The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Collecting area: Political activism

Henry, Diana Mara

Diana Mara Henry Collection (20th Century Photographer)

1934-2014
75 linear feet
Call no.: PH 051
Depiction of Diana Mara Henry at the Harvard Crimson, 1967<br/>Photo by Charles Hagen
Diana Mara Henry at the Harvard Crimson, 1967
Photo by Charles Hagen

Recognized for her coverage of historic events and personalities, the photographer Diana Mara Henry took the first steps toward her career in 1967 when she became photo editor for the Harvard Crimson. After winning the Ferguson History Prize and graduating from Harvard with a degree in government in 1969, Henry returned to New York to work as a researcher with NBC News and as a general assignment reporter for the Staten Island Advance, but in 1971 she began to work as a freelance photographer. Among many projects, she covered the Democratic conventions of 1972 and 1976 and was selected as official photographer for both the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year and the First National Women’s Conference in 1977, and while teaching at the International Center for Photography from 1974-1979, she developed the community workshop program and was a leader in a campaign to save the Alice Austen House. Her body of work ranges widely from the fashion scene in 1970s New York and personal assignments for the family of Malcolm Forbes and other socialites to political demonstrations, cultural events, and photoessays on one room schoolhouses in Vermont and everyday life in Brooklyn, France, Nepal, and Bali. Widely published and exhibited, her work is part of permanent collections at institutions including the Schlesinger Library, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, and the National Archives.

The Henry collection is a rich evocation of four decades of political, social, and cultural change in America beginning in the late 1960s as seen through the life of one photojournalist. This diverse body of work is particularly rich in documenting the women’s movement, second wave feminism, and the political scene in the 1970s. Henry left a remarkable record of women in politics, with dozens of images of Bella Abzug, Elizabeth Holtzman, Shirley Chisholm, Liz Carpenter, Betty Friedan, Jane Fonda, and Gloria Steinem. The collection includes images of politicians at all levels of government, celebrities, writers, and scholars, and coverage of important events including demonstrations by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the Women’s Pentagon Action, and marches for the ERA. The many hundreds of exhibition and working prints in the collection are accompanied by the complete body of Henry’s photographic negatives and slides, along with an array of ephemera, correspondence, and other materials relating to her career.

Connect to another siteSee the exhibit Photographer: DMH

Subjects

Abzug, Bella S., 1920-1998--PhotographsChisholm, Shirley, 1924-2005--PhotographsDemocratic National Convention (1972 : Miami Beach, Fla.)--Pictorial worksDemocratic National Convention (1976 : New York, N.Y.)--Pictorial worksFeminism--PhotographsHarvard University--Students--PhotographsInternational Women's Year, 1975--Pictorial worksNational Women’s Conference--Photographs

Types of material

Clippings (information artifacts)Exhibition catalogsNegatives (photographic)PhotographsPolitical postersPress releasesSlides (photographs)
Restrictions: Copyright for Henry's images are retained by her until 2037.
Hood, Otis A. (Otis Archer)

Otis A. Hood Papers

1941-1957
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1056
Depiction of Otis Hood for Boston School Board, 1949
Otis Hood for Boston School Board, 1949

A long-time leader in the Communist Party in Massachusetts, Otis A. Hood (1900-1983) was a frequent candidate for public office between the late 1930s and early 1950s. At a time of increasing repression, he stood openly for Communist principles, speaking regularly on the radio and at public forums. In 1954, he was one of several activists arrested for violating the state ban on the Communist Party, winning acquittal, and he was acquitted again after a second indictment in 1956 on charges of inciting the overthrow of the federal government.

The Hood papers are a slender reflection of Communist politics during the height of McCarthy-era repression. The collection centers around Otis Hood’s public espousal of Communist ideals as a candidate for public office in Boston, and particularly his runs for the city School Board in 1943 through 1949, but it includes fliers, handbills, and other materials relating to Communist-led campaigns relating to the war, housing, public transportation, and education, but most importantly, transcripts of radio broadcasts made by Hood during his political campaigns and relating to a variety of social issues.

Gift of Bruce Rubenstein via Eugene Povirk, Oct. 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--History--20th centuryCommunists--MassachusettsRacism--MassachusettsSchools--Massachusetts--BostonWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Hood, Frances A.Lipshires, SidneyMassachusetts. Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities and Related Matters in the Commonwealthommunist Party of the United States of America (Mass.)

Types of material

Fliers (Printed matter)Printed ephemeraRadio scripts
International Oil Working Group

International Oil Working Group Collection

1957-1987 Bulk: 1980-1985
29 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 268

The International Oil Working Group (IOWG) is one of a number of organizations that worked to implement an oil embargo initiated by the United Nations General Assembly against South Africa to protest the country’s policies of apartheid. The IOWG grew out of the Sanctions Working Group established in 1979. Although the nature and timing of the change in names is unclear, it appears that Dr. Teresa Turner was instrumental in the formation of both groups and was primarily responsible for their organization and administration. Other directors included Luis Prado, Arnold Baker and Kassahun Checole. While the group was loosely organized, it maintained the basic structure of a special advisory board with a pool of research associates. Primary activities involved researching topics related to the oil embargo; writing papers for regional, national, and international conferences; giving testimony at UN meetings; providing information to governments, unions and other groups committed to aiding in the implementation of the oil embargo; lecturing to students and members of the community on the subject of sanctions against South Africa; and collaborating with the UN Center Against Apartheid. Research topics included tanker monitoring to detect and expose those shipping companies that broke the embargo; the energy needs in those countries in southern Africa which depend upon South Africa to meet some of their energy demands; ways to effectively implement and enforce the oil embargo; trade union action by oil transport workers; Namibian independence and decolonization; and underground oil storage in South Africa.

Collection consists of administrative papers including financial records, minutes and association history materials; correspondence; printed materials produced by the IOWG; conference files; UN documents relating to South Africa and sanctions; and reference materials, including published reports, news clippings, newsletters and journals, related to oil shipping, tanker information and South African economic and political activity generally.

Subjects

Apartheid--South Africa--HistoryEconomic sanctions--South Africa--HistoryEmbargoNamibia--History--Autonomy and independence movementsNamibia--Politics and government--1946-1990Petroleum industry and trade--History--20th centuryPetroleum industry and trade--Political aspects--South AfricaSouth Africa--Politics and government--1978-1989Tankers--South Africa--History

Contributors

International Oil Working GroupTurner, Terisa
Karuth, Denise

Denise Karuth and Fred Pelka Papers

1981-2012
36 boxes 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 833

Denise Karuth and Fred Pelka are activists and historians of the disability rights movement based in Massachusetts. Both are graduates of SUNY Buffalo, while Karuth holds a masters in rehabilitation counseling from Boston State College and a masters in divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. Karuth came into activism through her church’s involvement in the civil rights movement and her own experience as a student dealing with blindness and multiple sclerosis at the State University of New York at Buffalo. After moving to Boston, her activism continued in efforts by the disability community to secure accessible and affordable mass transit in Massachusetts, and she has been involved with a broad spectrum of disability campaigns and organizations, serving as a peer counselor for people with disabilities, as Executive Director of Boston Self-Help Center, as a consultant on disability issues for the Human Genome Initiative, as a grant writer at the Stavros Center for Independent Living, and as Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Accessible Transportation under Gov. Michael Dukakis. She has also been an advocate for people who are homeless and was a principal founder of the First Church Shelter of the First Church in Cambridge. Karuth’s lifelong partner Fred Pelka, himself a person with disabilities, became involved in disability rights activism in 1983 while working at the Boston Center for Independent Living, and has made an impact as an editor and prolific author since. A 2004 Guggenheim Fellow, he has written three books on disability issues: The ABC-CLIO Companion to the Disability Rights Movement (1997), The Civil War Letters of Charles F. Johnson, Invalid Corps (2004), and What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement (2012). His fourth book, A Different Blaze, was published by Hedgerow Books in 2014, and is his first published poetry.

The Karuth and Pelka collection documents thirty years of social justice activism in Massachusetts centered on the movement for disability rights. Beginning in the1980s struggle for accessibility in transportation, the collection reflects the breadth of Karuth’s commitments and work on issues ranging from apartheid and US imperialism to homelessness and HIV/AIDS, and her work with organizations such as First Church in Cambridge, Amnesty International, Not Dead Yet, the Governor’s Council of Accessible Transportation, and the Boston Self Help Center. Pelka’s part of the collection contains extensive research and background material, notes, and drafts for each of his books, including lengthy transcripts of interviews with pioneers in disability rights.

Subjects

AIDS activists--MassachusettsBoston Self-Help CenterFirst Church (Cambridge, Mass.)Homelessness--MassachusettsLocal transit accessibilityMassachusetts. Governor's Commission of Accessible TransportationPeople with disabilities--Civil rightsPeople with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.

Contributors

Pelka, Fred
Keller, Nina

Nina Keller Papers

1964-2014
3 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 944

Nina Keller riding in the back of a hay truck, Wendell, 1980.

Currently residing in Wendell, Massachusetts, Nina Keller has had an active role in environmental and social activism in the Pioneer Valley and New England area for the better part of 40 years. Since the 1970s, Keller has played an active role in local and regional activism, from the antinuclear movement to hazardous waste disposal. She was an initial member of the Alternative Energy Coalition (AEC), was part of the Friends of the Earth (FOE) environmental organization, and most notably took part in efforts to close the nearby Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. At 62, Keller currently chairs the Wendell Board of Health, and has had a recent history of participation in local government.

The Nina Keller Collection is largely organized into five subject areas used by Keller to organize her files: Economics; Environmental Issues; Hazardous Materials; Nuclear Power; and Pesticides and Herbicides. Of note within these files are local, state, and federal reports and documents covering topics such as nuclear emergency evacuation plans, chemical sprays and their health effects, and hazardous waste regulation. Several items reflect Keller’s personal life, most notably two journals from Montague Farm, used communally for diary entries, drawings, clippings, photographs, and account keeping. The collection’s focus spans from the 1970s to the 1980s, as well as the early 2000s.

Gift of Nina Keller, 2017

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsCommunal living--MassachusettsEnvironmentalismFranklin County (Mass.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Nuclear energy--MassachusettsPolitical activists--MassachusettsSocial actionVermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

Contributors

Keller, Nina

Types of material

clippings filesjournals (accounts)
Kelley, Larry

Larry Kelley Papers

1994-2004
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 524
Depiction of Kelley raising the flag, Ground Zero, 2001
Kelley raising the flag, Ground Zero, 2001

Owner of the Amherst Athletic Club and columnist for the Amherst Bulletin from 1991 to 2004, Larry Kelley is deeply involved with Amherst area relations and government. He ran for both Select Board and Finance Committee, and was instrumental in raising awareness about and banning the illegal sale of martial arts weapons in Massachusetts.

Included in the Kelley papers are over 100 newspaper clippings, either his editorials, letters to the editor, or guest columns, about issues ranging from the use of town safety services by Amherst College, his objection to the Civil Rights Review Commission’s right to subpoena, his fight to fly commemorative flags in downtown Amherst both on the anniversary of September 11th and on the day Osama bin Laden is captured, to his objection over the Amherst-Pelham Regional High School’s production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.

Gift of Larry Kelley, 2006

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--HistoryAmherst BulletinSeptember 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
Lipshires, Sidney

Sidney Lipshires Papers

1932-2012
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 730
Depiction of Sidney Lipshires
Sidney Lipshires

Born on April 15, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Minnie Lipshires, Sidney was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts where his father owned two shoe stores, David Boot Shop and The Bootery. He attended the Massachusetts State College for one year before transferring to the University of Chicago and was awarded a BA in economics in 1940. His years at the University of Chicago were transformative, Lipshires became politically active there and joined the Communist Party in 1939. Following graduation in 1941, he married Shirley Dvorin, a student in early childhood education; together they had two sons, Ellis and Bernard. Lipshires returned to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1940s, working as a labor organizer. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 working as a clerk and interpreter with a medical battalion in France for over a year. Returning home, he ran for city alderman in Springfield on the Communist Party ticket in 1947. Lipshires married his second wife, Joann Breen Klein, in 1951 and on May 29, 1956, the same day his daughter Lisa was born, he was arrested under the Smith Act for his Communist Party activities. Before his case was brought to trial, the Smith Act was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the Communist Party, he severed his ties with it in 1957, but continued to remain active in organized labor for the rest of his life. Earning his masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1971, Lipshires taught history at Manchester Community College in Connecticut for thirty years. During that time he worked with other campus leaders to establish a statewide union for teachers and other community college professionals, an experience he wrote about in his book, Giving Them Hell: How a College Professor Organized and Led a Successful Statewide Union. Sidney Lipshires died on January 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Ranging from an autobiographical account that outlines his development as an activist (prepared in anticipation of a trial for conspiracy charges under the Smith Act) to drafts and notes relating to his book Giving Them Hell, the Sidney Lipshires Papers offers an overview of his role in the Communist Party and as a labor organizer. The collection also contains his testimony in a 1955 public hearing before the Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities, photographs, and biographical materials.

Subjects

Communism--United States--HistoryCommunists--MassachusettsJews--Massachusetts--Northampton--HistoryJews--Political activity--United States--History--20th centuryLabor movement--United States--History--20th centuryLabor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography

Contributors

Lipshires, David MLipshires, Joann BLipshires, Sidney

Types of material

AutobiographiesPhotographsTestimonies
Mann, Eric

Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers

1967-2007
22 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 657
Depiction of Eric Mann, Dec. 1969<br />Photo by Jeff Albertson
Eric Mann, Dec. 1969
Photo by Jeff Albertson

Revolutionary organizers, writers, and theorists, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann have been active in the struggle for civil rights for decades. The son of Jewish Socialist and labor organizer from New York, Mann came of age during the early phases of the Civil Rights movement and after graduating from Cornell (1964), he became field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality. Increasingly radicalized through exposure to Black revolutionary nationalists, Mann took part in the Newark Community Union Project and became a leader in anti-imperialist opposition to the war in Vietnam as a New England regional coordinator for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later with the Revolutionary Youth Movement I — the Weatherman above-ground tendency of SDS. Following a militant demonstration at the Harvard Center for International Affairs late in 1969, Mann was convicted of assault on the basis of perjured testimony and sentenced to two years in prison. An organizer of his fellow prisoners even behind bars, he was “shipped out” often in the middle of the night, from prison to prison, spending the last year at Concord State Prison. After being released early in July 1971, he continued his prison activism through the Red Prison Movement. At the same time, as a writer, he earned a national audience for his book Comrade George: an account of the life, politics, and assassination of Soledad Brother George Jackson. Feeling himself at a low point in his radical career, Mann met Lian Hurst while vacationing in Mexico during the summer 1974. Hurst, a leader in the Berkeley Oakland Women’s Union, architect, and a strong Socialist Feminist, soon became his partner in life and politics, and Mann left Massachusetts to join with her in Berkeley. Hurst lead a group of women from BOWU who formed a “Thursday night group” and left the organization with the polemic, “socialist feminism is bourgeois feminism” all of whom moved towards integrating women’s liberation and Marxism-Leninism. At her urging, the two took part in Marxist Leninist party building, becoming union organizers with the United Auto Workers, and eventually moving to Los Angeles. Hurst was elected shop steward by her fellow workers as a known revolutionary. There, Mann led a campaign to keep the Van Nuys assembly plant open (1982-1992) — captured in his book, Taking on General Motors. They joined the August 29th Movement and its successor, the League of Revolutionary Struggle. They left LRS in 1984. In 1989, Mann and veterans of the GM Van Nuys Campaign formed the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which has been a primary focal points for their work ever since, helping to build consciousness, leadership, and organization within communities of color. Hurst became editor of AhoraNow, an innovative bilingual left publication that featured articles by Black and Latino working class leaders and helped initiate the center’s National School for Strategic Organizing. In 2003 Hurst wrote, “Socialist Feminism: Thoughts After 30 Years” for AhoraNow, a critical re-engagement of those important debates from an historical perspective after a 30 year reunion of BOWU’s key leaders. Mann’s latest book is Playbook For Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Hurst and Mann continue to write and agitate in the cause of revolutionary change, particularly for oppressed communities of color.

The Mann-Hurst collection contains the records of two lives intertwined with one another with the cause of liberation of Black and Latino communities, women, and an internationalist pro-socialist anti-imperialism. Containing a nearly complete set of publications, the collection also contains early materials on Lian Hurst’s work with BOWU and the both Eric and Lian’s time as organizers for the UAW and their participation in the August 29th Movement and League of Revolutionary Struggle. Of particular interest are a series of letters home written by Eric during his imprisonment. The collection contains comparatively little on Hurst and Manns’ more recent work with the Labor/Strategy Strategy Center or Bus Riders Union

Subjects

August 29th MovementBerkeley Oakland Women's UnionCommunists--CaliforniaFeminismInternational Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of AmericaLabor unions--CaliforniaLeague of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L)Prisoners--MassachusettsRed Prison MovementsStudents for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

Mann, Lian Hurst
Mass Voters for Fair Elections

Mass Voters for Fair Elections Records

1997-2005
14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: MS 554

Since 1994 the Mass Voters for Fair Elections has been part of a national movement to minimize the role of money in elections. Watching both the cost of running a successful campaign and the role of fundraising increase, the organization led the fight to put the Clean Elections Initiative on the ballot in 1998. With overwhelming support for the initiative, the ballot question won only to be repealed by the Legislature in 2003. Until it ceased activity in 2007, Mass Voters for Fair Elections continued to work for reform in the electoral process not only to encourage more individuals to run for office, but also to affirm the principle “one person, one vote.”

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that document issues relating to elections and campaign reform addressed by the group and its volunteers. Also included: correspondence, meeting notes, publications, and mailings.

Subjects

Campaign funds--MassachusettsElections--MassachusettsMassachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Political campaigns--Massachusetts

Contributors

Mass Voters for Fair Elections
Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Records

1902-1995
72 boxes 64 linear feet
Call no.: MS 369

Formed in 1887 as the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Labor, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO currently represents the interests of over 400,000 working people in the Commonwealth. Like its parent organization, the national AFL-CIO, the Mass. AFL-CIO is an umbrella organization, a union of unions, and engages in political education, legislative action, organizing, and education and training.

The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO provide insight into the aims and administrative workings of the organization. These includes a nearly complete run of proceedings and reports from its conventions since 1902, except for a five year gap 1919-1923, minutes and agendas for the meetings of the Executive Council, and the President’s files (1982- ). The collection is particularly strong in the period since about 1980.

Subjects

Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

AFL-CIOMassachusetts AFL-CIO