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

Collecting area: Massachusetts (East)

Thacher-Channing families

Thacher-Channing Family Papers

1757-1930
3 boxes, books 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1005
Depiction of Stephen Thacher, ca.1853
Stephen Thacher, ca.1853

A graduate of Yale, failed schoolmaster, and politically-connected customs collector in eastern Maine during the antebellum period, Stephen Thacher raised a large family with grand intellectual ambitions. Thacher’s sons made the most of their collegiate educations in their careers in law and the ministry, his eldest daughter Mary married Thomas Wentworth Higginson, while a granddaughter Alice Thacher married the Harvard historian Edward Channing, son of William Ellery Channing and nephew of Margaret Fuller.

These relics of a prominent New England family contain nearly 150 letters, dozens of photographs and other visual materials, and a large assortment of books from three generations of Thachers and Channings. The letters are a rich resource for understanding the life of Stephen Thacher from the uncertainty of youth in Connecticut to political and financial success in the ports of eastern Maine. Assembled by Stephen’s son Peter, the collection includes a number of noteworthy items, including an excellent letter from Timothy Goodwin in July 1775, describing his experiences during the failed expedition on Quebec and the retreat to Crown Point, and a series of letters from Congressman Martin Kinsley on the major issues of the day, including the extension of slavery to the territories and formation of the state of Maine.

Gift of Ben Forbes and Fran Soto, 2017

Subjects

Channing familyMaine--Politics and government--19th centuryMassachusetts--Politics and government--19th centuryThacher family

Types of material

AmbrotypesDaguerreotypesPhotographsSilhouettes
Tilton, Hannah

Hannah Tilton Account Book

1845-1885
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 250 bd

Born into a working class family from New Bedford, Mass., in Nov. 1829, Hannah Sisson was the daughter of a cooper Job Tilton and his wife Patience, and was raised in the multigenerational home owned by her grandparents John and Nancy Tilton. In April 1853, Hannah married George Oliver Tilton, a farmer from Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, and moved to the island.

The first 340 pages of this daybook detail the daily transactions of a general store in New Bedford between 1845 and 1847. The store traded in very small quantities of consumable goods, ranging from a gallon of molasses to 150 crackers, a pound of butter, a peck of potatoes or apples, flour, pork, and fish. Most purchases were for less than a dollar.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

General stores--Massachusetts--New BedfordNew Bedford (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Daybooks
Undertaker (Wrentham, Mass.)

Undertaker and Home Furnishings Dealer Account Book

1881
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 171 bd

Owner of business (identity unknown) who served in the vicinity of Wrentham, Massachusetts, as a purveyor of home decorating supplies and furnishings and as an undertaker. The account book includes records of goods for sale and services provided (repairing and upholstering furniture, packing bodies in ice, carrying to tomb, grave digging, etc.); forms of payment (cash, exchange of goods such as soap, eggs, tables, and chairs, and exchange of services); and lists of customers, including City Mills Felting Company, A.H. Morse, J.A. Guild, Joseph Hutchinson, Charles Scott, and Foster Smith.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

Undertakers and undertaking--Massachusetts--WrenthamWrentham (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Account books
United Auto Workers. District 65 Boston University Local

UAW District 65 Collection

ca.1985
1 folder 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 320

The decision of clerical and technical workers at Boston University to organize with District 65 of the UAW was as rooted in the labor movement as it was in the womens movement. By the early 1970s, office workers at B.U. were dissatsified with working conditions that included — among other grievances — sexual harassment and a classification system that did not value “women’s work.” In 1979 after an intense struggle with the administration, B.U. finally recognized the union and signed their first contract.

The collection includes a printed history and videotape documenting unionization activities at Boston University’s Medical Campus.

Gift of Leslie Lomasson

Subjects

Boston University. Medical CampusCollective bargaining--Professions--Massachusetts--BostonCollective labor agreements--Medical personnel --Massachusetts--Boston--HistoryLabor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

United Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65

Types of material

Videotapes
United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union

United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union Local 4 Records

1945-1995
10 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 415

The United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union (UHCMW) was formed in 1934 by the merger of the United Hatters of North America and the Cloth Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union, settling deep rifts between the competing unions. For five decades, the UHCMW organized the declining hat and millinery trade in the United States until it merged into the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) in 1983, which merged in 1995 into the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to form UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees).

The collection documents UHCMW Local 4, representing workers in Boston and Framingham, from 1945 through the time of its merger into the ACTWU. The series of ledgers and documents in the collection include documents concerning health and retirement benefits for union members, bargaining agreements, and financial records for the local, as well as a small assortment of correspondence, memoranda, and minutes of meetings.

Subjects

Hat trade--Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

United Hatters, Cap, and Millinery Workers International Union
Uxbridge Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Uxbridge Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1783-1898
12 vols. 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 U937

Located in Uxbridge, Mass., on the border with Rhode Island, Uxbridge Monthly Meeting was formally established in 1783. During the nineteenth century, this Quaker meeting was home to well-known abolitionists Abby Kelley Foster and Effingham Capron, but it declined in membership by 1900 and changed name to Worcester Monthly Meeting in 1907. A worship group currently meets in the historic Uxbridge Meetinghouse.

A small but important Quaker meeting, Uxbridge Monthly is documented by over a century of minutes, vital records, and other materials. The interrelated collections for Worcester and Pleasant Street Monthly Meetings are described separately.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsUxbridge (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Vital records (Document genre)
Walker, Mary Morris

Mary Morris Walker Papers

1868-2003 Bulk: 1944-2003
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 775

An avid botanist and naturalist, Mary (Morris) Walker was born in Stamford, Conn., on April 1, 1923, the daughter of renowed surgeon and naturalist Robert Tuttle Morris. After graduating from Vassar in 1944, Morris took her MA in Geology at the University of Michigan, marrying a fellow geologist Eugene H. Walker in 1947. Moving to Kentucky, Iowa, and Idaho before settling in Concord, Mass., in 1968, the Walkers raised three children. In Concord, Walker studied for an MA in library science at Simmons College (1971), but her work in botany and natural history became increasingly important. As a plant collector, writer, and educator, Walker traveled widely in the United States and the Caribbean, and she became a leader in organizations including the New England Wild Flower Society, the New England Botanical Club, the Thoreau Society, and the Appalachian Mountain Club. Walker died in Concord on Oct. 2, 2012.

The Walker Papers are a rich assemblage of materials documenting the life of an energetic amateur botanist. Beginning during her time as a student at Vassar, the collection offers insight into Walker’s growing interest in the natural sciences, her botanizing, and her commitments to several organizations devoted to natural history. The collection also includes a small number of letters and photographs of Walker’s father, Robert T. Morris.

Gift of Cynthia Gray and Arthur Walker, Apr. 2013

Subjects

BotanizersBotany--Study and teachingNew England Botanical ClubNew England Wild Flower SocietyThoreau Society
Ward, Dana F.

Dana F. Ward Diaries

1897-1982 Bulk: 1904-1951
2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 577

Born in Chelsea, Mass., in 1874, and a long-time resident of Somerville, Dana F. Ward enjoyed a prominent career in the fisheries industry in Massachusetts. Entering the wholesale fish business in 1900 when he organized the firm of Whitman, Ward, and Lee, Ward became Director and Advertising Manager of the Boston Fish Market Corporation (builder and operator of the Fish Pier) and an investor. Before the U.S. entry into the First World War, Ward was employed by the state to lecture on the benefits of frozen fish as a food source. An active member in both the Congregational Church and local Masonic lodge, he married Katherine B. Symonds (d. 1948) in Leominster in October 1899.

Personal in nature, the Ward diaries provide a chronicle of the daily life of a relatively well to do fish wholesaler from 1897 through 1951, with some gaps. Generally small in size, the diaries are densely written and are laid in with letters, various sorts of documents, stamps, newsclippings, and other ephemera that help define the contours of Ward’s life. The collection is particularly rich for the years during the Second World War and it includes three diaries (1967, 1977, 1982) from later family members.

Acquired from Ben Katz, Nov. 2008

Subjects

Fisheries--MassachusettsSomerville (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Ward, Dana F

Types of material

Diaries
WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

ca.1968-2010
Call no.: MS 788
Depiction of

On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The station’s eclectic and unpredictable broadcasts included music from little-known performers who would emerge into the biggest acts of the day; regularly scheduled live musical performances from local clubs; trenchant political analysis and newscasts of the major events of the day; interviews with legendary cultural figures; and innovative new shows including one of the first women’s programs and the Lavender Hour, the nation’s first regularly broadcast LGBT radio show. Music, politics, culture, and community were intensely interconnected through WBCN, while its “listener line,” which took calls and answered questions on any subject, helped make it a virtual two-way hub for countercultural Boston.

While producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974, former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein recognized the importance of archiving the wealth of primary materials that told the story of WBCN, its community and the dramatic changes of the era. The American Revolution Documentary Collection is the product of Lichtenstein’s energy, serving as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people who witnessed and took part in an extended public conversation on the direction of our nation during the period of profound social, political, and cultural upheaval and who used media to help change it.

WBCN and the American Revolution collections include:

Selected recordings from the Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. ​Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID’s, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN-FM’s launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/

Subjects

Alternative radio broadcasting--MassachusettsBoston (Mass.)--History--20th centuryCambridge (Mass.)--History--20th centuryNineteen sixtiesRock musicVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)

Types of material

PhotographsSound recordings
Weatherby, Una F.

Una F. Weatherby Collection

1924-1934
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 036
Depiction of Gravestone in Putnam, Conn.
Gravestone in Putnam, Conn.

The botanical illustrator and writer Una Foster Weatherby (1878-1957) was an early student of New England gravestones. Born in Texas in 1878, Una Leonora Foster met a young pteridologist Charles Alfred Weatherby (1875-1949) while traveling abroad in 1910, and seven years later, the couple wed. As Charles advanced in his career to a position at the Gray Herbarium at Harvard, Una became his close associate, working with in the field and as illustrator and photographer. Among the many interests the couple developed was a fascination with photographing early American gravestones, and over the last three decades of her life, Una published occasionally on the subject. She died in Cambridge on August 17, 1957, and is interred with her husband at Center Cemetery in East Hartford, Conn.

The Weatherby collection consists of a substantial typed manuscript illustrating early American gravestones, mostly from New England. Meticulously assembled, the manuscript is divided into six thematic sections based on gravestone design (death’s heads, winged cherubs, wingless cherubs, portrait stones, symbolic stones, and designs and willows). Each stone is represented by a single photograph pasted onto a page, along with a transcription of the epitaph and occasional comments on the design and date on which the information was recorded. Although most stones are from Connecticut and Massachusetts, a few stones from Virginia and South Carolina are included.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--ConnecticutSepulchral monuments--MassachusettsSepulchral monuments--New Hampshire

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesWeatherby, Una F

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooks