Archives and Special Collections

12
Dec18

Things to look at instead of your computer screen when you need a break

Posted by: Jill Chancellor

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During finals week, it is important to remember to be kind to yourselves and give yourself a break every now and then. If you need a break from studying and from your all the variety of screens you’ve been staring at, come on down to the Archive and Special collections and look at some interesting books and photographs housed in our collections. We are located in the basement of Snell Library, Room 92. We are open Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 so if you aren’t able to visit us during finals week, we’re always happy to have visitors!
  • Missing the warm spring days and the colorful flowers that accompany them? Take a look through our copy of Select Flower Arrangements of Moribana and Heikwa. This book is bound in green silk printed with branches and has an accordion style opening.
  • Need to see that there is life outside of finals? Our collection of photographs from The Theater Offensive shows colorful play performers and parties from this Boston based queer performance group.
  • If you’re just wanting to look at pretty and colorful pictures of building ornamentation, we have that too! In The Grammar of Ornament you can flip through this large volume exploring the different building designs from all over the world and all in full color.
  • In the mood for some frollicking animals? Come down and look at our copy of Chôjū Giga. These Japanese scrolls date from the 16th century and have been reproduced in a fold-out book. With scenes of frogs, mice, and monkeys, you are sure to forget (even if only for a little while) about the stresses of finals.
  • And speaking of de-stressing, we have another fold out book with Japanese artwork, titled Sesshu’s Long Scroll: A Zen Landscape Journey. This pocket-sized book with a printing from beloved Japanese artist Sesshu and is filled with Japanese landscapes throughout the seasons.
  • If you celebrate Christmas and are wanting to get into the spirit, we’ve got you covered.  You can look through pictures from our Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción records of past Christmas talent shows and events. We also have a beautifully illustrated poem by Sophie Jewett titled The Least of Christmas Carols.
  • Feeling nostalgic? Our collection of Northeastern Yearbooks allow you to go back in time and look into the lives of previous students. Fun Fact: this fall was the 75th anniversary of the first enrollment of women at NU. We have photographs of these women when they first enrolled as well as photographs from their 50th anniversary in 1993. If you’re interested in going even further back, we have a collection of photographs from African American photographer Charles H. Bruce who photographed various scenes around the Boston area in the early 1900s.
  • Traveling over the holidays? Or just wish you were? We have a multiple travel books and maps with illustrations that make you feel like you are there.  We have adventure memoirs from Rockwell Kent from his travels in Alaska as well as the Strait of Magellan in South America. If you’re looking for someplace warm to explore, we have The Golden Octopus: Legends of the South Seas filled with colorful illustrations of the Pacific islands. We also have maps of London and Paris from the 19th and 20th centuries that could help you plan your next trip across the Atlantic. The Paris guide even has a map of all the bus routes! (accuracy not guaranteed).
 
  • And finally, we have pictures of dogs, but not just any dogs. From 1920s-1970s, Northeastern University had its very own husky as a mascot. There were five dogs who were crowned King Husky and attended various events on campus throughout their tenure.
Good luck on finals week and have a wonderful break!

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

24
Oct18

The Archives and Special Collections finding aids have a new look!

Posted by: Jill Chancellor

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The Northeastern University Library Archives and Special Collections has over 300 processed collections, so it can be an understandably overwhelming place to know where and how to search through all of these materials. Luckily, each collection comes with a finding aid that provides historical and biographical information on the collection and an inventory of materials in the collection. These finding aids have recently moved to a new platform that allows for a more efficient and user-friendly way for both old and new patrons of the archives to find what they are looking for. To begin your search, visit the Archives Catalog homepage at https://archivesspace.library.northeastern.edu/. If you know what you are looking for, you can put it in the search bar and begin your search. If you are unsure of where to start, there are links that allow you to browse the collections.*Search tip* When searching by a person’s name or by a phrase, use quotation marks around the terms in order to find that specific phrase. You will then be redirected to the page with the results of your search. From this page, you can add filters such as type, subject, names, and year in order to find exactly what you are looking for. When you find a collection that you are interested in, you can click on the collection name to look further into the collection. Each collection has a description on either the person or organization, as well as the types of materials within the collection. On the right side is a menu with the series and sub-series and a full folder inventory of materials. If you need to do another search, you can click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page, or on the Archives and Special Collections link in the top right corner and you will be able to start your search process over. If you are already on the Archives and Special Collections homepage, you can use the search bar in the middle of the page. Simply type in your search term and you will be redirected to the Archives Catalog page. So take a look and see what we have to offer and we look forward to seeing you down in the archives! If you have any questions, email us at archives@northeastern.edu and we will be happy to help in any way we can!  

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections

30
Jul18

Commemorating History and Scholarship: Holocaust Awareness Committee’s Archives Now Available Online

Posted by: Debra Mandel

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The newly launched Holocaust Awareness Committee Archives digital repository site preserves and displays the rich history of Northeastern’s extraordinary commitment to Holocaust awareness and genocide prevention, as well as supports curriculum and research including courses in the Holocaust, Jewish and European history and public history.

Since 1977 Northeastern University has commemorated the Holocaust with a week-long series of events including lectures, performances and survivor talks to explore the history and memory of the Holocaust and to engage with students. Key elements of the Archives includes annual event programs and video recordings for: the Salomon Robert Morton lecture series with international scholars, activists and writers; the Philip N. Backstrom, Jr. Survivor Series of video recordings of 30 Holocaust survivors, [some who came multiple times to engage with members of the Northeastern community]; the Annual Commemoration/President’s Breakfast which includes lectures by Northeastern faculty and noteworthy scholars and Gideon Klein Scholar art, music and dance presentations by talented student awardees and a listing of the Bill Giessen film series titles shown since 1991. Original content for most of these resources resides in the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

In addition, unique online exhibits explore the themes of religious commemoration, genocide awareness and prevention and faculty and student engagement.

This project was completed by Megan Barney, Laurel Leff, Debra Mandel, Kyra Millard and Jennifer Sartori. We are very grateful for the support of Jewish Studies: Lori Lefkovitz, Dov Waxman, and Deborah Levisohn; Northeastern University Libraries Archives and Special Collections: Giordana Mecagni and Molly Brown; the Digital Scholarship Group: Sarah Sweeney Amanda Rust and Megan Barney and The Humanities Center: Ignacio J. Chaparro.

The collection can be accessed here: https://holocaustawarenessarchives.northeastern.edu/ For more information, contact Debra Mandel at d.mandel@northeastern.edu.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Library News

20
Jul18

IBA’s Festival Betances Celebration: July 21 & 22

Posted by: Molly Brown

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This weekend, July 21 and 22, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA, the Puerto Rican Tenants Association), whose papers reside in Northeastern’s Archives and Special Collections, will host their annual Festival Betances. This festival was named for Puerto Rican patriot Ramón Emeterio Betances, who was both a leader in political and medical developments in Puerto Rico, and is considered one of the leaders of the Puerto Rican independence movement. The festival takes place in the Betances plaza which is also dedicated to him. The festival celebrates the great diversity Latino/a culture and includes events and activities such as a parade, a greased pole competition, traditional food, music and art.

Girls performing a dance at the Festival Betances.

Ceramic tile mural on the Plaza Betances.

 
                An important component of this year’s Festival Betances is lifting up the 50 years of activism and development accomplished by the residents and organizers within IBA. IBA was formed in 1968 by South End residents and activists in response to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) South End Urban Renewal plan. This plan which intended to tear down existing housing with newer, more expensive housing, and would have displaced over 2,000 Puerto Rican residents of the South End. IBA developed their own collaborative plan for renewal which would create affordable housing plan for affordable housing and services for their neighborhood. Villa Victoria, or Victory Village is the resulting development of this plan. Since the development, planning, and building of Villa Victoria IBA and residents have established Areyto, an arts and culture program, Escuelita Agüeybana, the first bilingual daycare of Massachusetts, and their community center, now named the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center. For more information on the history of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción and Villa Victoria visit the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collection’s portal for Latino/a history: https://latinohistory.library.northeastern.edu/home/about For more information on attending Festival Betances visit: http://www.ibaboston.org/festivalbetances/

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Community Engagement

22
Jun18

FayFoto archive acquired by Northeastern University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections

Posted by: Library News

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A leading provider of commercial photography in the greater Boston area for over 80 years, FayFoto Boston provides photographs on assignment for corporate, business, and non-profit clients. The archive consists of over 7.5 million negatives from 1963 to 2006.  

Daniel Lavoie, Collections Archivist, inspects the FayFoto archive before its move to Snell Library.

Steve Nelson, Partner at FayFoto Boston is excited that Northeastern University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections agreed to preserve the collection. “FayFoto amassed tens of thousands of images over the course of many decades of providing photography to Boston’s business and political communities” states Nelson. “As current owners of the business, we were acutely aware of two things: we weren’t going to be able to care for the archive properly, and we lacked the resources and training to make this collection available to historians and other interested parties.”  

The photographs in the collection cover a wide range of subjects, including business head shots, architectural interiors and exteriors, corporate event coverage, industrial photography, and product still life. Though the collection primarily consists of historical Boston business photography, it also has a broader local and national historical significance including celebrities, politicians, events, and aerial photography.

 

John and Jackie Kennedy at a Hyannis Legislature party. From the FayFoto collection.

Aerial photograph of Boston, 1960. From the FayFoto collection.

Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. From the FayFoto collection.

            “The FayFoto collection is an amazing pictorial ‘who’s who’ of Greater Boston businesses and government” notes Daniel Lavoie, Collections Archivist at Northeastern University. “The addition of this collection and the Boston Globe archive positions Northeastern as a leading repository for the photographic history of Greater Boston.” Northeastern University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections plan on digitizing the collection, making it a valuable asset for the Boston Research Center at Snell Library.                            

“We at FayFoto are proud of the part we have played in documenting Boston’s history, but the value of this time capsule would be lost if it stayed in boxes in our studio” Nelson remarks. “We are grateful that the conservators at Northeastern’s Snell Library agreed to undertake the significant effort required to preserve this unique resource and make it accessible to others.”

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections