Library News and Events


Keeper of the Flame: Boston Phoenix owner gifts archives to Northeastern

Posted by: Jennie Robbiano


Boston Phoenix owner Stephen Mindich decided in September to donate the paper’s archives to Snell Library. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Originally Published in News@Northeastern on November 24, 2015

By Noelle Shough

For nearly 50 years, The Boston Phoenix was Boston’s alter­na­tive newspaper of record, the first word on social jus­tice, pol­i­tics, as well as the arts and music scene. Its intrepid jour­nal­ists tackled issues from safe sex and AIDS aware­ness to gay rights, mar­riage equality, and the legal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana. Ads for room­mates, romantic mates, and band mates—one could find all these and more in the newspaper’s probing, irreverent, enter­taining pages.

It ceased pub­li­ca­tion in March 2013, but the Phoenix will be pre­served for posterity—thanks to owner Stephen Mindich’s deci­sion in Sep­tember to donate the paper’s archives to Northeastern’s Snell Library.

Snell’s Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions already houses an impres­sive array of his­tor­ical records of Boston’s social move­ments, including civil and polit­ical rights, immi­grant rights, home­less­ness, and envi­ron­mental justice.

The Phoenix never shied away from cov­ering topics of neigh­bor­hood interest, sup­porting the rights of indi­vid­uals and groups,” says Will Wakeling, dean of Uni­ver­sity Libraries. “So it will form a per­fect complement to this growing collection.”


The Boston Phoenix will be preserved in Snell Library’s Archives and Special Collections. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The Boston Phoenix will be pre­served in Snell Library’s Archives and Spe­cial Col­lec­tions. Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University


Mindich’s gift encom­passes much more than The Boston Phoenix. The archives include sister pub­li­ca­tions in Worcester, Mass­a­chu­setts, Port­land, Maine, and Prov­i­dence; Boston After Dark; The Real Paper; the alter­na­tive pro­gram­ming of WFNX FM; and Stuff and Stuff at Night mag­a­zines. These sources, including a full Web archive of mate­rial not included in the print edi­tions, pro­vide a richly nuanced per­spec­tive on how people thought and put ideas into action when it came to social issues and social jus­tice from the 1960s to the near-​​present day. They are doc­u­men­ta­tion of the ways social change happens.

Our vision for the archives is dig­i­tizing all the print and making it fully text-​​searchable, so all that his­tory lives on,” says Dan Kennedy, asso­ciate pro­fessor at Northeastern’s School of Jour­nalism and a former Phoenix media colum­nist and nationally-​​known media commentator.

Adds Wakeling, “As the library works on the com­plex dig­i­tizing strategy, the archives will be made avail­able to the public.”

The Boston Phoenix not only reported on the news, it made the news. In 1987, during the height of the AIDS crisis, it dis­trib­uted 150,000 con­doms to readers. In 2001, Phoenix reporter Kristen Lom­bardi described trou­bling pat­terns in how Catholic Church leaders were trans­fer­ring priests accused of sex­u­ally abusing chil­dren to new parishes. The alter­na­tive weekly also fol­lowed the evolving rights of the LGBTQ community.

A great strength of the paper was also its arts cov­erage, which is also Stephen’s pas­sion,” notes Kennedy. In 1994, writer Lloyd Schwartz won the Pulitzer Prize for Crit­i­cism for his cov­erage of clas­sical music. Many former Phoenix writers—Susan Orlean, David Denby, Mark Lei­bovich, and Michael Rezendes among them—went on to illus­trious careers at top U.S. news­pa­pers and magazines.

Though Boston’s anti-​​establishment spirit has faded some­what over the years, Mindich’s dona­tion ensures that its his­tory never will. “Scholars and researchers in this area will be licking their lips in antic­i­pa­tion,” says Wakeling.

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


October is Open Access Month!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


200px-Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svgThis year, Snell Library is expanding the celebration of International Open Access Week to the whole month of October! We have a great schedule of programs lined up for the month that will highlight different resources and initiatives that promote open access to information, as well as open-source tools for research support. You can find the complete listing of events below.

We’ll also be in the Snell lobby on Monday, October 5, from 11:30-1:00, talking about why Open Access is so important for everyone — whether you’re a researcher in a developing country without access to expensive journal subscriptions, a patient trying to access information about a health issue, or a filmmaker hoping to change the world. Stop by to grab a schedule for the month…and one of our laser-cut Open Access bookmarks, made in-house!

Open Access Month: Schedule of Events

Tuesday, October 6
Storing and Sharing Files Using the DRS
12:00-1:00 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
Curious about Northeastern’s Digital Repository Service? This session will include a demonstration of uploading, searching, and browsing in the DRS, an overview of highlighted DRS content, and a forum to ask questions about the DRS and how it’s being used at Northeastern. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 6
Zotero in 30 Minutes
2:00-2:30 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
Learn about using Zotero, one of the most well-known free, open source citation management tools, to organize your research. Track and gather all of your research in one place and automatically format citations and bibliographies—bring your laptop to get started right away. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 7
Digital Humanities Open Office Hours
1:00-2:00 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
Understanding copyright and fair use in the Digital Humanities will be the focus of this week’s regularly scheduled DH Open Office Hours.

Tuesday, October 13
Storing and Sharing Files Using the DRS
3:00-4:00 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
Curious about Northeastern’s Digital Repository Service? This session will include a demonstration of uploading, searching, and browsing in the DRS, an overview of highlighted DRS content, and a forum to ask questions about the DRS and how it’s being used at Northeastern. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 14
DSG & NULab Fall Showcase
3:00-6:00 p.m. | 90 SL & Digital Scholarship Commons
Angel Nieves, Associate Professor, Director of American Studies and Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative at Hamilton College, will speak in room 90 from 3:00-4:00. Then join us in the DSC from 4:15-6:00 to meet others interested in digital scholarship and learn about recent developments in DSG and NULab projects. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 20
All About Archives! Finding Primary Sources Housed at Northeastern and Beyond
12:00-1:00 p.m. | 421 SL
Primary source material gives researchers a first-hand look at the past. Giordana Mecagni, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, will showcase some of Northeastern’s unique collections, and Jamie Dendy, Head of Research and Instruction Services and History Librarian, will demonstrate some of his favorite open-access collections of primary sources. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, October 22
Data Management Plans and the DRS
12:30-1:30 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
How can you effectively share and preserve research data while fulfilling grant requirements? This session will describe the library’s support for research data management, including the DMPTool as an option to generate data management plans, and the Digital Repository Service as an option for preserving and sharing research data. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 27
Open Tools for GIS: Google Maps
2:00-3:00 p.m. | 421 SL
Bahare Sanaie-Movahed, the library’s new GIS Specialist, will demonstrate how Google Maps can be used for creating open-access GIS projects. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 28
Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
4:00-8:00 p.m. | DSC Media Lounge, 211 SL
Join us to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented groups in Massachusetts and U.S. history. This hack-a-thon style session will focus on editing and updating Wikipedia pages in a group setting. You do not need any prior experience with Wikipedia to participate, just bring a laptop and a power supply. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, October 29
Textbook Affordability and Open Educational Resources
12:00-1:00 p.m. | 421 SL
Nancy Pawlyshyn, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Graduate Education program, will be joined by representatives from Academic Technology Services and Snell Library to discuss how Open Educational Resources can be implemented in the classroom as alternatives to high-cost traditional textbooks. A student will provide the undergraduate perspective on textbook affordability. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, October 30
Sourcing Multimedia for Your Course
12:00-1:30 p.m. | 140 SL
The Internet offers a variety of public domain and Creative Commons images, movies, and documents that may be used to support teaching and learning. Learn strategies for finding relevant media and crediting the media appropriately. Hosted by Academic Technology Services.

Friday, October 30
Creating Interactive Open Educational Resources
2:00-4:00 p.m. | 140 SL
This course will show you the basics of using Storyline to create interactive educational resources. You’ll learn how to incorporate multimedia, create your own text, audio, and image content, and create interactive features. Finally, we’ll discuss options for publishing on the web. Hosted by Academic Technology Services.

Posted in: Information and Society, Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications


“Neighborhood Matters” Fall 2015 lunchtime movies announced

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni


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


Northeastern Welcomes Convenience Store Vending Machine

Posted by: Dylan Sessler


Gone are the days of running to the corner store in desperation only to find it closed. Gone are the times when you arrive at the library fully prepared for a day of studying only to realize you forgot your phone charger.

This semester, Snell Library has a new addition to the first floor near Argo Tea; a vending machine offering essentials such as highlighters, medicine, and caffeinated gummy bears. This is the first location of the Northeastern-based start-up, The Lobby Shop, which offers a convenient solution for the busy lives of college students and professionals.


Founded by three NU undergrads, The Lobby Shop was born after a chance meeting at IDEA, Northeastern’s venture accelerator. Co-founders Beth Hutchings and Dylan Sessler came to their IDEA orientation with a plan to take college essentials and offer them in a vending machine. Midway through the meeting, freshman Evan LaBelle stood up and pitched an idea eerily similar to their own.  A few days later they were officially partners of The Lobby Shop.


Supported by IDEA, Maureen Timmons, and their coach Jordan Vallino, the three students developed their product list to incorporate the common necessities in the following categories:

  • OTC medicine
  • electronics accessories
  • hygiene products
  • school supplies
  • everyday essentials

The machine will also feature a rotating selection of fun and useful items that students will be able to vote on.

After receiving contract approval and gap funding this past summer, the trio installed their machine in the back of Argo Tea in Snell Library to offer urgently needed items in a central location on campus. The Lobby Shop team plans to bring their service to residence halls at Northeastern and other universities to provide safe and convenient access to products students need at all hours of the day.

“The reality is that Boston isn’t a 24-hour city” Beth notes, “and most of our lives don’t end when stores close. Especially if we have another winter like last year, we want as many people as possible to have access to things they often need around the clock.”


Posted in: Library News and Events, Staff Interests, Tech Alerts


Welcome Back to Snell: What You Need to Know

Posted by: Tom Petrini


On behalf of Snell Library, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning members of the Northeastern community for the start of the Fall 2015 semester. Snell Library offers services and resources for everyone at Northeastern. Click a link below to explore how you can use your library!

We have spent the summer creating new study spaces, enriching our collections, and planning some very special events to celebrate 25 years of Snell Library. To kick-off the semester, we will hold an information table on the library porch through Friday, September 11th. Subject librarians and ITS staff will be there to answer your questions and give out free goodies.

The Hub


During the week of September 14th, we are hosting a social media-based challenge called #HuskyHideAndSeek as a part of our celebration of Snell’s 25th birthday.

  • 25 3D printed huskies will be hiding all around the building.
  • Follow @ClubSnell on Twitter and Instagram for clues.
  • Find a husky, share on social media, and win!

Winners will:

  • Keep their husky
  • Win a $5 gift card to the 3D Printing Studio
  • Be entered to win a brand new Fujifilm Instamax Mini polaroid camera

The rest of the semester includes a full calendar of great events, from 3D Printing and DMC Studios workshops to Meet the Author and Neighborhood Matters events and a month long celebration of Open Access. Be sure to check our events calendar for the most up-to-date information. Good luck this fall. Snell Library’s resources and staff are here to help make this your best semester yet!


Posted in: Library News and Events