Marie Phillips Collection

  • 1888-1983 (Bulk: 1936-1938)
  • 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
  • Call no.: FS 170

For many years, the UMass Amherst campus was home to several colonies of feral cats that took up residence in its barns and outbuildings, and beginning with Leo V. Robinson in 1945, a succession of individuals were moved to feed and care for the cats. An alumna and employee in Human Relations, Marie Phillips (BA '78, MPA '91) took over as feral cat caretaker between 1991 and 2007, joined by her colleague Meg Caulmare of the English Department, and together they supported the colonies along the Cat Corridor stretching from the rear of Munson Hall to the Queen Anne Horse Barn. With increasing construction on campus and careful rehoming, the feral cat population was gradually reduced on campus until 2014, when the last cats to live in the Horse Barn, Mr. Junie Moon and Rusty, were given a home by Caulmare. Phillips wrote about her experiences with two of the more notable cats on campus, Dadcat and Ashes, in her book Dadcat University (2007).

The Phillips collection offers a visual records of the lives of the feral cats on the UMass Amherst campus. A strong supporter of efforts to preserve the declining Horse Barn, Phillips also accumulated photographs, reports, and research materials on the barn and horses at the university.

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Background on Marie Phillips


An image of: Marie Phillips and Jakie near Bartlett Hall, 2007

Marie Phillips and Jakie near Bartlett Hall, 2007

For many years, the UMass Amherst campus was home to several colonies of feral cats that took up residence in its barns and outbuildings, and beginning with Leo V. Robinson in 1945, a succession of individuals were moved to feed and care for the cats. An alumna and employee in Human Relations, Marie Phillips (BA '78, MPA '91) took over as feral cat caretaker between 1991 and 2007, joined by her colleague Meg Caulmare of the English Department, and together they supported the colonies along the Cat Corridor stretching from the rear of Munson Hall to the Queen Anne Horse Barn. With increasing construction on campus and careful rehoming, the feral cat population was gradually reduced on campus until 2014, when the last cats to live in the Horse Barn, Mr. Junie Moon and Rusty, were given a home by Caulmare. Phillips wrote about her experiences with two of the more notable cats on campus, Dadcat and Ashes, in her book Dadcat University (2007).

Scope of collection

The Phillips collection offers a visual records of the lives of the feral cats on the UMass Amherst campus. A strong supporter of efforts to preserve the declining Horse Barn, Phillips also accumulated photographs, reports, and research materials on the barn and horses at the university.

Inventory

Cats at UMass Amherst: Horse Barn colony
1994-1999
16 images
Box 1: 1
Contents:

Cats playing in open back of police horse trailer parked at the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst. Left side: Tyler with Mr. Moustache behind her; right: Tippie on the ramp and Woodrow inside.

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Ginger tabby standing in open door to the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Dilute calico cat on gravel near the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Mr. Moustache posed inside the open doorway to Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Mr. Moustache seated in the doorway to the Queen Anne Horse Barn at UMass Amherst, with two calico kittens nearby.

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Mr. Moustache seated in the doorway to the Queen Anne Horse Barn at UMass Amherst, hissing at two calico kittens nearby.

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Gray and white kitten.

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Formerly feral cat (dilute tuxedo) from the Queen Anne Horse Barn at UMass Amherst, sitting in comfort.

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Ginger cat standing by entrance to the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Piebald tabby cat posted on grass outside Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Gray and white cat seated on pavement, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Gray and white cat seated on pavement, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tyler (left, dilute tuxedo) and Mr. Moustache (tuxedo) in the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

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Profile of black and white cat at the Queen Anne Horse Barn at UMass Amherst, seated on the grass.

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Gray and white kittens in the hay.

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Woodrow (black and white cat) curled up on fabric in the Horse Barn, UMass Amherst.

Cats at UMass Amherst: Munson Annex colony
1992-1999
29 images
Box 1: 2
Contents:

Gray and white cat slinking up brick pile, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Ashes and Dacat (l. to r.) on grass by Whitmore Hall; part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Black and white cats standing on the grass by construction, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tuxedo cat on a concrete stairway, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Black cat along west side of Whitmore, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Long-haired gray cat at a food station, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Black cat lying on sidewalk, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Dadcat posed on a pile of cinder blocks, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Dadcat seated on top of tall hedges by Tobin Hall surveying his realm, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Black and white cat standing among bushes, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tuxedo cat standing by concrete building, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Blue cat standing in the grass next to a building, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Kiddus and Dadcat (l. to r.) posed on a pile of cinder blocks, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Calico cat standing among rhododendrons, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tuxedo cat standing at the base of pine tree, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tuxedo cats feeding at the base of pine tree, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Black and white cat seated in Windsor chair, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Gray and white kitten walking on a side table; part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Gray and white kitten on a blanket; part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Gray and white kitten on a carpet; part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Gray and white kitten on a carpet; part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Calico cat sitting on a brick pile behind Munson Annex, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats

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Ginger kitten lurking among rhododendrons, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Tortoise shell cat enjoying wetfood on the lawn, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Polydactyl blue cat walking through the grass, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Dadcat standing in construction area near Munson Annex, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Long-haired tortoiseshell, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Kittens feeding by a brick pile, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

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Kittens standing by a brick pile behind Munson Annex, part of the Munson-Bartlett colony of feral cats.

Cats at UMass Amherst: Munson Annex colony
1993-1997
14 items
Box 1: 3
Contents:

View of the door into the extension built for the pottery kilns.

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ray and white cat waiting patiently in leaf litter.

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Black and white cat with unnamed kitten at Munson Annex.

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Black and white cat and kitten among debris in Munson Annex.

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Black cat rolling on the sidewalk.

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Backhoe tearing up the way for steam line replacement; former kilns at the rear of Munson Annex can be seen at the far left of the image.

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Dismantling of the cat center at Munson Annex; south face of Boyden Gym in the background.

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Black and white cat napping behind sign announced road closure for steam line replacement project.

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Showing the pottery kiln area and "quonset hut" where the cat colony was centered in winter

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Note the trash bin in the foreground has a sign reading "Please do not feed the cats. They are becoming a health problem in our building. We will be forced the trap them."

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View of the remaining cinder block wall and three kilns.

Cats at UMass Amherst: Marie Phillips with Jakie at Bartlett Hall
2007 Aug.
Box 1: 4
Contents:

Phillips holding Jakie near rear of Bartlett Hall.

Cats at UMass Amherst: copies of photographs
1897-1964
Box 1: 5
Horse Barn: background information
1993-1994
Box 1: 6
Contents:

Copies of background documents used in raising support to save the barn.

Horse Barn: photographs
ca.1910-1994
9 items
Box 1: 7
Contents:

Hawthorne, long-time UMass employee, gives visitors a hayride at the third annual barn festival in Hadley. The cart is marked UMass Equine Center.

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View looking to the northwest of the barn complex west of Grinnell Arena, including the hay barn and dairy barns.

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Mr. Moustache seated in the doorway to the Queen Anne Horse Barn at UMass Amherst.

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View of center section of the Horse Barn, showing cupola and slate roof.

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View of the doors and west gable of the horse barn with snow plow blade in front.

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View of stall door.

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View of hay crib in the corner of a stall.

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View down row of horse stalls.

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View down row of horse stalls.

Horse Barn: reports
1987-2012
Box 1: 8
Contents:

Includes correspondence supporting renovation of the barn and copy of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Building Reports.

Horse Barn: restoration
1987-1995
Box 1: 9
Contents:

Background information, Massachusetts Historical Commission Building Reports, and other documents used in Horse Barn Restoration Project.

Horses at UMass Amherst
1948-1956
Box 1: 10
Contents:

Copies of correspondence and memoranda relative to the Morgan horse herd at UMass Amherst.

Horses barn pin-back button: "The Horse Barn, est. 1894"
1994
Box 1: 11
Contents:

Button produced for supporters of renovation of the Horse Barn.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Marie Phillips, July 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2015.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Marie Phillips Collection (FS 170). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Barns--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Cats--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Feral cats--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Historic preservation--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Horses--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Munson Annex (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
  • Queen Anne Horse Barn (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Names

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

Genre terms

  • Photographs

Link to similar SCUA collections