This coming Saturday the Mass Memories Road Show, a statewide community history project organized by UMass Boston, will visit Lowell. This will be the 50th community in the Commonwealth that the Road Show will visit. Their goal is to do all 351 cities and towns in the state.
The Lowell visit will be at the Tsongas Industrial History Center which is within the Boott Cotton Mills Museum. It starts at 10 am and goes until 3 pm on Saturday, March 24. To get to the location, park at the John Street Parking lot and walk down John Street and into the Boott Mills courtyard. Once there, turn right and walk all the way to the end of the courtyard where you enter the building. Take the elevator to the 4th floor and you are there.
Everyone is invited to bring up to three photographs that illustrate your life and help tell the story of you, your family and the community. The photographs will be scanned on-site while you wait, so you never lose possession of them. You will also be asked to complete an information sheet about each photo that will record information such as the title of the photo (that’s up to you), the place where it was taken, the date it was taken, the names of the people present in the photo, and a brief description of the photo. The scanned photos and the information about the photos will then be made available to the world on the Mass Memories website.
Here’s how Saturday’s event is supposed to work: When you get off the elevator, you go to a registration table where your name and contact info will be recorded (your contact info will remain completely confidential and will not be posted on any website). You will also be given a name tag with your name and a unique ID number. That number will be used throughout the process to connect your photos and photo information with you. Once you’ve registered, you proceed to the information table where volunteers will help you complete the Photo Information Worksheets (title, names of people, etc), one worksheet for each photo. Next, you move to one of five scanning stations where a volunteer will scan your photos while you sit there and watch. When that’s done, you’re done – if you want to be. There will also be a videographer who will record participants telling the story of their respective photographs. There will be a Local History table where any mysteries about photographs will attempt to be solved. And there will be a lot of people interested and passionate about Lowell and its history hanging around, so it should be a fun place to spend all or part of your Saturday.