Rakashi Chand, 2022 Host Committee Chair
We are so excited to welcome our archival colleagues to Boston for ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022! For those attending the hybrid conference in-person, the city’s rich history, museums and universities, and river and ocean walks offer something for everyone.
At the moment, Boston (properly pronounced “Bawst’n”) is coming alive as the weather warms: flowers bloom, Berklee College of Music students fill the streets with spontaneous concerts, the Red Sox are playing, and people dip their toes in the water on the Cape. This is just the beginning. In summer, picnics pop up all over Boston Garden, you can spot high fashion and even higher heels on Newbury Street, the Esplanade features outdoor concerts, outdoor dining options abound, and Boston’s gorgeous beaches fill with sunbathers and sandcastles. Plan a visit to Cape Cod National Seashore, which was voted one of the best beaches in the country (so it’s worth the extra miles if you’re already here).
Although most people will never try baked beans when visiting Boston—I was born here and have only tried them once—you should definitely try the chowder! (Perhaps it should be called Chowder Town instead of Bean Town?) In addition, plan to partake in fresh seafood fare, although if you prefer admiring fish to eating them, the New England Aquarium is only a few ‘T’ stops away from the Sheraton Hotel. Oh yes, the ocean is literally a 15-minute walk from the hotel, so there is no excuse to not enjoy Boston Harbor, one of America’s oldest and historically active harbors, and maybe take part in a whale watching excursion. You can even glimpse the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, the USS Constitution, in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Once you’ve walked to the USS Constitution (lovingly called “Old Ironsides”), you might as well continue on to the Bunker Hill Monument, an obelisk marking the battleground of one of America’s most famous battles, which also happens to be a nice place for a picnic. Then head back toward the North End for some cannoli and coffee, which will give you the energy to head over to the Charles River, dividing Boston and Cambridge. From the river walk, you’ll see lovely views of institutions such as Harvard and MIT—you can barely go more than a block without passing a college or university in Boston!
Once you make it across the river, stop in Harvard Square for a beer and falafel, to visit a museum, or simply to be a part of student antics that have a 400-year tradition. Take the red line over the river and walk Beacon Hill’s scenic streets. Then stop in front of State House to admire Saint-Gauden’s Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial and walk through the Boston Common—in the footsteps of troops from the Revolution—and past the Liberty Tree. Next, walk down Boylston Street to Copley Square where you will find yourself flanked by the Boston Public Library and the historic Fairmont Copley Hotel and Trinity Church. Pause, breathe, and take it all in, knowing that the Sheraton is only a quick walk through the chic indoor Copley Mall. Now, finally, put your feet up and get ready for the conference!
As you can tell, there’s so much to do, see, and experience in the wicked-awesome city of Boston! To help, the 2022 Host Committee shares our favorite coffee/food spots and hidden gems—all nearby the Boston Sheraton.
We can’t wait to welcome you in August! In the meantime, keep an eye on the SAA website and In the Loop e-newsletter for further recommendations, fun facts, and city secrets—you are going to love Boston!
Interim Head of Public Services
Department of Distinctive Collections, MIT Libraries
|Buttermilk & Bourbon for New Orleans-style food near Newbury Street.||Bleacher Bar—a bar underneath Fenway (just a couple blocks away from the Sheraton)! On non-game days, they open the gate onto the field. You can watch games from there as well.|
|Sylvia Welsh |
Harvard University Property Information Resource Center
|I’m a little torn—I would usually recommend the restaurants in the Fenway (Timeout Marketplace, Trillium’s beer garden, Peterborough St.) and walking the Emerald Necklace, but a massive park renovation may mean it’s not as pretty as usual. That said, grabbing lunch at Eataly and sitting in Copley Square to people watch is great.||The Haven in Jamaica Plain (not far from the Sheraton) after a stroll around Jamaica Pond—I am a sucker for a good Scotch egg and beer.|
|Rachel Van Unen|
Archival Processing Manager
Department of Distinctive Collections, MIT Libraries
|Favorite place to hang out—Charles River Esplanade.||Mount Auburn Cemetery, America’s first garden cemetery and a National Historic Landmark.|
Boston Public Library
|Though located in Cambridge outside of Harvard Square, Sofra Bakery & Cafe has incredible breakfasts inspired by Middle Eastern cuisines. They have unique coffee and tea drinks and a wonderful pantry of to-go items and staples, such as their own spice blends. Created by Cambridge-Boston-Somerville chef Ana Sortun, Sofra was just listed on The New York Times 2021 Restaurant List. My advice: Grab some mezze, pastries, drinks, and stuffed flat breads (or my favorite, the Turkish Breakfast) on the patio and then head across the street to Mount Auburn Cemetery, a jungle of history with an excellent view of Boston.Another option is Flour Bakery & Café, my go-to lunch spot for a pick-me-up during the middle of the week. From the owner-chefs Joanne Change and Christopher Myers, Flour has excellent seasonal creative sandwiches, salads, and pastries in multiple locations—including two within walking distance from the Sheraton!||My favorite hidden gem, and only a few blocks from the Sheraton, is the courtyard at Boston Public Library, which has incredible examples of art and architecture in the original McKim building. And don’t miss the courtyard—a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the middle of city.My favorite Boston activity is kayaking on the Charles River. You can rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up-paddleboard from Paddle Boston, which has multiple locations in Boston and Cambridge, which are easy to get to via the T. I love touring Boston and Cambridge from the river. It’s incredibly peaceful, but keep an eye out for the university crew teams!|
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
|If you want a fun take on a New England classic, then go to Charlie’s Kitchen and get the ultimate grilled lobster melt. Limited outdoor seating is available. After lunch, you can walk over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The glass flower exhibit is incredible!||Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe is definitely a hidden gem. I know it’s a little far from the conference hotel, but I LOVE this place. They mill their own flour, have a nice selection of cookbooks, lots of baking accessories, and hard-to-find baking ingredients. My go-to lunch there is the roasted tomato and pesto sandwich with a chocolate chip cookie.|
Reading Room Supervisor
Massachusetts Historical Society
|The Massachusetts Historical Society happens to be right next to the Sheraton Boston, and one of my favorite places to grab lunch is Flour Bakery & Cafe! In fact, I was just there to pick up a soup and a pecan sticky bun. The staff is so kind, it makes the experience even better.||Well, my Reading Room is full of incredible treasures, and our researchers are amazed by the breadth of our collection. But aside from work, I am always delighted to spend an afternoon by the ocean, grabbing food at Quincy Market and then heading to the grassy area at Christopher Columbus Park to watch the boats go by. For the more adventurous, Castle Island has great views of the city—and don’t worry, it’s not actually an island, but part of South Boston. Unfortunately, it’s also not a castle, but there is a historic fort toexplore! Now that I think about it, the name is rather misleading. . . .|
MIT Office of Campus Planning
|Revival Café + Kitchen: an innovative menu and a global spin with vegan and gluten-free options.Darryl’s Corner Car & Kitchen: delicious Southerndishes and live jazz.Veggie Galaxy: “diner-style” vegan and vegetarianfood in a relaxed setting.||MIT List Visual Arts Center, which has a great selectionof contemporary art and has recently reopened to in-person visitors. There is also a self-guided public art tour of MIT.MassArt Museum, a more recent addition to the area museums, has contemporary art exhibits that are constantly changing, which keeps the experience fresh and interesting.Gibson House Museum, an 1859 Back Bay row house with tours that highlight how the lives of the residents intersected with society in the 19th and early 20th centuries.|
SAA Thanks the ARCHIVES * RECORDS 2022 Host Committee!
Rakashi Chand, Chair, Massachusetts Historical Society
Krista Ferrante, Mitre Corporation Archives
Alexandra McGee, Georgia Tech Library
Eve Neiger, Boston Public Library
Moira O’Connell-Morganstein, MIT Libraries
Danielle Sangalang, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Samuel Smallidge, Converse
Rachel Van Unen, MIT Libraries
Sylvia Welsh, Harvard University