Warm autumnal greetings from Healey Library! With the academic year in full swing, we wanted to provide some quick updates from the academic heart of our ever-changing campus and direct you to some resources in support of your research, teaching, and studying.
First of all, as many of you know, Daniel Ortiz, former Dean of University Libraries, retired in July after nearly 25 years of visionary leadership and service to Healey Library and UMass Boston. We miss him! I have assumed the role of Interim Dean of University Libraries, and Andrew Elder is serving as the Interim University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections; both of us would love to hear from you about your goals for this academic year and ways that the Library and the Archives might help you achieve them.
One of the initiatives that Dean Ortiz spearheaded before his departure was the start of a project to transform the information-discovery landscape for the campus. To that end, Healey Library is partnering with IT Services on a massive system upgrade which will result in the arrival in January 2018 of a long-awaited single-search box for library resources, to be known as (drumroll, please):
UMBrella: the single search box covering all your research needs!
This delightful name and tagline were submitted by UMass Boston student Rachel Hoffman, hands-down winner of the naming contest we held this summer. Congratulations, and thank you, Rachel! (Honorable mention is hereby awarded to every person who suggested Searchy McSearchface, a close runner-up.) Stay tuned for much more information to come about the efficient, user-friendly and personalized discovery experience that UMBrella will offer you come spring semester. (Photo credit: by Alejandro Garrido Navarro on Unsplash)
Throughout this academic year, I hope that you will take advantage of all that Healey Library offers the UMass Boston community. Our handy Library Services Brochure includes a plethora of useful information about Interlibrary Loan, Ask-a-Librarian, Course Reserves, Collections, Research Guides, and so much more. For faculty, our Start-of-School Library Checklist runs through the essential steps for you to make good use of the Library and its offerings. We also offer a Library Syllabus Attachment that can give students a jump-start on searching library resources. Finally, the UMass Boston community is invited to review the University Libraries 2017 Annual Report, which includes Dean Daniel Ortiz’s final reflections on the Library’s many evolutions and his vision for its future.
As always, all of us at Healey Library look forward to partnering with you in your teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is anything you need as you leap into the academic year.
Developing a successful research strategy involves identifying and locating relevant resources including both secondary and primary source materials. It may turn out that UMass Boston’s Archives hold archival collections that are of direct use to you in your research. UMass Boston’s collections encompass a variety of subject disciplines. We preserve archival materials related to the University’s history as well as records and documents that reflect the university’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 our neighboring communities including the Boston Harbor Islands. A couple of examples:
UMass Boston holds than 28,000 mortuary records from the Mass. Catholic Association of Foresters, a fraternal organization begun in Boston in 1879 by Irish immigrants. These records include extensive data about the health, social networks, occupations and immigration patterns of thousands of people over many decades. We also hold the records of the international organization “Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research”, the papers of Judge David Mazzone, who presided over the cleanup of Boston Harbor, the chambers papers of W. Arthur Garrity, who presided over the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, records of the League of American Wheelmen and many, many more organizations and individuals.
Of course, no single archival institution can hold everything. Around the world, different institutions have committed to taking responsibility for storing and preserving different chunks of the historic record, usually based on that institution’s own mission and goals. There are many other archival institutions in the area and around the world, and Healey Library’s Archives staff can help you to find out what they hold and how to access them. There are also several fine, online directories of archival holdings – “ArchiveGrid” from OCLC is a good one. Another is WorldCat, where you may limit search results to “Archival Material” using the faceting options in the left-hand column.
So if your research can make use of archival materials in any format, please do contact us. The staff here in the University Archives and Special Collections is enthusiastically committed to assisting you in reaching your academic and research goals. The best way to take advantage of the Archives department’s services is simply to email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you need or are hoping to accomplish. And you are welcome to stop by any weekday between 10 am and 4 pm to say hello and see our Reading Room and speak to an archivist. The University Archives and Special Collections are located on the 5th Floor of the Healey Library.