New England Aquarium Saves Baby Seals

Baby seals! They’re so cute! I was going to write an entire post mainly gushing about how cute they are and encouraging you to watch this great news story that features several baby seals doing super adorable things. And, I guess, I’m still doing that; however, after a little research, I realized there was more to this story than just how cute these marine mammals can be. The 1975-76 winter was a harsh one. In the late spring of 1976 several seal pups were found along the Massachusetts and Maine coasts, separated from their mothers. A seal pup normally stays with its mother until it is six months old and can live on its own. These baby seals couldn’t survive on their own, so the New England Aquarium took them in and fed them a substitute for seal milk (mainly heavy cream and cottage cheese). The Aquarium didn’t have a team dedicated to animal rescue, so the regular staff cared for the seals in addition to their normal duties. Caring for the seals ended up being an around the clock job. They had to be fed 5 times a day at equal intervals, which meant overnight. Rather than having staff drive in to work in the middle of the night after only a few hours of sleep, several staff members took seals home, and fed and cared for them there. more >

Legal Guide for Archives with News Collections

When local TV stations switched from shooting on film to mostly and then entirely shooting on videotape, most didn't want to maintain their film libraries. Luckily, instead of throwing all of this wonderful historical footage away, many chose to donate it to a local libraries and archives. The problem we face now is that we have these rich collections with their unique local content, and we just don't know what we're allowed to do with them. In most cases, even if the stations kept paperwork, like contracts and materials releases (which many didn't), there's little chance that made it to the archive. So with little to no paperwork and often no stations to turn to for answers (many have gone out of business or change ownership since the 1970s, when this shift occurred), what's an archive to do? Just let the film sit there, rather than sharing it with a public that is most likely curious, interested, and nostalgic? more >

Bruce Bolling, Boston City Councilor

Bruce Bolling was the first black Boston City Council President. He came from a prominent political family; his father Royal Bolling, Sr. was a state senator, and his older brother Royal Bolling, Jr. was a state representative. He was elected to the Council in 1981 and was elected its president in 1986. By the late 1980s, people started predicting Bolling would be Boston’s first black mayor. He ran for the office in 1993, when he lost to Thomas Menino (a race in which our very own Ten O’Clock News anchor, Christopher Lydon, also ran). In his time on the City Council, Bolling was an advocate for the African American community working together and fighting to have its voice heard in Boston politics. In the late 1980s members of the African American community living in Roxbury challenged that position. Community leaders proposed a plan where Roxbury would divest from Boston, and set up its own municipality called Mandela. more >

Digitize on Demand

We're very excited to offer a remarkable feature that allows you to participate directly in preserving Boston history. Through our Digitization on Demand program you can select any artifact from our catalog of over 50,000 items, and help save a piece of local history by sponsoring its preservation. It's easy. While searching our catalog, if you come across an items that you're excited to see digitized and preserved, all you have to do is request it. We'll contact you about the costs of digitization, and soon the video will be streaming on our site for free public access. Why do we want your help? We know our users are excited about getting access to this content. When we first launched back in 2012, we got over 1,000 votes for items users wanted digitized. We want to continue to give you the opportunity to choose what's available. Our collections don't just cover politics and events, they contain a wealth of history about your neighborhoods, your communities, possibly even your friends and family, and who knows, maybe even you. Because it's YOUR history, YOU should be the ones who choose what endures. more >