Massachusetts (West) (284 collections) SCUA

Connecticut Valley Breeders Association

Connecticut Valley Breeders Association Records, 1908-1947 (Bulk: 1908-1930).

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 425

Established in Northampton, Mass., in May 1908, the Connecticut Valley Breeders Association was part of the burgeoning Progressive-era movement to apply scientific principles to better agriculture. In its charter, the CVBA announced the ambitious goal of promoting “the live stock development of the Connecticut Valley and as far as possible the entire New England states in every way as affecting its educational, economic, legislative, health or other influences.” Led by Oren C. Burt of Easthampton, and George E. Taylor of Shelburne (its first President), it sponsored lectures and other information sessions that attracted as many as 500 attendees at its peak of popularity. Although the organization appears to have waned in the period of the First World War, it was revived in 1925 and four years later, the new Hampshire Herd Improvement Association assumed many of its functions. The HHIA, however, appears to have succumbed to the Depression.

This slender ledger records the minutes of the Connecticut Valley Breeders Association from its founding in 1908 through about 1930. In addition to the constitution and by-laws of both the CVBA and HHIA, the ledger includes minutes of the organizations’ meetings from 1908-1930, with a gap from 1916-1925. The collection is accompanied by a U.S. Department of Agriculture pamphlet, Cow Testers Handbook (1924).


  • Livestock--Breeding


  • Burt, Oren C
  • Connecticut Valley Breeders Association
  • Hampshire Herd Improvement Association
  • Taylor, George E

Construyamos Juntos

Construyamos Juntos Collection, 1986.

1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 052
Parrot in Nicaragua
Parrot in Nicaragua

In May 1985, a group of activists in Western Massachusetts opposed to the interventionist U.S. foreign policy of the Reagan era formed a construction brigade to assist with basic human needs and express solidarity with the people of Central America. Modeled on the Venceremos Brigade, Construyamos Juntos, Building Peace of Nicaragua, raised over $20,000 for construction supplies in addition to funds for individual travel. Between January and March 1986, the 17 activists joined a smaller brigade from West Virginia in constructing the Carlos Armin Gonzales elementary school in San Pedro de Lovago. During their first month in Nicaragua, they witnessed a Contra assault on the town that left one assailant dead and two residents of the town wounded.

This exhibit includes 55 mounted images and 99 35mm slides taken during the brigade’s time in Nicaragua, documenting the brigade’s construction work and providing a valuable visual record of life in Nicaragua during the Contra war. Used in public talks about Contruyamos Juntos, the collection includes exhibit labels that explain the purpose and activity of the brigade, the history of Nicaragua, and the Contra attack in January 1986.


  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990

Types of material

  • Photographs

Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Silvio O. Conte Papers, 1950-1991.

389 boxes (583.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 371

Massachusetts State Senator for the Berkshire District, 1950-1958, and representative for Massachusetts’s First District in the United States Congress for 17 terms, 1959-1991, where he made significant contributions in the areas of health and human services, the environment, education, energy, transportation, and small business.

Spanning four decades and eight presidents, the papers offer an extraordinary perspective on the major social, economic, and cultural changes experienced by the American people. Includes correspondence, speeches, press releases, bill files, his voting record, committee files, scrapbooks, travel files, audio-visual materials and over 5,000 photographs and slides.


  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Massachusetts. Senate
  • United States--Politics and government--20th century
  • United States. Congress. House


  • Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings

Cooley, Bertha Strong

Bertha Strong Cooley Collection, 1939-1947.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 506

A resident of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, Bertha Strong Cooley wrote letters to the editor on a regular basis on topics ranging from anti-imperialism, democracy, capitalism, Communism, Russia, World War II, and civil rights. Her strong views on peace and and social justice were expressed in lively and intelligent submissions published in area newspapers. The collection consists of a scrapbook containing news clippings of Cooley’s letters to the editor as well as those submitted by others writing about the same topics.


  • African Americans--Civil rights
  • Massachusetts--History
  • Pacifists--Massachusetts
  • Social justice--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Cooley, Bertha Strong

Coon, John H.

John H. Coon Ledger, 1862-1873.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 230 bd

Owner of a general store and a farmer in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Ledger includes lists of customers, the goods that they purchased, and how they paid (cash and exchange of goods or services).


  • Arnold, Emmons
  • Crippen, Frank
  • Croslear, Aaron, Mrs
  • Curtiss, Ira
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Sheffield
  • Noteware, Frank
  • Sheffield (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Tuttle, Leonard


  • Coon, John H

Types of material

  • Account books

Culver, Asa, 1793-

Asa Culver Account Book, 1820-1876.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 350 bd

Farmers who provided services (such as putting up fences, shingling, butchering, and cutting brush) for townspeople. Seventy page book of business transactions, and miscellaneous papers including mortgage payments, highway building surveyor assessments, and poems.


  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--History
  • Blandford (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Farm management--Massachusetts--Blandford--Records and correspondence
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Blandford--Economic conditions
  • Wages--Domestics--Massachusetts--Blandford


  • Culver, Asa, 1793-

Types of material

  • Account books

Czaja, Mrs. Joseph

Josephine Czaja Papers, 1936-1987.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 189

Born in Poland, Josephine Latonsinska emigrated with her parents to the U.S. at the age of two. After studies at the Booth and Bayliss Commercial College in Waterbury, Connecticut, Josephine worked as a secretary for a Waterbury firm. Married to Joseph Czaja in 1926, the couple moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where Joseph worked as a druggist. Trained as a musician, Mrs. Czaja was an active member of the St. Cecilia Choir and the Ladies Guild, both of Our Lady of the Rosary Church.

The collection consists of photocopies of news clippings, probably compiled as a series of scrapbooks by Mrs. Czaja, depicting the activities of Polish community of Springfield from 1936 to 1987.


  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Social conditions

Types of material

  • Scrapbooks

Dalsimer, Susan

Famous Long Ago Archive

Susan Dalsimer Papers, 1969-1970.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 578
Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969
Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969

Famous Long Ago launched the literary career of Raymond Mungo with a splash, but even before the book had reached the shelves, he turned to his next project. In October 1969, Mungo began planning for a memoir of his life at the Packer Corners commune. Soon entitled Total Loss Farm, the book would become a classic in the literature of the 1960s counterculture. Signing a contract in November with E.P. Dutton, he worked with a young and sympathetic editor, Susan Stern (later Susan Dalsimer).

This small, but rich collection consists of a series of letters between Raymond Mungo and his editor at E.P. Dutton, Susan Stern, regarding his ideas on writing and life. Beginning in October 1969 with editorial commentary on Famous Long Ago and Mungo’s additions, the Dalsimer Papers offer insight into the development of Total Loss Farm from concept to printed page.


  • Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Diamond, Stephen
  • McLardy, Peter
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Famous Long Ago
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Total Loss Farm
  • Nineteen Sixties
  • Packer Corners Community (Vt.)
  • Simon, Peter, 1947-


  • Dalsimer, Susan
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946-

Types of material

  • Photographs

Dana (Mass.)

Dana (Mass.) Collection, 1801-1938.

21 vols. (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 012

Situated in the northeastern reaches of the Swift River Valley in western Massachusetts, Dana was one of four towns inundated in the 1930s to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Rural and relatively sparsely populated, Dana’s economy centered on agriculture, leavened with manufacturing wood products and soapstone quarrying.

The Dana Collections include a comprehensive records of town meetings from incorporation through disincorporation (1801-1938), plus rich records for the Congregational Church and its affiliate organizations, the Ladies Aid Society, the Orthodox Congregational Society, and the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. Most of the materials listed in this finding aid are held at the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem, Mass., and were part of a cooperative digitization project centered on the records of the Quabbin towns.


  • Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Dana--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Dana (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Dana (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Poor-Massachusetts--Dana
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Women--Massachusetts--Dana
  • Women--Societies and clubs


  • Dana (Mass. : Town)
  • Dana (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor
  • First Universalist Church (North Dana, Mass.)
  • Ladies' Aid Society (Dana, Mass.)
  • Orthodox Congregational Church (Dana, Mass.)
  • Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor

Types of material

  • Church records

Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers, 1918-1990.

7 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 343
Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.

The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.


  • Nurses--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Types of material

  • Photographs
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