The archival world can be full of connections. When archivists write finding aids, we add a helpful but sometimes overlooked note on related collections
Louise Bonar was a teacher and community activist who served as one of the original forty-two members of the Citywide Coordinating Council (CCC) from 1975 to 1976, and was part of the Community District Advisory Council for the Allston, Brighton, Mission Hill, and Fenway area school district (CDAC 1). Beyond her work with the CCC, her papers reflect her deep interest and continued involvement in education reform. In the late 1960s, she chaired the Parents Advisory Council of the Model Demonstration Subsystem, an experimental program that ran in four of Boston’s Public Schools. She also worked on several home and school associations and was an active part of the innovative Store-Front Learning Center in Boston’s South End. Carol Wolfe was an administrator for CDAC 1 and kept their minutes and administrative files. In 1988, knowing that Boston College held the CCC records, Bonar and Wolfe each donated their papers to complement our existing holdings.
As you might recall from our first post on the CCC, the Council was officially dissolved in 1978. Though Bonar continued to be involved with CDAC 1, and was active in grassroots movements toward education equality and reform, she served on the Citywide Coordinating Council for only one year. At the end of 1976 Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr., whose ruling on the Boston Public Schools’ failed first efforts to desegregate schools created the CCC, sent a memo thanking those involved for their difficult service over the past year despite “the disruptive efforts of hecklers and vandals.” Official memos are certainly preserved in the CCC records
It’s incredible how collections can inform one another. Though not always so revealing, there are connections to be found among many of the Boston-centric collections held in the Burns Archives. This spring we’ll be presenting an exhibit on interconnectedness in these collections. Be sure to check it out when you make an appointment with the Burns Library Reading Room to examine the Bonar-Wolfe papers, now open for research!
- Alexandra Bisio, Archives Assistant, Archives & Manuscripts, John J. Burns Library