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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Memories Road Show comes to Provincetown

The+Mass+Memories+Road+Show+is+a+digital+history+project+that+seeks+to+document+the+history+of+Massachusetts+through+personal+photographs+and+family+stories.+Founder+Joanne+Riley%2C+who+is+currently+serving+as+the+university+archivist%2C%26%23160%3Bstarted+it+in+2004.

The Mass Memories Road Show is a digital history project that seeks to document the history of Massachusetts through personal photographs and family stories. Founder Joanne Riley, who is currently serving as the university archivist, started it in 2004.

On Sept. 28, the University of Massachusetts Boston Archives partnered with the Provincetown Council on Aging to present the Mass Memories Road Show at the Veterans Memorial Community Center in Provincetown.

The Mass Memories Road Show is a digital history project that seeks to document the history of Massachusetts through personal photographs and family stories. Founder Joanne Riley, who is currently serving as the university archivist, started it in 2004.

According to Riley, “It was created as a way that would make history and sense of location and place contributing to identity really accessible, collaborative, and fun.”

She added, “One motivating factor for the start of the program was that I noticed there were few photos available for historical societies. And because of this, wide and various communities in Boston were not as represented as they should be.”

A goal of the event is to visit all 351 communities in Massachusetts and collect photographs and memorabilia of people who have identified Massachusetts as their home and part of their identity.

This most recent road show hosted in Provincetown attracted 148 contributors and 23 volunteers. Almost 300 photographs were collected and archived, and over 38 documentary videos were taken. 

The coordinator, Carolyn Goldstein, a Public History and Community Archives program manager for UMass Boston Archives, said, “The contributors to the Provincetown Mass Memories Roadshow brought an especially high level of passion, interest, and focus to sharing their photographs and stories!” 

According to Goldstein, “Students should become involved with the roadshow because it’s a great way for them to learn about the history of the communities around us and to get a sense from all kinds of people about what matters to them about the past. So, as we study history in a university and try to make sense of patterns and trends in time, students also stand to learn from the roadshow how average people connect to the past and make sense of their own personal place in history.” 

Sarah Oesch, a UMass Boston graduate student in the History Department, attended and helped with the event. “I had a lot of fun,” said Oesch, “It was great seeing everyone come together as a community. And everyone was just so sweet!”

The next road show focuses on the Irish immigrant experience and will be hosted in Canton on Nov. 16. Other future road shows in the coming year will be held in Allston, Wayland, and the West End of Boston.

Next spring, a road show will be hosted at UMass Boston, and everyone who identifies with UMass Boston can bring photos of their time here. The event will be held in celebratory conjunction of the 50th anniversary of UMass Boston’s founding.