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Boston Foundation Persistent Poverty Project Records Available for Research

Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Archives and Special Collections Department
archives [at]
(617) 373-2351
Archives and Special Collections

Boston Foundation Persistent Poverty Project Records Available for Research

Northeastern University Libraries is pleased to announce that the historical records of the Boston Foundation Persistent Poverty Project are open for research. In 1987, the Equal Opportunity Program of the Rockefeller Foundation chose Boston along with Washington, D.C., Cleveland, San Antonio, Denver, and Oakland to be part of the Community Planning and Action Program. The aim of the program was to see how each of the six cities would develop strategies and work with the local community to analyze and reduce poverty. The Boston branch of this program became known as the Persistent Poverty Project, which ran from 1987 until 1997, publishing several reports and holding seminars, focus groups, roundtables, conferences, and briefings to involve the general public, politicians, and other community organizations. The Project was also involved in initiatives, such as the National Neighborhood Indicators Project and the National Community Building Network, and it created the Boston Children and Families Database and the Boston Community Building Curriculum. The Project continued after 1997 as the Boston Community Building Network at the Boston Foundation.

The collection documents the activities of the Boston Foundation's Persistent Poverty Project in its attempt to create a comprehensive picture of multi-generational poverty in Boston. Records reflect the day-to-day administration of the Project and document its outreach activities, including data-gathering on poverty through community roundtables, focus groups, and surveys. The collection also reflects the Project's attempts to disseminate its research through Boston College Citizen seminars, press briefings, and multiple publications. Topics documented include the effects of poverty on various communities in Boston, including African American, white, Asian American, and youth; community building; and the Project's involvement with larger organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Community Building Network. Records include committee minutes and agendas; staff correspondence and notes; conference packets; seminar, conference, and meeting transcripts; publications; reports; and research data.

The Boston Foundation Persistent Poverty Project collection is open for research Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, 92 Snell Library, Boston, Massachusetts. A guide to the collection is available online at:

The collection, which was processed with partial funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, contributes to the University Archives and Special Collection Department's collecting focus on records of private, non-profit, community-based organizations that are concerned with social justice issues. View a list of all collections available for research in the NU Archives and Special Collections Department.

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