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

Collecting area: Performing arts

Kerslake, Fred

Fred and Mary Kerslake Scrapbooks

ca.1890-1923
4 vols. 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 079
Depiction of Lil Kerslake and his pigs
Lil Kerslake and his pigs

Fred “Lil” Kerslake was proprietor of one of the premier performing animal acts of the turn of the twentieth century, featuring a porcine troupe that did “everything but talk.” From about 1891 through the 1930s, Kerslake’s Pigs rolled barrels and jumped ropes, climbed ladders, played see saw, and drew carriages to the delight of audiences across the United States and Europe. With his wife Mary and, after 1913, his son Fred by his side, Kerslake’s Pigs toured with Carl Hagenbeck, Walter L. Main, and Ringling Brothers. Fred and Mary retired to Gill, Mass., in 1930 where they ran a dog kennel. Fred Kerslake died at home in Sept. 1949, with Mary following in 1954.

Assembled by Fred and Mary Kerslakes, the four scrapbooks in this remarkable collection are packed with photographs and ephemera documenting their far flung travels between the 1890s and 1920s, along with promotional and candid shots of their beloved pigs, donkeys, and horses. Interspersed in the volumes are photographs of clowns and other circus performers, brochures, fliers, and posters advertising Kerslake’s Pigs and the circuses that employed them.

Gift of Chris Emery, July 2017

Subjects

Animal showsCircus performers--MassachusettsCircusesPigs

Contributors

Hagenbeck-Wallace CircusKerslake's MinstrelsKerslake's Pig CircusKerslake, Mary AnneRingling BrothersWalter L. Main Circus

Types of material

PhotographsPrinted ephemeraScrapbooks
Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston Records

1937-1997
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 466

The oldest active Polish folk dance ensemble in the United States, the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston was formed in 1937 by a group of young ladies of Polish heritage interested in promoting Polish culture through the mediums of song and dance. The club opened its membership to young men in 1947, and was offcially incorporated in 1957. Since its formation, the dancers have appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and Poland, and the group has received recognition and awards worldwide, including a special performance before his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1983.

The collection includes programs for performances from the club’s earliest days, tickets, newspaper clippings featuring articles about the group, and copies of the organization’s constitution describing the group’s mission and membership.

Subjects

Folk dancing, PolishPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston
Kweskin, Jim

Jim Kweskin Papers

1907-2018 Bulk: 1960-2018
57 boxes, flat files 85 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1064
Depiction of Jim Kweskin playing guitar at Fort Hill, 1967
Jim Kweskin playing guitar at Fort Hill, 1967

The Jug Band visionary Jim Kweskin was one of the major lights of the 1960s folk revival, and an influential figure in Americana music since. A native New Englander, Kweskin was born in Stamford, Conn., in 1940. As a student at Boston University, he was drawn into the Boston-Cambridge folk scene and inspired to learn the guitar, developing a ragtime-blues fingerpicking technique that he inflected with jazz and blues that became a bedrock style of the folk revival. Following a sojourn in California, he returned to Boston in 1963 and formed the Jug Band with Fritz Richmond, Geoff Muldaur, Bob Siggins, and Bruno Wolfe, later joined by Maria Muldaur, Mel Lyman, Bill Keith, and Richard Greene. The Jug Band developed a national following performing pre-World War II American music, laced with a sense of humor and 1960s sensibility. At the height of their popularity, the Jug Band dissolved in 1968. For several years in the 1980s and 1990s, Kweskin was relatively removed from recording, but he resumed work as a soloist, as a member of the U & I Band, the Texas Sheiks, the Jug Band; and as fellow performer with a long list of artists.

A rich record of eclectic musical tastes and a passion for American music, the Kweskin collection offers important documentation of a major figure on the folk scene. The collection includes scrapbooks, newsclippings, concert posters and fliers, and ephemera from throughout Kweskin’s career, along with hundreds of personal and prozfessional photographs of Kweskin, the Jug Band, U and I, and later collaborations. As an historian of American music, Kweskin also assembled discographies of major arists and labels and built a library of works on blues, country, and other forms of popular music, along with hundreds of 78 rpm records, 45s, LPs, and compact disc recordings. Finally, there are hundreds of reel to reel, cassette, CD, and DVD recordings of Kweskin from throughout his career.

Gift of Jim Kweskin, 2018

Subjects

Blues (Music)Folk musicians

Types of material

Open reel audiotapesPhotographsSound recordings
Lebow, Howard

Howard Lebow Papers

ca.1960-1968
4 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 115

An accomplished concert pianist and composer, Howard Miles Lebow earned both a BA and MFA at the at the Julliard School of Music. Under the tutelage of Edward Steuermann, a pupil of composer Ferruccio Busoni, Lebow exceled as a pianist, performing throughout Europe and the Americas. Joining the rapidly expanding Music faculty at the University of Massachusetts in September 1965, Lebow mixed lecturing and performing until 1968, when he died in an automobile crash at the age of 32. The Howard M. Lebow Scholarship Fund was established in his name in 1968.

The Lebow Collection contains concert programs of many of Lebow’s performances, copy manuscripts, manuscripts of his own compositions, performance notes, and newspapers clippings about and concert programs of other performers. There are also materials that were interleaved within his extensive sheet music collection, now separated and organized by composition. An extensive collection of sheet music has been added to the Libraries’ general collections.

Loring, George G. (Gid)

Gid Loring Collection

1947-1996
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1138

Jazz musician and collector George G. Loring, known as Gid, played the cornet with a number of bands including his own (Gid’s Giddy Gang), especially after retiring from a career in the financial industry. Although he never considered himself a professional musician, he kept busy playing professional and semi-professional gigs and casual jam sessions in the Boston area, occasionally in his own home in Manchester, Mass. In addition to jazz, he played swing and Dixieland. Also dedicated to the environment, he was a founder of the Manchester Conservation Trust in 1963.

This collection contains an assortment of material relating to and describing jazz music and performances mainly from the 1940s through the 1960s, including collections of letters by musicians Jim Wheaton and James Weaver (mostly written in the early 1990s), notes about Boston Jazz Society performances, and ephemera including programs and clippings, with an emphasis on Louis Armstrong.

Gift of George G. Loring, Dec. 2020

Subjects

Jazz musicians--Massachusetts

Types of material

CorrespondenceEphemeraNewsclippings
Massachusetts State College Glee Club

Massachusetts State College Glee Club

ca.1935
1 sound recording (78 rpm)
Call no.: RG 185/1

The Massachusetts State College Glee Club recorded ten songs onto 78 r.p.m. disk in the mid-1930s. One of the few early recordings of the group, the recording includes the Massachusetts State College alma mater, fight songs, and other typical collegiate fare.

Subjects

Massachusetts State College--StudentsMen’s choral societies--Massachusetts

Contributors

Massachusetts State College. Glee Club

Types of material

Sound recordings
Mexican Playwrights

Mexican Playwrights Collection

1967-1978
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 399

Photocopies of typescripts of plays by Mexican playwrights, such as Carlos Ancira, Wilberto Canton, Marcela del Rio, and Margarita Urueta.

Subjects

Plays--Mexican

Types of material

Plays
Miscellaneous Manuscripts

Miscellaneous Manuscripts

1717-2003
6 boxes 5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 719

Miscellaneous Manuscripts is an artificial collection that brings together single items and small groups of related materials. Although the collection reflects the general collecting emphases in SCUA, particularly the history of New England, the content ranges widely in theme and format.

Subjects

Massachusetts--Economic conditions--18th centuryMassachusetts--Economic conditions--19th centuryMassachusetts--HistoryMassachusetts--Politics and governmentMassachusetts--Social conditions--18th centuryMassachusetts--Social conditions--19th centuryMassachusetts--Social conditions--20th century

Types of material

Account booksCorrespondencePhotographs
Morey, Robert

Robert Morey Collection

1966-2002 Bulk: 1966-1975
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 082

Bob Morey photographed the folk scene in New England during the late 1960s and early 1970s, concentrating especially on Club 47 and other venues in Cambridge and Boston.

Consisting primarily of images of musicians in performance, the Morey collection contains prints of Eric Anderson, Chuck Berry, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Frank Zappa, among others, along with a few contact sheets. Also included are an issue of Broadside and a run of monthly calendars from Club 47 dating between September 1966 and the summer 1967.

Gift of Folk New England, AprIl 2018.

Subjects

Club 47 (Cambridge, Mass.)Folk musicians--PhotographsRock musicians--Photographs

Types of material

Calendars (documents)Photographs
Moss, Bernard

Bernie Moss Collection

ca. 1960-1978
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 062
Depiction of Bernie Moss with two unidentified women in Moss's home, 1962
Bernie Moss with two unidentified women in Moss's home, 1962

A fixture of the Boston Jazz scene, Bernie Moss began taking photographs in the early 1960s, capturing musicians on stage and after hours in the clubs he frequented. Musicians that Moss would meet at Connelly’s, the Savoy Cafe, Lennie’s on the Turnpike, and later the Jazz Workshop, would often come to Moss’s apartment at 11 Queensberry Street where he would give them a place to stay and a meal. His generosity and love of the music and musicians was renown among the top artists of the era; inspiring Dexter Gordon to compose the song “Boston” Bernie Moss in his honor. Moss was born on Christmas day in 1908 and grew up in a Jewish household. He played trombone as a member of the Massachusetts National Guard 241st Coast Artillery Regiment from 1929 to approximately 1939 but spent the remainder of his life looking after the Boston apartment buildings he inherited from his father, known as the Moss Realty Co. According to Nat Hentoff in his memoir Boston Boy, “he took care that none of his tenants ever knew him as a landlord. His brother collected the rent, and the janitor received all the complaints about services. Bernie just showed up to talk about jazz.” Moss died on February 13th, 1988.

The Bernie Moss Photograph Collection primarily consists of Moss’s color photographs taken at Boston Jazz clubs in the 1960s and early 1970s. The photographs include musicians Alan Dawson, Roy Haynes, John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, and many more. Moss’s amateur style brings life to some of the most important years of modern Jazz, showing Jazz greats at the height of their powers, often in informal settings. Many photographs were mounted and catalogued as part of a traveling exhibit curated by the Boston Jazz Society.

Subjects

Jazz musicians--Massachusetts--Boston--PhotographsJazz--Massachusetts--Boston--Photographs

Types of material

Color prints (photographs)