Collecting area: Massachusetts

Blanchard Family

Blanchard-Means Family Papers

ca.1770-1970
48 boxes 67 linear feet
Call no.: MS 830
Depiction of Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890
Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890

The seat of seven generations of the Blanchard and Means families, Elm Hill Farm was established prior to 1797, when the joiner Amasa Blanchard began acquiring property in Brookfield, Mass., as he looked forward to his marriage. The success he enjoyed in farming was a spark for his family’s prosperity. Amasa’s son Albert Cheney Blanchard left Brookfield in the 1830s to pursue commercial opportunities out west as a partner in the Richmond Trading Co., in Richmond, Ind., and by the time he returned home to take over operations after his father’s death in 1857, Albert had earned a fortune. In the years after the Civil War, Elm Hill grew to 1,300 acres crowned by a mansion built in 1870 that became the center of a compound of eight buildings. Each subsequent generation at Elm Hill has left its own distinctive mark. Albert’s son Charles P. Blanchard, a minister and talented amateur photographer, developed a renowned herd of Morgan horses, and Charles’ daughter Abby and her husband, the minister Oliver W. Means, added a herd of Jersey cattle that included a prize-winning bull, Xenia’s Sultan, imported in 1923, and the cow, You’ll Do Lobelia, better known as the original, real-life Elsie the Cow. Abby’s daughter-in-law, Louise Rich Means, laid acres of spectacular gardens on the estate. Following Louise’s death in 2009, Elm Hill left family ownership.

Consisting of nearly two centuries of papers that accumulated on the Elm Hill estate, the Blanchard-Means collection stretches from a handful of documents from the late eighteenth century relating to landholdings and Amasa ‘s work Blanchard as a joiner, to a blossoming of correspondence, photographs, ephemera, and realia dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Well-educated, well-traveled, and well-informed, the Blanchards and Means were prolific letter writers, and their papers provide wonderful insights into the lives of a religiously-devoted family from the New England elite. Among the highlights of the collection are the extensive records from the Richmond Trading Company and from the farm’s livestock and gardening operations (both Morgans and Jerseys) and a remarkable photographic record that document the family, the evolving landscape of Elm Hill, and the town of Brookfield, as well as hundreds of images from C.P. Blanchard’s world tours in the 1890s.

Subjects

Agriculture--Massachusetts--BrookfieldAsia--Description and travelBrookfield (Mass.)--HistoryCabinetmakers--Massachusetts--BrookfieldCongregational Church--Clergy--ConnecticutCongregational Church--Clergy--MassachusettsEurope--Description and travelJersey cattle--MassachusettsMorgan horse--MassachusettsYale University--Students

Contributors

Richmond Trading Company

Types of material

EphemeraPhotographs
Boarding House (Swift River Valley, Mass.?)

Boarding House Register

1850
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 098

Twenty-four page register kept by unnamed person, possibly from a Quabbin town, listing boarders by name, payment received, and employee accounts. Payments noted in detail from February to October, 1850. Boarders included several doctors and L.S. Hills, possibly Leonard S. Hills of the Amherst, Massachusetts hat factory. Employee accounts list many women with Irish surnames, including Ellen O’Leary, Ellen Callahan, and Margaret Murphy.

Subjects

Boardinghouses--Massachusetts--19th centuryIrish American women--History--19th century

Types of material

Account books
Bolton Monthly Meeting of Friends

Bolton Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1799-1972
6 vols. 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B658

A Quaker worship group was formed in Bolton, Mass., in 1763 and grew into a separate monthly meeting in 1799. Always a small outpost, regular worship continued there until 1954, when the meetinghouse was sold to the museum at Old Sturbridge Village. The meeting was formally laid down to Worcester Monthly Meeting in 1972.

The surviving records of Bolton Monthly Meeting include relatively complete minutes from 1799 to 1972, plus records of marriages, births, and deaths into the latter years of the nineteenth century.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Vital records (Document genre)
Borchers, Kathy

Kathy Borchers Photojournalism Collection

1977-2018
7 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: PH 083
Depiction of Boy dressed as an eagle for the Fourth of July parade, Bristol, R.I., 1993
Boy dressed as an eagle for the Fourth of July parade, Bristol, R.I., 1993

An award-winning photojournalist, Kathy Borchers began a thirty year career with the Providence Journal in the mid-1980s. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she and her twin sister Karen (also a photojournalist) took up photography in high school and refined their technique as undergraduates at Bowling Green State University. After receiving her master’s degree at the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1981, Borchers worked for three years with the Topeka Capital-Journal before landing in Providence. In addition to covering general news and sports, she took on a number of special assignments and longer-form photoessays over the years in southern New England. She retired in 2015.

A rich sampling from a long career in photojournalism, the collection includes photographic negatives and prints along with associated published materials. Centered primarily on her time with the Providence Journal, the collection reflects the breadth of Borchers’ assignments, including general news, sports coverage, and longer-form photoessays, in both black and white and color. The collection also includes five self-made books: three on long-term photographic projects for the Journal and two career retrospectives.

Gift of Kathy Borchers, July 2018

Subjects

Photojournalists--Rhode IslandRhode Island--Photographs

Contributors

Providence Journal

Types of material

Photographs
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.

Subjects

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

Contributors

Borkowski, Edward A

Types of material

Autobiographies
Boston & Albany Railroad Company. Engineering Department

Boston & Albany Railroad Engineering Department Map Collection

1833-1920
19 v.
Call no.: MS 130

The Boston and Albany Railroad was formed between 1867 and 1870 from the merger of three existing lines, the Boston and Worcester (chartered 1831), the Western (1833), and the Castleton and West Stockbridge (1834). The corporation was a primary east-west transit through the Commonwealth, with branches connecting towns including Athol, Ware, North Adams, and Hudson, N.Y.

The nineteen atlases comprising this collection include detailed plans documenting the location and ownership of rights of way, land-takings, and other land transfers to or from the railroad company. Dating from the early years of operation for the corporation to just after the turn of the century, the atlases include maps of predecessor lines (Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation and Western Rail-Road), as well as the Grand Junction Railway Company (Charlestown, Somerville, Everett, and Chelsea), the Ware River Railroad, and the Chester and Becket Railroad.

Subjects

Boston and Albany Railroad Co.--MapsBoston and Worcester Railroad Corporation--MapsChester and Becket Railroad--MapsGrand Junction Railway Company--MapsRailroads--Massachusetts--MapsReal property--Massachusetts--MapsWare River Railroad--MapsWestern Rail-Road Corporation--Maps

Contributors

Boston & Albany Railroad Company. Engineering Department

Types of material

Maps
Boston & Maine Railroad. Fitchburg Division

Boston and Maine Railroad Fitchburg Division Records

1918-1958
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 475

Chartered in June 1835, the Boston and Maine Railroad was the dominant railroad of northern New England for nearly one hundred years. This collection consists of records from the Engineering Department of the Fitchburg Division relating to the maintenance of bridges in Massachusetts, including correspondence, accident reports, financial records and progress reports on work recommended by bridge inspectors.

Subjects

Railroad companies--United States--History--20th century

Contributors

Boston and Maine Railroad. Fitchburg Division
Boston AIDS Consortium

Boston AIDS Consortium Records

1991-2005
12 boxes 18 linear feet
Call no.: MS 458

In the fall 1987, a working group was formed in Boston to help coordinate planning for HIV-related services, prevention, and education. The Boston AIDS Consortium began operations the following January with the goal of ensuring effective services for people affected by HIV/AIDS and enabling them to live healthy and productive lives. In its eighteen year existence, the Consortium worked with over seventy public and private agencies and two hundred individuals.

The Records of the Boston AIDS Consortium provide valuable insight into community-based mobilization in response to the AIDS epidemic.

Subjects

AIDS (Disease)AIDS activists--MassachusettsAcquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--Prevention and control

Contributors

Boston AIDS Consortium
Boston Jazz Society

Boston Jazz Society Records

ca. 1973-2014
6 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 880
Depiction of

Founded in 1973, the Boston Jazz Society grew from a small group of enthusiasts listening to music in living rooms to a thriving organization that “kept Jazz alive” in New England. As Jazz’s popularity began to fade in the late 1960s, local Jazz societies formed to provide support to artists and give them the means and venues to continue to perform on the road. The Boston Jazz Society was originally inspired by one of the earliest, the Left Bank Jazz Society of Baltimore. Like the Left Bank, BJS produced concerts in clubs, theaters, and hotels but expanded their efforts to include exhibits, television and radio shows, and a Jazz education program for grade school students. The longest running BJS activities, however, were the annual Jazz Barbecues and starting in 1975, the BJS Scholarships. The scholarship program raised funds for young Jazz musicians to attend the New England Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Department and the Berklee School Of Music and began the musical careers of many important musicians, composers, and teachers. BJS was also deeply connected to the local music scene, celebrating Roxbury, Mass. natives Alan Dawson and Roy Haynes, whose brother Vincent was a long-time board member, among many others. After 42 years of promoting Jazz music in Boston, the Boston Jazz Society, Inc. dissolved in 2015.

The Boston Jazz Society Records extensively document BJS’s meetings, events, business dealings, and scholarship administration through meeting minutes, posters, correspondence, photographs, recordings, videos, and BJS’s own propaganda and publications. The majority of the BJS records came from the collection of founding member and longtime president Aureldon Edward Henderson and also represents his involvement in promoting Jazz in the Boston area.

Gift of Aureldon Edward Henderson, July 2014, Aug. 2015

Subjects

Jazz musicians--Massachusetts--BostonJazz--Massachusetts--Boston

Contributors

Berklee School of MusicHaynes, RoyHenderson, Aureldon EdwardNew England Conservatory of Music
Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends

Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1870-1974
37 vols., 1 box 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B678

Although Quakers first worshipped in Boston in 1661, they were late in the game in organizing a formal meeting. A preparative meeting operated in the city for just over a hundred years (1707-1808) under the auspices of the Salem Monthly Meeting, and a second attempt at building a community began in 1870 with authorization of an indulged meeting in Roxbury. Set off formally as the Boston Monthly Meeting Friend in 1883, this meeting continued until 1944, when it merged with an independent meeting in neighboring Cambridge to create the current Friends Meeting at Cambridge.

The records in this collection offer thorough documentation of the Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends from its establishment as an indulged meeting in 1870 through to its merger in 1944 and change of name to the Friends Meeting at Cambridge. In addition to the meeting minutes, the collection includes substantial records of the monthly’s Friends Guild and Women’s Foreign Missionary Society.

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)Vital records (Document genre)