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Artwork

Artwork Collection

ca.1645-2003
ca.100 items
Call no.: MS 597
Depiction of Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor
Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor

Over the years, SCUA has become home to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art pertaining to three of its key thematic collecting areas: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, New England, and social change.

The Artwork Collection is comprised of miscellaneous works visual art, realia, and decorative arts, relating primarily to figures in UMass or to leftist or proletarian artists. Among the artists represented are Michael Russo, Cook Glassgold, Lydia Gibson Minor, Laura Wheeler Waring, Daniel Chester French, and Laurence Bradshaw. For reference purposes, we have cross-listed paintings belonging to other SCUA collections.

Subjects

Portraits

Types of material

Oil paintingsPrints (Visual works)Sculpture (Visual works)
Coffin, George R. (George Richards)

George R. Coffin Journal

1854-1857
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1000 bd

The son of a master mariner from Newburyport, Massachusetts, George Richards Coffin was born in Castine, Maine, on Feb. 12, 1832. Sent to Boston at the age of 19 to get his start in business as a clerk, Coffin became a wharfinger in 1854, just a year before he married Hannah Balch, the eldest daughter of a prominent Newburyport merchant. As his family grew to eight, Coffin thrived in his trade, becoming a long-time member of the Merchant’s Exchange in Boston and Inspector of Grain for the Commercial Exchange in the 1870s. By the 1880s, he relocated his family to the genteel western suburbs of the city and by the time of his death in 1894, he had earned a spot in the Boston Blue Book.

This beautifully written diary was kept by George Coffin as he was starting out in life. Kept regularly, though not daily, the entries are filled with details about his budding business and personal lives, providing a rich portrayal of an aspiring young man in antebellum Boston. Beginning during the last few months of his clerkship and courtship of Hannah Balch and continuing through their engagement and marriage to the birth of their first child, the diary is filled with descriptions of socializing at parties and lectures, religious attendance and recreational activities, and it includes his thoughts on marriage, family, and his career in business. Of particular note are Coffin’s accounts of a visit to the State Prison in Charlestown, his reactions to local resistance to the capture of Anthony Burns under the Fugitive Slave Act, and the steady growth of his relationship with Hannah.

Gift of Elizabeth Hartmann, Nov. 2017

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th centuryBurns, Anthony, 1834-1862Clerks--Massachusetts--BostonCoffin, Hannah B.Courtship--Massachusetts--BostonHusband and wife--Massachusetts--BostonMarriage--Massachusetts--BostonNewburyport (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th centuryUnited States. Fugitive Slave Law (1850)Weddings--Massachusetts--Newburyport

Types of material

Diaries
University of Massachusetts Literary Society

University of Massachusetts Literary Society Collection

1953-1959
6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: RG 40/3 L4

In 1955, the Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts and Professor H. Leland Varley received a grant of $5,800 from the Educational Television and Radio Center to produce a series of one-hour radio programs centered on a discussion of the impact of eight major American novelists from a European perspective. The subjects included Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and John Steinbeck (who replaced the original choice, John Marquand).

The collection is comprised of administrative documents, transcripts, and sound recordings relating to the Literary Society radio program, ‘As others see us.’ Moderated by a member of the UMass Department of English, each broadcast featured discussions by distinguished literary critics such as W.H. Auden, R.P. Blackmur, Perry Miller, Maxwell Geismar, and Renato Poggioli. Dos Passos, Faulkner, and Steinbeck participated in person. Also included is a related item from an earlier program sponsored by the Literary Society: E.E. Cummings reading Twelve Poems.

Subjects

Authors, AmericanNovelists, AmericanPoets--United States

Contributors

Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973Bailey, Robeson, 1906-Barron, LeoneBlackmur, R. P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965Coindreau, Maurice EdgarCollins, Carvel Emerson, 1912-Cowie, Alexander, 1896-1978Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970Faulkner, William, 1897-1962Fenton, CharlesGeismar, Maxwell David, 1909-Girard, Rene, 1923-Goldberg, Maxwell Henry, 1907-Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961James, Henry, 1843-1916Klarmann, Adolf D. (Adolf Donald), 1904-1975Koehler, StanleyLevin, Harry, 1912-1994Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951Lohner, EdgarMagny, Claude-Edmonde, 1913-1966Miller, Perry, 1905-1963Niedeck, Arthur E.Peyre, Henri, 1901-Poggioli, Renato, 1907-1963Rudin, Seymour, 1922-Savage, Richard C.Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968Varley, H. LelandWolfe, Thomas, 1900-1938

Types of material

Sound recordings
Medieval and Early Print Studies

Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection

1504-2016
79 titles 24 linear feet
Call no.: RB 030

Although SCUA’s book collections are focused heavily on modern printing, the evolution of the book and the history of production and spread of the printed word are critical to our instructional mission.

The Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection consists of a growing body of facsimiles of medieval manuscripts and early printed books selected for use in teaching about the history of printing and reading. Emphasizing high quality reproduction, the facsimiles represent a variety of regional styles and traditions in text and illustration, primarily in Europe, from the 11th century through the incunable era. A handful of post-incunables have been included. A spreadsheet list of available titles can be consulted online.

Subjects

Manuscripts, Medieval--FacsimilesPrinting--History
Sommer, Mark

Mark Sommer Papers

1966-2017
13 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 973

Mark Sommer, with Zetta, the first newborn goat at the Sommer homestead in northern CA, May 1985

Mark Sommer is an explorer, storyteller, and award-winning public radio and print journalist focused on advocacy and narratives of social, political, and environmental change and positive action. In Washington, D.C., Sommer found himself on hand for some of the 1960s pivotal moments, where he was involved with the Liberation News Service and the New Left think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies. Sommer moved to California in 1969 to explore the counterculture, spending several years journeying – spiritually, psychedelically, and physically between communes, farms, and wilderness homesteads along the western coast – before he and his wife built a self-reliant organic homestead in the deep woods of northern CA, where they lived from the 1970s to the 1990s. The resilience of nature deeply impacted Sommer’s outlook and work as a writer and journalist, driving his interest in the human capacity for overcoming adversity. Sommer founded and directed the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit media placement service scheduling leading edge thinkers and social innovators for extensive radio interviews, and Sommer served as host and executive producer of the internationally syndicated and award winning, one-hour weekly radio program, A World of Possibilities. Sommer is the author of three books (Beyond the Bomb, The Conquest of War, and Living in Freedom), and hundreds of op-eds in major newspapers worldwide. Current projects include short and movie length videos crafted from his photographs, films, interviews, and experiences.

Chronicling over five decades of creative and journalistic output of a life-long explorer and progressive advocate, the Mark Sommer Papers are an extensive collection, covering Sommer’s entire career and personal life from the late 1960s to the present. Writings include personal and multiple travel journals (including a unique trip to North Vietnam in 1968), correspondence, student essays, op-eds, articles, project and grant plans, memoirs, and book manuscripts. Additional journals exist in audio format, along with radio interviews where Sommer served as a guest. Slides, photographs, and movies cover Sommer’s family and home life to his wide-ranging travels and interests. Some main topics of coverage include foreign policy and international politics, progressivism, peace and conflict studies, the anti-nuclear and disarmament movements, wilderness and back-to-the-land experiences, and later in life fatherhood. Materials from Mainstream Media Project have been separated into the Mainstream Media Project Records.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

Antinuclear movementCounterculture--United StatesInstitute for Policy StudiesJournalists--CaliforniaNuclear disarmamentPeace--researchPeaceful change (International relations)Political activistsReconciliationSelf-reliant living--CaliforniaSustainable livingTravel writingVietnam War, 1961-1975

Types of material

ArticlesCorrespondenceDiariesMemoirsPhotographsSound recordingsVideo recordings
Blanchard Family

Blanchard-Means Family Papers

ca.1770-1970
48 boxes 67 linear feet
Call no.: MS 830
Depiction of Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890
Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890

Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA to request materials from this collection.

The seat of seven generations of the Blanchard and Means families, Elm Hill Farm was established prior to 1797, when the joiner Amasa Blanchard began acquiring property in Brookfield, Mass., as he looked forward to his marriage. The success he enjoyed in farming was a spark for his family’s prosperity. Amasa’s son Albert Cheney Blanchard left Brookfield in the 1830s to pursue commercial opportunities out west as a partner in the Richmond Trading Co., in Richmond, Ind., and by the time he returned home to take over operations after his father’s death in 1857, Albert had earned a fortune. In the years after the Civil War, Elm Hill grew to 1,300 acres crowned by a mansion built in 1870 that became the center of a compound of eight buildings. Each subsequent generation at Elm Hill has left its own distinctive mark. Albert’s son Charles P. Blanchard, a minister and talented amateur photographer, developed a renowned herd of Morgan horses, and Charles’ daughter Abby and her husband, the minister Oliver W. Means, added a herd of Jersey cattle that included a prize-winning bull, Xenia’s Sultan, imported in 1923, and the cow, You’ll Do Lobelia, better known as the original, real-life Elsie the Cow. Abby’s daughter-in-law, Louise Rich Means, laid acres of spectacular gardens on the estate. Following Louise’s death in 2009, Elm Hill left family ownership.

Consisting of nearly two centuries of papers that accumulated on the Elm Hill estate, the Blanchard-Means collection stretches from a handful of documents from the late eighteenth century relating to landholdings and Amasa ‘s work Blanchard as a joiner, to a blossoming of correspondence, photographs, ephemera, and realia dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Well-educated, well-traveled, and well-informed, the Blanchards and Means were prolific letter writers, and their papers provide wonderful insights into the lives of a religiously-devoted family from the New England elite. Among the highlights of the collection are the extensive records from the Richmond Trading Company and from the farm’s livestock and gardening operations (both Morgans and Jerseys) and a remarkable photographic record that document the family, the evolving landscape of Elm Hill, and the town of Brookfield, as well as hundreds of images from C.P. Blanchard’s world tours in the 1890s.

Subjects

Agriculture--Massachusetts--BrookfieldAsia--Description and travelBrookfield (Mass.)--HistoryCabinetmakers--Massachusetts--BrookfieldCongregational Church--Clergy--ConnecticutCongregational Church--Clergy--MassachusettsEurope--Description and travelJersey cattle--MassachusettsMorgan horse--MassachusettsYale University--Students

Contributors

Richmond Trading Company

Types of material

EphemeraPhotographs
Meyer, Richard E., 1939-

Richard E. Meyer Collection

1948-2007 Bulk: 1980-2007
31 boxes 15.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 072
Depiction of

A member of the English and Folklore faculty at Western Oregon University, Richard E. Meyer studied at Northwestern University and the Universities of Washington and Oregon. A prolific author, he has published on topics ranging from British and American literature to American folklore, but particularly on the culture and history of the American cemetery and gravemarkers. A founder of the Cemeteries and Gravemarkers section of the American Culture Association (1986) and longtime member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, serving as editor of its journal, Markers, for twelve years, Meyer has delivered dozens of talks on the subject, is co-author (with Peggy McDowell) of The Revival Styles in American Memorial Art (1994), and editor of Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture (1989) and Ethnicity and the American Cemetery (1993).

During the course of his extensive research in cemeteries throughout the United States and Europe, Meyer documented over 20,000 grave monuments. His collection consists of over 16,000 color slides and 200 black and white photographs, all meticulously well-identified, of gravestones and cemeteries. Meyer also collected ephemera and realia relating to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to commemoration of the dead of the First World War.

Gift of Richard E. Meyer, May 2016

Subjects

CemeteriesSepulchral monumentsSoldiers' monumentsTomb of the Unknowns (Va.)

Types of material

Photographs
Langland, Joseph

Joseph Langland Papers

1939-2007
6 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 181
Joseph Langland with his wife, Judith
Joseph Langland with his wife, Judith

The poet Joseph Langland was raised on the family farm in northeastern Iowa, and earned both a BA (1940) and MA (1941) from the famed writing program at the University of Iowa, before being inducted into the military service during the Second World War. While still in Germany serving with the Allied military government, Langland had printed for his family his first book of poetry, a chapbook titled For Harold (1945), for his younger brother who had been killed in action in the Philippines. Returning home, he taught part-time at Iowa, then joined the faculty at the University of Wyoming (1948-1959), and finally UMass Amherst. Part of a wave of energetic young writers and scholars to arrive on campus, Langland became active in the early years of the Massachusetts Review and became founder the university’s MFA Program for Poets and Writers. A prolific writer, he contributed regularly to literary magazines and was author of The Green Town (1956), The Wheel of Summer (1963), The Sacrifice Poems (1975), Any Body’s Song (1980), and Selected Poems (1991). Langland was recipient of the National Council of the Arts Award, the Melville Cane Award, the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Fellowship, and a Ford Faculty Fellowship, among other honors. After his retirement from UMass in 1979, he served as emeritus until his death in 2007.

The Langland Papers include a substantial number of original manuscripts of poetry, many unpublished, correspondence with major poets, and an extensive run of Langland’s letters written home to his wife and family during the war. Other Langland Papers are housed at Luther College in Iowa.

Gift of Paul Langland and Elizabeth Langland, 2016

Subjects

Poets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishWorld War, 1939-1945

Types of material

DiariesLetters (Correspondence)ManuscriptsPhotographs
Restrictions: Copyright retained by the family
Spaulding, Mary Patricia

Mary Patricia Spaulding Scrapbook

1956
1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 927

Pat Spaulding camera returning home, 1956 Sept.

In 1956, the graphic designer Pat Spaulding left for a tour of Europe. During her seven months abroad, she and her friend Maureen Jones traveled by motor scooter through France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, staying in hostels and taking in the sights. Perhaps most memorably, Spaulding tore her Achilles tendon while visiting in Siena, Italy, receiving generous care from her hosts during the four-week period of her recovery.

A refreshing record of two young American women traveling alone in Europe during the mid-1950s, this scrapbook is populated with dozens of well laid-out photographs of sites seen, along with Spaulding’s letters home and a raft of ephemera such as picture postcards, copies of ticket stubs and passport pages, an international driver’s license, smallpox immunization certificate, maps, newsclippings, and beer coasters. Notably, the album also includes a number of beautiful, skillfully-rendered line drawings.

Gift of Mary Patricia Spaulding, 2016

Subjects

France--Description and travelGermany--Description and travelItaly--Description and travelItaly--PhotographsLondon (England)--Description and travelLondon (England)--PhotographsParis (France)--Description and travelParis (France)--Photographs

Contributors

Jones, Maureen

Types of material

PhotographsPostcardsScrapbooks
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Quaker History Collection

1783-1950
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 926

During the early twentieth century, the library at the Moses Brown School (formerly the Friends Boarding School) became an informal repository for Quaker manuscripts reflecting the history and work of the Society of Friends. Most of these materials were later transferred for custody to the school’s governing body, the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

This miscellaneous assortment of letters was apparently set aside by the staff at the Moses Brown School due to their historical content and preserved in the “vault.” Many of the letters appear to have been retained as good examples of Quaker expression of family and friendly bonds or as documentation about significant periods in Quaker history, particularly the Gurneyite-Wilburite controversy of the 1840s, and several touch on Quaker involvement in the antislavery and peace movements. Of special note are four interesting letters from the Quaker minister and social reformer, Elizabeth Comstock, written during and just after the Civil War; a series of nine lengthy letters from a visiting English minister Isaac Stephenson, traveling through New England meetings; a substantial series of letters from prominent Friend Samuel Boyd Tobey; and three letters from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Sarah F. Tobey regarding attempts to connect Stowe with Alexander T. Stewart in hopes of raising funds for her plans for the education of women.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--United StatesGurney, James JosephSociety of Friends--HistoryWilbur, John,

Contributors

Comstock, Elizabeth L.Stewart, Alexander Turney, 1803-1876Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896Tobey, Samuel Boyd, 1805-1867