Massachusetts (West) (284 collections) SCUA

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Bates Family

Marcia Grover Church Bates Family Papers, 1712-1999.

11 boxes (5.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 424

Generations of the Bates and Church families based in North Amherst and Ashfield, Massachusetts. Papers include deeds, a will, correspondence, account books (recording day-to-day expenditures on food, clothing, postage, housekeeping supplies, and laborer’s wages), diaries, an oral history, photographs, genealogical notes, and memorabilia related to the family.


  • Ashfield (Mass.)--History
  • Bates family
  • Church family
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Hotelkeepers--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • Libraries--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnae
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • North Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Prescott (Mass.)--History
  • Public librarians--Massachusetts
  • Street-railroads--Massachusetts--Employees
  • Weather--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Women--Massachusetts--History
  • Worcester (Mass.)--History


  • Bates, Marcia Church, 1908-2000
  • Church, Cornelia, 1906-1978
  • Church, Lucia Grover, 1877-1943

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Geneaologies
  • Photographs
  • Wills

Belchertown Sentinel

Belchertown Sentinel Collection, 1915-2003.

Call no.: MS 845

A weekly community newspaper from a small town in western Massachusetts, the Belchertown Sentinel began publication in 1915. Featuring a mix of news and features focusing on Belchertown and adjoining communities of Amherst and Granby, the Sentinel was edited and published by its founder, Lewis H. Blackmer, for fifty years. Since changing hands twice in the period 1965-1975, the Sentinel has been published by Turley Publications. In 2013, with the centennial of the paper drawing near, the publisher and the Belchertown Historical Society cooperated on a project to digitize 88 years of the Sentinel funded by a grant from the Community Preservation Committee.

The Sentinel collection consists of digital copies only of the newspaper from its founding through 2003.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Belchertown (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Granby (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Newspapers--Massachusetts--Belchertown

Belchertown State School Friends Association

Belchertown State School Friends Association Records, 1954-1986.

30 boxes (20 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 302

The Belchertown State School Friends Association was established in 1954 to promote improved conditions at Belchertown State School and better treatment of “retarded” or “mentally challenged” citizens in Massachusetts.

The bulk of the collection includes copies of records of court appearances, briefs, the consent decree and related materials, as well as reports and correspondence relating to Mass. vs. Russell W. Daniels, Ricci vs. Greenblatt (now Ricci vs. Okin), and other cases. Also clippings and photocopied newspaper articles; speeches; newsletters; draft of agreement; and scrapbooks. Collection documents the efforts of the Association and Benjamin Ricci, President of the Association, 1970-1977, Chairman of the Board, 1977- , to improve the lot of retarded citizens of Massachusetts, initially those living at Belchertown State School.


  • Persons with mental disabilities--Institutional care--Massachusetts
  • Ricci, Robert Simpson


  • Belchertown State School
  • Ricci, Benjamin

Borkowski, Edward A.

Edward A. Borkowski Autobiography, ca.1980.

1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 124 bd

124-page handwritten autobiographical account written in Polish by 100 year-old Edward A. Borkowski of Turner Falls, Massachusetts.


  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Turners Falls
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--Social conditions


  • Borkowski, Edward A

Types of material

  • Autobiographies

Bramlage, Georgene A.

Georgene A. Bramlage Leverett (Mass.) Collection, 1966-1992.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 656

A free-lance garden and landscape writer, Georgene A. Bramlage has published widely on garden and food-related topics and has been a member of the Garden Writers Association since 1980. She is the wife of William A. Bramlage, a member of the faculty in Plant and Soil Sciences at UMass Amherst. Long-time residents of Leverett, Mass., the Bramlages relocated to Roanoke, Va., in 2009.

An avid local historian, Bramlage collected pamphlets and ephemeral publications relating to the history of her town. This small collection includes a few items relating to the town’s bicentennial in 1974, newspaper clippings, genealogical information, and articles on its residents, and items relating to civic affairs in town. Several cookbooks donated by Bramlage were transferred to the McIntosh Cookbook Collection.


  • Leverett (Mass.)--History


  • Bramlage, Georgene A

Brooks, Burt V.

Burt V. Brooks Photograph Collection, 1889-1934.

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 060

The artist Burt Vernon Brooks was one of the outstanding chroniclers of daily life in the Swift River Valley before it was inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Born in Brimfield, Mass., in 1849 and raised in Monson, Brooks moved to Greenwich with his family in the 1870s, where he worked on the family farm. At some unclear point before he turned 40, Brooks became active as an artist, painting local homes and scenery and taking photographs of the landscape, residents, and daily life in the Quabbin region. A prolific photographer, he was, in the words of historian Donald W. Howe, “hardly ever seen without his camera strapped to his back,” remaining active for decades. Three years after following his second wife to the west, Brooks died in Los Angeles in 1934.

The great majority of the 92 photographs in this collection are 5×7″ dry plate glass negatives taken by Brooks in the earliest years of the twentieth century, documenting the houses and people of Greenwich. Brooks’ work includes landscapes, houses, and a significant series of images of the Hillside School, but some of his best works are studio portraits, images of people at home or with their carriages, and posed scenes of children at play or at work. The collection also includes eight images by Brooks at Enfield, Greenwich, and Dana that are the property of the Swift River Valley Historical Society, and six images taken by Chetwynd and Pike in the Quabbin region to document properties slated for removal.


  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Carriages and carts--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Children--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Dana (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Dwellings--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Greenwich (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Hillside School (Marlborough, Mass.)
  • Horses--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • New Salem (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Plowing--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Prescott (Mass.)--Photographs

Types of material

  • Dry plate gelatin negatives
  • Gelatin silver negatives
  • Photographs

Brown, Daniel A.

Daniel A. Brown Photograph Collection, 1968-2003.

ca.450 items
Call no.: PH 011
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen

Having joined the the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in 1973, Dan Brown remained a member for a decade as it evolved first into Metelica’s Aquarian Concept and then into the Renaissance Community. Throughout his time as a member, he photographed his fellow communards as they moved through a variety of localities, including Turner’s Falls, Gill, and Warwick, Mass. Since leaving the community in 1983, he has written and lectured regularly on its history for audiences throughout the region.

One of the principle photographers of the Brotherhood and Renaissance Community during the period 1973-1983, Brown preserved an archive of approximately 450 photographs documenting the commune from its founding in 1968 through the time of Michael Metelica’s death in 2003. In addition to his own work, he collected and preserved images of many other photographers, most notably Gary Cohen.


  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Metelica, Michael
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)


  • Brown, Daniel A
  • Cohen, Gary

Types of material

  • Photographs

Bullard Family

Bullard Family Scrapbook, 1898-1901.

1 item (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 112

The Bullard family were among the early settlers of New Salem, Massachusetts, a small, rural town incorporated in the western part of the state in 1753.

Assembled by a member of the Bullard family at the turn of the twentieth century, this scrapbook contains an apparently complete set of clippings from a local newspaper column containing community news from the three villages of New Salem, North New Salem, and Millington. The entries cover the usual community news, such as the comings and goings of local residents and visitors to town, community events, and other local news, and a number of well-established New Salem families are represented, including the Ballards, Bullards, Cogswells, Haskells, Paiges, Pierces, and Stowells. The first three pages consist of announcements of births, deaths, and weddings. The original volume has been retained by the family.


  • Millington (Mass.)--History
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • New Salem (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • North New Salem (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Scrapbooks

Burnett, Bela, 1778-

Bela Burnett Account Book, 1801-1842.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 385 bd

A storeowner, farmer, and citizen of Granby, Mass., Bela Burnett was born October 4, 1778, the second of seven children of Jonathan and Mehitabel (Dickinson) Burnett. Having relocated from Southampton, New York, to Battleboro, Vermont, in 1770, Jonathan and Mehitable settled in Granby in 1774, purchasing the farm of Aaron Nash where in 2010, Burnett descendants still live. Burnett had at least five children by two marriages, first to Clarissa Warner (1801) and second to Sally Allen (1808). Burnett died in Granby on April 16, 1846.

The Burnett account book includes careful records of goods sold, customers’ accounts, and the form and method of payment (cash, credit, or barter), as well as some information on family members and boarders, along with a handful of miscellaneous items laid in, such as calculations, notes, and a remedy for yellow jaundice.


  • Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Barter--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Boardinghouses--Massachusetts--Granby--19th century
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Food prices--Massachusetts--Granby
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Granby (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Jaundice
  • Marsh, Tim A. P
  • Medicine--Formulae, receipts, prescriptions
  • Produce trade--Massachusetts--Granby--19th century
  • Robbins, Asa
  • Shopping--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Smith, David


  • Burnett, Bela, 1778-

Types of material

  • Account books

Butler, Mills, Smith & Barker

Butler, Mills, Smith, and Barker Daybook, 1837-1845.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 183 bd

Daybook listing financial transactions of Butler, Mills, Smith and Barker Woolen Mill, a small woolen manufactory in Williamstown, Massachusetts owned by Henry Mills, Silas Butler, Asa Barker and Ebenezer Smith.

Accounts provide detailed information regarding costs of commodities, labor, and boarding in the town and document the impact of a small factory on the local economy where residents sold soap, oil, and wool to the mill, boarded its workers, took in weaving and hauled freight for the business. Includes mixed personal and business expenses, information about employees and production in the two woolen mills in town, and information concerning the cost of commodities, labor, and boarding workers in the town.


  • Woolen and worsted manufacture--Massachusetts--Williamstown


  • Barker, Asa
  • Butler, Mills, Smith, and Barker
  • Butler, Silas, d. 1841
  • Mills, Henry, b. 1810
  • Smith, Ebenezer

Types of material

  • Daybooks
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