Moving from Park Square to Columbia Point: Records document the search for a permanent UMass Boston campus

Buildings on the newly opened Columbia Point Campus of UMass Boston, circa 1974.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the availability of a set of records that document the search in the late 1960s for a permanent campus site for the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The University of Massachusetts Boston was established in 1964, with its first campus opening in downtown Boston at Park Square. Shortly thereafter, the University began a search for a permanent campus location elsewhere in the Boston area. The search culminated with the establishment of the Columbia Point campus in 1974. These records document the search for a new campus, the various sites that were considered, and the public’s reactions to the move away from Park Square.

Materials span 1966-1969 and include consultants’ reports, maps, memoranda, press releases, correspondence, and statements for and against the establishment of a University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point.

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.


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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Interviews with UMass Boston founding faculty: Now online

Founding faculty from UMass Boston, circa 1965. Included are Eisenmann Oral History Project interviewees: Thomas Brown (second row from the front, seventh from the left); Paul Gagnon (third row, on the far left); Don Costello (third row, fourth from the left); George Goodwin (fourth row, on the far left); and Shaun O’Connell (fourth row, third from the left). Click on the image to learn more.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the online availability of interview transcripts and audio files from the Linda Eisenmann UMass Boston Oral History Project.

In the fall semester of 1998, students in the Higher Education Administration Doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, under the direction of Professor Linda Eisenmann, completed a series of oral history interviews with founding faculty members at UMass Boston.

Faculty members were identified and invited to participate by Paul Gagnon, former dean and professor at UMass Boston, and Don Costello, the first admissions director of UMass Boston. Students in the Higher Education History course made arrangements directly with the faculty and conducted the interviews. Interviewees were informed that the oral histories would be used first in class, but would later become part of the permanent archives of the institution. Students followed a defined protocol in conducting the interviews; therefore, questions and topics are consistent across the interviews.

Browse this collection.


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 invites applications for 2014

Gathering at Herring Pond Indian Church for a Pow Wow, Plymouth, Massachusetts, c. 1928. Contribution by Rhoda Harding at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show, May 5, 2013.

The University Archives & Special Collections Department at the Joseph P. Healey Library welcomes applications from communities and organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to partner with us to hold a Mass. Memories Road Show next year.

The Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS) is an event-based public history project that digitizes family photos and memories shared by the people of Massachusetts. We work with local communities to organize free public events where residents are invited to bring up to three family photos to be scanned and included in the archives at UMass Boston and online at http://openarchives.umb.edu. Contributors can also share “the story behind the photos” on video, have their own “keepsake photo” taken, and receive advice from professional archivists and historians on dating and caring for their family photos.

Another important goal of the project is to bring together local residents of all ages, ethnicities, races and backgrounds in lively and thoughtfully planned public events that celebrate each person’s family history and contribution to the community—whether they have lived there for generations or are recently arrived. We hope that both the events and the resulting digital archive will help build and strengthen connections within the communities of Massachusetts.

To date, the project has digitized more than 4,000 photos and stories from across the state, creating an educational resource of primary sources for future generations. Over time, we hope to visit each of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Recent Mass. Memories Road Shows include Peabody, Lexington, and Stoughton.  Plans for later in 2013 include a Road Show in Provincetown on Saturday, September 28, and a thematic Road Show exploring the Irish Immigrant Experience, to be hosted at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton on Saturday, November 16.

Application materials can be found here.  The deadline for applications is Friday, July 19, 2013.

For information, please contact Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager, at carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu or (617) 287-5929.

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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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