By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Boston Phoenix’s archives are coming to Northeastern


Issue of Nov. 17, 2006

In case you haven’t heard, there’s big news about the late, great Boston Phoenix and its related properties — WFNX Radio, Boston After Dark, the Phoenix papers of Portland, Providence and Worcester, and Stuff and Stuff at Nite magazines.

On Friday, The Boston Globe reported that Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich is donating all of the archives to Northeastern University. The performance of the Phoenix’s website, which is still live, should improve over time. The long-term vision is even more exciting: We hope that every print edition of the Phoenix/Boston After Dark going back to 1966 will be digitized in a searchable format.

Mindich’s gift has been in the works for a year (I’ve dropped hints here and there), and we are finally able to go public. The Globe story is more than kind regarding my own modest role. I put Stephen together with Northeastern archivist Giordano Mecagni, and they did the rest. I am so proud of the 14 years I worked for Stephen, and I’m excited that this incredible resource will be available for years to come.

Here is an excerpt from Stephen’s farewell message, published in the Phoenix’s final issue on March 14, 2013:

What I can and will say is I am extremely proud, as all of you should be, of the highest standards of journalism we have set and maintained throughout the decades in all of our areas of coverage and the important role we have played in driving political and socially progressive and responsible agendas; in covering the worlds of arts and entertainment, food and fashion — always  with a critical view, while at the same time promoting their enormous importance in maintaining a healthy society; and in advocating for the recognition and acceptance of a wide range of lifestyles that are so valuable for a vibrant society.

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  1. As a researcher and a media historian, I’m delighted to hear this wonderful news. But Dan, you are being far too humble about your role at the Phoenix. You provided some of the most insightful media criticism as well as some excellent investigative reporting. Yes, you were one of an outstanding staff of journalists (David Bernstein comes to mind), but it was your work that I most looked forward to reading– and not because you sometimes quoted me! Congratulations to Northeastern on acquiring the Phoenix archives, and I can’t wait to use them in my own ongoing research about the media in Boston.

  2. Will that include the roommate ads? (My wife and I met because of a roommate ad circa 1978. It would be a kick to find that ad in the archives.)

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Steve: Since the print pages will be digitized as pages, I’d say the answer is yes.

  3. Jeff Schiffman

    Good news for anyone who cares about a unique and irreplaceable record of our life and times. Thank you for your efforts; this comes at the right time, for many reasons.

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