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

Collecting area: Arts & literature

Polish Jubilee

Polish Jubilee Catalogs and Souvenirs

1906-1988
5 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 057

Includes booklets containing parish and community histories, photographs, and local advertisements celebrating Jubilee, other anniversaries, and events in over twenty Massachusetts Polish American parishes; booklets furnishing histories and names associated with Polish American groups (such as the Brotherly Aid Society and Polish American Veterans); an historical paper on the Chicopee Polish Community; a pamphlet including songs and recipes; photographs; a booklet; and two books.

Subjects

Chicopee (Mass.)--HistoryPolish Americans--Massachusetts
Politella Family

Politella Family Papers

1915-2004 Bulk: 1938-1956
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 885
Depiction of Dario, Antonio, Lillian, and Joseph Politella in Amherst, ca.1930
Dario, Antonio, Lillian, and Joseph Politella in Amherst, ca.1930

When Antonio Politella emigrated from Italy to Lawrence, Mass., in 1910, he joined an older half-brother Walter Pollano, but left behind his wife and infant son. Working as a pharmacist under Pollano, Politella was successful enough to reunite his family in 1919, and eventually raised a family of three, all of whom went on to earn undergraduate degrees at Massachusetts State College and dedicate their lives to education. The eldest child, Joseph (’33), served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, earned a PhD in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and taught in eastern religions at Kent State University. Lillian (’42) became a French teacher, while Dario (’47), an aviator during the war, earned his doctorate at Syracuse and taught journalism at UMass Amherst for many years.

The Politella family collection contains correspondence received primarily by Lillian Politella (’42), the bulk of which reflects the impact on the war on both her family and college. Among the letters are dozens written by her brothers Joseph (’33) and Dario (’47) and friend Donald W. Cadigan (’39) while in the service, which are joined by an evocative series from their teacher and mentor, Ray Ethan Torrey. Torrey’s letters in particular offer insight into Mass. State College during and after the war and are replete with news about acquaintances and complaints about liberals and current events.

Gift of Norma E. Parras, Nov. 2015

Subjects

Buddhism--Study and teachingHinduism--Study and teachingMassachusetts State College--HistoryMassachusetts State College--StudentsMysticismTheosophyWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Politella, DarioPolitella, JosephPolitella, V. LillianTorrey, Ray Ethan, 1887-1956

Types of material

Photograph albumsPhotographsScrapbooks
Pollock, Robert J.

Robert J. Pollock Souvenir Collection

1904-1954
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 388

Brought together by Robert J. Pollock, this collection of souvenirs consists chiefly of playbills from New England and New York productions, and includes programs from ice skating shows, circuses, and musical revues.

Subjects

Theater--History--20th century

Contributors

Pollock, Robert J

Types of material

Playbills
Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers

Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers

1698-1968 Bulk: 1800-1950
200 boxes 90 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1148

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers document the history of one extended family
over 270 years (or eight complete generations) and the family’s connection to its ancestral
home, “Forty Acres,” in Hadley, Massachusetts. Forty Acres was a working farm, its name not a
true description of the land under cultivation, which consisted of six hundred acres acquired
by its first owner, Moses Porter, and a significant growth in acreage under his son-in-law,
Charles Phelps. Subsequent generations produced a number of clergy, lawyers, a sea captain,
merchants, factory owners, army officers and doctors. There were artists, writers, publishers,
an actress, and numerous housewives, of necessity, multi-skilled.

The personal papers from these family members contribute valuable insights into our understanding of the evolution
of American society during the last 250 years. Letters and diaries reveal the significant
impact of major events in American history, beginning with the French and Indian War up
through the twentieth century. These writings provide scholars a glimpse into personal
perspectives on wars, political and economic upheavals, religious revivals, social
developments, family relationships, divisions of labor between men and women, as well as the
day-by-day domestic life of the family, their servants and enslaved people.

Gift of Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc., December 2021.

Subjects

Clergy--MassachusettsFamily farms--Massachusetts--HadleyForty Acres (Hadley, Mass.)Hadley (Mass. : Town)--HistoryHistoric sites--Massachusetts--Hadley--Conservation and restorationHuntington familyPhelps familyPorter familyPorter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum (Mass.)Social reformers--New York (State)Theater--Massachusetts

Contributors

Barrett, Lucy Stearns, 1828-1916Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1887-1987Huntington, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps, 1779-1847Huntington, George Putnam, 1844-1904Huntington, Hannah Dane Sargent, 1822-1910Huntington, James O. S., 1854-1935Huntington, Lilly St. Agnan Barrett, 1848-1926Phelps, Charles, 1717-1789Phelps, Elizabeth Porter, 1747-1817Porter, Elizabeth Pitkin, 1719-1798Porter, Moses, 1722-1755

Types of material

DiariesLettersPhotographs
Postler, Klaus

Klaus Postler Collection

1981-2013
14 boxes
Call no.: MS 1122

Klaus Postler was a visual artist and curator who lived and worked in New England. Born Michael Edward Postler on March 23, 1951, he grew up in Yonkers, New York, and Connecticut. He was an avid collector of paper ephemera, which he included in his large-scale paintings and collages. From the late 1970s he was an enthusiastic participant in the international mail art movement, labelling his enterprise the Social Artists Reality Empire (S.A.R.E.). One of the exhibitions he curated was the Ray Johnson Memorial Mail Art Show at UMass Amherst, in 1996, for which he put out an open call and received mailed responses from around the world. Postler traveled in Europe and forged relationships with artists there, especially in Germany. In addition to his art practice, he worked for many years picking apples and pruning trees at New England orchards. Postler pursued his education at a number of institutions, with some difficulty due to his dyslexia, and completed his bachelor’s degree in 1998 through the University Without Walls program at UMass Amherst. He was a MacDowell Colony fellow in 2000, and returned to UMass to earn his MFA in studio art in 2005. Late in his life he cared for the estate of the artist Robert Mallary. He died on January 6, 2013, at his studio in Conway, Massachusetts.

The Klaus Postler collection contains a variety of sketchbooks that also functioned as diaries, as well as daybooks and dream journals; slides of his work; and photographic prints. Also included is an assortment of mail art, some created by Postler but mostly work sent to him by other artists, which Postler included in exhibitions he curated in Brattleboro, Vermont, and at UMass Amherst. Thomas Jahn, known as Horsefeathers, is a prolific contributor of mail art. The collection also includes documentation from posthumous gallery shows and a commemorative book about his work published by his partner, Eileen Claveloux.

Gift of Eileen Claveloux, September 2020

Contributors

Postler, Klaus

Types of material

Sketchbooks
Powell, James R.

James R. Powell Collection

1958-2010
27 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 701

A devoted reader of newspaper cartoon strips, Jim Powell began collecting Peanuts cartoon books in the mid-1970s, prompted by obtaining two pure-bred beagles for his son.

The Powell cartoon book collection consists of 419 mass market paperback copies of popular cartoon books, representing the work of well-known cartoonists such as Charles M. Schultz, Johnny Hart, Gary Larson, Garry Trudeau, Jim Davis, and Berke Breathed. The collection has particularly rich runs of Peanuts, Garfield, and Doonesbury.

Gift of James R. Powell, June 2010

Subjects

Comic books, strips, etc.

Contributors

Davis, Jim, 1945 July 28-Schulz, Charles M. (Charles Monroe), 1922-2000Trudeau, G. B., 1948-Watterson, Bill

Types of material

Cartoons
Primus, Pearl

Pearl Primus Collection

1995-2006
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 912

A pioneer of African dance in the United States and a vital scholarly voice, Pearl Primus burst onto the scene in the early 1940s as a choreographer, performer, composer, and teacher. Born in Trinidad in 1919 and raised in New York City, Primus was introduced to performance through the National Youth Administration and the New Dance Group. Her interest in the dance cultures of Africa and the African diaspora formed the conceptual center of her work throughout her career, drawing upon her deep scholarly research. In addition to her creative work, Primus earned a doctorate in anthropology from NYU and taught at a number of universities, including the Five Colleges. She died in New Rochelle, N.Y., in October 1994.

Conducted with Pearl Primus’ fellow dancers, musicians, friends, and collaborators between 1995 and 2005, the interviews comprising this collection were recorded by Peggy and Murray Schwartz for use in their book, The Dance Claimed Me: A Biography of Pearl Primus (New Haven, 2011). The oral histories provide insights into Primus’s sometimes controversial life career, her performances, teaching, and legacy.

Gift of Peggy and Murray Schwartz, Dec. 2013

Subjects

ChoreographersDance--AfricaDancers

Contributors

Nash, Joe, 1919-2005Washington, Donald

Types of material

AudiocassettesBetacam-SPVideotapes
Ramsey, Martha, 1954-

Martha Ramsey Papers

ca. 1930-2018
17 boxes 24.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1054

Martha Ramsey is the author of Where I Stopped, a memoir of rape in adolescence, and Blood Stories, a book of poems. Ramsey grew up in Flemington, New Jersey, a farming community 65 miles southwest of New York City. She had unusually creative, bohemian-minded, arts-oriented parents; her father was a pioneering jazz historian; both became alcoholics. She was a precociously intelligent child and was skipped two grades at her local elementary school; she escaped from the resulting loneliness and social insecurity into books and nature. She was happier as a day student at Solebury School, a progressive high school nearby in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. On a summer day in 1968, at age 13, while she was walking her bike up a back road near her home, she was attacked and raped by a 28-year-old man, a stranger. She insisted that her parents call the police immediately, “so it won’t happen to anyone else.” Her parents soon heard from neighbors that before Martha, the rapist had “molested other girls.” She endured a confrontation with him at the police barracks and giving testimony at the trial that resulted in his conviction and sentence of 15 years. Five years later she also endured the shock of learning on a visit home from college that he had, while released on parole, sexually assaulted and murdered a 16-year-old girl near the girl’s family’s farm, on the anniversary of the rape. This time he was sentenced to life. Where I Stopped, written when Ramsey was in her thirties, tells this story in detail and follows her attempts to understand what had happened to her and how it was affecting her over the years as she grew into adulthood, pursued her calling as a poet, and married. The memoir also chronicles her decision to return to the place where she grew up to speak with people who remembered the crime and who had participated in the trial and to unearth the police and trial records—all part of her effort to come to terms with what she remembered.

A powerful collection documenting the writing of her memoir, Where I Stopped, Ramsey’s papers include audio recordings of statements she and others made to the police shortly after her rape; a transcript of the trial; Ramsey’s notes from interviews she conducted with individuals who remembered the crime; and drafts of her memoir, containing comments from early readers and material cut from the final version. Ramsey’s unpublished writings, journals, and correspondence document her intellectual and emotional life from her teenage years forward, including the drafts of all her published and unpublished poems. Family papers focus on the author’s father, Frederic Ramsey, a noted jazz historian; they include correspondence, photographs, and the unpublished autobiography of Ethel Ramsey (1884–1965)—textile designer, painter, and participant in the artists’ colony in New Hope, Pennsylvania—that contains acerbic discussion of the struggles of women artists in the late nineteenth century and later.

Subjects

AuthorsNew Hope (Pa.)Rape victims--United States--BiographyRape--United States--Case StudiesWomen artistsWomen authors
Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Frank Prentice Rand Papers

1905-1976
5 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 083
Depiction of Frank Prentice Rand
Frank Prentice Rand

Playwright, poet, historian, student theater director and professor of English, University of Massachusetts.

Correspondence, speeches, lectures, drafts of writings, reviews, publicity material, programs and playbills, scrapbooks, grade books (1917-1959), newsclippings, memorabilia, and other papers, relating to Rand’s teaching career, his writing of poetry, plays, and history, and his activities, as a dramatic coach and director. Includes material relating to the dedication of Rand Theater.

Connect to another siteListen to oral history with Rand's wife:
Oral history, part 1
Oral history, part 2

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History

Contributors

Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Types of material

Oral historiesScrapbooks
Rausch, Jane M., 1940-

Jane M. Rausch Papers

1968-2009
6 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: FS 146

A long-time historian at UMass Amherst, Jane Meyer Rausch was widely recognized for her work on the frontier history of Colombia. A graduate of DePauw University (1962), Rausch joined a growing program in Latin American studies at UMass in 1969, shortly after receiving her doctorate in comparative tropical history from the University of Wisconsin Madison. The recipient of a Fulbright Award in 1987, she taught widely in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, and wrote four major monographs on the Colombian frontier in the colonial and national periods: A Tropical Plains Frontier : the Llanos of Colombia, 1531-1831 (1984); The Llanos Frontier in Colombian history, 1830-1930 (1993); Colombia : Territorial Rule and the Llanos Frontier (1999); and From Frontier Town to Metropolis: A History of Villavicencio, Colombia, Since 1842 (2007).

Centered on the research and teaching, this collection documents the career of Jane Rausch from her days as a graduate student in the late 1960s through her retirement. In addition to a range of professional correspondence, unpublished works, teaching materials, and student notes, the collection includes several hundred 35mm slides taken by Rausch while traveling in Colombia.

Gift of Jane Rausch, 2010-2013

Subjects

Colombia--HistoryLatin America--HistoryUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History

Contributors

Rausch, Jane M., 1940-