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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National Participatory Archiving Survey Results Available Now!

Map of United States showing which states responded to the surveyDuring summer 2019, University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston conducted a survey about participatory archiving, or the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with community members. The results of the survey will inform the development of an online resource to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of hosting a participatory archiving event. The project is inspired by UASC’s Mass. Memories Road Show program and made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

The survey results capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea of hosting an event. UASC collected survey responses from 208 respondents representing 33 states and the District of Columbia: 123 libraries (public, private, university, and K-12), 46 cultural heritage organizations, and 25 government agencies, as well as other institutions. 

The survey reveals a great deal of interest in participatory archiving across the country. 

Approximately one half of the libraries surveyed already hosted a participatory archiving event. Ninety-five percent of these libraries found success in building community, engaging participants, and building collections through these types of events. To share materials gathered, libraries provided in-archive use to the public, posted them to their own digital repositories and social media, and/or shared them through a consortium website or state/regional repository. The survey revealed that many libraries are still learning how to preserve the digital assets they collect at participatory archiving events. 

A slight majority (55%) of libraries surveyed have not hosted or taken part in a participatory archiving event. More than half of these libraries rated their interest in holding such an event as very high. Most of these libraries cited community engagement and collections activities (building, diversifying, filling gaps) among their primary goals. To effectively host an event, these libraries reported the need for personnel (staff or volunteers), time, and guidance on various aspects of the participatory archiving process. 

UASC looks forward to addressing these needs and other gaps uncovered in the survey. In addition, UASC will seek feedback from survey participants on the online resource when it is launched later this year.  

The report analysis covers a range of topics including community outreach, digital aggregator repositories, and preservation practices from the perspectives of libraries. Responses from other types of cultural organizations are contained within the dataset that can be found in the appendix.

If you have questions about the survey or the IMLS-funded project, please email library.archives@umb.edu.

Click here to read the full report and to access the data set.

Click here to learn more about the grant-funded project.

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library 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. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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IMLS Grant Team invites participation in “Destination Preservation” survey

A contributor shares a photo with a volunteer to complete a form at a Road Show.

A contributor shows his photograph to a volunteer at the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition.”

In 2018 University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston launched a two-year project, “Destination Preservation,” thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The goal is to build an accessible, adaptable, and engaging “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with their community members. 

The project is inspired by the Mass. Memories Road Show’s (MMRS) success in documenting the history of the Commonwealth through personal photographs and stories. Directed by the MMRS team, the project also draws on the expertise of other leaders in the participatory archiving field throughout the United States. 

The project’s Core Team includes representatives from:

  • Boston Public Library; 
  • Digital Commonwealth;
  • Maine Historical Society;
  • Massachusetts Archives;
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council;
  • Newark Public Library;
  • San Jose State University; and
  • University of Massachusetts Boston.

In the first phase of the project, the goal is to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea. 

Libraries are the intended audience for the roadmap, and the team seeks input from libraries in all regions of the country, from small, rural areas to large, urban ones and everything in between. However, a successful project promises to benefit an array of cultural heritage and community organizations. Therefore, the team seeks input from staff and volunteers representing a wide range of institutions committed to documenting shared cultural heritage, including archives, historical societies, museums, and cultural centers. To gather this information, the team invites librarians, archivists, museum professionals, historians, and others involved in cultural heritage work to share their perspectives through a survey.

The survey has between 31 and 75 questions (depending on your role and organization type) and requires about 35 minutes to complete. 

The results of this survey will inform the development of a suite of resources empowering libraries to plan participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve, preserve the resulting digital collections, and make those collections accessible to the public.

Follow the link to the survey here. Please share the survey with your networks and any stakeholders you believe may benefit from the eventual roadmap. 

If you have questions about the survey, would like to review materials as they are developed, or if you would like to receive a copy of the final results, please contact Sarah Collins (Sarah.Collins@umb.edu).

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library 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. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.

Bookmark and Share