In Memoriam: Julian Bond, Untiring Activist

Posted by: Aubrey Butts


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


DRS Collection Profile: The Boys and Girls Club Photograph Archive

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney


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


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


Boston Public School Desegregation project commences

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni


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