News from the Mass. Memories Road Show: Updates for 2020

Mass. Memories Road Show film stripAlong with so many other public history and cultural programs, the Mass. Memories Road Show was forced to pivot away from live events in response to the COVID-19 crisis this spring. Still, the team at UMass Boston has been hard at work behind the scenes to make collections available and to emerge with a stronger program as soon as we can get back on the road again.

Here are a few updates about our program and activities:

Photograph of videographer at Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show

Photograph of videographer and contributor at Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show

Collection update

Videos from the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show and Plymouth Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now. The images and stories are in production and contributors will be notified when they are available, likely sometime this summer.

Call for Research Participants

University of North Texas student, Ana Roeschley, is conducting a dissertation study on participatory archive projects like the Mass. Memories Road Show. Her research is on the impact of projects like the Mass. Memories Road Show on individuals and communities that participate in these projects. She is recruiting past participants of the Road Show who are over the age of 18 to be interviewed about their experiences with the Road Show. Interviews will be conducted virtually via the Zoom platform and participants will receive a Starbucks or Dunkin’ gift card. Download a flyer.

For more information and to participate, contact Ana Roeschley by emailing ana.roeschley@unt.edu or calling 512-809-3662.

Events update

The Mass. Memories Road Show events in Bellingham and Malden have been postponed indefinitely, and will be rescheduled as soon as it is safe to do so, most likely sometime in 2021.

Although we can’t know when we will be able to resume public gatherings, the Mass. Memories Road Show continues to welcome applications on a rolling basis for 2021 and beyond. Interested communities can apply here.

Institute of Museum and Library Services grant update

With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Mass. Memories Road Show team is developing a “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of organizing similar “participatory archiving” events and building digital collections on their own. We completed a survey of needs among libraries and cultural organizations throughout the United States, and plan to launch a test version of the roadmap later in 2020. Designed to be an interactive reference, the roadmap will lead users through a series of modules covering the important aspects of planning a participatory archiving event, including community outreach, metadata and archival description, and the preservation of digital materials.

Interested in learning more? Email sarah.collins@umb.edu.

New Mass. Memories Road Show website

Last fall, we launched a new website for the Mass. Memories Road Show program, which includes a video about the program. Visit the new website here, which features a variety of resources for local planning teams including volunteer training materials about each of the Road Show “stations” as well as sample publicity flyers and press releases.

Questions? Please contact Carolyn.Goldstein@umb.edu and visit blogs.umb.edu/archives for further updates.

Browse the Mass. Memories Road Show collection here.


The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide, event-based participatory archiving program 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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UMass Boston Interim Dean of Libraries Joanne Riley receives 2019 Bay State Legacy Award

Portrait photograph of Joanne RileyUniversity Archives & Special Collections in the Healey Library is so proud to announce that the Massachusetts History Alliance‘s 2019 Bay State Legacy Award is being presented to our colleague Joanne Riley, Interim Dean of University Libraries at UMass Boston, for her dedication to preserving and interpreting Massachusetts history through her early and ground-breaking involvement in digital humanities work. The Bay State Legacy Award goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the interpretation and presentation of Massachusetts history.

Joanne’s efforts to preserve Massachusetts history began in 1998 when she joined the Massachusetts Studies Project, founded by her mentor Barbara (Bobby) Robinson to empower educators to help their students situate themselves within their local communities. Joanne went on to develop the Massachusetts Studies Network in 2007, which provided an “online social network specifically for those who are involved in local studies in Massachusetts” – several years before platforms like Facebook became widely used by the general public.

Joanne is most-frequently associated with the Mass. Memories Road Show, an event-based public history project she launched in 2004 that digitizes family photos and memories shared by the people of Massachusetts. The Road Show, which has been recognized as a trailblazer in participatory and community archiving, has preserved 11,000 photographs and stories from more than 75 Massachusetts communities and has engaged hundreds of volunteers and contributors across the Commonwealth.

Currently, Joanne leads the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project, working with the Boston Police Department Archives, UMass Boston colleagues and community volunteers to research the 1,100+ policemen who participated in that historic event. Joanne is training volunteers to research the strikers’ lives and is developing a publicly-accessible database to store and share the researched data. She co-developed a free, online course on how to conduct accurate biographical research using open resources, and for the strike’s centennial this year, she is spearheading the coordination of a community celebration honoring the strikers, their descendants, and the project volunteers.

As University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections at UMass Boston (2011-2017), Joanne oversaw unprecedented growth of the department, bolstering the department’s mission to document the social and cultural history of Boston. In her current role as Interim Dean of University Libraries, she serves as a teacher, mentor, and leader to 25+ staff.

The award will be formally presented on Monday, June 24 at the Massachusetts History Conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Click here to learn more about the conference.

Massachusetts History Alliance Logo

Learn more about the Massachusetts History Alliance.

About the Bay State Legacy Award

For many years, the Bay State Historical League presented the John F. Ayer Award in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the interpretation and presentation of Massachusetts history. After 101 years of service, the BSHL dissolved in 2005, at which time the Massachusetts History Conference planning committee decided to continue this recognition of an individual’s contribution to Massachusetts history by inaugurating the Bay State Legacy Award.

 

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Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show materials online now

The photographs, stories, and videos gathered at the Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now for research.

Hosted by the Jenks Center on Saturday, October 20, 2018, the event was organized by the Town of Winchester Archival Center in collaboration with the Winchester Public Library, the Winchester Historical Society, Winchester MultiCultural Network, Winchester High School, Wright-Locke Farm, and Winchester Community Access and Media, Inc (WinCAM). Thirty local volunteers–including many students from Winchester High School–joined a team of UMass Boston staff members, public history graduate students, and “Roadies” to welcome nearly 150 adults and children with connections to the suburban town north of Boston.

Town Common. Age eighty-six, I have lived a storied life and moved to town a few years ago. I have become a community fixture, active in the League of Women Voters, the farmer's market, and volunteering for political campaigns. I appear daily at the Starbucks with my friend Gloria Tedesco, and hold court where dozens of people come and go to hear of my adventures. Pictured: myself Anna LaViolette.

Anna at League of Women Voters, Winchester Farmers Market, 2018. ‘At age eighty-six, I have lived a storied life and moved to town a few years ago. I have become a community fixture, active in the League of Women Voters, the farmer’s market, and volunteering for political campaigns. I appear daily at the Starbucks with my friend Gloria Tedesco, and hold court where dozens of people come and go to hear of my adventures. Pictured: myself Anna LaViolette.’

 

Participants contributed images of everyday life in the community over the years, especially in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Several photographs document connections forged through participation in civic groups such as the Rotary Club, League of Women Voters as well as in scouting and religious organizations. Community gatherings at the Winchester Farmers’ Market and the En Ka fair and parade are also featured in the collection.

 

En Ka Parade 1977

En Ka Parade 1977.  ‘The Rotary Club was promoting the blood drive at the En Ka Parade. We were first graders at the Lincoln School. I don’t have many photos of that time in my life, so this is a special photo. Pictured, from left to right: Elin Goodman, Therese Krajewski, Laura Colella, Jenny Osgood, Jane, and Orissa Baker.’ Contributor: Laura Colella.

 

Many images depict Winchester residents’ proud efforts to preserve landmark structures such as Sanborn House and enjoying the beauty of the town’s natural resources including the historic Wright-Locke Farm, the Middlesex Fells, and the Town Common.

An immigrant story. 'We walked every Saturday and Sunday morning around Horn Pond. Yan was born in China and immigrated in the early 1990s when her husband went to the Fletcher School at Tufts. She had a small baby boy at the time she moved here, and they soon had another son. She now works for a technology company in Cambridge and regularly visits her family in China. Pictured: my friend Yan Yao. Location: Horn Pond.'


‘An immigrant story, 2018. We walked every Saturday and Sunday morning around Horn Pond. Yan was born in China and immigrated in the early 1990s when her husband went to the Fletcher School at Tufts. She had a small baby boy at the time she moved here, and they soon had another son. She now works for a technology company in Cambridge and regularly visits her family in China. Pictured: my friend Yan Yao. Location: Horn Pond.’ Contributor: Susan Kincaid.

 

Contributors also chose to preserve memories of school and extra-curricular activities, sharing photographs of their first day of school as well as participation in sports competitions, student organizations, and high school graduation ceremonies.

 

'My eighth grade graduation in 1957 from Saint Mary's School in Winchester--church in background. Pictured: myself Anne Hurley (central figure, girl in white gress, lamp post sticking out of her head).'


‘My eighth grade graduation in 1957 from Saint Mary’s School in Winchester–church in background. Pictured: myself Anne Hurley (central figure, girl in white dress, lamp post sticking out of her head).’ Contributor: Anne Hurley.

 

Several contributors brought photographs documenting accomplishments, adventures, and friendships as teenagers growing up in Winchester.

Moonlight. On Labor Day, me and my friends snuck out to go for a walk through Winchester which was like a ghost town at the time. It was special being the last summer night before school. Pictured, from left to right: Ethan Johnson, myself Ben Wall, and Alex Medieros. Location: Washington Street.

Moonlight, 2018. ‘On Labor Day, me and my friends snuck out to go for a walk through Winchester which was like a ghost town at the time. It was special being the last summer night before school. Pictured, from left to right: Ethan Johnson, myself Ben Wall, and Alex Medieros. Location: Washington Street.’ Contributor: Ben Wall.

 

Browse the Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show collection.


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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Mass. Memories Road Show heads to Brockton on Saturday, May 18

Flyer for the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show event, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Brockton Public Library.

When: Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Brockton Public Library | 304 Main Street | Brockton, Mass. | Click here for directions.

Do you have a connection to Brockton, Massachusetts? Do you live or work in Brockton? Are your roots in Brockton? Share your memories and take your place in Massachusetts history at this free, public event.

Please bring 2-3 photographs in their original format (digital or print photographs) and your stories to be recorded. We will scan unframed pictures and copy digital images and return the images back to you. All images will be added to the online collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

Local support for the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show is provided by the Brockton Public Library in collaboration with a number of city agencies and community organizations.

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. It is produced by the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is co-sponsored by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund.

Download the flyer for the Brockton Mass. Memories Road Show here and remember to share it with your friends and family members!

Questions? Email 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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Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show materials available now

The photographs, stories, and videos gathered at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show are now available online for research.

Organized by the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE), the event was held at the Pao Arts Center in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Collaborating partners included the Greater Boston Chinese Cultural Association, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, and Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. The event was made possible in part with support from CHSNE’s 2018 year-round sponsors–Tufts Medical Center, South Cove Community Health Center, and the National Park Service–as well as generous donations from Jook Sing Cafe, Crave-Mad for Chicken, and MEM Tea Imports.

Karen Yu and Eugenia Beh volunteered at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show on June 2, 2018.

 

More than two dozen volunteers, including eight Chinese language translators, joined a team of UMass Boston staff members, public history graduate students, and “Roadies” to welcome 130 adults and children from the greater Boston area to the event.

'This photo was taken in a studio in Boston, Massachusetts in 1934. My dad Edwin Keyseu Chin, 30, and my mom Mary Gee, 24, my oldest sister Helen, 1.5, and my oldest brother Tom, 6 months. This is two years after mom came to Boston from Zoishan, China and married Dad. They operated a hand laundry in Charlestown, Massachusetts near City Square in the shadow of the elevated train tracks. Charlestown at the time was mostly Irish. Pictured, from back to front, left to right: my father Edwin Keyseu Chin, my mother Mary Gee Chin, my sister Helen Chin, and my brother Tom Chin.'

‘Edwin Keyseu Chin family of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1934. This photo was taken in a studio in Boston, Massachusetts. My dad Edwin Keyseu Chin, 30, and my mom Mary Gee, 24, my oldest sister Helen, 1.5, and my oldest brother Tom, 6 months. This is two years after mom came to Boston from Zoishan, China and married Dad. They operated a hand laundry in Charlestown, Massachusetts near City Square in the shadow of the elevated train tracks. Charlestown at the time was mostly Irish. Pictured, from back to front, left to right: my father Edwin Keyseu Chin, my mother Mary Gee Chin, my sister Helen Chin, and my brother Tom Chin.’ Contributor: David Chin.

 

Participants shared over 200 photographs and videos documenting their connections to Chinese American communities in Massachusetts and beyond. A number of images depict family members before they immigrated from China to the United States and the majority of the materials document the homes, businesses, and community organizations that Chinese American families established in the greater Boston area in the 20th century.

 My father and his staff Description 'My father owned the Jade Restaurant in Malden. He purchased it during WWII and expanded it. He had several wait staff and kitchen staff. Pictured, from left to right: Maude McKenzie, the wait staff at Jade Restaurant, my father Dun Shai Jeong. Location: Jade Restaurant.'


‘My father and his staff, 1940. My father owned the Jade Restaurant in Malden. He purchased it during WWII and expanded it. He had several wait staff and kitchen staff. Pictured, from left to right: Maude McKenzie, the wait staff at Jade Restaurant, my father Dun Shai Jeong. Location: Jade Restaurant.’ Contributor: Diana Jeong.

 

Domestic interiors and street scenes of Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood are included in the collection. Informal snapshots and formal family portraits depict Chinese Americans living and working in surrounding cities such as Malden and Quincy, as well as suburban towns such as Wayland and Lexington.

Inside 116 Hudson Street circa 1954 Description 'This was taken inside 116 Hudson Street, 2nd floor, in the 1950s when Chinese-American (Taishanese American) families formed for the first time. Settling on Hudson Street until Hudson Street was demolished in 1963 for the Southeast Expressway ramp. It was a traumatic displacement for the immigrants who had been displaced through immigration, revolution, and war. Pictured, from left to right: May Soon Yee, Albert Yee, and Cynthia Yee.'


‘Inside 116 Hudson Street circa 1954. This was taken inside 116 Hudson Street, 2nd floor, in the 1950s when Chinese-American (Taishanese American) families formed for the first time. Settling on Hudson Street until Hudson Street was demolished in 1963 for the Southeast Expressway ramp. It was a traumatic displacement for the immigrants who had been displaced through immigration, revolution, and war. Pictured, from left to right: May Soon Yee, Albert Yee, and Cynthia Yee.’ Contributor: Cynthia Yee.

 

Some contributors further shared stories of adoption by American parents and their experiences forging community connections among Asian adoptees.

'This photo depicts the official moment when I was adopted. I am being held and fed a bottle as a seven-month year old baby by my mom, Marjorie, while my dad, Doug, looks on. Two government officals are holding some certificate. A Chinese flag is in the background, representing the place and national affliation. I would like to know the exact location, date, time, but I just didn't ask my parents this morning. Hdl.handle.net/11603/10862'

‘Moment of conception, official adoption ceremony, May 1995. This photo depicts the official moment when I was adopted. I am being held and fed a bottle as a seven-month year old baby by my mom, Marjorie, while my dad, Doug, looks on. Two government officials are holding some certificate. A Chinese flag is in the background, representing the place and national affiliation. I would like to know the exact location, date, time, but I just didn’t ask my parents this morning.’ Contributor: Laura Xiang Williams.

 

The collection documents participants’ efforts to preserve Chinese identity and cultural heritage as well as their contributions to American institutions and traditions. Many contributors also emphasized memories of their personal accomplishments and those of their children finding success in the United States through educational and professional achievements.

Modern take on traditional Chinese dress Description 'Mary is wearing a traditional Chinese dress, 'cheongsam', that has been modernized to the 1970s. Pictured: my grandmother Mary Soo Hoo.'


‘Modern take on traditional Chinese dress. My grandmother Mary Soo Hoo is wearing a traditional Chinese dress, ‘cheongsam’, that has been modernized to the 1970s.’ Contributor: Maliya Soo Hoo.

 

Browse the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show collection.


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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