Established in 2020, with a grant from the William M. Wood Foundation, UMass Lowell’s Portuguese American Digital Archive (PADA) collects and preserves a rich array of documents, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, oral histories, and many other resources associated with Portuguese immigrants and their descendants primarily in the Greater Boston Area. 
UML PADA’s community oriented approach for collecting these resources draws from the fields of history and anthropology. It seeks to represent a diversity of experiences in the lives of the region’s Portuguese, spanning multiple generations, beginning in the 19th century, and encompassing family, work, business, leisure, social activism, politics, arts, sciences, and literature. 
Through careful electronic digitizing, organizing, and interpreting of these varied resources, PADA makes its archival holdings readily available to students, educators, and the general public in order to enrich our understanding of the region’s Portuguese history and culture.
Black and white image of Portuguese American child wearing crown Image by Camara Collection

View Our Collections

There are several archival collections at UMass Lowell that contain materials related to Portuguese-American history and culture. (Most of the resources in these collections have been incorporated into PADA and are available in digital form.)

In addition, there are a number of other libraries and archival institutions that possess a rich array of resources connected to the Portuguese-American experience in North America.

PADA Collections

Saab Center for Portuguese Studies Receives $300,000 Grant

Headshot of Maria Tavares for a Lowell School Department work permit in 1917.

The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies has been awarded a second $300,000 grant from the William M. Wood Foundation of Boston to expand the collections of the Portuguese American Digital Archive (PADA) at UML’s University Library (Center for Lowell History). Thanks to the first award from the Wood Foundation in 2020, the PADA project was launched, in partnership with library/archival partners in Lowell, Lawrence, Hudson, and Gloucester, and now contains 34 collections and over 3,000 photographs and documents, as well as film and audio recordings. This second grant will permit the continued documentation of the Portuguese American experience in these four communities, as well as expand our efforts into Peabody and Cambridge, both containing sizable Portuguese populations.

Project Partners

UMass Lowell’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and the UMass Lowell Libraries are excited to partner with the following organizations on this project:

  • Hudson Public Library

  • Lowell National Historical Park

  • Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library

  • Lowell Historical Society

  • Lawrence History Center

In addition to physical and digital contributions, UML's Portuguese American Digital Archive accepts monetary donations to support our mission.