The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections & University Archives
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Collecting area: Vietnam War

Albertson, Dean, 1920-

Dean Albertson Oral History Collection

1975-1977
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 224

A long-time faculty member at UMass Amherst, Dean Albertson was an historian of the twentieth century United States with a specialty in oral history. A veteran of the Second World War, Albertson received his BA from University of California Berkeley (1942) and doctorate from Columbia (1955), joining the Department of History at UMass in 1965 after several years at Brooklyn College. The author of books on Dwight Eisenhower, Claude Wickard (Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Agriculture), and the student movements of the 1960s, Albertson was interested throughout his career in new methods in research and teaching history. He died at his home in Longmeadow, Mass., on March 31, 1989, at the age of 68.

Dean Albertson’s History 384 class at UMass Amherst, required students to conduct oral histories relating to a theme in contemporary U.S. history chosen each year. Between 1975 and 1977, Albertson’s students interviewed social activists of the 1960s and early 1970s, participants and observers in the North End riots of 1975 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and war and nuclear power resisters. The collection includes transcripts of 15 interviews conducted during this period, as well as the students’ papers, which put the transcripts into context.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsCivil rights--Massachusetts--Hampden CountyDemonstrations--Massachusetts--ChicopeeHistory--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts-- AmherstPolice shootings--Massachusetts--SpringfieldPolitical activists--Massachusetts--InterviewsPrison riots--New York (State)--atticaPuerto Ricans--Massachusetts--SpringfieldRiots--Massachusetts--SpringfieldSelma-Montgomery rights March, 1965.Springfield (Mass.)--Race relationsSpringfield (Mass.)--Social conditionsVenceremos BrigadeVietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Protest movements -- Massachusetts--SpringfieldWelfare rights movement--Massachusetts--SpringfieldWestover Air Force Base (Mass.)

Types of material

Oral histories
Albertson, Jeff

Jeff Albertson Photograph Collection

ca.1966-2005
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 057
Depiction of Jeff Albertson, ca.1970
Jeff Albertson, ca.1970

Born in Reading, Mass., on Sept 13, 1948, Jeff Albertson was still a student at Boston University, working on the staff of the BU News, when he was hired as a photographer by the Boston Globe. Reflecting the youth culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, his photographs earned him positions with several prominent Boston alternative media outlets. Covering news, music, and the political interests of his generation, he served as photo editor for the Boston Phoenix and associate publisher for the Real Paper, and his work appeared regularly in mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone, People, and Boston Magazine. After becoming photo editor for the Medical Tribune News Group and moving to New York City in the 1980s, he met and married Charlene Laino. In later years, he became involved in early efforts to create websites devoted to issues surrounding health. Albertson died in 2008.

As a photographer, Albertson covered a wide range of subjects, with particular focus on music and social change. The many thousands of prints, slides, and negatives in the collection include stunning shots of Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Lee Hooker, activists such as Abbie Hoffman, politicians, and public personalities. The collection also includes several photographic essays centered on poverty, old age, fire fighting in Boston, and prisoners in Massachusetts (among other issues) along with a wide array of landscapes and street scenes.

Gift of Charlene Laino, Oct. 2013

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--PhotographsRock musicians--PhotographsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Contributors

Simon, Peter

Types of material

Photographs
Amherst Disarmament Coalition. Vigil for Peace and Justice

Amherst Disarmament Coalition Collection

1979-1987.
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 165

Vigil for Peace and Justice group that peacefully protested the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, and government policy in Central America and the Middle East by organizing a weekly vigil in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts. Includes handouts and news clippings.

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th centuryAnti-imperialist movements--Massachusetts--AmherstAntinuclear movement--MassachusettsNuclear Moratorium Vigil (Amherst, Mass.)Peace movements--Massachusetts--AmherstSocial movements--Massachusetts--AmherstVigil for Peace and Justice (Amherst, Mass.)

Contributors

Amherst Disarmament Coalition (Amherst, Mass.)Crowe, Frances, 1919-

Types of material

Handbills
Ashcraft, Barr G.

Barr G. Ashcraft Photograph Collection

1972-1975
2 boxes, ca.125 items
Call no.: PH 007
Depiction of Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973
Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973

A graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, Wake Forest University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA, 1966), Barr Gallop Ashcraft (1940-2005) lived what he called a “gypsy” life in the late 1960s, traveling through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and eventually settling on a career in photojournalism. As a stringer for news organizations and magazines, he covered the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1972 to 1975, taking other assignments throughout Asia for magazines ranging from Life to National Geographic, Newsweek, and Time. For several years, he lived in Japan, working as a teacher, but returned to Amherst to join his father in the building trade. He remained in Amherst, lecturing occasionally on his experiences as a war correspondent, until his death at his home in Shutesbury in 2005.

The Ashcraft Photograph Collection represents a small fraction of the images he took as a freelance photographer in Southeast Asia during the early 1970s. In both black and white and color prints, the collection provides stark and often graphic evidence of the destruction of the war in Vietnam, emphasizing its latter years and the period of Vietnamization, but also includes documentary work on Cambodia. The remainder of Ashcraft’s 22,000 negatives and accompanying notes were destroyed in a house fire in 1995.

Subjects

Cambodia--PhotographsPhotojournalistsVietnam War, 1961-1975Vietnam--Photographs

Contributors

Ashcraft, Barr G

Types of material

Photographs
Barton, Thomas

Thomas Barton Papers

1947-1977 Bulk: 1960-1974
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 539
Depiction of YPSL logo
YPSL logo

In the early 1960s, Tom Barton (b. 1935) emerged as a leader in the Left-wing of the Young People’s Socialist League, the national youth affiliate of the Socialist Party. Deeply committed to the civil rights and antiwar struggles and to revolutionary organizing, Barton operated in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York and was a delegate and National Secretary at the 1964 convention in which tensions within YPSL led to its dissolution.

A small, but rich collection, the Barton Papers provide a glimpse into the career of a long-time Socialist and activist. From Barton’s entry into the Young People’s Socialist League in the latest 1950s through his work with the Wildcat group in the early 1970s, the collection contains outstanding content on the civil rights and antiwar movements and the strategies for radical organizing. The collection is particularly rich on two periods of Barton’s career — his time in the YPSL and Student Peace Union (1960-1964) and in the Wildcat group (1968-1971) — and particularly for the events surrounding the dissolution of YPSL in 1964, following a heated debate over whether to support Lyndon Johnson for president. The collection includes correspondence with other young radicals such as Martin Oppenheimer, Lyndon Henry, Juan McIver, and Joe Weiner.

Subjects

Antiwar movementsCivil rights movementsCommunistsRevolutionariesSocialist Party of the United States of AmericaSocialists--United StatesStudent Peace UnionStudents for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWildcatYoung People's Socialist League

Contributors

Barton, ThomasGilbert, CarlHenry, LyndonMacFadyen, GavinMcIver, JuanOppenheimer, MartinShatkin, JoanShatkin, NormVerret, JoeWeiner, Joe
Bey, Hanif Shabazz

Hanif Shabazz Bey Memoir

ca. 1985
1 envelope 0.10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 695 bd
Depiction of Hanif Shabazz Bey
Hanif Shabazz Bey

Hanif Shabazz Bey is one of the “Virgin Island Five” accused and convicted of murdering eight tourists at a golf course in the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 6, 1972. The murders occurred during a turbulent period of rebellion on the Islands, a time when a movement to resist colonial rule was growing in the U.S. occupied Virgin Islands and elsewhere. The reaction to the crime, which was rapidly characterized as racially and politically motivated, from the authorities was both swift and revealing: over a hundred Black activists were picked up for interrogation and the island of St. Croix was put under martial law. Beaumont Gereau (Hanif Shabazz Bey) was one of five men apprehended and charged with the attack; each of the men accused was a known supporter of the Virgin Island independence movement. Detained and subjected to torture, the five men ultimately confessed to the crime and were tried for murder. Despite the many indications that the subsequent trial was profoundly flawed, the men were found guilty and sentenced to eight consecutive life terms.

“The Beginning of Hell” is a typed memoir by Hanif Shabazz Bey, a prisoner from the Virgin Islands held in the U.S. Written sometime after 1985, the memoir provides a personal account of Bey’s childhood in the Virgin Islands, his service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and the social and political conditions of the Islands during the early 1970s that led up to his arrest and conviction for the murder of eight tourists in 1972. Bey details the torture and other harsh interrogation tactics employed by prosecutors, the trial, and its aftermath, including his confinement to prisons first in Puerto Rico and then the U.S. In prison, Bey chronicles inhumane treatment and conditions, his conversion to Islam, and his efforts to seek assistance to reduce his sentence.

Subjects

Prisoners' writingsPrisoners--United StatesPrisoners--Virgin IslandsPrisons--United States

Contributors

Bey, Hanif Shabazz

Types of material

Memoirs
Blum, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Blum Papers

1961-1968
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1136

Named for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the “Rebel Girl,” Elizabeth “Liz” Blum has worked to live up to her name through public activism, organizing, and community service in the civil rights, anti-war, women’s, anti-apartheid, co-op, and other movements. After graduating from Bennington College in 1964, Blum went south as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Vote, going door to door in northwestern Mississippi until her house in Tupelo was firebombed, forcing her to relocate to Columbus for the remainder of the registration drive. She continued her work and connections with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in New Haven as a worker for the Freedom School and the Economic Research and Action Program, and additionally lived in New York City and San Francisco before returning to Vermont in 1967 to live in a commune and teach French at Castleton University. There Blum organized an SDS chapter and women’s group before moving to Cambridge, Mass., joining the Boston Women’s Health Collective and helping to edit Our Bodies, Ourselves. A retired Occupational Therapist, Blum is currently county chair of the Vermont Progressive Party, serves on the Board of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores where she heads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and continues her diverse advocacy work through personal and community action.

Small in size, but generous in topic and form, the Blum Papers consist of correspondence and two newsletter portions with commentary on numerous events and activist groups during the first half of the 1960s. Personal experiences and reflections on national politics and trends, student and community organizing, and the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements, reveal how individuals negotiated and prioritized their thoughts and actions during such turbulent times. Correspondents include Henry M. Aronson, Ike Coleman, Vernon Grizzard, and Mike Miller, and updates from and to Blum are mostly from Mississippi, but also San Francisco, Cambridge, New Haven, and Selma.

Gift of Liz Blum, 2020.

Subjects

Activists--United States

Types of material

Correspondence
Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-

Gerard Braunthal Papers

1958-1894
6 boxes 7.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 013
Depiction of Gerard Braunthal
Gerard Braunthal

Born in Germany in 1923, Gerard Braunthal was a scholar of German politics and taught as a professor in the Political Science department from 1954. Before receiving his B.A. from Queens College in 1947, Braunthal served in intelligence during World War II, going on to receive his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1948 and Ph.D from Columbia University in 1953. While studying at Columbia, Braunthal worked as an interviewer for US Air Force intelligence. An expert on the German Social Democratic party (SPD), Braunthal published extensively on modern German politics. His work on the subject was well regarded in Germany as well as the United States. In parallel to his academic research, Braunthal was also an anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, serving on the executive committees of both the Valley Peace Center and the Citizens for Participation in Political Action (CPPAX). Braunthal received the Order of Merit from the German government.

The collection includes Braunthal’s correspondence, article manuscripts and research materials, as well as pamphlets, form-letters, and broadsides relating to anti-Vietnam war activism, interspersed with a small amount of personal correspondence from his own antiwar activities. Among his research materials is a collection of interview transcripts with members of the Federation of German Industry (BDI). There is also a significant collection of documents from his involvement with local activist groups, which includes minutes, form-letters, reports, conference proceedings, and leaflets.

Subjects

Peace movements--Massachusetts--AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political ScienceVietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-
Broadside

Broadside and Poster Collection

1798-2012
5 folders, tube 1 linear feet
Call no.: RB 034
Depiction of Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850
Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850

Printers and bibliographers use a bevy of terms to refer to works printed on one side (or sometimes both sides) of a single sheet, classified primarily by size. From large to small, posters, broadsides, and fliers refer to works used to convey a more or less focused message to an audience, often using illustrations or inventive typography to grab the attention.

Posters from Communist world, with an emphasis on the political and cultural transformations of the late 1980s through mid-1990s. The majority of posters originated in the Soviet Union, although there are examples from East Germany, China, and elsewhere.

Gift of various donors
Language(s): YiddishRussian

Subjects

Antiwar movements--PostersCommunism--PostersSoviet Union--History--1985-1991Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Posters

Types of material

Broadsheets (Formats)Broadsides (Notices)Fliers (Printed matter)Posters
Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-

Gloria Xifaras Clark Papers

1943-2015
21 boxes 10.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 865
Depiction of Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964
Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964

Gloria Xifaras Clark was working as an elementary school teacher in her home town of New Bedford in 1964 when she answered the call to enlist in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. A recent graduate of Wheelock College, she was assigned to teach in the Benton County Freedom School in Holly Springs for several months, and stayed on to help organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and to teach literacy and Negro history in Benton, Tippah, and Union Counties. She continued on the activist path after returning to Massachusetts, devoting her energies to economic justice initiatives and work with the Friends of SNCC and the NAACP, and diving headlong into the antiwar movement as head of the Greater New Bedford Draft Information Center. After spending three years in England with her family in 1972-1975, she resumed her civic and educational work in New Bedford, eventually earning appointment as head of the Commonwealth’s Office for Children under Michael Dukakis in 1983. With a keen awareness of the historical importance of the civil rights struggle, Clark became a key organizer of an oral history project during the 1990s that included her fellow veterans of the civil rights movement in northern Mississippi. The results are available digitally through the University of Southern Mississippi.

Documenting the evolution of one activist’s career, the Clark Papers offer valuable information on the Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in northern Mississippi, particularly in Tippah and Benton Counties, and civil rights activism more generally. The collection includes communiques among civil rights workers in the region, a variety of correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, and ephemera, plus a small, but noteworthy collection of photographs. Of particular significance among the later materials is a thick body of material from the Draft Information Center in New Bedford (1967-1968), the Vietnam Summer project (1967), and relating to Clark’s role in the Harvard Strike of 1969.

Subjects

American Friends Service CommitteeCivil Rights movements--MississippiCouncil of Federated Organizations (U.S.)Draft resisters--MassachusettsHarvard University--Student strike, 1969Mississippi Freedom Democratic PartyMississippi Freedom ProjectPeace movements--MasachusettsStudent Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts

Types of material

Photographs