The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Holt, Margaret

Margaret Holt Collection

1983-1991
10 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 450

A peace activist since the 1960s, Margaret Goddard Holt not only demonstrated against war, she led efforts to educate others about the effects of war. A member of the Gray Panthers of the Pioneer Valley and a co-founder along with her husband, Lee Holt, of the Amherst Vigil for a Nuclear Free World, she was sent as a delegate to Rome, Italy to visit Pope John XXIII advocating for a world without war. In addition to her dedication to peace and nuclear disarmament, Holt’s concern for prisoners developed into an involvement in prison-related issues.

The Holt collection of publications, brochures, news clippings, and correspondence reveals her interests and documents her role as a community activist during the 1980s.

Subjects

Activists--MassachusettsPacifists--MassachusettsPeace movements--Massachusetts

Contributors

Holt, Margaret
Howes, Jeanne C., 1916-

Jeanne Howes Papers

1967-2006
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 471

Independent Melville scholar, Jeanne Howes proved that Herman Melville’s first book, Redburn, or, The Schoolmaster of Morning, was published anonymously in 1844. This collection contains her published articles and book about Melville, as well as a self-published work about Nathan and Seth Howes who were credited with creating the first American tented circus.

Also a poet, her papers include letters from Robert Francis, with whom she carried on a regular correspondence for nearly a decade, as well as unpublished typescripts of her own poems.

Subjects

Poetry

Contributors

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987Howes, Jeanne C., 1916-
International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers

IUE Connecticut Locals Records

1981-1992
18 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 559

Local chapters of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers representing workers in Connecticut. Records document a full range of union activities from elections and contract negotiations to arbitration and grievances. Also includes some union realia such as button, t-shirts, and bumper stickers.

Subjects

International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine WorkersLabor unions--Connecticut

Types of material

Realia
International Women's Year Conference

International Women's Year Conference Collection

1977
6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 510
Depiction of IWY printed material
IWY printed material

After 1975 was designated as the first International Women’s Year by the United Nations, later extended to a decade, President Carter created a National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year. A national women’s conference was proposed and funded by the U.S.Congress, the first and only time the federal government funded a nationwide women’s conference. A series of state meetings were held throughout 1977 to elect delegates to the national conference and to identify goals for improving the status of women over the next decade.

This collection consists of state reports prepared and submitted to the National Commission for the Observance of International Women’s Year. Reports include details about the election of national delegates, topics of workshops held at the meetings, and resolutions adopted by individual states.

Subjects

Equal rights amendmentsFeminism--United StatesInternational Women's Year ConferenceWomen's rights--United States
King, Anita

Anita King Papers

1989-2003
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 727

A lifelong activist and organizer, King graduated from Smith College in 1937 and completed her master’s in social work at Columbia University. By the 1960s she was active with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and later went on to work as an administrator with the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1988, King returned to the Pioneer Valley and opened up a small family therapy practice from her home in Williamsburg. Soon after, she began her affiliation with the Sierra Club’s population program recruiting students as interns and volunteers from her alma mater. After volunteering as the chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club population committee for 19 years, Anita King retired at the age of 95 in 2011.

Part of the Global Population and Environmental Program of Sierra Club, the population program was headed by Anita King for nearly two decades. During that time she organized 20 lectures with speakers from a variety of organizations, such as Thoraya Obaid and Margaret Catley-Carlson. Her papers contain correspondence, speeches, administrative and subject files she kept on various issues through the early 2000s.

Gift of Anita King, Dec. 2011

Subjects

OverpopulationSierra Club. Massachusetts Chapter

Contributors

King, Anita
Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski

Sophie D. Zmijewski Kopiecki Papers

ca. 1950-1990
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 553

An active member of a number of women’s Polish American clubs in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs, Sophie Kopiecki was a schoolteacher and mother in the eastern part of the state. Documenting her contributions to the various clubs of which she was a member as well as her activities as a teacher, this collection includes publications, programs, memorabilia, and student assignments.

Gift of Barbara Kopiecki Stathis, Apr. 2008

Subjects

Polish American friendly societies--MassachusettsPolish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th centuryPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski
Kotker, Zane

Zane and Norman Kotker Papers

1956-2016
54 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 948
Depiction of Zane Kotker, photo taken by her husband Norman, ca. 1972
Zane Kotker, photo taken by her husband Norman, ca. 1972

The writer Zane Kotker was born Mary Zane Hickcox in Southbury, Connecticut, in 1934. After graduating from Middlebury College (1956), Kotker led a busy life working short stints in and out of Manhattan as a secretary, researcher, writer, teacher, and editor, collaborating on the side with a friend to publish a little magazine while earning a master’s degree in history from Columbia University. In 1965, she married a fellow writer, Norman Kotker, and while raising their two children, David (born 1967) and Ariel (1969), the couple began writing in earnest. An editor at Horizon Books, Norman used his weekends to write his first book, The Holy Land in the Time of Jesus (1967), following up with two novels, Miss Rhode Island (1978) and Learning About God (1988). A stay-at-home, free-lancing mother, Zane used her “free” time for writing as well, completing her first novel by taking advantage of a babysitter on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and going on to publish five other novels, numerous short stories, and a volume of poetry. Norman Kotker died in 1999 years after first being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Zane Kotker continues to write and publish; her novella Goodnight Ladies was released in 2016.

The records of a highly productive literary couple, the Zane and Norman Kotker Papers contain manuscript drafts, notes, research materials, correspondence, and reviews. Reflecting both the co-operation and the competition connecting married writers, the collection offers insight issues ranging from the financial challenges of supporting the writing careers of two novelists to the challenges of a woman attempting to define herself professionally during the early 1970s and the publishing scene in New York City in the 1970s through 1990s. The collection also include materials related to the founding of the Well Spouse Association–Zane was a founding member of the organization created to provide a support system for individuals caring for chronically ill and/or disabled spouses–including her nonfiction writing published under the name Maggie Strong.

Gift of Zane Kotker, Sept. 2016

Subjects

Judaism and cultureJudaism--HistoryMotherhood--FictionMultiple sclerosis--PatientsReligion--FictionWell Spouse AssociationWomen writers

Contributors

Kotker, NormanKotker, Zane
Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston Records

1937-1997
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 466

The oldest active Polish folk dance ensemble in the United States, the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston was formed in 1937 by a group of young ladies of Polish heritage interested in promoting Polish culture through the mediums of song and dance. The club opened its membership to young men in 1947, and was offcially incorporated in 1957. Since its formation, the dancers have appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and Poland, and the group has received recognition and awards worldwide, including a special performance before his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1983.

The collection includes programs for performances from the club’s earliest days, tickets, newspaper clippings featuring articles about the group, and copies of the organization’s constitution describing the group’s mission and membership.

Subjects

Folk dancing, PolishPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston
Lauman, Mary W.

Mary W. Lauman Papers

1944-1945
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 534

Mary W. Lauman, a 1937 graduate of Cornell University, served in the United States Marine Corps from March 1944 through December 1945. During her 10 months of active duty, Mary wrote numerous letters to her mother detailing her everyday life from boot camp in Lejeune, North Carolina, to her work with the United States Army Personnel Department.

The Lauman letters contain interesting insights into the life of a woman Marine during World War II, including behavior, dress, and social interactions.

Subjects

Camp Lejeune (N.C.)Women marinesWorld War, 1939-1945--Women

Contributors

Lauman, Mary W
Lavallee, Winston

Winston Lavallee Collection

1937-2005
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 796
Depiction of CCC camp
CCC camp

A native New Englander, Winston Lavallee grew up in the Berkshires and attended UMass Amherst where he received his Ph.D. in entomology. He served as a professor for more than 35 years at Holyoke Community College and as a life-long advocate for the stewardship of natural resources and ecological sustainability. Lavallee is the author of several short stories and two novels: Tempest in the Wilderness and Dancing in the Dark, a novel about the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The collection consists of research notes, publications, photographs, and the recollections of men who Lavallee interviewed about their service in the Civilian Conservation Corps. These materials were first accumulated to record the conservation and plant pest control techniques employed in New England during the 1930s-1940s, but were later used during the preparation and writing of Dancing in the Dark. Altogether they offer rich historical background on the CCC and the men who were employed in the various jobs, such as road building, fire hazard reduction, and the development of recreational space, which constituted the program.

Subjects

Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--New England--HistoryCivilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--PhotographsNew Deal, 1933-1939--New England--History

Contributors

Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)Lavallee, Winston

Types of material

Oral historiesPhotographs