The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Brazier, Frederick William

Frederick William Brazier Scrapbooks

1888-1936 Bulk: 1888-1915
2 vols. 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1197

Frederick William Brazier (1852-1936) began his railroad career in 1877 as a car builder in his hometown of Boston, before working his way up the railroad business in Fitchburg, MA, where he was also involved with politics, including elected positions such as acting mayor of the city in 1893. He and his family then moved in 1893 to Chicago, IL, while he worked for the Illinois Central Railroad, and then left in 1899 for Yonkers, NY, where Brazier had an office in Grand Central Station while working for the New York Central Railroad. He concluded his career as Superintendent of Rolling Stock for the New York Central Railroad.

Brazier kept scrapbooks about the railroad throughout his life, and this collection includes two small (8×10) scrapbooks filled with clippings about the Fitchburg Railroad (and the town of Fitchburg in general), with a few pages about the New York Central Railroad. In addition to clippings, there is a small amount of related ephemera as well as personal items such as correspondence, Christmas cards, a few family photographs, and a 1904 pin recognizing Brazier as president of the Master Car Builders Association. Some scrapbook pages are stuck together and therefore inaccessible. A short biography of Brazier as well as his own essay, “My Railroad Service,” were included by the donor, a great-granddaughter of Brazier’s.

Gift of Jean Kilbourne, 2023.

Subjects

Boston and Maine Railroad. Fitchburg DivisionFitchburg Railroad CompanyRailroad companies--United States--History
Levins, Richard

Richard Levins Papers

1902-2016 Bulk: 1977-2004
21 boxes 23.51 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1142

Richard Levins, the John Rock Professor of Population Science who taught at Harvard University for nearly forty years, used his varied interests in ecology, mathematics, population genetics, and politics to form a multifaceted approach towards his studies. Focused on “looking at the whole” and understanding complex issues from a variety of perspectives, Levins was an active contributor to the disciplines of ecology, sustainable development, population dynamics, epidemiology, mathematical theorizing, and disparities in science. Rather than separating academic life from the political, Levins sought to intertwine the two subjects whenever possible. It was through these political connections that he met his wife, Rosario Morales, an author and poet from Puerto Rico. Following his marriage to Rosario, he became increasingly focused on the Puerto Rican independence movement and the mistreatment of the United States towards this territory. Along with holding professorship, Levins remained involved in research throughout his career, with topics including the spread and impact of infectious diseases as a result of a changing environment, human ecology, sustainable development, population dynamics in multi-species systems, agro-ecology, new and resurgent disease, philosophy of science in relation to complex systems, and third world science development.

The Richard Levins Papers spans the early years of his education to the end of his retirement years. Published writings, research materials, course materials, correspondence, and personal items bring multiple perspectives into this survey of Levins’s career and accomplishments.

Gift of Alejandro Levins, 2021
Language(s): Spanish

Subjects

Agricultural ecologyBiology--Social aspectsBiomathematicsCuba--Politics and governmentEcology--Mathematical modelsPopulation geneticsPuerto Rico--Politics and government

Contributors

Levins, RichardLewontin, Richard, 1929-2021

Types of material

ArticlesAudiocassettesCorrespondenceDrafts (documents)Notes (documents)Professional papersWritings (documents)
Russo, Jerry

Jerry Russo Oral History Collection of Artists During COVID-19

2020-2022
249 digital files
Call no.: MS 1185

Jerry Russo is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts. Educated at Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Russo’s photographs have been exhibited at a variety of galleries in the Boston area and New York City. In 2023, he completed artist residencies in Cape Ann and Provincetown, Massachusetts. When Russo describes his intention as a photographer, he identifies his primary goal as being “as sincere and empathetic as possible … [to be]  a kind observer of the world around me. I’ve always lived my life intensely soaking up the environment with a non-judgmental (but truthful) eye and using my images as a reflection of that.” 

In March of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russo began working on an oral history project to interview visual artists and creatives all over the world. During the next two years, he completed 249 interviews via Zoom. In the interviews he captures the artists’ thoughts on wide range of topics and themes including living and working during the pandemic with its enforced solitude and lockdown; the ways in which the pandemic has had an impact on their creative process, shifts in narratives, and use of materials; and whether the work they created referenced the pandemic, the Black Lives movement, or politics in the U.S.  

Gift of Jerry Russo, 2022.

Subjects

ArtistsCOVID-19 (Disease) and the artsPhotographers

Types of material

Motion pictures (visual work)Oral histories (document genres)
Driscoll, Stephen P.

Stephen P. Driscoll Collection of Political Ephemera

1839-2021
76 ca. 120 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1169

The Hon. Stephen P. Driscoll, UMass 1973, 1975 MEd, has had a lifelong fascination with American government and politics. He was a co-founder of the National Stonewall Democrats, a delegate to national conventions, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Assembled over many decades, Driscoll’s massive collection of political ephemera reflects his keen eye and broad interests, and encompasses every era in American government and politics, both state and federal, from George Washington to Joe Biden. Included in his collection are thousands of items and artifacts—including buttons, posters, flyers, pennants, sculpture, clothing, electronics, audio-visual items, toys, trinkets of all kinds, and much, much more—which offer tantalizing glimpses into American history, society, and material culture.

Gift of Stephen Driscoll, 2021.

Subjects

Campaign literatureCampaign paraphernaliaElections--United States
Kotts, Norine

Norine Kotts and Cheryl Lewis Papers

Ca. 1982-2013
2 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1177

Longtime partners in work and life, Norine Kotts and Cheryl Lewis met in San Francisco in 1980. Kotts, daughter of a law enforcement officer and a homemaker, whose family who moved frequently, was a freelance photographer; Lewis, a biracial Chicago native and daughter of a furniture maker and a schoolteacher, who grew up in Rockland County, N. Y., was an art student in the Bay Area and a lifelong cook. They moved back to the house Kotts was sharing with a group of lesbians, in Somerville, Mass., and eventually into the world of food collectives, restaurants, and hospitality. In 1982, along with two co-founders, Kotts and Lewis opened the cafe Beetle’s Lunch in Allston, a Boston neighborhood. Named “1983 Best Punk Restaurant” by Boston magazine, Beetle’s Lunch became known as a welcoming alternative community space situated at a convergence of queer and feminist politics, new concepts in art and music, and the changing food scene, with a dash of idealism, especially on the part of its young feminist founders. Relocating to Portland, Me., in 1985 Kotts and Lewis opened Café Always, playing a significant role in fostering and shaping that city’s burgeoning food culture: as Portland’s first restaurant to employ local farmers and incorporate local ingredients into the daily menu, Café Always garnered national attention. After selling the business in 1995, the couple opened Aurora Provisions, a gourmet food and wine shop with an in-store restaurant and catering service, which they ran until selling it in 2001. As consultants they continued to participate in and influence the food scene in Portland, helping to launch Portland favorite El Rayo Taqueria in 2009.

The Kotts and Lewis Papers provide glimpses into the formation and operation of several notable New England food establishments, documenting the creative, professional, and personal aspects, as well as the food itself. The collection contains menus, photographs, business plans, correspondence (including a set of letters Kotts wrote to her mother on the backs of menus), recipes and cookbooks, memorabilia, and a guest book filled with diners’ comments. Kotts and Lewis are also the subjects of a series of oral histories conducted by sociologist Janice Irvine.

Gift of Norine Kotts and Cheryl Lewis, Nov. 2022

Subjects

Lesbian businesswomenLesbian cooksRestaurants--Maine--PortlandRestaurants--New EnglandRestaurants--Social aspectsRestaurateurs

Contributors

Irvine, Janice M.Lewis, Cheryl

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)MenusOral historiesPhotographs
Weather Underground Collection

Weather Underground Organization Collection

1918-1978 Bulk: 1973-1978
5 boxes 2.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1145

The 1960s and 1970s were decades rich with activist organizations intent on radically transforming U.S. politics and society as well as striving to end racial and gender inequality. One such group was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Launched in 1962, with the infamous Port Huron Statement, SDS helped the nascent anti-Vietnam war movement gain traction in 1965 by organizing the first national demonstration in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the next four years, the organization grew at a rapid pace, claiming over 300 chapters under its moniker. Arguments over tactics and strategy culminated during an eventful national convention in June of 1969 in which three factions, all claiming to represent “the true SDS”, split the organization apart.
               
The most notorious of these factions was the Weathermen, (later renamed the less patriarchal Weather Underground Organization [WUO]). The WUO aimed to spark revolution in the United States, initially, through the use of targeted political bombings, political communiques, and support of Black liberation movements. Following the March 1970 accidental self-bombing of three of its New York collective members, Ted Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins in a New York townhouse owned by Cathy Wilkerson’s father, the organization opted to conduct more targeted bombings where no one would be hurt.
               
After two-to three-years of high-profile bombings, including the U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, corporate buildings, and law enforcement institutions, with minimal impact, the organization began to consider how to regain influence with the greater Left. This began WUO’s “inversion” phase which included the publication of a book/manifesto titled Prairie Fire, the establishment of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, and a periodical, Osawatomie. The WUO’s Central Committee believed that this inversion strategy would allow them to influence and lead the greater anti-war/anti-imperialist movement.

The inversion strategy did not spark the all-encompassing revolution imagined by the WUO and members slowly began to surface, breaking apart the organization in the mid-late 1970s. While the WUO did not accomplish what they set out to do, their extreme tactics and notoriety with the FBI left lasting impressions on American society and the history of activism in the 1970s.
     
This small collection of materials donated by a member of the WUO includes books, pamphlets, manuscripts, notes, military manuals, maps of correctional facilities, and correspondence between members from 1973 to 1978, many of them coded through the use of letters replacing names. It also holds papers critical of  the WUO written by its own members between 1976 and 1978. This represents the period when Clayton Van Lydegaf gathered members in his “Cadre School”, to rigorously analyze and document how the organization fell apart, including a transcript from a recorded interview session in which Bernadine Dohrn repudiated all methods and practices of the WUO. These papers reflect the power struggle seen later within the WUO, as well as the contempt that many of its members grew to nurture for the organization as it strayed from its original purpose.

The collection also contains many political papers on subjects such as women and their place within the WUO, the anti-fascist movement, Black liberation movements, imperialism, and the origins of fascism. It also holds accounts of the WUO’s history, along with critiques, notes, and adaptations for their manifesto, Prairie Fire.

Gift of Jeff Perry, 2021

Subjects

FeminismImperialismRevolutionariesWeather Underground Organization--History

Types of material

CorrespondenceManuals (instructional materials)Notes (documents)Pamphlets
Goldman, Sheldon

Sheldon Goldman Papers

ca. 1965-2020
18 boxes 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 204

An accomplished and distinguished scholar of politics and the federal judiciary, Sheldon Goldman is also one of the longest-serving faculty members at the University of Massachusetts, having taught in the department of political science (known as the department of government until the early 1970s) from 1965 until his retirement in 2020. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard. Goldman is known and lauded as much for his influential research and writings on federal courts, the politics of federal judicial selection, and constitutional politics, as for his teaching and mentorship of his students. Among his honors are several awards for outstanding teaching and the Chancellor’s Medal. He is the author of Picking Federal Judges: Lower Court Selection from Roosevelt Through Reagan and many other books and articles and has been interviewed on national news programs and in major publications.

The Goldman Papers document Goldman’s intellectual and pedagogical life and contributions as well as the evolution of UMass Amherst’s political science department. The collection includes correspondence, research notes, and administrative materials, along with copies of Goldman’s own publications and publications in which he is interviewed or quoted.

Gift of Sheldon Goldman

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political Science

Types of material

ArticlesCorrespondenceMemorandumsResearch (documents)
Blum, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Blum Papers

1961-1968
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1136

Named for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the “Rebel Girl,” Elizabeth “Liz” Blum has worked to live up to her name through public activism, organizing, and community service in the civil rights, anti-war, women’s, anti-apartheid, co-op, and other movements. After graduating from Bennington College in 1964, Blum went south as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Vote, going door to door in northwestern Mississippi until her house in Tupelo was firebombed, forcing her to relocate to Columbus for the remainder of the registration drive. She continued her work and connections with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in New Haven as a worker for the Freedom School and the Economic Research and Action Program, and additionally lived in New York City and San Francisco before returning to Vermont in 1967 to live in a commune and teach French at Castleton University. There Blum organized an SDS chapter and women’s group before moving to Cambridge, Mass., joining the Boston Women’s Health Collective and helping to edit Our Bodies, Ourselves. A retired Occupational Therapist, Blum is currently county chair of the Vermont Progressive Party, serves on the Board of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores where she heads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and continues her diverse advocacy work through personal and community action.

Small in size, but generous in topic and form, the Blum Papers consist of correspondence and two newsletter portions with commentary on numerous events and activist groups during the first half of the 1960s. Personal experiences and reflections on national politics and trends, student and community organizing, and the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements, reveal how individuals negotiated and prioritized their thoughts and actions during such turbulent times. Correspondents include Henry M. Aronson, Ike Coleman, Vernon Grizzard, and Mike Miller, and updates from and to Blum are mostly from Mississippi, but also San Francisco, Cambridge, New Haven, and Selma.

Gift of Liz Blum, 2020.

Subjects

Activists--United States

Types of material

Correspondence
Stokes, Ann R.

Ann R. Stokes Papers

ca. 1911-2013 Bulk: ca. 1960-2010
10 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1124
Ann Stokes hugging Nanette the large white dog, 1972
Ann Stokes with Nanette the dog, 1972

Ann Richardson Stokes (1931-2016) was an activist, artist, and community builder across such issues as progressive politics, women’s and lesbian/gay rights, and the environmental and antinuclear movements. Stokes was born and educated in New Jersey, the daughter of Dr. Emlen Stokes and Lydia Babbott Stokes, and the great grand-daughter of Charles Pratt. A lifelong Quaker and longtime member of Putney Friends Meeting, Ann moved to Welcome Hill in West Chesterfield, NH in 1959. She helped build and run the studio retreat for women artists, Welcome Hill Studios, which has been inspiring and nurturing artists since the 1970s, and in 1985 Stokes published an account of the all-woman-built first studio in “A Studio Of One’s Own.” Ann purchased a large parcel of land in West Chesterfield with stone ruins left by Madame Sherri, a vaudeville costume designer known for her entertaining, and carried on her party tradition by hosting Nina Simone, Odetta, the Arthur Hall African-American Dance Troupe and many others. Ann eventually donated the parcel now known as the Madame Sherri Forest with many sites and trails, including the Ann Stokes Loop named in her honor. A talented writer and painter, Ann penned numerous thoughtful letters to editors across the country, but was happy to engage personally in social action as well, such as when she was jailed for two weeks for protesting the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in 1977 or when she ran, unsuccessfully, for Sheriff in West Chesterfield.

The Ann R. Stokes Papers document Ann’s varied and passionate life of art, community building, Quakerism, and activism. The building and story of Welcome Hill Studios, as well as Ann’s famous parties, are well documented with scrapbooks, photographs, and posters. Her engagement with the Putney Friends Meeting is evident through numerous records and correspondence. Family photo albums and scrapbooks document the Stokes extended family history, and Ann’s own writing, photographs, and art (mostly original paintings and prints) make up a bulk of the collection. Ann’s collection of women/lesbian organization’s newsletters, mostly from the 1980s-2000s, with titles such as Lezzie Fair, Open Closet, Lesbian Connection, the Revolutionary & Radical Feminist Newsletter, show her engagement with local and national women’s issues.

Gift of ARS, Inc. and Welcome Hill Studios, 2020.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--United StatesArtists' studios--New HampshireLesbian community--New EnglandQuakers--New HampshireWomen artists

Contributors

Stokes, Ann

Types of material

CorrespondenceNewslettersPaintings (visual works)Photographs
Strickland, William, 1937-

William Strickland Papers

1988-1997
4 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: FS 159

A native of Boston and graduate of Boston Latin School and Harvard, Bill Strickland was a scholar, activist, and longtime member of the Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst. After fulfilling his service with the Marine Corps, Strickland became active in civil rights and Black liberation work, serving as Executive Director of the Northern Student Movement, working in Mississippi for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and then as Northern Coordinator of the Party’s Congressional Challenge. He was a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and in 1969, was also a founding member of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta. An exacting scholar, Strickland was a key member of the faculty in Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst teaching history and politics and held a number of important roles, including acting as Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Papers. He retired in 2013.

The Strickland Papers contain materials from two of Strickland’s many commitments during his time at UMass: the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow People’s Party in 1988 and an initiative to commemorate the complex life and legacy of Jackie Robinson in 1996-1997. Additional materials for Strickland are included in the records of the Department of Afro-American Studies.

Gift of Bill Strickland, 2013-

Subjects

Elections--United States--1988Jackson, Jesse, 1941-Rainbow People's PartyRobinson, Jackie, 1919-1972