Massachusetts Association of Older Americans records re-processed and available for research

Boston Mayor Kevin White and unidentified women, taken for the publication The Older American, 1975. MA Association of Older American records, University Archives and Special Collections.

Photograph of Boston Mayor Kevin White and unidentified women outside The Mobile Market taken for the publication The Older American, 1975. Massachusetts Association of Older American records, University Archives and Special Collections.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the records of the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans have been re-processed to be more accessible for research.

The Massachusetts Association of Older Americans (MAOA) was founded in 1969 by Frank Manning as a non-profit advocacy agency. The organization works to ensure a dignified life for older people by striving for adequate income, affordable housing, and accessible, quality health care. The statewide membership is comprised of individuals working to keep older people in the mainstream, increase public awareness about aging issues, and build a strong network for elder advocacy in the Commonwealth. An early Faneuil Hall rally organized by MAOA drew more than 1,000 elders to fight for reduced Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) fares. In 1971, MAOA (then called the Massachusetts Legislative Council for Older Americans) gathered 14,000 seniors and supporters at Suffolk Downs to rally for elder issues. Speakers included Frank Manning, Massachusetts House Speaker David Bartley, United States Senator Edward Brooke, and Boston Mayor Kevin White.

Yellow program book cover for the Third Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Legislative Council for Older Americans.

Cover of program book for Third Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Legislative Council for Older Americans, held on April 23, 1971, at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. The event and rally was attended by around 14,000 people and included remarks by a number of local and national public officials.

MAOA’s advocacy efforts led to the creation of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in 1971, which was one of the first cabinet-level senior agencies in the nation. MAOA is also responsible for helping to end mandatory retirement at age 65. MAOA continues to advocate for increased funding for home care, nutrition, and fuel assistance, and some of MAOA’s current programs include mental health programs, elder advocacy training for interested groups throughout the state, and SeniorNet, which provides computer training. MAOA collaborates with the UMass Boston Gerontology graduate programs and a number of other groups, such as Boston Partnership of Older Adults, Mature Workers coalition, Senior Actualization and Growth Expectations-Boston Collaborative, Senior Housing Coalition, the Senior Pharmacy Coalition, Action for Boston Community Development, Massachusetts Home Care, and the Massachusetts Councils on Aging and Senior Centers.

The re-processed collection includes organizational files, membership lists, board meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, and the organization’s by-laws. The collection also includes files related to the Legislative Council of Older Americans and materials used as part of the organization’s advocacy efforts and research. A run from 1975 to 2000 of the MAOA’s quarterly newsletter, The Older American, is available as part of Series IV in the re-processed collection.

View the finding aid for the records of the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans here.

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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1919 Boston Police Strike Project online course up and running

Police officer John J. Doyle went on strike in 1919. Source: Steve Doyle.

Police officer John J. Doyle went on strike in 1919. Source: Steve Doyle.

On September 9, 1919, more than 1,000 City of Boston police officers walked off the job to fight for union recognition and improved working conditions. In the days that followed, they lost their employment and public sympathy, their stories relegated to historical footnotes.

One hundred years later, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Joseph P. Healey Library and the Boston Police Department Archives will celebrate the centennial of the 1919 Boston Police Strike. Together, the two institutions will launch a comprehensive database profiling the men who went on strike. This project is dependent on volunteers. To date, a growing team of community researchers have investigated the stories of over 500 “men behind the strike.”

Each volunteer researcher receives training in biographical research methods and our project-specific worksheet. After demonstrating proficiency with the research process, researchers are invited to fill out a worksheet for a striker. Every single worksheet takes us one step closer to a complete database of striker biographies.

Volunteer researchers learn to build a biographical profile from the information contained in a single duty roster card. Source: Boston Police Department Archives.

Volunteer researchers learn to build a biographical profile from the information contained in a single duty roster card. Source: Boston Police Department Archives.

A new online course, “Doing Biographical Research: The 1919 Boston Police Strike Project,” provides training to prospective researchers remotely. The course is free, self-paced, and open to the public. Researcher and recent “Doing Biographical Research” graduate Kayla Skillin said of the course:

The online course that was put together by the project staff was a great introduction to the project and really outlined what they are looking for for each striker. I think this would be a great course to take not only for volunteers, but also anyone who would like to improve on their own online genealogy research skills!”

Get on board!

To learn more about the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project, visit http://blogs.umb.edu/bpstrike1919.

Interested in getting involved and staying connected? Join the mailing list.

Want to jump right to the course? Enroll here!

 

 

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“Boston and the Irish Language” oral history interviews available now

Mike Newell interviewing Johnny Joyce the morning of May 21, 2016, at the Irish Cottage, Irish Cultural Centre 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA. Two men seated. Man on left wearing purple sweater over white collared shirt and gray pants, man on right wearing blue polo shirt and khaki pants.

Mike Newell interviewing Johnny Joyce the morning of May 21, 2016, at the Irish Cottage, Irish Cultural Centre 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA.

The first video interviews from “Boston and the Irish Language: Fifty Years of Cultural Connection in Oral History” are now available for research. The project documents the life stories of recent immigrants from Ireland to greater Boston whose first language is Irish. The interviews explore shared experiences of emigration, assimilation, employment, and the challenge that Irish-speaking Americans experience in maintaining cultural memory and contact with communities in the homeland and in the United States. Each interview in the collection is presented with a brief biographical summary, Irish-language transcriptions, and English translations.

Screenshot from interview with Johnny Molloy, 2017 . Man wearing maroon shirt, seated on floral couch.

Screenshot from interview with Johnny Molloy, 2017

Researchers can access the first two video interviews of “Boston and the Irish Language.” Johnny Joyce (born in 1936) of Inis Bearachain (Inishbarra) and Dorchester, describes his experiences as a former pressman for the Boston Globe who organized local dances and music sessions as well as currach races on Carson Beach. Johnny Molloy (born in 1938) of Bantrach Ard, South Boston and North Easton, recalls his days working as a Boston police officer, teaching Irish, and participating in local music sessions. View the interviews here.

The project is coordinated by Brian Frykenberg of Cumann na Gaeilge imBoston (The Irish Language Society of Boston), with assistance from Assistant Professor Natasha Sumner and doctoral student Greg Darwin in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. At UMass Boston’s University Archives & Special Collections, Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager, and Andrew Elder, Interim University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections, serve as general advisors.

Screenshot from interview with Johnny Joyce, 2016. Head and shoulders image of man wearing purple sweater over white collared shirt.

Screenshot from interview with Johnny Joyce, 2016

By February 2019, the “Boston and the Irish Language” team plans to conduct and record a total of ten interviews with speakers of Connemara Irish living in the Boston area. In addition to the two interviews currently available, two further interviews—with Peggy Cloherty of Brookline and Mary O’Toole of Hanover—have been conducted and are currently being transcribed and processed. Project coordinators are actively seeking further narrators for the initial phase of this project, and they welcome interviewees from throughout New England, and from every Irish-language speaking area in Ireland, as the scope of this project broadens.

A public presentation on the project themes will be delivered during the coming academic year. Check this site for future updates.

The project is sponsored by Cumann na Gaeilge imBoston (The Irish Language Society of Boston) and supported by a grant from Mass Humanities.

For more information, contact Brian Frykenberg: 978-289-7060 (cell), frykenberg@comcast.net.


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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People’s History – Local History

Front of Mass History Conference postcard: top half has black background with "people's history - local history" text; bottom half has red background with children's drawings and "why my family came to Lowell" handwritten textWhat: 14th Annual Mass History Conference

When: Monday, June 4, 2018 | 8:30 am – 5:15 pm

Where: Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.

Complete conference program.

Online registration is open.

Click here for directions.

Our history organizations face the task preserving and presenting “the” history of forever more rapidly changing communities and contexts. The 14th annual Mass History Conference offers peer sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities to explore and learn about new ways and new communities in public history, and the roles historical organizations do and can play to become part of the social dialogue: program diversity, collaborative approaches to exhibit and program building, finding common grounds between technology, art, and history to enrich all, a broad focus on the community of communities — the process of people coming together in one place as they move from town to town and around the world.

Hosted by the Mass History Alliance, an organization to support and advocate for all public history organizations and their work in Massachusetts.

Logo: Mass History Conference in blue text, artistic sketch of Massachusetts outline in orange, white backgroundSupported by Mass Humanities, Robert Forrant, Michael Potaski, University Products, New England Archivists, Massachusetts Historical Society, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (MA SHRAB), University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Tracks, and the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

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Collecting and preserving hip-hop history in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston

Members of the hip-hop community fill out paperwork about photographs and items they plan to contribute to the Mass. Memories Road Show.

Volunteers and contributors at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition.

Well over 200 community members joined us at the Boston Public Library this past Saturday to share photographs, objects, and memories at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition. In all, we collected about 300 digital images of items ranging from photographs and concert posters to t-shirts and album covers. We also recorded about 60 video interviews with community members throughout the day about their connections to hip-hop in Boston and Massachusetts.

Six people in front of a graffiti painting.

Cindy Diggs (AKA “Mother Hip Hop”), center, with contributors at the Mass. Memories Road Show. Diggs served as Director of Hip-Hop Community Engagement for the event.

It will take University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston 2-3 months to fully process this collection and make it available for the world to see at openarchives.umb.edu. Once it’s there all contributors will be notified. [Update: This collection is now online. Read more and view the digital collection here.]

Logo for National Endownment for the Humanities

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations in this program do not necessarily express those of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

This event was supported by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor, as well as support by the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund. It is part of a larger project called “Local Rappers, DJs, B-Boys, and Graff: Documenting the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Community from the 1970s to the present.” Learn more about this project here.

Contribute to the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive

In 2016, University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston launched the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive with an initial donation by Pacey Foster of recordings from the Lecco’s Lemma radio program. Learn more here and explore the Lecco’s Lemma Collection.

Image lists the kinds of materials we collect: Audio and video recordings (cassettes, videotapes, and film reels); Original photographs, negatives, and slides; Flyers, promotional materials, and unique publications and magazines; Letters, diaries, and other firsthand accountsAs we continue to develop this new collection area, University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston is now focusing on donations of original and unique archival materials from musicians, DJs, breakdancers, graffiti artists, producers, promoters, and fans that will help us document the rich heritage and legacy of hip-hop culture in Boston and Massachusetts.

Do you have original and unique materials related to hip-hop in Boston and Massachusetts that you think should become part of the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive? Contact an archivist at UMass Boston to learn more.

What’s next: Digitized Massachusetts Rock Against Racism videos online soon

Massachusetts Rock Against Racism (RAR) was co-founded in the Boston area in 1979 at a time when the City of Boston and its surrounding areas were “rocked by racism.” The RAR organizational records are part of University Archives & Special Collections. Learn more and view the finding aid here. We recently completed digitization of approximately 100 videos from the RAR collection and this summer,  thanks to a grant from the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, we will complete descriptive work on these videos, which include documentary films, outtakes, interviews, and concert footage.

As a sneak peek of what this amazing collection has to offer, embedded below is “Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin’: A Rockumentary,” which was filmed at Madison Park High School in Roxbury, Mass., on June 9, 1985. The footage includes performances by a number of artists, as well as a breakdance battle between the Floor Lords and HBO.

Breakin’ Rappin’ Poppin’ and Graffin’: A Rockumentary, Presented by Mass. Rock Against Racism (1985 June 9) from UMass Boston Archives on Vimeo.

The digitized and described Massachusetts Rock Against Racism collection of videos will be available online soon. Keep visiting this site for more information and for updates.

If you have questions about the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive, please contact an archivist at UMass Boston or connect with the project on Facebook.


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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