Boston Globe

Getting to Know the Boston Globe Library Collection: Inside the Box

The Boston Globe Library Collection has significantly expanded the Northeastern University Library’s Boston-focused social justice and community collections in its Archives and Special Collections. 4,376 boxes comprise over a million photographs, over five million negatives of unprinted photographs, and 119 years of newspaper clippings from the Globe, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, and other area and national newspapers. Today, this vast collection of visual and textual resources is open to all researchers, whose interests may range widely—from Red Sox scores and legislative debates to Melnea Cass’s relentless pursuit of racial and economic justice.

The collection of the Boston Globe Library is broken down into four parts: Newspaper Clippings, Microfilm, Print Photographs, and Negative Photographs. While researchers can access each part individually, all components of the collection can complement the different approaches to a research question. For instance, those interested in the history of school desegregation can use the print photographs study to how the first day of bussing was covered visually in the Boston Globe; the negatives to see all of the shots the photographers took, including the ones that were published; and the newspaper clippings to research the range of reporting on Boston Public Schools, desegregation, and the Boston School Committee.

Front and back of a photograph from the Print Photographs collection:

Researching with our Special Collections and the Boston Globe Library collection in tandem will enrich any telling of the history of Boston. In a series of upcoming posts we’ll share the many ways that research and rich experiential learning can be accomplished using the Boston Globe Library Collection. To find out more in the meantime, visit the finding aid here.

If you have any questions or would like to begin researching in the Boston Globe Library Collection please contact us at or 617-373-2351.

Northeastern in the News: $12m fund for homeland security research

Northeastern was recently mentioned in the Boston Globe, in a story that reports a donation of $12 million dollars given to the school to build a homeland security research facility on the Burlington, MA campus. The donor is former engineering student George Kostas, who  graduated in 1943. The resulting facility could potentially change Northeastern’s status amongst other universities in terms of defense and military research. This is a field the university has been advancing in for the past two years. Now, if we could just get a donation such as this for the library…we could hire a plethora of people and cancel all Sales Force meetings for the next few years.  Read the full article here.

Papers of African American Architects Now at Northeastern

If you are like me and think the Southwest Corridor Park is one of the great hidden treasures of Boston, then you should read this article from the Globe about Donald Stull and David Lee, two great African American architects from the 1960’s whose achievements include the design of the Southwest Corridor, along with numerous other buildings in the Roxbury neighborhood. Snell Library’s Archives and Special Collections department has acquired the designs, drawings, and sketches of both men, now in their 60’s and 70’s. The Archives is in the process of applying for a grant that will allow them to hire new staff to sort through the 1,400 tubes and boxes containing Lee and Stull’s documents. Stull and Lee have connections with Northeastern dating back to 1966. Chuck Turner, who was a Northeastern administrator at that time, turned to both men to create the Southwest Corridor and re-vamp the surrounding neighborhood in order to make a better space for the mostly poor residents who lived nearby. The plan to build the park included the renovation of nine Orange Line stops that we all find so convenient today. It came as a welcome alternative to a proposed highway extension that was to be built in the same spot. Both architects empathized with the ideas behind the project because they had grown up poor, though they managed to graduate from the Harvard School of Design. In the Globe article, Stull said, “We were very much active in social change. We wanted people to have the opportunity to create their own destiny.” Today, the Southwest Corridor officially stretches from Dartmouth Street to Forest Hills, though the bulk of it runs through Roxbury. Today, Northeastern is no longer the mostly white commuter school it was in the 60’s, but a racially diverse boarding college located at the heart of the park. Most people, including most Northeastern students, probably do not realize how frequently they use the Southwest Corridor. But with this new acquisition of Stull and Lee’s archives, perhaps the beauty of this part of the city can be acknowledged once again.

Shakespeare on the Common

As Stephanie reported last year, if you’re a Shakespeare or outdoor theater fan, you’ll want to be sure to check out this summer’s performance of The Comedy of Errors on Boston Common.  If you like you can brush up on the play ahead of time by checking out one of Snell’s copies.  The Boston Globe ran an article recently on the popularity of outdoor summer Shakespeare performances in the US. They also covered some background to the production and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company earlier this year. The Comedy of Errors is playing now through August 16, so take a picnic and enjoy it while you can!  

Before the News Dies…

The purported death of newspapers sure is taking a while, and in some ways seems like just another trendy lamentation. First there was ‘The Death of Rock.’ Then there was ‘The Death of Cinema’ (which has died hundreds of times). Now, the death of newspapers will apparently coincide with the death of the publishing industry. However, there also appears to be some frightful truth to this predicament. The New York Times recently announced that it may be closing the Boston Globe. It seems that people everywhere, even journalists, would rather write something for the internet than publish something on a physical piece of paper that one can carry with them. What a pity. (I might note here that I’m the pot calling the kettle black by posting all this on a blog).

If the newspaper does in fact die, then let’s take a moment to celebrate the wide variety of newspapers that Snell contains. They really are from all over the globe. You can read newspapers from different areas of the U.S, such as The Philadelphia Enquirer, or the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Or you can read newspapers from other countries, in other languages, such as Die Welt, from German, where you can find out that ‘Deutschland sucht neuen Wirtschaftsminister’ (Germany searches for a new Economic Advisor). Or you can read The Moscow Weekly News (which comes in an English edition), Le Monde, from France, or The India Reporter, from India. It is helpful to have this diverse array of newspapers, of course, for the foreign students who want to read news in their own language from their native country. But it is also beneficial for Americans, even one’s who do not know any foreign languages. You are not going to read in The Boston Globe, at least not in a detailed article, that Germany is choosing a new Economic Advisor. Perhaps facts like this are, or will be, more important than they seem. U.S news, including its newspapers, has always had an aversion to world news. The only place in this country to my mind you can hear comprehensive world news in on NPR radio. Many of these newspapers have English editions, if not in print, then online, so why not be informed? (It’s also worth noting that these papers do mention all the U.S news that is relevant)

Will newspapers die in this country? Will this death be a payback for a disregard for the rest of the world? Actually, there is no direct correlation. Newspapers are dying because of an economic crisis, the internet, plummeting sales and overall poor writing. But perhaps newspapers from other parts of the world will remain. At least for a little while.