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Four years ago, the Mass. Studies Project at UMass Boston launched a cultural heritage project that we dubbed the “Mass. Memories Road Show,” a real-world mashup of PBS’s Antiques Road Show (people bring their personal stuff to a local event for professional perusal) and the Library of Congress’ American Memory Project (digitize historic stuff and share it with the world). Our ambitious goal was – and still is! – to visit each of the 351 communities in Massachusetts, inviting residents to bring in photographs that reflect themselves and their families in that community. At the public “Road Show” events, we digitize the photos, capture information, videotape the story behind the photo, and then enter all of that information into a searchable, online database. From the beginning, we were operating from the simple idea that sharing personal photographs in a public event would both document and strengthen a community, and would also be a lot of fun. Our goal is to build a realistic, composite portrait of Massachusetts from thousands of contributions of photos and stories.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.



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