Professor of English and Humanities at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, author, and founding member of the College English Association. Includes biographical materials; correspondence, largely professional; materials from committees and projects with which he was involved; book reviews; newsclippings; typescript of paper written as a graduate student; addresses; printed versions of published writings; photographs; audiotapes.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Maxwell H. Goldberg
Maxwell Henry Goldberg, professor of English and Humanities, scholar, and author, was born in Malden, Massachusetts on October 22, 1907. In 1924 he entered the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts), where he received his B.S. in Agricultural Education in 1928. Almost immediately after graduation he was appointed an instructor in English, and while teaching at Massachusetts Agricultural College studied for a brief period at Amherst College, then went on to Yale University, where he received the M.A. (1932) and the Ph.D. (1933) in English.
Shortly after Dr. Goldberg completed his studies at Yale, he served on the Massachusetts Agricultural College Special Committee on Revision of Course of Study, which was established to implement fully the state college concept at the newly founded Massachusetts State College (1931). As a faculty member he formulated the plans of the Humanities Section, which later became the division of Social Sciences and Humanities. In 1943, he was selected to serve the Committee on Post-War Adjustments, which was established to set the guidelines for the anticipated new university. On this occasion he submitted the plan for the Humanities Departments in the School of Liberal Arts, later to become the College of Arts and Sciences. The plan was implemented when the state college became the University of Massachusetts in 1947.
While serving as a key figure in the transformations of the agricultural college to a state college, and then to a university he worked in a variety of other roles, including: advisor to the Collegian newspaper, the Index yearbook, the Literary Quarterly, the student committee on the B.A. degree, and the Student Honor Council. During World War II he served as editor of Liaison, a wartime alumni literary publication.
On the national level Goldberg was a founding member and Executive Officer of the College English Association, as well as Editor of the CEA Critic (1950-1959). He also served the Humanities Center for Liberal Education in an Industrial Society, Inc. as Executive Director (1951-1962) and President (1962-1972), the American Association for Higher Education as an executive committee member (1959-1962), the Society for the Advancement of Education as a member of the board of Trustees (1966- ), and the American Association of University Professors as a President of the University of Massachusetts chapter.
From 1955 to 1960 Professor Goldberg was Chairman of the English Department of the University. Under his direction a creative and technical writing program, a journalism program, and a Ph.D. program in English were established. He was also instrumental in establishing several staff posts, including a director of Freshman English, a co-ordinator for graduate students, and several research professorships in the English Department. He also served as Chairman of the Land-Grant Centennial Committee, and Chairman of the Faculty Committee on Long Range Academic Planning.
In 1960 he took a leave of absence to assist the nascent University of South Florida in creating a College of Arts and Sciences. After returning to the University of Massachusetts he was named the first Commonwealth Professor of Humanities. Upon retirement in 1962 he became Emeritus Commonwealth Professor of Humanities.
Papers include correspondence, speeches, published writings, papers written as a graduate student, biographical material, book reviews, subject files, news clippings, audiotapes, photographs, and material from committees and projects with which he was involved, including the College English Association, College English Association Institute, Humanities Center for Liberal Education, and American Humanities Seminar.
Evident are extensive reports, notebooks, statistics, and studies compiled by Dr. Goldberg in his analysis of faculty teaching loads (1940-1944); they include reports and statistics on class enrollment, percentages of men and women students in various majors, numbers of faculty and extent of work load, and expected increase of the student population after the war.
Well-represented in the collection are short publications authored by Dr. Goldberg (1931-1976), including essays on literature, poetry, education, and the changing role of the university.
After 1962, the year Dr. Goldberg retired from the University of Massachusetts, the collection consists of material from his projects as well as his short publications. Project materials include reports, offprints, pamphlets, texts used in projects, and related newsclippings. Represented is his work with the National Blindness Research Conference (1969) for which he edited the expansive volume it produced.
This collection is organized into nine series:
Acquired from Maxwell Goldberg, 1980-1986.
Processed by Linda Seidman, 1986.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Maxwell H. Goldberg Papers (RG 40/11 Goldberg). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.