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

Collections: B

Brown, Alfred Alexander, 1908-

Alfred Alexander Brown Papers

1935-1979
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: FS 043

Before his graduate work at Amherst College and Harvard University, Alfred Brown received both his bachelor’s (1931) and master’s (1933) degrees from Massachusetts State College in animal husbandry and agricultural economics. In 1935, he returned to his alma mater as assistant research professor in Agricultural Economics, earning promotion to full professor in 1948, with a focus on Marketing and Transportation. During World War II, Brown served as a transportation economist with the War Food Administration and as a consultant for the Office of Defense Transportation. Although Brown retired from teaching in 1972, he continued to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Transportation in Africa until his death in 2000.

The Brown Papers include published and unpublished transportation writings, correspondence, biographical and personal notes as well as notes for research and teaching, newsclippings, motion picture films, and slides. Also included among the papers are files related to Brown’s university service, including the Alumni War Memorial Fund, the University Centennial Committee, and the Alpha Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa.

Subjects

Massachusetts State College--FacultyMassachusetts State College. Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Agricultural Economics

Contributors

Brown, Alfred Alexander, 1908-
Brown, Daniel A.

Daniel A. Brown Photograph Collection

1968-2003
ca.450 items
Call no.: PH 011
Depiction of Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen

Having joined the the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in 1973, Dan Brown remained a member for a decade as it evolved first into Metelica’s Aquarian Concept and then into the Renaissance Community. Throughout his time as a member, he photographed his fellow communards as they moved through a variety of localities, including Turner’s Falls, Gill, and Warwick, Mass. Since leaving the community in 1983, he has written and lectured regularly on its history for audiences throughout the region.

One of the principle photographers of the Brotherhood and Renaissance Community during the period 1973-1983, Brown preserved an archive of approximately 450 photographs documenting the commune from its founding in 1968 through the time of Michael Metelica’s death in 2003. In addition to his own work, he collected and preserved images of many other photographers, most notably Gary Cohen.

Subjects

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)Communal living--MassachusettsMetelica, MichaelRenaissance Community (Commune)

Contributors

Brown, Daniel ACohen, Gary

Types of material

Photographs
Brown, John, 1800-1859

John Brown Research Collection

1826-1942
10 reels of microfilm 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 308 mf

Microfilm containing documents drawn from various repositories including John Brown’s correspondence with family, friends, and others; court records and testimony; transcripts of interviews and other personal reminiscences; drafts of narratives; memorandum book; drafts of speeches; church records; minutes of Anti-slavery Society of Lawrence, Kansas; financial and legal records; broadsides and circulars; newspaper clippings; other miscellaneous records.

Subjects

Abolitionists--United States--HistorySlavery--United States--HistoryUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Causes

Contributors

Brown, John, 1800-1859
Brown, Ken

Ken Brown Collection

1971-2021
Call no.: MS 1141

Ken Brown, born March 12, 1944 in Dayton, Ohio, is a filmmaker, photographer, cartoonist, designer and collector. He was raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he briefly attended UMass Amherst, before moving to Cambridge where he also attended Boston University. In the late 1960s he joined the thriving arts scene in Boston, where his most notable contribution was his film work, now known as Psychedelic Cinema. This live music project was projected onstage at the Boston Tea Party while musical acts like the Velvet Underground and Jimi Hendrix played. Brown made experimental films, using tricks like double exposure and stop motion, with a Super 8mm camera. He also worked as a film teacher in the early 1970s.  

In 1975 his career took a fortuitous turn when he started to sell postcards featuring his own drawings. This venture was so successful that he expanded the postcard line to include photographs and collages, mining his own collections, which are characterized by kitsch. From there he expanded the business further to include rubber stamps, eventually adding t-shirts, coffee mugs, tea towels, and wrapping paper to the line; he worked with local businesses to put his art and designs on the products. His unconventional business model attracted the attention of the Harvard Business School, which conducted and published a study of his work. He also continued to make films, which have been featured on MTV and Sesame Street. Since 1985 he has lived in New York City with his wife and frequent collaborator, artist and filmmaker Lisa Crafts. He continues to take photographs and make films about life in the city. 

The collection comprises a wide variety of the products Brown has produced and marketed throughout his career. It includes near-complete runs of his postcards, rubber stamps, and wrapping paper; a selection of t-shirts, tea towels, placemats and magnets; published books; and a variety of editioned screen prints made from his cartoons and drawings. The collection also contains ephemera documenting Brown’s career and early artwork in an anti-nuclear publication. The collection is expected to grow over time to include drawings, films, and recent digital photographs.

Acquired from Ken Brown, October 2021

Contributors

Brown, Ken, 1944-

Types of material

Postcards
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832

Moses Brown Papers

1713-1840
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 930

In the early Republic, Moses Brown emerged as an ardent abolitionist, a social reformer, and one of the best known philanthropists in his native Providence, R.I. A Baptist who converted to the Society of Friends in 1774, Brown had made a fortune as a merchant, partly in the triangular trade, but a crisis of conscience brought on by the ghastly results of an attempted slaving voyage in 1765 and the death of his wife in 1773 led him to reexamine his life. Withdrawing from most of his business affairs, Brown joined the Society of Friends and emancipated his slaves. He was a founder of the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1786 and a strong voice for peace, temperance, and universal education.

A small, but rich archive of the personal papers of Moses Brown, this collection centers on Brown’s activities in antislavery, peace, and educational reform and his connections to the Society of Friends between the 1760s and 1830s. In addition to significant correspondence with major figures in early antislavery cause, including Anthony Benezet, George Benson, William Dillwyn, and Warner Mifflin, and some material relating to the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery, the collection includes outstanding content on peace activism. In addition to materials from Moses Brown, the collection includes letters to Moses’ son Obadiah Brown and some fascinating letters and manuscripts relating to Moses’ friend and fellow Friend, Job Scott.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandPeace movements--Rhode IslandQuakers--Rhode IslandRhode Island--History--18th century

Contributors

Benson, George W., 1808-1879Brown, Moses, 1738-1832Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822Mifflin, WarnerProvidence Society for Abolishing the Slave-TradeProvidence Society for the Abolition of SlaveryScott, Job, 1751-1793
Brown, Robert E.

Robert E. Brown Southbridge (Mass.) Collection

1973-1977
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 029

During the mid-1970s, Robert Brown worked as a fifth grade teacher at the West Street School, Southbridge, Mass., while pursuing a graduate degree in anthropology at UMass Amherst under Joel Halpern. Part of Brown’s research involved conducting oral histories with Southbridge families identified as “ethnic,” including Albanian, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, and Puerto Rican, as well as the only African American family in town at the time. Brown published his work in local newspapers and ultimately in the book, The New New Englanders (Worcester, Mass.: Commonwealth Press, 1980).

The Brown collection includes copies of his newspaper articles, profiles of the families he studied, and apparently complete transcripts of two oral history interviews. Also included are copies of two papers by Brown on Southbridge, possibly for an anthropology class, analyzing the education of Puerto Rican students and the lives of Rumanian Americans.

Subjects

African Americans--Massachusetts--SouthbridgeGreek Americans--Massachusetts--SouthbridgeImmigrants--MassachusettsItalian Americans--Massachusetts--SouthbridgeRumanian Americans--Massachusetts--SouthbridgeSouthbridge (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Brown, Robert E

Types of material

Oral histories
Brunswick Friends Meeting

Brunswick Friends Meeting Records

1990-1994
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B786

The Brunswick Friend Meeting was established in 1983 after a year of unaffiliated worship under Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

The records for the Brunswick Friends Meeting consist solely of State of the Society reports for the years 1990-1994.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Quakers--MaineSociety of Friends--MaineTopsham (Me.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Brush, Robert

Robert Brush Ledger

1793-1819
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 195 bd

Robert Brush (1751-1835) operated a sawmill in North Salem, Westchester County, N.Y., at the turn of the nineteenth century, sawing and selling board, timber, and logs to the local community.

This double-entry account book documents an active sawmill and gristmill in Westchester County, N.Y. at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Subjects

Grist mills--New York (State)Sawmills--New York (State)

Types of material

Account books
Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Depiction of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBus drivers--Labor unionsCharter schoolsJackson, Jesse, 1941-Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--North CarolinaNational Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)Public schoolsSmithfield Foods, Inc.Strikes and lockouts--Bus driversWeatherman (Organization)

Contributors

Boston School Bus Drivers UnionUnited Steelworkers of America
Bryson, Christopher, 1960-

Christopher Bryson and Joel Griffiths Papers

1997-2010
6 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: MS 810

In the spring of 1997, the investigative journalists Chris Bryson and Joel Griffiths were commissioned by the Christian Science Monitor to investigate the connections between the Manhattan Project and the origins of fluoridation of drinking water supplies. Using reclassified documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests and deep archival research, Bryson and Griffiths uncovered a powerful story that connected the rise of fluoridation to the rise of atomic weapons production in the early Cold War era. Although the Monitor elected not to publish the article, it appeared in the anti-fluoridation journal Waste Not in 1998, and was cited as the year’s 18th most censored story in the 1998 Project Censored Series. Bryson continued his work on the military-industrial roots of fluoridation in a later book, The Fluoride Deception (2004), which received that year’s Project Censored Award.

The Bryson-Griffiths collection consists of materials compiled by the authors during the course of their research, representing the intellectual work of a decade of study on the politics and science of fluoridation. The collection includes a range of correspondence, transcripts of original interviews, memos between Bryson and Griffiths, and archival material gathered from the Manhattan Project and Kettering Laboratory archives. Noteworthy among these materials is a series of suppressed, unpublished, industry-funded studies that found fluoride harmful.

Gift of Christopher Bryson, Feb. 2014

Subjects

Antifluoridation movementDrinking water--Law and legislation--United StatesFluorides--Physiological effect

Contributors

Griffiths, Joel