Larry Overlan: a longtime Wentworth Humanities and Social Sciences adjunct instructor who teaches a Boston Publics Works course (which focuses upon the influence of James Michael Curley and served as a catalyst for this project), Larry has also helped to put us in contact with a number of external collaborators, including Richard Dennis, Matt O’Malley, Larry Harmon, and others. He continues to serve as both an advisor and a liaison.
Richard Dennis: James Michael Curley’s 89-year-old stepson. Richard actually lived in the Curley house at 350 The Jamaicaway, and is one of the foremost proponents of saving and preserving the house as a historical site. He has met with us six times so far: once with faculty and staff at Wentworth, once at the Curley house, four times as a guest speaker in our MCCS Studio classroom, and once as a special guest at our Spring 2014 end-of-semester gallery exhibit and reception.
City Councillor Matt O’Malley: The Curley house is not readily accessible to the public without consent and supervision from the City of Boston. We have been able to gain access to the house via the generosity Councillor O’Malley’s office and the George Robert White Trust (represented by Joe Byrne). Councillor O’Malley joined us at the house during our first visit, and took part in the Boston Globe interview and article written by Larry Harmon, “Open the Curley Mansion” (December 21, 2013). He also joined us as a special guest at our end-of-semester gallery exhibit and reception.
Michael Feldman: President and Chief Executive Officer of Feldman Land Surveyors, a leading professional land surveying firm in Massachusetts. Michael is the visionary for his family-owned company where he drives the future direction and oversees the daily operations. Using a state-of-the-art laser scanner, Stephen M. Wilkes, Director of 3D Services and other members of the Feldman team have produced a detailed 3D model of the Curley house.
Thomas J. Putnam: During his tenure as Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Library has increased the size of its collections, built a 30,000 square foot addition, launched the nation’s first digital presidential archives, strengthened the Library’s forum series, and experienced an unprecedented increase in its core revenue streams. Tom visited our classroom and spoke to the students about both physical and digital curation.
Brandon Olson: a Boston University, Archaeology graduate student and specialist in GIS applications to archaeology, landscape archaeology, and ancient ceramics. His research interests include fluctuations in settlement and land use as a result of changing hegemonic powers initiated by Greek and Roman expansion in the Hellenistic and Roman Levant. In adopting a landscape approach to archaeological survey and excavation, Brandon seeks to harness the analytical qualities of ArcGIS and 3D modeling in every stage of the archaeological process, from initial planning to final publication, in order to identify, characterize, interpret, and disseminate both diachronic and episodic changes in human settlement. Brandon taught us how to do 3-D photogrammetry (which we plan to use to create a variety of digital enhancements for the virtual museum).
Jimmy Ryan: For more than a decade, Jimmy Ryan has electrified the Boston music scene with his fusion of Bluegrass pickin’ and driving edge rock. In addition to playing acoustic mandolin, he also plays mandocello, 5-string and 8-string electric mandolin, all custom crafted since he’s a left-handed player. He recently arranged and recorded three mandolin/guitar instrumental recordings to be used in conjunction with our project, adapting two of Curley’s favorite songs, “The Isle of Capri” and “The Minstrel Boy,” as well as the classic campaign song, “Vote Early and Often for Curley.”
Jack Beatty, author of The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, visited both sections of MCCS Studio: Digital Approaches to Boston Culture on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Beatty, a Boston native, is the News Analyst for NPR’s On Point, and was formerly a Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly. He has also worked for Newsweek and The New Republic. He was the recipient of a Gugenheim Fellowship in 1990, and The Rascal King was awarded the American Book Award in 1993.
Gerry Burke, owner / proprietor of Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain, and Fred Sullivan, retired City of Boston District 9 Fire Chief, visited both sections of MCCS Studio: Digital Approaches to Boston Culture on Thursday, July 24. Gerry and Fred, long-time Boston residents, shared their personal memories of James Michael Curley as well as their first-hand knowledge of Boston history and politics.
Peter Greenberg, an Interior Design professor here at Wentworth, visited our classroom and presented a very timely and engaging lecture titled “The Architecture of the House Museum and Historic Preservation.”
Jim McGrath, a PhD candidate from Northeastern University, visited our classroom to talk about Digital Curation using Omeka/Neatline and offering examples from NULab’s Our Marathon project: http://marathon.neu.edu/
Jeff Howry from Harvard University (Research Associate
Semitic Museum: a center for Near East antiquity research) visited our classroom to talk about WorldMap, an exciting and incredibly versatile, open-source digital mapping tool: https://worldmap.harvard.edu/
In June, we visited the City of Boston Archives, where we met with City of Boston Chief Archivist John McColgan and Assistant Archivist Marta Crilly (both of whom have also worked with Northeastern University and Jim McGrath) on the Our Marathon project). The City of Boston Archive has lots of Curley-related materials, including Curley’s top hat!
Left to right: Stephen Wilkes, Richard Dennis, Christopher Gleason, Matt O’Malley, Brandon Olson, Jimmy Ryan, and Jody Gordon at the Spring 2014 MCCS Poster Session and Reception held in Wentworth’s Casella Gallery.