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 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.

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

One Comment
  1. This is wonderful news!!! I just let him know, and he is delighted. He is all about sharing his collections and having them used.

    His massive Salem, MA history collection is at Salem State. And he’s still collecting! — On EBay, or in person when his Parkinsons allows.

    Thanks so much to Larry Finison and everyone else over there for making this happen!

    -Bonnie Hurd Smith

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