The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Collections: W

Whitcomb, John M.

John M. Whitcomb Collection

ca.1905-1969
ca.400 titles
Call no.: RB 038

John Merrall Whitcomb was an architect, researcher, and life-long scholar. Born in New York City in July 1907, Whitcomb earned an undergraduate degree at Yale (1930) and a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania (1934) and began working his way up the ranks of the architectural profession in Boston. After wartime service in the Air Force, he resumed his career, establishing his own firm in Cambridge, Johnson and Whitcomb. He died in 1998.

Part of a large collection of books amassed over a lifetime, this collection focuses largely on Whitcomb’s interest in “seditionist” literature, including works on Anglo-American Socialism and Communism, as well as topics ranging from American labor to political and social history, the rise of fascism in Europe, Soviet studies, the Vietnam War, and political theory. The bulk of the material dates from the 1930s through early 1960s.

Subjects

Communism--Great BritainCommunism--United StatesSocialism--Great BritainSocialism--United States
White Light Communications

White Light Communications Collection

1989-1999
150 items 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 984

Access restrictions: Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA in advance to request materials from this collection.

A not-for-profit media company based in Burlington, Vermont, White Light Communications produced dozens of videos during the late 1980s and early 1990s reflecting the voices and experiences of psychiatric survivors. With initial funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Executive Director Paul Engels and his colleagues, all psychiatric survivors themselves, built a fully-equipped television production studio and conducted nearly one hundred interviews with ex-patients and leaders in the antipsychiatry movement. Although most of the interviews were conducted in Burlington, they also produced documentaries, and covered national events such as the final two Alternatives conferences and “Self Help Live,” a broadcast that focused on highlighting consumer/survivor leaders.

The hundreds of video interviews and other productions that comprise the White Light Communications collection were produced by, for, and about psychiatric survivors. Paul Engels interviewed nearly a hundred ex-patients including important leaders in the movement such as Judi Chamberlin, Sally Zinman, Howie the Harp, and George Ebert, and several episodes focused on the mental health system and activism in Vermont. The subjects of the interviews range widely from homelessness to involuntary treatment, peer support, suicide, surviving the mental health system, and the history of the psychiatric survivors movement.

Gift of Paul Engels, May 2017

Subjects

AntipsychiatryCivil rights movements--United StatesEx-mental patientsMental health services--United StatesMental illness--Alternative treatmentMentally ill--Social conditionsPsychiatric survivors movement

Contributors

Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010Dart, Justin, 1930-2002Ebert, GeorgeEngels, PaulMillett, KateZinman, Sally

Types of material

Oral histories (Document genres)U-maticVideotapes
White, Barbara J. (Barbara Jean)

BJ White Papers

1971-1978
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 116
Depiction of BJ White with students
BJ White with students

A celebrated instructor of anatomy and physiology, Barbara Jean (B. J.) White joined the UMass faculty in 1961 and became a fixture of the School of Nursing’s core curriculum, teaching the year-long service course on anatomy and physiology. She was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1971 and by the time she retired in 1978, had taught nearly 2,000 aspiring nurses. White was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1918 and earned her A.B in 1939 and her A.M in zoology in 1941, both from Mount Holyoke College.

Documenting her teaching activities at UMass, White’s papers contain recorded lectures on audio cassettes, notes, handouts, and articles used in her classes.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Nursing
White, Cyrus

Cyrus White Daybook

1823-1829
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 085a

A cooper based in South Hadley, Massachusetts, during the first half of the nineteenth century, Cyrus White made tubs and barrels of all varieties: soap tubs, leach tubs, oil barrels and casks, cheese presses, butter churns, and buckets.

Cyrus White’s daybook is a closely focused record of the range of work of one cooper in a country town in Massachusetts. White’s work ranged from repairing wheelbarrows and making washing machines to making all varieties of a cooper’s oeuvre.

Subjects

Coopers and cooperage--Massachusetts--South HadleySouth Hadley (Mass.)--History

Contributors

White, Cyrus

Types of material

Daybooks
White, Willis H.

Willis H. White Papers

1874-1966 Bulk: 1919-1942
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 929

A convinced Friend who became an advocate for peace, Willis H. White was a member of the East Greenwich Monthly Meeting. A secretary in the Providence-based real estate firm William H. White & Sons, White was active in several organizations promoting peace and spiritual renewal within the Society of Friends in the years after the First World War.

The bulk of Willis H. White’s papers are concentrated on his activities on behalf of peace, social justice, and the Society of Friends in the period 1919-1922. The collection includes materials documenting White’s work with the American Friends Service Committee and on invigorating the Society through the London Conference of All Friends and the evangelical Forward Movement of Friends, and there is a relatively small, but interesting series of letters from the labor and peace activist, A. J. Muste.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Conference of All FriendsForward movement (Evangelical movement)PacifismPeace movementsQuakers--Rhode IslandWorld War, 1914-1918

Contributors

American Friends Service CommitteeBonell, Harold C. (Harold Charles), 1908-1977Muste, A. J. (Abraham John), 1885-1967

Types of material

Ephemera
Whitmore, Martha R.

Martha R. Whitmore Diaries

1937-1962
6 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 807
Depiction of Philip F. Whitmore and grandchildren, July 1962
Philip F. Whitmore and grandchildren, July 1962

Shortly after graduating from college in 1920, Martha Richardson married Philip F. Whitmore, a market gardener from Sunderland, Mass., and 1915 graduate of Massachusetts Agricultural College. As a housewife and mother of three, Martha supported Philip, who became a Trustee of his alma mater and a representative in the State House (1950-1962). Philip Whitmore died in 1962, with Martha following nineteenth years later.

This small collection includes six scattered diaries of Martha Whitmore, kept somewhat irregularly during the years 1937, 1947, 1950, 1953, 1957, and 1962. Largely personal in nature, they are centered on home and family life, husband and children, and Martha’s love of nature, but they include occasional references to Philip Whitmore’s political activities and the University of Massachusetts.

Subjects

Sunderland (Mass.)--HistoryUniversity of Massachusetts at Amherst--TrusteesWhitmore, Philip F.

Types of material

DiariesPhotographs
Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828

Amos Whittemore Daybook

1817-1819
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 153 bd

Wagonwright and celebrated inventor of a machine that made cotton and wool cards from West Cambridge (now Arlington), Massachusetts. Includes records of services provided, such as repairing, cleaning, painting and varnishing chaises; providing wheels, springs, waterhooks, whippletrees, bellybands, and carpet; and mending reins and harnesses. Also contains lists of customers (including many prominent families from the town) and records of cash transactions.

Subjects

Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryArlington (Mass.)--History--19th centuryCarriage and wagon making--Massachusetts--Arlington--History--19th centuryCarriage manufacturers and dealers--Massachusetts --Arlington--History--19th centuryHarness making and trade--Massachusetts--Arlington--History--19th century

Contributors

Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828

Types of material

Daybooks
Wijeyesinghe, Charmaine L.

Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe Papers

1985-2016
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 213
Photo of Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, ca. 2023
Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, ca. 2023

Charmaine Wijeyesinghe has studied, consulted, and written in the area of social justice education and organizational change for almost 40 years. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology (’80), a master’s in education (’85) and her EdD (’92) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), and while a grad student worked as an administrator at UMass, including serving as Staff Associate to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Assistant Dean of Students, and Assistant University Ombudsperson. After defending her dissertation she became Dean of Students at Mount Holyoke College, and later turned to career as a consultant. She was National Program Consultant for the National Conference for Community and Justice, where she developed social justice programs and trainings, and is now an independent consultant and author who addresses the areas of organizational development, identity development, and social justice, working primarily with colleges and universities around the country. Her doctoral work on Multiracial adults, completed in 1992, yielded one of the first models of Multiracial identity development which was adopted into the anti-bias curriculum of the Anti Defamation League. Dr. Wijeyesinghe has published articles, book chapters, and edited multiple volumes on Multiracial identity, racial identity and conflict resolution practice, the evolution of social identity models, and intersectionality. Wijeyesinghe received the (inaugural) NCORE Award for Scholarship in 2017 and (with Johnston-Guerrero) the Multiracial Network of ACPA’s Innovation Award in 2021. She was inducted into the ACPA Diamond Honoree Program in 2024.

The Charmaine Wijeyesinghe Papers document two branches of Wijeyesinghe’s scholarly and public engagements in the fields of social identity, Multiracial issues, and the application of intersectionality to higher education. Wijeyesinghe’s work and output related to her doctoral degree and 1992 dissertation, Towards a Theory of Bi-Racial Identity Development: A Review of the Literature on Black Identity Development, White Identity Development, and Bi-Racial Identity Issues, are well documented, including coded transcripts from interviews and Wijeyesinghe’s work log. Wijeyesinghe’s extensive engagement at professional conferences and as a workshop trainer frames the remaining materials, which include training workbooks and presentation agendas, programs, and handouts.

Gift of Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, 2023-2024.

Subjects

African Americans -- Race identityBlack people -- Race identityEducation, HigherEducational consultantsRacially mixed people -- Race identityUniversities and collegesWhite people -- Race identity
Wilder, Marshall P.

Marshall P. Wilder Collection

1848-1929
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 002/3 W55
Depiction of Marshall P. Wilder
Marshall P. Wilder

A merchant and amateur horticulturalist from Dorchester, Mass., Marshall P. Wilder (1798-1886) was a key figure in American pomology during the mid-nineteenth century and a major supporter of agricultural education. A supreme organizer and institution builder, he was a founder and president of the American Pomological Society and United States Agricultural Society, and president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and New England Historic Genealogical Society. His 1849 address before the Norfolk Agricultural Society is often credited as an important catalyst for the creation of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, and he served as trustee of the College from its opening in 1867 until his death in 1886.

The Wilder Collection consists primarily of printed works written or collected by Marshall P. Wilder, including materials pertaining to early meetings of the American Pomological Society and the United States Agricultural Society, his 1849 address to the Norfolk Agricultural Society, and his address to the first graduating class at MAC. Among the handful of manuscripts are a draft proposal to hold a national meeting of fruit growers (the inaugural meeting of the American Pomological Society), two letters regarding his donation of a large number of books to the MAC library, and a bound set of 22 beautiful watercolors of pear varieties painted by Louis B. Berckmans.

Subjects

Agricultural exhibitionsAmerican Pomological SocietyHorticulture--MassachusettsMassachusetts Agricultural College. TrusteesNew-England Historic Genealogical SocietyPomology--MassachusettsUnited States Agricultural Society

Contributors

Wilder, Marshall P. (Marshall Pinckney), 1798-1886

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)
Wilder, Robert W.

Robert W. Wilder Papers

1888-2013
2 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 884

Born in the Quabbin town of Enfield, Mass., Bob Wilder (1933-2015) rose from a life of poverty to a successful career in the Marine Corps and the aerospace industry. Becoming an avid local historian in his retirement, he drew upon his rural childhood while working later as an interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village and became a popular lecturer on topics in regional history.

This small collection consists of materials relating to Wilder’s family and his research into the history of the Swift River Valley and the Quabbin Reservoir. In addition to some Wilder family photographs, the collection includes hand-drawn maps, newspaper clippings, town reports, magazine articles, oral histories, and poems about the towns of the Swift River Valley. Of particular note are several video recordings of Wilder’s lectures and an extensive series of oral histories with Wilder recorded by Marc Peloquin.

Gift of Robert W. Wilder, Nov. 2015

Subjects

Enfield (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir (Mass.)--HistorySwift River Valley (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Peloquin, Marc

Types of material

DiariesOral historiesPhotographs