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Belcher Family

Belcher Family Account Books

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.

Belcher family
Foxborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Belcher, Lewis T., b. 1798
Belcher, Lewis W., b. 1826
Types of material
Account books
Belchertown Sentinel

Belchertown Sentinel Collection

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.

Amherst (Mass.)--History--20th century
Belchertown (Mass.)--History--20th century
Granby (Mass.)--History--20th century
Belchertown State School Friends Association

Belchertown State School Friends Association Records

30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 302

The Belchertown State 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 School’s 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 bulk of the Belchertown State School 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.

Persons with mental disabilities--Institutional care--Massachusetts
Ricci, Robert Simpson
Belchertown State School
Ricci, Benjamin
Belfast Area Friends Meeting

Belfast Area Friends Meeting Records

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B454

The Belfast (Maine) Area Friends Meeting began as an independent worship group under the care of Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting in 1982. Two years after being set off as a monthly meeting in 1988, it changed its name slightly to the current Belfast Area Friends Meeting.

The Belfast Area Friends Meetings is sparsely documented, with only three state of the society reports from the early 1990s and an address listing of members.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017
Belfast (Me.)--History
Society of Friends--Maine
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Bennett, John W., collector

John W. Bennett Labor Collection

ca. 1880-2000
118 boxes
Call no.: MS 443
Depiction of

Labor historian John W. Bennett has researched the history of the labor movement since his days as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts (Class of 1952). A born collector, he began accumulating memorabilia associated with unions, drawn to their potential as a visual record of labor iconography and self-representation.

Extending back to the 1880s, the Bennett Collection includes examples from around the country, but with a particularly strong representation of New England unions between the mid-1930s and mid-1970s.

Labor unions--Massachusetts
Bennett, John W
Types of material
Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends

Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

4 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B466

Beginning as an independent worship group in Arlington, Vermont, in 1949, the Bennington Monthly Meeting settled in Bennington in about 1959. It has been affiliated with the Northwest Quarterly Meeting in 1962, and two monthly meetings have been set off from it since: Putney (1969) and Wilderness (1978). Bennington has also cared for worship groups in Pawlet (1988-1989), Putney (1964-1968), and Williamstown, Mass. (1989-1992), as well as the Wilderness Preparative Meeting in Plymouth, Vt. (1977-1978).

Although lacking the earliest years of the meeting minutes, the records of the Bennington Friends Meeting contain consistent coverage between 1970 and 2004, along with a handful of state of the society reports and a disbound scrapbook that includes some details on the early years.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017
Bennington (Vt.)--History
Society of Friends--Vermont
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Types of material
Minutes (Administrative records)
Berkeley, Roy

Roy and Ellen Perry Berkeley Papers

2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 972

Born in New York City in 1935, Roy Berkeley’s eclectic creative career began while working his way through Columbia University (BA, 1956) as an editor for the New York Post and pseudonymous author of 14 pulp novels, and continued after graduation, working for two years at the height of the Cold War in U.S. intelligence. A self-taught guitarist, he became a stalwart of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, performing at the Gaslight regularly and at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and eventually recording three albums. In 1966, Berkeley married Ellen Perry, a writer and editor for Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum, and one of the few women architectural critics of the time. Their time in New York City ended in 1971, however, when Ellen’s job as an editor at an architectural magazine ended. Using Roy’s winnings from his appearance on the television show Jeopardy, the couple relocated to Shaftsbury, Vt., where they led a freelance life as writers, editors, teachers, and lecturers. Roy was eventually appointed deputy Sheriff in town and became a member of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. After a struggle with cancer, Roy Berkeley died in 2009 at the age of 73.

The bulk of the Perry Papers consists of Roy’s research files and drafts of a never-completed history of the folk music scene, along with some correspondence, notes, and ephemera that includes both editions of his Bosses Songbook, a satirical send-up of the People’s Songbook. The collection also contains a sampling of the exceptional range of Ellen’s writing on topics from architecture to cats, cookery, to grieving.

Gift of Ellen Perry Berkeley, April 2017
Folk music
Berkeley, Ellen Perry
Berlin, Bolton, Feltonville Stage Coach Line

Berlin, Bolton, & Feltonville Stage Ledger

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.

Berlin (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Bolton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Freight and freightage--Massachusetts
Stagecoach lines--Massachusetts
Berlin, Bolton, & Feltonville Stage
Types of material
Account books
Beron, Alex

Alex Beron Collection

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.

Types of material
Berwick Monthly Meeting of Friends

Berwick Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

10 vols., 1 box 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B479

The fortunes of the Berwick (Maine) Monthly Meeting reflect the rise and decline of Quakerism in southern Maine more generally. Worship began in North Berwick in about 1750 and the Berwick Monthly Meeting was formally set off from its parent, Dover, in 1802. Following the Wilburite split, however, the meeting gradually declined. Regular meetings were suspended in 1919 and the meeting was formally laid down in 1952.

The surviving records of the Friends Monthly Meeting in North Berwick, Maine, contain the minutes of men’s, women’s, and joint meetings from throughout 1802, when it was set off from Dover Monthly Meeting, until it was laid down in 1952. The collection also contains records of births, deaths, and marriages under auspices of the meeting from the first worship in North Berwick in 1750 into the mid-nineteenth century.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017
Berwick (Me.)--History
Society of Friends--Maine
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Types of material
Minutes (Administrative records)
Vital records (Document genre)