The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections & University Archives
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Politics & governance

Clark, John G., d. 1972

John G. Clark Papers

1960-1969
7 boxes, 2 vols. 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 499
Depiction of John G. Clark and H. P. Hood milk truck
John G. Clark and H. P. Hood milk truck

With a life long interest in politics, John G. Clark of Easthampton, Massachusetts worked on a number of campaigns before running for office himself. He ran for state senator in 1958, but lost in the Democratic primary. Two years later he ran again, this time for state representative of the 3rd Hampshire District, and won. Clark served in the State House of Representative for eight years until he was appointed clerk of the district court in Northampton and chose not to run for reelection.

While this collection is small, it is packed with campaign materials, letters, position statements, speeches, and press releases that together offer a good sense of the political climate in Massachusetts during the 1960s, especially issues of local concern for Hampshire County. Four letters from a young neighbor written while serving in Vietnam provide a personal account of the war.

Subjects

Massachusetts--HistoryMassachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Clark, John G., d. 1972
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Silvio O. Conte Papers

1950-1991
389 boxes 583.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 371
Depiction of Silvio Conte, 1973
Silvio Conte, 1973

Massachusetts State Senator for the Berkshire District, 1950-1958, and representative for Massachusetts’s First District in the United States Congress for 17 terms, 1959-1991, where he made significant contributions in the areas of health and human services, the environment, education, energy, transportation, and small business.

Spanning four decades and eight presidents, the papers offer an extraordinary perspective on the major social, economic, and cultural changes experienced by the American people. Includes correspondence, speeches, press releases, bill files, his voting record, committee files, scrapbooks, travel files, audio-visual materials and over 5,000 photographs and slides.

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. SenateUnited States--Politics and government--20th centuryUnited States. Congress. House

Contributors

Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooksSound recordings
Council for Fair School Finance

Council for Fair School Finance Records

1977-2005
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 784

The Council for Fair School Finance began its fight in 1978 when it filed a lawsuit (McDuffy v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Education) to require Massachusetts to meet its constitutional obligation to provide a quality education for all schoolchildren. The suit was quickly suspended due to recently enacted school reform legislation. Within five years, the Council took up the suit once more, and again further reform legislation was enacted that prevented the suit from going to trial. Finally in 1993, the case was heard and decided in favor of the plaintiffs; three days later the governor signed the Education Reform Act of 1993. By the end of the decade, the promise of the McDuffy decision had not yet been fully realized and the Council filed a second suit (Hancock v. Commissioner of Education). In April 2004, Superior Judge Margot Botsford issued a report that found the state’s efforts to fix the problems identified in the previous case were insufficient and that the plaintiffs were entitled to remedial relief. The Supreme Judicial Court, however, did not uphold the recommendation and the motion for relief was denied.

The collection consists of administrative records, including documents created early in the Council’s history, minutes of Council meetings, media reports, research materials, and financial records.

Subjects

Education--Finance--MassachusettsEducational change--Massachusetts

Contributors

Council for Fair School Finance
D'Annunzio, Gabriele, 1863-1938

Gabriele D'Annunzio Collection

1919-1920
1 box 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 763
Depiction of Seal of the City of Fiume
Seal of the City of Fiume

An Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist, Gabriele D’Annunzio enjoyed a flamboyant career in international affairs after the First World War when he raised a small army and seized the port of Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia). Failing in his attempts to annex his territory to Italy, D’Annunzio reigned as Duce over the micro-state for over a year before being forced to relinquish control.

The fifteen imprints comprising this collection of scarce broadsides, all printed in the short-lived Free State of Fiume. During the brief period of his reign in Fiume, D’Annunzio issued propagandistic broadsides, proclamations, and leaflets almost daily, often distributing them by airplane drop over the city. Included is a rare first edition of D’Annunzio’s most famous piece from the Fiume period, Italia e vita.

Acquired from Steve Resnick, Jan. 2013
Language(s): Italian

Subjects

Free State of Fiume--History--20th centuryItaly--History--1914-1922Rijeka (Croatia)--History--20th centuryWorld War, 1914-1918--Baltic StateWorld War, 1914-1918--Italy

Contributors

D'Annunzio, Gabriele, 1863-1938Druscovich, MarcoZoll, Corrado

Types of material

BroadsidesFliers (Printed material)
Dana (Mass.)

Dana (Mass.) Collection

1801-1938
21 vols. (digital), 1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 012

Situated in the northeastern reaches of the Swift River Valley in western Massachusetts, Dana was one of four towns inundated in the 1930s to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Rural and relatively sparsely populated, Dana’s economy centered on agriculture, leavened with manufacturing wood products and soapstone quarrying.

The Dana Collections include a comprehensive records of town meetings from incorporation through disincorporation (1801-1938), plus rich records for the Congregational Church and its affiliate organizations, the Ladies Aid Society, the Orthodox Congregational Society, and the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. Most of the materials listed in this finding aid are held at the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem, Mass., and were part of a cooperative digitization project centered on the records of the Quabbin towns.

Gift of Donald Howe, 1960

Subjects

Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Dana--HistoryDana (Mass.)--HistoryDana (Mass.)--Politics and governmentDana (Mass.)--Religious life and customsDana (Mass.)--Social life and customsPoor-Massachusetts--DanaQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customsWomen--Massachusetts--DanaWomen--Societies and clubs

Contributors

Dana (Mass. : Town)Dana (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the PoorFirst Universalist Church (North Dana, Mass.)Ladies' Aid Society (Dana, Mass.)Orthodox Congregational Church (Dana, Mass.)Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor

Types of material

Church records
Dawson, Alexandra

Alexandra Dawson Papers

Bulk: 1965-2015
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 905

An attorney from Hadley, Mass., Alexandra D. Dawson was known throughout New England for her work in conservation law and environmental activism. Born in Maryland in 1931, Dawson married shortly after graduating from Barnard College and after raising a family of three, she resumed her education, earning a law degree from Harvard in 1966. Early in her legal career, she took up the cause of protecting “wildlife, wetlands, and woodlands.” She was among the earliest employees of the Conservation Law Foundation and later served as general counsel for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The author of a string of influential works in environmental law, including Environmental Law (1978), Land-Use Planning and the Law (1982), and the Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners (1978-2006), she was also an educator, teaching at Antioch College (where she launched the environmental studies program), Tufts, the Kennedy School of Government, and Rhode Island School of Design. Among other commitments, Dawson was a key figure in the Kestrel Trust and served long stints on the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and the Hadley Conservation Commission. Dawson died of complication from emphysema on Dec. 30, 2011.

The product of a forty year commitment to conservationism, Dawson’s papers provide valuable documentation of land preservation efforts in New England, with a focus on the evolution of the legal context. Dawson was a formidable figure in efforts to protect wetlands, agricultural land, and open space, and her papers offer insight into land use planning, her teaching, writing, and speaking.

Gift of Rachel Spring, Apr. 2016

Subjects

Conservationists--MassachusettsEnvironmentalists--MassachusettsLand use--Law and legislation--MassachusettsWetlands--Law and legislation--Massachusetts

Contributors

Kestrel Trust
Donahue, Maurice

Maurice A. Donahue Papers

1960-1971
19 boxes, 89 vols. 29 linear feet
Call no.: MS 311

Maurice A. Donahue was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1948 as part of its first Democratic majority. In 1950, he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate, became Senate Majority Leader in 1958, and in 1964, became Senate President, a position he held until 1971 when he took the position of Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Governmental Services at the University of Massachusetts. Legislation he sponsored while in the Senate established the Willis-Harrington Commission on Education, the University of Massachusetts Boston campus and Medical School, state scholarships for needy students, commissions to improve vocational education, study problems of urban school systems, and extend educational facilities in Massachusetts.

Correspondence, speeches, press releases, appointment books, constituent courtesy files, memorabilia, scrapbooks of clippings, audio recordings of radio talks and speeches, and photographs pertaining to Donahue’s activities and functions as state legislator of Massachusetts.

Gift of Maurice Donahue, July 1974

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. HouseMassachusetts. Senate

Contributors

Donahue, Maurice A

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)PhotographsScrapbooksSound recordings
Drury, Luke, 1737-1811

Luke Drury Papers

1746-1831
4 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 258

Soldier in Revolutionary War and Shays Rebellion, later a state legislator and local politician from Grafton and Marlboro, Massachusetts. Drury’s papers contain family and business (farm and mill) correspondence, notes of hand, bills, receipts, and legal papers as well as records pertaining to the town of Grafton. Collection also includes papers of Timothy Darling and the Goulding, Place, and Sherman families.

Acquired from Cedric Robinson, 1989

Subjects

Grafton (Mass.)--HistoryMassachusetts--HistoryShays' Rebellion, 1786-1787

Contributors

Darling, TimothyDrury, Luke, 1737-1811Goulding, IsraelSherman, Thankful Temple

Types of material

Deeds
Ellsberg, Daniel

Daniel Ellsberg Papers

ca. 1935-2020 Bulk: 1950-2000
Call no.: MS 1093
Daniel Ellsberg is seated at his desk with a telephone in his left hand while reaching for a paper on his desk.
Ellsberg seated at his office desk ca. 1982

For the latest updates and information about this collection, visit our research page on Ellsberg.

Author, Activist, Veteran, Civil Servant, Whistleblower, Cold Warrior, Academic, Patriot. Daniel Ellsberg has spent the bulk of his 89+ years asking questions and seeking truth. From his beginnings in government service as a marine operations officer, where he first received top secret clearances and saw war plans for the Suez Crisis in 1956-57; to his time in the Pentagon where he was involved in high level decision-making around nuclear policy and the Vietnam War; and to his moral awakening in 1968-69 when he decided to begin copying the Pentagon Papers for public release; Daniel Ellsberg has utilized his whip-smart intellect to dissect and disseminate complex government policies for those seeking to understand and critique the moral failings of their leaders.

In his singular career, Ellsberg traced an arc from Cold Warrior to antiwar and antinuclear activist. Initially, he seemed primed for the soft chair of the academy. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he produced a brilliant thesis in economics on “Theories of Rational Choice Under Uncertainty,” which fed decades of further research—his own and others—on the questions of ambiguity and decision-making. A prestigious year as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Cambridge would ordinarily have led to the next logical step toward an academic coronation, a doctorate at Harvard, but with his educational deferment running out and conscription looming, Ellsberg applied to become an officer in the Marine Corps. By the time he resumed doctoral research (on game theory), he had acquired a personal understanding of the military from the perspective of a platoon leader that would in the years to come leaven his scholarship.

As he wrapped up his dissertation, Ellsberg accepted a position with the RAND Corporation, placing him in the cold heart of where Cold Warriors honed their thoughts. An analytical mind and keen insight into decision-making fit neatly into the demands of understanding the problems of command and control in nuclear war. At RAND, Ellsberg found himself drawn into assignments such as the formal review of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which he conducted as a consultant to the Pentagon. What he witnessed from the privileged perch of top-level clearance was unsettling: he saw a shocking and persistent gap between what the best intelligence indicated and what the political establishment said and did.

Dan Ellsberg emerging from a hole in the ground with his left hand on the ground looking at the camera
Ellsberg emerging from a National Liberation Front tunnel system. ca. 1966

Vietnam emerged as a particular focal point for Ellsberg in 1964, establishing a powerful symmetrical concern with the nuclear threat that had been consuming his days. That summer, Ellsberg was attached to the Pentagon to assist in a strategic analysis to contribute to escalating the war, beginning his assignment ominously on the day of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Less than a year later, he traveled to Vietnam as a high-level official of the State Department to work under Maj. Gen. Edward Lansdale, tasked with reviewing “pacification” efforts in the provinces. This was no desk job, nor would he be a mere observer. For much of 1966, Ellsberg traveled the country, machine gun in hand, often engaging in forward combat operations with U.S. forces. By the time he returned to RAND, his experiences had led him to conclude that the war was simply not, as many had argued, a civil war in which the U.S. had intervened, but a war of foreign aggression—American aggression. Having been an official of both the Defense and State Departments for years and having had high-level, authorized access, he had a unique perspective on the backdrop of official dishonesty, of secrets and lies and pro-war manipulations on the part of the military and political establishment, and he began to find common cause with the antiwar movement.

The germ of what would become the Pentagon Papers was planted at a War Resisters League conference at Haverford College in 1969, when Ellsberg encountered a draft resister, Randy Kehler (whose papers are also ensconced in SCUA). Kehler’s deliberate, direct confrontation of the system and his unstinting, willing acceptance of the consequences were moving, and by October, Ellsberg lit upon the idea of copying the secret, and deeply revealing reports on the war that he was reviewing for RAND. He knew well that if discovered, his actions could result in decades behind bars. For several weeks, Ellsberg and his colleague Anthony Russo surreptitiously photocopied a trove of 47 volumes and thousands of individual pages of sensitive documents that clearly revealed the extent to which four presidents over two decades had concealed and misrepresented the war and its dim prospects in the hopes, in part, of gaining electoral advantage and out of fear for being seen as the man who lost the war.

Initially, Ellsberg sent copies of the Pentagon Papers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sympathetic members of Congress in the hope of creating a political momentum against the war from within the system. None spoke up. Only when the strategy of drawing congressional support failed did Ellsberg leak copies to the media—nineteen newspapers in all. To make a long (and frequently cinematized) story short, The New York Times struck first, publishing excerpts from the papers beginning on June 13, 1971, leading to the first four injunctions in American history constituting prior restraint against publication, and ultimately to prevailing in the Supreme Court over by the end of the month, voiding those injunctions. To make another long (and frequently cinematized) story short, Ellsberg set off a chain of events that played a catalytic role in the Watergate scandals and the undoing of President Richard Nixon.

Daniel Ellsberg holding an arrest card being photographed by police in front of a school bus
Ellsberg holding an arrest record in front of a school bus ca. 1982

In January 1973,  Ellsberg went on trial for his part in copying and distributing the Papers. Facing decades of prison time, he waged a resilient defense over the next four months and eventually won. Having survived the full force of the governmental onslaught, Ellsberg persisted. With the charges against him dismissed on the grounds of governmental misconduct, he returned to the front lines of opposition to tackle nuclear weapons, war, and governmental secrecy. He speaks, writes, and educates in the cause almost continuously, and he has taken part in protests and civil disobedience at sites such as the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Production Facility, and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.

The scope of the Ellsberg collection is vast; from family mementoes and correspondence during his time in the Marines in the 1950s, to research material collected during the War on Terror in the early 2000s. The collection provides researchers with a trove of valuable material on U.S. Government decision-making and secrecy from the Cold War to War on Terror eras, as well as Ellsberg’s personal life. Ellsberg’s time at RAND is well represented with unclassified reports and studies as well as notes, correspondence, analysis, and clippings. His trip to Vietnam in 1966 is chronicled with notes, correspondence, photographs, reports, and a series of reel-to-reel tape recordings. There are a voluminous amount of legal files and material acquired through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from his Pentagon Papers trial in 1973, which also bleeds into material on Richard Nixon and the Watergate crisis. His post-government anti-nuclear efforts are represented with correspondence, subject files, clippings, notes, and drafts of his 2017 book, The Doomsday Machine.

Anchoring much of the material are Ellsberg’s period notes taken during meetings, briefings, phone calls, and writing sessions while he worked at RAND and the Pentagon. They provide firsthand evidence of statements made by various government officials in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations as well as Ellsberg’s own observations and insights at the time.

The collection rounds out with clippings,  magazines, newspapers, audio recordings, and video/film documentaries about Ellsberg, personal correspondence with friends and family, and  material related to his advocacy on behalf of 21st century whistle blowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange.

Acquired from Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg, May 2019

Subjects

Afghan War, 2001-AmbiguityAntinuclear movementArab-Israeli conflict -- 1948-1967Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962DisarmamentEllsberg, DanielIraq War, 2003-2011Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994Pentagon PapersPersian Gulf War, 1991RAND CorporationSecrecySecurityUnited States--Officials and employeesVietnam War, 1961-1975WarWar on Terrorism, 2001-2009Watergate Affair, 1972-1974

Contributors

Ellsberg, DanielRAND Corporation

Types of material

Clippings (information artifacts)Drafts (documents)Electronic mailFliers (Printed matter)Legal documentsManuscripts (document genre)Motion picturesNewslettersPamphletsPersonal correspondencePhotographsReportsSound recordingsVideotapes
Restrictions: collection in-process. available upon request.
Enfield (Mass.)

Enfield (Mass.) Collection

1800-1939
8 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: MS 010
Depiction of Birdseye view of Enfield, ca.1915
Birdseye view of Enfield, ca.1915

Situated at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Swift River in western Massachusetts, Enfield was the largest and southernmost of the four towns inundated in 1939 to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Incorporated as a town in 1816, Enfield was relatively prosperous in the nineteenth century on an economy based on agriculture and small-scale manufacturing, reaching a population of just over 1,000 by 1837. After thirty years of seeking a suitably large and reliable water supply for Boston, the state designated the Swift River Valley as the site for a new reservoir and with its population relocated, Enfield was officially disincorporated on April 28, 1938.

The records of the town of Enfield, Mass., document nearly the entire history of the largest of four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. The core of the collection consists of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1804-1938, but there are substantial records for the Enfield Congregational Church. The School Committee, Overseers of the Poor, the town Library Association, and groups such as the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Bethel Masonic Lodge.

Subjects

Enfield (Mass.)--HistoryEnfield (Mass.)--Politics and governmentEnfield (Mass.)--Religious life and customsEnfield (Mass.)--Social life and customsQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customsWomen--Societies and clubs

Contributors

Daughters of the American Revolution. Captain Joseph Hooker Chapter (Enfield, Mass.)Enfield (Mass. : Town)Enfield (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the PoorEnfield (Mass. : Town). Prudential CommitteeEnfield (Mass. : Town). School CommitteeEnfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.)Enfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.). Women's AuxiliaryEnfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.). Women's Missionary Society

Types of material

Account booksChurch recordsPhotographsSermons