Allston Brighton Mass. Memories Road Show collection now available

This is an annual spring clean-up of the Penniman Road Community Garden in Union Square. It was a former paved parking lot, converted into a community garden by the Allston Brighton Community Development Corp. in 1985, and contains 28 plots gardened by Boston residents. Gardeners reflect the diversity of the Allston community. Contributor: Robert J. Pessek.

This is an annual spring clean-up of the Penniman Road Community Garden in Union Square, 2012. It was a former paved parking lot, converted into a community garden by the Allston Brighton Community Development Corp. in 1985, and contains 28 plots gardened by Boston residents. Gardeners reflect the diversity of the Allston community. Contributor: Robert J. Pessek.

The images, stories, and video interviews gathered at the Allston Brighton Mass. Memories Road Show on October 26, 2014 are now available for research.

Held at the Veronica B. Smith Multi-Service Senior Center, the event was organized by the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation, Allston Village Main Streets, Boston Public Library Faneuil Branch, and Brighton Main Streets. Two dozen local volunteers collaborated with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Shows to welcome adults and children with connections to the Boston neighborhood.

Some of the 1956 graduating girls of St. Columbkille High School. Soon to graduate, we were allowed to go off campus for lunch. This photo was in front of Fitzie's Diner (now Citizen's Bank) in Brighton Center. Contributor: Anne Mahoney.

Some of the 1956 graduating girls of St. Columbkille High School. Soon to graduate, we were allowed to go off campus for lunch. This photo was in front of Fitzie’s Diner (now Citizen’s Bank) in Brighton Center. Contributor: Anne Mahoney.

Approximately 80 individuals contributed nearly 150 photographs documenting personal memories of friends and relatives in Allston, Brighton, and beyond. A large number of contributors shared photographs of themselves and their relatives relaxing at home and attending informal family gatherings and milestone events. The collection also includes images documenting graduation ceremonies, sports competitions, and musical performances.

Many photographs and stories portray residents at work enhancing the quality of life in a changing Boston neighborhood: preserving and renovating historic structures, eliminating invasive plants from Chandler Pond, and campaigning to save the local library. Contributors further shared memories and images of school days, the transportation system, and local businesses.

20 years later my first community involvement in Brighton was working to save this school, which led to my current involvement with many Allston-Brighton civic groups. Contributor: Charlie Vasiliades

Me in Oak Square, first grade, 1964. Twenty years later my first community involvement in Brighton was working to save this school, which led to my current involvement with many Allston-Brighton civic groups. Contributor: Charlie Vasiliades.

Browse the Allston Brighton 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 8,000 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 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 action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities, including the Boston Harbor Islands. To learn more about University Archives & Special Collections, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

Wayland Mass. Memories Road Show collection online now

Doll carriage parade, 1950 'At one time every year, Cochituate had a doll carriage parade. Pictured: me and my daughter Paula Athanas. Contributor: Polly Athanas.'

Doll carriage parade, 1950 ‘At one time every year, Cochituate had a doll carriage parade. Pictured: me and my daughter Paula Athanas. Contributor: Polly Athanas.’

The images and stories gathered at the Wayland Mass. Memories Road Show on March 8, 2014 are now available for research. Held at the Wayland Middle School, the event was organized by the Town of Wayland’s 375th Anniversary Committee. Two dozen local volunteers collaborated with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Shows to welcome adults and children with connections to the town.

More than 125 individuals contributed 375 photographs documenting personal memories of friends and relatives in Wayland and beyond. A large number of contributors shared photographs of themselves and their families engaged in a wide range of community activities over the years. Adults and children at play on Dudley Pond and Lake Cochituate, performing in musical bands and orchestras, and competing in sports events–these photographs demonstrate a series of strong connections established among the town’s residents. The collection also includes photographs of town events such as Halloween parades, road races, high school graduation ceremonies, and Riverfest, an annual celebration of the Sudbury River which runs through the town.

Pictured, from left to right: Pat Tally, Ken Keyes, and John Russell. Location: 101 Pelham Island Road. Contributor: John Russell.

Mud football aftermath, early spring 1984  Pictured, from left to right: Pat Tally, Ken Keyes, and John Russell. Location: 101 Pelham Island Road. Contributor: John Russell.

Other photographs and stories portray young and old at work enhancing the quality of life in their town: building playground structures, planting trees, and conserving open space. Contributors further shared memories and images of the founding of Shir Tikvah (the first Jewish temple in Wayland), the construction of the Islamic Center of Boston, and sharing learning experiences with Boston students in the METCO program. Local businesses such as Russell Garden Center, Raytheon, Liberty Pizza, Nisbet’s Variety Store are well represented in the collection, as are public service agencies such as the police and fire departments.

Overall, the Wayland Mass. Memories Road Show collection provides a rich window on everyday life in this suburban town west of Boston.

Browse the Wayland Mass. Memories Road Show collection.

'A group of BEElieve beekeepers poses for a picture at [my] house after the group's first hive opening in Spring of 2012. Hive openings at backyard beekeepers' homes are a large part of educating the public about the hardworking and friendly bees. Many who have hesitated about beekeeping for years need to witness only one hive opening to make up their minds and get started. Pictured, from left to right: Janet Hading Pian, Anne Harris, unidentified, Kaat Vander Straeten, and Janot Mendler de Suarez.' Contributor: Kaat Vander Straeten.

‘A group of BEElieve beekeepers poses for a picture at [my] house after the group’s first hive opening in Spring of 2012. Pictured, from left to right: Janet Hading Pian, Anne Harris, unidentified, Kaat Vander Straeten, and Janot Mendler de Suarez.’ Contributor: Kaat Vander Straeten.


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 8,000 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.

The story behind the photos: Video interviews from the Mass. Memories Road Show

The Mass. Memories Road Show team is thrilled to announce that the video interviews collected at Mass. Memories Road Shows over the past 10 years are starting to become available at openarchives.umb.edu. For this progress, we thank Lael Dalal, a summer intern from the archives program at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, who has developed a workflow for editing and cataloging the videos and for uploading them to our online platform. So far, Lael has uploaded the videos for Brewster, Halifax, Irish Immigrant Experience, MiltonStoughton, and, most recently, Provincetown.

In this blog post, Lael shares her experience working with the video interviews in the collection:

While at UMass Boston, I have had a chance to work with what I think are the most intriguing elements of the Mass. Memories Road Show collection–the video interviews. Before I arrived, I had only a vague idea of what a Road Show entailed. I quickly discovered that at each event participants bring photographs to be scanned and cataloged. In addition, they can sit for a short interview and explain the “story behind the photos” in front of a video camera. These wonderful videos, most of which were recorded by Jack Lerner and Liz Clancy of Best Dog Ever Films, offer invaluable context for the photographs and written stories in the collection.

Andre Rouse and his daughter Trinity at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show

All of the videos record contemporary personal stories for posterity. Some are endearing and heartbreaking. One of my favorites is of Andre Rouse and his young daughter Trinity at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show. They brought photographs of themselves over the years at Stoughton events and family gatherings. While the photos show them participating together in community activities, the video captures their sweet relationship and shows how a loving father has raised his daughter after his wife passed away.

Lawren F. Cohen at the Brewster Mass. Memories Road Show

Other very personal videos also provide a sense of what a community was like at a particular period in history. One of my favorites is from Lawren F. Cohen in Brewster, where he shares memories growing up by the ocean during the Great Depression. He describes the hardships he endured–including hunting for his family so they could eat– yet recalls the time fondly. He lights up and laughs when he recalls working at an old country store as a young man, where he and other “rouges” would hangout and cause a ruckus.

Cornelius McEleney at the Irish Immigrant Experience Mass. Memories Road Show

Cornelius McEleney at the Irish Immigrant Experience Mass. Memories Road Show is another video near to my heart. This thematic event focused on a particular cultural group, rather than on a town or city in Massachusetts. McEleney came from Ireland many years ago and towards the end of the video sings a beautiful song about the trials and tribulations of Irish immigrants who came to America. The song is a unique complement to the photos that he contributed.

The videos tell varied and multi-faceted stories and serve as important documents connecting the past to the present. You can view the videos at openarchives.umb.edu by browsing each Road Show and by searching for “video” in each Road Show’s collection.

Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show photographs and stories available

Trinity Rouse and Andre Rouse at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show, May 5, 2013. 

The images and stories gathered at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show on May 5, 2013 are now available online. The event was organized by the Stoughton Public Library and the Stoughton Historical Society and held at the Council on Aging/Youth Commission. Two dozen local volunteers worked together with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Mass. Memories Road Shows to welcome individuals with connections to the town.

About one hundred individuals contributed over 350 photographs documenting personal memories of friends and relatives in Stoughton and beyond. UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley and Senator William “Mo” Cowan, both residents of Stoughton, were among the large number of participants who shared family photographs. Many contributors also brought images and stories about coming to the United States from Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, and other parts of the world. The collection also includes a few photographs of local businesses such as Dorothy Jean’s Bakery and the McNamara dairy farm. Featured as well are images of parades and other events held in 1976 to celebrate both Stoughton’s 250th anniversary and the bicentennial of the American Revolution.

Irene Walsh (second from left), with her father, Joe McPhee, and three bridesmaids, on her wedding day, July 19, 1952.

Browse the Stoughton 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 8,000 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.

Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show images: Now online

Anahid Kazazian, Nairi Kazazian, and George Kazazian at their home on Concord Avenue, 1979.

The images and stories gathered at the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show on March 16, 2013 are now available online. The event was part of LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend at Lexington High School, organized by the Lexington 300th Anniversary committee. Two dozen local volunteers worked together with a team of UMass Boston staff members and “Roadies” from past Road Shows to welcome individuals and families with connections to the town.

One hundred and forty-four individuals contributed over 300 photographs documenting personal memories of families, friends, and special events in Lexington and beyond. Many contributors shared photographs and stories about their experiences about coming to the United States from other parts of the world. The collection also includes several photographs of many Patriots’ Day parades and reenactments over the years, particularly the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lexington in 1975. School pictures from the 1960s and snapshots taken in the photobooth at the LexCelebrate! event are among the other types of community gatherings. Early views of local businesses such as Michelson’s Shoes, Berman’s Liquors, and Doran Greenhouses are featured as well.

Geeta Kannan and Sudha Balasuryan at the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show, March 16, 2013.

Browse the Lexington 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 8,000 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.