Records documenting the planning and establishment of UMass Boston: Newly available for research

Frederick S. Troy, John W. Lederle, Joseph P. Healey, Robert D. Gordon, Hugh Thompson, Louis M. Lyons, and Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody (seated) at the signing of the bill establishing the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1964.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the availability of materials documenting the planning and establishment of the University of Massachusetts Boston almost 50 years ago.

These records document the University of Massachusetts’ planning activities for a Boston campus, including dealings with the legislature and copies of the founding legislation. Items in the collection include planning documents, consultants’ reports, state acts, statements of purpose, minutes of meetings, memoranda, and materials documenting the Founding Convocation. The University of Massachusetts Boston was established in 1964 as the second campus of the University of Massachusetts system (after Amherst), which now includes campuses in Lowell, Dartmouth, and Worcester (Medical School).

View the finding aid for this collection.

These records have been reprocessed and reorganized by Jessica Holden, Special Projects Archivist/Librarian, as part of the University Archives & Special Collections’ activities in preparation for the University’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned: University Archives & Special Collections will soon be launching a site to enable members of the University community to share their stories about UMass Boston. Subscribe to email updates at blogs.umb.edu/archives for up-to-date information.


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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University Archivist to discuss community archiving projects as part of BPL lecture series

When: May 22, 2012 | 6:00-7:00 pm

Where: Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02117

This talk is FREE and open to the public.

University Archivist Joanne Riley will present a talk titled “Memories and Mortuary Records: Community Archiving Projects at UMass Boston” in the Commonwealth Salon at the Boston Public Library (700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02117) on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Description from the Boston Public Library:

UMass Boston houses many archival collections that are utilized by family historians and researchers interested in exploring Boston and Massachusetts cultural history through the lives of individuals. The University’s collections include more than 4,000 stories and images in the “Mass. Memories Road Show” project, hundreds of case records from the Boston Female Asylum, and more than 30,000 mortuary records from the Massachusetts Catholic Association of Foresters between 1880 and 1940. Joanne Riley will share examples from these collections, and will discuss the fascinating, productive, and sometimes challenging interplay among individuals, communities, and institutional archives. Since 2010, Ms. Riley has served as University Archivist at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

This talk is part of the BPL’s Local & Family History Lecture Series.

Explore images and stories from the Mass. Memories Road Show here. And learn more about the Foresters Records 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 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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Exhibition features interviews, photographs about Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo

On Monday, April 22, 2013, University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston opened an exhibition in the Library’s Grossmann Gallery about the history and work of Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo).

The exhibition, titled “Nunca Más”: Niños Desaparecidos en Argentina y Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (“Never Again”: Disappeared Children in Argentina and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), opened as part of an event celebrating of the life and work of biologist and human rights activist Rita Arditti and the many donations made by Arditti and her Executors to the Library at UMass Boston.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is a human rights organization founded in 1977 to search for disappeared children who were abducted or born into captivity during the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. The Grandmothers’ goal was to find these children and return them to their biological families. The Grandmothers’ work led to the creation of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the establishment of a National Genetic Data Bank.

In the early 1990s, Arditti traveled to Buenos Aires to interview the Grandmothers. She incorporated the interviews into her book Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina (1999). Two additional interviews with the Grandmothers were conducted in 2011 by Estelle Disch, Professor Emerita at UMass Boston and Executor of the Estate of Rita Arditti.

The Rita Arditti Collection contains audio files, interview transcriptions, and photographs of the Grandmothers. The materials were donated to University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston in 2011.In this exhibition, sponsored by University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, are photographs of the Grandmothers who were interviewed by Arditti and Disch. Accompanying each photograph is an excerpt from that Grandmother’s interview in the original Spanish as well as an English translation.

The exhibition will be on display in the Healey Library’s Grossmann Gallery through the fall.

Explore this collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

For additional information, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5944.


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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Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show a resounding success

Volunteers and contributors at the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show, March 16, 2013

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, as part of the town’s 300th Anniversary Celebration, the Mass. Memories Road Show visited Lexington, Massachusetts, and collected more than 300 photographs and stories from community members about their lives, their families, and their memories of Lexington.

Two hundred and eighty-one community members attended this Road Show event, which was part of series of activities for the LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend held at Lexington High School.

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 video are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database at openarchives.umb.edu.

A Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show contributor, and Battle of Lexington reenactor, describes his photo contribution, sword in hand, to the Mass. Memories Road Show digital archive.

The Mass. Memories Road Show is an initiative of University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The photos and stories from the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show are currently being processed by archives staff and will be available online soon. It typically takes archives staff 2-3 months to fully process and incorporate images and stories into the digital collection.

Keep checking this site for up to date information.

Contact University Archives & Special Collections with any questions.


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 8,000 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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Archives of an Activist: Celebrating the Donations of Rita Arditti to UMass Boston

Date: Monday, April 22, 2012

Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Location: Joseph P. Healey Library (5th floor), University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125-3393.

Please RSVP for this event by emailing library.archives@umb.edu or by calling 617-287-5944.

The Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston invites you to celebrate the life and work of Rita Arditti, as well as the many donations made by Arditti and her Executors to the Library at UMass Boston, on Monday, April 22, 2013.

Arditti was an Argentinean professor living in the United States who learned about Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, pictured above), an organization that searches for children who were abducted during the Argentinean military dictatorship between 1976-1983. Arditti visited the Grandmothers and conducted more than a dozen interviews, which were incorporated into her book Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina. Arditti spoke publicly about the Grandmothers’ work until her death in 2009.

Additional interviews were conducted in 2011 by  Estelle Disch, Rita Arditti’s partner and literary executor. The interview materials were donated to University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston in 2011.

Join us for this celebration, which will include an exhibition in the Library’s Grossmann Gallery about the Grandmothers and the disappeared children of Argentina. Speakers will include Estelle Disch, Doris Cristobal, Dean of Libraries Daniel Ortiz, and University Archivist Joanne Riley.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP by emailing library.archives@umb.edu or by calling 617-287-5944.

For more information, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.


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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