Place-Based Education

Engaging students in their own communities through local history, local culture and the local environment. An initiative of the Massachusetts Studies Project at UMass Boston.

March 4, 2013
by Joanne Riley

Brooklyn Visual Heritage Project

Brooklyn Visual Heritage.

The “Tech Info” section of this well-executed project provides helpful details of the platforms, formats and specs used by the three partnering institutions: the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Public Library. The details are included in the Architecture Document which starts with this common puzzler for collaborating institutions:

One of the unique aspects of Brooklyn Visual Heritage is that it brings non-uniform data into a unified format. All three partner institutions have been working with digital collections for a long time, and already have well-established metadata schemes and digital asset management systems. It would not have been practical or cost effective to change the practices or procedures at each institution. Instead the goal was to display the data on the site in a uniform way.

Great goal – helpful rundown of one way to get there.

June 4, 2009
by Joanne Riley

Historic Burying Grounds Initiative – City of Boston

The City of Boston’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative website displays histories of the 16 burying grounds it manages, with ability to search historic headstones and gravestone iconography.

Historic Burying Grounds Initiative
Boston’s historic cemeteries are important examples of the City’s early landscape, linking contemporary Boston with a rich historical legacy. The City of Boston has sixteen historic burying grounds and three larger garden-style cemeteries under its jurisdiction which date between 1630 and 1892 and are located in thirteen Boston neighborhoods. The burying grounds house a rich collection of historic artifacts that tell many stories about Boston’s cultural heritage.

The Historic Burying Grounds Initiative (HBGI) is a public/private cooperative program established within the Boston Parks and Recreation Department with the history of the initiative dating back to the early 1970’s. Its mission is the comprehensive restoration, on-going conservation, and heritage interpretation of Boston’s sixteen historic burying grounds.”

June 24, 2008
by Joanne Riley

A “MySpace” for Local Studies in Massachusetts


Announcing the launch of a new social networking site for “humanities practitioners” in Massachusetts, built on the Ning platform.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has funded this experiment, with additional support from the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston, and Mass. Humanities.

Check out the MAStudies Network at and join up if this collegial group of Commonwealth collaborators suits you!

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