The Moakley Archive and Institute has launched a digital collections website that will offer easy online access to thousands of documents, photographs, oral histories, objects, and audio and video files.

“Everything that we have scanned is available online, and each item is tagged to make searching easy,” said University Archivist Julia Collins Howington.

The digital files are tagged based on what archive users actually research, and word clouds give a visual indicator of the collection’s strengths. Tags include a wide range of descriptive words, ranging from Suffolk firsts and yearbooks to diversity, civil rights, and veterans. Thus far 1,800 items are included in the online archive, a collection expected to grow to 3,000 by the end of September, with further additions going forward.

Collections include:

  • Suffolk University records
  • Congressman Joe Moakley’s papers
  • Oral history interviews
  • Research collections from notable faculty and alumni

“The site is also interactive, so users can comment, share items through social media, ask questions, and share additional information they may have about a photo,” said Howington, who noted that not all photos were labeled in the past.

In time, the digital resources will be used to create online exhibitions.

History Professor Pat Reeve already is using the digital collections, asking students in her class on the historian’s craft to create thematic exhibits drawing from Suffolk’s site and other, similar sites.

Faculty, students, and others also may take advantage of the site’s Educational Resources section to create research guides specific to their areas of interest. Existing research guides in areas such as busing and the Garrity decision, El Salvador, and fire-safe cigarettes, also will be posted in this area.

Content from the digital collections will be accessed by and added to the collections of the Digital Commonwealth, the state’s online archive, and the Digital Public Library of America.