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Archive for the ‘The Cambridge Room’ Category

For those interested, you can view the presentation from our Beginner’s Genealogy Workshop, Session 4:  Build Your Family Tree.  We will post presentations after each class.

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Genealogy Workshop Series – No Registration Required
April 26
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
William A. McEvoy, Jr., Local Historian “The Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery”
Location:  Community Room

William McEvoy has embarked on several ambitious research projects involving local cemeteries, such as Mount Auburn Cemetery and the cemetery at Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor.  His most recent project, documenting those buried at the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery in East Watertown, was the result of a four-year, 7,000+ hour, in-depth study of the 23,000+ people buried there, the vast majority of whom were Irish fleeing the Great Famine of the 1840s.  McEvoy will present his findings, including a complete statistical analysis of those buried at the cemetery. No Registration required.

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We are pleased to announce that the City of Cambridge Reports, Microform, 1940-1998 are open to research.

History
The City of Cambridge is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Middlesex County. It is a part of Greater Boston and borders the Charles River. The area was settled by Puritans in 1631 hoping to populate the land between Charlestown and Watertown. Its original name was Newe Towne, which changed to Newetowne soon after, and it was planned to be a fortified town, as well as the prospective place of government by Governor Winthrop and his council. However, these ideas were eventually abandoned in favor of Boston. Still, many moved to Newetowne, and William Wood, an English chronicler of New England said the town was, “one of the neatest and best-compacted towns in New England, having many fair structures with many handsome-contrived streets.” By 1636, Harvard College had been established, and Newetowne became home to the first institution of higher learning in the Americas. Therefore, in 1638, the town was christened Cambridge, in honor of the English college.

For the first two centuries after its birth, Cambridge was most closely associated with education and Harvard. It grew as a town, but it was still considered an agricultural community. However, the town experienced rapid growth following the American Revolution after the West Boston Bridge was built in 1792, thus connecting the town directly to Boston. By this time, the town had become a place of prosperous businesses, increased transportation, and higher learning. Therefore, it became an industrial town that was also known for its fisheries along the Alewife and Charles Rivers. In 1846, Cambridge was officially named a city.

Cambridge also boasted some of the most influential literary poets of the nineteenth century, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. During this period of time, many progressive ideas were brought forth, such as feminism. Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was a Cambridge native who advocated for women’s rights. From 1839-1844, she offered a series of seminars for women, and out of that came the publication of the influential feminist tract Women in the Nineteenth Century in 1845. She was also part of the transcendentalism movement that developed around Harvard University and included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, among many others. Abolitionism was another progressive movement in Cambridge during the nineteenth century. Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) was a graduate from the Harvard Divinity School, and he was a captain of African American volunteers during the Civil War. This was the nation’s first black military unit, and it became the model for later units.

Throughout the rest of the century, the city continued to grow, and with the help of philanthropist Frederick Hastings Rindge (1857-1905), many city buildings were established. Between 1888 and 1990, he funded the construction of the public library, a new city hall, and the Manual Training School, a vocational school for boys. This expansion continued into the twentieth century, and Cambridge experienced some defining changes. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology moved its campus from Boston, and the subway was engineered to connect the two cities. A melting pot of different cultures formed as more immigrants moved to the city. Political and social movements revolved around social services, education, regulation of the economy, and religion. In 1902, Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House was established, and it was inspired by Fuller. Its main goal was to help immigrants successfully assimilate into American culture.

The government at the time was a bicameral system with a mayor, a twenty-one member council, and a board of aldermen. The non-partisan era ended in 1902 when John H. H. McNamee, a bookbinder was elected the city’s first Irish Catholic mayor. After that, political parties played a strong role, which brought about charges of political favoritism and nepotism. Many citizens initiated reform movements to combat the corruption. Political reformers introduced Plan E in 1937, which changed the structure of government. Now, there was a nine-member council. The new plan encouraged proportional representation, which means all voters and political groups deserve representation in government based on voting numbers. Plan E changed how candidates campaigned because slate balloting was very important. This influenced the politically-charged atmosphere of the time, something that continued throughout the century. When the City of Cambridge entered the new millennium, many of the social issues of the twentieth century were still relevant. A process of urban renewal and economic development, from women’s suffrage to rent control, helped the city retain its appeal.

Collection Overview
This collection contains 17 rolls of microfilm and approximately 300 cards of microfiche of various city reports. The bulk of the reports are from 1978 to 1997. Many of the originals of these reports exist and are individually cataloged, accessible through the online catalog. If more than one card exists for each report it is noted in the finding aid.

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For those interested, you can view the presentation from our Beginner’s Genealogy Workshop, Session 3:  Online Resources.  We will post presentations after each class.

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The 2012 Annual Report from the CCTV Collection in the Cambridge Room

We are pleased to announce that the Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) Records, 1984-2016 Collection is now available for research.

History
Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) is a community media organization that formed through the origination of cable television in Cambridge. Since its launch in 1988, CCTV’s mission has been to provide resources to residents, businesses, and organizations in Cambridge through telecommunication tools and services. Maintaining a strong emphasis on community, engagement, and education, CCTV works as a media center that maintains and provides access to three local cable channels, workshops in media production and technology, public computer labs, and youth programming. The National Alliance for Community Media has named CCTV first in the country ten times since its establishment for best public access programming station. Members and staff have also been recognized locally and nationally for work produced through CCTV.[1]

Establishing cable for Cambridge was an extended deliberation that began with a municipal plan and ended with a television license agreement between American Cablesystems of Cambridge and the City of Cambridge. In 1978, a cable advisory committee formed to study the needs of Cambridge offered a municipal cable network option for residents. The city council passed the municipal plan twice before bringing it to a general vote in which residents rejected the plan. Despite the loss, in 1984 the city council suggested that citizens create a corporation to compete against other companies vying for franchise ownership as Cambridge’s cable provider. Cambridge Consumer-Owned Telecommunications (Cable Plus), was created as a result. It was designed as a cooperative in which paying residents would have a say in the development of services. Cable Plus planned for rates to be low and for the product to reflect local concerns of consumers.[2]

In 1984, three other firms competed against Cable Plus for the license to provide a cable system to Cambridge: American Cablesystems, Cablevision of New York, and Cambridge Cablevision Corporation.[3] Each corporation submitted a proposal to the City Manager and after review, American Cablesystems was chosen to be the cable provider. American Cablesystems was a much larger corporation that acquired its first system in 1978 and by 1984 operated in four regions: Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and Virginia (including West Virginia and Tennessee).[4] Although this ended local hopes of having a cooperative cable provider in Cambridge, American Cablesystems acknowledged the importance of community television and local programming.

On December 30, 1985 the final license for cable television was granted to American Cablesystems by Robert W. Healy, City Manager. In the license agreement, Cambridge Community Television was established as a corporation to operate the channels designated to public access programming.[5] In 1988, CCTV began its programs from a space in Kendall Square and in 1994 moved to its present location in Central Square. From its founding, CCTV provides local services and programming as a non-profit tax-exempt corporation.

Collection Overview
This collection contains materials related to Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) and the processes that led to its creation. It holds two proposals for Cambridge from American Cablesystems and Cable Plus that lay out plans for cable packages, construction, and distribution; the final cable contract between American Cablesystems and Cambridge; and proceeding contract renewals with MediaOne and Comcast. This collection also contains DVDs, ephemera, and paper documents including annual reports, fundraising and outreach materials, grant agreements, programming flyers and funding proposals produced by CCTV.

The cable proposals were originally arranged in three-ring binders. The American Cablesystems proposal includes duplicates that contain handwritten notes and are located in the folder “Annotated Pages”. The American Cablesystems proposal also includes pamphlets about the newest technologies in the 1980s market and cable advertising materials that can be found in Sections 8, 10, and 15.

There are sections missing from the American Cablesystems proposal: Section 7 (Local Organization Programming pp. 99-104), Section 9 (Municipal Services pp. 117-121), and part of Section 10 (Subscriber Services pp. 122-137). Pages 138-198 of Section 10 are available.

Works Cited:
[1] “About Cambridge Community Television.” Cambridge Community Television. https://www.cctvcambridge.org/about.

[2] “Cable Plus News.” September 1984, vol. 1 issue 1, Cambridge Vertical File, 051, Subject File Cable Television, Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.

[3] Hirshson, Paul. “Cambridge Has Data Ready on Cable Network,” Boston Globe, 24 May 1984. Cambridge Vertical File, 051, Subject File Cable Television, Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.

[4] “American Cablesystems Corporation”, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) Records, 1984-2016, 147, Box 1, 1984 Cable Proposal Section 16 (cont.), American Cablesystems Booklet, Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.

[5] “Agreement Between the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cambridge Community Television, Inc.” 2001. Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) Records, 1984-2016, 147, Box 4, Grant Agreements 2001, 2005, 2011, 2016, Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.

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Genealogy Workshop Series
April 26
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
William A. McEvoy, Jr., Local Historian “The Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery”
Location:  Community Room

William McEvoy has embarked on several ambitious research projects involving local cemeteries, such as Mount Auburn Cemetery and the cemetery at Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor.  His most recent project, documenting those buried at the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery in East Watertown, was the result of a four-year, 7,000+ hour, in-depth study of the 23,000+ people buried there, the vast majority of whom were Irish fleeing the Great Famine of the 1840s.  McEvoy will present his findings, including a complete statistical analysis of those buried at the cemetery. No Registration required.

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A map of Boston from 1871 in the Atlas Collection in the Cambridge Room.

We are pleased to announce that the Atlases, 1873-1930 Collection is now available for research.

Collection Overview
This collection contains atlases on the subjects of Cambridge, Middlesex County, and Massachusetts by various surveyors, including G. M. Hopkins, G. W. Bromley, and George H. Waker.

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