“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.

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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“Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition travels to the Boston Public Library this Saturday

hip hop flyerTime: Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Boston Public Library | Central Library in Copley Square| 700 Boylston Street | Johnson Building | Boston, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Are you a member of the Massachusetts hip-hop community? Artists, producers, DJs, and fans from 1970s through the present day are invited to share photographs, objects, and memories at the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition. Record your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Bring three items (photos, flyers, posters, or clothing) that tell your hip-hop story! We will scan photos, copy digital images, and record your story. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Download the flyer for the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show and remember to share it with your friends and family members! View the event listing on Facebook.

This event is supported by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. 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.” In addition to enabling UASC and project partners at the Boston Public Library to work with the local hip-hop community and scholars to host this thematic Mass. Memories Road Show, the grant will further support four public programs at the BPL showcasing the four original elements of hip-hop culture—music, dance, DJs, and graffiti–to be held later in 2018 and in 2019. Read more 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.

 

Questions? Email Cindy Diggs, Director of Hip-Hop Community Engagement at info@masshiphoparchive.org or Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager, UMass Boston, at 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 10,000 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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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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