Library establishes Community Archives Award with event, launches exhibition

From left to right: University Librarian Daniel Ortiz, TIARA presidents and past-presidents Judy Barrett, Janis Duffy, Kathy Roscoe, and Mary Choppa, with University Archivist Joanne Riley

On March 14, 2012, the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston presented the first annual Joseph P. Healey Library Community Archives Award to The Irish Ancestral Research Association, or TIARA, for their work rescuing and preserving the historic records of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters. On the significance of these records, Joanne Riley, University Archivist for UMass Boston, notes that “for many genealogists, history buffs, and Irish families, the Foresters records are a treasure trove of ancestral information.”

Several members of TIARA and the Catholic Association of Foresters were in attendance, as were members of the general public and representatives from programs at UMass Boston. The Award was presented at a reception featuring music and storytelling by Nora Dooley and Susan Miron, and a presentation by TIARA member Susan Steele on what the Foresters records reveal about Massachusetts and U.S. history. In one example, Steele discussed the 1919 death of Foresters member James Lennon who, according to his death certificate, died as a result of the “bursting of molasses tank” in the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, an event that resulted in the deaths of 21 people and injured 150.

The evening also featured the opening of an exhibition by Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston. “Calling the Heart Back Home: Irish-American Stories from the Archives” features images and information about the history of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters (now called the Catholic Association of Foresters) and the genealogically and historically significant information contained within the Foresters records, as well as a range of Irish-American stories as seen through archival images and documents from Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston.

In 2011, TIARA donated the records of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters to Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston and with the acquisition of these records, the department formally launched their Community Archives initiative, with the intention of, said University Archivist Riley, “creating a space where community-based history and archives groups can engage with, learn from, and preserve materials of historical value to their own organizational missions and objectives.”

Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston collects materials that reflect the University’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities, including the Boston Harbor Islands.

This event was sponsored by the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, with the financial assistance of the Catholic Association of Foresters.

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Milton Mass. Memories Road Show May 12, 2012

The Mass. Memories Road Show is coming to MILTON, Mass.!
Do you live, work, or go to school in Milton? The history of Milton is YOUR STORY. Bring 1 to 3 photos for inclusion in a public digital archive. You keep your photos, we scan them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Milton Public Library
Keys Community Room

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“a cruel unnecessarry, unnatural monstrosity”

From the University Archives Collections: here is a 1935 request to the Mass. Catholic Order of Foresters to support a proposal from the “Headquarters for the Repeal of the Daylight Saving Law.”  The handwriting on the typescript letter indicates that the request was rejected by the MCOF (click on image to view enlarged document.)

Transcription:

Headquarters for the Repeal of the Daylight Saving Law
275 Tremont Street, Boston

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee on Resolutions: M.C.O.F. Convention. We have the honor to present to you for your consideration, the subject of repeal of the “Daylight Saving” Law. This law was intended only for the purpose of war: to let it continue in these days when great economic changes have come so fast upon us and when leisure is in abundance on all sides, and will increase, is but to inflict cruelty on those whom we love best, and to whom we we owe every consideration. It is a cruel unnecessarry (sic), unnatural monstrosity; a vicious dislocation of home life, and we look to such great social orders as the M.C.O.F. to encourage us with their moral support, in our petition to the next general court.

Therefore be it resolved; that the Daylight Saving law, be repealed.

Respt. Yours,
[Signature]
Frank E. Bentley, Sec.

May 21, [19]35

 

UASC Collection: Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters. See also: http://blogs.umb.edu/archives/collections/foresters/

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Irish Stories and Tunes Enliven the Archives on March 14th

Along with exhibits, refreshments and illustrated lectures, the UASC gala “Calling the Heart Back Home: Irish-American Stories from the Archives” will feature storyteller Norah Dooley and harpist Susan Miron in a modern re-working of the bardic tradition, combining music and stories to wonderful effect.

The duo is called “The Bard’s Feast” and describes its performances in this way:

In ancient times the bards were not female and not a duo but together we are the The Bard’s Feast. Inspired by the tradition, we are “bringing ‘bardic’ back”, to paraphrase Justin Timberlake.

A Bard’s Feast program combines Irish tunes, many from the repertoire of 18th century blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, with legend, myth and folktales from the vast store of Irish whimsy and tradition. Stories are timeless and living things. Our nontraditional versions of these tales are more products of the storyteller’s seething brain than staid scholarly research.  Leprechauns, the sidhe (fairy people) common folk, heroes and star crossed lovers manifest in the glory of spoken word, entrancing harp and enchanting words.

For the March 14 event at UMass Boston, The Bard’s Feast will present two lively stories: Egg Girl and the Leprechaun, drawn from the traditional repertoire, and Transported – Driving with the Ancestors, more recently minted from Norah’s personal and family history.

Visit The Bard’s Feast website for more information about the bardic tradition, harps, storytelling and more.  And do plan to join us on Wednesday evening, March 14th at UMass Boston.

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Topping Out the ISC

Topping Off – Signing the Beam

The topping out of a construction project is a ceremonial event long observed by ironworkers and others in the construction trades marking the end of steel construction by putting into place a final, signed beam.

On February 16, 2012, hundreds of UMass Boston faculty, staff, students, construction workers and local dignitaries signed the beam to mark this milestone in the construction phase of the $155 million Integrated Science Complex.

Everyone who signed the beam also signed a list that will be preserved in the University Archives.

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