Collections document history of local jazz and the Boston Harbor Islands

University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that six collections of previously unavailable archival material are now open for research. This is the fourth of a series of posts to announce newly available collections, toward the goal of making all of UASC’s collections, both processed and unprocessed, open for research.

Black and white photograph from 1958 depicting radio announcer James Townsend Fitch standing with jazz musicians Clark Terry and Jimmy Ruching in front if a post with arrowed signs each labeled New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago, and New York

John Townsend Fitch and jazz musicians Clark Terry and Jimmy Rushing, 1958

Collections that have not been processed, or that are minimally processed, will be made available upon request to researchers in approximately two to three weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the collection. Contact library.archives@umb.edu for more information.

To learn more about the collections that were made available this week, click the collection title in the list below.

  • Richard Vacca collection, 1939-2012, bulk 1949-1989: Richard Vacca is a writer, independent scholar, researcher, and the owner of Troy Street Publishing, through which he published his book, The Boston Jazz Chronicles: Faces, Places, and Nightlife 1937–1962. These records document the local jazz and blues scene in Boston and beyond. Materials consist of publications such as newsletters, magazines, and books, postcards, one cassette tape, and multiple LP sizes including 12”, 10” (78 RPM) and 7” (45 RPM).
  • John Townsend Fitch papers, 1951-2014, bulk 1951-1961: These records document the life and work of John Townsend Fitch. Fitch obtained a degree in engineering from MIT and went on to work as a radio announcer for WHDH. He became known for his jazz programs under the name of John McLellan from 1950-1961. Materials consist of manuscripts, notes and research, clippings, interviews, publications, certificates, correspondence, sheet music, and photographs of musicians and music during Fitch’s time as a radio and television host for jazz programs in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Suzanne Gall Marsh Boston Harbor Islands collection, 1883-2017, bulk 1990-2017: In 1979, Marsh founded the Boston Harbor Islands Volunteer Corps, later called the Volunteers and Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, and served as a board member. She has worked for the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park as an interpreter and ranger and for Boston Harbor Cruises as a narrator. Marsh also teaches classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. This collection documents the Boston Harbor Islands and Suzanne Gall Marsh’s collecting interests around the islands. Materials consist of newspaper articles and clippings, photographs, negatives, contact sheets, reports, correspondence, notes, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, magazines, books, and maps. Topics related to the Boston Harbor Islands include the waterways, wildlife and other environmental aspects of the islands, native peoples who inhabited the islands, tourism, advocacy, and the history of the islands.
  • Boston Harbor Islands Partnership records, 1998-2017: Created in 1996, the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership is an organization comprised of federal, city, state, and nonprofit agencies that coordinates the management of the Boston Harbor Islands. These records document the activities of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership and include the management of the Boston Harbor Islands and the duties within the partnership and for the public. Materials consist of by-laws, minutes, reports, correspondence, notes, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, clippings, and agendas.
  • Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council records, 1997-2016: The Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council began as a planning committee in 1997 and was officially founded in 1998 with the goal to advise and make recommendations to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. These records document the activities of the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council. Materials consist of by-laws, minutes, reports, plans, correspondence, notes, pamphlets, flyers, clippings, and articles. Topics addressed in the Advisory Council’s records include projects related to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership, educational and recreational tourism, foundational information, historical and cultural information about the islands, and grant and financial information.
  • Boston Harbor Island and National Park and Recreation Area: National Park Services publications, 1994-2016: Originally established in the 1970s and designated as a National Park unit in 1996, the Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area has been managed collaboratively by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership with the aim to protect the islands, make them an integral part of the local communities, and improve public knowledge of and access to the islands as a recreational area.

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.

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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Mass. Memories Road Show heads to Brockton on Saturday, May 18

Flyer for the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show event, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Brockton Public Library.

When: Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Brockton Public Library | 304 Main Street | Brockton, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Do you have a connection to Brockton, Massachusetts? Do you live or work in Brockton? Are your roots in Brockton? 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 images back to you. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Local support for the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show is provided by the Brockton Public Library in collaboration with a number of city agencies and community organizations.

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 Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show here 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 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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Introducing Sarah Collins, new Community Archiving Grant Project Manager

Headshot of Sarah CollinsWe are pleased to announce that Sarah Collins joined the University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston as Community Archiving Grant Project Manager.

Sarah comes to UASC most recently from the New England Aquarium where she worked in interpretive planning, exhibit and program evaluation, and visitor experience. She is an experienced strategic planner and collaborative leader; during her time in Washington, DC, Sarah held project manager positions in education policy nonprofits as well as for the Administrative Office of the US Courts.

She will be putting these skills to good use helping to build on the success of the Mass. Memories Road Show. Through a grant from the Institute for Museums and Library Sciences, UASC will create an accessible, adaptable, and engaging “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of planning event-based participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve. Sarah is thrilled to be helping libraries across the country empower their communities to add their personal stories to the archives.

Sarah received her undergraduate degree in international relations and her master’s degree in museum studies with a concentration in history from the George Washington University.

Welcome to UASC, Sarah!

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Activism, artwork, nineteenth-century Roxbury schools, and Tour de Trump—Oh my!

Picture of the Town of Roxbury, MA school register dated 1846-1848

Town of Roxbury, Mass., school register, 1846-1848

University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that six collections of previously unavailable archival material are now open for research. This is the third in a series of posts to announce newly available collections, toward the goal of making all of UASC’s collections, both processed and unprocessed, open for research.

Collections that have not been processed, or that are minimally processed, will be made available upon request to researchers in approximately two to three weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the collection. Contact library.archives@umb.edu for more information.

To learn more about the collections that were made available this week, click the collection title in the list below.

  • Town of Roxbury school register, 1846-1848: This register documents the activities of the primary school in the Town of Roxbury. The register was a result of the Statute of 1845 Chap. 157, enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives. The registers, intended to last five years, were provided to the school committees by the Secretary of State. The object of the register was to furnish the school committee with facts from which they could make their annual returns. The register also served to exhibit the condition of the school for a series of years, allowing for self-comparison and improvement. The register contains names of the members of the school committee, names of teachers and the value of their board per month, names of parents and guardians, names of students, students’ ages, the dates the students entered and left the school, a record of daily attendance, and a list of books prescribed by the school committee.
  • Paul Atwood activist flyers and publications collection, circa 1968-1971: This collection includes flyers, pamphlets, and activist newspapers. Some of the significant topics represented in this collection include counter culture in Boston, the antiwar movement, the Vietnam War, United States politics of 1968, activism, the expansion of Harvard’s campus, Cambridge rent control, the Black Panthers, racism, and feminism.
  • Activist Pamphlets collection, 1960-1979: This collection contains activist pamphlets, newspapers, and reports published locally, across the United States, and internationally. Some of the topics addressed in the collection include politics, labor, feminism, racism, war, and issues in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East during 1960-1979.
  • Resource file survey cards, circa 1981: These survey cards may have been created as a project after the University Archives and Special Collections department was established at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1981. The cards contain descriptive data of various local activists and community and benevolent organizations and their records.
  • Cover of Tour de Trump magazine. Large photo of cyclist wearing helmet and goggles, small inset photo of Donald Trump with a different cyclist

    Tour de Trump magazine, 1990

    Tour de Trump ephemera, 1990: The Tour de Trump was a sporting event designed to showcase cycling’s elite and was intended to be America’s version of the Tour de France. The event was originally sponsored by Donald Trump’s Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was known as the Tour de Trump in 1989 and 1990. Materials consist of a map guide of the race and the Tour de Trump official 1990 race magazine.

  • Roy Medeiros artwork, circa 1982-1984: The materials in this collection consist of five art pieces created out of spiral-bound notebooks by Roy Medeiros. The titles of the pieces are “Poker,” “Variations in Advertising,” “Self Portrait,” “American Flag Book,” and “Proud to be an American”.

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.

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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Historic university records, publications, and photographs now available for research

University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that six collections of previously unavailable archival material are now open for research.

Man leans against a pole with street signs for Arlington Street and Columbus Avenue in front of a University of Massachusetts building

UMass Boston’s original campus at Park Square in downtown Boston, circa 1964-1974. From UAPHO-0001, box 2, folder 34.

This is the second in a series of posts to announce newly available collections, toward the goal of making all of UASC’s collections, both processed and unprocessed, open for research. Collections that have not been processed, or that are minimally processed, will be made available upon request to researchers in approximately two to three weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the collection. Contact library.archives@umb.edu for more information.

To learn more about the collections that were made available this week, click the collection title in the list below.

  • University of Massachusetts Boston. Office of University Events and Ceremonies records, 1965-2016: Materials include convocation and commencement programs, invitations, and photographs. The programs include the order of events, names of degrees, honorary degrees, certificates, award recipients, and commencement facts and acknowledgements.
  • Publications Office records, 1979-1991: The Publications Office produced the majority of the university’s publications. On August 1, 1998, Chancellor Sherry H. Penney conducted reorganization of several departments at the administrative level to strengthen communication and enrollment efforts. This reorganization created one unit that was responsible for enrollment and communication services. Materials consist of files kept by regular staff and include receipts and correspondence for creating publications such as catalogs, invitations, and posters for various departments across campus. Some of these publications can be found within this collection.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston historical photographs, 1964-2009: These photographs document the history of the University of Massachusetts Boston from its founding in 1964 through 2009. Topics include the planning and establishment of the campus, campus construction, the founding convocation, commencements, student life, campus landscapes, campus building interiors, and campus events. Formats include photographs, slides, negatives, DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston. Government Relations and Public Affairs Office, 1982-2005: The Division of Government Relations and Public Affairs serves as the primary point of contact and source of information about the University of Massachusetts Boston, university events, and achievements. These photographs, negatives and CDs in the collection document the activities of the division.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston. Faculty Senate, 1967-1984: The Faculty Senate is the governing body of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). Its primary task is to attend to collegiate matters, and its actions and views are to be considered the official actions and views of the college. These records document the activities of the Faculty Senate. Materials include by-laws, minutes, reports, correspondence and notes. Materials on various university committees can also be found in the collection.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston. Chemistry Department records, 1971-2012, bulk 1990-2005: These records document the activities of the Chemistry Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Materials consist of files kept by regular staff and faculty, and include semester highlights, annual reports, program proposals, a proposal for the Science College, and correspondence.

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.

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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