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

Collecting area: Political radicalism

Holland, W. L. (William Lancelot), 1907-

W. L. Holland Papers

1922-2008
4 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 782
Depiction of W.L. Holland, 1938
W.L. Holland, 1938

Born in New Zealand in 1907, Bill Holland first traveled to Japan at the age of 21 to take part in the conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, beginning over thirty years of association with the organization. During his time at IPR, Holland held a number of leadership positions, including Research Secretary (1933-1944), Secretary-General (1946-1960), and editor of its periodicals Far Eastern Survey and Pacific Affairs. He took leave from the IPR twice: to study for a MA in economics under John Maynard Keynes at Cambridge (1934) and, during the Second World War, to become acting director of the Office of War Information in Chungking, China. Founded on an internationalist philosophy as a forum to discuss relations between Pacific nations, the IPR was targeted under the McCarthy-era McCarran act during the 1950s, accused of Communist sympathies. After political pressure led the IPR to disband in 1960, Holland accepted a position on faculty with the newly created Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia (1961-1972), helping to lead that department to international prominence. He remained in BC until the death of his wife Doreen in 1990, after which he settled in Amherst to live with his only child, Patricia G. Holland. Holland died in Amherst in May 2008.

The Holland Papers are a dense assemblage of correspondence of Bill Holland, his wife Doreen, and their family, from his first trip abroad in the 1920s through the time of his death. Although largely personal in nature, the letters offer important insight into Holland’s travel in pre-war Asia, his work with the IPR, the war, and the of the 1950s. The collection also includes a wealth of photographs, including two albums documenting trips to Japan, China, and elsewhere 1929-1933.

Subjects

China--Description and travelJapan--Description and travelWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Holland, Doreen P.Institute of Pacific Relations

Types of material

Photographs
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
Howard, James E.

James E. Howard Collection

1947-1953
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1085

An advertising man from Brooklyn, and a neighbor and friend of W.E.B. Du Bois, James E. Howard was an active supporter of the Committee for the Negro in the Arts during its brief period of activity. Organized in 1947 with Communist Party support, the Committee was an arts-focused civil rights organization, opposing degregation and promoting the employment of African Americans in the performing and visual arts. Criticized by the House Un-American Activities Committee as a Communist front, the Committee was also criticized by the intellectual Harold Cruse, a former member, as a “sad flop,” a patronizing and opportunistic endeavor of white radical that was so constrained by the desire to appeal to white audiences that it was incapable of exploring work of deeper significance to African American audiences.

This small collection contains printed materials from the Committee for the Negro in the Arts (CNA), a politically progressive interracial cultural organization. The collection includes CNA newsletters, event programs, invitations, and an assortment of mailings and other items used in publicity and public relations.

Gift of Jonathan Howard, Sept. 2017.

Subjects

African American theater

Contributors

Committee for the Negro in the Arts
Jaffe, Bernard

Bernard Jaffe Papers

1955-2016
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 906
Depiction of W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963
W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963

A New York native with a deep commitment to social justice, Bernard Jaffe was an attorney, confidant, and longtime friend of W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois. In 1951, Jaffe joined Du Bois’s defense team at a time when the civil rights leader was under indictment for failing to register as a foreign agent. Forging a close relationship through that experience, he was retained as a personal attorney, representing the Du Bois family interests after they settled abroad. Jaffe was later instrumental in placing the papers of both W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois and served on the executive board of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation, set up by Shirley’s son, David Graham Du Bois.

This rich collection centers on the close relationship between attorney Bernard Jaffe and his friends and clients, Shirley Graham Du Bois and W.E.B. Du Bois. Although there is little correspondence from W.E.B. Du Bois himself, the collection contains an exceptional run of correspondence with Shirley, from the time of her emigration to Ghana in 1961 until her death in China in 1977 and excellent materials relating to David Graham Du Bois and the work of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation.

Gift of Jonathan Klate and Bernard Jaffe, Apr. 2016

Subjects

Ghana--History--1957-

Contributors

Du Bois, David GrahamDu Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963W. E. B. Du Bois Foundation

Types of material

Photographs
Jakubowska-Schlatner, Basia

Basia Jakubowska-Schlatner Solidarity (Solidarnosc) Collection

1979-1989
26 boxes 38.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 723

As a university student in Warsaw, Poland, in January 1977, Barbara Jakubowska-Schlatner made the decision to join the democratic resistance to the Communist regime. For more than twelve years, she was an active member of the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) movement, organizing opposition to state oppression, producing and distributing underground literature, and working with the pirate broadcasts of Solidarity radio.

Recognizing the importance of the underground press to the Solidarity movement, Jakubowska-Schlatner went to extraordinary lengths to collect and preserve their publications. At various times, the collection was kept in the basement of her mother’s house, spread around among a series of safe locations, and sometimes even secreted in small caches in back lots. The collection of over 1,500 titles is centered on the underground press in Warsaw, but includes titles published in Wroclaw, Gdansk, Krakow, and other cities. These include a startling array of publications, from fliers, handbills, and ephemera to translations of foreign literature, newspapers and periodicals, a science fiction magazine, and instructions on how to run a small press.

Gift of Barbara Jakubowska, May 2007
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization)Poland--History--1945-Underground press publications--Poland
Katanka, Michael

Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection

1885-1975
10 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 552

The author, publisher, and radical bookseller Michael Katanka (1922-1983) was a staunch Socialist and historian of British labor. Beginning with his 1868: Year of Unions in 1968, Katanka wrote or edited a series of books and articles on Fabianism, satirical caricature, and trade unionism.

The Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection consists of audio recordings, sheet music, and songbooks of politically-inspired music in a variety of languages. The works range from the English and German Socialist press of the 1880s to the antiwar movement of the 1960s and 1970s, touching upon labor agitation, proletarian songs, student protest, the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles, the Spanish Civil War, and Communism and Socialism. The collection also includes a few books and sound recordings from the extreme right in Nazi Germany.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, June 2007

Subjects

Communists--MusicInternational Workers of the World--MusicPolitical ballads and songsProtest songsRadicalism--Songs and musicSocialists--MusicWorking class--Music

Contributors

Fraser, JamesKatanka, Michael
Kleckner, Susan

Susan Kleckner Papers

ca. 1870-2010 Bulk: 1970-2010
89 ca. 180 linear feet
Call no.: MS 725
Depiction of Greenham Commons
Greenham Commons

A feminist, filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, writer, and New Yorker, Susan Kleckner helped to define the Feminist Art Movement. Born in 1941, Kleckner was instrumental in uniting Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) with Feminists in the Arts in 1969, and in 1970 she became a founder of the Women’s Interart Center, which still fosters women artists in the performing, visual, and media arts. A talented and prolific visual artist, she produced several important video documentaries during her career, beginning with Three Lives (made in collaboration with Kate Millet in 1970), which is considered the first all-women produced feature documentary. Her work often reflected a feminist commitment to the cause of peace: she participated in and photographed the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in England during the mid-1980s and in 1987, she curated a major year-long installation on Broadway called WindowPeace. A brilliant teacher, Kleckner was the first woman to teach photography at the Pratt Institute and she worked at the International Center for Photography in New York from 1982 until her death in July 2010.

A wide ranging and highly diverse collection, the Kleckner Papers document a life in art and activism. The diaries, letters, notes, and essays in the collection are augmented by hundreds of photographic prints and artwork in a variety of media.

Gift of Linda Cummings and Susan Jahoda, Dec. 2011

Subjects

Antinuclear movementsFeminists--New York (State)Greenham Common Women’s Peace CampPeace movementsPerformance artists--New York (State)Photographers--New York (State)Women's Interart Center

Contributors

Kleckner, Susan

Types of material

Artists' filmsDrawings (Visual works)Photographs
Levasseur, Raymond Luc

Raymond Luc Levasseur Trial transcripts

1989
12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 334

For over a decade, the radical United Freedom Front waged a concerted revolutionary campaign, confronting U.S. imperialism in Central America, apartheid, and other issues. Led by Raymond Luc Levasseur (b. 1940), the UFF carried out a string of bank robberies and bombings in the northeast, usually providing forewarning to avoid casualties. On November 4, 1984, following an intense nationwide manhunt, the FBI succeeded in apprehending Levasseur and his wife Patricia Gros near Deerfield, Ohio, and within a year, most of the remaining members of the UFF were under arrest. Levasseur and six of his comrades were eventually sentenced to long terms for the robberies and bombings and (two of them) for the death of a New Jersey state trooper. The government’s attempt in 1989 to bring charges of seditious conspiracy and violations of the RICO act, however, ended in an acquittal on most charges and a hung jury on the rest. Having served nearly half of his 45 year sentence, Levasseur was released from prison in November 2004.

The Levasseur Collection consists of the complete transcripts of the 1989 sedition trial of the “Ohio Seven” (US v. Levasseur).

Subjects

Political prisoners--United StatesSeditionUnited Freedom Front

Contributors

Levasseur, Ray Luc
Levasseur, Raymond Luc

Raymond Luc Levasseur Papers

1966-2017
10 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 971

Raymond Luc Levasseur went underground with a revolutionary Marxist organization in 1974 and spent a decade in armed resistance against the American state. Radicalized by his experiences in Vietnam and by a stint in a Tennessee prison for the sale of marijuana, Levasseur became convinced that revolutionary action was a “necessary step in defeating the enemy — monopoly Capitalism and its Imperialism expression.” As a leader of the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, later called the United Freedom Front, he took part in a string of bombings and bank robberies targeting symbols of the state including government and military buildings and corporate offices. All active members of the UFF were arrested in 1984 and 1985 and sentenced to long prison terms, although the government’s effort to prosecute them (the Ohio 7) on separate charges of seditious conspiracy ultimately failed. Levasseur served twenty years of a 45-year prison sentence, approximately thirteen years of them in solitary confinement, before being released on parole in 2004. He continues to write and speak out for prisoners’ rights.

The Levasseur papers are an important record of a committed revolutionary and political prisoner. Beginning with his work in the early 1970s with the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR), a prisoners’ rights organization, the collection includes communiques and other materials from revolutionary groups including the UFF, the Armed Resistance Unit, and the Black Liberation Army; Levasseur’s political and autobiographical writings; numerous interviews; selected correspondence; and a range of material on political prisoners and mass incarceration. Consisting in part of material seized by the FBI following Levasseur’s arrest or recovered through the Freedom of Information Act, and supplemented by newsclippings and video from media coverage, the collection has particularly rich content for the criminal and seditious conspiracy trials of UFF members (also known as the “Ohio 7”) in Brooklyn, NY and Springfield, MA, as well as Levasseur’s years in prison and his work on behalf of political prisoners.

Gift of Raymond Luc Levasseur, 2017

Subjects

Anti-imperialist movements--United StatesPolitical prisoners--United StatesPrisons--United StatesRevolutionaries

Contributors

Armed Clandestine MovementBlack Liberation ArmyManning, TomOhio 7Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson UnitStatewide Correctional Alliance for ReformUnited Freedom FrontWilliams, Raymond C.

Types of material

PhotographsTrials
Lewis, Patricia Lee, 1937-

Patricia Lee Lewis Photograph Collection

1977-1979
3 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: PH 059
Depiction of Cotton Mill no. 2, Beijing, 1977
Cotton Mill no. 2, Beijing, 1977

A co-founder of the Valley Women’s Center and the Everywoman’s Center at UMass Amherst, Patricia Lee Lewis has been an important part of the vibrant activist culture in the Pioneer Valley since her graduation from Smith College in 1970, advocating for women, civil rights, peace, the environment, for small farms and rural communities, and for art. Her varied career has included service as Supervisor of Community Development for the Massachusetts Office for Children (1974-1976), as Rural Development Specialist for the Massachusetts Cooperative Extension Service, and as County Commissioner for Hampshire County (1984-1988). After receiving an MFA from Vermont College, she founded Patchwork Farm Writing Retreat in Westhampton in 1992, which offers workshops and retreats in creative writing and yoga.

As a member of a National Women’s Delegation, Lewis visited the People’s Republic of China in 1977. Having been invited by the All China Women’s Federation, Lewis and her colleagues toured the country, seeing the sights and examining the role of women, education, and agriculture, visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Tachai, and Guilin. The many hundreds of photographs she took during the tour are a powerful visual record of the country only a few months after the Gage of Four were arrested and the Cultural Revolution declared ended. The collection also includes approximately 100 photographs taken of agriculture and rural life in Louisiana and Texas in 1979.

Gift of Patricia Lee Lewis, Mar. 2014

Subjects

China--PhotographsLouisiana--PhotographsTexas--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs