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Stonewall Center

Stonewall Center Records

1962-2005
22 boxes 33 linear feet
Call no.: RG 030/2/6

Following a series of homophobic incidents on the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1985, the Program for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Concerns was established as an administrative center in the Office of Student Affairs. Later renamed after the notorious riots in New York, the Stonewall Center has provided the campus and surrounding community with cultural and educational programming through speakers, films, video and book library, Speakers Bureau on LGBTQ issues, referrals and support, advocacy and community outreach.

The records of the Stonewall Center include documentation of day to day operations, including phone logs, memos, and budget information, as well as posters and press releases for events, publications, campus and external reports, training manuals, surveys, newspaper clippings, and ephemera such as banners, tee-shirts, and buttons.

Subjects

Gay college students--MassachusettsGays--Services forUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--StudentsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns

Contributors

Stonewall CenterYeskel, Felice
Wulkan, Ferd

Ferd Wulkan Collection

1968-1985
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 841

A 1968 graduate in mathematics from MIT, Ferd Wulkan has been a fixture in activist circles for many years. A member of SDS in college and a rank-and-file clerical union leader at Boston University, Wulkan moved to Amherst in 1989. His passion has been the intersection of the labor movement with other progressive movements; he served for 15 years as a field representative with Locals 509 and 888 of SEIU, working with non-faculty professional personnel at UMass Amherst and Boston, and then as a representative and organizer for the Massachusetts Society of Professors from 2004 to 2016. In 2007, Wulkan became organizing director for the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), a grassroots advocacy organization for affordable and accessible public higher education.

The Wulkan Collection consists of a fascinating array of material from Leftist and radical political movements during the late 1960s and early 1980s, with an emphasis on the Cambridge-Somerville area. In addition to a rich assemblage of formally published pamphlets and magazines, the collection includes a large number of fliers, handouts, informally published works, and underground newspapers on Socialist, Feminist, and anarchist topics and relating to the war in Vietnam, the labor movement, civil rights, and Black Power.

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--HistoryFeminism--MassachusettsRadicals--Massachusetts--CambridgeSomerville (Mass.)--HistoryUnderground press publicationsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Contributors

Black Panther Party
Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)

Common Reader Bookshop Collection

1977-1997
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 472
Depiction of Abramson, Johnson, and cats on the porch of their New Salem home, 1977
Abramson, Johnson, and cats on the porch of their New Salem home, 1977

Co-owned by Dorothy Johnson and Doris Abramson, the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem, Massachusetts, specialized in women’s studies materials, or in their words, “books by, for, and about women.” A couple for almost 40 years and married in 2004, Johnson and Abramson opened the store in 1977 and as they grew, relocated to the town’s old Center School building across the street in 1983. The shop closed for business in 2000.

Comprised of two scrapbooks and folder of ephemera, the collection highlights the Common Reader Bookshop not only as a place for buying antiquarian books, but also for the community it fostered.

Gift of Doris Abramson and Dorothy Johson, Jan. 2005.

Subjects

Antiquarian booksellers--MassachusettsNew Salem (Mass.)--HistoryWomen--Massachusetts

Contributors

Abramson, Doris E.Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)Johnson, Dorothy

Types of material

EphemeraPhotographs
Maland, Jeanine

Jeanine Maland Papers

1951-2007
24 boxes 36 linear feet
Call no.: MS 467

Born in 1945 in Iowa, Jeanine Maland attended Iowa State University before enrolling at UMass Amherst to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in women’s studies in 1978. While in Western Massachusetts, Maland continued the advocacy work she began at the Rhode Island Women’s Health Collective. Throughout the 1970s-1990s Maland was involved in countless organizations representing a variety of activist movements from prison reform and labor to disarmament and peace.

Jeanine Maland’s papers represent a wide sampling of the activity and career of a lifelong activist, spanning the years 1951-2007. Although the collection contains limited personal information, these materials reflect Maland’s passion and commitment to social justice and social action. Her interests intersect with a number of the major social movements since the 1960s, ranging from the peace and antinuclear movements to critiques of the growing Prison Industrial Complex. While much of Maland’s activism took place on a local level, her efforts were often coordinated with national and international interests and movements.

Gift of Jeanine Maland, 2005

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsIraq War, 2003-Labor unions--MassachusettsPersian Gulf War, 1991Political activists--Massachusetts--HistoryPrisoners--MassachusettsRacismUnited States--Foreign relations--Central AmericaUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst

Contributors

Maland, Jeanine
What we collect

Frank Waugh's doves
Garden (white fan tailed doves in bird bath) by Frank Waugh, ca.1920

“… there must come vast social change in the United States; a change not violent, but by the will of the people certain and inexorable; carried out ‘with malice toward none but charity for all’; with meticulous justice to the rich and complete sympathy for the poor, the sick and the ignorant; with freedom and democracy for America, and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, Chicago, June 29, 1951

In pursuit of our mission, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds.

Our approach to collecting

Graphic showing SCUA major collecting areas

Drawing upon the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s most profound insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement — and no solution to social ills — can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas. Our hope is to provide a more robust framework for interpreting the deep histories of social engagement in America and to lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change.

A related feature of SCUA’s approach to collecting is our commitment to documenting “whole lives and whole communities.” Rather than focus solely on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to document the entire life in all its complexity: the person’s background, the events themselves, and the aftermath, as well as the range of colleagues and organizations engaged. Our goal is not simply to highlight the great achievements and great people, but to reveal the broad underpinnings of influences, interests, and organizations that shaped them and the communities in which they operated.

While not exhaustive, the following is a synopsis of the major focal points for SCUA’s collections:

Social change

Emphasizing the cross-fertilization between social movements and centers of activist energy, SCUA collects materials from individuals and organizations involved in the struggles for peace and non-violence, social and racial justice, economic justice, agricultural reform, environmentalism, sustainability, alternative energy, organized labor, gay rights, disability rights, spiritual activism, antinuclear activism, and intentional communities. Our collections branch out to include anti-fluoridation activism, campaigns for voting rights and clean elections, community and charitable organizations, and the history of revolutionary-era Europe (1789-1848).

  • African and African American history and culture:
    The history of race and ethnicity in America, with particular emphasis on the struggle for racial equality and social justice.
  • Agriculture, horticulture, botany:
    Including agricultural science and practice, horticulture, animal husbandry, natural history, organic farming, sustainable living, and heritage breeds.
  • Antifluoridation movement:
    Including right-wing, left-wing, libertarian, popular, and scientific opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies.
  • Antinuclear movement:
    SCUA holds numerous collections documenting grassroots opposition to nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
  • Arts management and arts administration:
    In partnership with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and several other arts agencies, SCUA documents the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state and national arts agencies, we will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities. SCUA also documents the field of Creative Aging, as well as local arts organizations, theatre companies, and others in the performing arts.
  • Cold War Culture:
    The culture of the Cold War, with an emphasis upon East Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Among other areas, SCUA has a strong interest in the Solidarity movement and in partnership with the DEFA Film Library, in East German cinema and graphic arts.
  • Counterculture and political radicalism:
    SCUA’s collections focus on a variety of both cultural and poltiical “alternatives” to maintstream society, including materials on various forms of political radicalism, Communism and Socialism, drug policy reform, prisoners and mass imprisonment, and the underground press.
  • Disability:
    Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States. Among other focal points for our collections are cross-disability activism and the psychiatric survivors’ movement.
  • Folk, blues, and traditional music:
    The revival of interest in folk, blues, and traditional music and the rich and evolving heritage of regional musical traditions are an important focal point for SCUA. In addition to documenting the music itself, SCUA actively collects manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs relating to the performers, behind the scenes actors, venues, and audiences, as well as the extraordinary connections linking the sounds and social movements.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues:
    Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
  • Intentional communities:
    SCUA documents the extended history of alternative approaches to social organization, including the individual and communal lives of communards and the full gamut of intentional communities from communes to co-housing and the back to the land movement. SCUA.
  • Labor, work, and industry:
    Organized labor, industrialization, manufacturing, business history, and the experience and culture of labor and working people.
  • Peace:
    Materials relating to the peace and antiwar movements and non-violence, with an emphasis on New England.
  • Spirituality and religion:
    SCUA documents the experiences of people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration. As repository of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, we have a strong interest in the history of Quakers and Quakerism.
  • Visual culture:
    SCUA’s commitment to the visual culture of social change includes a close focus on artistically-informed documentary photography, including the archives of photojournalists, photographers, videographers, and documentarians, as well as amateur and vernacular photography centered on the daily lives of New Englanders.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

SCUA collects materials that document innovative and entrepreneurial activities and particularly social entrepreneurship. Representative collections in SCUA include the papers of Mark H. McCormack (a pioneer in sport and entertainment marketing), Carl C. Harris (inventor and President of Rodney Hunt Co.), and numerous collections that document our region’s distinctive history of innovation in manufacturing and technology.

New England history and culture

The social, political, cultural, intellectual, literary, and economic life, with an emphasis upon western New England. The department houses thousands of books on New England cookery, with a particular emphasis on charitable and community cookbooks and cookbooks and ephemera published by corporations and the food industry.

  • Cookery and culinary history
    SCUA has thousands of cookbooks and other materials on New England regional cuisine, including community and charitable cookbooks, commercial cookbooks by New England authors, corporate cookbooks, and culinary ephemera.
  • Literature and the arts
    Emphasizing poets and writers, playwrights, and the performing arts in New England.
  • Politics and political culture
    SCUA has rich collections documenting the history and politics of the Commonwealth, including the papers of Congressmen Silvio O. Conte and John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, and State Representatives John Clark and Ellen Story. The records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns add great historical depth.

University Archives collecting

Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, SCUA is steward for the official and unofficial records of the university that document the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community. The collections are a rich record of administrative activity at all levels, from system to program, but they focus on documenting the lives and activities of individual administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Other areas

SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:

  • American Study of Japan and Asia
    American relations with Japan from the Meiji period to the present, and connections with China and other Asian countries.
  • Gravestone studies and death
    Materials relating to the history, culture, preservation, and interpretation of gravestones and related subjects.
  • Protistology
    Records of the scholarly study of the protista (protozoans).

Learn more:

Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers

ca.1930-2007
25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 127
Depiction of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008

Subjects

African-American theaterPoets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

Abramson, Doris E.
Broadside

Broadside and Poster Collection

1798-2012
5 folders, tube 1 linear feet
Call no.: RB 034
Depiction of Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850
Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850

Printers and bibliographers use a bevy of terms to refer to works printed on one side (or sometimes both sides) of a single sheet, classified primarily by size. From large to small, posters, broadsides, and fliers refer to works used to convey a more or less focused message to an audience, often using illustrations or inventive typography to grab the attention.

Posters from Communist world, with an emphasis on the political and cultural transformations of the late 1980s through mid-1990s. The majority of posters originated in the Soviet Union, although there are examples from East Germany, China, and elsewhere.

Gift of various donors
Language(s): RussianYiddish

Subjects

Antiwar movements--PostersCommunism--PostersSoviet Union--History--1985-1991Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Posters

Types of material

Broadsheets (Formats)Broadsides (Notices)Fliers (Printed matter)Posters
Econosmith

Econosmith Collection

1969-2019
1 box, digital files 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 089
Depiction of Pete Seeger, 2006
Pete Seeger, 2006

A wife and husband team of photographers based in Provincetown, Mass., Maxine Smith and John Economos, known collectively as Econosmith, are photographers of the folk music scene, social action, and the landscape and people of outer Cape Cod. Social activists themselves, the Econosmiths were photographers for Pete Seeger during the last decade of his life and headed up the photography team at the Clearwater Festival, giving them unusual access to dozens of performers.

With compelling images of musicians in performance, the Economsmith collection is a rich visual record of the contemporary folk scene, with a special focus on Pete Seeger and the Clearwater Festival (also known as the Great Hudson River Revival). Over 90% of the images were born digital, with the remainder split between color negatives and 35mm. slides. The collection also includes photographs of antiwar demonstrations sparked by the Iraq War and images of the scenery and people of Provincetown and outer Cape Cod.

Gift of John Economos and Maxine Smith, April 2019

Subjects

Cape Cod (Mass.)--PhotographsClearwater Festival--PhotographsDemonstrations--New York (State)--New York--PhotographsDemonstrations--Washington (D.C.)--PhotographsFolk musicFolk musicians--PhotographsIraq War, 2003-2011--Protest movements--PhotographsPeace movements--PhotographsSeeger, Pete, 1919-2004--Photographs

Contributors

Economos, JohnSmith, Maxine

Types of material

Photographs
Kleckner, Susan

Susan Kleckner Papers

ca. 1870-2010 Bulk: 1970-2010
89 ca. 180 linear feet
Call no.: MS 725
Depiction of Greenham Commons
Greenham Commons

A feminist, filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, writer, and New Yorker, Susan Kleckner helped to define the Feminist Art Movement. Born in 1941, Kleckner was instrumental in uniting Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) with Feminists in the Arts in 1969, and in 1970 she became a founder of the Women’s Interart Center, which still fosters women artists in the performing, visual, and media arts. A talented and prolific visual artist, she produced several important video documentaries during her career, beginning with Three Lives (made in collaboration with Kate Millet in 1970), which is considered the first all-women produced feature documentary. Her work often reflected a feminist commitment to the cause of peace: she participated in and photographed the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in England during the mid-1980s and in 1987, she curated a major year-long installation on Broadway called WindowPeace. A brilliant teacher, Kleckner was the first woman to teach photography at the Pratt Institute and she worked at the International Center for Photography in New York from 1982 until her death in July 2010.

A wide ranging and highly diverse collection, the Kleckner Papers document a life in art and activism. The diaries, letters, notes, and essays in the collection are augmented by hundreds of photographic prints and artwork in a variety of media.

Gift of Linda Cummings and Susan Jahoda, Dec. 2011

Subjects

Antinuclear movementsFeminists--New York (State)Greenham Common Women’s Peace CampPeace movementsPerformance artists--New York (State)Photographers--New York (State)Women's Interart Center

Contributors

Kleckner, Susan

Types of material

Artists' filmsDrawings (Visual works)Photographs
MassEquality

MassEquality Records

ca.1993-2008
18 boxes 23.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 674
Depiction of MassEquality sticker
MassEquality sticker

In the late 1990s, MassEquality was formed as a coalition of advocacy groups that sought to build legislative support for same-sex marriage and gay rights in Massachusetts. Formally incorporated as a 501(c)4 advocacy organization in late 2001, the coalition hired its first employee, Campaign Coordinator Marty Rouse, in late 1993, and achieved a landmark success that November when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to allow equal marital rights to same-sex couples. Since that time, MassEquality has continued to champion marriage equality nationally.

The MassEquality Records document the origins, operations, and activism of one of the leading organizations in New England advocating for marriage rights and civic equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. The collection includes some material generated by the Freedom to Marry Coalition, a partner in the coalition, and a series of large banners and posters, some of which were displayed during the event celebrating the arrival of marriage equality in Massachusetts.

Subjects

Gay rights--New EnglandGays--Legal status, laws, etc.--New EnglandSame-sex marriage--Law and legislation--New England

Contributors

Freed to Marry CoalitionMassEquality

Types of material

BannersPosters