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Massachusetts (West) (301 collections) SCUA

Comstock, Perry G.

Finding aid

Perry G. Comstock Account Book, 1862-1880.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 480 bd

After witnessing the woolen mill he had built in West Stockbridge go up in flames, Peregrine Green Comstock (1808-1892) rebuilt his operation on the Williams River as a paper mill. For decades thereafter, he prospered as a paper manufacturer, raising a large family with his wife Elizabeth. Comstock died of gastroenteritis on Aug. 6, 1892 at the age of 84.

Comstock’s account book, 197pp., includes records of transactions of a Berkshire County paper manufacturer in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Among Comstocks’s clients are Monument Mills, M.S. Hovey and Co., Smith Paper Co., Berkshire Woolen Co., Owen Paper Co., and Kniffin and Bro., and the book includes records of labor, rents, cash, board, and the exchange of goods, along with entries for calendar rolls, paper, wrap, weaving yards, sacks, dyestuffs, and lumber.

Subjects

  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Paper industry--Massachusetts--Great Barrington

Types of material

  • Account books

Connecticut River Watershed

Finding aid

Connecticut River Watershed Survey Reports, 1949-1950.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 067

The US Department of Agriculture was already actively engaged in water control and management issues prior to the enactment of the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1944. Pursuant to the 1936 Act, and the extensive flooding of 1936 and 1938, the USDA conducted an extensive survey of the Connecticut River Watershed.

Issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1950 in compliance with the Flood Control Act of 1936, these flood reports present the results of a survey and the outline of a program of land use and management developed to alleviate flood and sediment problems in Connecticut River Watershed. The collection includes both a preliminary draft (in typescript) and completed report and appendix of the survey, with the final reports marked “Confidential. For Departmental review only.”

Subjects

  • Connecticut River
  • Flood control--Connecticut River
  • Groundwater flow--Connecticut River Watershed
  • Runoff--Connecticut River Watershed

Connecticut Valley Breeders Association

Finding aid

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 improve 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.

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).

Subjects

  • Cattle--Breeding

Contributors

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

Types of material

  • Minute books

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.

Subjects

  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990

Types of material

  • Photographs

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

Finding aid

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.

Subjects

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

Contributors

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

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings

Cooley, Bertha Strong

Finding aid

Bertha Strong Cooley Collection, 1901-1949.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 506

An educator, farmer’s wife, and resident of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, Bertha Strong Cooley was an ardent Socialist who published regularly in local newspapers on topics ranging from anti-imperialism, democracy, capitalism, Communism, Russia, World War II, and civil rights.

The Cooley scrapbooks reflect the views of a teacher and farmer’s wife who used the newspapers to express her passion for social justice. Cooley ranged widely in responding to the news of the day, espousing Socialism and opposing racial injustice, war, imperialism, economic oppression, and Capitalism. One scrapbook contains writings by Cooley, the other clippings of articles dealing with topics of interest.

Subjects

  • African Americans--Civil rights
  • Pacifists--Massachusetts
  • Race relations--United States
  • Social justice--Massachusetts
  • Socialists--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Cooley, Bertha Strong

Types of material

  • Letters to the editor
  • Scrapbooks

Coon, John H.

Finding aid

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).

Subjects

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

Contributors

  • Coon, John H

Types of material

  • Account books

Culver, Asa, 1793-

Finding aid

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.

Subjects

  • 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

Contributors

  • Culver, Asa, 1793-

Types of material

  • Account books

Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records, 1908-1993.

30 boxes (45 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 891
Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

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.

Subjects

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

Types of material

  • Scrapbooks