Northeastern Archives featured in “Empower : The Campaign for Northeastern University”

Posted by: Dominique Medal


Empower : The Campaign for Northeastern University

Northeastern University recently revealed the final total of its historic Empower campaign: $1.4 billion raised, for students, faculty, and research. President Aoun fêted Empower’s success at an event with donors on October 26 in the Cabot Center. Attendees engaged with interactive exhibits highlighting faculty and student research, including, on a giant 180-degree screen, videos that featured Northeastern’s history, its bright future, and the impact of Empower.

Northeastern’s Marketing and Communications Department worked closely with staff from the Archives and Special Collections department to find photographs, documents, maps, stored in the Archives to illustrate the deep and rich history of the University, starting with its beginnings in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Young Men. Archival items used in the video include photographs of early sports teams and King Husky I, the dog who was the first Northeastern mascot, and selections from the Cauldron yearbook. The video traces the history of Northeastern’s programs, including the nation’s first-ever Automobile School and cooperative education, and the development of campus from the YMCA and the site of the first World Series to the construction of Richards Hall and beyond.  In all, over 100 archival items were included in this testament to Northeastern’s growth and development.


Posted in: Archives and Special Collections


5 Essential Things you Need to Know About Snell Library: Spring 2018

Posted by: Jon Reed


Welcome back Huskies! We hope that your semester is off to a great start. Our staff at Snell Library wanted to jog your memory about five essential things to know about Snell Library in Spring 2018:

1. Get a jump start on your coursework by talking to your subject specialist. We have a specialist for everything you could need help with, from architecture to engineering, even 3D printing and video production. If you can’t stop into the library you can always search our FAQ or reach us 24/7.

2. We’re working to keep your library clean.  24/7 study can be a messy business, that’s why we worked with our partners at ABM to establish a nightly cleaning schedule for Club Snell.  Tuesday through Friday, each floor gets a whole night dedicated to cleaning.

3. You can now find textbooks easier than ever. Your professor can put your textbooks on reserve in the library. To find out if they did search on the library homepage or ask your professor.

4. Want to learn how to cite your sources like a pro? Beautifully visualize your data? Record the next Grammy-winning album? You can do that and more through our workshops. Keep an eye on our calendar for workshops, film screenings, and fun activities.

5. Ever forget you husky card but still want to get into the Library?  Too busy to commit your HuskyID to memory?  Well we installed a hand scanner just for you!  Register with Student Services to take advantage of this exciting pilot program.


Posted in: Serendipity


BPS Desegregation Project: Visualizing Racial Disparity in Boston, c. 1970

Posted by: Molly Brown


The following is a series written by archivists, academics, activists, and educators making available primary source material, providing pedagogical support, and furthering the understanding of Boston Public School’s Desegregation history.

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This post was reprinted from Anna Kijas of the Boston College Libraries Digital Scholarship Group: https://ds.bc.edu/visualizing-racial-disparity-in-boston-c-1970/ with permission by Molly Brown, 11/13/2017

During the spring and summer of this year, I collaborated on an exhibit, Desegregating Boston Schools: Crisis and Community Activism, 1963-1977, with Sarah Melton and Dr. Eric Weiskott. The main exhibit is at the John J. Burns Library, and a smaller complementary exhibit is on view in the Reading Room, Level 3, Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Library. Curating this exhibit required doing research in special collections at John J. Burns Library, specifically in the Louise Bonar and Carol Wolfe collection, Citywide Coordinating Council Records, and the Robert F. Drinan, SJ Congressional Papers.

One aspect of this exhibit was to create visualizations and infographics using racial demographic data for the City of Boston, racial distribution of students within the Boston Public Schools, and outcomes of the Boston School Committee election of 1973. The data for these visualizations was drawn from the materials in the Bonar/Wolfe collection, Citywide Coordinating Council Records, 1970 Census, and Analyze Boston.

To complement the materials in the exhibit in the John J. Burns Library, which include a map depicting the total black population in the City of Boston (1970) juxtaposed with the wards won by the only black candidate—Patricia Bonner-Lyons, who ran for the Boston School Committee in 1973—I created these three density maps. The maps were created with tract-level 1970 Census data, which depicts the neighborhoods within the City of Boston as established by the Bureau of the Census. The shading (light to dark) of each neighborhood correlates with the number (low to high) of people according to race, as documented in the 1970 Census. From these visualizations it is easy to see that neighborhoods, including South Boston, West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain were predominantly white, while the neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester were predominantly black.

Density map depicting population according to racial demographics (white, black, and hispanic) in the City of Boston, ca. 1970. (Click on the image to open the interactive map in separate tab).

There are many different GIS platforms and tools available, but for this project I used Tableau Public a freely available software that enables you to create interactive data visualizations (not just maps!). The neighborhoods in these maps are created with a shapefile that I generated from the Neighborhood Change Database 1970-2010. Tableau Public provides the option to connect a spatial file, which will then allow you to render a spatial visualization and identify the specific dimensions (for this map: population by race) that will be shown in an info box upon clicking or hovering over the map.

Dimensions are visible in the pop-up box.

The full workbook for this visualization can be downloaded from the “City of Boston 1970 (test)” page on my Tableau Public profile page.

Anna Kijas:: https://wp.me/p8gxJc-k8


Posted in: Archives and Special Collections


Collections on the Move!

Posted by: Amira Aaron


The move of lesser-used library print collections to an offsite annex announced earlier this fall by Dan Cohen, Dean of Libraries, and Provost James Bean is about to start.  The project will begin on the 4th floor and you will see people hard at work selecting items from the shelves and packing boxes.  There will be increased activity in the stacks on the 3rd and 4th floors during this project and the back service elevator will be restricted to library and vendor staff.  Thank you for your understanding as we work to bring you additional study space along with new and improved services.

Here are a couple of important links to follow for more information:

Collection Move Status Updates

Letter from Dan Cohen and Provost Bean, September 2017

For assistance, contact the Help and information Desk on the first floor.

Posted in: Collections, Library News and Events


Finals Week 2017: You Got This

Posted by: Jon Reed


Finals: every college student’s favorite time of year. Your friends at Snell Library know that it is an incredibly stressful time. That’s why we’ve got some Finals Week activities for you at Snell.

Firstly, we’ll have a coloring table beginning on Reading Day and all through finals week set up in the first floor lobby. Coloring is a fantastic, proven way to reduce stress and focus on something other than college. 

Also on Reading Day, we’ll have massage chairs with professional masseuses as well as energy filled snacks to hand out from 12-4 PM. A big thanks to Fit University for making this happen. Feeling stressed about last minute citations, bibliographies, or research? We’ll have a Citation and Walk-In Research Clinic from 4-6 PM in the lobby on Reading Day for any last minute help you may need.

Throughout all of Finals Week, be on the lookout for goodie bag giveaways, free coffee study breaks, and positive sentiments from library staff. From all of us here at Snell Library, we wish you the best of luck on your finals!

Posted in: Serendipity