Snow, sledding, and Thompson’s Island

A residential school for boys was located on Thompson’s Island from 1833 until 1975. In 1907 the name of the school was changed to the “Farm and Trades School” and in 1955 to “Thompson’s Academy,” a college preparatory school for urban boys that closed in 1975.

Since 1988, “the island’s Board of Trustees has partnered with Outward Bound to operate the island, creating Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center. The island continues its mission to serve underprivileged Boston youth with programs that instill teamwork, self-confidence and compassion, and that encourage learning-by-doing.” (

This digital exhibit includes a sampling of some of the photographs and visual material from the UMass Boston Thompson’s Island archival collections, which contain thousands of photographs, publications, school records and documents spanning 175 years.

Explore this collection of photographs and documents from Thompson’s Island.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *