State Transportation Library

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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby Arborwayfan » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:52 pm

Everyone here should write to the Massdot secretary asking where the materials are, what will become of them, and when they will be available. The Transportation Library may not be needed as a separate thing -- I assume the days when I was an intern and went down to copy regulation from a closely-guarded copy of 49 CFR (the only volume that showed much wear) are over now -- so the historical collection might be better off at the BPL or the state archives -- someplace with a historical research mission that could help more people use it. That's be better than a new library in a new building someplace out of the way.

I'll write in and sign as my history professor self, and if one of you will write up a little statement about what's in the collection I might even be able to round up some other professors of urban history, but I live out of state now so you Bay Staters might have more effect.
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby The EGE » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:51 am

Does anyone have public contact information for the secretary's office (or a similar starting point)? The general MassDOT 'contact us' page seems far too broad?
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:28 am

BPL has worked wonders digitizing many of its collections. The treasure trove in BERy-era transit photos alone from their archives has been the biggest contribution to local transit history in years. If the STL has to be put in storage while they sort out their building situation I hope they put the time to good use by hiring whoever is managing BPL's digitization program to start scanning and posting that stuff online. In this day and age you shouldn't any longer have to physically show up at the library to check out public records. While there's still a need for that they can probably have a much smaller physical library to maintain if the most sought-after and oft-referenced stuff were available in digital archives.
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:55 am

I think letters or emails will get to the right place soon enough. (When I was an intern in what was then called the EOTC in 1992 I found letters in the files addressed to governors that had found their way to the right place.) Another strategy would be to write to your state rep or state senator. They will usually put in a word for you with an executive office. They might even assign an intern or someone like that to do a little research on the question first. Since we're basically asking not to toss out materials and not to eliminate services that were already being provided in the Sanborn Transportation Library, rather than asking for something new, we have a good chance, I think. Also we're not asking for an expensive capital project. It could be as simple as sending the collection to the BPL in boxes. Maybe not quite as good as having it all in one place in the open stacks at the Sanborn Library was, but plenty good, and likely to reach a broader audience.

We might end up failing. I couldn't convince our local library not to throw out their huge collection of newspaper clippings on local history, or even to copy down the folder labels to make a kind of timeline as a guide for research.

I wonder if snail mail might be the best way. They probably don't get as much of it.
Mr. Frank DePaola
Secretary, MassDOT
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116


And for those of you who say we should use real names, I'm:
Sam Martland, who grew up in Roslindale in the 70s and 80s and became
Assoc. Prof. of History at
Rose-Hulman Inst. of Tech., Terre Haute, Indiana
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:23 pm

Hello All,
I talked to the Librarian, Lynn, today. She tells me that the collection has been boxed up and put in storage since the Summer. That she was unsure of where it was located. However, "they" tell her its in safe hands. She never mentioned who "they" were. I assumed MassDOT.
They are looking for a new space to house it and she was unsure of where that might be. As a librarian, I worry for Lynn. This does not sound good for her nor the collection. My friends at the State House Library and Archives don't know where the collection is either. I still have an email out to friends at the BPL. More to follow I hope...

Some of the collection has gone to the Internet Archive for Digitization.
https://archive.org/details/massdotlibrary

Lynn mentioned there was more with the Internet Archive now to get digitized. She hoped to send a lot more, once she gets the collection back.

That's what I can report.
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:28 pm

One last thing.
I reached out to MassDOT on twitter. They oddly refused to answer my question there and private messaged me their response.

"RE Library 10 Park Plaza, checking. Collection in storage as of September but will update."

I messaged back but never got a response.
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby The EGE » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:05 pm

Anyone heard anything about this lately? Adams?
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:16 pm

I have not, I can try to call around on Monday.

In the past we regularly sent students to the library to get plans and drawing of the subway stations.

I dont have a lot of hope of them. After my discussion with the Lynn, it sounded dire.
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Re: State Transportation Library

Postby The EGE » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:22 am

Some sort of renovation is going on in the former library space. I doubt it's to return it to library use, though.
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