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

Collecting area: Women & feminism

Stinson, Mary B.

Mary B. Stinson Collection

1974-1981
2 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 824
Depiction of

Throughout the 1970s, Mary B. Stinson (formerly Lindblom) was an active member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in California and served as a delegate to the First National Women’s Conference in Houston.

The collection includes several ephemeral objects reflecting Stinson’s activism including IWY pendant necklaces and an ERA license plate frame, along with published reports and articles relating to the IWY and a 1979 NOW conference in California.

Gift of Mary B. Stinson, May 2014

Subjects

Equal rights amendmentsFeminism--United StatesInternational Women's Year ConferenceNational Organization for WomenWomen's rights--United States

Contributors

Stinson, Mary B.
Stokes, Ann R.

Ann R. Stokes Papers

ca. 1911-2013 Bulk: ca. 1960-2010
10 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1124

Ann Richardson Stokes (1931-2016) was an activist, artist, and community builder across such issues as progressive politics, women’s and lesbian/gay rights, and the environmental and antinuclear movements. Stokes was born and educated in New Jersey, the daughter of Dr. Emlen Stokes and Lydia Babbott Stokes, and the great grand-daughter of Charles Pratt. A lifelong Quaker and longtime member of Putney Friends Meeting, Ann moved to Welcome Hill in West Chesterfield, NH in 1959. She helped build and run the studio retreat for women artists, Welcome Hill Studios, which has been inspiring and nurturing artists since the 1970s, and in 1985 Stokes published an account of the all-woman-built first studio in “A Studio Of One’s Own.” A fabled party thrower, she hosted Nina Simone, Odetta, the Arthur Hall African-American Dance Troupe and many others, and built up lore around “Madame Sherrie” with her events and with a gift of land in West Chesterfield known as Madame Sherrie’s, which now includes the Ann Stokes Loop hike. A talented writer and painter, Ann penned numerous thoughtful letters to editors across the country, but was happy to engage personally in social action as well, such as when she was jailed for two weeks for protesting the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in 1977 or when she ran, unsuccessfully, for Sheriff in West Chesterfield.

The Ann R. Stokes Papers document Ann’s varied and passionate life of art, community building, Quakerism, and activism. The building and story of Welcome Hill Studios, as well as Ann’s famous parties, are well documented with scrapbooks, photographs, and posters. Her engagement with the Putney Friends Meeting is evident through numerous records and correspondence. Family photo albums and scrapbooks document the Stokes extended family history, and Ann’s own writing, photographs, and art (mostly original paintings and prints) make up a bulk of the collection. Ann’s collection of women/lesbian organization’s newsletters, mostly from the 1980s-2000s, with titles such as Lezzie Fair, Open Closet, Lesbian Connection, the Revolutionary & Radical Feminist Newsletter, show her engagement with local and national women’s issues.

Gift of Elissa Pine and Welcome Hill Studios, 2020.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--United StatesArtists' studios--New HampshireLesbian community--New EnglandQuakers--New HampshireWomen artists

Contributors

Stokes, Ann

Types of material

CorrespondenceNewslettersPaintings (visual works)Photographs
Stokes, Daniel M. J.

Daniel M. J. and Joyce Stokes Papers

1984-1996
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 661

From 1987 through early 1988, Daniel and Joyce Stokes published Into the Night, “a newsletter for freedom for political prisoners held in the United States.” Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., this simply-produced publication offered updates and commentary on Americans imprisoned for politically-motivated acts. Reflecting both the legacy of 1960s radicalism and the resurgent activism associated with U.S. imperialism in Central America, Into the Night offered news on the Ohio 7 sedition trial, the MOVE organization, and the fate of Plowshares war resisters.

The Stokes collection contains correspondence from subscribers and supporters of Into the Night, fleshing out their political philosophy and the conditions of imprisonment. Drawn from groups including the MOVE organization, the United Freedom Front, Black Liberation Army, and Plowshares, the correspondents include Ramona Africa, Alberto Aranda, Philip Berrigan, Marilyn Buck, Carl Kabat, Ray Luc Levasseur, Ruchell Cinque Magee, and Carol Manning. The collection also includes copies of other radical publications and a complete run of Into the Night itself.

Subjects

African American prisonersAfrican American radicalsAnti-imperialist movementsCommunistsInto the NightMOVE (Group)Ohio 7PlowsharesPolitical prisonersPrisonersRadicalsRevolutionariesUnited Freedom Front

Contributors

Africa, RamonaAranda, AlbertoBerrigan, PhilipBuck, MarilynGelabert, Ana LuciaHernandez, Alvaro LKabat, CarlLevasseur, Ray LucMagee, Ruchell CinqueStokes, Daniel M. J.Stokes, Joyce

Types of material

Newsletters
Swaim, Nina

Nina Swaim Papers

ca. 1950-2015
4 boxes 5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1125

Eleanor “Nina” Hathaway Swaim (1938-2015) was a feminist, environmental and antinuclear activist, antiwar organizer, and proponent of women’s collective enterprises globally. She was arrested for the final time just a month before her death, chained to the gates of a pipe yard in Williston, VT, protesting a fracked gas pipeline. Born into a conservative family in Sharon, MA, Swaim was radicalized during the mid-sixties by courses at the Free University on the Lower East Side and during the 1968 occupations at Columbia University, where she was an administrator. She joined the It’s All Right to be a Woman Theater in 1970 and toured the country with them before leaving New York City to work in a GI bookstore near a military base in Massachusetts, helping soldiers protesting the Vietnam War. Learning the printing trade, she moved to Vermont and co-founded the women’s collective press, New Victoria Press, worked as a mediation coordinator for the Vermont Supreme Court, and became a strong force in the antinuclear movement, helping found the Upper Valley Energy Coalition (UVCE), and co-authoring a book with Susan Koen, “A Handbook for Women on the Nuclear Mentality.” She met her husband, Douglas Smith, through UVEC, and the pair worked on numerous antinuclear, environmental, and other grassroots campaigns and protests together, including a project in Mozambique on water access, where Swaim worked as a cooperator with the revolutionary Organization of Mozambican Women. Other international work included picking cotton in Nicaragua, visiting Cuba under siege, and touring Gandhian centers in India to learn practical nonviolence and social change techniques. A practicing Buddhist, Swaim was an avid writer, gardener, beekeeper, and hiker, and in addition to her other causes, spearheaded numerous events related to the natural world, food security, and honeybees.

The Nina Swaim Papers offer an intimate look into the life of an indomitable and inspiring grassroots activist focused on both local Vermont issues and global concerns. Unpublished writings, clippings, and correspondence, as well as photographs, tapes, and scrapbooks reflect her international travels and work, as well as her community and concerns in the antinuclear and environmental movements based out of Vermont. Detailed writings, reflections, short stories, travel notes, and a comprehensive set of journals dating from the late sixties make up a large part of the collection. They are full of the musings of an activist pondering the meaning of women’s consciousness raising and conflict settlement, of worker collectives and other community building, of struggles and misunderstandings between lesbian and straight women, of power in organizations like Clamshell Alliance and the Upper Valley Energy Coalition, of motherhood and aging, and of the relationship between action for social change and spiritual practice.

Gift of Douglas V. Smith, 2021.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--United StatesAntinuclear movement--VermontEnvironmental justiceFeminismNuclear energy--VermontPeace movements--United States

Contributors

Nina Swaim

Types of material

CorrespondenceDiariesPersonal narrativesPhotographs
Taylor, Katya Sabaroff

Katya Sabaroff Taylor Papers

1959-2015
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 871
Depiction of Katya Sabaroff Taylor, 2015
Katya Sabaroff Taylor, 2015

Earning a B.A. in Literature from Antioch College and an M.A. in Education from Columbia University, Katya Sabaroff Taylor has worked as a journalist and editor, health educator, women’s studies instructor, massage therapist, yoga teacher and workshop facilitator. In 1980 she founded Creative Arts and Healing workshops, classes, and retreats to nurture the link between creativity and the healing process.

The collection features a wide range of Taylor’s work, reflecting her life-long love of writing and teaching. Her poetry, essays, and fiction are included along with her memoirs and personal accounts, the collected writings of several classes of prison inmates enrolled in Taylor’s creative writing workshops, and the recollections of former members of the Liberation News Service.

Subjects

DiaristsLiberation News Service (New York, N.Y.)Prison educatorsWomen authors

Types of material

EssaysMemoirsPoemsShort stories
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Division of Continuing Education

University of Massachusetts Amherst. Continuing Education

1970-2007
36 linear feet
Call no.: RG 007

The Division of Continuing Education was established in 1970 as the de facto academic outreach arm of the University. Designed to improve access to the academic resources of the University for part-time students, this entailed both the development of a specialized admissions process and an integrated counseling, advising, registration, and records operation geared to the needs of part-time students. The Division continues to provide specialized services and programming for part-time students including Tutoring Enrichment Assistance Model for Public School Students (TEAMS) and the Arts Extension Service, which acts as a catalyst between the fine arts resources of the University and the people in the Commonwealth.

The record group documents the activities of the Division of Continuing Education (1970-2007), Everywoman’s Center — including the Women of Color Leadership Network (1971-2007), and the University Conference Services (1906-2007).

Subjects

Continuing education

Contributors

Everywoman's CenterUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Arts Extension ServiceUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Division of Continuing EducationWomen of Color Leadership Network
Valley Women’s Union

Valley Women's Union Records

1974-1976
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 201

The Valley Women’s Union was established in 1974 by members of the Valley Women’s Center, Northampton, Massachusetts, who were committed to political change benefiting women. They were concerned that the Valley Women’s Center had become a static umbrella organization and that many of its formerly vital functions had been absorbed by local social service agencies The VWU sought to unify groups that were working for political change beneficial to women.

Records include newsletters, agendas for meetings, reports, position papers, and mailings.

Gift of Dale Melcher, 1986

Subjects

Feminism--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--HistoryFeminists--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity--HistorySocial change--Political activity--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--HistoryWomen--Massachusetts--Pioneer Valley--Political activity --History

Contributors

Valley Women's Union (Northampton, Mass.)
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
WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

ca.1968-2010
Call no.: MS 788
Depiction of

On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The station’s eclectic and unpredictable broadcasts included music from little-known performers who would emerge into the biggest acts of the day; regularly scheduled live musical performances from local clubs; trenchant political analysis and newscasts of the major events of the day; interviews with legendary cultural figures; and innovative new shows including one of the first women’s programs and the Lavender Hour, the nation’s first regularly broadcast LGBT radio show. Music, politics, culture, and community were intensely interconnected through WBCN, while its “listener line,” which took calls and answered questions on any subject, helped make it a virtual two-way hub for countercultural Boston.

While producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974, former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein recognized the importance of archiving the wealth of primary materials that told the story of WBCN, its community and the dramatic changes of the era. The American Revolution Documentary Collection is the product of Lichtenstein’s energy, serving as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people who witnessed and took part in an extended public conversation on the direction of our nation during the period of profound social, political, and cultural upheaval and who used media to help change it.

WBCN and the American Revolution collections include:

Selected recordings from the Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. ​Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID’s, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN-FM’s launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/

Subjects

Alternative radio broadcasting--MassachusettsBoston (Mass.)--History--20th centuryCambridge (Mass.)--History--20th centuryNineteen sixtiesRock musicVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)

Types of material

PhotographsSound recordings
Weather Underground Collection

Weather Underground Organization Collection

1918-1978 Bulk: 1973-1978
5 boxes 2.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1145

The 1960s and 1970s were decades rich with activist organizations intent on radically transforming U.S. politics and society as well as striving to end racial and gender inequality. One such group was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Launched in 1962, with the infamous Port Huron Statement, SDS helped the nascent anti-Vietnam war movement gain traction in 1965 by organizing the first national demonstration in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the next four years, the organization grew at a rapid pace, claiming over 300 chapters under its moniker. Arguments over tactics and strategy culminated during an eventful national convention in June of 1969 in which three factions, all claiming to represent “the true SDS”, split the organization apart.
               
The most notorious of these factions was the Weathermen, (later renamed the less patriarchal Weather Underground Organization [WUO]). The WUO aimed to spark revolution in the United States, initially, through the use of targeted political bombings, political communiques, and support of Black liberation movements. Following the March 1970 accidental self-bombing of three of its New York collective members, Ted Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins in a New York townhouse owned by Cathy Wilkerson’s father, the organization opted to conduct more targeted bombings where no one would be hurt.
               
After two-to three-years of high-profile bombings, including the U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, corporate buildings, and law enforcement institutions, with minimal impact, the organization began to consider how to regain influence with the greater Left. This began WUO’s “inversion” phase which included the publication of a book/manifesto titled Prairie Fire, the establishment of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, and a periodical, Osawatomie. The WUO’s Central Committee believed that this inversion strategy would allow them to influence and lead the greater anti-war/anti-imperialist movement.

The inversion strategy did not spark the all-encompassing revolution imagined by the WUO and members slowly began to surface, breaking apart the organization in the mid-late 1970s. While the WUO did not accomplish what they set out to do, their extreme tactics and notoriety with the FBI left lasting impressions on American society and the history of activism in the 1970s.
     
This small collection of materials donated by a member of the WUO includes books, pamphlets, manuscripts, notes, military manuals, maps of correctional facilities, and correspondence between members from 1973 to 1978, many of them coded through the use of letters replacing names. It also holds papers critical of  the WUO written by its own members between 1976 and 1978. This represents the period when Clayton Van Lydegaf gathered members in his “Cadre School”, to rigorously analyze and document how the organization fell apart, including a transcript from a recorded interview session in which Bernadine Dohrn repudiated all methods and practices of the WUO. These papers reflect the power struggle seen later within the WUO, as well as the contempt that many of its members grew to nurture for the organization as it strayed from its original purpose.

The collection also contains many political papers on subjects such as women and their place within the WUO, the anti-fascist movement, Black liberation movements, imperialism, and the origins of fascism. It also holds accounts of the WUO’s history, along with critiques, notes, and adaptations for their manifesto, Prairie Fire.

Gift of Jeff Perry, 2021

Subjects

FeminismImperialismRevolutionariesWeather Underground Organization--History

Types of material

CorrespondenceManuals (instructional materials)Notes (documents)Pamphlets