Archives and Special Collections

Archives, Historical Records, Special Collections

Library helps tell the amazing history of Northeastern’s Co-op program

Here at Northeastern, it seems like everyone is familiar with the school’s signature cooperative education program. Most have heard the facts about the program’s success with job placement after graduation and for many students, the co-op program was the reason why they chose to come here. Although most people know about how the program can help with their own professional education, few know the interesting history of the legendary program. The Fall 2011 issue of the Cooperative Education and Internship Association’s Experience magazine features the fascinating history of Northeastern’s cooperative education program with the help of Northeastern University Libraries Archives and Special Collections Department, which provided the photos, document images, book excerpts, and stories included in the magazine. The featured article in the magazine, “Reflections of a Perplexed Practitioner” by Michelle Clare, highlights university co-op programs during the Great Depression. The spread features documents and photos from Northeastern Libraries’ own Archives and Special Collections Department, and contains excerpts from “Second to None: Seventy-five Years of Leadership in the Cooperative Education Movement” by Joseph Barbeau, a professor emeritus of Northeastern. The piece consists of remarkable information on the history of Northeastern’s cooperative education program in the period of the Great Depression, including co-op placement statistics from 1929-1932. The photos from the Northeastern’s Archives and Special Collections Department are unique snapshots documenting the life of a Northeastern co-op student during the Depression-era, showing co-ops from the 1930s working at companies such as the American Trust Company and General Radio. The article includes a quote from William C. White, Northeastern’s Executive Vice President until 1968, who said that during this time the co-op program proved its “capacity to endure the rigors of the worst industrial depression we have ever known.” So, although the current economic recession may seem like a challenge to the co-op program, fear not. In Northeastern’s cooperative education’s 100 year-plus history, the program has gotten through times of hardship before, namely the worst economic crisis of all time: the Great Depression. If the co-op program was able to weather that storm, then without a doubt the innovative program will survive this national recession and will hopefully be around for the next century too. Read the publication and learn more about the Cooperative Education & Internship Association (CEIA) here: CEIA website.

Take a glimpse into Northeastern’s history

Perhaps you have noticed the Library’s redesigned display board on the first floor in the stairwell? It now features historical photos of Northeastern University from the University’s Archives and Special Collections. Included with each image is a brief description about the photo and the date each was taken. These images range from the First World Series game to the first few engineering classes held on campus. Check out the board and catch a glimpse of a time when our Husky Pride began. To see the full digital collection of Northeastern University historical photographs, visit or stop in Archives, located in 92 Snell Library.

Cy Young, a Boston Americans pitcher, intensely throws a pitch during the the first ever World Series. The Boston Americans won 5-3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


NU Archives Receives Grant to Digitize Boston Chinese Community Records

The Northeastern University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Department recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The award will go towards a project to digitize the entire Chinese Progressive Association collection comprising 12 cubic feet of historical material, including documents, posters, photographs, negatives, and audio and videotapes, dating from 1976-2006. Some of the images in the collection document rallies and protests, like the photo below, against the expansion of Tufts New England Medical Center in Chinatown. They also depict photos of celebrations in honor of Chinese holidays like Chinese New Year. To read more about the Chinese Progressive Association, the IMLS grant, and the collection read our published media advisory or visit the NU Archives and Special Collections website.

Protest against the New England Medical Center's proposal for a garage on Parcel C, ca. 1990.

University Archivist and Head of Special Collections Departs Northeastern

Joan Krizack, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, will depart Northeastern University after 17 years since her arrival as the founding archivist. Joan resigned her position on July 7th to pursue a career as a freelance consultant. Joan leaves a legacy at the University of several hundred historical collections that document the struggles and triumphs of Boston’s African American, Chinese, Latino and GLBTQ communities. She has also received numerous awards; most recently the Champions of Freedom Award for her work managing Northeastern University’s collection of the historical records of Boston’s Freedom House and digitizing the Freedom House photograph collection. View the press release in its entirety below:

Joan Krizack Receives Champion of Freedom Award

Joan Krizack, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, received the Freedom House Champions of Freedom Award on April 5, 2011. The award recognized Joan for preserving the historical records of Freedom House in Northeastern University’s archives, including digitizing the Freedom House photographs and making them available online: Freedom House was founded in 1949 by African American social workers Muriel S. and Otto P. Snowden to centralize community activism in the fight for neighborhood improvement, good schools, and harmony among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Freedom House Awards are given annually to outstanding individuals, non-profit organizations, and corporations in recognition of their commitment to diversity, educational achievement, and business development. To learn more Joan’s award, read this article from the Jewish Women’s Archive Blog: