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. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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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. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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High Wheelin’ around the UMass Boston campus

University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston recently accepted a donation of the complete run of The Wheelmen magazine (1970-2015) from donor Stephen Hartson, the magazine’s Publications Chair, and his father, Robert Hartson.

After signing the donation forms, Stephen Hartson treated us by taking a spin around the plaza outside the Healey Library on his replica of a late 19th century high wheeler, or “ordinary” bicycle. Stephen made it look effortless, gliding smoothly over the stone and concrete of the plaza (see video below).

Stephen Hartson rides a high wheeler, or ordinary, bicycle outside the Healey Library at UMass Boston from UMass Boston Archives on Vimeo.

For more information about researching the history of bicycling, visit umb.libguides.com/bicycling. To read more about bicycling collections in University Archives & Special Collections, 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 action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Happy holidays from University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston!

card

From a scrapbook compiled by Roland Geist, a bicycle historian and collector, 1930s – 1950s, donated to the Archives’ bicycling history collections by Lorenz Finison, October, 2015. The Roland Geist collection is currently being processed. Subscribe to OPEN ARCHIVES NEWS (in the sidebar) to be notified when this collection is open for research.

We want to take this moment to acknowledge those who have collected, located, or donated the many documents and artifacts that are helping us build the bicycling history research collections at UMass Boston: John Allen, Cathy Buckley, Nelson Dionne, John Dowlin, Harriet Fell, Lorenz Finison, Tom Fortmann, Richard Fries, Ralph Galen, Roland Geist, Phyllis Harmon, Tom Helm, Thomas McDuffee, Melanie Morris, Richard St. Onge, Gary Sanderson, and many others!

To learn more about the bicycling history collections in University Archives & Special Collections, click here.

To learn more about researching bicycling history, visit our Research Guide for bicycling here.


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 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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Healey Library exhibit explores history of bicycling in the U.S. and beyond

2015-11-13 -- BIKES Exhibit Poster -- 18 x 24 -- FINALUniversity Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston opened a new exhibit, “Bicycling: Highlights from University Archives & Special Collections,” featuring selected materials from the department’s bicycling collections. The exhibit—developed by Sara Davis, a graduate student from the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College—showcases photographs, brochures, newsletters, postcards, publications, memorabilia, and ephemera related to cyclists, as well as materials related to bicycling inventions, innovations, and history from a number of bicycling-related collections currently held at UASC. And though modest in size (encompassing two display cases in the Healey Library’s Grossmann Gallery), the display offers a glimpse into the range of collections and materials related to bicycling and bicycling history in the department.

Browse the gallery below for a selection of items displayed in the exhibit.

The objects on display demonstrate America’s love of bicycling and bicycling’s place in American culture, as well as on the international level, from the late 19th century through to the present day. The exhibit reveals how bicycling shaped society and society has shaped the bicycling world by highlighting women in bicycling, inventions, social innovations, and ephemera and memorabilia from popular culture. In the advent of its popularity, socializing became a major component of bicycle culture, with social events such as scheduled bicycle rides, rallies, and competitions, as well as the creation of cycling groups such as the League of American Wheelmen and the Charles River Wheelmen.

Cycling enthusiasts also emerged as activists for change, especially for the greater good of communities. Women such as Kittie Knox, Phyllis Harmon, and Eva M. Bindrim tested society’s norms since bicycling’s height of popularity in the U.S. by introducing new fashions for women cyclists, participating in bicycle races and clubs despite gender, race, and age constraints, and holding key positions within national and local organizations. As a result, bicycle enthusiasts created and continue to create inventions to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable. Browse the gallery below for a selection of items on display.

This exhibit offers only a sampling of the types of archival materials readily available for research. To view all the images from this exhibit, click here.

Some of the department’s bicycling-related collections are still being processed. To view our research guide for an updated list of collections available, click here.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston holds a substantial amount of information for bicycling research and aspires to expand upon these collections and to become a national resource on bicycling history. For questions about these collections or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.

The exhibit is on display in the fifth floor flat exhibit cases in the Healey Library at UMass Boston from November 2015 through June of 2016. The exhibit is free and open to the public during library operating hours. For a complete and up-to-date list of hours, visit www.umb.edu/library/about/hours.

Announcement prepared by Sara Davis.


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 action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities, including the Boston Harbor Islands. Also contained in the department’s Special Collections is a selection of rare and special books. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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