The Pioneer Valley History Network (PVHN) and the UMass Public History Program collaborated on a research project to document the lives of people of color in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. This project offered an opportunity for local historical organizations to perform a “deep dive” into their relevant holdings and benefit from research assistance and expertise and the efforts of many volunteers.

Supported by funding from Mass Humanities and the Public Service Endowment Grant program at UMass, the project has created a website that contains:

  • a database of primary and secondary sources and references to people of color uncovered in our research;
  • a selection of biographical narratives, or “Stories,” of some of the lives encountered in our research. Some of these Stories can be found on our “Local History Blog”
  • a handbook with information about how to conduct this kind of research;
  • a LibGuide of resources available for such research;
  • and essays on researchers’ experiences in conducting this research.

The website is now available at:

While this phase of the project has ended, there will be more to come! Additions are continually being made to the database/spreadsheet and the information uncovered continues to grow. Check back periodically, to see new developments.

Many thanks to the researchers and volunteers who contributed to the project. Special thanks to Mass Humanities and the UMass PSEG program for making this project possible.