Friday, October 9, 2015

Women's History Initiative in Brighton/Allston now figures in the University Archive and Special Collections at UMass Boston

Brenda Gael McSweeney, Board of Directors of the Brighton/Allston Historical Society – a UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, describes the background to this photo collage contributed to the University Archive and Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

"This photo captures the Women's History Initiative that I launched with the Brighton Allston Historical Society when I came from India to live in Oak Square in 2003. The BAHS published fabulous accounts of men's contributions to our town's history; however one Member, Louise Bonar, had detected the phenomenon of 'Brighton's Forgotten Women'! So we undertook research and hosted events on Brighton's remarkable women. Here is Jennie Loitman Barron of Selkirk Road in Brighton in the 1950s. She became the first full-time female judge in Massachusetts. Her daughter Joy gave us this photo.

Collage by Ali O'Hare
Also depicted is our Women's History Initiatives team that shared the stories of Brighton's Women of Vision: best-selling novelists, a newspaper columnist, the de facto postmaster and numerous strong social activists across four centuries. At top right is Linda Mishkin who currently presides the BAHS, then Priscilla Biondi, Mary Rita Grady, then me – Chair of the group, next is Peg Collins, the immediate past President receiving an award, and at bottom left, Nancy O'Hara.

Other BAHS Board Members Ronni Komarow, Sharon Cayley and Ann Mulligan also presented last May at our multi-media show at the Congregational Church in Brighton Center. Earlier on we had created a Heritage Museum exhibit that ran for over a year, and a Women's Heritage Trail Guide and Bus Tour! Boston University's Women's Studies Program and the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis both supported these initiatives. Collage prepared by Ali O'Hare. Pictured clockwise from top left: Jennie Loitman Barron and colleagues, Linda Mishkin, Priscilla Biondi, CSJ Mary Rita Grady, Brenda Gael McSweeney, Peg Collins and Nancy O'Hara."

Also available: Women's History Initiatives: Gender, Culture, People-Centered Development

Photo credits: Jennie Loitman Barron & colleagues, courtesy BAHS; photo of Brenda Gael McSweeney by Nancy O'Hara; all others by Brenda Gael McSweeney