Celebrate Pride with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus records

Posted by: Dominique Medal


When the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) gave its first concert in June 1982, they were beginning an annual tradition of singing with pride during Pride.

2016-2017 will be BGMC’s 35th concert season. Let’s take a look back on their first ten years of celebrating Pride with the Boston community.

Boston Gay Men's Chorus 10th Anniversary promotional mailer.

10th Anniversary mailer.

Section of the concert program, June 1987.

Section of the concert program, June 1987.


Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Serendipity


Celebrate Pride Month!

Posted by: Kaley Bachelder


In case you haven’t heard, June is LGBT Pride Month! Celebrate by reading one of these LGBT books:

rubyfruit jungle

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Rubyfruit Jungle, first published in 1973 and still painfully relevant today, follows protagonist Molly Bolt, comfortable as lesbian though everyone around her isn’t. While the slang the characters use won’t let you forget this book is from the ‘70s, Molly’s life as a queer individual is not so different than some people’s today, and it’s refreshing to follow a character whose sexual identity does not result in ultimate unhappiness, but drives her to succeed.



aristotle and danteAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

No, this book is not about a philosopher and a poet traversing through space and time (but wouldn’t that be great?!). In Sáenz’s novel, two Mexican-American boys grapple with car crashes, romance, and hate crime in the 1980s. As they grow older, they seek the definition of love and acceptance for who they are.




the night wastchThe Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Starting in 1947 and working its way back to 1941, The Night Watch follows the lives of four twenty-something year olds trying to piece their lives together in WWII London. Each character’s story is told separately, often with guest appearances from some of the others. The narrative moves backwards in time, so as you go you’ll learn more about events that were only hinted at previously and discover what made these people who they are.



liquorLiquor by Poppy Z. Brite

First in its series by trans writer Poppy Z. Brite, Liquor stars Rickey and G-Man, best friends, boyfriends, and line cooks in New Orleans. When Rickey is unexpectedly fired, the two decide to open a restaurant where every dish is cooked with some sort of liquor. The protagonists of this novel are gay, but the plot has nothing to do with their sexuality, offering a welcome change from the typical coming-out story.



Sorrsorry, treey, Tree by Eileen Myles

This collection by punk poet Eileen Myles combines love with politics to take a definitive stance on what it means to be a lesbian. With her signature style of haphazard rhythm and unmetered stanzas, Myles’ work feels raw and powerful. It’s only 83 pages—bring it for your T ride to Boston Pride Festival this Saturday!

Posted in: Serendipity


Interlibrary Loan at Snell just got simpler!

Posted by: Jennie Robbiano


Ever wanted a book, DVD, CD, or hard copy journal that we didn’t have in the stacks? Well, lucky for you the hard working staff at Snell just made it a lot simpler to get it from another library! Learn more about what this change means for you below.











…Psst! Didn’t know you could get a book from other libraries? Check out the basics here: http://library.northeastern.edu/services/borrow-renew/interlibrary-loan-ill


1) We’ve streamlined how you request Interlibrary Loan materials. Now instead of choosing between two systems you’ll only have to request things through Illiad. Just search for the item you’re looking for and click “Request from another library.” Library staff will figure out the fastest way to get you what you need.

Screen Shot request from another library












2) You will now see all of your returnables (that’s the swanky library term for physical items you have to bring back to us) in the My Account area of the library website. This makes it easier to keep track of all the materials you have out.

1. My Library Account
























3) You can renew all your Interlibrary Loan materials the same way! All renewals will now be processed through Illiad. Just click the link on the My Account page.

Screen Shot Renew ILL


3. Renew request link in ILLiad account































4) It’s easier to know what the late fees will be. Now all your returnables will accrue fees the same way. Learn more about our fee policy here. Of course, you can avoid fees all together by remembering to bring your library books back on time!


The only fee difference with Interlibrary Loan materials will be replacement fees since they depend on the place we borrowed the materials from. But we know you’d never lose something from the library, right?


So that’s it! Everything you need to know about Interlibrary Loan at Snell. Feel free to shoot us any questions you have at ill@neu.edu and we look forward to getting you all the returnables ( I told you that vocab word would come in handy) you could ever need!

library card gif

Posted in: Serendipity


Take a Study Break with some Poetry!

Posted by: Kaley Bachelder


Finals season is undoubtedly here. Every study room is booked, every chair is filled, every student is slogging away. If you need to take a moment away from that Organic Chemistry textbook, relax for a minute with a poem or two. It’s still National Poetry Month! Click the pictures to see the catalog listing for each poet.

Shel imgres-1Silverstein

Unwind with the familiar and conversational poetry of Shel Silverstein, acclaimed children’s poet and cartoonist. Re-read an old classic like The Giving Tree, or find something you don’t remember as well like A Giraffe and a Half. If you’re checking out A Light in the Attic, don’t miss “Somebody Has To” and “Snake Problem.”





The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets

The collection started with ten poems. The ten poets of those ten poems then chose another piece of their own to include, and invited a new poet’s work to be included. These ten newly nominated poets repeat the cycle, contributing a poem of their choosing and selecting another poet to join. The result is Poets Picking Poets, 100 different poems by 50 different poets. The unique selection process of this anthology lets you compare what poets consider their own best work to what other poets think of their work.




220px-Bertolt-BrechtBertolt Brecht

Though known mostly for his playwriting, Bertolt Brecht has a surprisingly stocked arsenal of poetic works. His scope was far-ranging, from the personal to the political, in unique form, many intended to be set to music or as part of a play. From his collection Poems, 1913-1956, check out “Questions,” “The Burning of the Books,” and “A Worker Reads History.”





Natasha Trethewey

Pulitzer Prize winner and United States Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, Natasha Trethewey’s poetry successfully blends free verse with traditionally structured form poetry. Addressing the racial legacy of America, Trethewey’s work is rooted in history but recounted in a more personal tone, so that each character comes to life with a combination of factual accuracy and relatable personality.





replica by Thomas Phillips, oil on canvas, circa 1835 (1813)Lord Byron

When you think romantic, you should think Lord Byron. In a personal letter to a friend, Byron once wrote, “The great object of life is sensation—to feel that we exist—even though in pain.” This mastery of language and expression is present in all of Byron’s work, from his long epic narratives to his short lyric poems. If Don Juan, entertaining and satirical as it is, intimidates you with its page count (768!), start with a collection of his shorter works, like “Prometheus.”

Posted in: Serendipity


BPS Desegregation Project: Wading through 87 linear feet of documents.

Posted by: Corinne Bermon


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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With more than 207 archival boxes spread out over six collections to pull from the shelves and vet for digitizing for the online repository, my collaborator Northeastern Ph.D. student Meghan Doran and I needed a strategy. We wanted to select items that would not overlap with the other participating repositories in the Boston Library Consortium project. As we diligently began this process, two main methods of approach emerged as Meghan wrote the directive for our selection process: digitize unique materials and difficult materials.

We began to curate materials that highlighted the struggle in Boston Public Schools in the records of Citywide Educational Coalition (CWEC), and Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), as well as the papers of Phyllis M. Ryan, Carmen A. Pola, Frieda Garcia, and Frank J. Miranda. Through the summer, the two of us digitized documents, photos, and printed ephemera relating to the lead-up to court ordered busing proclamation issued by Judge Garrity in 1974 and the allocation of funding for projects aimed at reducing minority isolation in the schools under Chapter 636.  Materials that were of particular interest as well were the parent councils of each organization, who were incredibly active and integral to the process of desegregation and monitoring the schools.

20150310_122659_zpshavqgy13Each collection has proven to be unique in completing the picture of the structures that were put in place before, during, and after the court ordered busing. Through the correspondence in the collections of CWEC and METCO, we aimed to highlight the different approaches to and the debates that surrounded the desegregation case and also show the personal side of how it affected parents and children.  There was so much strife that surrounded this process that it was easy to overlook the fact that much of Boston area was in favor of racially balancing the schools.  It felt important to include the supportive letters from parents as well as the letters protesting the court orders.

My personal favorite collection to digitize has been the Phyllis M. Ryan papers. Ryan did extraordinary work with James Breeden, the Episcopalian priest who helped orchestrate the Freedom Stay Out Days and the Freedom Schools, as well as with the Massachusetts Advocacy Center and the planning of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to Boston that ended in the two and a half-mile march from the South End to the Boston Common. Because she had her hands in so many organizations, it was especially important to stick to our devised set of criteria.  Many fascinating documents were relegated to the second or third tier of scanning because they only tangentially connected to the desegregation of the schools, but connected to the civil rights fight overall more.

As we keep forging ahead with this project, I look forward to uncovering the treasures in the Roxbury Multi-Service Center and other collections that are found in Northeastern University’s social justice collections.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Online Collections