Archives and Special Collections

2
Nov15

A Unity of Purpose: Physical Therapy Turns 100

Posted by: Aubrey Butts

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Seven educated young women at the turn of the twentieth century founded a school to educate future generations of women in the principles of health and body mechanics. Known as a gymnastics school, the concept seems quaint, perhaps even antiquated, to a modern audience. While a concern for proper posture resulted from gendered and classed notions of proper behavior, initiating a capital project aimed at professional development for women transgressed these same norms. By founding the Boston School of Physical Education, these seven pioneering women not only contributed to the future of their profession in Boston but also advanced principles that would shape a new medical discipline – physical therapy. Today, their legacy lives on in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.

The Founders

Four of the original seven founders of the Boston School of Physical Education. Marjorie Bouvé stands at far left.

The Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences commemorates one hundred years of leadership and innovation this November. As part of the celebrations, the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections created an online exhibit, “A Unity of Purpose.” The line comes from the School’s original alma mater and celebrates the shared attitudes, such as service and civic engagement, which have guided students of all disciplines in their academic and professional pursuits.

Photographs, correspondence, government documents, advertisements, and even uniforms document how the Bouvé program contributed to the development of the physical therapy profession in the United States.

Through wartime service and work in polio clinics, students increased awareness within the medical field of particular rehabilitation therapies. The traditional emphases of movement and holistic bodily treatment supported arguments for greater professional autonomy throughout the later twentieth century, a period marked by increased health consciousness and rapid changes to the delivery of healthcare services.

Physical therapy students practice exercising with crutches and wheelchairs, ca. 1960

Physical therapy students practice exercising with crutches and wheelchairs, ca. 1960

The predecessor of current physical therapy programs at Bouvé received its accreditation from the American Physiotherapy Association in 1929. Northeastern physical therapy students thus can boast of attending one of the three oldest, continuously operating programs in the United States. This November, the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences celebrates much more than institutional resiliency. Their centennial evokes memories of successive generations of spirited, compassionate, and forward-thinking educators and students.

To learn more about physical therapy education at Bouvé, visit “A Unity of Purpose.” You can also find a companion exhibit, “A Proud Past: Boston-Bouvé College, 1913-1977” on the Archives and Special Collections website as well as a display of historical materials on the fourth floor of the Behrakis Health Sciences Center. All exhibit materials come from collections in the University Archives.

1990 Yearbook

1990 Yearbook

1992 Yearbook

1992 Yearbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

26
Oct15

In Memoriam: Julian Bond, Untiring Activist

Posted by: Aubrey Butts

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A030588In the late evening of August 15, 2015, civil rights activist Julian Bond passed away. The journalistic coverage surrounding his death testified to his unwavering fight for a more just, socially conscious world. Bond targeted intransigent attitudes of hypocrisy and discrimination through multiple avenues – grassroots activism against Jim Crow as a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and opposition of the Vietnam War during his run for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives.

The Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections preserves the papers of Flora Haas, a Boston activist who brought her experiences from the Civil Rights movement to bear on her advocacy for prisoners’ rights. A 1982 speech attributed to Julian Bond resides within this collection. While the circumstances of its delivery are unclear, the speech draws attention to the death penalty as another site where judgments based on race and class skew fair application of the law. Rather than exposing a history of unjust “premeditated murder by the state,” Bond commanded his audience’s attention with eyewitness testimony of an execution by electrocution. In recounting his father’s chilling encounter with an inmate named Charlie Washington, he reminded listeners then and readers now of the irreversible violence against individuals that occurs behind prison walls. His opinion of the death penalty as a moral wrong, “the product of a fallible system from which there is no appeal,” stems from his tested reading of power relations in the United States that informed all his battles for social justice.

With his compassion and irrepressible energy, Julian Bond served as a model for today’s generation of social justice activists. In sharing his father’s account, he challenged all who would listen to see beyond prejudice, fear, and anger to the vulnerable yet resilient individuals seeking compassion and those protections guaranteed to them by the law. His ideas live on as points of hope for activists and the dispossessed alike.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

16
Oct15

DRS Collection Profile: The Boys and Girls Club Photograph Archive

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney

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A boy performs a dive at a Boys’ Club swimming championship. The Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections’ vast collection of photographs from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston is now available in the DRS. This collection tells an important story of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston (BGCB) and the organization’s rich involvement in the Boston community from 1893 to 2004.

The BGCB DRS collection is the result of a large-scale, two-year digitization and cataloging project undertaken by Snell Library staff. There are more than 6,100 engaging images available in this collection, including photographs, slides, and negatives, and more than 5,000 photographs have been digitized and made available in the DRS. While most of the photographs in the collection were taken between 1940 and 1995, some images date back to 1915, and others are as recent as 2000.

Boston Red Sox Roger Clemens, center, posing with two unidentified men holding a donation check at “Roger’s Rocket Boosters” event.Many people, events, locations, and activities are represented in the collection, and as a whole the collection is a record of the BGCB’s century-long involvement with children in the Boston community. The DRS BGCB photograph collection is a small fraction of the related archival content maintained by University Archives and Special Collections. The full collection contains administrative documents, promotional programs, correspondence, VHS and reel-to-reel tape, scrapbooks, and many other artifacts of the history of the BGCB. For more information about the Archives’ BGCB collection, view the finding aid or visit the Archives.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

5
Oct15

“Neighborhood Matters” Fall 2015 lunchtime movies announced

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni

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Neighborhood Matters is a lunchtime series that celebrates the ways in which community groups have shaped the neighborhoods surrounding the Northeastern campus. This series is co-curated by the Northeastern Center for the Arts and the Archives and Special Collections at the Northeastern University Library.

 The Series’ fall series includes three films about the North End, Chinatown, and the impacts of the City’s 1974 school desegregation efforts.

Boston’s North End: America’s Italian Neighborhood

Tue, Oct 13, 2015
12:00 pm, Snell Library 90, Free Lunch

Special Guest:

Maureen McNamara; Filmmaker
Nancy Caruso, Co-founder, North End Waterfront Central Artery Committee

From 1870-1900, more than 4 million southern Italians left their home country, fleeing violence, social chaos, and widespread poverty. Boston’s North End tells the story of the individuals and families who found their way their way to Boston and settled in what became one of America’s oldest “Little Italy” communities.


The Struggle Over Parcel C: How Boston’s Chinatown Won a Victory in the Fight Against Institutional Expansionism and Environmental Racism

Tue, Oct 27, 2015
12:00 pm, Snell Library 90, Free Lunch

Special Guests:

Giles Li, Executive Director of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCMC)
Tunney Lee, Chief Architect in Chinatown’s development and professor emeritus at MIT

The Struggle Over Parcel C was created by Mike Blockenstein with the Asian Community Development Corporation and Boston-area high school students and is part of A Chinatown Banquet. This series of short documentaries explores the history, culture, and politics that shaped Boston’s most densely populated residential neighborhood, Chinatown.

Tue, Nov 10, 2015
12:00 pm, Snell Library 90, Free Lunch

Special Guests
Donna Bivens, Director Boston Busing/Desegregation Project at the Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN)
Dr. Polly F. Attwood, Northeastern University’s Department of Education

Can We Talk? Learning from Boston’s Busing/Desegregation is a film that provides an intimate look at how people’s lives and the Boston community were changed by the 1970’s educational and racial crisis that garnered national attention.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Library News and Events, Serendipity

5
Oct15

Boston Public School Desegregation project commences

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni

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Freedom SchoolThe 2014-2015 school year marked the 40th anniversary of Boston Public School (BPS)’s court-ordered school desegregation.  To commemorate this event, BPS is building a multi-grade curricular unit for students to study the city’s school desegregation and “busing” crisis.  Before this unit was created, students learned about integration efforts only through the case study of Little Rock, AK.  Neglecting to address, understand, and own Boston’s own civil rights struggles perpetuates the notion that the Civil Rights Movement targeted injustice and segregation only in the South, when in truth, Boston’s struggles were equally important and difficult.

To assist this effort, Northeastern’s University Archives and Special Collections is coordinating a multi-archive scanning project whose goal is to make available archival material that relates to what how and why busing happened in Boston, as well as the after effects it had on the community.  The goal is to create a digital library of material that can be widely disseminated for both curricular and scholarly use.

This effort has been made possible by a gift from the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), whose leadership has been essential to this project.

This School Desegregation and ”Busing”  Digital Library is a lightweight, nimble project that attempts to lay the technical and descriptive groundwork for cross-institutional collaboration through the technical infrastructure of the DPLA and Digital Commonwealth.  It also serves as the kernel of what all hope becomes a long-standing collaboration between BPS and local archives.   In an ideal world, all 57,000 BPS students visit an archive during their K-12 years.  Realistically, digitizing this material allows teachers unfettered access to a deep pool of primary source material which can inspire students to learn more about the history of their own city and become emerging leaders.

The BLC members initiating this effort are University Archives and Special Collections at UMass Boston, the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections, The State Library of Massachusetts’ Special Collections, and Boston College’s John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections.  Additional archival partners include The Moakley Archive and Institute at Suffolk University and the Boston City Archives.

Partner institutions are scanning material that illuminate the complexity of state- and city-wide politics, community activism and advocacy, and all parties’ reactions to national and local legislation.  The time frame covered originates with the Brown v. Board of Education decision (1954), works through the Civil Rights Act (1964), into and past the Morgan v. Hennigan case (1974), and the resulting citywide unrest.  The collection aims to illustrate the reaction of politicians, school staff and administrators, parents and community members to desegregation by busing.

To watch the growing collection of items that is Northeastern’s contribution to this effort, please visit the University’s Digital Repository.

 

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Collections, Serendipity