Madeline Le Blog 1

by: Madeline Le

Hi all! My name is Madeline Le and I am interning with the Northeast Regional Office at the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE) this summer. As part of this internship I will be partnering with a local community organization’s teen program to help them develop short films that document Chinatown’s history as part of the plans for a Chinese Heritage Trail. I am also working on the development of community resource material for THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT PBS documentary.

The first week of my internship was spent on mostly familiarizing myself with CHSNE’s materials, though this is an ongoing process. I also met with the teen program’s coordinator to begin familiarizing myself with the program and curriculum that we will be going over with the teens starting in July. For both of my projects, there is a fair amount of video footage to go through. I’ll probably have watched everything related to the Chinese Exclusion Act soon!

The second week was much of the same, though I’ve begun to meet some of CHSNE’s board members. On June 14th, we went to the Mass Archives. Though I went to school right around the corner from the Archives and passed it everyday, I had never actually visited before.


We attended the meeting of the State Review Board of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, since two of the items on the agenda to add to the National Register of Historic Places were related to CHSNE.


The Historic Resources Associated with Chinese Immigrants and Chinese Americans in the City of Boston is over 100 pages of information on the start of Chinese in Boston. This context study shows the important history of Chinese in Boston. Though Chinatown and its residents know its worth, the listing of the context study means that the importance would be federally recognized. It would also be a basis for other applicants seeking to add Chinese-American related sites to the National Register to work off of.

The Quincy Grammar School is a historic building on its own, being the first school in the state to separate classes by grades, but has significance to the Chinatown community because of the organizations it houses. The building belongs to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA). The CCBA acted as Chinatown’s own governmental system in the past. Though it no longer acts as the sole voice of Chinatown, the CCBA is still important as an umbrella organization for over 30 family associations and community organizations.

Both items were approved unanimously by the State Review Board and the nominations now go to Washington, D.C!

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