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

Collecting area: New England

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
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)
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
Vassalboro Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Vassalboro Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1858-2010
9 vols., 1 box 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 V377

Friends began to gather for worship in Vassalboro, Maine, in 1780, shortly after Quakers began to settle the Kennebeck Valley to escape the American Revolution. Their numbers grew sufficiently to be granted states as a monthly meeting in 1787, and they have subsequently been the sponsor for a number of worship groups and preparatory meetings in central Maine, as well as the source from which five monthly meetings have been laid off.

The records of Vassalboro Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) are spotty and incomplete, but include minutes of meetings for business from 1950s through 1980s, sporadic financial records, and a substantial, but incomplete series of newsletters from 1987-2010.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MaineSociety of Friends--MaineVassalboro (Me.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Financial recordsMinutes (Administrative records)NewslettersVital records (Document genre)
Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1914-2007
1 vol., 4 boxes 1.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 V3778

Serving as a Quaker quarterly meeting for central Maine, Vassalboro Quarterly was set off from Falmouth Quarter in 1813. Over the years, it has coordinated nearly two dozen monthly meetings extending as far north and east as Cobscook. Farmington Quarter was set off from it in 1841, but returned in 1952.

The records for Vassalboro Quarterly are substantially incomplete, but document the Quaker meeting from the 1970s through 2000s. Among other records are a highly incomplete set of minutes (and “records,” which are the materials distributed during meetings); a more complete, but still partial run of newsletters; and the records of Ministry and Counsel from the mid-1990s through mid-2000s.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Maine--Religious life and customsQuakers--MaineSociety of Friends--Maine

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Vega, Carlos

Carlos Vega Collection

ca.1966-1995
148 volumes, 1 box, 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 800
Depiction of Carlos Vega ca. 1990
Carlos Vega ca. 1990

An Ecuadorian-born community activist, Carlos Vega moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, with his family in 1955. Settling in the working-class “Flats” neighborhood at a time when many of Holyoke’s factories were relocating to the southern United States or Asia, the Vegas were one of the few Spanish-speaking families in the city, but when Carlos began to work on a local tobacco farm at the age of 14, he encountered the new influx of migrants from Puerto Rico who had been lured to the Connecticut Valley as agricultural laborers by the Department of Labor. With the Puerto Rican economy declining in the 1960s, many of these farm workers settled permanently in Springfield and Holyoke, but they soon discovered that the declining economy there combined with racism and urban decay blocked their hopes for upward mobility. Radicalized by the anti-colonial, anti-war, and Civil Rights movements of the late 1960s, Vega emerged as an important community organizer in the 1970s, working with Fair Share, New Unity, Urban Ministry, and other progressive organizations. With a backdrop of riots, arson, and racial tension, these organizations focused on issues relevant to the Puerto Rican community, particularly voter education and registration, fair housing, and education. In 1982, Vega helped found Nueva Esperanza, a non-profit community development organization whose mission was to restore and maintain blighted buildings in South Holyoke. He worked with Nueva Esperanza for over 30 years, continuing until 2010 after a brain cancer diagnosis in 1995.  He survived until April 2012.

The materials in this collection reflect Vega’s interests in left wing movements in Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, South America and Africa from the 1960s through 1980s and include leaflets, pamphlets, books, and newsletters. The approximately 300 items offer sometimes scarce documentation of internationalist liberation movements such as the PAIGC in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, the Tupamaros in Uruguay, and the EFLNA in Eritrea. Of particular note is a small collection documenting Vega’s participation in the 1974 Venceremos Brigade and a collection of clippings, newsletters, notes, fliers, conference material, and newspapers from various groups such as New England Action Research, Friends of the Filipino People, The Latin American Student Association, and the Ethiopian Students Union of North America. Some printed materials are cataloged and housed with the rare books collection.

Gift of Jesse Vega-Fry, Apr. 2012

Subjects

Central America--Foreign relations--United StatesCivil Rights movements--AfricaCivil Rights movements--Central AmericaCivil Rights movements--ChileCivil Rights movements--United StatesCivil Rights movements-AsiaCivil Rights movements-CaribbeanLatin America--PeriodicalsNicaragua--History--1979-1990Radicalism--United StatesRevolutionary literatureSocialismUnited States--Foreign relations--Central AmericaVenceremos Brigade