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Archives and Special Collections: Art & Architecture

A guide to historical materials housed in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Art & Architecture Collections

David Lee (left) and Don Stull in front of the MBTA's Ruggles Station, ca. 1987. Photograph courtesy of Lou Jones from the Stull and Lee, Inc. collection.Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, taken at one of the sessions of Bronson Alcott's 'Concord School of Philosophy,' January 4, 1950. Photograph from the Louise Hall Tharp collection.Musical scores and program from the Boston Opera House collection.Hugh Nawn House, designed by Julius A. Schweinfurth, on the corner of Seaver and Elm Streets in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1910.  Photograph from the Julius Adolphe Schweinfurth collection.Dana Chandler, art professor and founder of the African American Master Artists-in-Residence program, stands in his studio holding a piece of his artwork, 1976. Photograph from the Jet Negatives collection.


American Composers Forum New England Records

  • The New England chapter of the American Composers Forum provides composition services to community groups (i.e., church congregations, local arts councils, regional development groups, museums, environmental and social service groups) in the New England region. The American Composers Forum helps community groups find composers-in-residence and creates original music for the community groups.

Ronald W. Bailey Oral History Collection

  • Oral histories of three prominent members of Boston's African American community, including Milton Derr, a painter, illustrator and retired teacher. Derr discusses his life and work for a book by Ronald W. Bailey with Diane Turner and Robert Hayden, entitled Lower Roxbury: A Community of Treasures in the City of Boston.

Larry Blumsack Papers

  • Larry Blumsack was a founding member of the Theatre Department at Northeastern, and taught at the University from 1962-1970, and 1989-1995. He went on to serve as Director of Public Relations for the National Center of Afro-American Artists from 1970-1976. Blumsack also served on the Board of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts and was the co-director of the school's drama department from 1966-197

Boston Gay Men's Chorus Records [unprocessed]

  • The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, founded in 1982, is a 175-voice ensemble focusing on creative programming and community outreach.

Boston Opera House Records

  • Built in 1908, the Boston Opera House showcased lyrical performances until it was purchased by Northeastern University in 1957.

Boston Photo Collaborative Records   

  • The Boston Photo Collaborative (1991-2007) was founded in 1991 to improve access to the arts, bring photography into the community, and address the lack of darkroom facilities in Boston.

Charles Herbert Bruce Photographs

  • Charles H. Bruce (1884-1975), an active amateur African American photographer during 1890 to 1920, photographed the Charlestown Navy Yard, and his family, friends and colleagues, including the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge of which he was a member.

Nancy Caruso Papers

  • Nancy Caruso, Professor Emerita of Northeastern University and a community activist, was heavily involved with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.  She co-founded the North End Waterfront Central Artery Committee and was Chair of the North End Central Artery Advisory Committee, a member of the Mayor's Central Artery Completion Task Force, and a member of the Leadership Committee of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Dana C. Chandler, Jr. Papers

  • Noted African American artist Dana C. Chandler, Jr. (b. 1941) founded in 1974 Northeastern University’s African American Master Artists–in–Residence Program which provides studio to visual artists.

Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts Records

  • The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts (1950-1990) was established to meet the social, cultural, and artistic needs of Boston's African American community, offering education in art, dance, drama, music, and costuming to pre-school children, school-aged children and adults.

Virgina Eskin Papers [unprocessed]

  • Virginia Eskin, a pianist and singer, created and hosted the radio series "First Ladies of Music" and was a visiting artist in Northeastern’s Department of Music.

Fenway Alliance Records [unprocessed]

  • Founded in 1977 as The Boston Plan, the Fenway Alliance, also called Boston-Fenway Program, is a consortium of organizations working together to promote and advocate cultural programs in the Fenway District of Boston.

Clif Garboden Papers [unprocessed]

  • Clif Garboden (1966-2011) worked at the Boston Phoenix for 40 years. He started as a freelance photographer and worked his way up to Senior Managing Editor at the Boston Phoenix. One of his best known pieces of writing was his "Hot Dots" TV reviews which were known to be acerbic and concise. After leaving the Boston Phoenix in 2009, he continued writing on a blog titled, "This Annoying World."

Robert P. Gittens Papers [unprocessed]

  • Robert P. Gittens, Northeastern University class of 1975, photographed speakers, students and events at NU during the 1970s for The Onyx Informer, the University’s African-American student newspaper.

Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra Records

  • Considered to be the first swing band in the United States, the Casa Loma Orchestra got its start in Detroit as Jean Goldkette and the Orange Blossoms. Glen Gray, a saxophonist, began fronting the band in 1937 and remained its leader until the group disbanded in 1950.

International Society Records

  • Established in 1979, the International Society's mission includes promoting racial harmony through showcasing Chinese culture to non-Chinese people, and promoting understanding of cultural differences through multicultural arts programming.

Elma Ina Lewis Papers

  • Elma Ina Lewis (1921-2004) taught dance, drama, and speech therapy, and established the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in 1950, the National Center of Afro-American Artists in 1968, and the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in 1969.

William Lieberman Papers

  • William Lieberman (b. ca. 1966), Northeastern Class of 1968, worked in the field of transportation. He wrote Chapter 5, "The Winthrop Loop", in Robert C. Stanley's Narrow Gauge: The Story of the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroads. Additional unprocessed material available.

Robert J. Markell Papers

  • An engineer by trade, Robert Joseph Markell (b. 1924), Northeastern University class of 1944, was a scenic designer for CBS-TV from 1949 to 1959, a television producer for the ABC police drama NYPD from 1967-1969, and executive producer of dramatic programs for CBS-TV in 1973.

Everett C. Marston Papers

  • Everett C. Marston (1903-1970) was a Professor of English at Northeastern from 1927 to 1968, and from the 1930s until his death, he wrote several short stories, plays, novels, and an early history of Northeastern entitled Origin and Development of Northeastern University 1898-1960.

Daniel J. McNichol Papers

  • Daniel J. McNichol was Deputy Director for Public Affairs and spokesperson for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, also called "Big Dig.”  He left the project in 2000 to write several books on the project, including "The Big Dig" and "The Big Dig at Night."

Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists Records

  • The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, founded by Elma Lewis in 1969, is an art museum dedicated to the education, promotion, exhibition, and collection of African, Caribbean, and Afro-American fine arts worldwide.

National Center of Afro-American Artists Records

  • The National Center of Afro–American Artists was founded by Elma Ina Lewis in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1968 as a multi–disciplinary arts organization to showcase regional and national African American visual and performing artists.

Northeastern University John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute Records

  • The John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute was founded in 1972 to provide African American students with services and programs to promote academic success and encourage civic and cultural engagement.

Northeastern University African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program Records

  • Founded in 1974, the African American Master Artists–in–Residence Program (AAMARP) was the first African American artist–in–residence program in the United States, providing studio space on an annually renewable basis to visual artists.

A Note to You Recordings

  • "A Note to You" was a joint production of Northeastern University and WGBH Boston hosted by Roland Nadeau, founder of the NU Department of Music.

Katherine Gillette Osborne Papers

  • Katherine Gillette Osborne (1910-1943), a missionary and avid traveler, collected resources on art and architecture and founded the Boston Students Union in 1910.

John Ross Papers

  • John Andrew Ross (1940-2006), an accomplished African-American composer, organist, choral conductor, and jazz musician, was music director of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts and National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Julius Adolphe Schweinfurth Papers

  • Architect Julius Adolphe Schweinfurth (1858-1931) designed more than 70 buildings from 1895 to 1928 including schools, residences, and public buildings located in Boston.

Jon Seward Papers [unprocessed]

  • Activist Jon Seward is principle at Community Design Partnership (CDP) in Boston.

Stull and Lee, Inc. Records [unprocessed]

  • Stull and Lee, Inc. is an African American owned and operated, Boston-based, architectural and urban planning firm established by Donald L. Stull in 1967.

Louise Hall Tharp Papers

  • Louise Hall Tharp, a children's author and historical biographer, wrote 17 historical novels for young people and historical biographies for older readers.

Theatre Offensive Records

  • The Theater Offensive was founded in 1989 by Abraham Rybeck. It produces festivals and individual productions by national and local queer performers, and serves as a development environment for new theatrical work.

Triangle Theater Company Records

  • Founded in 1979 by David Hough, the Triangle Theater Company provided a supportive environment in which gay men and women could work in theater until its closure in 1996.

United South End Settlements Records

  • Founded in 1950, United South End Settlements (USES) is a non-profit social service agency located in the South End of Boston, Massachusetts, whose mission is to foster well-being, nurture personal growth and development, build a sense of community, and maintain an environment where all can thrive. In 1960, the Children’s Art Centre, the first public fine arts museum designed exclusively for children, merged with five settlements to form USES. Additional unprocessed material available.

Daniel Webster Prints

  • Photographs of monuments and portraits depicting Daniel Webster (1782-1852), a politician, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1812 and served three terms; in 1827, he was elected senator of Massachusetts.