Collecting area: Massachusetts

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.

Subjects

Ashfield (Mass.)--HistoryBates familyChurch familyFarmers--Massachusetts--AshfieldHotelkeepers--Massachusetts--North AmherstLibraries--Massachusetts--BostonMassachusetts Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnaeMerchants--Massachusetts--North AmherstNorth Amherst (Mass.)--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryPublic librarians--MassachusettsStreet-railroads--Massachusetts--EmployeesWeather--Massachusetts--AshfieldWomen--Massachusetts--HistoryWorcester (Mass.)--History

Contributors

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

Types of material

Account booksDeedsDiariesGeneaologiesPhotographsWills
Beacon Hill Friends Meeting

Beacon Hill Friends Meeting Records

1960-2008
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B433

The Beacon Hill Friends Meeting began in 1958 as a worship group in Boston under the care of Cambridge Monthly Meeting and was set off as its own monthly meeting in 1980. Since that time it has fallen under the aegis of Salem Quarterly Meeting.

Since their establishment as a monthly meeting in 1980, Beacon Hill Friends have regularly maintained minutes of business meetings and published a newsletter, although some gaps persist.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Massachusetts

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

J. William Belanger Papers

1932-1986
3 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 117

A leader in organized labor, William Belanger began as an organizer for the AFL’s United Textile Workers in 1932, eventually becoming the New England Regional Director and International Vice President of the TWUA and in 1958, the first President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

The Belanger Papers provide insight into the long career in labor activism, and include correspondence, writings, subject files, and printed materials. Of particular interest is a series of four oversized scrapbooks that cover Belanger’s career from 1934 through his final position as Director of the Massachusetts Department of Employment Security. These are especially enlightening on labor’s political activities, the CIO’s success in thwarting anti-labor referenda in 1948, and the efforts to expel Communists from the labor movement.

Subjects

Elections--Massachusetts--History--20th centuryLabor leaders--New England--BiographyLabor unions--MassachusettsMassachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950New England--Economic conditions--20th centuryTextile Workers Organizing CommitteeTextile Workers Union of AmericaTextile industry--MassachusettsTextile workers--Labor unions--New England

Contributors

Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooks
Belcher Family

Belcher Family Account Books

1847-1858
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 208 bd

Owners of a butcher shop in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Includes customer names, prices of meat, form of payment (principally cash), and Belcher family information.

Subjects

Belcher familyButchers--Massachusetts--FoxboroughConsumers--Massachusetts--FoxboroughDiet--Massachusetts--FoxboroughFoxborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryMeat--Prices--Massachusetts--FoxboroughShopping--Massachusetts--Foxborough

Contributors

Belcher, Lewis T., b. 1798Belcher, Lewis W., b. 1826

Types of material

Account books
Belchertown Sentinel

Belchertown Sentinel Collection

1915-2003
1283 digital items
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.

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--History--20th centuryBelchertown (Mass.)--History--20th centuryGranby (Mass.)--History--20th centuryNewspapers--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 more generally. The School was formally opened in 1922 as an institution to train children with developmental disabilities and prepare them for integration into society. By the 1960s, conditions at the school had deteriorated to a degree detrimental to the residents, precipitating a string of lawsuits, beginning with Ricci v. Greenblatt in 1972, eventually leading to closure of the facility in 1992.

The bulk of the School’s Friends Association collection consists of records of court appearances, briefs, the consent decree, and related materials, along with reports and correspondence relating to Massachusetts v. Russell W. Daniels, Ricci v. Greenblatt (later Ricci v. Okin), and other cases. Accompanying the legal files are clippings and photocopied newspaper articles; speeches; newsletters; draft of agreements; and scrapbooks.

The Massachusetts State Archives has a small amount of records related to Belchertown State School. They are housed under the Health and Human Services division in the archives.

Subjects

Persons with mental disabilities--Institutional care--MassachusettsRicci, Robert Simpson

Contributors

Belchertown State SchoolRicci, Benjamin
Berlin, Bolton, Feltonville Stage Coach Line

Berlin, Bolton, & Feltonville Stage Ledger

1854-1867
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 138

Stage coach line that carried passengers and mail from Berlin, Bolton, and Feltonville (Hudson) to the Boston area. Includes account book documenting expenses of running the line, with passenger fares recorded elsewhere. Last several pages contain an individual’s accounts, as well as photocopies of passages about the stage coach line and a poem written when the company folded. Amos Sawyer, Jr., and his son-in-law Lorren Arnold ran the business.

Subjects

Berlin (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryBolton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryFreight and freightage--MassachusettsStagecoach lines--Massachusetts

Contributors

Berlin, Bolton, & Feltonville Stage

Types of material

Account books
Beron, Alex

Alex Beron Collection

ca.1985-1992
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 038

Alex Beron, Jr., was a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies and a photographer of New England gravestones.

The Beron collection consists of a many hundred color photographic prints of gravestones in Massachusetts and Connecticut, arranged town by town, and taken primarily in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Subjects

Sepulchral monuments--ConnecticutSepulchral monuments--Massachusetts

Types of material

Photographs
Bigelow, Lambert

Lambert Bigelow Daybook

1822 Sept.-1823 May
1 vol., 169 p. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 975 bd

Lambert Bigelow (1821-1869) was proprietor of one of the most profitable general stores in Marlborough, Mass. Entering into partnership with his brother Levi in 1822, Bigelow grew to significant wealth, eventually joining with a friend and neighbor to establish the long-lasting firm, Morse, Bigelow, and Co. He died in 1869, survived by his wife and seven of eight children.

An early daybook maintained by the Lambert Bigelow’s newly established firm, and perhaps the first, this volume covers just over half a year of transactions (169 pages) typical of a New England country store of the 1820s. Bigelow’s customers purchased small quantities of goods ranging from molasses and rice to cotton and muslin, flour, sugar, tobacco, rum, “Holland gin,” and (rarely) brandy. Occasionally, Lambert dealt in daintier products such as cinnamon, raisins, and “cake chocolate,” or in specialty items like pudding pans, pitchers, and a black bean pot.

Subjects

General stores--Massachusetts--MarlboroughMarlborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

L. and L. Bigelow

Types of material

Daybooks
Blackington, Alton H.

Alton H. Blackington Photograph Collection

1898-1943
15 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: PH 061
Depiction of Fortune teller, ca.1930
Fortune teller, ca.1930

A native of Rockland, Maine, Alton H. “Blackie” Blackington (1893-1963) was a writer, photojournalist, and radio personality associated with New England “lore and legend.” After returning from naval service in the First World War, Blackington joined the staff of the Boston Herald, covering a range of current events, but becoming well known for his human interest features on New England people and customs. He was successful enough by the mid-1920s to establish his own photo service, and although his work remained centered on New England and was based in Boston, he photographed and handled images from across the country. Capitalizing on the trove of New England stories he accumulated as a photojournalist, Blackington became a popular lecturer and from 1933-1953, a radio and later television host on the NBC network, Yankee Yarns, which yielded the books Yankee Yarns (1954) and More Yankee Yarns (1956).

This collection of glass plate negatives was purchased by Robb Sagendorf of Yankee Publishing around the time of Blackington’s death. Reflecting Blackington’s photojournalistic interests, the collection covers a terrain stretching from news of public officials and civic events to local personalities, but the heart of the collection is the dozens of images of typically eccentric New England characters and human interest stories. Most of the images were taken by Blackington on 4×5″ dry plate negatives, however many of the later images are made on flexible acetate stock and the collection includes several images by other (unidentified) photographers distributed by the Blackington News Service.

Gift of Yankee Publishing, Mar. 2012

Subjects

Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933--PhotographsEarhart, Amelia, 1897-1937--PhotographsMaine--Social life and customs--PhotographsMassachusetts--Social life and customs--PhotographsNew England--Social life and customs--PhotographsNew Hampshire--Social life and customs--PhotographsRoosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--PhotographsSacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs