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Peter d'Errico Papers, ca.1990-2010

7 boxes (10.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 154

With a law degree from Yale in hand in 1968, Peter d’Errico began work as a staff attorney with Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe Navajo Legal Services in Shiprock, Arizona, representing American Indian interests in the US courts. Stemming from his frustrations with a stilted legal system, however, he evolved into an “anti-lawyer,” and in 1970 returned to academia. Joining the faculty at UMass, d’Errico focused his research and writing on the legal issues affecting indigenous peoples and he regularly taught courses on Indian law and the role of the law in imposing state systems on non-state societies. His impact was instrumental in establishing the Department of Legal Studies. Both before and after his retirment in 2002, d’Errico also remained active as a practitioner in Indian law.

The d’Errico collection contains a significant record of d’Errico’s high profile legal work in Indian law, including his work with Western Shoshone land rights and on the case Randall Trapp, et al. v. Commissioner DuBois, et al. In Trapp, a long-running, but ultimately successful First Amendement case, he and Robert Doyle represented prisoners in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections seeking to establish a sweat lodge.

  • Freedom of religion
  • Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Legal Studies
  • d'Errico, Peter

Double Edge Theatre Records, 1970-2002

28 boxes (15.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 455
Double Edge Theatre Records image
Bold Stroke for a Wife

Since its founding, Double Edge Theatre has embraced a two-fold mission: to develop and promote the highest quality of original theatre performance, and to create a permanent center of performance, practice, training research, and cultural exchange.

The collection documents the Theatre’s focus on research, international collaboration, and the elevation of artistic performance above and beyond stage work into the realm of cultural exchange.

  • Experimental theater
  • Theater and society
  • Theatrical companies--Massachusetts
  • Arnoult, Philip
  • Double Edge Theatre
  • Durand, Carroll
  • Klein, Stacy
  • Odin teatret
  • Staniewski, Wlodzimierz
  • Stowarzyszenie Teatralne "Gardzienice"
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programs

EarthAction Records, 1992-2008

26 boxes (39 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 562

Established by Lois Barber in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1992 with their first campaign at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, EarthAction has been organizing international campaigns ever since. As the world’s largest action network, the group’s campaigns address a variety of global issues from climate change and nuclear weapons to children’s rights and empowering women to protect the land. With a mission both to inform people about pressing problems facing the world and to move them to action, EarthAction creates and distributes information kits aimed at different audiences: individuals and groups, policymakers, and journalists.

The collection includes administrative files that illustrate the process of building a campaign, financial records, and publications, as well as action, legislative, and media kits created for many of the group’s international campaigns.

  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
  • Peace movements
  • Social action
  • Social justice

Experiential Training in Historic Information Resources (Ethir) is an initiative of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives in the UMass Amherst Libraries designed to provide students with structured, hands-on experience using and interpreting historical documentary resources. As part of our effort to integrate Special Collections more fully into the learning and research mission of the university, we offer an opportunity for select graduate students to work in the Department on a research project, while gaining first-hand experience in historical and archival praxis. Ethir fellows will take part in a range of activities in the digital humanities tied to primary source material, including curating exhibits, building digital corpora, or developing other interpretive materials.

Successful applicants will work with SCUA staff to identify a digital project that will make use of their interests and experience and that will provide a creative opportunity for building new digital skills. We ask students write a 1-2 page statement of interest outlining how their research interests might engage the department and the primary source material we collect.

Projects may include work with our collections in:

Or fellows can propose to work with a collection or topic of their choice.

Through the Ethir program, we also offer orientation for classes in any discipline that would benefit from exposure to the primary archival resources under our stewardship. Our staff are happy to work with the faculty to increase their students’ information literacy in a variety of legacy formats as well as with new digital media.

View past Ethir Fellows

Application information

Eligibility: Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.
Award: Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.
Evaluation criteria: Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants on a competitive basis based upon: 1) a brief (1-2 page) statement of interest, 2) ability to contribute to the work of SCUA, and 3) a curriculum vita and letter of support.
Support & expectations: Fellows will receive an honorarium of $500, plus hourly compensation for 150 hours of work.
Deadline for submission: Applications must be received by April 17, 2015.
How to submit: Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] library.umass.edu with “ethir application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.

InformationDownload the application form (rtf file).

Ethir Outcomes

For Fellows

  • Provide hands-on experience using and interpreting historical materials
  • Expose fellows to historical and archival standards and practices
  • Assist fellows in developing research projects based on primary resources
  • Increase access and provide additional scholarly layers for SCUA’s collections
  • Foster information literacy in legacy historical formats
  • Enhance learning and research at the university
  • Create web-accessible guides and exhibits that will enhance fellow’s portfolios
  • Fellows will produce tangible products for public consumption (e.g., finding aids, guides, digital collections, exhibits) based upon new or under-described collections, and they may assist in providing instruction for peers and classes

For Faculty

We will provide structured orientation for individuals and classes involving active learning, with an emphasis on:

  • Handling original materials (paleography, formats)
  • Interpreting historical content
  • Interpreting historically specific forms of information
  • Navigating the Department’s web resources
  • Translating research interests into usable queries
Double exposure of Steve Diamond
Double exposure of
Steve Diamond, ca.1985

To promote scholarship, raise public awareness of its collections, and encourage discussion of critical issues affecting American society, SCUA sponsors a number of events each year, including two annual colloquiua:

Throughout the year, the department sponsors other events, ranging from exhibit openings to lectures, book signings, and celebrations of donors and new donations. All SCUA events are free and open to the public. Please contact the department for additional information.

Learn more:


First prize: Emily Esten (2016)
“A Peculiar Project: Ethics and Analysis of the WPA Slave Narrative Collection of Oklahoma”
Honorable mention: Madeline C. Hodgman (2016)
“‘Freedom’ to Freedwomen After the Civil War”


First prize: Joshua Castillo (2015)
“A Life Well Lived”
Honorable mention: Joy Silvey (2015)
“Queering the Institution: A Look at LGB Life at the University in the 1970s and 80s”


First prize: Celeste Guhl (2015)
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Curfews for Women at the University of Massachusetts”
Honorable mention: Andrew Clinton (2014)
“Yung Wing, the Chinese Educational Mission, and the Politics of Chinese Exclusion”


First prize: Ken Lefebvre (2013)
‘A Wise Conservator': The Life and Times of Henry Hill Goodell
Honorable mention: Daniel Stein (2013)
“David versus the State: Refusal to Serve in the Israeli Defense Forces during the Lebanon War and the First Intifada: 1982-1993


First prize: Justine DeCamillis (2012)
Liminal Space and Identities: The Transitional and Juxtaposition of Opposites within the Prologue, Bisclavret and Lanval of Marie de France’s Lais
Honorable mention: Peter Arsenault (2012)
Poetic Liminality in the Middle Ages: The Case of Thomas Hoccleve


First prize: Christopher Russell (2010)
A Tale of Two Cities: How the Government Caused and Maintained Racial Inequality in Oakland, ca. 1945-1970”
Honorable mention: Marjorie Connolly (2011)
Anarchy to Activism: Italian Immigrant Politics During Boston’s Great Molasses Flood
Honorable mention: Sarah Goldstein (2012)
Cambodian Immigration and the Cambodian Crisis Committee


First prize: Paul Kinsman
Platonic and Pythagorean Ratios in the Formal Analysis of 15th Century Music”
Honorable mention: Vanessa De Santis
The Emergence of a Class of Informed, Working Italian Immigrant Women in the Early Twentieth Century
Honorable mention: Austin Powell
An Analysis of Gender in Pre to Early Modern Society


First prize: Name removed upon request
Honorable mention: Amy Couto
Treaty of Canandaigua: The political necessity of peace
Honorable mention: Phil Jensen
We are history, we are legend: Perspectives of American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

Girls Club of Greenfield Records, 1895-1995

21 boxes (27 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 379

Founded in 1895, the Girls Club of Greenfield provides high quality early care and educational services to the girls of Franklin County, Massachusetts, and advocates for the rights of children and their families. During the school year, the Club offers diverse programming, ranging from an infant room and preschool to after school activities that promote teamwork, community spirit, social skills, and confidence. Since 1958, they have also operated a summer camp, Lion Knoll, in Leyden.

The records of the Girls Club of Greenfield include by-laws, annual reports, reports and meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, correspondence, and ledgers and account books. Also contains program files for daycare, summer camp, education worker programs, and others, personnel records, membership and committee lists, newsletters, press releases, ledgers, account books, scrapbooks, news clippings, photographs, slides, and artifacts.

  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Social conditions
  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Social life and customs
  • Girls--Massachusetts--Greenfield--Societies and clubs--History
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Girls Club of Greenfield (Greenfield, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Thomas Gould, A list of the names of publick Friends, who have visited New England, 1838

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 903 bd

Born in Middletown, R.I., on May 25, 1730, Thomas Gould was part of an extended Quaker family in Newport County and descendant of one of the first Quaker converts in Rhode Island. Enjoying success as a “mechanic” and farmer, according to Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island (1908), he married Alice Chase of Portsmouth in March 1757 and raised a large family of five boys and five girls. Gould died on May 3, 1795.

This slender volume includes a chronological record visits to New England by Public Friends: Quakers who were considered to have a special gift in prayer or public speaking and who often traveled widely to minister.

  • Quakers--New England
Types of material
  • Booklets

Gray Panthers of the Pioneer Valley Records, 1979-1994

12 boxes (7 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 468

Amherst, Massachusetts, chapter of the national Gray Panther organization that sponsored the weekly Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice, tackled such issues as fair and affordable housing for people of all ages, nursing home reform, Social Security policy, universal health care, safe-sex, and age discrimination, and also worked to improve the everyday life of senior citizens and the community at large, often collaborating with other local organizations to address world peace, environmental concerns, improved child care, educational opportunities, and handicapped accessibility.

Records include charter, by-laws, histories and mission statements, meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, financial reports, fund raising materials, membership lists, membership questionnaire, newsletters, press releases, leaflets, clippings, a scrapbook, T-shirts, and program files, that document the founding and activities of the Gray Panthers of the Pioneer Valley.

  • Older people--Massachusetts
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Social justice--Massachusetts
  • Gray Panthers of the Pioneer Valley
  • Holt, Margaret

Aldin Grout papers, 1833-2002 (Bulk: 1833-1894)

1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 797
Aldin Grout papers image
Rev. Aldin Grout

Aldin Grout was among the first American missionaries to the Zulu nation. After experiencing a religious conversion in his early twenties, Grout dedicated his life to the ministry, studying at Amherst College (1831) and Andover Theological Seminary (1834) before accepting an appointment from the American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions. In Nov. 1835, Grout and his new wife Hannah sailed for South Africa, arriving in Port Natal in June, and building their first outpost among the Zulu, who were in a temporary lull in their long war with Boer settlers. Although Hannah died barely a year later, Grout and his second wife Charlotte remained at the mission station at Umlozi for over thirty years. After settling into retirement in Springfield, Mass., in 1870, Grout took part in the ABCFM effort to translate the Bible into Zulu (1883) and wrote about his missionary experiences for a general audience. Aldin Grout died in Springfield on 1894.

In nearly fifty letters to his in-laws, Grout provided a remarkable commentary on his missionary activities in colonial South Africa, his personal religious convictions, and the lives of the Zulus to whom he ministered. The collection also includes a handful of fragmentary autobiographical and historical sketches written after Grout’s retirement, a handful of letters from his wives and fellow missionary workers, Hannah and Charlotte, and some photographs of Groutville, S.A., and other materials from Grout’s great-great-granddaughter Norine Lee (formerly Phillips).

  • American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions
  • Dingane, King of the Zulu, approximately 1793-1840
  • Missionaries--South Africa
  • South Africa--Description and travel--19th century
  • South Africa--History--19th century
  • Zulu (African people)--History
  • Grout, Charlotte Bailey
  • Grout, Hannah Davis
Types of material
  • Photographs

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