Read the Rainbow at Snell!

Posted by: Sarah Towne



Summer arrives with a celebration as June is the national LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, and Queer) Pride month. Snell Library is honoring LGBTQ month with our curated Hub display of movies and books by or about an LGBTQ person. Pride month was started in 1995 to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan, NYC

While it originally began as a 1 day “Pride day” on the last Sunday of June, it has now evolved into a month-long celebration. Across the United States, cities and towns will host parades, bands, workshops, and speaker events focusing on creating a safe space for the LGBTQ community to connect Snell Library is taking part of that celebration by highlighting select works in our Hub collection that touch upon sexuality and gender.

We have the newly released movie Carol, which focuses on two women’s affair in the background of the 1950’s where homosexuality was forbidden. Sonnets of a Dark Love by Federico García Lorca is a collection of poems and essays which centers heavily on the poet’s Spanish heritage and internal struggle with homosexuality during the early 20th century. These poems were written in the later part of his life before his untimely execution by Nationalists at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.










We also have Moonlight, which is the first film with an all-black cast and the first LGBT film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Lastly, the author of Young Adult novel Little & Lion discusses topics such as mental illness, bisexuality, and intersectional identity This pictures follows the main character through three main stages of his life as he comes to terms with his identity and past relationships. These are but a few of the great movies and books that we’ve put on display at the Hub, come check it out!



Posted in: Serendipity


Library Dean visits Northeastern Alumni and Parents in Rome

Posted by: Library News


May 27, 2018 Dan Cohen, Dean of Libraries, Vice Provost for Information and Collaboration, was welcomed by a dozen alumni and parents in Rome to enjoy lunch and conversation. This was the first gathering for the Northeastern University community in the area, expanding on our mission to engage globally. The unique innovative ecosystem at Northeastern University continues to be a catalyst for our global community of agile, creative thinkers. Guests enjoyed meeting Dan and each other with conversation ranging from digital media and technology to various successful initiatives and professions our alumni and parents experience. We look forward to continuing to evolve and strengthen the wonderful connections made in Italy!

Posted in: Library News


Celebrating The Phoenix: New England’s alternative newspaper of record

Posted by: Jon Reed


For nearly 50 years, The Boston Phoenix was Boston’s alternative newspaper of recordThe first word on social justice, politics, and arts ceased publication in March 2013. Fortunately, the entire Phoenix collection, over 775 cubic feet, is now well-preserved at Northeastern University thanks to media mogul and owner Stephen M. Mindich.

Northeastern University Libraries provide online  and in-person access to materials from the Phoenix Media/Communications Group including The Phoenix, The Portland Phoenix, The Providence Phoenix, The Worcester Phoenix, Stuff Magazine, and WFNX 101.7 FM.

Mindich, who passed away on May 23rd, thoughtfully provided Snell Library with the newspapers, and audiovisual materials which are now a part of the Archives & Special Collections, leaving Boston, and beyond, with an important resource legacy that will continue for generations.

Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Giordana Mecagni notes “Although no longer in publication, its archives will continue to inspire new thought, scholarship, and questioning the status quo. We are very grateful to Steve and the Mindich family for gifting this significant resource.”

Known for its edgy coverage of arts, entertainment, lifestyle and politics, The Phoenix will be part of the foundation of information housed at Northeastern University’s new Boston Research Center. The collection can be accessed at phoenix.library.northeastern.edu

Nov. 23, 2015 – BOSTON, MA. The Boston Phoenix archives inside Snell Library at Northeastern University on Nov. 23, 2015. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections


Investigating Northeastern’s Only Medieval Manuscript

Posted by: Jon Reed


This Spring, students coordinated an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of Northeastern’s only Medieval manuscript, the Dragon Prayer Book through a collaboration with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This is what they had to say about the experience. 

By Professor Erika Boeckeler (Faculty Project Head), Laura Packard (Student Project Head), and Zakary Ganhadeiro (Project Member) on behalf of the Dragon Prayer Book Project Team. Interviewed by Jon Reed (Snell Library)


What inspired you to take a closer look at Dragon Prayer Book?

We were inspired by the mystery of the manuscript; very little was known about it before we began our research. The Dragon Prayer Book is beautiful and intriguing, and so multi-dimensional in terms of the questions we can ask of it, e.g. sociological, literary, religious, material, etc. As Northeastern’s only medieval manuscript, the book is an original object which has become a hub of interdisciplinary research. The book has provided a sort of bridge between departments, and each new experiment or test proves this connection to be stronger. With each new discovery we make the book reveals more of itself to us, and with each revelation come new surprises and twists in terms of our research path. While much is known about the book, there is still plenty that can be discovered, or even already known information that can be confirmed.


How did you determine that XRF analysis was the next way forward?

When looking for new ways to interact with and study the Dragon Prayer Book we came across X-ray fluorescence (XRF), a very simple and noninvasive test that produces decisive results. We attended several lectures on the latest developments in biobibliography and other ways that science is being brought to bear on book history and Humanistic questions, and were eager to take advantage of our interdisciplinary expertise and local resources. When Zakary Ganhadeiro joined the project last fall, we were excited by his interest in spearheading the bioanalysis of the Dragon Prayer Book, and by the prospect of gaining a new understanding of the prayer book through the field of bioarchaeology.


What did you discover about the Dragon Prayer Book via XRF analysis?

The analysis mostly confirmed what we suspected about the inks– that they were fairly typical for a southern German late medieval manuscript. However, we did learn that the black ink has an unusual amount of zinc in it, which led us to consider investigating the geologic composition of the mines around Regensburg, Germany, where we think the manuscript may have originated.


Why is collaboration important when doing research in 2018?

There are so many different kinds of scholarly questions we have about this manuscript, and no one person or tool will ever be adequate to the understanding the complexity of its world. We need a diverse team of experts and different tools of varying sophistication in order to piece together this

knowledge puzzle: experts on bindings, on late fifteenth century music cultures and on their Latin, on ink composition, on tests to determine what kind of animal was used in making the parchment, on manuscript scripts, on early modern paper and watermarks, on websites that best display our findings, on conservation, to name even just a few. You can see some of what we’ve investigated at www.dragonprayerbook.northeastern.edu. Cross communication also allows for the better sharing of ideas, and the better publicizing of research. While this was only a small test, on a larger scale, more collaboration can lead to larger discoveries on all fronts.

How did the Library impact you/your research?

Giordana Mecagni, NU’s archivist has promoted student research on this manuscript from our first expression of interest in it. She found the funds to digitize it, sent it to restoration, and has granted permission to perform non-invasive scientific analysis. She has supported our efforts by facilitating access to the manuscript, including at the public events we have organized. The Library staff has been incredibly supportive and easy to reach throughout this whole process, and they truly made the collaboration with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum possible. We recognize that not every archive supports student research in this way, and we are very fortunate to have a Library that promotes our learning to such a degree.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections


Frieda Garcia to be Simmons College honorary degree recipient

Posted by: Molly Brown


On Friday, May 18 Simmons College honored Dominican-born activist Frieda Garcia with a Doctorate of Humane Letters for her community organizing in Boston. Garcia’s personal papers reside in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections alongside the records of other organizations in which she was instrumental, including: La Alianza Hispana, United South End Settlements, and the Roxbury Multi-Service Center.

Garcia’s activism changed Boston’s landscape both physically and organizationally. As the first director of La Alianza Hispana Garcia provided resources, space, and advocacy for Spanish-speaking residents of Boston. Her work with the Roxbury Multi-Service Center and the United South End Settlements advocating for housing, mentorship, and training resources for diverse residents of Boston.  She shaped the South End with her involvement in the establishment and restoration of the South End’s Harriet Tubman Park, and years later Frieda Garcia’s Children’s Park was honored with her name. It is difficult to find a part of Boston’s history that Garcia has not touched. Garcia received this honor from Simmons because of the immense impact of her work.

Boston mayor, Kevin White, holds a small garden spade at the groundbreaking ceremony for La Alianza Hispana’s community center. Orlando del Valle holds a construction hard hat, marking the beginning of renovations and construction.

For more information on where to find materials related to Frieda Garcia’s work as an activist in Boston visit the links for the following collections at Northeastern University’s Archives and Special Collections:

La Alianza Hispana

United South End Settlements

Roxbury Multi-Service Center

Frieda Garcia Papers



Posted in: Archives and Special Collections