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

Collecting area: Arts & literature

Siggins, Betsy, 1939-

Betsy Siggins Papers

1958-2018
6 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1022
Depiction of Betsy Siggins, ca.1959. Photo by Alan Klein
Betsy Siggins, ca.1959. Photo by Alan Klein

A key figure in the New England folk revival of the 1960s, Betsy Siggins (nee Minot) entered Boston University in the fall 1958 just at the music was taking off. Along with her college friend Joan Baez, she soon left school for the lure of the bohemian musical scene in Cambridge. At the age of 20, Betsy married the banjo player for the Charles River Valley Boys, Bob Siggins, who was also a founding member of Club 47, the most important venue for folk music in the region. For musicians from Baez and Bob Dylan to Jim Kweskin, Eric Von Schmidt, and Jim Rooney Club 47 was a career launching pad and despite the segregation of the era, it was a place where white northern audiences first encountered African American and blues musicians. Siggins worked full time at Club 47, filling a variety of jobs from office work to waitress to art gallery manager, eventually becoming program officer, arranging the schedules for musicians booked by Rooney or Byron Linardos. After Club 47 closed in 1968, Siggins went on to work for a succession of not for profit organizations, including the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and for programs for the homeless and poor.
The Siggins Collection contains important materials on Club 47 and its successor, Club Passim, including business records, ephemera, clippings, and some remarkable scrapbooks featuring performers such Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Richard Farina. The collection contains dozens of photographs (many taken by Charlie Frizzell), showing Siggins, her friends, and musicians at home, at Club 47, and at folk festivals in Newport, Brandeis, and Monterey. Of particular note in the collection is a remarkable series of 27 reel to reel tapes of performances at Club 47 featuring John Hammond, Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Eric Von Schmidt, Jim Rooney, Jeff and Maria Muldaur, Jackie Washington, the Charles River Valley Boys, Joan Baez, and others. Additional material on Siggins and the Minot family was retained by the Cambridge Historical Society.

Transferred from Cambridge Historical Society, April 2018

Subjects

Club 47 (Cambridge, Mass.)Dylan, Bob, 1941-Folk music--New England
Simon, Peter, 1947-2018

Peter Simon Collection

ca. 1945-2016
10 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: PH 009
Depiction of Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968
Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968

Peter Simon’s life and work as a photojournalist follows the quintessential arc of the counterculture, baby boom generation. The son of Richard Simon, founder of Simon and Schuster, Peter grew up in the New York City suburb of Riverdale and attended Boston University, graduating in 1969. While a student at BU, he began documenting the political turmoil in the US when he became photo editor for the radical student newspaper, the BU News, and later as a press photographer for the Cambridge Phoenix. In 1970, Simon left Boston to form Tree Frog Farm, a back-to-the-land commune in Guilford, Vermont, and after leaving there in 1972, he immersed himself in the New Age, forming a close relationship with spiritual leader Ram Dass. Among the most constant threads connecting his work throughout these changes was music. Simon’s sisters, Carly, Lucy, and Joanna have all been involved in music, and through a partnership with longtime friend Stephen Davis and his association with Rolling Stone magazine, Simon enjoyed unique access to many of the most important musicians of his generation. He spent time on the road with the Grateful Dead; went backstage and at home with Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and many others. His early forays into the world of reggae with Bob Marley and other Jamaican recording artists resulted in one of his nine books, Reggae Bloodlines. Simon’s other photographic interests are as wide-ranging as his background. A visitor to Martha’s Vineyard since the 1950s and a resident since 1974, his work reflects the changes and cultural richness of that island; his family’s friendship with Jackie Robinson has driven his lifelong documentation of baseball, and he is in high demand for portraits, weddings, and other work for hire.

The Peter Simon Collection houses the original negatives for Simon’s complete body of work as a photo journalist and also includes many photographs taken by his father Richard, an avid amateur photographer, which documents the Simon family and life in Riverdale and Stamford, Connecticut, where the family had a summer home.

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--PhotographsCommunal living--VermontCounterculture--United States--20th centuryMartha's Vineyard (Mass.)--PhotographsMusicians--PhotographsSimon, Carly--PhotographsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Contributors

Simon, Richard L. (Richard Leo), 1899-1960

Types of material

Photographs
Siteman, Stephen

Stephen Siteman Papers

1942-1998
9 boxes 4.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 503

A member of the Post War World Council, an ardent pacifist, and anti-imperialist, Stephen Siteman was a long-time member of the Socialist Party of America, serving for seventeen years as secretary to the party’s leader Norman Thomas. In his late teens, Siteman was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during World War II. Although he was later pardoned, his time as a prisoner led him into active involvement in prison reform and the peace movement.

During his long involvement in the Socialist Party, Siteman collected a large quantity of material relating to important socialist issues, including Socialist Reform, the peace movement, conscientious objection, and prison reform. The collection also includes a small selection of Siteman’s personal correspondence with Frank Zeidler, former Socialist mayor of Milwaukee, and the novelist Mark Harris.

Subjects

Conscientious objectorsDemocratic Socialists of AmericaPacifists--United StatesPeace movements--United StatesPrison reformersPrisons--United StatesSocialists--United StatesThomas, Norman, 1884-1968War Resisters League of AmericaWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Harris, Mark, 1922-2007Siteman, StephenZeidler, Frank P
Sleeveless Theatre Company

Sleeveless Theater Company Records

1989-1996
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1087
Depiction of Channer, Nugent, Halpin and Futtner (from left), ca.1992. Photo by K.D.Halpin
Channer, Nugent, Halpin and Futtner (from left), ca.1992. Photo by K.D.Halpin

The Sleeveless Theatre Company was an innovative political theater company with a strong feminist slant. Founded in 1989 by UMass Amherst alumnae Lisa Channer, Maureen Futtner, K. D. Halpin, and Kate Nugent, and Smith alumna, Terianne Falcone, Sleeveless was an actor-centered, highly collaborative ensemble company that wielded humor in staging original, socially- and politically-charged theater. Based in Northampton, Mass., the company toured nationally and internationally, presenting sometimes controversial works on themes ranging from reproductive rights to the Gulf War. As they evolved, they refined their mission to focus on telling stories about the lives and perspectives of women, but under the strains of growing within their collaborative model, they made the decision to disband in 1997.

In addition to minutes for the company’s formative years (1989-1992), the records of Sleeveless Theater Company include a small selection of production notes, background research, fliers, reviews and newsclippings, and a handful of publicity photos. Among the plays represtened are Womb for Rent (1989), War: The Comedy (1991), The F Word (1992), Emily Unplugged (1995), and Mill America (1996).

Gift of Lisa Channer, Maureen Futtner, K. D. Halpin, and Kate Nugent, June 2019 (2019-093).

Subjects

Feminist theater--Massachusetts--NorthamptonTheatrical companies--Massachusetts--Northampton

Types of material

Fliers (Printed matter)Photographs
Small, Eugene B.

Eugene B. Small Papers

1964-2007
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 591

Specializing in study of the biology and evolutionary history of ciliophorans, Eugene B. Small conducted both laboratory and field studies in comparative morphology and morphogenesis, ciliate ecology, phylogeny, life history, and nutrition. He was particularly noted for his work on ciliophorans from marine habitats ranging from the psammitic shores to the pelagic zones to deep sea hydrothermal vents. After receiving his doctorate at UCLA in 1964, Small served on the Zoology faculty at the University of Illinois and, from 1972, in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland.

The collection consists primarily of thousands of electron micrographs of ciliophorans taken over the course of Small’s career, along with a small number of laboratory and field notebooks.

Subjects

CiliataEvolution (Biology)University of Maryland--Faculty

Contributors

Small, Eugene B

Types of material

Laboratory notesScanning electron micrographs
Smedley, Agnes

Agnes Smedley Photograph Collection

Undated
1 flat box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 053

An activist with an international reputation, Agnes Smedley is most often associated with women’s rights, birth control, Indian independence, and China’s Communist revolution.

These black and white mounted prints, many taken by Agnes Smedley with her captions and accompanying narratives, were reproduced from the Smedley Collection at Arizona State University. Most are of China, but the collection also include scenes of the American West and students at the Tempe Normal School. The images were assembled for exhibition, most likely by the Women’s Studies Program at UMass Amherst.

Subjects

China--PhotographsTempe Normal School--Photographs

Contributors

Smedley, Agnes

Types of material

Photographs
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) Records

1992-2016
4 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 868
Depiction of

Originating in 1991, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) was established “to create a global network for book historians working in a broad range of scholarly disciplines.” With more than 1,000 members, research interests include the composition and reception of books as well as their survival and transformation over time.

Records cover the earliest days of the organization’s development, including founding documents, and document a variety of their activities from hosting conferences and publishing a newsletter to promoting scholarship.

Subjects

Authors and readersAuthorshipBooks--HistoryPublishers and publishing
Sommer, Mark

Mark Sommer Papers

1966-2017
13 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 973

Mark Sommer, with Zetta, the first newborn goat at the Sommer homestead in northern CA, May 1985

Mark Sommer is an explorer, storyteller, and award-winning public radio and print journalist focused on advocacy and narratives of social, political, and environmental change and positive action. In Washington, D.C., Sommer found himself on hand for some of the 1960s pivotal moments, where he was involved with the Liberation News Service and the New Left think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies. Sommer moved to California in 1969 to explore the counterculture, spending several years journeying – spiritually, psychedelically, and physically between communes, farms, and wilderness homesteads along the western coast – before he and his wife built a self-reliant organic homestead in the deep woods of northern CA, where they lived from the 1970s to the 1990s. The resilience of nature deeply impacted Sommer’s outlook and work as a writer and journalist, driving his interest in the human capacity for overcoming adversity. Sommer founded and directed the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit media placement service scheduling leading edge thinkers and social innovators for extensive radio interviews, and Sommer served as host and executive producer of the internationally syndicated and award winning, one-hour weekly radio program, A World of Possibilities. Sommer is the author of three books (Beyond the Bomb, The Conquest of War, and Living in Freedom), and hundreds of op-eds in major newspapers worldwide. Current projects include short and movie length videos crafted from his photographs, films, interviews, and experiences.

Chronicling over five decades of creative and journalistic output of a life-long explorer and progressive advocate, the Mark Sommer Papers are an extensive collection, covering Sommer’s entire career and personal life from the late 1960s to the present. Writings include personal and multiple travel journals (including a unique trip to North Vietnam in 1968), correspondence, student essays, op-eds, articles, project and grant plans, memoirs, and book manuscripts. Additional journals exist in audio format, along with radio interviews where Sommer served as a guest. Slides, photographs, and movies cover Sommer’s family and home life to his wide-ranging travels and interests. Some main topics of coverage include foreign policy and international politics, progressivism, peace and conflict studies, the anti-nuclear and disarmament movements, wilderness and back-to-the-land experiences, and later in life fatherhood. Materials from Mainstream Media Project have been separated into the Mainstream Media Project Records.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

Antinuclear movementCounterculture--United StatesInstitute for Policy StudiesJournalists--CaliforniaNuclear disarmamentPeace--researchPeaceful change (International relations)Political activistsReconciliationSelf-reliant living--CaliforniaSustainable livingTravel writingVietnam War, 1961-1975

Types of material

ArticlesCorrespondenceDiariesMemoirsPhotographsSound recordingsVideo recordings
Spain. Real Chancillería de Granada

Spain. Real Chancillería de Granada, Carta executoria de hidalguia

1590
1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: 1108
Depiction of Christ holding an orb surmounted by a cross
Christ holding an orb surmounted by a cross

In 1589, Pedro Guillén de las Casas of Jaen, Andalusia, began the effort to petition the crown to have his claim to a noble lineage recognized. The carta executoria de hidalguia he sought was the written culmination of a legal process that began with assembling a “pruebas de hidalguia” containing evidence of a noble lineage and testimonies from town or regional officials. The request was submitted to one of two chancelleries that handled lawsuits of nobility, the Real Chancillería in Granada (for southern Spain) or Valladolid (for the north), and if approved, the carta executoria was issued acknowledging, rather than granting, nobility. De las Casas’s petition was approved in May 1590.

Issued in the name of King Philip II of Spain and Portugal at the time of his marriage to Mary I (1554-1558), this document is an exceptional example of the patents of nobility produced in Granada during the late sixteenth century. Bound in contemporary red velvet, it bestows the rank of hidalgo (gentleman) on Pedro Guillén de las Casas, and is illuminated with a series of exquisite miniatures, including one of Philip II, aged 33. The carta appears to be missing a frontispiece and text leaf, but includes a single paper leaf loosely inserted at the beginning with a nineteenth-century depiction of Christ carrying the Cross.

Acquired from Les Enluminures, Dec. 2019
Language(s): Spanish

Subjects

Nobility--Spain

Types of material

Illuminated manuscriptsLetters patentMiniatures (Illumination)
Spaulding, Mary Patricia

Mary Patricia Spaulding Scrapbook

1956
1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 927

Pat Spaulding camera returning home, 1956 Sept.

In 1956, the graphic designer Pat Spaulding left for a tour of Europe. During her seven months abroad, she and her friend Maureen Jones traveled by motor scooter through France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, staying in hostels and taking in the sights. Perhaps most memorably, Spaulding tore her Achilles tendon while visiting in Siena, Italy, receiving generous care from her hosts during the four-week period of her recovery.

A refreshing record of two young American women traveling alone in Europe during the mid-1950s, this scrapbook is populated with dozens of well laid-out photographs of sites seen, along with Spaulding’s letters home and a raft of ephemera such as picture postcards, copies of ticket stubs and passport pages, an international driver’s license, smallpox immunization certificate, maps, newsclippings, and beer coasters. Notably, the album also includes a number of beautiful, skillfully-rendered line drawings.

Gift of Mary Patricia Spaulding, 2016

Subjects

France--Description and travelGermany--Description and travelItaly--Description and travelItaly--PhotographsLondon (England)--Description and travelLondon (England)--PhotographsParis (France)--Description and travelParis (France)--Photographs

Contributors

Jones, Maureen

Types of material

PhotographsPostcardsScrapbooks