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

Collecting area: Performing arts

Ellis, James, 1935-

James Ellis Theatre Collection

1700-2005
ca.8,000 vols.
Call no.: MS 779

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

During a long career as Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, James Ellis wrote on the Victorian stage and the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. A founding member of the Valley Light Opera Company, he was also an actor and director of theatricals in the Pioneer Valley.

The Ellis Collection contains approximately 8,000 published works on the Anglo-American stage, 1750-1915, including individual plays and anthologies of English and American playwrights; biographical works on performers; works on the theatre in London, the provinces, and America; periodicals, playbills, prints, broadsides, and ephemera; and works that provide cultural context for interpreting the stage. Although the collection includes some works from the 18th century, it is deepest for the English stage in the period 1850-1900.

Gift of James Ellis, 2009-2013

Subjects

Actors--Great BritainActors--United StatesAmateur theater--Great Britain--19th centuryTheater--Great Britain--19th centuryTheater--United States--19th century

Contributors

Ellis, James, 1935-

Types of material

BroadsidesLithographsPhotographs
Emery, George

George Emery Papers

1875-1977 Bulk: 1930-1977
12 boxes 15.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 982
Depiction of Tri-County Fair, ca.1920
Tri-County Fair, ca.1920

After graduating from Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1924, George Edward “Red” Emery taught high school briefly and held a handful of other jobs before deciding to fulfill a childhood dream. Born in Marlboro, Mass., in 1904, Emery turned his love for the circus into a life touring the country as a white-face circus clown. After marrying Virginia Link, a Smith College student, in 1932, he settled down to a stable job in the Alumni Office at his alma mater, later filling in as Veterans Coordinator and as a staff member in the Student Placement Office until his retirement in 1972. Emery never left the circus behind entirely. Throughout his years in Amherst he continued to talk and write about the history of the circus and his personal experiences, and from the late 1940s through early 1960s, he used his show business connections to book talent for the Tri-County Fair. Longtime residents of Leverett, Mass., he and his wife died within a year of one another, Virginia in 1974 and George in 1975.

With his passion for the circus, George Emery’s papers contain material not only from his career as a circus clown in the 1920s but also from his later writings about the history of the circus, his work with the Tri-County Fair, and his long association with UMass Amherst. The collection includes correspondence with friends and family; circus toys and games; posters, photographs, and ephemera; and a library of books on circus history. Of special note are some exceptional photographs, a few posters, and a thick sheaf of material from the Tri-County Fair.

Gift of Chris Emery, July 2017

Subjects

Circus performersCircus--HistoryClownsPigsTri-County FairUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AlumniUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Staff
Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Kenneth R. Feinberg Collection of Classical Music Programs

1967-2022
23 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 766
Depiction of Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969
Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969

Attorney and UMass alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg, well known as a mediator, special master of compensation funds, and dedicated public servant, is a longtime devotee of opera and classical music. Since his days as a law student in New York in the late 1960s, continuing through his career practicing law in Washington, D.C., Feinberg has regularly attended operas, concerts, musical theater, and other musical performances. He has also served as president of the Washington National Opera and led a private opera appreciation group.
This extensive collection of more than 1,000 items encompasses a wide range of composers, productions, concerts, companies, and venues, mainly in the United States, with some European performances represented. Documenting more than five decades of concert- and opera-going, and arranged in rough chronological order according to Feinberg’s numbering system, many of the programs are searchable by composer in an accompanying card index created by Feinberg (more recent programs are simply filed chronologically). There is also a small amount of related ephemera, including some vintage programs. Additions to the collection are ongoing.

Gift of Kenneth R. Feinberg, Nov. 2012-2022

Subjects

MusicMusical theaterOperaSymphony orchestras

Contributors

Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Types of material

Card filesEphemeraPlaybills
Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974

Sidney Finkelstein Papers

1914-1974
11 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 128

Noted critic of music, literature, and the arts, as well as a writer and an active member of the Communist Party U.S.A. Includes letters to and from Mr. Finkelstein; original manuscripts of reviews, articles, essays, and books; legal documents, educational, military, and personal records, financial papers, contracts, photographs, and lecture and course notes.

Gift of Maynard Solomon, 1986

Subjects

Art criticism--United States--History--20th centuryCommunism--United States--HistoryCommunist Party of the United States of America--History--20th centuryCommunist aesthetics--History--SourcesCulture--Study and teaching--United States--History--20th centuryMusic--History and criticismMusical criticism--United States--HistorySocialist realism--History--Sources

Contributors

Cohen, R. S. (Robert Sonné)Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974Gorton, Sally Kent, 1915-2000Hille, Waldemar, 1908-Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971Lawson, John Howard, 1894-Richmond, Al, 1913-1987Selsam, Millicent Ellis, 1912-Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-Thomson, Virgil, 1896-Veinus, Abraham

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)Photographs
Folk New England

Folk New England Ephemera Collection

1960-1973
1 oversize box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1017
Part of: Folk New England Collection
Depiction of Poster for performance by Jackie Wilson, 1964 (designed by Eric von Schmidt)
Poster for performance by Jackie Wilson, 1964 (designed by Eric von Schmidt)

Founded by Betsy Siggins in 2009, Folk New England is an organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and interpreting the cultural legacy of folk music in all its forms, with an emphasis on New England’s contribution.

The Ephemera Collection consists of dozens of posters, fliers, calendars, and other promotional materials for musical acts collected by Folk New England. Concentrated in the years of the folk revival in the late 1950s to late 1960s, many of the posters were sent to Club 47 in Cambridge, Mass.

Gift of Tom Curren and Folk New England, March 2018

Subjects

Folk music--New England

Types of material

FliersPosters
Folk New England

Folk New England Collection

Call no.: MS 1015
Depiction of Folk New England logo
Folk New England logo

Founded by Betsy Siggins in 2009, Folk New England’s mission is to document, preserve, interpret and present the ongoing cultural legacy of folk music in all its forms, with emphasis on New England’s contribution to the enrichment of North American life. The organization continues a dialogue between New England’s distinct folk music heritage and its future, through the establishment of a regional folk music archive, robust collections development and access, multi-disciplinary outreach and education, and engaging entertainment programs for the public.

The Folk New England collections document the folk music scene, broadly construed, with an emphasis on the folk revival of the late 1950s and 1960s to the present. Although the performers and music are central, the growing array of collections also documents producers, venues, photographers, and others involved in the scene.

Gift of Folk New England, April 2018-

Subjects

Folk music--New EnglandFolk musicians--New England
Föth, Jorg

Jörg Foth Papers

1965-2015
57 boxes
Call no.: MS 1062

An East German actor, writer, and film director, and an insightful analyst of German culture and film history, Jörg Foth was born in Berlin on Oct. 31, 1949. After completing military service and working briefly in television, Foth entered the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen „Konrad Wolf“ in Postdam, graduating in 1977. During his long ascent through the East German film system, he worked as an assistant director at the DEFA Studio and in GDR television and collaborated with Ulrich Weiss and others. His directorial debut came in 1984 with the children’s film Das Eismeer Ruft, however it was another six years before he was permitted to direct his second film, Biologie!, the only DEFA feature ever to deal with environmental issues. A few months after he was promoted to Director, the East German political system collapsed and the DEFA studios were closed. Foth has since worked as a freelance director and writer for both film and television.

The Foth collection provides unique insight into East German cinema; the diverse career of a noted writer, director, and actor; and more generally, the shifting artistic environment during the last years of the DDR. Along with writing and research materials from many of Foth’s films, the collection includes a range of writing, ephemera, and on topics ranging from film theory, the theater, and literature to Marx, Stalin, and Lenin.

Gift of Jörg Foth, Feb.-July 2019
Language(s): German

Subjects

DEFAMotion pictures--Germany (East)
Freeman, James A., 1935-

James A. Freeman Broadcast Radio Collection

ca.1930-1955
18 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 759

A professor of English at UMass Amherst, James A. Freeman is a scholar of seventeenth century British literature who has compiled an impressively eclectic array of publications and research projects. Educated at Amherst College (AB 1956) and the University of Minnesota (PhD 1968), Freeman joined the faculty in the English Department at UMass shortly after completing his doctorate. He has published on topics ranging from Latin and Greek poets to Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Tennyson, James Agee, Donald Duck, 17th century regicides, and 1930s radio. He has also served as a regular contributor and editor for the Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly.
The Freeman collection consists of many hundreds of cassette tapes of radio broadcasts from the 1930s through early 1950s, reflecting the culture of commercial radio during its golden age. The collection includes representatives of most of the major genres, including comedy, drama, suspense and mystery, soap operas, and westerns. There is some depth popular programs such as Amos and Andy, the Great Gildersleeve, Philip Marlowe, and Nero Wolfe, but the collection also includes less common and short-lived shows.

Subjects

Radio

Contributors

Freeman, James A., 1935-

Types of material

Audiocassettes
Frizzell, Charles, 1941-2004

Charles Frizzell Collection

1963-2004
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 081
Depiction of Charlie Frizzell, ca.1963 (from Betsy Siggins Papers)
Charlie Frizzell, ca.1963 (from Betsy Siggins Papers)

Raised in suburban Boston, Charlie Frizzell became a well-known photographer of the music scene during the height of the folk revival of the early 1960s. At the age of 14, Frizzell took up photography after landing his first job at a camera shop, and he developed his talents under the mentorship of a local commerical photographer, Bob O’Shaughnessy. As a regular at Club 47 in Cambridge, Frizzell photographed the most popular performers of the era, from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez to Geoff and Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin. He left Massachusetts in the late 1960s for Berkeley, Calif., and according to folklorist Millie Rahn, created a sort of conduit between the music scenes in Berkeley and Cambridge. Frizzell died in Berkeley on May 29, 2004, following complications from a liver transplant.

Dating primarily from the mid-1960s, the collection includes approximately 50 prints and some negatives from Charlie Frizzell, including images of Jim Kweskin, Maria Muldaur, Bob Siggins, and Bonnie Dobson, along with images of performances at Newport Folk Festival.

Transferred from Cambridge Historical Society, April 2018

Subjects

Folk musicians--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs
Green Mountain Post Films

Green Mountain Post Films Records

1968-ca.1985
10 boxes 13 linear feet
Call no.: MS 516

Co-founded by Charles Light and Daniel Keller, Green Mountain Post Films has produced and distributed films for more than twenty-five years. Their first documentary film released in 1975, Lovejoy’s Nuclear War, was one of the first films to question the nuclear energy policy of the United States. Since then GMP Films has continued to produce movies that explore social issues, and their films have been used as educational and organizational tools for activists working on peace, veteran, nuclear, environmental and other related issues.

The collection contains very little that documents the activities of GMP Films, chiefly research files, correspondence, and proposals relating to film projects either produced or under consideration. The bulk of the collection consists of alternative press publications from the 1960s-1970s.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsNuclear energy--Law and legislation--New EnglandSocial action--Massachusetts--History

Contributors

Green Mountain Post Films