The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Arts & literature

Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966

Edward Gordon Craig Collection

1951-1956
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 344

A noted figure in modernist theater, Edward Gordon Craig was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on Jan. 16, 1872, the illegitimate son of the renowned actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward William Craig. Although the most productive portion of his career was brief, he exerted a strong influence on the field of set design and lighting, and was fairly prolific as a writer on theatre.

The six audio recordings that comprise the Craig collection originated from a series of BBC radio talks in the early 1950s. The reel to reel tapes include Craig’s reminiscences of Ellen Terry, Isadora Duncan, the old school of acting, celebrities, masks, and how he played Hamlet in Salford, Lancashire, but are more generally his thoughts on acting, the theater, and art.

Gift of Walther Richard Volbach via Vincent Brann, 1990

Subjects

ActingActors--Great BritainDuncan, Isadora, 1877-1927Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928Theater--Great Britain

Types of material

Open reel audiotapesSound recordings
Culley, Margo

Margo Culley Papers

1973-1985
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 103

A former Professor of English at UMass Amherst and contributor to the Program in Women’s Studies, Margaret (Margo) Culley was a specialist in women’s literature, particularly in women’s autobiography and diaries as a literary form. Her research drew variously upon work in literature, history, American studies, and religion, exploring gender and genre, language, subjectivity, memory, cultural diversity, and narrative. Between 1985 and 1994, she edited three volumes on American women’s autobiographical writing, and another on feminist teaching in the college classroom.

The Culley Papers offer a somewhat fragmentary glimpse into Culley’s academic career and her commitments to women’s literature. The collection includes selected notes for research and teaching, annotated bibliographies of women’s literature, a performance script for The Voices of Lost New England Women Writers, a federal grant proposal for The Black Studies/Women’s Studies Faculty Development Project (1981), and notes related to a study on minority women in the classroom. Letters collected by Culley’s students (late 18th and early 19th century) have been separated from the collection and designated as manuscript collections.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--WomenUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Women's Studies

Contributors

Culley, Margo
Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records

1908-1993
30 boxes 45 linear feet
Call no.: MS 891
Depiction of Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

Transferred from Springfield Museums through Margaret Humberston, Dec. 2015
Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981

Mary Doyle Curran Papers

1917-1980
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 435

Mary Curran Doyle and dog

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1917 and a graduate of Massachusetts State College, Mary Doyle Curran was an author, editor, and professor, who published her only novel, The Parish and the Hill, in 1948. Curran taught English and Irish Literature at Wellesley College, Queens College, and UMass Boston before retiring; she died in 1981.

The collection includes unpublished drafts of novels and short stories; photographs; correspondence from family and friends; publishers and literary associates such as Saul Bellow and Josephine Herbst. The Parish and the Hill, Curran’s only published novel, is today considered a classic among Irish American literature.

Subjects

Holyoke (Mass.)--HistoryIrish American literatureIrish American women--HistoryWomen authors--Massachusetts

Contributors

Bellow, SaulCurran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981Halley, AnneHerbst, Josephine, 1892-1969

Types of material

Photographs
D'Annunzio, Gabriele, 1863-1938

Gabriele D'Annunzio Collection

1919-1920
1 box 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 763
Depiction of Seal of the City of Fiume
Seal of the City of Fiume

An Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist, Gabriele D’Annunzio enjoyed a flamboyant career in international affairs after the First World War when he raised a small army and seized the port of Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia). Failing in his attempts to annex his territory to Italy, D’Annunzio reigned as Duce over the micro-state for over a year before being forced to relinquish control.

The fifteen imprints comprising this collection of scarce broadsides, all printed in the short-lived Free State of Fiume. During the brief period of his reign in Fiume, D’Annunzio issued propagandistic broadsides, proclamations, and leaflets almost daily, often distributing them by airplane drop over the city. Included is a rare first edition of D’Annunzio’s most famous piece from the Fiume period, Italia e vita.

Acquired from Steve Resnick, Jan. 2013
Language(s): Italian

Subjects

Free State of Fiume--History--20th centuryItaly--History--1914-1922Rijeka (Croatia)--History--20th centuryWorld War, 1914-1918--Baltic StateWorld War, 1914-1918--Italy

Contributors

D'Annunzio, Gabriele, 1863-1938Druscovich, MarcoZoll, Corrado

Types of material

BroadsidesFliers (Printed material)
Dalsimer, Susan

Susan Dalsimer Papers

1969-1970
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 578
Depiction of Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969
Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969

Famous Long Ago launched the literary career of Raymond Mungo with a splash, but even before the book had reached the shelves, he turned to his next project. In October 1969, Mungo began planning for a memoir of his life at the Packer Corners commune. Soon entitled Total Loss Farm, the book would become a classic in the literature of the 1960s counterculture. Signing a contract in November with E.P. Dutton, he worked with a young and sympathetic editor, Susan Stern (later Susan Dalsimer).

This small, but rich collection consists of a series of letters between Raymond Mungo and his editor at E.P. Dutton, Susan Stern, regarding his ideas on writing and life. Beginning in October 1969 with editorial commentary on Famous Long Ago and Mungo’s additions, the Dalsimer Papers offer insight into the development of Total Loss Farm from concept to printed page.

Gift of Susan Dalsimer, Nov. 2008

Subjects

Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969Communal living--MassachusettsCommunal living--VermontDiamond, StephenMcLardy, PeterMontague Farm Community (Mass.)Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Famous Long AgoMungo, Raymond, 1946- . Total Loss FarmNineteen SixtiesPacker Corners Community (Vt.)Simon, Peter, 1947-

Contributors

Dalsimer, SusanMungo, Raymond, 1946-

Types of material

Photographs
Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers

1918-1990
7 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 343
Depiction of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.
The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

Subjects

Nurses--MassachusettsPolish Americans--MassachusettsUnited States. NavyWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Types of material

Photographs
Davis, Bobby

Bobby Davis Photograph Collection

1980-1983
1 box 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: PH 065

A native of Providence, R.I., Bobby Davis arrived in Amherst in 1977 and soon afterward entered the University Without Walls program at UMass to earn his college degree. A talented jazz musician, Davis became immersed in the vibrant local arts scene, learning photography while writing for the student publications Nummo News and the Collegian, and covering performances by a steady stream of jazz and R&B acts touring through the area. Working later as a photographer for Smith College and traveling for the yearbook company, Delmar Studios, Davis eventually settled in Northampton, where he remains active as a photographer.

The Davis collection contains ten exhibition prints of jazz musicians performing in Amherst, including Art Blakey, Angela Bofill, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, and Archie Shepp.

Gift of Bobby Davis, Jan. 2015

Subjects

Jazz musicians--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs
Davis, Chester

Chester Davis Papers

ca. 1945-2016
24 boxes 36 linear feet
Call no.: FS 201

Chester Davis was a scholar of African American education and media, one of the first core faculty members of the Afro-American Studies Department at UMass Amherst and a major architect of that department’s development, and an avid photographer. Davis was born in Gary, Indiana and attended Roosevelt High School. He was among the first African American graduates of the University of Chicago, where he earned his BA and MA, and then earned his PhD from Syracuse University. After several positions in academia, Davis joined the African American think tank Institute of the Black World, right after its establishment by Coretta Scott King in 1969. His work there influenced the growth of Black Studies programs across the US and he was soon recruited by the University of Massachusetts to help build its newly founded Afro-Am. department. Davis retired from the University in 1992 and moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where he passed away in 2016.

The Chester Davis Papers reflect his research, teaching, and administrative work as a member of the Afro-American Studies Dept. at UMass. In addition to UMass-related lecture notes, correspondence, and research materials, the collection documents his post-retirement activities in Tallahassee and a longstanding research project on Roosevelt High School, which includes a rich cache of historical materials. There is also a significant collection of Davis’s photographs, including prints, negatives, and slides. Davis was an avid amateur with an artistic eye and his topics range from family photographs to concerts, demonstrations, and other activities at the University.

Gift of Penny Ralston, 2019

Subjects

African Americans--Study and teachingJazz musicians--PhotographsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst . FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst . W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies

Types of material

Photographs
DeFrees, Madeline

Madeline De Frees Papers

1951-1988
13 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: FS 051

Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA to request materials from this collection.

After receiving her MA from the University of Oregon in 1951, Madeline De Frees embarked on a career teaching English and writing to students ranging in age from elementary school to college (University of Montana, Seattle University). Joining the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1979, she served as Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing from 1980 to 1983, retiring in 1985.

The DeFrees Papers are a collection of personal and professional correspondence, poems and other writings, interviews and photographs. Biographical materials, financial records, and interviews comprise the remainder of the collection.

Subjects

Poets--Massachusetts

Contributors

De Frees, MadelineUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English