Collecting area: Immigration & ethnicity

Polish Soldiers Relief (Chicopee, Mass.)

Polish Soldiers Relief Correspondence

1941-1942
4 items 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 219 bd

Four postcards sent to Polish Soldiers Relief of Chicopee in 1941 concerning Polish prisoners of war in German camps.

Subjects

Polish Americans--MassachusettsPrisoners of WarWorld War, 1939-1945
Polish Women’s Club of Three Rivers (Mass.)

Polish Women's Club of Three Rivers Records

1924-1994
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 391

Polish-American women’s club located near Palmer, Massachusetts, that aims to encourage Polish women to become United States citizens and provide them with classes in the English language; to take an active part in local, state and federal politics; to support local Polish-owned businesses; to preserve and integrate Polish culture with those of other ethnicities present in the United States; to encourage higher education in the Polish-American community.

Includes meeting minutes (primarily in Polish), histories, anniversary programs, town and state citations, and government publications, documenting the activities, membership, and national recognition of the club over a period of seventy years.

Gift of Helen B. Grzywna and Sophie Wojtowicz-Valtelhas, 1995

Subjects

Americanization--History--20th centuryPalmer (Mass.)--Ethnic relations--20th centuryPalmer (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th centuryPoles--Cultural assimilation--Massachusetts--History--20th centuryPolish American friendly societies--Massachusetts--Palmer--HistoryPolish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th centuryPolish Americans--Massachusetts--PalmerPolish Americans--Political activity--History--20th century

Contributors

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's ClubsPolish American Women Citizens Political Club of Three Rivers and Thorndike (Palmer, Mass.)Polish Women's Club of Three Rivers (Palmer, Mass.)

Types of material

Programs
Porter, Rosalie Pedalino, 1931-

Rosalie Pedalino Porter Papers

1989-2013
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 087

A noted activist opposing bilingual education, Rosalie Pedalino Porter was six when her family emigrated to the United States speaking no English at all. After marrying the Dickinson scholar, David Porter, and raising a family, Porter pursued three degrees in quick succession from UMass Amherst culminating in an EdD in bilingual education (1982). In her subsequent career, Porter worked as a Spanish teacher and coordinator of bilingual programs in the town of Newton, but she has become known nationally since the 1980s for her advocacy of structured immersion, rather than bilingual education, as the most effective means of educating English learners. A lecturer, writer, and consultant on educational policy, she is author or editor of four books.

Documenting Porter’s work against bilingual education, the collection contains particularly rich content for three successful initiatives opposing bilingual programs in California, Arizona (including the landmark Flores v. Arizona), and Massachusetts.

Gift of Rosalie Porter, July 2015

Subjects

Bilingual education and bilingualism
Reinsch, Henry Gustave

Henry Gustave Reinsch Papers

1942-1960
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 527

Born in Germany in 1888, Henry Gustave Reinsch became an American citizen in 1912, serving in the military during the First World War, marrying an American girl, and starting a family. In 1942, however, two FBI agents showed up at Reinsch’s office, and a year later, Reinsch’s citizenship was revoked when he was accused by the U.S. government of living a double life — publicly loyal to America, privately loyal to Germany. Reinsch appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court and won. His citizenship was reinstated in 1945.

The Reinsch Papers contains newspaper clippings, personal and business correspondence, and official documents pertaining to both citizenship trials, that tell of uncommon wartime experiences.

Gift of Vincent DiMarco, June 2007

Subjects

Citizenship, Loss of--United StatesFascists--United StatesGerman Americans--WashingtonSilver Shirts of America (Organization)World War, 1939-1945--German Americans

Contributors

Reinsch, BerniceReinsch, Henry Gustave

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)
Rowinska, Leokadia

Leokadia Rowinska Papers

1917-1988
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 102

Courier for the underground in Nazi occupied Poland during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising who was apprehended and placed in a concentration camp. After the war she and her husband moved from England to Holyoke, Massachusetts. Includes typescripts and photocopies of short stories; “Ameryce”, a booklet of poems; Poklosie, a book of poems published in Polish and English (Artex Press, 1987); audiotaped oral histories of Leokadia and Stanley Rowinski (primarily in Polish) done by their children; and photographs, audiotape, program and text of poems read at a public reading.

Gift of Leokadia Rowinska, Nov. 1985 and Stanley Rasdosh, 1988
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Polish Americans--Massachusetts--HolyokeWorld War, 1939-1945

Types of material

Oral histories
Saint Stanislaus Society (Tuners Falls, Mass.)

St. Stanislaus Society Records

1959-1969
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 254 bd

Named for a Polish saint, Stanislaus Kostka, the Saint Stanislaus Society of Turners Falls was Lodge 549 of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, the oldest Polish fraternal organization in the United States. Like many ethnic fraternal societies, it served as a buffer between the customs and language that immigrants brought with them and the new traditions and language they were expected to learn upon entering American society. Fraternal societies like St. Stanislaus offered members a place to celebrate their Polish heritage and Roman Catholic faith, while also assisting them with some of the more practical matters of living in a new country, such as securing life insurance and home mortgages.

The two volumes in this collection contain minutes of monthly meetings of the Saint Stanislaus Society. The minutes are recorded in Polish.

Unrecorded
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Fraternal organizations--Massachusetts--Turners FallsPolish Americans--Massachusetts--Turners FallsTurners Falls (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Polish Roman Catholic Union of AmericaSt. Stanislaus Society (Tuners Falls, Mass.)

Types of material

Minute books
Santerre Franco-American Collection

Richard Santerre Franco-American Collection

1872-1978
113 items 6 linear feet
Call no.: RB 009

An historian from Lowell, Mass., Richard Santerre received his doctorate from Boston College in 1974 for his dissertation Le Roman Franco-Americain en Nouvelle Angleterre, 1878-1943. For more than twenty years he published regularly on the history of French and French-Canadian immigrants in New England, particularly Massachusetts, while doing so, assembling a significant collection of books on the subject.

With titles in both French and English, the Santerre Collection deals with the wide range of Franco-American experience in New England, touching on topics from literature and the arts to religion, benevolent societies, language, the process of assimilation, biography, and history. The collection includes several uncommon imprints regarding French American communities in Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford, and Worcester, Mass., as well as in Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and it includes publications of associations such as the Ralliement Français en Amérique, the Association Canado-Americain, and the Alliance Française de Lowell.

Language(s): French

Subjects

Franco-Americans--ConnecticutFranco-Americans--MassachusettsFranco-Americans--New HampshireFranco-Americans--Rhode IslandFrench Canadians

Contributors

Santerre, Richard
Restrictions: Collection currently unavailable due to renovation in SCUA
Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Collection

1925-1986
32 boxes 48 linear feet
Call no.: MS 407

The Southeast Asia Collection highlights the regional wars from the 1970s to the 1980s, including a series on Southeast Asian refugees in America, along with materials on regional economic development, especially in the Mekong River Basin. The collection contains hundreds of reports on agricultural and industrial projects in the region, examining everything from the impact of electrification on village life in Thailand to a description of a Soviet-built hospital in Cambodia in 1961, to an assessment of herbicide in Vietnam in 1971.

Collected primarily by Joel Halpern and James Hafner, the collection includes background, field, and situation reports by U.S. Operations Missions and U.S. Agency for International Development; reports, publications, statistics, and background information from other U.S. government agencies, governments of Laos and Thailand, and the United Nations; correspondence, reports, and reference materials of nongovernmental organizations; reports and essays by individuals about Southeast Asia; news releases and newspapers; published and unpublished bibliographies; and interviews with U.S. military personnel. Most material comes from governmental and organizational sources, but there are papers by, and debriefs of, numerous individuals.

Subjects

Cambodia--History--1953-1975Laos--HistoryVietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Hafner, JamesHalpern, Joel Martin
Spragens, John

John Spragens Cambodian Photograph Collection

1983
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 116

The photojournalist John Spragens spent the better part of a decade living in Southeast Asia from 1966-1974, working for a variety of relief and peace organizations.

Taken by John Spragens late in 1983, the black-and-white photographs in this collection document Cambodia shortly after the Vietnamese Army defeated Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and installed a new order.

Acquired from John Spragens, 1986

Subjects

Agriculture--Cambodia--PhotographsCambodia--PhotographsFarmers markets--Cambodia--PhotographsFishing--Cambodia--PhotographsOrphans--Cambodia--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs
Restrictions: The photographer retains copyright to all images in the collection.
Sroka Family

Sroka Family Papers

1842-1960
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 216

Polish family who emigrated to the United States in 1912-1913 and settled in Chicopee, Massachusetts, working in meat packing firms and textile factories, and also as seamstresses and farmers.

Includes birth and wedding certificates, military and employment documentation, residential and passport applications, photographs, and lists of baptisms, weddings, and deaths. Also contains a family history written by Gary Sroka, correspondence, payment book for the Society of St. Joseph (Chicopee, Massachusetts), and a news clipping. All materials exist as photocopies and are written primarily in Polish, German, and Hungarian, though some are in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

Subjects

Chicopee (Mass.)--HistoryImmigrants--MassachusettsPolish Americans--Massachusetts