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.

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.

For those interested, you can view the presentation from our Beginner’s Genealogy Workshop, Session 2:  Documenting Your Research.  We will post presentations after each class.

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.

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.

For those interested, you can view the presentation from our Beginner’s Genealogy Workshop, Session 1:  Introduction to Resources.  We will post presentations after each class.

A color photograph of the Weeks Bridge. There are two men sitting on the edge of the bridge letting their legs dangle over the water.

We are pleased to announce that the John and Ellen Moot Papers, 1903 – 1982 are now available for research. Select digital items are also available.

John and Ellen Moot were political activists in Cambridge. John (1922 – 2008), the son of Welles V. and Caroline E., was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Cambridge to attend Harvard University, where he graduated in 1943 with a degree in engineering. During World War II, John served in the U.S. Navy, loading ships in England for the Normandy invasion. John returned to Harvard and earned an MBA in 1948 and launched the Cornwell Corporation, a kitchen supply company, in the 1950s. He later became a management consultant for failing companies. For over fifty years, Moot was active in Cambridge politics. In 1963, he launched a campaign to “Save Memorial Drive” from the proposed Inner Belt, the eight lane highway planned to go through Cambridge. He was also a founding member of People for the Riverbend Park Trust, PRPT, located at 99 Memorial Drive in Cambridge. In addition to serving as President of the Cambridge Civic Association, Moot held leadership positions in several other Cambridge civic organizations, including the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, the Charles River Watershed Association, the Harvard Square Defense Fund, and the Republican City Committee. In the 1980s, he was a mayoral appointee on the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee and the Technical Working Committee for the Computerization of the Cambridge Elections (TWCC). He served on city-wide study committees for Proposition 2/12, the water system, and municipal finance. In 1998, he co-founded the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods with Stash Horowitz. John was the lead plaintiff in a suit brought against the State Department of Environmental Protection and the Guilford Transportation Company to block Cambridge’s NorthPoint development. In 2007, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Moot’s favor.[1]

Ellen (Guild) (1930-2016) grew up in Boston, Mass. and graduated from the Shady Hill School (Cambridge, Mass., 1945), St. Timothy’s School (Stevenson, MD., 1948), and Radcliffe College with a degree in Government (1952). After receiving a Master’s degree in International Affairs at Yale University, Ellen worked at the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research at John Hopkins University. She became engaged to John Moot while living in Washington, D.C., and the couple moved to Cambridge after they were married. In Cambridge, Ellen was as a research assistant at the Harvard Center for International Affairs (CFIA), where she worked with Henry Kissinger, Robert Bowie, and Joseph Nye. She served on the Boston World Affairs Council and the United Nations Association.

After her daughter was born in 1962, Ellen returned to the CFIA part-time and began working on political campaigns in Cambridge. She ran the successful City Council and State Senate campaigns of Alice Wolf as well as the successful City Council campaigns of Cornelia Wheeler. (Wheeler lost her bid for State Senate in which Ellen was the campaign manager.) She also worked on the School Committee and City Council campaigns of Frank Duehay. During this time, she partnered with Artistic Director and Conductor Benjamin Zander to found (and later become the Executive Director of) the Shady Hill Summer Arts Program.

In the 1970s, Ellen’s career turned toward the field of mental health and she served on the board of the Cambridge Guidance Center, the Metropolitan State Hospital’s Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s Area Board, and as the President of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s Mental Health Center for Cambridge-Somerville.[2]

From 1983-2001, Ellen served on the board of the Cambridge Foundation. She was active in the Cambridge Historical Society, co-writing a chapter on the Coolidge Hill neighborhood, where she lived, for the book, A City’s Life and Times: Cambridge in the Twentieth Century (2007). Also, she played on Cambridge’s first women’s ice hockey team, founded in the 1970s and nicknamed the Mother Puckers. Outside Cambridge, Ellen was active in the Chocorua Lake Association in Tamworth, New Hampshire. Ellen was an avid sailor.

Ellen and John married in New Years of 1960 at the Unitarian Church in Boston. They were members of the First Parish Unitarian Church and patrons of local theater and opera. They have two children Amey (b. 1962) and Alex Moot (b. 1964).

[1] Anderson, Travis, “Moot Dies at 86, Successfully Fought Highway Through Cambridge,” Cambridge Chronicle, December 19, 2008. http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x1435867302/Moot-dies-at-86-successfully-fought-highway-through-Cambridge?zc_p=0. Retrieved 30 December 2013.

[2] Ellen Guild Moot, 1930-2016, Boston Globe, September 25, 2016. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=181469944. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

Collection Overview
This collection contains materials related to Ellen and John Moot’s work on preserving recreation areas around Memorial Drive in Cambridge, including People for the Riverbend Park Trust. There are several oversize materials, some of which like the Cambridge Civic Association Billboards are fragile. Jacek von Henneberg, author of the Memorial Drive Drawings, is a Polish artist and architect, who lived in Cambridge. The proposed underpass on Memorial Drive by Harvard Square was never created. The Save Memorial Drive poster has a reproduction of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte.

The boxes of the Haley and Aldrich Reports available in the Cambridge Room.

We are pleased to announce that the Haley and Aldrich Reports, 1980-present are now open to research.

The reports authored by Haley & Aldrich cover three Cambridge locations: W.R. Grace in North Cambridge, Harvard University’s Oxford Street parking facility, and Harvard University Law School at Everett Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

The W.R. Grace site, located 62 Whittmore Avenue in Cambridge near Rindge Avenue along Alewife Brook Parkway and next to Russell Field, was polluted with 650,000 to 1.2 million pounds of asbestos due to a history of manufacturing processes that contaminated soils and underground water. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic substances, and heavy metals have also been found on the site and adjacent Russell Field. Before the 20th Century, the site was a marshy field, mined for clay by several companies. From 1919 to 1940, Dewey and Almy manufactured rubber and rubber based products and later developed dispersants, such as DAXAD, before being bought by W.R. Grace in 1954. After three decades of transportation planning, including the extension of Route 2, the proposed Inner Belt plan, and the construction of the MBTA’s Red Line, Cambridge’s Community Development issued a master plan for Alewife redevelopment. In 1987, W.R. Grace submitted proposals for an office complex along the 27 acres. After years of testing revealing contaminated soil and groundwater at both the site and the neighboring Russell Field, plans for development were halted. W.R. Grace hired Haley & Aldrich, Inc., an underground engineering and environmental consulting firm, to manage the site, which includes planning for development, participating in community planning, and testing.

In 2002, Harvard University was required to submit a Release Abatement Measure (RAM) plan for its Oxford Street parking facility.

In 2007, Harvard University was cited for a release or possible release of oil and/or hazardous material at Story and Wyeth Halls and Baker House at 23 Everett Street. Story and Wyeth Halls were dormitories for Harvard Law School students. Wyeth Hall was demolished in 2007 for the construction of Harvard’s newest law school building at 1585 Massachusetts Avenue.

Collection Overview
This collection contains environmental reports authored by Massachusetts-based consulting firm Haley & Aldrich that were deposited with the Cambridge Public Library, usually in accordance with a Public Involvement Plan developed for a particular project. While most of the collection consists of printed reports, there are also audiocassettes and transcripts of public meetings held in June 1999. Some of the reports are on CD or DVD rather than in paper format