Theresa-India Young papers processed and available for research

Theresa-India Young, undated. Courtesy of the Theresa-India Young Estate.

University Archives and Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was awarded a Research Inventory Grant from Mass Humanities in June 2017. This allowed us the opportunity to devote a significant amount of time and resources to acquire, arrange, and describe the papers of noted Boston fiber artist, educator, and artist activist, Theresa-India Young. The collection was donated by Jacqueline McRath, executrix of Young’s estate in 2016. An exhibit showcasing materials from the collection is planned for June 2018 at the Grossmann Gallery in the Joseph P. Healey Library.

The Theresa-India Young papers, spanning 41.75 linear feet, document her work as a fiber artist, interdisciplinary arts teacher, and education consultant working in the Boston area from 1975 to 2008. Young taught studio art and museum education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where a scholarship is endowed in her name. She also taught at the Museum of Fine Arts, Roxbury Community College, Boston Public Schools, Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, Harvard University Museum, Cambridge Friends School, Lesley University, and Wheelock College.

The collection documents her involvement with various Boston communities, including the Piano Craft Guild Tenants’ Association and Piano Factory Gallery, where Young worked as an advocate for her fellow artists at the Piano Factory Studios when rising rent threatened to displace resident artists. Young served as a mentor in her community, helping her colleagues and local youth claim their identities as artists, and pursue opportunities related to those roles.

University Archives and Special Collections, UMass Boston, 1972, Kingston Black Arts Theatre exhibit flyer, artwork by Theresa-India Young

Young mentored Boston youth by developing the Kush Club, a teen docent program, and managed Primal Arts, an educational consulting business that specialized in cultural presentations, art workshops, and museum tours. As a teacher and purveyor of cultural heritage, Young worked to preserve and maintain folk art traditions in her artwork, such as the Gullah heritage of basket weaving. Her work was informed by her research into African aesthetics and traditions, particularly weaving and hair braiding. She was also prolific in ceramics, European Tapestry, and ethnic weaving.

Much of her research is preserved in the collection, in the form of clippings, handwritten notes and varied publications. As a longtime resident of the Piano Factory, Young lived and worked within a dynamic local arts scene. The collection documents her relationships with other local artists, like Allan Rohan Crite, as well as the issues they faced, such as affordable housing.

This collection consists of correspondence, handwritten notes, curriculum research, meeting minutes, scrapbooks, clippings, publications, ephemera, photographs, slides, and original artwork by Young and others, and includes personal papers related to Young’s early years in New York, her education, and genealogical research of her Gullah heritage in South Carolina and Africa.

Logo for Mass Humanities in orange and blue.

This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Research areas include but are not limited to: African-American art and artists in Boston, multicultural education, museum education, and artist tenancy rights. University Archives and Special Collections also hold the records of the Piano Craft Guild Tenants’ Association, 1972-2000, which provide  researchers with a complete picture of Young’s life while living at the Piano Factory Studios.

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.

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 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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Wilmington Mass. Memories Road Show materials available now

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

Julia Barry at the Wilmington MMRS.

Chika Amakor and Julia Barry were among the two dozen students from Wilmington High School who volunteered at the event on September 30, 2017.

 

Hosted by Wilmington High School on Saturday, September 30, 2017, the event was organized by the Wilmington Memorial Library in collaboration with numerous community organizations including the Town of Wilmington Elderly Services and Veterans Affairs departments, Wilmington Public SchoolsWilmington Historical Commission, Wilmington Community Television, Wilmington Community Fund, Sons of Italy, Rotary Club of Wilmington, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Fourth of July Committee, Friendship Lodge, We’re One Wilmington, Abundant Life Church, Wilmington United Methodist Church, St. Dorothy and St. Thomas Villanova Catholic Churches, Wilmington Little League, Wilmington Youth Soccer, Girl Scouts of America, Cub Scout Pack 361, Angels in Motion (A.I.M.), and The Wilmington Town Crier. Over thirty local volunteers–mostly students from the high school–joined a team of UMass Boston staff members, public history graduate students, and “Roadies” to welcome more than 150 adults and children with connections to the suburban town north of Boston.

twinning

“Twinning D’s, 1978. My sister Donna and I are twins. My husband Michael and his brother are also twins. We had our wedding in Wilmington during the Blizzard of ’78. Pictured, from left to right: Donna Paulsen Heffron, Dianna Paulsen DiGregorio, Michael DiGregorio, and Lou DiGregorio.” Contributor: Dianna Paulsen DiGregorio.

 

Participants contributed images of everyday life in the community over the years. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other family gatherings are well documented in the collection. Photographs of family farms, in operation in the decades before the construction of Rt. 128 and Rt. 93, and other local businesses are also included.

 

Julie carnations

“‘Julie’ carnations, named after grower Sigfrid Olson’s granddaughter,  1978. ‘This photo is particularly important because my father developed this new variety of carnation and named it after my husband and my daughter,  Julie, the first of our four children. Julie eventually . . . built a house on the property where the greenhouses once stood. So, although my parents are both deceased, there still are ‘Olsons’ on the property. Location: Lowell Street.” Contributor: Marilyn Penny.

 

Many contributors chose to document time spent in school and extra-curricular activities, sharing photographs of their first day of school as well as participation in sports competitions, marching bands, and homecoming celebrations.

 

Jeanne Ashworth

“Wilmington Skating Club speed skating team, 1950s.  The team represented the town in competitive races throughout New England. Jeanne Ashworth–who in 1960 became the first woman from the United States to win an Olympic medal in speed skating–was a member. Pictured, from left to right: unidentified, ‘Pudge’ Cushing, Charlie Cushing, Jeanne Ashworth, and Pat Cushing.” Contributor: Jack Cushing.

 

Several photographs document the connections forged among individual citizens through the organized activities of civic groups such as the Rotary Club and the Sons of Italy as well as 4th of July parades and other community gatherings, including several held at the public library. Many images depict Wilmington residents’ proud efforts in local politics–campaigning for office, lobbying for causes, and raising funds for new public buildings.

Rotary Club sponsor of parade

‘Rotary Club sponsor of Old Home Days Parade, 1948. When the dental equipment was donated to the high school by the Rotary Club. Pictured: Rotary members.’ Contributor: Bernie Wagstaff.

 

Browse the Wilmington 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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Forty years past: Remembering the Blizzard of ’78

On February 5, 1978, a storm of historic proportion hit the northeastern United States. The Blizzard of ’78 slammed into Massachusetts, stranding thousands and inflicting millions of dollars in damage. The snow brought the state to a week-long standstill as residents banded together to take stock of the damage and clear debris.

Many citizens from across the state have vivid memories of the storm, and Mass. Memories Road Show events over the past decade provided individuals with a chance to preserve their experiences and stories.

Washington Street near Lake Street, Brighton, week of the blizzard of '78. 'During the blizzard of 1978, not only was there an epic amount of snow, but it was unique for the near shutdown of the Boston region for a week. A few days after the storm I took a walk with my camera along the streets of the neighborhood, where no cars were allowed, only people.' Contributor: Charlie Vasiliades

Washington Street near Lake Street, Brighton, week of the blizzard of ’78. ‘During the blizzard of 1978, not only was there an epic amount of snow, but it was unique for the near shutdown of the Boston region for a week. A few days after the storm I took a walk with my camera along the streets of the neighborhood, where no cars were allowed, only people.’ Contributor: Charlie Vasiliades.

 

Photographs in the Mass. Memories Road Show collection commemorate personal losses and sacrifice brought about by the storm.

High tide February 1978 blizzard. 'High tide brought the water level to the edge of MacMillan Wharf, boats almost floating to the pier. My husband (deceased 2011) Anthony Jackett was the owner of the 'Plymouth Belle,' a commercial dragger rigged with top mast for swordfishing. This was the weekend the 'Capt. Bill' was lost at sea. Captain Ralph Andrews and all his crew were lost. Location: MacMillan Wharf.' Contributor: Priscilla Jackett

High tide February 1978 blizzard. ‘High tide brought the water level to the edge of MacMillan Wharf, boats almost floating to the pier. My husband (deceased 2011) Anthony Jackett was the owner of the ‘Plymouth Belle,’ a commercial dragger rigged with top mast for swordfishing. This was the weekend the ‘Capt. Bill’ was lost at sea. Captain Ralph Andrews and all his crew were lost. Location: MacMillan Wharf.’ Contributor: Priscilla Jackett.

 

Other images and stories record residents at work and at play after the blizzard, as community members got back on their feet.

Fighting fire through the Blizzard of 1978. 'My father-in-law, Eugene H. Lorden, Jr.: Deputy Chief, coming up to a home to put out a fire in a stove. Deputy Eugene Lorden would fight through anything to help anyone. That's what impressed me about him.' Contributor: Bill Neville

Fighting fire through the Blizzard of 1978. ‘My father-in-law, Eugene H. Lorden, Jr.: Deputy Chief, coming up to a home to put out a fire in a stove. Deputy Eugene Lorden would fight through anything to help anyone. That’s what impressed me about him.’ Contributor: Bill Neville.

 

See more photos of the Blizzard of ’78 from the Mass. Memories Road Show 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 10,000 photographs, videos, 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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