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

Collecting area: Arts & literature

Benedek, Tom

Tom Benedek Collection

1967-1973
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 073
Depiction of Passengers on a plane, ca.1973
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973

A screenwriter and visual artist, Tom Benedek majored in film as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, earning the distinction of becoming the first graduate of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program in 1971. From early in his college career, Benedek worked as a photographer the newspaper, the Collegian, while studying with faculty such as Jerome Liebling (at Hampshire College) and Jerrold Maddox (at Amherst), and he spent his junior year in Paris studying at the Ecole du Louvre and l’Institut de Formation Cinematographique. In his career in Hollywood, he has written screenplays for the movies Cocoon, Zeus and Roxanne, and The Adventures of Pinocchio and worked with Robert Zemeckis, Lawrence Kasdan, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Richard Rush, and Harold Ramis, among many others. He is a member of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and teaches screenwriting at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

The hundreds of images in the Benedek Collection document the development of a talented photographer. While some of the images stem from his work for the Collegian, most were taken on his own around campus and beyond, including trips to Boston and New Orleans, and his year studying abroad in Paris following shortly after the events of 1968. The collection consists entirely of 35mm black and white negatives and color slides.

Gift of Tom Benedek, 2016

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--PhotographsBoston (Mass.)--PhotographsNew Orleans (La.)--PhotographsParis (France)--PhotographsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs
Benes, Peter

Peter Benes Collection

ca.1975-1986
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 017
Depiction of Soule Fishwing
Soule Fishwing

Peter Benes might be called the father of the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS). In 1976, he organized a meeting in Dublin, New Hampshire, of people interested in colonial gravestones, naming the group the Dublin Seminar. Following a committee meeting in December 1976, the group met again in the summer 1977 to organize as the AGS. Benes served as Treasurer in 1977 and Archives Officer in 1978. He received the Forbes Award of the AGS in 1979 for his role in founding the organization and in recognition of the contributions made to gravestone studies by his first book, The Masks of Orthodoxy: Folk Gravestone Carving in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1689-1805 (1977). He is currently (2009) Director of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife at Boston University.

The Benes Collection contains 2,826 black and white photographic prints documenting a majority of the eighteenth century grave markers in southeastern Massachusetts, taken for his book The Masks of Orthodoxy. The images were taken in Plymouth and surrounding counties.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--MassachusettsStone carving--Massachusetts

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesBenes, Peter

Types of material

Photographs
Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954

Arthur Cleveland Bent Collection

1880-1942
8 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 413
Depiction of A.C. Bent, 1929
A.C. Bent, 1929

An avid birder and eminent ornithologist, Arthur Cleveland Bent was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on November 25, 1866. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard in 1889, bent was employed as an agent for the Safety Pocket Company and from 1900 to 1914, he was General Manager of Mason Machine Works. His passion, however, was birds. An associate in Ornithology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, Bent became a collaborator at the Smithsonian and president (1935-1937) of the American Ornithologists’ Union. The culmination of his research was the massive, 26 volume Life Histories of North American Birds (1919-1968).

The Bent collection is a glimpse into the birding life of a remarkable amateur ornithologist. It contains the field notebooks of his collaborator, Owen Durfee (1880-1909), his own journals (1887-1942), photographs and negatives (1896-1930), correspondence concerning the photographs (1925-1946), and mimeographed and printed material. Bent’s records cover nest observations, egg measurements, bird sightings, and notes on specimens provided to organizations such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Bristol County Agricultural School, and the United States National Museum.

Subjects

American Ornithologists' UnionBent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954. Life Histories of North American BirdsBirdsBirds--EggsBirds--Eggs--PhotographsBirds--NestsBirds--Nests--PhotographsBirds--PhotographsBristol County Agricultural School (Bristol County, Mass.)Massachusetts Audubon SocietyOrnithologists--MassachusettsUnited States National Museum

Contributors

Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954Durfee, Owen

Types of material

Field notesPhotographs
Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers

ca. 1970-2012
30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 806
Depiction of

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects

Free Jazz--United StatesJazz musicians--United States

Types of material

ScoresSound recordings
Berkeley, Roy

Roy and Ellen Perry Berkeley Papers

ca.1954-2011
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 972

Born in New York City in 1935, Roy Berkeley’s eclectic creative career began while working his way through Columbia University (BA, 1956) as an editor for the New York Post and pseudonymous author of 14 pulp novels, and continued after graduation, working for two years at the height of the Cold War in U.S. intelligence. A self-taught guitarist, he became a stalwart of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, performing at the Gaslight regularly and at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and eventually recording three albums. In 1966, Berkeley married Ellen Perry, a writer and editor for Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum, and one of the few women architectural critics of the time. Their time in New York City ended in 1971, however, when Ellen’s job as an editor at an architectural magazine ended. Using Roy’s winnings from his appearance on the television show Jeopardy, the couple relocated to Shaftsbury, Vt., where they led a freelance life as writers, editors, teachers, and lecturers. Roy was eventually appointed deputy Sheriff in town and became a member of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. After a struggle with cancer, Roy Berkeley died in 2009 at the age of 73.

The bulk of the Perry Papers consists of Roy’s research files and drafts of a never-completed history of the folk music scene, along with some correspondence, notes, and ephemera that includes both editions of his Bosses Songbook, a satirical send-up of the People’s Songbook. The collection also contains a sampling of the exceptional range of Ellen’s writing on topics from architecture to cats, cookery, to grieving.

Gift of Ellen Perry Berkeley, April 2017

Subjects

ArchitectureFolk music

Contributors

Berkeley, Ellen Perry
Berlin, Normand

Normand Berlin Papers

1968-2013
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 180

A literary scholar and much admired teacher, Normand Berlin joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1965, four years after receiving his doctorate at the University of California for his study of Elizabethan drama. The author of five books and numerous articles on topics ranging from medieval poetry to contemporary film, Berlin was known equally for his work on early modern drama and for his work on Eugene O’Neill, for which he was awarded the Eugene O’Neill Bronze Medal. He was equally popular in the classroom, where his course on Shakespeare became a campus staple for many years, earning the university’s highest teaching award in 1976, the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award. After retirement in 1995, Berlin remained in Amherst. He died at home on July 13, 2015, at the age of 83.

This small collection contains scattered notes, writings, and correspondence from Normand Berlin’s career, much of which pertains to his research on drama.

Gift of Barbara Berlin, Sept. 2016

Subjects

Drama--Study and teachingUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Bestor, Charles

Charles Bestor Papers

1971-2002
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: FS 126

A composer, Professor of Composition, and Director of the Electronic and Computer Music Studios at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Charles Bestor has also taught at Juilliard School of Music and other universities, won international awards for his music, and collaborated with contemporary installation artists.

The Bestor Papers includes scores and sound recordings for two of his compositions, Suite for Alto Saxophone and Percussion and In the Shell of the Ear, as well as correspondence, concert programs, and reviews, all relating to the publication and performance of the works.

Gift of Charles Bestor, Mar.-Apr. 2004

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

Bestor, Charles
Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Philip Bezanson Papers

1946-1980
9 boxes
Call no.: FS 040

An influential educator and composer, Philip Bezanson helped guide the Department of Music at UMass Amherst through its period of rapid expansion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After graduate study (PhD 1954) and appointment to the faculty at the University of Iowa, Bezanson was brought to UMass in 1964 to become Head of the Music Department and helped to expand and reorient the program, recruiting an increasingly accomplished faculty, including his former student Frederick Tillis.

The Bezanson papers include materials relating to the development, performance, and publication of much of Bezanson’s musical work, including scores and parts for 46 of his 47 instrumental and vocal compositions. The collection also includes a sampling of correspondence, programs and posters for performances, papers relating to the development of the opera Golden Child and his collaboration with Paul, the score of the opera Stranger in Eden (libretto by William A. Reardon), and one sound recording.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975
Black, Joseph Laurence, 1962-

Joseph Laurence Black History of the Book Collection

1789-1964
128 items 3 linear feet
Call no.: RB 023
Depiction of The Woman Trapper (1908)
The Woman Trapper (1908)

A scholar of early modern British literature, Joe Black received his BA and PhD from the University of Toronto and taught for several years at the University of Tennessee Knoxville before joining the English faculty at UMass Amherst in 1994. Rooted in the history of the book, his research on seventeenth-century literature has examined the intersection between writing and the material and social context of production as well as the dialogue between print and manuscript culture.

The Black collection is an eclectic assemblage of American imprints designed to assist study and instruction in the history of the book. The collection includes two long runs of pulp novels, Beadle’s Frontier Series and the American Revolution-inspired Liberty Boys of ’76, examples of almanacs, prompt books, and works form the early national period in publishers’ bindings.

Subjects

Books--History--United StatesDime novels, American

Types of material

AlmanacsScrapbooks
Blackington, Alton H.

Alton H. Blackington Photograph Collection

1898-1943
15 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: PH 061
Depiction of Fortune teller, ca.1930
Fortune teller, ca.1930

A native of Rockland, Maine, Alton H. “Blackie” Blackington (1893-1963) was a writer, photojournalist, and radio personality associated with New England “lore and legend.” After returning from naval service in the First World War, Blackington joined the staff of the Boston Herald, covering a range of current events, but becoming well known for his human interest features on New England people and customs. He was successful enough by the mid-1920s to establish his own photo service, and although his work remained centered on New England and was based in Boston, he photographed and handled images from across the country. Capitalizing on the trove of New England stories he accumulated as a photojournalist, Blackington became a popular lecturer and from 1933-1953, a radio and later television host on the NBC network, Yankee Yarns, which yielded the books Yankee Yarns (1954) and More Yankee Yarns (1956).

This collection of glass plate negatives was purchased by Robb Sagendorf of Yankee Publishing around the time of Blackington’s death. Reflecting Blackington’s photojournalistic interests, the collection covers a terrain stretching from news of public officials and civic events to local personalities, but the heart of the collection is the dozens of images of typically eccentric New England characters and human interest stories. Most of the images were taken by Blackington on 4×5″ dry plate negatives, however many of the later images are made on flexible acetate stock and the collection includes several images by other (unidentified) photographers distributed by the Blackington News Service.

Gift of Yankee Publishing, Mar. 2012

Subjects

Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933--PhotographsEarhart, Amelia, 1897-1937--PhotographsMaine--Social life and customs--PhotographsMassachusetts--Social life and customs--PhotographsNew England--Social life and customs--PhotographsNew Hampshire--Social life and customs--PhotographsRoosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--PhotographsSacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs