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

Collecting area: Women

Horrigan, Leonta G.

Leonta G. Horrigan Papers

ca.1936-1986
37 boxes 55.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 114

A member of the Massachusetts State College Class of 1936, Leonta Gertrude Horrigan was affiliated with UMass Amherst throughout her long career in academia. After receiving he MA from Smith College in 1942 for a thesis on DeQuincy and Milton, Horrigan taught creative writing, composition, among writing classes, to UMass undergraduates, and was frequently singled out as a favorite instructor on campus. In 1964, she was appointed Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and retired to emeritus status in 1986.

The Horrigan Papers contain nearly a half century record of instruction in writing education at UMass, with a wide array of other materials relating to Horrigan’s varied interest, events on campus, and to the evolution of the university in the post-war years.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

Horrigan, Leonta G
Huntington, Catherine Sargent

Catherine Sargent Huntington Papers

1847-2003 Bulk: 1890-1984
29 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1164

Actress, producer/director, theater company founder, teacher, activist, avid gardener, and devoted family-member, colleague and friend, Catharine Sargent Huntington was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts on December 29, 1887. She attended Radcliffe College, graduating in 1911, and taught English and Theater at The Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut from 1911 to approximately 1917. By the end of 1918 she had begun her theater career in earnest, working as a dramatic coach in the Boston area. In January 1919, she became the Radcliffe College representative to the Wellesley unit of the Y.M.C.A., working in France on war reconstruction before returning to Massachusetts to continue her work with the theater, particularly experimental theater, which was to endure for the next 60-plus years through her patronage, and her many performances, productions, and theater companies.

Spanning as it does almost a century from the late 1800s to the late 1900s, this collection captures Catherine Sargent Huntington’s many interests, professional and personal activities and connections, and close family relationships, through more than 2,300 pieces of personal and business correspondence; photographs; photographic negatives; theater programs; scripts; original manuscripts of her poems, speeches, stage notes, and theater production scenarios; newspapers and newspaper clippings; estate and will information; organizational documents of the many organizations she helped direct; personal financial documents; and other printed material and items of ephemera.

Gift of Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc., December 2021.

Subjects

Huntington family

Contributors

Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1887-1987

Types of material

Photographs
Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive

Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive

ca. 1920-2023
Call no.: MS 1182
Depiction of Maya Angelou at James Baldwin's birthday party, 1984. Photo by Irma McClaurin.
Maya Angelou at James Baldwin's birthday party, 1984. Photo by Irma McClaurin.

The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive (BFA) is an archival home for Black women and their allies. Founded by Dr. Irma McClaurin, Black feminist anthropologist, academic administrator, award-winning poet and author, past president of Shaw University and leader in higher education, the BFA seeks to identify Black women from all walks of life who are artists, activists, and academics but may not be well known, and document their wide array of contributions at many levels: community, state, national, and global. In addition to being an ongoing resource for academic and community researchers, the BFA also aims to be a training center, where Black archivists can actively participate in their own history and uplift and protect the endangered legacy of Black women.

The BFA is an umbrella collection, made up of a growing and diverse group of collections documenting Black women, allies, movements, and organizations. Highlights include the papers of renown anthropologists Sheila Walker and Carolyn Martin Shaw; Belizean writer Zee Edgell; activist and educator Cheryl Evans, who founded the Black Pioneers Project documenting the experience of Black students at UMass Amherst during the late 1960s; Lawrence (Larry) Paros, a UMass alum and forerunner of the Alternative Education movement in America, past director of the 1968 Yale Summer High School (YSHS); and the papers of Dr. Irma McClaurin, BFA founder, which include her photographs of iconic Black figures.

Collections include:

Jefferson, Lorian P.

Lorian P. Jefferson Papers

1913-1929
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 072
Depiction of Lorian Jefferson, photo by Frank Waugh
Lorian Jefferson, photo by Frank Waugh

An historian of economics specializing in American agriculture, Lorian Pamela Jefferson was one of the first women in the field and became an expert on New England agricultural industry. Born in 1871 near Necedah, Wisconsin, Jefferson earned her B.L. from Lawrence University in 1892 and her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1907, continuing on to study towards her PhD though she never finished her research. Jefferson began working at the University in 1912 as an expert in the Division of Rural Social Science and became a professor of Agricultural Economics in 1915. Known as “Miss J”, Jefferson was a dedicated teacher and published extensively on various aspects of agricultural industry and marketing, including the McIntosh apple market and the agricultural labor movement. Illness forced Jefferson’s retirement from the University in 1935 and she died shortly thereafter.

Industry reports, farm and community market assessments, and many of her published articles make up the majority of the collection. There is also a bound volume of correspondence and pamphlets by Jefferson from 1914 titled “Letters Relating to economic Entomology in the United States.” Among the published work is a copy of the magazine Farm and Garden from April, 1924.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Agricultural Economics

Contributors

Jefferson, Lorian P
Jones, Ellen M.

Ellen Jones Diary

1856-1869
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 370 bd

Ellen M. Jones was born in Lewis, N.Y., near the western shore of Lake Champlain, on Sept. 29, 1840. The daughter of a farmer originally from Vermont, Jones attended school in nearby Keeseville and witnessed a brother, Albert, go off to fight in the Civil War.

As a young woman living on her family’s farm in upstate New York, Ellen Jones kept a brief, rapidly written diary detailing local and family news as the nation edged into Civil War. In addition to concerns over her fragile health and the passing of local men and women, she includes a nicely detailed description of a Catholic wedding, 1858, a visit to John Brown’s grave in North Elba on July 4, 1860, and several brief allusions to her brothers and friends serving in the Union Army.

Subjects

New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--19th centuryUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contributors

Jones, Ellen M.

Types of material

Diaries
Judy Polan Papers

Judy Polan Papers

1962-2019 Bulk: 1979-1995
6 boxes 5.84 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1178
Judy Polan playing acoustic guitar
Judy Polan, ca. 1984

Judy Polan was a folk musician who performed primarily throughout Western Mass and New England in the 1980s and 1990s. Born in 1948 in Albany, New York, she graduated from Barnard College in 1970 with a degree in Russian. She worked as a translator in Cambridge, Massachusetts and taught guitar lessons part-time before eventually moving to teaching and performing full time. She married Michael Schonbach in 1975 and moved to Western Mass two years later, living first in Northampton and then Chesterfield. During this period, her music career blossomed. She quickly became a favorite at local coffeehouses and other venues such as the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton the Sounding Board Coffeehouse in West Hartford, and Passim in Cambridge, playing both original songs and covers from a wide variety of genres. She was a four-time recipient of the “favorite musician” award in the Valley Advocate Reader’s Poll in 1985, 1993, 1994, and 1995. She was frequently played on radio stations throughout New England and Upstate New York. Polan also performed at weddings and children’s events. Her husband, Michael Schonbach often accompanied her on violin.

She released her first album, Judy, Judy, Judy in 1984 on her own record label, Ruby Slippers Records. The name was an homage to her love of the Wizard of Oz, songs from which would often feature in her shows. She was known by her fans as the “Folk Glitter Queen of New England”, due to her eclectic style of both music and costume, which often featured glittery red high heels fashioned after Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Over the course of her career she released two more full-length albums and one EP, Look to the Starsin 1986, Dream Dances in 1992 and Daffodils in 1996. Also in 1996, she released a musical interpretation of the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth, which was used in a tourism campaign for the Lake District in Northwest England. During the early 2000s, Polan’s career shifted to writing, and she worked as an editor and writer for magazines such as Style 1900, Modernism and Jewish Ledger. She mainly wrote about design and travel and maintained a website and blog, Mad for Mod, throughout the 2010s. She also wrote humorous audio memoir essays that were featured on the Albany, NY NPR affiliate, WAMC. She also published a book of poetry, Glasgow Colours at a Decorative Arts Programme at the University of Glasgow. Her husband Michael passed away on June 16, 2022.

The Judy Polan Papers contain material from throughout Polan’s career as a working musician. This includes promotional materials such as concert flyers, profiles in local publications, business and personal correspondence, sheet music, and lyrics. It also contains several dozen recordings contained on different formats such as reels, cassette tapes, records and CDs. These consist of commercial releases, live shows, radio appearances, demo recordings, and master tapes. Polan’s ruby slippers, that she wore during performances, are also part of the collection.

Aaron Mintz, 2022

Subjects

Folk music--MassachusettsFolk musicians--MassachusettsMusic--Massachusetts--NorthamptonWomen folk musicians--Massachusetts

Types of material

AudiotapesConcert programsCorrespondenceMusic postersNewspaper clippingsOpen reel audiotapesOptical disksPhotographsPoetry
Restrictions: none
Karen Lederer Political Button Collection

Karen Lederer Political Button Collection

1978-2018 Bulk: 1980-1998
1 .05 linear feet
Call no.: 1167
Assortment of buttons from the Karen Lederer Political Button Collection

Collection of 38 political buttons donated by Karen Lederer, UMass Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department faculty member, covering several social change issues including: gay rights, political candidates, unions, anti-nuclear activism, women’s rights, campaigns at UMass, racism, anti-war movement, AIDS, single payer health care, the environment, domestic violence, the Equal Rights Amendment, and other assorted events in Western Mass.

Gift of Karen Lederer, July 2022

Subjects

Anti-nuclear movements--MassachusettsGay Liberation MovementLabor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

Karen Lederer

Types of material

Buttons (information artifacts)
Kerewsky-Halpern, Barbara

Barbara Kerewsky-Halpern Papers

ca. 1942-2000
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1067
Depiction of Kerewsky-Halpern teaching ca. 1980
Kerewsky-Halpern teaching ca. 1980

Barbara Kerewsky Halpern was an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. She was also a prodigious writer, researcher, and lecturer. After earning a bachelors in geography from Barnard College (1953), she accompanied her new husband, Joel M. Halpern, to Serbia, helping him with his field project which would later result in his Ph.D. thesis and book, A Serbian Village (1958). She continued to work with her husband on numerous projects. After her youngest daughter was school age, she went back to college, earning a Master of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, followed by a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1979. In 1983, she published a book entitled “These Are Your Neighbors” published by the Cambridge Book Company. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the mid-1970’s, which motivated her to investigate various medical issues within Anthropology, eventually becoming a medical anthropologist. She became a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais method, establishing her own practice under the name, “Mind Over Movement”. She gave presentations throughout her life, lecturing on various topics. In 1992, she served as an expert witness in the trial of Sadri Krasniqi, an Albanian man falsely accused of sexually molesting his daughter. In 1995, she was interviewed on the television program 20/20 by Hugh Downs about the case.

The Barbara Halpern Papers consists of many letters received from her childhood pen pals, college friends and family members. Documents from her early schooling as well as those of college and professional work as a lecturer and Feldenkrais practitioner form the bulk of the collection. Correspondence with Ethel (nee Russell) Breen, a young British girl, began in 1942 and continued to Breen’s death in 1996. The bulk of these letters, dated from 1942 to 1952, mention World War II, and other elements of daily life at that period.

Subjects

Feldenkrais methodMedical anthropologyMultiple sclerosisWorld War, 1939-1945--Children
Kingsbury family

Kingsbury Family Papers

1862-2006 Bulk: 1881-1902
10 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 504
Depiction of Kingsbury children, ca.1910
Kingsbury children, ca.1910

The family of Roxana Kingsbury Gould (nee Weed) farmed the rocky soils of western New England during the late nineteenth century. Roxana’s first husband Ambrose died of dysentery shortly after the Civil War, leaving her to care for their two infant sons, and after marrying her second husband, Lyman Gould, she relocated from southwestern Vermont to Cooleyville and then (ten years later) to Shelburne, Massachusetts. The Goulds added a third son to their family in 1869.

A rich collection of letters and photographs recording the history of the Kingsbury-Gould families of Shelburne, Massachusetts. The bulk of the letters are addressed to Roxana Kingsbury Gould, the strong-willed matriarch at the center of the family, and to her granddaughter, May Kingsbury Phillips, the family’s first historian. In addition to documenting the complicated dynamics of a close-knit family, this collection is a rich source for the study of local history, rural New England, and the social and cultural practices at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Gift of Conrad and Michiko Totman, 2006

Subjects

Conway (Mass.)--GenealogyKingsbury FamilyShelburne (Mass.)--GenealogyTotman family

Contributors

Drew, Raymond Totman, 1923-1981Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-Totman, Conrad DTotman, Ruth J

Types of material

GenealogiesLetters (Correspondence)MemoirsPhotographsTintypes
Kotker, Zane

Zane and Norman Kotker Papers

1956-2016
54 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 948
Depiction of Zane Kotker, photo taken by her husband Norman, ca. 1972
Zane Kotker, photo taken by her husband Norman, ca. 1972

The writer Zane Kotker was born Mary Zane Hickcox in Southbury, Connecticut, in 1934. After graduating from Middlebury College (1956), Kotker led a busy life working short stints in and out of Manhattan as a secretary, researcher, writer, teacher, and editor, collaborating on the side with a friend to publish a little magazine while earning a master’s degree in history from Columbia University. In 1965, she married a fellow writer, Norman Kotker, and while raising their two children, David (born 1967) and Ariel (1969), the couple began writing in earnest. An editor at Horizon Books, Norman used his weekends to write his first book, The Holy Land in the Time of Jesus (1967), following up with two novels, Miss Rhode Island (1978) and Learning About God (1988). A stay-at-home, free-lancing mother, Zane used her “free” time for writing as well, completing her first novel by taking advantage of a babysitter on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and going on to publish five other novels, numerous short stories, and a volume of poetry. Norman Kotker died in 1999 years after first being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Zane Kotker continues to write and publish; her novella Goodnight Ladies was released in 2016.

The records of a highly productive literary couple, the Zane and Norman Kotker Papers contain manuscript drafts, notes, research materials, correspondence, and reviews. Reflecting both the co-operation and the competition connecting married writers, the collection offers insight issues ranging from the financial challenges of supporting the writing careers of two novelists to the challenges of a woman attempting to define herself professionally during the early 1970s and the publishing scene in New York City in the 1970s through 1990s. The collection also include materials related to the founding of the Well Spouse Association–Zane was a founding member of the organization created to provide a support system for individuals caring for chronically ill and/or disabled spouses–including her nonfiction writing published under the name Maggie Strong.

Gift of Zane Kotker, Sept. 2016

Subjects

Judaism and cultureJudaism--HistoryMotherhood--FictionMultiple sclerosis--PatientsReligion--FictionWell Spouse AssociationWomen writers

Contributors

Kotker, NormanKotker, Zane