Posted by: Andrew Begley
The records of the New England chapter of the American Composers Forum (ACFNE) are now available for research in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections.
The collection documents the role of ACFNE in promoting local composers and their music, and includes administrative records for the organization, as well as scores and recordings of original compositions. The collection also provides some interesting intersections with the Archives’ existing social justice collections. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, ACFNE’s Community Partners Program provided funding to place composers in diverse non-musical community settings in the Boston area, with the goal of integrating community participants in the making, playing and enjoyment of new music. Program participants in the Boston area included City Year, Casa Myrna Vasquez, and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.
A flier for “Know the Ledge: An Expression of Afro-Caribbean Culture Through Hip-Hop,” sponsored by Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción and ACFNE.
Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Music
Posted by: Claudia Willett
In the wake of the events that occurred on April 15, 2013 at the 117th Boston Marathon and on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Northeastern University English Professor Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Assistant Professor Ryan Cordell recognized the obvious need for a space where people could tell and share their stories with each other. They believed that sharing stories from survivors, families, witnesses, visitors to the city, and everyone around the world touched by the event will speed the healing process, and wanted to create that space as a gift to the community.
Together, they established the Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, a crowd-sourced, digital archive of pictures, videos, stories, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombing. Thus far, they have acquired an archive of almost 10,000 items, 3 interactive exhibits, and 3 major collections.
[April 21, 2013, from the Public Submissions collection]
This summer, I contributed to this remarkable endeavor as a Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) graduate summer intern sponsored by the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department and supported by the Project Co-Director James McGrath. In addition to exhibit building and social media, the main task of my internship was to create lesson plans for schoolroom use.
Because children were affected by this crisis as well, the team at Our Marathon thought it would help the healing process for children to use the Our Marathon archives—to remember and share stories in the safety of their own classrooms. Additionally, it can be difficult for teachers to navigate the complex questions young students ask and a resource like the digital archive can work as a great tool to facilitate age appropriate discussion.
To that end, I helped create a Teaching Resources page for Our Marathon. This page showcases five lesson plans for Kindergarten through Grade 12 that utilize Letters to the City of Boston and The Copley Square Memorial collections, and the WBUR Oral History Project as the basis for a teaching unit. These lesson plans are designed to demonstrate mastery of grade and subject appropriate Common Core Standards.
Hopefully, these assignments will generate more student submissions to the archive as well as create a platform for an important dialogue amongst students and teachers. I look forward to reading about their experiences in the Our Marathon archives.
Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, History, Information and Society, Library News and Events, Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online
Posted by: Rebecca Bailey
To support Northeastern University’s emphasis on sustainability and green design, the library subscribes to BuildingGreen Suite, a collection of authoritative media and information resources relating to these topics.
The three main features of its collection are:
- Articles from Environmental Building News
- A searchable directory of green products
- Case studies on individual buildings from their High Performance Buildings database.
The Environmental Building News articles include longer feature articles that deal with topics in depth, product reviews, and shorter topic overviews called “BackPage Primers.” These can be very helpful if you’re not that familiar with subject matter required for your project or assignment. For example, you could brush up on induction lighting, OLEDs, and other lighting technologies, or on acoustics and managing sound and noise within a building.
The green products directory allows you to search by the name of a specific product, or by categories of products such as Plumbing, Concrete, or Wood and Plastics. You can find out details about what a product is made of or contains, when it might be used, and why it might not be right to use in certain situations.
The case studies allow you to search for a specific building, or by location of the project or the type of building. For example, you can search for K-12 schools, or retail stores. Or you can look for projects in Massachusetts. The buildings featured in this section “may be certified green projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features.”
Be sure to check out BuildingGreen Suite if you are working on any project with a focus on green design or sustainable building practices!
Posted in: Architecture, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Research Online, Sustainability
Posted by: Rebecca Bailey
Exciting news! New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced recently that “more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.”
The Met calls this initiative Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC). When searching their online image collection, look for the OASC icon, which designates images that are part of this initiative. These images may be used for non-commercial purposes, including school assignments, presentations, scholarly publishing, or personal projects. (Read more about the OASC policy in the FAQ.)
This decision by the Met follows a very welcome recent movement among galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (the so-called GLAM organizations) to make more of their digital image content freely available when possible. This benefits the organizations by increasing public awareness of and generating publicity for their collections. And of course it benefits all of us to have greater access to cultural content worldwide!
Here are some links to more such programs:
The initiative known as OpenGLAM, which is helping many museums to open up more of their content, has a longer list of these types of efforts on their website. You can learn more about OpenGLAM from their FAQ. And be sure to check out the amazing image collections listed above. Happy exploring!
Posted in: Architecture, Art, Information and Society, Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online
Posted by: Andrew Begley
In her new book Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End, historian Hope J. Shannon highlights the role of community group Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (Puerto Rican Tenants in Action) in securing affordable housing for the South End’s Puerto Rican community in the late 1960s.
Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) began in 1967 as a grassroots movement against the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s urban renewal plan, which would have torn down affordable housing units in the South End, replacing them with new housing unaffordable to the existing residents. IBA incorporated in 1968 as the Emergency Tenants Council of Parcel 19, Inc. (ETC) and successfully designed its own housing development plan for a parcel of land in the South End (known as Parcel 19). In 1969, the Boston Housing Authority named ETC sponsor-developer of Parcel 19, and the resulting Villa Victoria housing development would become a model of citizen participation in urban renewal for housing developments across the country.
The records of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción can be found in the Archives and Special Collections Department at Snell Library, just one of a number of collections documenting the history of Boston’s Latino community. The Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción collection’s photographs have been digitized and are available online as part of the Boston’s Latino Community History exhibit on the Archives and Special Collections website.
Residents of Villa Victoria gather together
Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Latin American and Caribbean Studies