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Early Children’s Literature

Early Children's Literature Collection

1810-1894
42 items 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: RB 017
Depiction of The New Picture-Book (1837)
The New Picture-Book (1837)

Publishers in Western Massachusetts engaged in a brisk trade in books intended for children during the antebellum years, producing chapbooks to teach reading, didactic works on morals and comportment, and toy books for reward and entertainment. Brief and most often simply produced, the books are noted for their diminutive size, stock woodcut illustrations and characteristic moralistic tone, but they are rich sources for understanding popular conceptions of childhood, education, religious life, and marketing in the book trade, among other subjects.

The majority of the works in the Early Children’s Literature collection were products of the antebellum press in western Massachusetts, produced and distributed by printers such as John Metcalf (Wendell and Northampton), Anson Phelps (Greenfield), and A. R. Merrifield (Northampton). There are examples of chapbooks from other printers, most notably Mahlon Day of New York and the American Sunday School Union in Philadelphia.

Acquired variously.

Subjects

Children's literature--MassachusettsToy and movable books

Contributors

Metcalf, John, 1788-1864

Types of material

Books
Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Russell K. Alspach Papers

1950-1978
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 025

Russel K. Alspach earned his PhD in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught English from 1924-1942. After four years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent eighteen years as head of the Department of English at West Point Military Academy before retiring in 1965 with the rank of Brigadier General. A specialist in Irish literature with wide ranging interests running from William Butler Yeats to Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Faulkner, Alspach published prolifically throughout his career. He took a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, but hardly retired, eventually becoming Head of the Department of English, and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

The Alspach Papers consist of professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Russell K. Alspach. The small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Gift of Russell K. Alspach, 1999

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishYeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939

Contributors

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-
Boschen, Allan C.

Allan C. Boschen Esperanto Collection

1852-2015
ca.750 items 18 linear feet
Call no.: RB 028
Depiction of Esperanto travel book, 1927
Esperanto travel book, 1927

A constructed language developed by a Polish physician, L.L. Zamenhof, and first published in 1887, Esperanto is the most widely spoken auxiliary language in the world. Fundamentally utopian in origin, Esperanto is a simplified and highly rationalized language derived from a pastiche of languages, primarily European. By creating a universal second language, Zamenhof hoped that Esperanto would help transcend national and cultural boundaries and thus promote peace and understanding in a fractious world. Allan Boschen, an engineer with General Electric in Pittsfield, was a student and teacher of Esperanto and longtime officer with the Esperanto Society of New England.

The Esperanto book collection includes instructional materials in the language from around the world along with a diversity of imprints ranging from novels and poetry to travel books, histories and biographies, political writings, materials on China and Vietnam, children’s literature, and even a cookbook. We expect to add to the collection in future.

Subjects

EsperantoIdoLanguages, Artificial
Chametzky, Jules

Jules Chametzky Papers

1947-2006
21 boxes 31.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 003

Jules Chametzky is a professor of English, emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the founder (1958) and co-editor of The Massachusetts Review. Born May 24, 1928, in Brooklyn, NY, Chametzky attended Brooklyn College (B.A., 1950) and the University of Minnesota (M.A. 1952; PhD, 1958). During his noteworthy career, he taught at the University of Minnesota, Boston University, Yale University, the Free University of Berlin, and UMass Amherst (1959-present). A specialist in Jewish American literary history, Chametzky was twice a Fullbright Professor, and he has contributed his time to the Modern Language Association of America, the American Association of University Professors, the American Studies Association, and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (Secretary of the Executive Committee, 1967-1972). His many publications include The Fiction of Abraham Cahan, Our Decentralized Literature: Cultural Mediations in Selected Jewish and Southern Writers, and The Rise of David Levinsky.

The Chametzky Papers document Chametzky’s career as an educator, advocate, and academic pioneer. Included in the collection are professional correspondence, notes compiled for research and teaching, committee and meeting notes, travel documents and memorabilia, and a series of materials relating to the founding of The Massachusetts Review and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

Chametzky, Jules
Culley, Margo

Margo Culley Papers

1973-1985
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 103

A former Professor of English at UMass Amherst and contributor to the Program in Women’s Studies, Margaret (Margo) Culley was a specialist in women’s literature, particularly in women’s autobiography and diaries as a literary form. Her research drew variously upon work in literature, history, American studies, and religion, exploring gender and genre, language, subjectivity, memory, cultural diversity, and narrative. Between 1985 and 1994, she edited three volumes on American women’s autobiographical writing, and another on feminist teaching in the college classroom.

The Culley Papers offer a somewhat fragmentary glimpse into Culley’s academic career and her commitments to women’s literature. The collection includes selected notes for research and teaching, annotated bibliographies of women’s literature, a performance script for The Voices of Lost New England Women Writers, a federal grant proposal for The Black Studies/Women’s Studies Faculty Development Project (1981), and notes related to a study on minority women in the classroom. Letters collected by Culley’s students (late 18th and early 19th century) have been separated from the collection and designated as manuscript collections.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--WomenUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Women's Studies

Contributors

Culley, Margo
Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974

Sidney Finkelstein Papers

1914-1974
11 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 128

Noted critic of music, literature, and the arts, as well as a writer and an active member of the Communist Party U.S.A. Includes letters to and from Mr. Finkelstein; original manuscripts of reviews, articles, essays, and books; legal documents, educational, military, and personal records, financial papers, contracts, photographs, and lecture and course notes.

Gift of Maynard Solomon, 1986

Subjects

Art criticism--United States--History--20th centuryCommunism--United States--HistoryCommunist Party of the United States of America--History--20th centuryCommunist aesthetics--History--SourcesCulture--Study and teaching--United States--History--20th centuryMusic--History and criticismMusical criticism--United States--HistorySocialist realism--History--Sources

Contributors

Cohen, R. S. (Robert Sonné)Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974Gorton, Sally Kent, 1915-2000Hille, Waldemar, 1908-Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971Lawson, John Howard, 1894-Richmond, Al, 1913-1987Selsam, Millicent Ellis, 1912-Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-Thomson, Virgil, 1896-Veinus, Abraham

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)Photographs
Gibson, W. Walker

W. Walker Gibson Papers

1936-1993
3 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 062
Depiction of Walker Gibson
Walker Gibson

Walker Gibson, a professor of English at the University from 1967 to 1987, was a passionate teacher of writing and rhetoric and author of humorous verse. Gibson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1919 but was raised in Albany, New York. He earned his B.A. from Yale in 1940 and began graduate work at Harvard, however, his studies were interrupted by World War II, where he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After the War, Gibson earned his M.A. from the University of Iowa, where he was a research assistant for the Iowa Writers Workshop. For the next twenty years, Gibson taught English and writing at Amherst College and published prose and his signature humorous verse in the New Yorker, Atlantic, Harpers, and the New York Times Magazine among others. Gibson also published several books, including collections of verse, as well as prose works on writing, teaching composition, and literary criticism. Gibson died at the age of 90 in February, 2009.

The Walker Gibson Papers document the writer and teacher’s career through published and unpublished early writings during his years at Yale, binders including his published writings from the 1950s, correspondence with Theodore Baird, his supervisor at Amherst College, and lecture notes from his University writing and English classes. Completing the collection are three folders of miscellaneous correspondence and a folder of Gibson’s unpublished manuscripts from the late seventies and early eighties.

Gift of W. Walker Gibson, 1999

Subjects

National Council of Teachers of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

Gibson, W. Walker
Langland, Joseph

Joseph Langland Papers

1939-2007
6 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 181
Joseph Langland with his wife, Judith
Joseph Langland with his wife, Judith

The poet Joseph Langland was raised on the family farm in northeastern Iowa, and earned both a BA (1940) and MA (1941) from the famed writing program at the University of Iowa, before being inducted into the military service during the Second World War. While still in Germany serving with the Allied military government, Langland had printed for his family his first book of poetry, a chapbook titled For Harold (1945), for his younger brother who had been killed in action in the Philippines. Returning home, he taught part-time at Iowa, then joined the faculty at the University of Wyoming (1948-1959), and finally UMass Amherst. Part of a wave of energetic young writers and scholars to arrive on campus, Langland became active in the early years of the Massachusetts Review and became founder the university’s MFA Program for Poets and Writers. A prolific writer, he contributed regularly to literary magazines and was author of The Green Town (1956), The Wheel of Summer (1963), The Sacrifice Poems (1975), Any Body’s Song (1980), and Selected Poems (1991). Langland was recipient of the National Council of the Arts Award, the Melville Cane Award, the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Fellowship, and a Ford Faculty Fellowship, among other honors. After his retirement from UMass in 1979, he served as emeritus until his death in 2007.

The Langland Papers include a substantial number of original manuscripts of poetry, many unpublished, correspondence with major poets, and an extensive run of Langland’s letters written home to his wife and family during the war. Other Langland Papers are housed at Luther College in Iowa.

Gift of Paul Langland and Elizabeth Langland, 2016

Subjects

Poets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishWorld War, 1939-1945

Types of material

DiariesLetters (Correspondence)ManuscriptsPhotographs
Restrictions: Copyright retained by the family
New England Association of Teachers of English

New England Association of Teachers of English Records

1901-2014
4 box 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1011

Established in 1901, the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) was the first association of English teachers in America. Through conferences, executive board meetings, and the regular publication of The Leaflet, NEATE aimed to bring together New England’s English teachers to study the methodology and history of the field, as well as observe innovations and new practices in the world of education.

While the collection is expected to grow, it currently consists of meeting minutes, conference records, correspondence between members, issues of The Leaflet, two published histories of the organization, and two early record books of NEATE ranging in date from 1901-1938.

Gift of the New England Assocation of Teachers of English, 2017

Subjects

English teachers--New EnglandTeachers--History--19th centuryTeachers--History--20th century

Contributors

New England Association of Teachers of English
Patterson, Charles H.

Charles H. Patterson Papers

1930-1958
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: FS 089
Depiction of Charles H. Patterson.<br />Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926
Charles H. Patterson.
Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926

For many years, Charles H. Patterson served as head of the Department of Language and Literature at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Born in Smithsonville, Ont., in 1863, Patterson received both a BA (1887) and MA (1893) from Tufts University before launching his teaching career. He joined the faculty at MAC as an assistant professor of English, in 1916, after 13 years at West Virginia University. A former professional actor, he taught courses in modern literature, with a particular interest in drama, and served as department chair for nearly a decade before his sudden death in 1933.

The Patterson Papers contain a small selection of correspondence and notes on English composition and literature as taught at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Most noteworthy, perhaps, is a draft of Patterson’s unpublished book, The Amazing Boucicault.

Subjects

Boucicault, Dion, 1820-1890Drama--Study and teachingMassachusetts Agricultural College--FacultyMassachusetts Agricultural College. Department of English

Contributors

Patterson, Charles H
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