Eloise A. Brière Franco-American Oral History Collection

  • 1982-1984
  • 1 box (0.25 linear feet)
  • Call no.: MS 123

In 1982, Eloise A. Brière received support from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities for a series of oral histories with Franco-Americans in Massachusetts. A noted scholar of Francophone communities, Brière interviewed 44 first and second generation immigrants from Canada of varied backgrounds, ranging from parish priests and nuns to former textile workers, activists in language preservation, and the Mayor of Holyoke.

The interviews in this collection, conducted mostly in French between August 8, 1982 and Jan. 18, 1983, document the lives and experiences of forty-four Franco-American residents of Massachusetts, concentrated in the areas around Easthampton and Lowell.

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Background on Eloise A. Brière

In 1982, Eloise A. Brière received support from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities for a series of oral histories with Franco-Americans in Massachusetts. A noted scholar of Francophone communities, Brière interviewed 44 first and second French-speaking generation immigrants from Canada of varied backgrounds, ranging from parish priests and nuns to former textile workers, activists in language preservation, and the Mayor of Holyoke. These interviews were in turn used as part of fourteen one-hour episodes for the radio show "Tout en Français," broadcast by WFCR radio in Amherst.

Earning degrees at UMass Amherst (BA), Middlebury College (MA in French literature), and the University of Toronto (PhD), Brière began her teaching career at the College Sainte-Jeanne D'Arc, a secondary school in Dakar, Senegal, while also earning a second master's degree (Maitrise) at the University of Dakar. A specialist in the culture of French-language communities throughout the world, she was co-author of the important textbook, Rendez-vous: La France et la Francophonie (1982). She and her husband Jean-François enjoyed distinguished careers on faculty at the University at Albany (SUNY), from which she retired in 2012.

Scope of collection

The interviews in this collection, conducted mostly in French between August 8, 1982 and Jan. 18, 1983, document the lives and experiences of forty-four Franco-American residents of Massachusetts, concentrated in the areas around Easthampton and Lowell. Transcripts are available for five interviews: Paul Racine, Paul Morrisette, Mme. Dauphinais, Eugène St. Pierre, and Vivianne Potvin.

Collection inventory
Anne, Sr.: Filles du St. Esprit, Convent of St. Cecilia (Leominster, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 18
007-176
Tape 8B
Barrette, Raymond (Lowell, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 14
001-221
Tape 6A
Brideau, Alfred (Leominster, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 18
185-end
Tape 8B
Carvalho, Joseph: Genealogy and Local History, Springfield City Library (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: English
1982 Aug. 17
184-end
Tape 3B
Carvalho, Joseph, part 2 (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 1
284-end
Tape 7B
Charest, Mrs. André and daughters Anne and Marie-Claude (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 11
082-198
Tape 3A
Chartier, Georges-Étienne (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 11
001-182
Tape 3B
Chicoine, Gabrielle and Bill (Easthampton, Mass.)
Languages: French, English
1982 Aug. 24
168-end
Tape 10A
Costa, Grace (Lowell, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 14
233-end
Tape 6A
Coté, Albert (Lowell, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 13
572-end
Tape 4A
Coté, Albert, part 2 (Lowell, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 13
007-246
Tape 4B
D'Amour, Gerald (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1983 Jan. 18
Tape 14B
1982 Aug. 9
239-350
Tape 1A
Donais, Henry (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: English
1984 Mar. 5
Tape 16A

Interview collected after the end of the grant and included for Donais' account of the phenomenon of chain migration (from Sorel) and of intermarriage with native people.

Dugas, Donald (New York, N.Y.)
Language: French
Tape 15A and B
Dugas, Estelle (Amherst, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 16
443-end
Tape 6B
Dugas, Estelle, part 2 (Amherst, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 16
065-266
Tape 7B
Gagnon, Henri and Françoise (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 17
001-268
Tape 8A
Garon, Michelle (Northampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 16
252-end
Tape 4B
Gordon, Milton: Dept. of Sociology, UMass Amherst (Amherst, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 25
324-end
Tape 12A
Graveline, Robert (Three Rivers, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 25
002-297
Tape 12A
Keller, Geneviève Lapointe (Northampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 19
001-164
Tape 10A
Langlois, Guy (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 10
169-470
Tape 2A
Leland, Marine (Northampton, Mass.)
Language:
1980 Dec.
Tape 17A and B

Interview collected prior to the start of the grant and used in the radio program because Leland was instrumental in the development of French Canadian studies in the United States.

Lépine, Cora (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 19
182-end
Tape 9B

Includes information of the beginnings of Notre Dame du Bon Conseil parish in Easthampton.

Lussier family, part 2 (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 10
002-251
Tape 2B

Includes information of the beginnings of Notre Dame du Bon Conseil parish in Easthampton.

Lussier, Mr. and Mrs. Emil and daughter Lucille (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 10
487-end
Tape 2A
Moquin, Leonard (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 15
055-433
Tape 6B
Morissette, Armand, Rev. OMI (Lowell, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 13
004-565
Tape 4A
Moynihan, Kenneth: Dept. of History, Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.)
Language: English
1982 Aug. 23
Tape 11A
Paquette, Raymond (Leominster, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 18
001-end
Tape 9A
Payette, Eglantine Laberge (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 20
392-end
Tape 8A

As a young girl, Payette was the subject of the photograph Lewis Hine while working in a textile mill in Winchendon. Payette discusses her work experience and witnessing the arrival of French Canadian immigrants in Winchendon.

Peloquin-Faré, Louise (Paris, France)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 23
001-322
Tape 11B
Perras, Leo (Easthampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 15
001-end
Tape 7A
Poirier, Clementine (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 11
256-end
Tape 2B
Poirier, Clementine, part 2 (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 11
005-079
Tape 3A
Potvin, Vivian (Holyoke, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 10
086-622
Tape 1B
Potvin, Vivian, part 2 (Holyoke, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 10
019-166
Tape 2A
Proulx, Ernest: Mayor of Holyoke (Holyoke, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 19
021-176
Tape 9B
Quintal, Claire: Institut Français, Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 23
329-end
Tape 11B
1982 Aug. 8
00:42:41
Tape 1A

Racine was the gérant of l'Hospice d'Easthampton (the Town Infirmary) on Oliver Street, and arrived in town in 1947.

Rancourt, Jeanette (Northampton, Mass.)
Language: French
1983 Jan. 9
Tape 14A
St. Laurent, Anne (Chicopee, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 17
270-388
Tape 8A
1982 Aug. 9
00:19:30
Tape 1A
Turcotte, Rodolphe (Northampton, Mass.)
Language: English
1983 Dec. 31
Tape 13A and B
Vadnais, Richard (Springfield, Mass.)
Language: French
1982 Aug. 11
212-end
Tape 3A

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Languages:

English, French

Provenance

Gift of Eloise A. Briere, 1984.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2015.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication
                            information)

Cite as: Eloise A. Brière Franco-American Oral History Collection (MS 123). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Easthampton (Mass.)--History
  • Franco-Americans--Massachusetts
  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Lowell (Mass.)--History

Link to similar SCUA collections

Names

  • Brière, Eloise A.
  • Notre Dame du Bon Conseil (Church : Easthampton, Mass.)

Genre terms

  • Audiocassettes
  • Oral histories