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Archives and Special Collections: Desegregation

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

Desegregation Collections

This photo shows a student checking into a Freedom School hosted for a Freedom Stay-Out Day boycott in 1964, probably for the February 26th boycott. Photograph from the Phyllis Ryan papers.  This is a photograph of parents and community members who attended the Boston School Committee meeting on June 11, 1963, they ended up holding a sit-in at the meeting. Photograph from the Phyllis M. Ryan papers.Because it's right - educationally : Report of the advisory committee on racial imbalance and education, April 1965. Report from the Phyllis M. Ryan papers.This photo was taken on a Freedom Stay-Out Day in 1964, probably for the February 26th boycott. It shows parents waiting outside a Freedom School that was held as an alternative for students participating in the boycott. Photograph from the Phyllis M. Ryan papers.

Northeastern University Resources

Freedom House Inc. Records

  • Founded in 1949, Freedom House’s mission is to centralize community activism in the fight for neighborhood improvement, good schools, and harmony among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The Education and Desegregation files in the collection document the involvement of Freedom House with the issue of desegregation prior to 1965 when the Racial Imbalance Law was passed and focus on Freedom House's response to the 1974 ruling by Judge Garrity to enforce desegregation of the Boston Public Schools.

Frank J. Miranda Papers

  • African American activist Frank J. Miranda (b. 1932) was director of the Cultural Enrichment and Tutorial Program of Operation Exodus, a community based, parent-initiated organization to deal with the educational problems of African American students in Boston; and a member of the Boston Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an organization founded to abolish discrimination based on race, color, creed, or ethnic origin.

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) Records

  • Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Incorporated (METCO, Inc.) is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1966 to eliminate racial imbalance by busing children from Boston and Springfield to suburban public schools in 38 communities.This collection contains restricted material.

Phyllis M. Ryan Papers

  • Social justice and political activist Phyllis M. Ryan (1927-1998) supported school desegregation, prison reform, welfare reform, the establishment of disability rights, and civil rights organizations like Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Roxbury Multi-Service Center Records

  • Roxbury Multi-Service Center (RMSC), a social service agency, founded in 1963 to offer programs and services designed to empower the residents of Roxbury and North Dorchester to become economically and socially self-sufficient.  The records document school desegregation (Box 3, Folders 1-4); racial and educational inequality in Boston Public Schools (Boxes 2-4, Folders 18-51, 1- 23, and 1- 8); and the experience of African American children in Boston Public Schools (Box 2-4, Folders 18-51, 1- 23, and 1- 8). Also covered are topics concerning public health issues; alcoholism and drug addiction; homelessness; and sexual assault awareness. This collection contains restricted material.

Citywide Educational Coalition Records

  • Established in 1972, the Citywide Educational Coalition played an important role in the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools and advocated for school reform by providing parents with the skills necessary to participate in shaping education policy. The records illuminate its formation by Mary Ellen Smith, Hubert Jones, Francis Parkman, and Clyde Miller to choose a superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; its role in the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools; and its efforts to disseminate the policies and practices of the Boston School Committee and the Boston Public Schools in language that parents could understand. This collection contains restricted material.

James W. Fraser (collector) Photograph Collection

  • James W. Fraser was Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Northeastern University. He was a bus monitor and rode the buses the first day of the desegregation of Boston public schools in 1974. Most of the photographs depict anti–busing protests and marches, parents demonstrating around Boston, and students in class and outside Hyde Park, Charlestown, and South Boston High Schools.

Urban Schools Collaborative Records

  • Founded in 1976 as Northeastern’s Office of Phase II Desegregation, the Urban Schools Collaborative (URSCO) was established to provide equal educational opportunities to Boston Public School children from District 7 and the Madison Park School. URSCO developed curricula for music, mathematics, and bilingual education; established programs for parents and teachers; and created a special education diagnostic center.

Irene A. Nichols Papers

  • Professor Irene Nichols was a professor at Northeastern University. She was involved with the Urban Schools Collaborative which was established by Northeastern University to provide equal educational opportunities to Boston Public School children from District 7 and the Madison Park School. This collection contains restricted material.

Office of the President (Ryder) Records

  • Kenneth Gilmore Ryder (KGR) was the fourth president of Northeastern University (NU) from 1975 to 1989. In Series III, Subseries B and in Series IV. KGR was an active member of several local community committees that were formed to address the desegregation issue. Such organizations, which included the Citywide Coordinating Council [CCC] (Boxes 24-26, 93, 95-96, Folders 177-200, 796-799, 811, 831) and the Steering Committee of College Presidents (Boxes 39-40, 93, Folders 272-278, 801), oversaw the implementation of desegregation in the public schools. Additional materials regarding Boston Public Schools desegregation can be found in Boston Schools Involvement (Boxes 45-50, 94-95, Folders 332-361, 805, 816-817). This collection contains restricted material.

Carmen A. Pola Papers

  • Latina activist Carmen A. Pola (b. 1939) worked with local groups and community organizations including La Raza Educators, Young Catholic Workers, Committee for Defense of Bilingual Education (Comité de Padres pro Defensa de la Educación Bilingüe), and Community District I Advisory Council. She was also one of the plaintiffs named in a lawsuit brought by the Parent's Committee for Defense of Bilingual Education (Comité de Padres pro Defensa de la Educación Bilingüe), Morgan v. Kerrigan, in response to desegregation policies that threatened the viability of bilingual education programs in the Boston Public School system. This collection contains restricted material.

East Boston Community News

  • The East Boston Community News was a bi-weekly newspaper published from Nov 13, 1970-May 16, 1989. Issues are freely viewable and download from Northeastern’s Digital Repository Service. The newspaper covered the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools, as well as other topics such as politics, land use, and airport issues.


Non-Northeastern University Resources

Busing in Boston Research Guide from the Moakley Archive and Institute at Suffolk University

  • The list of collections include the resources from Congressman Moakley, who was the United States Representative for Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and represented South Boston during desegregation. Also, included in the guide are links to additional collections at Boston College, City of Boston Archives, Massachusetts Archives, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and an abbreviated list of resources at Northeastern University.

The History of Boston Busing & Desegregation

  • A list of desegregation and curriculum resources complied by the Boston Public Schools (BPS) for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to employ to educate Boston Public School students about desegregation and its effect on the City of Boston.

Busing & Beyond: School Desegregation in Boston

  • Another primary source guide compiled by the Boston Public Schools to facilitate teachers in educating students about the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools.