The Mass Memories Road Show Comes to Lexington

Get out your favorite photos and make them a part of Lexington’s history. Whether they are stored in an album, in a shoebox in the attic, or on your smartphone, the Mass. Memories Road Show allows individuals to decide what should be recorded in this chapter in Lexington’s history. What will you bring to LHS on March 16th? Polly Kienle, project coordinator, has already heard people share a long list of favourite photo subjects: prom photos, baby pictures, snapshots from book groups, and images from work!

As part of LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend, the Mass. Memories Road Show is coming to Lexington thanks to Kienle’s successful application. What is MMRS? Think “Antiques Roadshow” but with a wonderful public history twist… everyone is invited to bring up to three photos that help tell your Lexington story, they will be scanned (you keep your originals) and volunteers will help record your story. Your images and memories are documented as part of the history of our town and the state of Massachusetts.

Kienle confirms that the photos can be “old – new – yours – your family’s – as long as they are meaningful to you. While you are visiting, you can have your own ‘keepsake photo’ taken, and receive advice from professional archivists and historians on dating and caring for family photo collections.”

Kienle invites individuals and community groups across town. She emphasizes that, “Every resident’s personal story is a part of Lexington’s story. MMRS will bring together Lexingtonians of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds in one place at one time. We hope that both the event and the digital archive will make our community stronger.”

Carin Casey, the 300th Anniversary Image Curator, is excited about the event: “Kienle’s idea, to combine MMRS with our town’s 300th, provides a way to connect everyone. It’s a great honor for Lexington to be selected to participate in this grant-sponsored program. She worked hard to put together an application and groups across town enthusiastically sent in support letters.”

Casey, an archivist by profession, observes: “This project gives residents the authority to set down town history. We want to see what is important to each individual. Maybe it is a special day at the Town Pool, or a graduation. MMRS is great complement to the Image Archive: it’s a one-day community event, while the Archive is a long-term virtual project. What unites them is their embrace of the 300th motto, ‘We Are Lexington’.”

“Over the course of the weekend of March 16th and 17th, the town is invited to explore Lexington’s ‘roots and branches,’” says Betty Gau, co-chair of the LexCelebrate! Committee.

“The idea is to uncover the origins of our community, and the ways we have branched out and grown into a vibrant, diverse place since 1713. MMRS is a really active, participatory way to share in this spirit of adventure and inquiry,” Gau continues.

To date, the state-wide project has digitized more than 4,000 photos and stories from across the state, creating an educational resource of primary sources for future generations. This online digital archive is available at:

The MMRS is based in the University Archives & Special Collections Department at the Joseph P. Healey Library, UMass Boston and is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.

More information on Lexington’s Mass. Memories Road Show and LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend can be found at the Lexington 300th Anniversary Celebration website:

Questions about participating in Lexington’s Mass. Memories Road Show can be addressed to project coordinator Polly Kienle at

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