19
Dec17

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

Posted by: Molly Brown

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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

https://ds.bc.edu/

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

13
Dec17

Collections on the Move!

Posted by: Amira Aaron

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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

5
Dec17

Finals Week 2017: You Got This

Posted by: Jon Reed

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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

27
Nov17

Northeastern Archives’ Elma Lewis honored by Celebrity Series of Boston

Posted by: Molly Brown

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Elma Lewis, whose papers reside in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections and is the founder of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, the National Center of Afro-American Artists, and the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists will be celebrated along with choreographer Alvin Ailey by the Celebrity Series of Boston at John Hancock Hall on Wednesday, December 6 at 7:00 PM.

Celebrity Series of Boston’s event is entitled “REVELATIONS: The Legacies of Alvin Ailey and Boston’s Elma Lewis.” The event is free and open to the public.

If you are interested in attending please follow this link to register and find more information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/revelations-the-legacies-of-alvin-ailey-and-bostons-elma-lewis-tickets-39629597192?aff=cswebsite

If you are interested in finding out more about Elma Lewis and her legacy in the arts and African American communities in Boston visit the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections finding aid for her papers here: http://www.library.neu.edu/archives/collect/findaids/m38findprint.htm

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

22
Nov17

Spring is Coming – Don’t Forget about Library Reserves!

Posted by: Erin Beach

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Faculty and staff, it’s time to start thinking about submitting your course reserve requests for Spring 2018!  Classes begin January 8, and the sooner we receive your requests for materials, the sooner we’ll have them ready for students to borrow. The library is not open over Winter Break, so in order for your materials to be ready for check-out during the first week of classes, we recommend that you have your lists submitted by December 18, 2017.

If you already have items on reserve for Fall 2017 that you’d like to keep in place for the Spring semester, please let us know before December 15, 2017!  After December 15, library-owned reserve materials not needed for Spring will be re-shelved in the regular stacks upstairs.  Personal copies expiring Fall 2017 will begin to be removed during intersession week (December 18-December 22).

To request library materials for reserve, submit this form (myNEU login required). The library doesn’t purchase textbooks for courses, but we’d be happy to add your personal copies to our catalog; just print out the completed request form and drop it off with your textbooks at the Help and Information Desk on the 1st floor.

Feel free to get in touch with me directly with any questions or concerns.

Posted in: Serendipity