Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lowell Irish- Coming to a bookstore near you!

St. Patrick Choir, 1899
As announced a few weeks ago we will be publishing a book on Lowell’s Irish community in March of 2016.  Rather than an academic history it will be more of a collection of short stories and events from the time Hugh Cummiskey walked his way from Charlestown to the banks of the Pawtucket canal.
I’ve been collecting articles from old newspapers, anecdotes from senior members, and entries from diaries and reminiscences for decades.  Some have yellowed with age and some are actually negative photocopies (I’m dating myself).  If you are of my generation you might understand this next statement. 
Irish culture in Lowell has made some great strides.  In the last few years more research and understanding of our part of the Lowell story has been uncovered with the help of new technology, and teams of volunteers who have worked on the archaeological dig, cemetery work, and hours in libraries. 
Now it is time to collect and record our visual history.  Our purpose is twofold.  Our archives has many photos that can be used in the book.  They only tell one small part of the story of the Irish in Lowell.  Our search now is on collecting family photos of all types.  We’re looking for early photos from the late nineteenth century all the way to today.  Each photo will become part of the archive’s permanent collection and may be part of our Lowell Irish book.
What kind of photos are we looking for?  School photos (parochial or public).  Religious events (First Communions, Confirmations, weddings, May processions).  Family events (birthdays, reunions, outings, formal and informal portraits).  Especially good are outdoor and neighborhood scenes.
You can choose to donate the original, or we can scan it for you.  Older photos will not be damaged by the process.  We will be setting up dates where we can meet and make a copy of your photo or you can contact me directly to set up a time.
Unfortunately timing is important.  Though the book is coming out in March of 2016, submissions must be made to the publisher by late Spring of 2015.
This is a sure way to preserve you family’s heritage and for our Lowell Irish story to be preserved for the next generation.

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