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Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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Manfredi, John, 1920-

John Manfredi Papers

1938-1983
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: FS 148

One of four young sociologists who joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in the years after the Second World War, John Manfredi carried the entire load of teaching theory from 1948 to 1967. A native of Philadelphia and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA 1942), Manfredi came to Amherst after completing an MA at Harvard in 1948, teaching while simultaneously completing his dissertation, “The Relationship of Class-Structured Pathologies to the Contents of Popular Periodical Fiction, 1936-1940” (Harvard, 1951). A specialist in social theory and cultural systems, he taught anthropology for several years and both his research and teaching revolved around the sociology of religion and art. His best know work, The Social Limits of Art, appeared in 1982, three years before his retirement. Manfredi died in February 1993.

Consisting of essays and course notes from his days as a graduate student at Harvard, the John Manfredi collection documents the training and early professional work of a sociologist. Notable among these are materials relating to classes offered by eminent figures such as Talcott Parsons, Carle C. Zimmerman, and P.A. Sorokin.

Subjects

  • Sociology--Study and teaching
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Sociology

Contributors

  • Manfredi, John, 1920-
  • Parsons, Talcott, 1902-1979
  • Sorokin, Pitirim Aleksandrovich, 1889-1968
  • Zimmerman, Carle Clark, 1897-1983

Types of material

  • Lecture notes
Shaw, Carolyn Martin, 1944-

Carolyn Martin Shaw Papers

1962-2017 Bulk: 1972-2010
10 boxes 12.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 974
Image of Carolyn Martin Shaw in Kenya, ca.1972
Carolyn Martin Shaw in Kenya, ca.1972

From a childhood spent in a tenement in Norfolk, Va., Carolyn Martin Shaw went on to enjoy a distinguished career as a pioneer in Black Feminist anthropology. Educated in segregated schools, she was an outstanding student, winning scholarship funding to Michigan State University, where she received both her BS (1966) and PhD (1975). Shaw’s dissertation on Kikuyu kinship morality marked several themes that she developed through subsequent research projects in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Based in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz throughout her career, she was a productive scholar, publishing dozens of articles and chapters, and two important monographs, Colonial Inscriptions: Race, Class and Sex in Kenya (1995) and Women and Power in Zimbabwe: Promises of Feminism (2015), and she filled a variety of administrative posts, including department chair, Provost of the Kresge residential college, and Chair of the UC system-wide Committee on Privilege and Tenure. She has received numerous awards in her career, including a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Zimbabwe in 1983-1984, a Danforth Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and a McHenry Award for Service to the Academic Senate at UCSC. Shaw retired from UCSC in 2010.

Documenting her work in Black feminist anthropology, the Carolyn Martin Shaw collection includes published and unpublished writing, correspondence, and a wealth of information on her research in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Along with her fieldnotes, research data, and photographs, the collection also includes records of her faculty service at USCS, and awards received for teaching and university service.

Gift of Carolyn Martin Shaw, May 2017

Subjects

  • Anthropologists--California
  • Ethnology--Kenya
  • Ethnology--Zimbabwe
  • Feminism
  • University of California Santa Cruz--Faculty
  • Women--Africa
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students

University of Massachusetts Amherst. Student Body

1867-2007
155 linear feet
Call no.: RG 045

Since the arrival of the first class of students at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1867, the student body at UMass has grown to over 20,500 undergraduates and nearly 6,000 graduate students.

Record Group 45 includes the collected records of student activities at UMass Amherst, from student publications and organizations (fraternities and sororities, unions, and honorary societies) to records of student government, student protests, and religious and social groups. Also included are class notes and correspondence of some individual students while enrolled in the University.

Connect to another siteA number of student publications have been digitized and are indexed in YouMass.

Subjects

  • Aggie Life
  • Bay State Ruralist
  • College Signal
  • College students--Massachusetts
  • Greek letter societies--Massachusetts
  • Student newspapers and periodicals--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Western Massachusetts Library Club

Western Massachusetts Library Club Records

1898-2006
7 boxes 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 492
Image of Deerfield Public Library
Deerfield Public Library

Situated in a region known for its progressive spirit, the Western Massachusetts Library Club was established in 1898 to respond to the unique needs of librarians overseeing small or rural libraries, and to foster camaraderie among local colleagues. Almost immediately, however, the club expanded its focus, taking positions on issues ranging from modern library practices to national legislation and leading the way in the expansion of services for public libraries, all while maintaining its identity as an advocate for local libraries and librarians.

The collection is richest in records that document the early history of the club including detailed meeting minutes, news clippings, programs, and circulars. Beginning in the late 1960s, the club’s activities are captured primarily through membership lists and meeting notices and programs. Taken together, the records trace the growth of the WMLC for more than a century from its establishment to the present.

Subjects

  • Cutter, Charles A. (Charles Ammi), 1937-1903
  • Libraries--Massachusetts--History

Contributors

  • Western Massachusetts Library Club
Alexander, Charles P. (Charles Paul), 1889-1981

Charles P. Alexander Papers

1922-1959
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: FS 036
Image of Charles P. Alexander
Charles P. Alexander

Charles Paul Alexander, a professor and head of the Entomology Department from 1922 until 1959, was the international expert on the crane fly (Tipulidae). Alexander was born in Gloversville, New York in 1889, earned his B.S. (1913) and Ph.D. (1918) from Cornell University and joined the Massachusetts Agricultural College faculty in 1922. Alexander became the head of the Entomology Dept. and the Zoology Dept. in 1937 and then the dean of the the School of Science in 1945 and while at the University, classified nearly 13,000 species of crane fly. His personal collection of crane flies is held by the Smithsonian Institute. Alexander died in 1981.

The Charles Paul Alexander Papers contains mainly Alexander’s published reports on the crane fly as well as some of his lecture notes.

Subjects

  • Entomology
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Entomology

Contributors

  • Alexander, Charles P. (Charles Paul), 1889-1981
Alvord, Henry E.

Henry E. Alvord Papers

1859-1866
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 037

An officer in the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry during the Civil War, Henry Alvord (1844-1904) became a Professor of Dairy Science at Massachusetts Agricultural College and a founder of the American Association of Land Grant Colleges. He went on to a distinguished career in education and work with agricultural experiment stations in Maryland and Oklahoma.

Subjects

  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty

Contributors

  • Alvord, Henry E
Arbib, Michael A.

Michael A. Arbib Papers

1960-1985
26 boxes 76 linear feet
Call no.: FS 188
Image of Arbib at his desk in the UMass Amherst Dept. of Computer Science, ca. 1985
Arbib at his desk in the UMass Amherst Dept. of Computer Science, ca. 1985

The founding director of UMass Amherst’s Computer Science Department, Michael Arbib’s research on neuroscience and computing has been significantly influential and led to work on early neural networks and advances in both our understanding of the brain and artificial intelligence and computing. Born in 1940, Arbib was raised and educated in New Zealand and Australia, earning a BSc in 1960 at the University of Sydney. He then came to the US, earning his PhD at MIT and working closely with Warren McCulloch. Arbib was an assistant professor at Stanford University for five years before joining the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he helped found the Computer and Information Science Department. He left UMass in 1986 for the University of Southern California, where he is currently the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science. Arbib has been prolific, publishing almost forty books and hundreds of articles and continues to do research on the coordination of perception and action in both human cognition and machine vision, neural networks, and robotics.

The Michael Arbib Papers are a rich documentation of Arbib’s work while at Stanford and the University of Massachusetts, including his complete professional correspondence during that period, research files and notes, manuscript drafts of his publications, and the records of his administration of the Computer Science Department at UMass.

Subjects

  • Cybernetics
  • Machine theory
  • Neural networks (biology)
  • Neural networks (computing)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty

Contributors

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst . Department of Computer Science
Berger, Bernard B.

Bernard B. Berger Papers

1955-1993
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: FS 039

Bernard B. Berger served as the Director of the Water Resources Research Center from 1966 to 1978 and was a world-renowned expert on water supply management and the effects of pollution. Berger was born in 1912 in New York City, earned a B.S. in 1935 from MIT and an M.S. in Sanitary Engineering in 1948 from Harvard. Before coming to the University of Massachusetts, Berger worked as a civil engineer for twenty-five years in the United States Public Health Service, where he researched and advocated policy on pollution control. While at the University, Berger served as the United States’ water resources specialist in the executive office of Science and Technology and worked as a consultant to Israel in 1972 on that country’s creation of the Israel Environmental Service, now the Department of the Environment and as a consultant to South Africa on a similar project in 1975. The year after retiring from the University in 1978, Berger earned an honorary doctorate of science. He died on December 8, 2000.

The Bernard B. Berger Papers includes correspondence and reports from his consultancy work with Israel and South Africa. The collection also includes several folders of Berger’s published and unpublished writings, personal and professional correspondence and documents relating to his receipt of his honorary degree and other awards and recognitions.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Water Resources Research Center
  • Water-supply

Contributors

  • Berger, Bernard B
Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-

Gerard Braunthal Papers

1958-1894
6 boxes 7.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 013
Image of Gerard Braunthal
Gerard Braunthal

Born in Germany in 1923, Gerard Braunthal was a scholar of German politics and taught as a professor in the Political Science department from 1954. Before receiving his B.A. from Queens College in 1947, Braunthal served in intelligence during World War II, going on to receive his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1948 and Ph.D from Columbia University in 1953. While studying at Columbia, Braunthal worked as an interviewer for US Air Force intelligence. An expert on the German Social Democratic party (SPD), Braunthal published extensively on modern German politics. His work on the subject was well regarded in Germany as well as the United States. In parallel to his academic research, Braunthal was also an anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, serving on the executive committees of both the Valley Peace Center and the Citizens for Participation in Political Action (CPPAX). Braunthal received the Order of Merit from the German government.

The collection includes Braunthal’s correspondence, article manuscripts and research materials, as well as pamphlets, form-letters, and broadsides relating to anti-Vietnam war activism, interspersed with a small amount of personal correspondence from his own antiwar activities. Among his research materials is a collection of interview transcripts with members of the Federation of German Industry (BDI). There is also a significant collection of documents from his involvement with local activist groups, which includes minutes, form-letters, reports, conference proceedings, and leaflets.

Subjects

  • Peace movements--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political Science
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

  • Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-