September 11 Memorial Preserved in the Archives

DSCN0305 500pxIn 2001, at the September 20 AHA night in downtown New Bedford, College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) students and faculty invited the public to join them in the creation of a three-week public memorial to the victims of the tragic attacks on September 11.

Participants were invited to write private prayers enclosed in rice paper envelopes that were hung on strings throughout the Star Store’s atrium. Although the installation was public, each individual’s expression was private, contained within a folded and stitched, envelope-like form. All the materials necessary to create a paper prayer were available, including pre-cut rice paper and natural elements, such as leaves and sticks (attached once the paper was folded).

The prayers were on view for three weeks at the Star Store, and many more were added to the display during this time.  Before his retirement, former CVPA Gallery Director Lasse Antonsen transferred the entire collection of hundreds of prayers to the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, where they are now permanently preserved.  Archives Assistant Karen Correia spent hours this past spring untangling the strings attached to the delicate paper prayers.  They are now stored in acid-free boxes with transparent lids so that one can easily view the contents and get an idea of the scope of the memorial without taking them out of the boxes.

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For more information, contact Judy Farrar at the Archives and Special Collections <jfarrar@umassd.edu>.

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World War I Remembered Through the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

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August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, in 1914.  The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives recently received a donation from Rosemary Pereira which includes documents related to World War I soldier Walter Goulart. There are photographs, letters he wrote while attending training camps in the United States, and other documents, all related to the time he served as a member of the armed forces. Private Goulart was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on February 1, 1895 to Azorean immigrants Antone and Frances (Perry) Goulart; he attended city schools and was called into military service on September 15, 1917. He was a member of the Machine Gun Battalion of the 327th Infantry and was killed in action in the Meuse-Argonne offensive on October 7, 1918, only a month before the end of the war. A memorial was erected in his honor, on May 30, 1923, in the square at Bolton and Rivet streets in New Bedford and was subsequently re-dedicated on May 26, 1997.

For more information on the United States World War One Centennial Commission, including its plans to document all World War I monuments in the United States, please go to http://worldwar-1centennial.org/

Below is a letter from Walter to his brother, Arthur Goulart, Jr., written in January of 1918, before he shipped out to France, and a copy of the Goulart Square Monument Dedication booklet. For more information on this new collection, please contact Sonia Pacheco at spacheco@umassd.edu.

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Consolidation at Last! July 1, 1964

156_0161_UMD-400-pxThis summer, while UMass Dartmouth celebrates the 50th anniversary of the official groundbreaking for the North Dartmouth campus, which took place on June 14, 1964, another significant celebratory mark in our history came only two weeks later, on July 1, 1964.  On this date the New Bedford Institute of Technology in New Bedford and Bradford Durfee College of Technology in Fall River, ceased to operate and were officially consolidated into Southeastern Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SMTI).  SMTI was one of the previous names of UMass Dartmouth, and was used between 1960 and 1969, after which it became Southeastern Massachusetts University.

SMTI as an educational entity had been  established by legislative act four years earlier, on July 7, 1960 (Acts of 1960, Chapter 543, July 7, 1960) to prepare for the consolidation of the two local state textile/technology schools, New Bedford Institute of Technology and Bradford Durfee College of Technology.  SMTI operated under its own board of fifteen trustees, elected by the governor from 1960 on, while the New Bedford Institute of Technology and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology maintained their boards through June 1964.  These two schools remained separate campuses and retained their names and boards from 1960-1964, until the final consolidation went into effect on July 1, 1964 (Acts of 1964, Chapter 495, June 10, 1964). 

According to the text of the act, “On July first, nineteen hundred and sixty-four, the board of trustees of the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute shall be vested with all the powers, rights and privileges and shall be subject to all the duties of the trustees of the New Bedford Institute of Technology and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology.  The New Bedford Institute of Technology and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology shall thereby be consolidated into the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute which shall be deemed for all purposes a continuation of the Bradford Durfee College of Technology and the New Bedford Institute of Technology.  …. On and after July 1, nineteen hundred and sixty-four, the phrases, “New Bedford Textile institute,” “New Bedford Institute of Textiles and Technology,” “New Bedford Institute of Technology,” Bradford Durfee Institute of Technology of Fall River,” Bradford Durfee College of Technology,” or any words connoting the same, when used in any statute, ordinance, by-law, rule of regulation, shall mean the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute.”

The photograph above is of Governor Endicott Peabody signing the Capital Outlay Bill, which financed the initial design and construction for SMTI, at the SMTI site in North Dartmouth in August of 1963.  From left surrounding the governor are Dr. Joseph L. Driscoll, SMTI president, Senator Mary L. Fonseca, Representative Frank F. Lemos,  Senator Antone L. Silva, and Joseph M. Souza, Chairman of the SMTI Board of Trustees.  Photograph from the New Bedford Standard Times.

For more on this period in the history of UMass Dartmouth, go to the Archives and Special Collections web site at www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/umassd-history.  For a detailed guide to primary resources in the Archives and Special Collections for further research on the history of UMass Darmouth, consult the LibGuide, “Sources for University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) History” at http://guides.lib.umassd.edu/UMDHistory.

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AZOREAN GENEALOGY MICROFILMS FROM 1541 TO 1898 NOW AVAILABLE AT THE FERREIRA-MENDES PORTUGUESE AMERICAN ARCHIVES

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Baptismal record from Achadinha (S. Miguel), 1893

 

The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is pleased to announce the availability of a collection of microfilmed reproductions of thousands of original birth, death and marriage records covering all nine islands of the Azores during the period of 1541 to 1898.  These records are available to the general public during normal library hours. Individuals interested in their Azorean roots or other aspects of Azorean genealogy can now access and consult these materials, which are referenced as MC 151/PAA, and located in the microfilm area of the 3rd floor of the Claire T. Carney Library.

The materials in this collection were a gift from FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, which is operated by the Mormon Church. The majority are church documents recording births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, and adoptions, but government records and several genealogical books are also included.

In 2012 ABC News reported that although exact numbers are difficult to establish, experts believe that genealogy ranks as the second most practiced hobby in the United States. This rise in popularity can be partially attributed to the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides access through FamilySearch, a free and national service, to what has been identified as one of the world’s greatest genealogical archives. Jordan Jones, president of the National Genealogical Society, based in Arlington, VA stated in that ABC news report that “Today people just want to find out where they came from.” With the availability of this collection Southcoast residents of Azorean ancestry can now do that at their leisure, here at UMD.

The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives actively collects documents and promotes and advocates efforts to preserve Portuguese heritage, identity and representation in the U.S. For more information on our holdings and activities or to donate materials, please contact Sonia Pacheco at (508) 999-8695 or spacheco@umassd.edu.

The Claire T. Carney Library can be accessed from Parking Lot 13.

 

 

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Program Honoring WWII Portuguese-American Veterans

kissing resizedOn Saturday, May 31, 2014, the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives will be hosting a program honoring WWII Portuguese-American veterans.

The event consists of an exhibit and short presentations featuring the stories of three servicemen who risked their lives for the freedom of the land their parents had immigrated to and will take place at 2:00 PM in the Archives’ Prince Henry Society Reading Room, located in the mezzanine floor of the Claire T. Carney Library (Parking Lot 13). Refreshments will be served.

Hailing from all three branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, these three men represent a variety of military experience, ranks and careers, but are united by their common Portuguese ancestry, their bravery and merit, and their love of the United States of America.

One of them will tell his own story. His name is George Mendonsa and he is 91 years old. He grew up on a tiny island off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, fishing for scup and mackerel with his Madeiran father, brothers, and other Portuguese fishermen. The skills he learned in that enterprise allowed him to enter the U.S. Navy at the rank of quartermaster. He served in the Pacific theater aboard the USS The Sullivans, saving lives and fighting the enemy, but he is best known for something that happened on Times Square at the end of the war. He is known worldwide as The Kissing Sailor.

The two others are no longer among us. Their stories will be told by loving relatives that heard them during family reunions and carefully collected information and mementos of their careers.

Alice Casanova, will do a presentation about her father, Master Sergeant Antonio Casanova from Cambridge, Massachusetts, who served in the U.S. Air Force and, as a prisoner of war, was one of the few that survived the infamous Bataan Death March.

Brigadier General Arthur S. Moura was a decorated Army officer who specialized in US-Latin American relations. He enjoyed a very long and successful military career, which included nine special assignments at the White House under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. He was born in Taunton, Massachusetts and is buried at Arlington Cemetery. His niece Jeanne Dennis will share some details of his life history with us.

For further information, contact 508-999-8684 or email spacheco@umassd.edu.

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Portuguese Bread-Making in Hawaii

6662219Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii were known for their great bread making, specifically the knowledge they brought with them on how to build the stone ovens in which they baked the bread.   “32 loaves at a time are inserted into the oven and soon emerge golden, crispy crusted on the outside and moist on the inside. The bread has a light, smoky flavor that has our customers coming back for more. The same is true of our Cinnamon Bread which does not last very long once it is baked.”  -Maui Portuguese Cultural Club web site at http://www.mauiportugueseculturalclub.com/community.html

On the island of Maui, I was able to see three stone ovens that are specifically attributed to the Portuguese; only one of them is actively used, the one used by the Maui Portuguese Cultural Club.

5037472“Our main means of fundraising is through the baking of Portuguese White Bread made and baked in a traditional Stone oven. Our members gather to make the “masa” that are formed into individual rolls or “bolingas”. Also shared at these monthly, bread making, gatherings are oral traditions passed on to the new generation of Portuguese members of what their parents did to preserve their culture. Portuguese words and phrases are learned in this way and eagerly absorbed by the younger generation who did not learn the language as the older ones did.”

-Sonia Pacheco, Librarian Archivist for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, UMass Dartmouth Library

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Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril of the University of Coimbra

5643In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the “Revolução dos Cravos” (Carnation Revolution) the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives suggests that you browse through the Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril of the University of Coimbra, the official archive of the revolution. It has digitized a number of publications and documents that relate the events of April 25 1974 in great detail, and of particular interest is the magazine “Flama” which includes photographs and the official declarations and demands made by the military forces. The publication can be found here: http://www.cd25a.uc.pt/index.php?r=site/page&view=itempage&p=1207&verGaleria=1

Also interesting is the exhibition of public murals that carried political messages that denounced the government prior to the revolution and supported the working class. The exhibit includes a photograph of the mural, where it was located, and a transcription of any text that was part of the mural. The exhibit can be viewed here: http://www.cd25a.uc.pt/index.php?r=site/page&view=itempage&p=934

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Save SMU Rally 32 Years Ago This Week

savesmu001On March 25, 1982 between 2,500 and 3,000 SMU students and faculty (UMass Dartmouth was known as Southeastern Massachusetts University from 1969 to 1991) marched on the State House in Boston in support of appropriate funding for their school.  On that day, Governor King, in response to the rally, announced that he had changed his mind and would support the full $19 million dollar budget request for SMU, rather than the $18 million allotted.  The budget shortfall had threatened the ability of the school to admit the number of students who were qualified, plus it threatened staff layoffs across the board for a staff that was already down by 25%.  The budget shortfall was more than the campus community was willing to take, especially after years of lean times under the previous governor, Michael Dukakis.  This newspaper article was published in the Boston Globe, March 26, 1982.  savesmu002500x600  The Torch Relay, a relay run from Dartmouth to Boston, organized by Greg Stone (SMU staff) and Diane Ebbeling (student), took place in the morning of March 25 and culminated at the rally.  Last year, the Torch Relay was repeated by UMD students and staff.  To more easily read the newspaper article, click anywhere on the image to enlarge.  To learn more about UMass Dartmouth history, take a look at the Archives and Special Collections web site at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/

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The Cabral de Mellos and New Bedford – Photographic Album – 1893-1931

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On Monday, March 10, 2014 UMass Dartmouth hosted a book presentation of The Cabral de Mellos and New Bedford – Photographic Album – 1893-1931, by Dr. José de Almeida Mello on in the Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room.

The book is a photo collection of the Cabral de Mello family and their cultural and kinship relations in the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The book documents the family and their links to the town of Salga, S. Miguel, Azores and New Bedford, their cultural lifestyle, and their penchant for being photographed in New Bedford photo studios. The Cabral de Mello photographic collection is an expressive legacy of an Azorean family’s path in the city of New Bedford during a period of 37 years.

The author, Dr. Jose de Almeida Melo, is a historian and the chief librarian of the Ponta Delgada Municipal Library and the cultural attaché of Ponta Delgada City Hall. He is also is a prolific author of many books and monographs. He published Sahar Hassamain Synagogue in Ponta Delgada (2009) a book which tells the story of the Synagogue and speaks of the importance to preserve the Jewish legacy in the Azores.

The publisher and Dr. Almeida Melo gifted UMD with a special edition of the book. The oversized book is in a specially made box, has an ornate cover carved into wood that is local to S. Miguel, and was hand-sewn.  The book will be catalogued and can be found in the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives.

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Lily Dumont Mindus, Concert Pianist

Dumont002400x600To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8th), I would like to highlight the story of an extraordinarily successful woman whose legacy is preserved in the Archives and Special Collections.

Lily Dumont Mindus was born in Berlin, Germany on July 12, 1911 to Jakob and Rosa Dymont (Dymont is the German spelling of the last name).  Lily Dumont was a child prodigy in music whose talent was fostered by her father, a conductor and composer of liturgical music for a synagogue in Germany.  Lily began playing the piano at a very early age and made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1926 when she was only 15 years old.  She studied under her father, and Theodore Bertram.   She fled to the United States when Nazi pressures made it difficult for her to play in German concert halls because she was Jewish.  She left Germany in 1937.  Her fiancé, Dr. Walter Mindus, joined her in the United States and they were married in 1938.  They eventually settled in New Bedford and had two children, Lester and Paul.

Dumont001300x480Lily Dumont continued to perform and tour in the United States, Europe and Latin America, eventually returning for a performance in Germany in 1957. She recorded for His Master’s Voice, Polydor, and the Concert Society labels.  . For more than 40 years Lily Dumont was a piano instructor at the Longy School in Cambridge, MA.  She also taught students out of her home in New Bedford and during summer sessions for the SMU Music Department (now University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth).  She performed recitals on New Bedford’s WNBH and Boston’s WCRB radio.  She was the founder and long-time president of the New Bedford Concert Series.  Lily Dumont Mindus died on March 6, 2006.

The Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections is proud to be the repository chosen for Lily and Dr. Mindus’ personal papers, 1908-2006 (MC 78).  They can be viewed by appointment Monday through Friday by contacting Judy Farrar at jfarrar@umassd.edu.  Lily’s musical papers are at the International Piano Archives in College Park, MD.

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