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

Collecting area: Massachusetts (West)

UMass Peacemakers

UMass Peacemakers Records

1965-1990 Bulk: 1983-1990
10 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 309
Depiction of Peacemakers contingent at the Four Days in April protests, 1984
Peacemakers contingent at the Four Days in April protests, 1984

Although the precise origins of UMass Peacemakers are murky, by 1982, the group was an active presence on the UMass Amherst campus organizing opposition to militarism and the nuclear arms race and providing support for the nuclear freeze movement. Organizing vigils, demonstrations, informational workshops, and providing civil disobedience training, the Peacemakers were the most visible pacifist group on the UMass Amherst campus in the 1980s.

The UMass Peacemakers Records focus on the activities of the student group between 1983 and 1990, documenting their role in confronting the aggressive international expansionism of the Reagan administration and its “Star Wars” program, while also engaging at the local and national level by organizing rallies, lectures, poetry readings, and film screenings. At UMass, Peacemakers was part of the larger Progressive Student Network, and worked alongside other student organizations including the Radical Student Union.

Gift of Peacemakers through Peter Sakura, May 1991

Subjects

Antinuclear movements--Massachusetts--AmherstCentral America--Foreign relations--United StatesDisarmament--MassachusettsPeace movements--Massachusetts--AmherstStudent movements--Massachusetts--AmherstUnited States--Foreign relations--Central AmericaUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--StudentsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts

Contributors

American Friends Service CommitteeUMass Peacemakers

Types of material

BrochuresPhotographs
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Records

1885-1978
57 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 110

The first local of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners to be founded in western Massachusetts was chartered in 1885 as Springfield Local 96, followed in quick order by locals in Holyoke (390) and Chicopee (685). With the pace of unionization picking up at the turn of the century, the Springfield District Council was established in 1906 to coordinate collective bargaining efforts and apprenticeships, and to enforce work rules in the local construction industry. Holyoke carpenters formed their own District Council soon thereafter. Tthe logic of consolidation and a unified voice eventually led the Springfield locals to consolidate as Local 32 in 1968, which in turn merged with the Holyoke District Council in 1973 to form Local 108.

The records of the Western Massachusetts locals and district councils of the UBCJA documents the rise of unionization among carpenters in the Connecticut River Valley since the 1880s. This collection represents a merger of separate accessions for the District Councils in Springfield (MS 110), the Pioneer Valley (MS 231), and Holyoke (MS 108), along with post-merger records for Local 108. In general, each has been maintained as a distinct series

Subjects

Carpenters--Labor unionsLabor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
United Congregational Church of Holyoke (Holyoke, Mass.)

United Congregational Church of Holyoke (Holyoke, Mass.) Records

ca.1830-1990
9 boxes 13.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 787
Depiction of First Congregational Church, ca.1910
First Congregational Church, ca.1910

The present day United Congregational Church of Holyoke is the product of complex history of growth and consolidation of five separate churches responding to the changing demographics and spiritual needs of the city. Established in 1799, the First Congregational Church in Holyoke was initially a small congregation perched above the floodplain south of the center of town, sharing preachers with the equally sparse population of Baptists until the establishment of the First Baptist Church in 1826. The First Congregational Church was finally erected in 1838, and ten years later, the Second Church was established in to serve the needs of the growing Protestant population in the city center, building their own church in 1853 as the mill economy was booming. Reaching out to the millworkers, members of the Second Church opened the Grace Mission in 1870, which spun off into its own church in 1896. Skinner Chapel was founded in 1909 as an addition to the Second Congregational Church, dedicated to the prominent Skinner family. Finally, the German Reformed Church was organized in 1892, though meetings were held years earlier. In the latter part of the twentieth century, however, declining memberships in each of these churches led to a series of mergers, beginning in 1961 when the German Reformed Church united with the First Congregational to become the First United Congregational Church. Grace Church and the First UCC merged in 1973 to become Grace United, and in 1996, Grace joined with the Second Congregational Church to become the present UCC of Holyoke.

The records of the UCC of Holyoke document over 200 years of the ecclesiatical history of an industrial city. In addition to records of membership, baptisms, marriages, and church governance, the collection includes valuable records of the women’s missionary society, the German Maenner Bund, and a long run of church newsletters that offer insight into the weekly course of events in the religious community. Materials relating to Skinner Chapel are part of the collections of Wistariahurst Museum.

Subjects

Congregational churches--Massachusetts--HolyokeHolyoke (Mass.)--Religious life and customsMissionaries--Massachusetts

Contributors

First Congregational Church (Holyoke, Mass.)German Reformed Church (Holyoke, Mass.)Grace Church (Holyoke, Mass.)Second Congregational Church (Holyoke, Mass.)

Types of material

NewslettersPhotographs
United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Local 1459

United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, Local 1459 Records

1977-1985
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 046

Established in Springfield, Mass., in 1938, Local 1459 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents the interests of its members in the workplace and the community in western Massachusetts and Vermont. The UCFW was formed in June 1979 from the merger of the Retail Clerks International Union and Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, creating the largest affiliated union in the AFL-CIO. Mergers with the Barbers, Beauticians and Allied Industries International Association and United Retail Workers Union followed in 1980 and 1981.

The records of UFCW Local 1459 include the 1979 constitution and merger agreement with UFCW, contracts with local businesses, and several issues of the newsletter, The Union Leader, both before and after chartering with UFCW.

Subjects

Food industry and trade--Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

Retail Clerks International Union. Local 1459 (Springfield, Mass.)

Types of material

Contracts
Urban League of Springfield

Urban League of Springfield Records

1972-1975
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 150

A community development and service agency founded in 1914, the Urban League of Springfield works to secure equal opportunity for minority groups in such fields as employment, education, housing, health, and personal welfare.

This small collection is tightly focused on the period of the school busing (desegregation) crisis in Springfield, 1974-1975, and the League’s efforts to analyze and respond to the underlying issues in race relations and political engagement. The contents include surveys on racial attitudes and voting behavior in the city along with a selection of publications from the League and a set of board minutes and handouts.

Subjects

School integration--Massachusetts--SpringfieldSpringfield (Mass.)--History--20th centurySpringfield (Mass.)--Politics and governmentSpringfield (Mass.)--Race relations
Valley Light Opera

Valley Light Opera Records

1977-2005
12 boxes 18.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 476

Founded in 1975 by a group of Gilbert and Sullivan devotees, the Valley Light Opera is based in Amherst, Massachusetts. VLO presents one fully staged opera and one less formal production every year, and over the years the company has presented all fourteen of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at least once.

This collection contains a wonderful visual record of VLO productions with hundreds of photographs capturing dozens of performances. The collection contains, too, records that document the company’s activities from the moment an opera is selected to be performed to last curtain call.

Gift of Valley Light Opera, 2005-2010

Subjects

Theatrical companies--Massachusetts

Contributors

Valley Light Opera
Valley Peace Center (Amherst, Mass.)

Valley Peace Center Records

1965-1973
28 boxes 13.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 301

In the summer of 1967, members of University of Massachusetts Amherst campus groups, such as the Faculty Group on War and Peace and the Students for Political Action, joined with individuals from other area colleges and from the community at large to form the Valley Peace Center of Amherst for the purposes of opposing the Vietnam War, providing draft counseling, eliciting pledges from the government to avoid first use of nuclear and biological weapons, and reduction of the power of the “military-industrial complex”. The Center was active for more than five and a half years, drawing its financial support largely from the community and its human resources from student and community volunteers.

Correspondence, minutes, volunteer and membership lists, financial records, newsletters, questionnaires, notes, petitions, clippings, posters, circulars, pamphlets, periodicals, other printed matter, and memorabilia. Includes material relating to alternative service, boycotts, war tax resistance, prison reform, environmental quality, and political candidates.

Gift of Nonny Burack and Dean A. Allen, 1974

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th centuryDraft--United States--HistoryPacifists--MassachusettsPeace movements--Massachusetts--AmherstSocial movements--Massachusetts--AmherstVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts--AmherstWestover Air Force Base (Mass.)--History--20th century

Contributors

Valley Peace Center (Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

EphemeraPamphlets
Valley Women’s Union

Valley Women's Union Records

1974-1976
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 201

The Valley Women’s Union was established in 1974 by members of the Valley Women’s Center, Northampton, Massachusetts, who were committed to political change benefiting women. They were concerned that the Valley Women’s Center had become a static umbrella organization and that many of its formerly vital functions had been absorbed by local social service agencies The VWU sought to unify groups that were working for political change beneficial to women.

Records include newsletters, agendas for meetings, reports, position papers, and mailings.

Gift of Dale Melcher, 1986

Subjects

Feminism--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--HistoryFeminists--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity--HistorySocial change--Political activity--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--HistoryWomen--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity --History

Contributors

Valley Women's Union (Northampton, Mass.)
Valley Women's History Collaborative

Valley Women's History Collaborative Records

1971-2008
15 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 531

During the early phases of second wave feminism (1968-1978), the Pioneer Valley served as a center for lesbian and feminist activity in western Massachusetts, and was home to over 400 hundred, often ad hoc, groups, such as the Abortion and Birth Control (ABC) Committee, ISIS Women’s Center, the Mudpie Childcare Cooperative, and the Springfield Women’s Center.

The records of the Valley Women’s History Collaborative document the activities of these groups as well as the efforts of the founders of the Women Studies program and department at UMass Amherst to preserve this history. Of particular value are the many oral histories conducted by the collaborative that record the history of women’s activism in the Pioneer Valley, especially as it relates to reproductive rights.

Gift of Susan Tracy, 2006, 2009

Subjects

Abortion--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--History--20th centuryBirth control--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--History--20th centuryFeminism--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--HistoryFeminists--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity--HistoryMary Vazquez Women's Softball LeagueWomen--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity--History

Contributors

Valley Women's History Collaborative

Types of material

Oral histories
Van Dusen, J. M.

J.M. Van Dusen Ledgers

1865-1910
5 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 188 bd

Tinsmith and plumber from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Mentions items he repaired and cleaned (stoves, furnaces, pots, pans, tinware, glassware, and crockery), goods sold (lamps, wash basins, kitchen utensils, shovels, fuel, and furnaces), occasional mention of payment with goods, lists of suppliers, and lists of customers, many of whom were prominent people in the community.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

Business enterprises--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History--19th centuryHeating--Equipment and supplies--HistoryHouse furnishings--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--HistoryPlumbers--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th centuryPlumbing--Equipment and supplies--HistoryStockbridge (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryTinsmiths--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

J.M. Van Dusen Plumbing and Heating Co.Van Dusen, J. M.

Types of material

Account books