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Mass. Memories Road Show on Martha's Vineyard


Update: to view materials collected at the Martha's Vineyard Roadshow, visit the project archive:


The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide digital history project that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. The Road Show will be coming to Martha's Vineyard for a one-day event on Sunday, October 25th, from 10am to 3pm, at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven.

That Sunday, participants are invited to bring up to three family photos to be scanned and included in the state's digital archive. Contributors can also choose to share the stories behind the photos in a short video, have their own keepsake photo taken, and get advice from professional archivists and historians on dating and caring for their family photos.


Q. Do I have to be at the Road Show in order to have my photos included in the collection?

A. Yes. This is an event-based project, so you must attend the event in order to have your photos scanned and included in the digital collection.

Q. Can I drop my photos off in advance? Can I email my photos to you? Can someone else bring my photos for me?

A. No. Contributors are required to complete and sign paperwork giving us permission to include their photos in the digital collection and providing information about their photographs. Documenting the attendance of community members at this historic event is an important part of the project, so we want you to be there to be part of that experience!

Q. What if I can’t make it to the Road Show?

A. Many communities develop ways to follow up with potential contributors to continue to collect photographs independent of the Road Show. Contact your local Project Director about the possibilities. You may also wish to contact your local library and/or historical society for information about other public scanning events.

Q. What if I have more than three photos to share? A. Because of time limitations, we have to limit contributors to three photos each. However, there will be helpful volunteers at the event who to assist you in selecting which three photos to contribute if you bring more than that.

Q. What kind of photos should I bring?

A. You are invited to bring three personal photos that are important to you and that you feel are representative of yourself, your family and/or your community. They can be old or new; formal or snapshots. Take a look at our website for examples of photos folks have brought to past Road Show events:

Q. Do I need to pre-register for the Road Show?

A. Some communities choose to use a pre-registration system, but it is never required. Check your community’s Road Show publicity to see if your local team is requesting pre-registration.

Q. Do you keep my photos?

A. No. We scan your photos in your presence and immediately return them to you.

Q. What actually happens at a Road Show?

A. When you arrive, you will be asked to complete a Registration Form with your contact information and sign a release giving us non-exclusive permission to include your photos (and any photos or video taken of you during the event) in our digital collection. You will also be given a numbered nametag to help us match up your photos and paperwork after the event. From there, you will be asked to complete a Photo Form with information about each photo you brought with you. We have some great volunteers who will help you select photos and/or complete your paperwork, if needed. You can then have your photos scanned; talk on video about the photos you brought; have a “keepsake photo” taken of you holding your photos; consult with professional archivists on how to care for your family photos and pick up information about the history of your community.

Q. How long does this all take?

A. People usually spend at least 30-45 minutes at a Road Show. Although it doesn’t take long to scan in your photos, we find that people often take some time to complete their paperwork and usually like to linger and look at photos that other contributors have brought.

Q. Do I have to talk about my photos on video? Do I have to have my keepsake photo taken?

A. No. Participation in any aspect of the event is totally optional. You are welcome to just come and look at other contributors’ photos and listen to their stories, if you wish.

Q. Is there a fee to have the archivists look at my photos?

A. The entire event is free and open to the public.

Q. When will I see my photos on the internet?

A. The post-production process takes up to three months. We will send you an email once the photos and videos are live on our website. Or you can visit:

Q. What if I don’t have internet access?

A. Your local public library has computers with internet access available for your use. Digital copies of all photos, videos and data are also given to the local community, so you can view them by visiting your local library or historical society.

The Mass. Memories Road Show is produced by the University Archives & Special Collections Department at the Joseph P. Healey Library, UMass Boston and co-sponsored by the Patricia C. Flaherty '81 Endowed Fund.

Local funding provided by Friends of island Libraries, and a grant from the Martha's Vineyard Cultural Council. Additional support provided by The Mansion House Inn, Twin Oaks Inn, and the Steamship Authority.


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200 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Phone: 508.696.4210 & Email: [email protected]
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