UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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Mass Media for the Masses

Forty-two years of University history are now at your fingertips! Every issue of The Mass Media, the University’s official student newspaper, is online and searchable from the convenience of almost any web browser. It is easier than ever to dig up dirt on professors and faculty, and get a taste for some of the crazy drama that soaked the campus in its early years.

“It makes accessible part of the institutional memory,” University Librarian Daniel Ortiz said of the new digital archive. “It is also a fairly heavily used resource. With this conversion it has become even more useful because it is accessible pretty much at the fingertips.”

Alumni have been major users, said librarian George Hart. “They look up people that made a change in their life. We did get an email recently, saying ‘This professor changed my life and I want to know more about her.’ We put her right into the file, and we got a great email back saying ‘This was perfect. It brought back a lot of memories!'”

I had something to do with it, too. Working at the newspaper had me wondering about past issues on campus, which required digging through file drawers of old papers. Meanwhile, a class on libraries got me thinking about our own Healey Library and how we preserved our institutional history.

After meeting with University archivist Elizabeth Mock and assistant Dale Freeman, who have provided invaluable support and assistance, I began a project to preserve The Mass Media on microfilm, which quickly expanded to include digitization.

After evaluating many options, Heritage Microfilm was chosen for the job. Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Heritage has specialized in preservation microfilming for over 18 years, and recently branched out into digital archives. They host newspaperarchive.com, a searchable collection of historic newspapers from around the country.

When the UMass library and administration did not provide funding, the Undergraduate Senate stepped up to the plate and granted $3,000 towards the project. “Like many students, I have a love-hate relationship with The Mass Media,” former Senator Muna Kangsen said. “But this is important to the school, and a resource for all students.” Additional expenses will be paid for by The Mass Media.

The project shipped fifteen years of newspapers to Iowa for microfilming, as well as microfilm negatives from 1966 to 1991, when regular filming of the paper ended due to budget cuts at the Healey Library. By mid-Spring, when every issue from 1966 to 2007 was online, Healey Library added the new resource to its list of databases.

The student-run publication has long been one of the better documenters of UMass Boston, featuring photos, profiles and reporting on campus issues and activities. The campus archives are open to the public, but it lacks a comprehensive index, and few students are eager to sift through boxes of newsprint to find what they want.

Visit history at themassmedia .newspaperarchive.com. and on the 5th floor of the Healey Library.

Campus history in 3 easy clicksA quick guide to using the swankiest new University resource… the Mass Media archive.1. Go to themassmedia.newspaperarchive.com. Enter your search term and date range and go. As an example, let’s find out if there have been any bomb scares on campus.

2. Get results. You can refine them in the left column to pare the results down to specific months and years. It looks like bombs were mentioned pretty often in the paper. What’s this about a bomb squad at UMass Boston?

3. Read the paper. Controls at the top of the page let you change pages, issues and explore further. Each page is a high-resolution PDF that you can save and print. Wow… UMass Boston had a volunteer Bomb Squad in 1970, to deal with a record number of threats.

4. Share what you learn. Find something cool? When you’re done telling your friends and scaring freshmen, drop us a line at [email protected] and tell us, too. And bring it up in class, for smarty-pants bonus points with your professor.