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Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Robert Francis Papers

1891-1988
17 boxes 8.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 403
Depiction of Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,<br />Nov. 1939
Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,
Nov. 1939

The poet and essayist Robert Francis settled in Amherst, Mass., in 1926, three years after his graduation from Harvard, and created a literary life that stretched for the better part of half a century. An associate of Robert Frost and friend of many other writers, Francis occasionally worked as a teacher or lecturer, including a brief stint on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, but he sustained himself largely through his writing, living simply in “Fort Juniper,” a cottage he built on Market Hill Road in North Amherst. A recipient of the Shelley Award (1939) and the Academy of American Poets award for distinguished poetic achievement (1984), Francis was a poet in residence at both Tufts (1955) and Harvard (1960) Universities. He died in Amherst in July 1987.

The Francis Papers contains both manuscript and printed materials, drafts and finished words, documenting the illustrious career of the poet. Of particular note is Francis’s correspondence with other writers, publishing houses, and readers, notably Paul Theroux. Also contains personal photographs and Francis family records and a small number of audio recordings of Francis reading his poetry. Letters from Francis to Regina Codey, 1936-1978, can be found in MS 314 along with two typescript poems by Francis.

Connect to another siteListen to interviews with Francis on Poems to a Listener", 1977-1978
Subjects
Amherst (Mass.)--History
Poetry--Publishing
Poets--Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Press
Contributors
Brown, Rosellen
Ciardi, John, 1916-
De Vries, Peter
Fitts, Dudley, 1903-
Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
Hall, Donald, 1928-
Humphries, Rolfe
Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
Moss, Howard, 1922-
Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972
Theroux, Paul
Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Types of material
Audiotapes
Phonograph records
Photographs
Brown, Robert E.

Robert E. Brown Southbridge (Mass.) Collection

1973-1977
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 029

During the mid-1970s, Robert Brown worked as a fifth grade teacher at the West Street School, Southbridge, Mass., while pursuing a graduate degree in anthropology at UMass Amherst under Joel Halpern. Part of Brown’s research involved conducting oral histories with Southbridge families identified as “ethnic,” including Albanian, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, and Puerto Rican, as well as the only African American family in town at the time. Brown published his work in local newspapers and ultimately in the book, The New New Englanders (Worcester, Mass.: Commonwealth Press, 1980).

The Brown collection includes copies of his newspaper articles, profiles of the families he studied, and apparently complete transcripts of two oral history interviews. Also included are copies of two papers by Brown on Southbridge, possibly for an anthropology class, analyzing the education of Puerto Rican students and the lives of Rumanian Americans.

Subjects
African Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
Greek Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
Immigrants--Massachusetts
Italian Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
Rumanian Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
Southbridge (Mass.)--History
Contributors
Brown, Robert E
Types of material
Oral histories
Brush, Robert

Robert Brush Ledger

1793-1819
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 195 bd

Robert Brush (1751-1835) operated a sawmill in North Salem, Westchester County, N.Y., at the turn of the nineteenth century, sawing and selling board, timber, and logs to the local community.

This double-entry account book documents an active sawmill and gristmill in Westchester County, N.Y. at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Subjects
Grist mills--New York (State)
Sawmills--New York (State)
Types of material
Account books
Carton, Robert J.

Robert J. Carton Papers

1935-2002 Bulk: 1983-2002
3 boxes linear feet
Call no.: MS 643

The environmental scientist Robert J. Carton emerged in the mid-1980s as one of the leading scientific critics of fluoridation of the water supply. After receiving his doctorate in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, Carton accepted a position in 1972 with the Office of Toxic Substances in the Environmental Protection Agency, assessing the risks associated with a range of toxic substances from asbestos to arsenic and hexachlorobenzene. By 1985, Carton became concerned about EPA standards for fluoride in drinking water, taking a public stance against undue political influence in framing those standards and insisting that there was no scientific evidence that fluorides prevented tooth decay and that any level of fluoride exposure presented a significant health hazard. In 1992, Carton left the EPA to work for as Chief of Environmental Compliance for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Consisting primarily of research, notes, and some correspondence relating to the health effects of fluoridation of drinking water, the collection documents Robert Carton’s nearly two decade long struggle against the EPA and federal government. Also included are transcripts of filings relating to various legal challenges against fluoridation during the mid-1980s.

Subjects
Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
Fluorides--Physiological effect
United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Contributors
Carton, Robert J
Coffin, Robert L.

Robert L. Coffin Ornithological Journal

1912-1922
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 593 bd

Robert L. Coffin (1889-1976) began a long association with the Massachusetts Agricultural College when he arrived on campus in 1912 to begin work as an assistant photographer for the East Experiment Station. His skill as a technical photographer and his artistic eye, however, soon made him a valuable commodity on campus and within a few years of his arrival, Coffin had branched out to work for a wide range of departments across campus and, in the late 1920s, for the US Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well. An avid birder and naturalist, Coffin was particularly known for his nature photography, using a battery of different cameras to capture everything from scenic vistas to photomicrographs. Although he established a commercial photographic studio in Amherst in 1931, Coffin continued to accept a wide range of assignments at UMass, earning recognition as the unofficial campus photographer. He remained active almost to the time of his death in 1976 at the age of 86.

Containing the meticulously detailed records of an avid birder, the Coffin journal contains records of sightings and first and last occurrences of birds observed in the years 1912 and 1917-1922. The records in the journal reflect Coffin’s many birding trips in western Massachusetts, mostly in the Connecticut River Valley, however the journal also contains records from the Swift River Valley, the Harvard Forest, the Boston area, and the Connecticut coast. In a few cases, Coffin recorded the numbers of birds observed.

Subjects
Bird watching--Massachusetts
Birds--Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Contributors
Coffin, Robert L
Types of material
Field notes
Dillon, Robert E.

Robert E. Dillon Papers

1943-1946
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 635
Depiction of Robert E. Dillon, 1943
Robert E. Dillon, 1943

A working class native of Ware, Mass., Robert E. Dillon was a student at Massachusetts State College when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. After his induction at Fort Devens, Mass., and training for the Quartermaster Corps in Virginia and California, Dillon was assigned to duty as a mechanic and driver with the First Service Command. Stationed at Rest Camps number 5 and 6 in Khanspur, India (now Pakistan), Dillon’s company maintained the trucks and other vehicles used to carry supplies over the Himalayas to Chinese Nationalist forces. After he left the service in February 1946, having earned promotion to T/5, Dillon concluded his studies at UMass Amherst on the GI Bill and earned a doctorate in Marketing from Ohio State. He taught at the University of Cincinnati for many years until his death in 1985.

The Dillon Papers consist of 178 letters written by Dillon to his family during his service in World War II, along with several written to him and an assortment of documents and ephemera. Beginning with basic training, the letters provide an essentially comprehensive account of Dillon’s military experience and interesting insight into a relatively quiet, but sparsely documented theater of war.

Gift of Edward O'Day, Sept. 2009
Subjects
California--Description and travel
India--Description and travel
Pakistan--Description and travel
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Dillon, Robert E
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Menus
Photographs
Fowler, Robert

Robert Fowler Diary

1831-1854
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 174 bd

A native of Salisbury, Massachusetts, Robert Fowler (b.1805) was a prosperous shipbuilder and merchant with a trade extending from Nova Scotia to the Gulf South. He and his wife Susan Edwards, whom he married in 1830, had at least four children.

Kept by Robert Fowler between 1831 and 1854, the volume includes both diary entries (primarily 1841-1846) and accounts. With occasional commentary on local political matters, commerce, weather, and family matters, the diary is largely a record of Fowler’s spiritual concerns and his wrestling with doctrinal matters and the relationship of religion and daily life. An ardent temperance man, he commented on religious topics ranging from the Millerite movement to the resurrection, salvation, and the duty of prayer.

Subjects
Fatherhood
Fitch, Charles, 1805-1844
Merchants--Massachusetts--Salisbury
Millerite movement
Religious life--Massachusetts--Salisbury
Salisbury (Mass.)--History
Second Advent
Temperance
Types of material
Account books
Diaries
Holmes, Francis W.

Francis W. Holmes Papers

1954-1979
10 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: FS 108

Shortly after earning his doctorate in plant pathology from Cornell in 1954, the internationally known phytopathologist, Francis W. Holmes began his career at UMass Amherst. Working in the Department of Plant Pathology (1954-1991) and later as Director of the Shade Tree Laboratories, Holmes became a leader in the study of Dutch elm disease, and he conducted important research on injury to trees from road salt and the relationship between salt injury and Verticillium wilt disease. During Holmes’s tenure, the Shade Tree Labs tested nearly 250,000 elm samples for Dutch elm disease and diagnosed a great variety of other diseases on more than 150 other types of trees. While on a Fulbright fellowship in the Netherlands, he devoted his free time to preparing a monograph on six Dutch women scientists who discovered the source of Dutch elm disease in the 1920s and 1930s. Holmes retired from the University in 1991 and remained in Amherst until his death in 2007.

The papers document Holmes’s research on shade trees and his tenure as a professor of microbiology. The collection includes some professional correspondence (1954-1977), awards, research notes and publications, and memorabilia. Holmes’s translations of phytopathological works from Dutch to English may be of interest to scholars of Dutch elm disease.

Subjects
Dutch elm disease
Shade Trees
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant Pathology
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Shade Tree Laboratories
Contributors
Holmes, Francis W
Holmes, Francis W.

Francis W. Holmes Southern Student Project Collection

1964-1972
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1008
Depiction of Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966
Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966

Between 1957 and 1968, the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee brought academically gifted African American high school students from the south to live and study in the north. Working initially through its New York office, the AFSC announced its desire to bring “to promising young people, thwarted by the doctrine of the separation of the races, the fullest development of their gifts” while providing northern whites with “an experience which will increase our understanding and deepen our involvement with the human community.”

A dense and nearly comprehensive record of participation in the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee, the Holmes collection documents a Quaker response to the civil rights crisis of the late 1950s and 1960s. Holmes carefully filed nearly every relevant piece of paper associated with his participation, from the fliers that introduced him to the project to listings of eligible students, his lengthy letter of inquiry and application, and his numerous exchanges with his support committee, the local high school, and the American Friends Service Committee. Perhaps more important, he kept both sides of an extensive and often lengthy correspondence with the Craig family, describing Deborah’s adjustment and progress in Amherst and the response of the local community. The collection also includes Holmes’ report of the Friends Conference on Race Relations and some correspondence between Holmes and Craig during her time in college, when Holmes attempted to provide counsel and financial support to help Craig continue her education.

Gift of Becky Holmes, May 2018
Subjects
African Americans--Education
Civil rights movements
Race relations
Contributors
American Friends Service Committee. Southern Student Project
Craig, Deborah
Mount Toby Monthly Meeting of Friends
Ketcham, Robert, b. 1796?

Robert and Henry Ketcham Account Book

1829-1875
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 176 bd

Owners of a farm business/general store in Charlton, Saratoga County, New York. Includes lists of items sold, services performed (such as plowing, harvesting, and planting corn), transactions with fellow townsmen, and debts owed. Also includes newspaper clippings of poetry, samples of dried pressed foliage, written document of Ketcham family births, deaths, and marriages, and the document of a house sale agreement.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Subjects
Agricultural laborers--New York--Charlton (Town)--History--19th century
Charlton (N.Y. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
Farmers--New York--Charlton (Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
Food prices--New York (State)--New York--Charlton (Town)--History--19th century
General stores--New York--Charlton
Ketcham family--Genealogy
Contributors
Ketcham, Henry
Ketcham, Robert, b. 1796?
Types of material
Account books
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