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

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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  Lily’s musical papers are at the International Piano Archives in College Park, MD.


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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Dr. and Mrs. Julius Picard and Sons

To escape persecution by the Nazis, in 1938 Dr. Julius Picard emigrated from Mainz, Germany to Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.  The day after their arrival in the port of Boston, the infamous hurricane of 1938 hit New England.  After passing the State Medical Board examination, Dr. Picard began practicing dermatology in September of 1939 in Fall River, where he remained for the rest of his life.  He and his wife Klara became naturalized citizens in 1943.  His two sons who emigrated with him were Hans and Ernst, who were 12 and 10 years old, respectively, at the time.  Hans went on to teach electrical engineering at New Bedford Institute of Technology, Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth), and New Bedford High School.  Ernst practiced neurology.  A third son was born in the United States – Irving – who studied law and since December 2008, has been serving as SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS).

PicardClaire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections

The Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections holds a small collection donated by Dr. Julius Picard to the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture in 1982. Nazi persecution during the Holocaust and its effect on families is made to feel more real as we go through the collection’s assortment of German identification cards, Jewish star patches worn on clothing in Germany, passports, family photographs, German military insignia, and Dr. Picard’s memoir of how he came to Fall River.


Holocaust Remembrance Day

The UN General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.  For more information, go to the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at

CJC - patch


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Torch Index Available for Research

Torch002 smallSince 1997 the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections staff have been gradually compiling a key word index to the UMD student newspaper, the Torch, and other university publications.  The publication years covered by the index are 1965 to the present.  The effort began with Pat Sikora in 1997 and has continued with the help of student workers over the years.   For many years the index was only available for consultation in the Archives as a searchable Word file.  It has been used frequently by Archives staff to answer a variety of UMD history questions posed by patrons.

We are pleased to announce that the index is now accessible through the Archives and Special Collections web page at the following link:

Since this is an index compiled by a number of different individuals, terms are not always controlled,therefore, key word searches should be as broad as possible.  If you locate an article of interest, email the citation to the archives ( and we will send a PDF of the article to you through email; or you can visit the Archives and view the original newspapers yourself.

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Portuguese-American Newspapers at Christmas

OLavradorPortugespdf.js 2013-12-18 11 27 4By Sonia Pacheco

Throughout the years the Christmas editions of Portuguese-language newspapers have set themselves apart. They were often printed with color and contained elaborate graphics on the front page, a rare occurrence during the calendar year; devoted substantial space within their pages to religious content that celebrated Christmas, regardless of their political and/or religious affiliation; and one finds multiple businesses and individuals wishing the public well wishes, where they otherwise did not advertise their business in the newspaper. 

Of particular mention is O Heraldo Portuguez which was originally only published on Christmas Day, which went on to publish an Easter edition in later years, and was a touchstone for community businesses and individuals in the south coast of New England. It was published in Taunton by the late Affonso Gil Mendes Ferreira (“Ferreira-Mendes”), after whom the Portuguese-American Archives is named.  In fact, the 1976 edition pictured is from its 54th year, and also memoralizes Mr. Ferreira’s wife, Maria Rosa Santos Ferreira, who had died that previous June. Its Christmas edition is still fondly remembered by community members. 

The original paper version of this publication is preserved in the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives at the Claire T. Carney Library, UMass Dartmouth.  It has been digitized as part of the Portuguese American Digital Newspaper Project, along with other titles from New Bedford (A Alvorada and Diario de Noticias) and California. the project site is accessible at

OHeraldoPortuguespdf.js 2013-12-18 11 26 32AColoniaPortguesapdf.js 2013-12-18 11 25 47Diario de Noticias 2013-12-18 11 25 12AAlvoradapdf.js 2013-12-18 11 30 40

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First UMD Web Page Unveiled in 1995

1995 doesn’t really seem that far away!  I started working here in the UMD Archives and Special Collections in January of 1996.  At my previous job, in the MIT Libraries, the World Wide Web, as used by academia, as opposed to the military, was relatively new, too.  The libraries embraced its use, of course.  At my job before that, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, personal computer use itself use new.  Computers had previously only been used to crunch large amounts of data, like membership lists and financial figures.  It unfolded as a useful tool for the rest of us, as I worked on editing exhibition catalogs.  There was some resistance from the IT department who weren’t prepared to help the rest of the staff with computer applications.  Or so it seemed from my perspective.

I ran across this article about the “new” UMD web page in a box of issues of the Observer from the 1990s.  This one is dated April/May 1995.  By the way, the Observer is a great resource for the history of UMD in the 1990s.  It was a newspaper published for a few years by the administration and featured staff and faculty news as opposed to student news.  It includes everyone who was hired, retired, died, or won an award during the 1990s.  Indexed several years ago by Pat Sikora, I hope that it will someday be online.

website1995Since it may be hard to read, the first two paragraphs go like this:  “UMass Dartmouth signaled its entry onto the ‘information superhighway’ at a press unveiling of it new Home Page on the Internet’s World Wide Web.  ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg,’ said Chancellor Peter H. Cressy.  ‘This is an enormous opportunity for information to be exchanged at the speed of light.  The power of this cannot be overstated.  It is a phenomenon the like of which we’ve never seen before.’  The World Wide Web (WWW) is the fastest growing part of the global Internet, better known as the ‘information superhighway.’  The Web links ‘servers’ around the world with a common protocol or computer language, allowing users to easily choose from among a huge variety of multimedia offerings, including sound, graphics and even short video files.”

The Wayback Machine at Internet Archive has been trolling the Internet since 1996, and has captured the UMass Dartmouth Web site many times starting in 1997.  The earliest one, which is probably close to how the very first UMD home page looked, can be access at:

How will things look when I look back on the second half of my career here at UMD?  Born digital records will certainly play a role.

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Collection from Former Professor Antone Rodil

img019 smallThe Archives and Special Collections recently received a small collection of materials that once belonged to former textile professor Anton Rodil, by way of his son, Norbert Rodil.  The elder Rodil, who graduated from the New Bedford Textile School, taught in the evening school from 1930 to 1937.  In 1937 he was “elected” as a regular instructor in the weaving department at the New Bedford Textile School (for the day school).  Rodil had been weave room foreman at the New Bedford Spinning Company, and had gained experience as a textile consultant during an 18-month stint in Mexico and Cuba.  In 1948 he was promoted to the rank of assistant professor, from which he retired in January 1968.  He was also a graduate of the New Bedford Textile School, attending at night for eight years to earn his certificate.  His son, Norbert Rodil, graduated with a B.S. in Textile Engineering in 1953.

The Rodil collection includes a composition book used as a scrapbook, and several NBTS catalogs and statistical publications from the textile field.  In the scrapbook  are newspaper clippings about New Bedford Textile School graduates in 1939 and 1940.  There are also some samples of fabric woven at the school with NBTS logos and other pictorial items.  The photograph is of professor Rodil with weaving apparatus.

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img021 smallThanks to the donor and to the Alumni Office for passing these items along to the Archives and Special Collections.



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New Bedford Textile School and the Paris Exposition Universelle Internationale 1900

250px-Vue_panoramique_de_l'exposition_universelle_de_1900The Paris Exposition Universelle Internationale of 1900 was one of a series of world’s fairs held up to the end of the 19th century.  Surrounding the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, with 530 acres of gardens, buildings, walks and waterways, the fair was held from April 15th to November 12th, 1900.  Its purpose was to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next. The first international fair of this sort was held in Paris in 1855.  However, the 1900 fair would be the last major international fair.  The cost to put it on exceeded its revenue, and investors lost considerable amounts of money.  The assassination of American President William McKinley in November of 1900 also precipitated its early closure.   Each country that participated created exhibits showing their achievements in education, medicine, social welfare, science,  mining, manufacturing and the arts.   A visitor’s program including a complete list of exhibitors in the America pavilion can be found online at

DSCN0246The New Bedford Textile School is listed on page 443 of this program as an exhibitor under the classification of “Apprenticeship:  Protection of Child Labor”  in the Social Economy, Hygiene, and Public Charities Group.  For many years, the UMD Archives and Special Collections have held two medallions that were made to commemorate the Exposition.  One is bronze and the other is gold-plated bronze (at left).  Both have “New Bedford Textile School” stamped in a rectangle at the bottom of the front of the medallion.  My assumption is that the stamp has something to do with the fact that they were exhibitors.  For such an important international event, it is curious that there is no mention of the exposition or the medallions in the records of the trustees of the New Bedford Textile School.

As an interesting aside, Campbell Soups won a prestigious award at the exposition for its innovation in condensed soup.  The Campbell Soup labels have displayed this medallion ever since!  Other innovations introduced at the exposition were the escalator, ferris wheels, diesel engines and nesting Russian dolls.2292

A number of catalogues and other publications with illustrations of the exhibits, buildings and grounds have been digitized and are available at the Internet Archive at the following links:

Thanks to,, and various medallion sellers on the web for content used in this post.


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Campus Aerial Photo Documents a Moment in Time


This aerial photograph in the university’s photo archives documents a particular point in time in the evolution of the UMD campus in North Dartmouth.  But when?  The Group I building complex, upper left, is the only structure that is totally complete.  Now known as the Liberal Arts building, Group I was completed in the spring of 1966.  It was the site that same year of the first commencement on campus grounds, as well as the inauguration of President Joseph Driscoll, first SMTI/SMU/UMD president.  The large, staggered group of four buildings in the center is Group II, consisting of the three Science and Engineering Buildings, and the lecture halls.  Projecting off the back is the Textile Building, which, by the look of the roof, was complete at that time.  The other projection, the Violette Research building, is barely a foundation.  These buildings were all completed sometime in 1969; April for the SENG buildings and lecture halls, September for the Textile Building, and October for the Research Building.  Missing completely are the Foster Administration Building, the Library Communication Center, the Auditorium and Student Center, and CVPA (Group VI).  Ground was not broken on these projects until 1968, 1969, 1968 and 1975, respectively.  So when was this photo taken?  My guess would be 1968; summer, by the look of the trees.

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