Roxbury Memory Day at Hibernian Hall on April 28

As part of a day-long series of events celebrating the history and community of Roxbury, on Saturday, April 28, the Madison Park Development Corporation and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino invite community members to participate in “Roxbury Memory Day” as part of a series of events that day called Our Dudley Square:  Discover, Explore, Celebrate!

Past and present Roxbury residents are asked to bring their old photos and other documents to be scanned and archived by University Archives and Special Collections at UMass Boston as part of the Mass. Memories Road Show.  (Photos will be returned immediately to their owners.)  All are invited to participate in brief video interviews about life in Roxbury.

“Roxbury Memory Day,” will take place from 11 am to 3 pm at Hibernian Hall in Dudley Square.

All of the day’s events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 617-849-6335.

Click here to learn more about the Mass. Memories Road Show.

Library establishes Community Archives Award with event, launches exhibition

From left to right: University Librarian Daniel Ortiz, TIARA presidents and past-presidents Judy Barrett, Janis Duffy, Kathy Roscoe, and Mary Choppa, with University Archivist Joanne Riley

On March 14, 2012, the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston presented the first annual Joseph P. Healey Library Community Archives Award to The Irish Ancestral Research Association, or TIARA, for their work rescuing and preserving the historic records of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters. On the significance of these records, Joanne Riley, University Archivist for UMass Boston, notes that “for many genealogists, history buffs, and Irish families, the Foresters records are a treasure trove of ancestral information.”

Several members of TIARA and the Catholic Association of Foresters were in attendance, as were members of the general public and representatives from programs at UMass Boston. The Award was presented at a reception featuring music and storytelling by Nora Dooley and Susan Miron, and a presentation by TIARA member Susan Steele on what the Foresters records reveal about Massachusetts and U.S. history. In one example, Steele discussed the 1919 death of Foresters member James Lennon who, according to his death certificate, died as a result of the “bursting of molasses tank” in the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, an event that resulted in the deaths of 21 people and injured 150.

The evening also featured the opening of an exhibition by Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston. “Calling the Heart Back Home: Irish-American Stories from the Archives” features images and information about the history of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters (now called the Catholic Association of Foresters) and the genealogically and historically significant information contained within the Foresters records, as well as a range of Irish-American stories as seen through archival images and documents from Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston.

In 2011, TIARA donated the records of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters to Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston and with the acquisition of these records, the department formally launched their Community Archives initiative, with the intention of, said University Archivist Riley, “creating a space where community-based history and archives groups can engage with, learn from, and preserve materials of historical value to their own organizational missions and objectives.”

Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston collects materials 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 neighboring communities, including the Boston Harbor Islands.

This event was sponsored by the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, with the financial assistance of the Catholic Association of Foresters.

Milton Mass. Memories Road Show May 12, 2012

The Mass. Memories Road Show is coming to MILTON, Mass.!

Do you live, work, or go to school in Milton? The history of Milton is YOUR STORY. Bring 1 to 3 photos for inclusion in a public digital archive. You keep your photos, we scan them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Milton Public Library
Keys Community Room

Irish Stories and Tunes Enliven the Archives on March 14th

Along with exhibits, refreshments and illustrated lectures, the UASC gala “Calling the Heart Back Home: Irish-American Stories from the Archives” will feature storyteller Norah Dooley and harpist Susan Miron in a modern re-working of the bardic tradition, combining music and stories to wonderful effect.

The duo is called “The Bard’s Feast” and describes its performances in this way:

In ancient times the bards were not female and not a duo but together we are the The Bard’s Feast. Inspired by the tradition, we are “bringing ‘bardic’ back”, to paraphrase Justin Timberlake.

A Bard’s Feast program combines Irish tunes, many from the repertoire of 18th century blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, with legend, myth and folktales from the vast store of Irish whimsy and tradition. Stories are timeless and living things. Our nontraditional versions of these tales are more products of the storyteller’s seething brain than staid scholarly research.  Leprechauns, the sidhe (fairy people) common folk, heroes and star crossed lovers manifest in the glory of spoken word, entrancing harp and enchanting words.

For the March 14 event at UMass Boston, The Bard’s Feast will present two lively stories: Egg Girl and the Leprechaun, drawn from the traditional repertoire, and Transported – Driving with the Ancestors, more recently minted from Norah’s personal and family history.

Visit The Bard’s Feast website for more information about the bardic tradition, harps, storytelling and more.  And do plan to join us on Wednesday evening, March 14th at UMass Boston.

Boston Busing / Desegregation Project Film

Boston Buses

Boston Buses

The William Monroe Trotter Institute and the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston will screen the film Can We Talk: Learning for Boston?s Busing/Desegregation Crisis on February 14 from 11 am to 1 p.m.

The screening will take place on the 11th floor of the Healey Library at UMass Boston. For more information, email or call 617-287-5944.

Can We Talk? is a film by media producer Scott Mercer. The film was commissioned by Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN) to capture some on the voices that motivated UMN to begin the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project (BBDP). The film?s purpose is to inspire many others to tell their stories of this era and to invite them into the Project. To learn more about the BBDP, visit

The film offers powerful stories of the 1970?s busing/desegregation crisis that changed Boston forever. Most of those in the film have never publicly shared their stories. It documents how this crisis is still felt today. It aspires to prompt a long-overdue honest conversation about public education and racism, classism, and social injustices that have plagued not only the Boston public schools, but the city of Boston as a community.

They include a bus driver who delivered children to neighborhoods and schools that didn?t want them. A resident of the projects whose admittedly racist family refused to let her be bused to a school with children of color talks about how she was shunned and stigmatized for being poor in the school she attended instead. We also learn from a parent who got involved in politics by accident because of the forces of systemic racism that denied quality of education and simple

respect. These individuals express their feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a candid, honest and, at times, raw way.

While these stories are powerful, there are many, many more stories is to be told if this period is to be understood. The film is an invitation to a process of truth, learning and change and a much larger discussion of what everyone can learn from this iconic period in Boston. The film is a vehicle to help spark honest reflections, dialogues and conversations across the city that would help lead to truth telling about and learning from this era and ultimately to deepen engagement in and commitment to strengthening Boston?s public school system for all its residents.

Audience comments and personal stories will be welcomed, and encouraged, following each screening of Can We Talk?