From the Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Giordana Mecagni
Northeastern University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections preserves the history of Boston’s social movements, including civil and political rights, immigrant rights, homelessness, and urban and environmental justice. The records document the history of Boston’s African American, Chinese, LGBTQ, Latino and other communities, as well as Boston’s public infrastructure, neighborhoods, and natural environments. Research guides or finding aids for processed Special Collections or Boston History Collections are accessible on the web. Special Collections also includes rare books, faculty publications, and the Northeastern University Press collection. Most of these publications are searchable in Scholar OneSearch.
The decision to work with Stephen Mindich to create a permanent home for the Phoenix Media/Communications Group's online, audio-visual and paper archives was an extremely easy one to make. Although out-of-scope, the Phoenix's focus on local politics, underground or alternative causes, arts and culture provides a wonderful backdrop to our social justice collections-- providing weekly context to our donor organizations' efforts.
It is also a prime source for research in its own right, for digital humanities projects, tracking trends in politics, the arts, news, through time. How did so-called 'fringe' causes, such as GLBTQA rights, marijuana decriminalization, and alternative energy become mainstream? Even the classifieds would make a wonderful project-- in the pre-Craigslist era, how did people recruit band-mates, room-mates, and life-mates? The Phoenix served as the go-to source for entertainment, alternative culture, and hard-hitting news for 40 years. Although no longer in publication, its archives will continue to inspire new thought, scholarship, and questioning the status quo.
If you are interested in donating additional Phoenix-related materials, please consult Donating Organizational Records and Personal Papers.