Portuguese Oral History Projects

This collection began with a group of 74 personal narratives created as the result of a UMass Dartmouth Sociology Department student project which took place under the direction of professors Donna Huse and Bela Feldman-Bianco between 1987 and the early 1990s. It includes interviews of a wide variety of individuals from southeastern Massachusetts of Portuguese descent, many of which immigrated from the Azores, but also many who were born here of immigrant parents. One noted interview was that conducted with former state Mary Fonseca 1987. Most of the interviews do not have releases on file, therefore use is limited. All have been transcribed. For a list of the individuals interviewed, click here.

This initial project has been supplemented further with interviews conducted under the supervision of the Faculty Director of the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, professor Gloria de Sa, that document the bakery industry in the South Coast as well as the Portuguese-American community in Westport. Please contact the FMPAA archivist for more information on this collection.

Professor de Sa Professor Gloria De Sa also compiled oral histories of Portuguese fisherman during the period of dramatic transformation of the fishing industry in New Bedford with a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration grant; the project is titled Portuguese in the Fishing Industry of Greater New Bedford and the oral histories will be available through NOAA's Voices from the Fisheries oral history database.

UMD doctoral candidate Nelia Alves completed a number of interviews with prominent Portuguese-American politicians of the South Coast. Please contact the FMPAA archivist for more information on this collection.