The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections & University Archives
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Collecting area: Education

Perry, Cynthia Shepard

Cynthia Shepard Perry Papers

1946-2010
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 842
Depiction of Cynthia Shepard Perry, ca.1986
Cynthia Shepard Perry, ca.1986

An educator, diplomat, and expert on Africa, Cynthia Shepard Perry was the first recipient of a Ed.D. from of the Program in International Education at UMass Amherst (1972). Born in Burnett, Indiana, in 1928, Perry was raising a family when she set a twenty-five year goal of earning a doctorate and entering international service. One year after earning a bachelor’s degree at Indiana State University in 1967, she arranged for her first trip to Africa, leading a secretarial training project at the University of Nairobi, and over succeeding decades, her connections to the continent deepened dramatically. On faculty at Texas Southern University (1971-1982), Perry served as Associate Director of the university’s Peace Corps Program, which resulted in her leading educational projects in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and Kenya. In demand for her expertise, she worked as a consultant to the United States Information Service in Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia and as Staff Development Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Having become a full professor and Dean of International Affairs, she left TSU in 1982 to take her first diplomatic post as an officer of the Africa Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development, followed by successive appointments as Ambassador to Sierra Leone (1986-1989) and Burundi (1989-1993), as Honorary Consul General of Rwanda, and finally an appointment as United States Executive Director of the African Development Bank (1996-2001). Although officially retired, Perry remains active in supporting education and development in Africa from her home in Houston. Among many other awards she has received, Perry was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from UMass for her international work and was recognized by the Salute to Service Award.

A record of a life in international service in Africa, the Perry Papers include materials from Perry’s time as head of the African Development Bank and her two ambassadorial appointments, including speeches, some correspondence, and a handful of publications. The collection also includes a series of awards and plaques, some family photographs, and memorabilia.

Gift of Cynthia Shepard Perry, Oct., 2014

Subjects

Africa--Foreign relations--United StatesBurundi--HistorySierra Leone--United StatesUnited States--Foreign relations--Africa

Types of material

MemorabiliaPhotographs
Porter, Rosalie Pedalino, 1931-

Rosalie Pedalino Porter Papers

1989-2013
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 087

A noted activist opposing bilingual education, Rosalie Pedalino Porter was six when her family emigrated to the United States speaking no English at all. After marrying the Dickinson scholar, David Porter, and raising a family, Porter pursued three degrees in quick succession from UMass Amherst culminating in an EdD in bilingual education (1982). In her subsequent career, Porter worked as a Spanish teacher and coordinator of bilingual programs in the town of Newton, but she has become known nationally since the 1980s for her advocacy of structured immersion, rather than bilingual education, as the most effective means of educating English learners. A lecturer, writer, and consultant on educational policy, she is author or editor of four books.

Documenting Porter’s work against bilingual education, the collection contains particularly rich content for three successful initiatives opposing bilingual programs in California, Arizona (including the landmark Flores v. Arizona), and Massachusetts.

Gift of Rosalie Porter, July 2015

Subjects

Bilingual education and bilingualism
Prescott (Mass.)

Prescott (Mass.) Collection

1822-1952
8 vols. (digital)
Call no.: MS 021

Rural and sparsely populated, Prescott, Massachusetts, was founded in 1822 along the ridge separating the West and Middle branches of the Swift River. Its three villages (North Prescott, Atkinson Hollow, and Prescott Hill) never amounted to more than a few houses each, and the town’s total population never exceeded 500. Prescott became the first of four towns to vacate after the Swift River Valley was ordered cleared and dammed to create the Quabbin Reservoir, ceding its administration to the state in 1928 before formally disincorporating in 1938.

The records of Prescott, Mass., document the history of the smallest of the four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Held by the Swift River Valley Historical Society, the materials in this collection consist of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1822-1938, as well as sparser records of the School Committee, the Treasurer, and Overseers of the Poor.

Subjects

Education--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPoor--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Appropriations and expendituresPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Politics and governmenPrescott (Mass.)--Social conditionsQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs

Contributors

Prescott (Mass. : Town)Prescott (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor

Types of material

Account booksSchool records
Richardson, Mary Ann Moore

Mary Ann Moore Richardson Collection

1842-1854
1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1072 bd
Depiction of Program of the student exhibition, Quaboag Seminary, 1847
Program of the student exhibition, Quaboag Seminary, 1847

The Quaboag Seminary was founded in Warren, Mass., in 1842 by two of Amherst College’s early graduates, and was incorporated eight years later. During its relatively brief period of operation, its best-known student may have bene the abolitionist and feminist Lucy Stone, who enrolled in 1841 to prepare for entrance examinations at Oberlin College. In 1856, the school was purchased by the town to serve as the local high school.

This small collection consists primarily of printed materials associated with the short-lived Quaboag Seminary of Warren, Mass. In addition to a school catalogue for 1847, the collection includes two issues — apparently all that were printed — of the student literary periodical, the Quaboag Quarterly Offering (1845); eight programs for school exhibitions (1842-1854); a flier announcing the spring term 1848; and two writing exercise books kept by Mary Ann Moore (later Richardson) while a student at the Seminary.

Gift of I. Eliot Wentworth, Mar. 2019

Subjects

Boarding schools--Massachusetts--WarrenSchools--Massachusetts--WarrenWarren (Mass.)--History--19th century

Contributors

Quaboag Seminary

Types of material

Broadsides (Notices)Catalogues (Documents)PeriodicalsPrograms (Documents)
Sisson, Charles

Charles Sisson Diary

1864 Feb.-1865 June
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1083

At the time of the American Civil War, Charles Sisson attended the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. An active member of the Society of Friends, Sisson was apparently a dedicated student and avid member of the literary society. After graduation, he pursued an enormously successful career in the textile industry, becoming a founder of the Hope Webbing Company in 1883, one of the nation’s largest narrow-fabric manufacturers.

Kept by teenaged Charles Sisson, this diary includes regular entries describing a student’s daily life at the Friends Boarding School in Providence R.I. In addition to occasional details on coursework, Sisson describes his social activities in some depth, and often with some humor. With rare exceptions, the larger currents of the Civil War served as little more than a backdrop, although the future of liberated slaves appeared as a topic for debate at the Lyceum, and marching was taken up as an activity by the students.

Gift of I. Eliot Wentworth, June 2019

Subjects

High school students--Rhode Island--ProvidenceMoses Brown SchoolProvidence (R.I.)--History--19th centuryQuakers--Rhode Island

Types of material

Diaries
Slade Family

Slade Family Papers

1776-1892 Bulk: 1838-1845
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 934
Depiction of Caroline Talbert
Caroline Talbert

The children of a textile investor, Mary and David Slade were students at the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence, R.I., during the late 1830s. Both died tragically of consumption at a young age, David at 24 and Mary at 28.

The Slade family papers consist largely of the personal correspondence of the ill-starred David and Mary Slade, dating from and just after their time as students at the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence, R.I. Written primarily by schoolmates and friends, with a few letters from David and Mary themselves, the letters include some fine examples of the intimacy of young people, with their sights set on their schooling or beginning to make their life.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Friends' Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Moses Brown SchoolQuakers--Massachusetts--19th centuryStudents--Rhode Island--19th centuryWomen--Education--19th century

Contributors

Fry, John E.Slade, David, 1819-1844Slade, Mary, 1821-1850Stevens, Emily D.Wing, Rebecca A.

Types of material

CorrespondenceDiariesExercise books
Soler, José A.

José A. Soler Papers

1972-2014
20 boxes 26.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 864
Depiction of José Soler (center) at District 65 rally
José Soler (center) at District 65 rally

A scholar of labor studies and activist, José Soler was born in New York City to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father and has been an activist in the cause of Puerto Rican independence and human rights since the 1970s. While a student at the University of New Mexico (BA 1972), Soler emerged as a leader in the Chicano rights organization, the Brown Berets, and while living in Puerto Rico in the late 1970s, he joined the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Soler has subsequently worked in the labor movement as a shop steward, union organizer with UAW District 65, and labor journalist. As a committed Marxist and prolific writer and editor, he has taken part in causes ranging from anti-imperialist work in the Caribbean and Central America to the anti-apartheid struggle, and he has served on the Executive Board of the US Peace Council. From 1993 until his retirement in 2015, Soler worked as Director of the Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center at UMass Dartmouth where he has continued to work on behalf of public education and human rights and national self-determination.
The Soler Papers chronicle over forty years of a life-long activist’s interests and participation in left-wing political, labor, and social justice movements. There is a particular focus on topics relating to socialism and the pro-independence movement in Puerto Rico, anti-imperialist movements in South and Central America and Africa, and issues affecting Puerto Rican and Hispanic workers in the United States, New England, and the New York City area. Published and promotional materials such as periodicals, magazines, newsletters, and pamphlets make up the bulk of the collection, with extensive coverage of the concerns of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP), the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), as well as New Jersey chapters of the unions Communications Workers of America (CWA) and District 65, which eventually joined the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). An additional seven boxes were added to the collection in June 2016, which remain unprocessed. The new materials offer additional documentation from the Dubin Labor Education Center and Soler’s work and interests in education (testing, privatization, and unions), labor, Marxist-Leninism, and various events in the United States and Latin America.

Gift of Jose Soler, 2015, 2016

Subjects

Communications Workers of AmericaLabor unions--New York (State)--New YorkPartido Socialista PuertorriqueñoUnited Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65

Types of material

Photographs
Stockwell, E. Sidney

E. Sidney Stockwell Papers

1910-1928
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 691
Depiction of Sid Stockwell
Sid Stockwell

A member of the Massachusetts Agricultural College class of 1919, Ervin Sidney Stockwell, Jr. (1898-1983) was born in Winthrop, Mass., to Grace Cobb and E. Sidney Cobb, Sr., a successful business man and owner of a wholesale dairy. Entering MAC as a freshman in 1915, Stockwell, Jr., studied agricultural economics and during his time in Amherst, took part in the college debate team, winning his class award for oratory, and dramatics with the Roister Doisters. He performed military service in 1918 at Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Camp Lee, Va. Stockwell went on to found a successful custom-house brokerage in Boston, E. Sidney Import Export, and was followed at his alma mater by his son and great-grandson.

The extensive correspondence between Sidney Stockwell and his mother, going in both directions, provides a remarkably in-depth perspective on a typical undergraduate’s life at Massachusetts Agricultural College during the time of the First World War, a period when MAC was considered an innovator in popular education. The letters touch on the typical issues of academic life and social activity, Stockwell’s hopes for the future, his military service and the war. Following graduation, Stockwell undertook an adventurous two year trip in which he worked his way westward across the country, traveling by rail and foot through the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana, Washington state and California, taking odd jobs to earn his keep and writing home regularly to describe his journey. An oral history with Stockwell is available in the University Archives as part of the Class of 1919 project.

Subjects

Agricultural education--MassachusettsMassachusetts Agricultural College--StudentsMontana--Description and travelNorth Dakota--Description and travelWashington--Description and travelWorld War, 1914-1918

Contributors

Stockwell, E. SidneyStockwell, Helen Cobb
Thacher-Channing families

Thacher-Channing Family Papers

1757-1930
3 boxes, books 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1005
Depiction of Stephen Thacher, ca.1853
Stephen Thacher, ca.1853

A graduate of Yale, failed schoolmaster, and politically-connected customs collector in eastern Maine during the antebellum period, Stephen Thacher raised a large family with grand intellectual ambitions. Thacher’s sons made the most of their collegiate educations in their careers in law and the ministry, his eldest daughter Mary married Thomas Wentworth Higginson, while a granddaughter Alice Thacher married the Harvard historian Edward Channing, son of William Ellery Channing and nephew of Margaret Fuller.

These relics of a prominent New England family contain nearly 150 letters, dozens of photographs and other visual materials, and a large assortment of books from three generations of Thachers and Channings. The letters are a rich resource for understanding the life of Stephen Thacher from the uncertainty of youth in Connecticut to political and financial success in the ports of eastern Maine. Assembled by Stephen’s son Peter, the collection includes a number of noteworthy items, including an excellent letter from Timothy Goodwin in July 1775, describing his experiences during the failed expedition on Quebec and the retreat to Crown Point, and a series of letters from Congressman Martin Kinsley on the major issues of the day, including the extension of slavery to the territories and formation of the state of Maine.

Gift of Ben Forbes and Fran Soto, 2017

Subjects

Channing familyMaine--Politics and government--19th centuryMassachusetts--Politics and government--19th centuryThacher family

Types of material

AmbrotypesDaguerreotypesPhotographsSilhouettes
Totman, Ruth J.

Ruth J. Totman Papers

ca. 1914-1999
6 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 097
Depiction of Ruth Totman and Jean Lewis, ca.1935
Ruth Totman and Jean Lewis, ca.1935

Trained as a teacher of physical education at the Sargent School in Boston, Ruth J. Totman enjoyed a career at state normal schools and teachers colleges in New York and Pennsylvania before joining the faculty at Massachusetts State College in 1943, building the program in women’s physical education almost from scratch and culminating in 1958 with the opening of a new Women’s Physical Education Building, which was one of the largest and finest of its kind in the nation. Totman retired at the mandatory age of 70 in 1964, and twenty years later, the women’s PE building was rededicated in her honor. Totman died in November 1989, three days after her 95th birthday.

The Totman Papers are composed mostly of personal materials pertaining to her residence in Amherst, correspondence, and Totman family materials. The sparse material in this collection relating to Totman’s professional career touches lightly on her retirement in 1964 and the dedication of the Ruth J. Totman Physical Education Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Supplementing the documents is a sizeable quantity of photographs and 8mm films, with the former spanning nearly her entire 95 years. The 8mm films, though fragile, provide an interesting, though soundless view into Totman’s activities from the 1940s through the 1960s, including a cross-country trip with Gertrude “Jean” Lewis, women’s Physical Education events at the New Jersey College for Women, and trips to Japan to visit her nephew, Conrad Totman..

Subjects

College buildings--Massachusetts--Amherst--History--SourcesConway (Mass.)--GenealogyDairy farms--MassachusettsFamily farms--United StatesFarm life--United StatesPhysical Education for womenTotman familyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--HistoryWomen physical education teachers

Contributors

Drew, Raymond Totman, 1923-1981Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-Totman, Conrad DTotman, Ruth J

Types of material

Genealogies