Mass. Memories Road Show invites applications for 2014

Gathering at Herring Pond Indian Church for a Pow Wow, Plymouth, Massachusetts, c. 1928. Contribution by Rhoda Harding at the Stoughton Mass. Memories Road Show, May 5, 2013.

The University Archives & Special Collections Department at the Joseph P. Healey Library welcomes applications from communities and organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to partner with us to hold a Mass. Memories Road Show next year.

The Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS) is an event-based public history project that digitizes family photos and memories shared by the people of Massachusetts. We work with local communities to organize free public events where residents are invited to bring up to three family photos to be scanned and included in the archives at UMass Boston and online at openarchives.umb.edu. Contributors can also share “the story behind the photos” on video, have their own “keepsake photo” taken, and receive advice from professional archivists and historians on dating and caring for their family photos.

Another important goal of the project is to bring together local residents of all ages, ethnicities, races and backgrounds in lively and thoughtfully planned public events that celebrate each person’s family history and contribution to the community—whether they have lived there for generations or are recently arrived. We hope that both the events and the resulting digital archive will help build and strengthen connections within the communities of Massachusetts.

To date, the project has digitized more than 4,000 photos and stories from across the state, creating an educational resource of primary sources for future generations. Over time, we hope to visit each of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Recent Mass. Memories Road Shows include Peabody, Lexington, and Stoughton. Plans for later in 2013 include a Road Show in Provincetown on Saturday, September 28, and a thematic Road Show exploring the Irish Immigrant Experience, to be hosted at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton on Saturday, November 16.

The deadline for applications is Friday, July 19, 2013.

For information, please contact Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager, at carolyn.goldstein@umb.edu or (617) 287-5929.

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Records documenting the planning and establishment of UMass Boston: Newly available for research

Frederick S. Troy, John W. Lederle, Joseph P. Healey, Robert D. Gordon, Hugh Thompson, Louis M. Lyons, and Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody (seated) at the signing of the bill establishing the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1964.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the availability of materials documenting the planning and establishment of the University of Massachusetts Boston almost 50 years ago.

These records document the University of Massachusetts’ planning activities for a Boston campus, including dealings with the legislature and copies of the founding legislation. Items in the collection include planning documents, consultants’ reports, state acts, statements of purpose, minutes of meetings, memoranda, and materials documenting the Founding Convocation. The University of Massachusetts Boston was established in 1964 as the second campus of the University of Massachusetts system (after Amherst), which now includes campuses in Lowell, Dartmouth, and Worcester (Medical School).

View the finding aid for this collection.

These records have been reprocessed and reorganized by Jessica Holden, Special Projects Archivist/Librarian, as part of the University Archives & Special Collections’ activities in preparation for the University’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned: University Archives & Special Collections will soon be launching a site to enable members of the University community to share their stories about UMass Boston. Subscribe to email updates at blogs.umb.edu/archives for up-to-date information.


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 library.archives@umb.edu.

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University Archivist to discuss community archiving projects as part of BPL lecture series

When: May 22, 2012 | 6:00-7:00 pm

Where: Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02117

This talk is FREE and open to the public.

University Archivist Joanne Riley will present a talk titled “Memories and Mortuary Records: Community Archiving Projects at UMass Boston” in the Commonwealth Salon at the Boston Public Library (700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02117) on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Description from the Boston Public Library:

UMass Boston houses many archival collections that are utilized by family historians and researchers interested in exploring Boston and Massachusetts cultural history through the lives of individuals. The University’s collections include more than 4,000 stories and images in the “Mass. Memories Road Show” project, hundreds of case records from the Boston Female Asylum, and more than 30,000 mortuary records from the Massachusetts Catholic Association of Foresters between 1880 and 1940. Joanne Riley will share examples from these collections, and will discuss the fascinating, productive, and sometimes challenging interplay among individuals, communities, and institutional archives. Since 2010, Ms. Riley has served as University Archivist at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

This talk is part of the BPL’s Local & Family History Lecture Series.

Explore images and stories from the Mass. Memories Road Show here. And learn more about the Foresters Records 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 library.archives@umb.edu.

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Exhibition features interviews, photographs about Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo

On Monday, April 22, 2013, University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston opened an exhibition in the Library’s Grossmann Gallery about the history and work of Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo).

The exhibition, titled “Nunca Más”: Niños Desaparecidos en Argentina y Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (“Never Again”: Disappeared Children in Argentina and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), opened as part of an event celebrating of the life and work of biologist and human rights activist Rita Arditti and the many donations made by Arditti and her Executors to the Library at UMass Boston.

The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is a human rights organization founded in 1977 to search for disappeared children who were abducted or born into captivity during the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. The Grandmothers’ goal was to find these children and return them to their biological families. The Grandmothers’ work led to the creation of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the establishment of a National Genetic Data Bank.

In the early 1990s, Arditti traveled to Buenos Aires to interview the Grandmothers. She incorporated the interviews into her book Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina (1999). Two additional interviews with the Grandmothers were conducted in 2011 by Estelle Disch, Professor Emerita at UMass Boston and Executor of the Estate of Rita Arditti.

The Rita Arditti Collection contains audio files, interview transcriptions, and photographs of the Grandmothers. The materials were donated to University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston in 2011.In this exhibition, sponsored by University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, are photographs of the Grandmothers who were interviewed by Arditti and Disch. Accompanying each photograph is an excerpt from that Grandmother’s interview in the original Spanish as well as an English translation.

The exhibition will be on display in the Healey Library’s Grossmann Gallery through the fall.

Explore this collection at openarchives.umb.edu.

For additional information, email library.archives@umb.edu or call 617-287-5944.


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 library.archives@umb.edu.

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Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show a resounding success

Volunteers and contributors at the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show, March 16, 2013

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, as part of the town’s 300th Anniversary Celebration, the Mass. Memories Road Show visited Lexington, Massachusetts, and collected more than 300 photographs and stories from community members about their lives, their families, and their memories of Lexington.

Two hundred and eighty-one community members attended this Road Show event, which was part of series of activities for the LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend held at Lexington High School.

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 video are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database at openarchives.umb.edu.

A Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show contributor, and Battle of Lexington reenactor, describes his photo contribution, sword in hand, to the Mass. Memories Road Show digital archive.

The Mass. Memories Road Show is an initiative of University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The photos and stories from the Lexington Mass. Memories Road Show are currently being processed by archives staff and will be available online soon. It typically takes archives staff 2-3 months to fully process and incorporate images and stories into the digital collection.

Keep checking this site for up to date information.

Contact University Archives & Special Collections with any questions.


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.

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