Former Bristol County District Attorney Edmund Dinis and owner of New Bedford-based Portuguese radio station WJFD has donated $150,000 to UMass Dartmouth to establish the Edmund Dinis Portuguese-American Political, Legal and Public Service Collection at the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives.
"This generous gift by Edmund Dinis, a true leader, will help our university honor the contribution of Portuguese-Americans to the civic life of our region, Commonwealth, and nation," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "Generations of students and researchers will have access to a growing collection of important history thanks to this contribution."
"The collection will present a unique opportunity for one to study the many accomplishments and contributions made by influential Portuguese-Americans," Mr. Dinis said.
Mr. Dinis' gift is the latest investment in a campaign co-chaired by former state Senator William MacLean and former UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Karam to create the nation's leading collection of materials documenting the immigration of the Portuguese people and the contributions of Portuguese-Americans. The Dinis gift brings the campaign to $650,000 with a goal of $1.5 million.
The archives currently house family papers and memorabilia of prominent individuals, such as letters, diaries, photographs and scrapbooks; organizational records from religious, beneficent and civic organizations, architectural records, minutes of meetings and audio recordings; business records, brochures, pamphlets, financial statements and advertising; and rare books, posters and maps; and manuscripts from notable authors.
Mr. Dinis, who opened his law practice in New Bedford in 1952, is a former state representative and state senator. His first involvements in civic life included promoting citizenship and voter registration among Portuguese immigrants. Over the past 50 years he has played a leadership role in the establishment of Dighton Rock State Park and in the promotion of Portuguese-American historical figures.