CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY – UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL LIBRARIES

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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
 
Allen (Charles Herbert) Collection
This photograph collection is from the Walter E. Hayes Photograph Album.  During the early 1900s, Walter Hayes was the chauffeur and groundskeeper of Governor Charles Herbert Allen’s residence “The Terraces” on Rolfe Street [now: University of Massachusetts Lowell, South Campus].  Governor Charles Herbert Allen represented Lowell in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1885-1889.  In 1899, President McKinley appointed Allen as the first Civil Governor of Puerto Rico.

American Association of University Women
The collections contain the 1930-1999 records of the Lowell Chapter of the American Association of University Women, Massachusetts State Division.

Bancroft Collection
Jefferson Bancroft was the mayor of the City of Lowell in the 1840s.  He served as Sheriff during much of the mid 1800s. This collection contains Bancroft’s personal and business correspondence.  In addition, there are a large number of Sheriff's records including foreclosures, auctions, and other legal actions.

Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society Collection
In 1978, arrangements were made to house the historic materials collected by the Boston and Maine (B & M) Railroad Historical Society.  This collection consists of records, periodicals, books, maps, timetables, and photographs related to New England railroads.

Butler Cartoons and Prints Collection
Benjamin Franklin Butler,  1818-1893, was a lawyer, working class democrat, northern civil war general, congressman, governor, and presidential candidate.  He was loved and hated often at the same time by the same people.  The Lowell Historical Society has gathered cartoons and prints from a variety of 19th century magazines.

Camara (Portuguese) Collection
During the summer of 1989, the Camara Family donated a collection of glass plate negatives.  These negatives record life in the Portuguese Community about 1907.  The Center has preserved the original negatives and published a Portuguese Photographic History.  Additional information available at Center for Lowell Exhibit Portuguese Photographs and Library of Congress Exhibit Portuguese in the United States.

Case Collection
Dow L. Case was an award winning photographer, for the Lowell Sun from 1930's to 1960's.  Among the photographs and photo albums in this collection is an elaborate tribute album to the Lowell Sun staff "who served in World War II".

Cemetery Projects
Over the years, there have been a number of projects documenting the gravestones in the Lowell cemeteries.  In the 1970s, the Lowell Historical Society funded the Lowell State College History Club in making Gravestone rubbings of the slate stones.  In 1904 P. Hildreth Parker copied epitaphs from the Hildreth Burying Ground (Hildreth Street); Old Burying Ground (Varnum Avenue); Pawtucket (Mammoth Road); Woodbine (West Meadow Road).  The Swain Family have documented many other Northern Middlesex County Cemeteries.  Also visit local cemeteries websites: Lowell Cemetery,  Saint Patrick’s Cemetery and Saint Mary’s Cemetery.

Champagne Brothers Collection
The French Canadian Champagne brothers, Philias, Octave, and Eusebe settled in Lowell, Massachusetts around 1890.  By the early 1900s, their music was so well known and appreciated throughout New England and Canada they began publishing and selling it, and the celebrated Eusebe, violin in hand, became the Strauss of the region.  In the late 1970s the Lowell Historical Society purchased this collection of their sheet music.

Church of All Nations
Through the Church of All Nations, Reverend Leslie Bockes opened a summer camp for the children of Lowell.  His daughter, Patricia B. Ingersoll, donated photographs and records of this camp.

Coggeshall Collection
John Ingersoll Coggeshall, 1857-1912, was born in Fall River and settled in Lowell, Massachusetts.  He was known throughout New England as an engraver, photographer, and painter.  His daughter donated to the Center a large number of his photographs and original negatives.

Commodore Ballroom Collection
In the early 1990s, Lowell Historical Society acquired the Commodore Collection.  This collection contains photographs autographed by many of the Big Bands, 1940s and 1950s sheet music, and business records of the Commodore Ballroom.

Community Archives
The Community Archives Center's mission is to systematically gather records and documents generated by community agencies, organizations and institutions.  These materials are then available to support social and economic development.

Corliss Collection
Family and friends wrote most of the letters in this collection to Helen Corliss from 1846 to 1857.  There is some additional correspondence to her father, John I. Corliss, written between 1833-1866.  Mr. Corliss worked at the Lowell Gas Company.  Other family members included mother; brother: Harold G.; and sisters: Sarah Grace, Ellen.

Corporation of Members of Catholic Association (CMAC)
This Franco-American Men's Club, located at 211 Pawtucket Street, was founded February 7, 1878 and incorporated March 14, 1891.  When it closed in 1993, the donation of their records and archives was arranged by Armand Mercier and Henri Marchand.

D.A.R. Molly Varnum Collection
In 1996, Molly Varnum Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution donated its former Chapter House to the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust.  Included with the donation were the D.A.R. membership records, were deposited at the Center for public use.  These records provide a rich resource for the study of local family history.

Davis Collection
Katherine Kenicott Davis, 1892-1980, was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri and settled in Concord, Massachusetts.  A prolific composer, her most well known piece is "Little Drummer Boy".  This collection contains her professional papers and music library.

Father John's Medicine Company Records
In the 1860s, Lowell apothecary, Carlton and Hovey, began marketing a cough medicine developed by a local Catholic priest Father John O’Brien.  This medicine became so popular that the apothecary was renamed Father John's Medicine Company.  In the early 1980s the company was sold and moved its manufacturing plant to Cody, Wyoming.

Flather / Boott Collection
In 1984, the John Rogers Flather family donated to the Lowell Museum, to be housed at the University, their library on textiles and the Boott Cotton Mills Company records from 1903-1954.  This Collection is one of the best examples of a 20th century textile company archive.

Foley Collection
Elizabeth Foley, an amateur photographer, spent much of her life photographing and writing about the community in which she lived.  In particular, her photographs and diaries during the 1950's and 1960's are a remarkable record of an industrial city in transition.

Folklife Collection
In 1987, Library of Congress American Folklife Center initiated the Lowell Folklife Project to document ethnic and multi-cultural life in Lowell.  The Center serves as the local public repository for these recordings, reports, field notes, and photographs.  Middlesex Community College has developed a cirriculium using some these interviews for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: Lowell Immigrant Project.

Franco American Orphanage And School Records
In 2006, the University of Massachusetts of Lowell, Center for Lowell History in partnership with the Lowell National Historical Park and the Franco American School developed the Franco American Orphanage Project. The goal of this project was to preserve and make available to the public Franco American Orphanage and School Records from 1908-1972.  For additional information see the Timeline of Orphanages in Massachusetts and the United States. 

French Canadian Collection
This collection of French Canadian literature from Lowell contains issues of L’Apostolat, a magazine published by Missionnaires Oblats De Marie Immaculee.  There are also pamphlets and program booklets from Corporation des Membres de l’Association Catholique, Cercle  Jeanne-Mance, Chorale Sainte Cecile and L’Hospice Saint Joseph.

Genealogy Collection
In response to growing demand this genealogy collection was developed.  It contains the Unites States Manuscript Census, as well as the Census, Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Massachusetts, local and state insurance maps, city directories, and town histories.  Special projects include Dracut, Lawrence, and Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

Grace Universalist Church Collection
Building Committee Correspondence on the building of the church 1895-1896. Also commemorative booklets.

Gray (Railroad) Photograph Collection
Finley Gray was dedicated to collecting and preserving photographs related to railways in Massachusetts.  This collection contains hundreds of photographs of locomotives, stations, and railcars from early 1900’s.

Hadley Collection
Samuel P. Hadley gave to the University a collection of World War I instructional and propaganda pamphlets from the United States and Britain.

Human Services Corporation
This organization was created in 1970 when the Federal Model Cities Program ended.  In 1995 Human Services was down sized and many of its records and files were transferred to the Center.  These materials provide a rich source for the study of changes in planning and urban policies.

Indochinese Refugee Foundation
A collection of Indochinese Refugee Foundation papers.

Kerouac Collection
Jack Kerouac, 1922-1969, a popular writer, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and often returned to visit.  This Collection consists of many of his published works as well as taped interviews with boyhood friends, family members, and colleagues.

Knapp (Chauncey) Collection
The Knapp Scrapbook on deposit at the University by the Lowell Historical Society consist of correspondence, speeches, and newspaper clippings gathered by Congressman Chauncey Knapp who represented Lowell in the United States House of Representatives, Massachusetts (1855-1859).

Lambert Collection
This collection of 19th century family papers was donated to the Lowell Museum, to be housed at the University.  Most notable are the papers of Jefferson Bancroft, local businessman and city official; and Channing Whitaker, MIT faculty member and engineer for Lowell Machine Shop.

Lowell Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO Collection
In the early 1980s, the Lowell Central Labor Council donated their archives to the Center for Lowell History.  These archives contain the business records and papers of several unions from 1899 to 1978.  These unions represent Barbers, Carpenters, Building and Construction Trades, Electrical Workers, Machinists, Plumbers and Steam fitters.

Lowell City Atlases and Maps
Atlases show lots, buildings and property owners and are available for 1879, 1882, 1892, 1896, 1906, 1912, 1914, 1924, 1936, and 1977.  There are additional Lowell Maps showing some buildings, wards, and streets for 1821, 1825, 1832, 1845, 1850, 1866, 1878, 1888, 2004, 2008 Lowell: Geographic Information System.

Lowell City Engineer's Collection
In 1990, the City Engineer's Office donated to the Center a collection of nearly 3,000 photographs and negatives of Lowell.  These early 20th century photographs provide a detailed view of almost every street and neighborhood in Lowell between 1910-1938.

Lowell City High School Collection
The Lowell High School placed a small photographic collection on deposit at the Center for public use.  These photographs document many of the sports and educational activities sponsored by the High School in the early 1900s.

Lowell City Water Board Commission
Lowell Museum rescued these records of the Lowell Water Works in the late 1970's.  These incomplete records cover the period from 1870 to 1945.  They include Water Board Commission Reports; payroll records; extension, conveyance and application records.

Lowell Commission of Handicapped Affairs Collection
Donated by Ms. Mann, former member of the Lowell Commission of Handicapped Affairs.  This Collection is an archive and a resource on Handicapped issues in Lowell and Massachusetts.

Lowell Corporation Hospital Association
The following is an index of the Lowell Corporation Hospital, Patient Register, 1840-1887.  The register contains about 4,250 records.  Most of the patients are women who work for one of the major Lowell textile companies. They come from all over New England, as well as Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, and other parts of the United States. 

Lowell Historical Society Collection
For many years the manuscripts, photographs and books collected by the Lowell Historical Society were locked up in rooms at the Lowell Public Library.  The University agreed to house and catalog these materials and make them available to the public.

Lowell Institute for Savings Collection
Lowell Institute for Savings 1829-1992 was one of the earliest savings banks established in the United States.  When the LIFS was closed by federal authorities, hundreds of ledgers and files were were donated to the University.  Including Lists of Depositors; bank records, directors' minutes, and correspondence. 

Lowell Museum Corporation Collection
When opened in 1976, the Lowell Museum received many donations of photographs, manuscripts and company records.  To provide public access, many of these items were transferred to the University   The emphasis of this collection is on immigration and textile technology.

Manning Collection
Warren H. Manning, 1860-1938, a landscape architect of national importance, was based in Billerica, Massachusetts. This collection contains correspondence, business records, writings, photographs, journals, and diaries pertaining to over 1600 clients in the United States.  See Also: Iowa State University - Warren H. Manning Landscape Architectural Collection; Manning (Warren) Project by Library of American Landscape History; and Also: Harvard University Frances Loeb Library.

Manning Association Collection
Manning Association of America gathers and preserves documents and artifacts related to the history of the Manning Family in the United States.  In the late 1960's the Association transferred some of the collection to the university to provide accessibility.

Massachusetts Mills Drawings
A collection of architectural and engineering drawings of the Massachusetts Mills was salvaged and donated to the Lowell Historical Society.  These plans depict changes and renovations made to the Massachusetts Mills in the 1920's.

Meehan (Martin Thomas “Marty”) Archives
This Marty Meehan Archives is located in O’Leary Library at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  The collection consists of office files, presidential correspondence, constituent casework, photographs, and videos generated during Congressman Meehan’s service in the United States House of Representatives, Massachusetts Fifth District (1993-2007).

Middlesex Canal Association Collection
In 1962, the Middlesex Canal Association was organized to preserve, protect and restore as much of the remains of the Middlesex Canal as possible for the public's enjoyment.  This collection includes paintings, maps, and documents that are housed at the Center.

Middlesex Canal Company Collection
In the mid 1970's the Middlesex County Court House, Cambridge, Massachusetts, transferred all of the records of the bankrupt Middlesex Canal Company, 1793-1853, to the University.  These records include correspondence, ledgers, receipts, and invoices.

Middlesex Company Records
The Middlesex Company was a woolen textile company established by the Lawrence Family in the 1820s.  In 1850s, Benjamin F. Butler purchased the Middlesex Mills.  This was one of the few textile companies to thrive during the Civil War by supplying military contracts for blankets and uniforms.  The Middlesex Mills were demolished in the 1930s.

Middlesex Mechanics Association Records
A men's organization formed to support and promote the science and education of mechanics in Lowell.  Members included mechanics, businessmen, and community leaders.  They sponsored a lecture series for men and women that brought the best minds in the country to speak.  Their library formed the basis of the Lowell Public Library.

Middlesex Village School Records
Middlesex Village was named for Middlesex Canal, a transportation canal originally part of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  This area was annexed as part of Lowell.  This collection contains business and attendance records of this neighborhood school that closed in the early 1980's.

Morse Collection
Marion Morse was Librarian for the Lowell Historical Society.  This collection consists of a variety of materials from family papers to general popular ephemera related to the history of Lowell from early 20th Century.

Newspaper Collection
The Center has developed a significant collection of 19th and 20th century Lowell, Massachusetts newspapers.  The majority of the collection is available on microfilm.  Unfortunately none of these newspapers have a general index.  Volunteers have prepared special birth, marriage, and obituary indexes - see  Vital Index. Also the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Libraries website is a large number of indexed newspapers, including the Lowell Sun.  To access these newspapers: if you are a student or member of the University Community these newspapers are available online, otherwise you may use the public computers at any one of the three UML Libraries.

Nursing/Health Collection
Department of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau, Eta Omega Chapter established this collection to support and promote the study and research of heath care.  Collection contains records and archives from area hospitals, health agencies and health professionals.

Olney (Textile) Collection
In 1963, Professor Louis A. Olney donated his library of textile chemistry books and periodicals.  Additional books and periodicals on textiles and related topics have been brought together forming a strong collection on the history of textile technology.

Oral History Collection
Technology has changed the way people communicate and new methods of capturing this information have been developed.  One method is tape-recorded interviews.  The Center has coordinated dozens of "Oral History" projects on Lowell resulting in hundreds of interviews.

Photographic Collection
There are over 40,000 historic photographs and glass plate negatives in the collections.  To improve their management and accessibility the photographs are physically separated from their original collection in order to prepare extensive subject, name, and geographic indexes.

Proprietors of Locks and Canals Collections
Proprietors of Locks and Canals provided the engineering skills, capital and managerial knowledge to build a complex canal system.  In the 1950's, the Proprietors donated much of their technical library, architectural and engineering drawings and photographs to the University.

Riddick Collection
Raymond Riddick, Sr. played football for the Green Bay Packers and coached Lowell High School football.  He was recognized as one of the finest high school football coaches in the country.  His personal papers, photographs, scrapbooks and playbook were donated by his family.

Rogers Hall School for Girls
In 1975, The Rogers Hall School for Girls closed.  The trustees donated school yearbooks, journals, bulletins, registers, scrapbooks and a large quantity of photographs to the Lowell Historical Society.  These materials are housed at the Center for Lowell History.

Russell (George) Collection
George Russell was an early 20th century commercial photographer based in Lowell.  He was known for large, panoramic, group photographs.  He traveled throughout New England photographing class graduations, group outings, conventions, social events, and fraternal, military, and union organizations.  In the 1990s, his estate donated to the Lowell Historical Society, those photographs with Lowell connections.

Tewksbury Almshouse and Hospital History

In 1852, the Tewksbury Almshouse became one of three State facilities responsible for caring for the rapidly growing number of paupers, who were part of the unprecedented influx of new immigrants into Massachusetts. The Tewksbury Historical Society has created an online archive of reports and primary documents about the History of the Tewksbury Hospital.

 

Tewksbury Almshouse and Hospital Records Index

A comprehensive index of the inmate/patient case histories of the Tewksbury Almshouse 1860-1896 compiled from microfilm available at the Center for Lowell History. These case histories may contain such information as the inmate's age, birthplace, information on parents or other family members, date of arrival in this country, places they have resided, occupation and reason for admittance.

Tewksbury Almshouse Intake Records [1860- 1884] consist of hand-written interviews with patients at the time of admittance. Funding for this project was provided through a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) to the University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries in partnership with the Public Health Museum of Tewksbury. When available, records were scanned from the original almshouse ledgers now owned by the Public Health Museum. In total, 24,000 records will soon be available here from the original ledgers plus another 16,000 from microfilmed ledgers. All records will be searchable by name, age, gender, birthplace, race, and year of admittance. In addition, over 800 alias names have been added and over 600 birth records have been cross referenced with their mother's admittance records.

 

Tewksbury Almshouse and Hospital Investigation

In 1883, the newly-elected governor of Massachusetts, Benjamin F. Butler of Lowell, initiated an investigation of charges against the Tewksbury Almshouse. The Tewksbury Historical Society has created an online Archive of Newspaper Articles published in the Lowell Sun regarding this investigation.

 

Tewksbury Almshouse and Hospital Death Records

In Memoriam to the hundreds of former patients, a dedicated volunteer has carefully gathered deaths records reported to the State of Massachusetts by the Tewksbury Almshouse and created an online searchable database Vital Records 1854 through 1905.

Tremont and Suffolk Mills Drawings
A collection of architectural and engineering drawings from early 1900s, rescued from the Suffolk Mill (now the Wannalancit Mills).  Among these plans and drawings are layouts of new looms and textile machines.

Tsongas Papers
Paul E. Tsongas, born in Lowell Massachusetts, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974 and to the Senate in 1978.  He left the Senate in 1983 and donated his Congressional Papers to the University.  In 1991, he ran for President of the United States and his Presidential Campaign Papers were donated in 1998.  On January 28, 1997, eulogies by friends and family were published in the Congressional RecordDissertation by Dane M. Netherton, Washington State University “Paul Tsongas and the Battles over Energy and the Environment, 1974-1980". Through a Massachusetts Bureau of Library Commissionerís Historic Records Grant, UMass Lowell Libraries has digitized a large portion of the Tsongas Congressional Collection and is in the process of making the material available online within the university's Digital Initiative's repository.”

University Archives Collection
State Normal School and Lowell Textile School began in the 1890's.  In 1975, they merged as University of Lowell and were remained University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1991.  These Archives contain photographs, newspapers, yearbooks and records from these institutions.

Whittaker Collection
Channing Whittaker was an MIT faculty member and engineer for Lowell Machine Shop.  This collection contains personal and business correspondence, as well as records, papers, and drawings of Whittaker's work at the Lowell Machine Shop.
 

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