Our Collections

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts 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 the University of Massachusetts 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.

At present, University Archives & Special Collections is particularly interested in expanding its collections related to the Boston Harbor Islands and Boston bicycling history.

Additionally, UASC has assumed curatorial responsibility for the archival and manuscript collections acquired by the University’s William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences that relate to the study of the Vietnam War.

Read recent blogs posts about UASC holdings.

To carry out its mission, University Archives & Special Collections 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, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

The nearly 300 collections in University Archives & Special Collections are divided into two broad categories:

  1. University Archives constitutes the official records, publications, and photographs of the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as materials documenting preceding institutions such as the Boston Normal School and Boston State College.
  2. Special Collections includes collections that reflect the University’s urban mission and strong support of community service, and contains records of social welfare organizations, community organizations and alternative movements, and local history, as well as collections that document issues related to war and social consequence. Also contained in the department’s Special Collections is a selection of rare and special books.

We welcome inquiries about donating materials to University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Click here for more information.


Explore Our Collections

Finding Aids
University Archives & Special Collections has nearly 300 archival collections. The finding aids to these collections provide detailed information about our materials.
Browse our finding aids.

Digital Collections
Many images, audio and video interviews, documents, and publications from our collections are available to researchers as part of our digital collections and are online at openarchives.umb.edu. Digital collections in University Archives & Special Collections range from oral history interviews, to publications from around the world, to photographs documenting the history of UMass Boston.
Explore our digital collections.

ScholarWorks at UMass Boston
ScholarWorks is UMass Boston’s 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.
Explore ScholarWorks.

Foresters Mortuary Records
University Archives & Special Collections acquired the historical organizational records of the Catholic Association of Foresters in 2012, thanks to the efforts of members of The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA). TIARA rescued the records from consignment to the dumpster and served as able custodian of this collection from 2005 – 2011.
Search the Foresters records.

Mass. Memories Road Show
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. The Mass. Memories Road Show is produced by the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston and is co-sponsored by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund.
Learn more about the Mass. Memories Road Show.
Explore the Mass. Memories Road Show.

For additional assistance or to schedule a research visit, please contact us at library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5469.

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