Our Most Recent Projects
Documenting the Early History of Black Lives in the Connecticut River Valley
Beginning in the summer of 2021, the Pioneer Valley History Network (PVHN) and the UMass Public History Program collaborated on a research project that began to document the lives of people of color in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts during the 18th and early 19th centuries. 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.
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.
While the first 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 Public Service Endowment Grant program for making this project possible.
Revolution Happened Here
Our Towns in the American Revolution
Revolution Happened Here was funded in early 2019 through grants from Mass Humanities and Revolution250. The website is a prototype and brought together a collaborative team of our region’s historical societies and museums to create an online exhibit that tells the story of the American Revolution as it unfolded in western Massachusetts. Visitors to the Revolution Happened Here website can explore how the American Revolution, while a globally transformative event, was fundamentally a grassroots movement – intrinsically local and intensely personal.
Participating historical societies include:
• Historical Society of Greenfield
• Hatfield Historical Society
• Belchertown Historical Association
• Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum
• Memorial Hall Museum/Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
• Longmeadow Historical Society
• Historic Northampton
• Longmeadow Cemetery Association