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Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive and Researching Hip-Hop

This Research Guide provides information about Hip-Hop Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston and provides researchers with information about doing research about hip-hop more broadly.

Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive and Hip-Hop Collections at UMass Boston

In 2016, University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston launched the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive with an initial donation by Pacey Foster of recordings from the Lecco's Lemma radio program, a local rap music show that was founded by Magnus Johnstone and ran from 1985 to 1988. The Lecco's Lemma collection contains nearly 300 demos by local artists that were given to Magnus, as well as nearly 200 recordings of the show made by Willie "Loco" Alexander.

As we continue to develop this new collection area, we welcome donations of archival materials from musicians, DJs, break dancers, graffiti artists, producers, promoters, and fans that will help us document the rich heritage and legacy of hip-hop culture in Boston and Massachusetts.

Click here to learn more about contributing materials to the collection.

Browse hip-hop-related articles on our online newsletter, Open Archives NewsSubscribe to our newsletter here to receive notifications of newly-processed collections. Contact us at if you have hip-hop materials that you would like to donate to us.

Learn about the differences between primary and secondary sources here.

Archival and Manuscript Collections

Magnus Johnstone and Willie Alexander: Lecco’s Lemma collection, 1984-2014, bulk 1986-1988

Massachusetts Rock Against Racism records, 1979-1987, bulk 1982-1987

WUMB-FM records, 1969-2012

Explore all of our archival and manuscript collections that document the history of hip-hop in Boston.

To access collections held outside of UMass Boston, search ArchiveGridWorldCat, and the Digital Public Library of America. Search for "hip-hop" and related keywords. 

Digital Collections

  • "Show 'Em Whatcha Got" Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition: More than 200 community members joined us at the Boston Public Library on Saturday, May 19, to share photographs, objects, and memories at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition. In all, we collected about 300 digital images of items ranging from photographs and concert posters to t-shirts and album covers. We also recorded about 60 video interviews with community members. This digital collection will be available online soon.
  • Available Online Soon! Massachusetts Rock Against Racism: Massachusetts Rock Against Racism (RAR) was co-founded in the Boston area in 1979 at a time when the City of Boston and its surrounding areas were “rocked by racism.” The RAR organizational records are part of University Archives & Special Collections at UMass Boston and we recently completed digitization and description of approximately 100 videos from the collection, thanks in part to a grant from the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund. This digital collection will be available online soon.



Search UMBrella for books about hip-hop. Try searching for keywords like "hip-hop," "hip hop," etc.



Search and browse all of the Healey Library's newspaper databases.


Search these video databases for "hip-hop" and related keywords.

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900