Bicycling publications in University Archives & Special Collections

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that a number of our collections related to the history of bicycling have been processed and are now available for research. This is the fourth of several planned posts on Open Archives News that will highlight some of the recently-processed collections in University Archives & Special Collections related to the history of bicycling.

The Bicycle Network: Network News

The Bicycle Network: Network News

Bicycle Network: Network News publication, 1981-1999

Network News was the clipping service of the Bicycle Network that was started in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by John Dowlin. The clippings were presented as a bound publication that included articles from around the world pertaining to bicycling. Network News was published on a quarterly basis from 1980 to 1999. The collection spans 1.5 linear feet. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Hub Cycle and Radio Company 45th Anniversary publication, 1942

Hub Cycle and Radio Company 45th Anniversary Scrapbook, 1897-1942, published in Boston, Massachusetts, is a rare booklet describing the history of bicycling. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Hub Cycle and Radio Co. 45th Anniversary, 1897-1942 scrapbook

Hub Cycle and Radio Co. 45th Anniversary scrapbook, 1897-1942

The publications mentioned in this article are just two of the many publications in University Archives and Special Collections related to the history of bicycling, from the League of American Wheelmen Bulletin to Bicycle USA  to Pedal for Power. Keep reading Open Archives News for updates about when additional collections and publications are processed and available to researchers. Read more about the various bicycling-related collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston here, and learn more about researching the history of bicycling here.

For questions about these collections 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.

Bookmark and Share

American Youth Hostel records: Explore the history of bicycling in this newly-processed collection

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that a number of our collections related to the history of bicycling have been processed and are now available for research. This is the third of several planned posts on Open Archives News that will highlight recently-processed collections in University Archives & Special Collections related to the history of bicycling.

American Youth Hostels, photograph of bicycling tour, circa 1950-1959. Pictured are a group of cyclists on a tour coordinated by the American Youth Hostels.

American Youth Hostel records, 1874-2012, bulk 1936-2007

The idea of the youth hostel was conceived in 1909 by Richard Shirrmann, an elementary school teacher living in the industrial center of Germany, who wanted to introduce youth to the countryside (1). Shirrmann’s idea caught on and by 1932, Germany had more than 2,000 youth hostels recording more than 4.5 million overnights annually. In the meantime, the movement spread throughout Europe as another 600 hostels opened (2).

That same year, the first international meeting for hosteling associations was held in Amsterdam to develop common standards, and the International Youth Hostel Federation was formed. Isabel and Monroe Smith, American school teachers and scout leaders, attended the second international meeting in 1933 (1).

In 1934, the Smiths established the first American Youth Hostel (AYH) in Northfield, Massachusetts. A chain of hostels was subsequently set up in Vermont and New Hampshire in the summer of 1935. These early hostels were located on farms, with support from a local committee (2).

American Youth Hostels photograph of Dr. Dudley White with a group of cyclists, circa 1950-1959

It didn’t take long for the youth hostel movement and its mission to spread. By May 8, 1947, the proposed by-laws from Article II of the Greater Boston Council of the American Youth Hostel stated: “the purpose of the Council shall be to help all, but especially young people, to a greater knowledge, use and love of the countryside, and to make available to them the cultural and educational benefits of travel, both here and abroad, particularly by establishing, maintaining and inspecting youth hostels within the Greater Boston area and assisting in their establishment in the surrounding areas; by arranging hiking, cycling, skiing and other trips or activities, and training trip leaders; and by providing an information service; to maintain a Council office and staff; to endeavor to promote within the Greater Boston area the development and greater service of youth hostels generally” (3).

The AYH incorporated bicycling as part of their programming during the Great Depression, appealing to the AYH mission to promote travel, health, and the enjoyment of the outdoors (4). AYH cycling tours in length and included day trips and overnight trips exploring the countryside, neighboring communities, various states, and Canada.

By the post-war period, the bicycling world often merged with the AYH. During the 1950s, future founder of the Charles River Wheelmen, Fred Chaffee, led popular cycle and nature tours at AYH (4). In 1964, AYH joined the bicycle industry to kick off “American Bike Month” in response to the increase in pollution (4). John Leek, who worked from 1975-1978 at the Bicycle Repair Collection in Cambridge, and hosted the first office of Bikes Not Bombs, led many AYH bicycle tours (4). During the mid- to late-1980s, the AYH joined the Boston Area Bicycling Coalition and the Charles River Wheelmen to host numerous Grape Nuts Bike Festivals in Boston (4).

American Youth Hostels newsletter, 1941 May 8

The American Youth Hostel records consist of board agenda, minutes, reports, charters, contracts, notes, newsletters, correspondence, by-laws, flyers, clippings, maps, photographs, scrapbooks, CDs, and one VHS tape. A listing of American Youth Hostel clubs established between 1965 and 1967 resides in folder 19 of Series I. A short history on hostels entitled “Highroad to Adventure – The Hostel Way: A slide show by the Greater Boston Council American Youth Hostels, by Stephen Sloss, 1977” can be found in Series VI. Scrapbooks.

View the finding aid for this collection here.

Read more about the various bicycling-related collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston here, and learn more about researching the history of bicycling here. To learn more about the AYH’s involvement in and the cultural history of bicycling keep an eye out for the anticipated 2018 publication of Boston’s 20th Century Bicycling Renaissance: Cultural Change on Two Wheels by Lorenz J. Finison.

For questions about these collections or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

  1. “Hostelling International USA: History of Hostelling.” HI USA. 2014. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.
  2. Series I. Organizational Records, 1945-2011, folder 17. Leader’s Manuel Part 1 revised, January 1991.
  3. Series I. Organizational Records, 1945-2011, folder 1. Secretary’s reports [minutes], 1945- 1950.
  4. Finison, Lorenz J. Boston’s 20th Century Bicycling Renaissance: Cultural Change on Two WheelsAnticipated publication 2018.

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.

Bookmark and Share

Ralph Galen, the Mass. Bicycle Coalition, and the Charles River Wheelmen: Explore the history of bicycling in these newly-processed collections

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that a number of our collections related to the history of bicycling have been processed and are now available for research. This is the second of several planned posts on Open Archives News that will highlight collections related to the history of bicycling.

Documents from the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) records, 1971-2010, bulk 1976-1998

Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) records, 1971-2010, bulk 1976-1998: These records document the activities of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike), as well as the preceding organization, the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition (the name changed in 1994). Materials consist of files kept by Doug Mink and regular staff and include board agendas and minutes, reports, correspondence, by-laws, articles, newsletters, flyers, clippings, and maps. View the finding aid for this collection here.

WheelPeople published by the Charles River Wheelmen, volume 7, number 7, 1981 July

Michael Hanauer: Charles River Wheelmen collection 1980-2012, bulk 1980-1990: This collection documents the activities of the Charles River Wheelmen Board of Directors during the 1980s, as well as the activities of Mike Hanauer, who acted as secretary, vice president, president, and LAW/CRW Area Rep for the Charles River Wheelmen. Materials include board minutes, correspondence, notes, by-laws, reports, and brochures, including an incomplete run of WheelPeople, a monthly newsletter of the Charles River Wheelmen from 1982 through 2012. Electronic copies after 2012 are available from the Charles River Wheelmen. This collection also contains personal materials, including the articles Hanauer wrote for WheelPeople and other publications, brochures of various bicycle tours, various newsletters of other bicycle clubs, and ephemera. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Ralph Galen papers, 1959-2012: Dr. Ralph W. Galen, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, resided for many years in Lexington and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Galen completed his graduate work in orthodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1954 and practiced orthodontia in Cambridge for around forty years.

21 June 1969. The parade at Rockport, MA. Dr. Ralph Galen in front. Dr. Paul Dudley White behind.

In 1967, Galen co-founded the Charles River Wheelmen bicycle club with his friend Fred Chafee, and later became president of the League of American Wheelmen, a national bicycling organization established in 1880. Learn more about the records of the League of American Wheelmen here. In his early years with these organizations, Galen rode to Expo 67, part of Canada’s Centennial celebration in 1967, and across the United States. Later, he rode through thirteen countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and authored a book about his journey entitled 2 Wheels 2 Years & 3 Continents: A Bicyclist’s Dream Fulfilled. Over the course of his lifetime he rode “boneshakers,” “high wheelers,” tandems, fixed gear, and road bicycles. He amassed a collection of antique bicycles, which he later donated to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts. Galen received two patents along with fellow inventor John Vanderpoel, one for a bicycle safety flag apparatus, in 1997, and another for a bicycle rack, in 1976. He also invented a side mirror, which clamps onto the front fork next to the front wheel of the bicycle. He applied for a patent but it is unclear if it was granted. Galen passed away on July 27, 2013, at the age of 88 at his home in Woburn, Massachusetts. (paraphrased from Galen obituary)

This collection documents the activities of Ralph Galen as co-founder of the Charles River Wheelmen, including the activities of the Charles River Wheelmen Board of Directors dating from the early 1970s. Formats include minutes, notes, and agendas. The collection also contains personal materials, including records of Galen’s inventions for bicycles, correspondence with friends and family, and Galen’s notes and writings pertaining to articles and his book, as well as photographs and slides of Galen’s bicycle trips with friends. Included in the collection is an incomplete run of Charles River Wheelmen newsletters, which later became known as WheelPeople. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Read more about the various bicycling-related collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston here, and learn more about researching the history of bicycling here.

For questions about these collections 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.

Bookmark and Share

Bicycling tours, AIDS rides, and scrapbooks: Explore the history of bicycling in these newly-processed collections

The Wheelmen (first issue), volume 1, number 1, summer 1970

The Wheelmen (first issue cover), volume 1, number 1, summer 1970.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that a number of our collections related to the history of bicycling have been processed and are now available for research. This is the first of several planned posts on Open Archives News that will highlight some of the recently-processed collections in University Archives & Special Collections related to the history of bicycling.

One recently-processed collection is related to The Wheelmen, an organization founded in 1967 at Hoopes Reservoir in Wilmington, Delaware. The organization’s mission is to promote the restoration and riding of antique bicycles produced before 1918 and encourage bicycling. Members receive a subscription to the biannual magazine The Wheelmen as part of their dues. The Wheelmen publication includes research articles, stories, book reviews, and pictures from the past and present. The back cover of the publication contains a list of The Wheelmen National Officers and Captains at the time of that issue’s publication. University Archives & Special Collections holds a full run of The Wheelman from 1970 through 2015. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Read more about the generous donation of The Wheelmen and view a video of the magazine’s Publications Chair, Stephen Hartson, riding a replica of a late nineteenth-century high wheeler on the UMass Boston campus in our April 2016 story “High Wheelin’ around the UMass Boston campus.”

Sharon's Bicentennial Bicycle Tour: Re-enactment of the Historic "Wheel Around the Hub," flyer, 1965

Sharon’s Bicentennial Bicycle Tour: Re-enactment of the Historic “Wheel Around the Hub” flyer, 1965.

The Stuart Bradford Nova Scotia Bicycling Tour collection documents the Nova Scotia bicycling tour that followed the League of American Wheelmen Round-up event in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1969. The Rockport Rally was led by Dr. Paul Dudley White and included trick bicycle riders, unicyclists, and high wheelers. The day after the rally, cyclists participating in the Nova Scotia Tour continued on to Bar Harbor, Maine, where they took a ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for a week of cycling. Cyclists came from as far as Chicago, ranged in age from 11 to 61, and included members of the League of American Wheelmen, the Charles River Wheelmen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Cyclists Touring Club. Materials in this collection include the National League of American Wheelmen Bulletin, maps, and information on the Nova Scotia post-roundup tour in 1969. View the finding aid for this collection here.

The Charles River Wheelmen, Post-Roundup tours of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, 1969

The Charles River Wheelmen, Post-Roundup tours of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, 1969.

The Chet Johnson bicycling collection documents the October 12, 1965, re-enactment of the annual bicycle tour “Wheel Around the Hub” by the Boston Bicycle Club in 1879, as described in a February 1880 issue of the popular magazine Scribner’s Monthly. The original tour traveled one hundred miles around Greater Boston, with bicyclists from a number of bicycling clubs riding high wheelers. The re-enactment in 1965 followed the original route, which included Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Brook Farm, First Canal, Fairbanks House, Dedham, Readville, Blue Hill, Ponkapoag, Canton, and Sharon’s Cobb Tavern. Materials in the Chet Johnson collection include newspaper clippings, a flyer, Chet Johnson’s Safety League Membership Card, a decal, and a pamphlet from the Bicycle Institute of America. View the finding aid for this collection here.

Daily Ride Guide, Massachusetts Red Ribbon Ride, 2005.

The Andi Genser AIDS bicycle rides collection (2005 to 2010) documents Genser’s participation in AIDS rides, including the Red Ribbon Ride of 2005. The Red Ribbon Ride raises funds and awareness to support AIDS organizations. Genser was a manager at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts from 2006 to 2010 and organizer of the Red Ribbon Ride since the 1990s. Materials in this collection consist of a Red Ribbon Ride binder, which includes a pamphlet, photocopied photographs, Daily Ride Guide, and flyers. View the finding aid for the collection here.

“A Tramp on Wheels” “Kid” St. Onge, 1898.

The Fred St. Onge scrapbooks, circa 1896-1922, outline St. Onge’s multiple careers as a Boston bicycle racer during the 1890s, an international vaudeville trick rider from 1900 to 1915, and a traveling salesman and cycling extravaganza man (circa 1915-1930). The bulk of the scrapbooks consist of newspaper clippings. Other items include correspondence, notes, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, and photographs. View the finding aid for the collection here.

Read more about the various bicycling-related collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston here. And learn more about researching the history of bicycling here.

For questions about these collections 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.

Bookmark and Share

Nelson Dionne collection: Bicycling for the military, police force, and civilians

Bicycling postcard. Image Source: UASC-SC-0208-TBD

Bicycling postcard. Image Source: UASC-SC-0208

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the materials in the Nelson Dionne Collection, 1900-2009, have been processed and are available for research.

This collection contains Dionne’s personal assemblage of bicycling-related materials and pertaining to the military, police, and civilians. The collection also includes copies of the League of American Wheelmen’s Bicycle USA publication, books on bicycling, newspaper clippings, police bike patrol patches, correspondence, national and international military bicycling postcards, police bike catalogs and articles about police bicycling, and newsletters from the Wombats (Women’s Mountain Bike and Tea Society), as well as their Massachusetts chapter (MassBats, c.1994-1995).

As a veteran, a Salem police officer, and a lifelong history buff, Dionne has spent many years gathering, organizing, and writing about Salem’s history. He is a Salem native of French Canadian descent and has been collecting primarily works documenting Salem history, from the Civil War era to the present, including business history, for over 50 years. Historic New England recognized his efforts in 2013 by awarding him their prestigious Prize for Collecting Works on Paper.

Dionne is the author of several books, including Salem in Stereo: Victorian Salem in 3D and, with Jerome Curley, co-author of Salem: Then & Now.

The finding aid for the Nelson Dionne Collection is available here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.

For more information about bicycling history collections in University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston, click 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.

Bookmark and Share