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

Collecting area: Oral history

Quakers of Color

Quakers of Color International Archive

2019
14 interviews
Call no.: MS 1095

Launched by Harold D. Weaver in 2019, the Quakers of Color International Archive is part of a global initiative to document the beliefs, experiences, and contributions of people of color within the Society of Friends. Supported collaboratively by the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends and the archives at UMass Amherst and Haverford College, the archive uses oral history and other approaches to document as fully as possible, the range of ideas and practices from all faith traditions within the Society.

An on-going project, the oral histories comprising the archive were conducted by Weaver and associates beginning in 2019. Representing Friends from several Yearly Meetings, the interviews include discussions of faith background and spiritual growth, theological orientation, Quaker identity, relations with monthly and yearly meetings, and the conduct of Quaker “business.”

Subjects

African American QuakersQuakers--Religious lifeSociety of Friends--BoliviaSociety of Friends--HistorySociety of Friends--KenyaSociety of Friends--MaineSociety of Friends--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Pennsylvania

Contributors

Lapsansky-Werner, EmmaWeaver, Harold D.

Types of material

Motion pictures (Visual works)Oral histories (Literary works)
Rowinska, Leokadia

Leokadia Rowinska Papers

1917-1988
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 102

Courier for the underground in Nazi occupied Poland during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising who was apprehended and placed in a concentration camp. After the war she and her husband moved from England to Holyoke, Massachusetts. Includes typescripts and photocopies of short stories; “Ameryce”, a booklet of poems; Poklosie, a book of poems published in Polish and English (Artex Press, 1987); audiotaped oral histories of Leokadia and Stanley Rowinski (primarily in Polish) done by their children; and photographs, audiotape, program and text of poems read at a public reading.

Gift of Leokadia Rowinska, Nov. 1985 and Stanley Rasdosh, 1988
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Polish Americans--Massachusetts--HolyokeWorld War, 1939-1945

Types of material

Oral histories
Shapiro, Leon

Leon Shapiro Papers

1939-1985
15 boxes 8.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 127

Historian, author, Professor of Russian and Soviet Jewish History at Rutgers University, who helped arrange the escape of Jews from Europe during World War II and was active in several organizations concerned with the emigration of Soviet and Eastern European Jews to Palestine. Papers include biographical materials, correspondence, legal documents, writings, lecture and research materials, statistical data in the world Jewish population before and after World War II, oral history transcripts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and four photographs.

Subjects

Europe, Eastern--Ethnic relations--History--20th centuryIsrael--Emigration and immigration--HistoryIsrael--History--1948-1967Jews, Soviet--History--SourcesJews--Europe, Eastern--History--SourcesJews--Migration--HistoryJews--Population--HistoryJews--Soviet Union--History--SourcesOccupational training for Jews--History--SourcesPalestine--History--1929-1948Romania--Emigration and immigration--HistoryRutgers University--CurriculaRutgers University--FacultySoviet Union--Ethnic relations--HistoryWorld ORT Union--History

Contributors

Shapiro, Leon

Types of material

Oral historiesPhotographs
Slonecker, Blake, 1981-

Blake Slonecker Collection

2008
4 items 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 795

An historian of twentieth century social movements, Blake Slonecker received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and joined the history faculty at Waldorf College soon thereafter. In a dissertation examining the utopian impulses of the New Left (published in 2012 as A new dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the long sixties), Slonecker explored how the political and cultural activism of the 1960s helped reshape American political culture in the decade following.

In June 2008, Slonecker conducted oral historical interviews with four individuals who were part of the extended community centered on the Montague Farm and Packer Corners communes during the late 1960s: Tom Fels, Charles Light, Sam Lovejoy, and Richard Wizansky. In wide-ranging interviews, the former communards discuss topics ranging from the fraught politics of the era, political and cultural activism, gender roles and sexuality, and daily life on the communes.

Gift of Blake Slonecker, Aug. 2013

Subjects

Amherst CollegeBabbitt, Elwood, 1922-Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)Clamshell AllianceGreen Mountain Post FilmsJohnson Pasture Community (Vt.)Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Musicians United for Safe EnergyPacker Corners Community (Vt.)Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

Fels, Thomas WestonLight, CharlesLovejoy, SamWizansky, Richard

Types of material

AudiocassettesOral histories (document genres)
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Black Pioneers Project

Black Pioneers Project Records

2018-2019
0.1 linear feet
Call no.: RG 050/9
UMass Black Pioneer T-Shirt logo
UMass Amherst Black Pioneers T-Shirt logo, 2016

Moved to action after a successful and illuminating 2016 reunion of Black alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, alumna Dr. Cheryl L. Evans (1968) decided to take on the critical project identified by the group, collecting and documenting the stories of the Black alumni who attended the University between 1960 and 1970. Dubbing these students “Black Pioneers,” given the dearth, and then growth, of Black students on campus during the decade, Evans used her connections with alumni and her history as a Black student leader to reach out about recording experiences for preservation and research purposes. In collaboration with Special Collections and University Archives, Evans began the “UMass Black Pioneers Project,” and sent an online questionnaire to around 85 alumni in September 2018. The survey addresses alumni’s backgrounds, academic and social experiences on campus, occasions of racial discrimination and activism, and current perceptions of the University and advice for students. Participation was voluntary, and is ongoing.

The UMass Black Pioneers Project Records contain some planning materials and correspondence for the project, and primarily consist of written answers made in response to the “UMass Black Pioneers Survey.” In addition to the questionnaire, participants were able to send in physical materials, or upload digital content, such as resumes, or videos of their responses, and the collection contains a few of these. Several participants willing to be interviewed were also connected with UMass Public History graduate students for oral histories in the Fall 2018 semester. These videos are a part of the record group, and there are plans to conduct additional interviews.

Aquired with the assistance of Cheryl L. Evans, 2018

Subjects

African American college students--MassachusettsRacism in educationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AlumniUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Students

Types of material

Oral historiesQuestionnaires
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
Weiner, Tom M.

Tom Weiner Oral History Collection

2004-2008
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 729

Growing up in Elmont, Long Island and Teaneck, New Jersey, Tom Weiner attended Trinity College before facing the draft in 1971. After failing the physical and mental examination, Weiner studied alternative education in England, Europe, and Israel on a Watson Fellowship. Upon his return in 1972, he began study at NYU law school, but soon left the city for Northampton, Massachusetts. A life-long social justice activist, Weiner has worked as a sixth grade teacher for the past twenty-five years.

With a lottery number of 117, Tom Weiner knew for certain that he would be drafted immediately upon graduation from Trinity College. Decades later, Weiner was inspired to collect the stories of the men and women who came of age during the Vietnam War era. This collection consists of the oral history interviews, recordings and transcripts, Weiner collected, thirty of which appear in his book Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft.

Subjects

Draft--United States--History--20th centuryVietnam War, 1961-1975--Conscientious objectorsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Draft resistersVietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives

Contributors

Weiner, Tom M.

Types of material

Oral histories
White Light Communications

White Light Communications Collection

1989-1999
150 items 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 984

A not-for-profit media company based in Burlington, Vermont, White Light Communications produced dozens of videos during the late 1980s and early 1990s reflecting the voices and experiences of psychiatric survivors. With initial funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Executive Director Paul Engels and his colleagues, all psychiatric survivors themselves, built a fully-equipped television production studio and conducted nearly one hundred interviews with ex-patients and leaders in the antipsychiatry movement. Although most of the interviews were conducted in Burlington, they also produced documentaries, and covered national events such as the final two Alternatives conferences and “Self Help Live,” a broadcast that focused on highlighting consumer/survivor leaders.

The hundreds of video interviews and other productions that comprise the White Light Communications collection were produced by, for, and about psychiatric survivors. Paul Engels interviewed nearly a hundred ex-patients including important leaders in the movement such as Judi Chamberlin, Sally Zinman, Howie the Harp, and George Ebert, and several episodes focused on the mental health system and activism in Vermont. The subjects of the interviews range widely from homelessness to involuntary treatment, peer support, suicide, surviving the mental health system, and the history of the psychiatric survivors movement.

Gift of Paul Engels, May 2017

Subjects

AntipsychiatryCivil rights movements--United StatesEx-mental patientsMental health services--United StatesMental illness--Alternative treatmentMentally ill--Social conditionsPsychiatric survivors movement

Contributors

Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010Dart, Justin, 1930-2002Ebert, GeorgeEngels, PaulMillett, KateZinman, Sally

Types of material

Oral histories (Document genres)U-maticVideotapes
WMUA Records

WMUA Records

1947-2022 Bulk: 1985-2014
9 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 45/30 W6

Unidentified DJ in the WMUA master control room, ca. 1985

WMUA is UMass’ student/community run non-commercial FM radio station. In continuous operation since 1948, initially as an AM station, it serves the campus and surrounding communities in the Pioneer Valley and can be heard from the Connecticut to the Vermont border. Beginning in 1948, as students were first establishing the station, WMUA has been a constant presence on campus, weathering budget cuts, leadership upheavals and the rise and fall of radio as a dominant medium.

The records of WMUA document the history of a particularly long-lived organization at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst and reflect the changing culture of the campus. In addition to some administrative and financial records, the collection includes a number of promotional materials, newsclippings, photographs and recordings that reflect the history of the organization. Also noteworthy is a history of WMUA written in 1963 to commemorate its 15th anniversary as well as several oral histories with station alum from different eras. There are also press clippings, ephemera, press releases and recordings from the acclaimed Magic Triangle Jazz Series.

Additionally, there are hundreds of analog and digital recordings of shows that span three decades of the station’s history, with the bulk from 1987-2012. A separate, growing, inventory of the recordings is also available which includes descriptions, dates, and formats of the recordings.

WMUA | Glenn Siegel, 2008-2013,

Subjects

College radio stations--Massachusetts--Amherst (Mass.)FM broadcastingPublic affairs radio programsStudent activities--Massachusetts--Amherst (Mass.)WMUA (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

Contributors

Siegel, GlennUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstWMUA (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

CorrespondenceFinancial recordsFliers (printed matter)Manuals (instructional materials)PostersRadio programsSchedules (time plans)
Restrictions: none none