contract with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) to assess the physical condition of the department’s extensive archival holdings. In addition, the grant will support a public photograph preservation training workshop that will be open to volunteers and professionals working in local historical societies and museums. UASC will use the assessment, resultant recommendations, and knowledge gained in the workshop to develop a 5-year preservation plan to ensure continued access to the unique collections.

“This support from the NEH is a tremendous opportunity to enable us to continue to improve how we preserve our collections,” explained Patricia Bruttomesso, the grant’s principal investigator and the department’s Archival Collections Project Manager. “We are grateful for the funding that will allow us to benefit from NEDCC’s expertise and share knowledge about preserving archival collections with other cultural institutions in the Boston area and across the Commonwealth.”

Edo G, Tony Rhome, Lisa Lee, and Pacey Foster speak on a panel as part of the launch event for the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive in November 2016.

Edo G, Tony Rhome, Lisa Lee, and Pacey Foster speak on a panel as part of the launch event for the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive in November 2016. Photo courtesy of Michael R. Colford.

UASC also received funding through NEH’s Common Heritage grant program to support a project called “Local Rappers, DJs, B-Boys, and Graff: Documenting the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Community from the 1970s to the present.” This funding will enable UASC and project partners at the Boston Public Library to work with the local hip-hop community and scholars to host a digitizing day event to collect photographs, stories, and other materials that will be added to the Healey Library’s Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive. It will further support four public programs at the BPL showcasing the four original elements of hip-hop culture—music, dance, DJs, and graffiti.

“We are looking forward to holding a thematic Mass. Memories Road Show event where everyone connected to hip-hop—musicians, DJs, dancers, graffiti artists, producers, and fans—can bring materials to document their experiences and share personal stories,” says Carolyn Goldstein, the grant’s principal investigator and the department’s Public History and Community Archives Program Manager. “The event will allow UMass Boston’s Healey Library to continue to build a unique collection documenting hip-hop in Massachusetts and, in collaboration with the Boston Public Library, engage a broad public in learning all about this important culture and its place in the Commonwealth.”

“Development of public programs is underway, which will further enable discovery of this important and historic hip hop archive, and Boston Public Library invites all to celebrate Boston’s unique music culture with us beginning this spring,” said Gianna Gifford, Boston Public Library’s Chief of Adult Library Services.

UMass Boston professor and hip-hop historian Pacey Foster notes that “Boston has had a vibrant Hip-Hop scene since the very early 1980s but never quite got the recognition it deserved from the popular press or commercial outlets. As a result, perhaps more than any other major metropolitan area in the nation, the story of Boston hip-hop remains relatively unknown. This project presents an incredible opportunity for the Hip-Hop community in Boston to share their stories and ensure that they remain accessible for generations to come.”

For more information about these grant-funded programs and about University Archives and Special Collections, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

About University Archives and Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoUniversity Archives and Special Collections in the 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 carry out its mission, UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices.

For more information about these grant-funded programs and about University Archives and Special Collections, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these initiatives and programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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