In 2018, BTU Secretary-Treasurer Betsy Drinan approached UMass Boston’s University Archives and Special Collections about the prospect of doing a community-based collecting event with Boston Teachers Union members at the BTU headquarters on Columbia Point. Together with Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager at UMass Boston, Drinan and the union planned a “Digitizing Day” for November 17, 2018.
BTU collected 208 archival items at the daylong event: 190 images–including scans of photos, documents, and flyers, as well as photos of BTU members at the event–and 18 short video interviews. The collection is housed in the UMass Boston Open Archives as part of the Boston Teachers Union Collections.
Exhibiting the BTU Digitizing Day
In Spring 2021, UMass Boston Public History MA Student Marielle Gutierrez partnered with the Boston Teachers Union on her capstone project. Working with Betsy Drinan and Nick Juravich (UMass Boston), Gutierrez created three digital exhibits exploring the BTU’s history through the materials collected as part of the Digitizing Day. Gutierrez earned the UMass Boston History Department’s prize for Best Overall Student upon her graduation in August 2021, and her exhibits have been used by the BTU in trainings and events. They are:
- Teachers’ Unions: What are they for?
- Who is welcome in the Boston Teachers Union?
- The BTU and Struggles for Racial Equality