Participating Organizations and Research Centers


The Lawrence History Center is located in the former Essex Company complex, a site that has been included on the National Register of Historic Places. Its largest single collection is the Essex Company business and planning records that meticulously document the building of the City of Lawrence starting in 1845. Collections include thousands of historic photographs and glass plate negatives, organizational records from local businesses and agencies, 800 digitized oral histories with eye witness accounts as far back as 1910, and an array of family and individual records that document the diverse nature of Lawrence, MA. The LHC engages the community by employing these materials through physical and online exhibits, symposia, educational programs, and research services to foster understanding of the interaction of the built community and the lives of ordinary people. Throughout 2012, the Center led a city-wide effort to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912.

The Angkor Dance Troupe: In 1986 Tim Thou and a group of Cambodian refugees with a passion for Khmer performing arts came together in Lowell, Massachusetts with the sole purpose to revive a culture once almost lost. As the heart of the Cambodian Community, the Angkor Dance Troupe is nationally recognized as one of the most accomplished and experienced U.S. - based Cambodian traditional arts organizations. The mission of the Troupe is to connect communities through the preservation, education, and innovation of Cambodian Performing Arts.

Centro Comuntario de Trabajadores (CCT) is a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization that works with the Central American immigrant community in New Bedford and surrounding areas. CCT is unique among Massachusetts immigrant workers’ centers in that its staff and leadership are drawn exclusively from the immigrant worker community it serves. We have a three-pronged approach: first, to educate immigrant workers and the broader immigrant community about their rights in the workplace and their human rights. Second, when their rights are violated, we give them the tools to organize themselves and provide support and leadership training. Third, we help them devise effective strategies to take action to resolve these injustices and create more dignified working conditions. Throughout, we focus on empowering immigrant workers to find their voices and develop their capacity to stand up for themselves.

The Essex National Heritage Area encompasses the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, a 500 square mile region just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Officially designated a National Heritage Area by an Act of the U.S. Congress in 1996, The Act authorized the establishment of the Essex National Heritage Commission as the non-profit steward of the Area. Its mission is to preserve and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County for the benefit of all who live, work and visit the Area. To achieve this, we work collaboratively with community leaders and organizations throughout the Area to ensure that the authentic story of Essex County has meaning and value for current and future generations.

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC), a not-for-profit organization in Malden, MA, has been helping immigrants find their voice for 21 years. More than 7,600 immigrant and refugee adults from across Eastern Massachusetts have benefited from our free, year-round English classes and gone on to find jobs, start businesses, enter training programs, go to college, become citizens, raise families and more. The ILC’s Public Education Institute informs people about the economic and social contributions of immigrants in our society. The Public Education Institute injects the immigrant voice into public discourse about immigration.

Immigration and Ethnic History Society was founded in 1965. The Society’s stated purpose is to promote the study of the history of immigration to the United States and Canada from all parts of the world, including studies of the background of emigration in the countries of origin; to promote the study of ethnic groups in the United States, including regional groups, native Americans and forced immigrants; to promote understanding of the processes of acculturation and of conflict; to furnish through the Immigration and Ethnic History Newsletter information as to research, organizations, meetings and publications in the field of immigrant history; to help organize sessions on immigration and ethnicity at meetings of learned societies; and generally to serve the field of immigration-ethnic history with special reference to professional scholarship. The Society publishes the quarterly Journal of American Ethnic History and the semiannual Immigration and Ethnic History Newsletter.

Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) is a community development corporation that weaves together community planning, organizing, and asset-building efforts with high-quality affordable housing and commercial development to create vibrant neighborhoods and empowered residents. By facilitating conversations and action on community priorities, LCW engages partners and a network of youth and adult residents in opportunities to move themselves and the city of Lawrence forward.

Lawrence Heritage State Park: A restored boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits tells the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities. Along with stories of Lawrence's mill workers and industry, the workers' role in the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike is relived with images and sounds. Walk along the esplanade of a nineteenth-century canal and through a park created within the walls of an industrial-era building. The Visitors Center is located in a beautifully restored 1840s boarding house that features the original beams and brickwork. You will find a turn-of-the–century kitchen, complete with antique stove and sink similar to that of the mill workers. There are amazing models of the mills and boarding houses to help visitors imagine how the community looked and functioned. Visitors can trace the routes of more than 30 immigrant populations who settled in Lawrence and can test their skills at planning their own industrial city.

Lowell National Historical Park is a National Historical Park of the United States located in Lowell, Massachusetts. Established in 1978 a few years after Lowell Heritage State Park, it is operated by the National Park Service and comprises a group of different sites in and around the city of Lowell related to the era of textile manufacturing in the city during the Industrial Revolution. The park includes a Visitor Center, as well as restored and unrestored sites from the 19th century. The Visitor Center provides a free self-guided tour of the history of Lowell. Exhibits include a working streetcar line, canal boat tours exploring some of the city's gatehouses and locks, and a working textile mill.

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent, research and public service unit of the University of Maine. Created in 1990, the Center was named to continue the legacy of Senator Margaret Chase Smith who was a model of civil discourse and integrity. The Center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about state, regional, and national policy issues through applied policy research and community engagement. Research is interdisciplinary, cutting across departmental lines to bring together faculty, students and external policy experts to address issues confronting the state and nation.

The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy was established in 1989 at the University of Massachusetts Boston by the State Legislature at the behest of Latino community leaders and scholars in response to a need for improved understanding of the Latino experience in the Commonwealth. The Institute’s mission is to inform policy makers about issues vital to the state’s growing Latino community and to provide this community with the information and analysis necessary for effective participation in public policy development.

The Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise draws upon the strength of Clark University’s academic programs to make a difference in the communities of which it is a part in the United States and around the world. Its mission is to improve the effectiveness of government and other institutions in addressing social concerns through the successful mobilization of use-inspired research, that is research that seeks both to generate or create new knowledge and to maximize the utility of such knowledge for actual users and practitioners beyond the walls of the academy.

Operation Bootstrap, Inc., works with adult learners from some 45 different countries in Lynn, MA. The current roster of 300 students, ranging in age from 20 years old to 60 years old, come from India and Southeast Asia, to Central and South America, to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. There is a wait list of over 1,500 people for the services Operation Bootstrap provides. They have recently expanded their Distance Learning program and English conversation classes. They have a Family Literacy program, which helps adults learn about early childhood literacy development so they can improve their children’s literacy while improving their own. Services include: Career Development, Immigration Information, and College & Career Readiness.

The Tsongas Industrial History Center is a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell Graduate School of Education and Lowell National Historical Park. At the Center students learn about the Industrial Revolution through activities and tours of the sites where history and science happened. In its ‘Yankees and Immigrants’ workshop students learn Lowell’s immigration history story. Among other thing, they role-play immigrants and examine various cultural artifacts they brought with them. A professional development provider, the Center offers teachers exciting workshops and primary-source-based teaching activities.


Tue–Fri: 9am-4pm
Sat: By appt
Sun-Mon: Closed

Address & Phone

6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.