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Benes, Peter

Peter Benes Collection

ca.1975-1986
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 017
Depiction of Soule Fishwing
Soule Fishwing

Peter Benes might be called the father of the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS). In 1976, he organized a meeting in Dublin, New Hampshire, of people interested in colonial gravestones, naming the group the Dublin Seminar. Following a committee meeting in December 1976, the group met again in the summer 1977 to organize as the AGS. Benes served as Treasurer in 1977 and Archives Officer in 1978. He received the Forbes Award of the AGS in 1979 for his role in founding the organization and in recognition of the contributions made to gravestone studies by his first book, The Masks of Orthodoxy: Folk Gravestone Carving in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1689-1805 (1977). He is currently (2009) Director of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife at Boston University.

The Benes Collection contains 2,826 black and white photographic prints documenting a majority of the eighteenth century grave markers in southeastern Massachusetts, taken for his book The Masks of Orthodoxy. The images were taken in Plymouth and surrounding counties.

Subjects
Gravestones--Massachusetts
Stone carving--Massachusetts
Contributors
Association for Gravestone Studies
Benes, Peter
Types of material
Photographs
Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954

Arthur Cleveland Bent Collection

1880-1942
8 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 413
Depiction of A.C. Bent, 1929
A.C. Bent, 1929

An avid birder and eminent ornithologist, Arthur Cleveland Bent was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on November 25, 1866. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard in 1889, bent was employed as an agent for the Safety Pocket Company and from 1900 to 1914, he was General Manager of Mason Machine Works. His passion, however, was birds. An associate in Ornithology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, Bent became a collaborator at the Smithsonian and president (1935-1937) of the American Ornithologists’ Union. The culmination of his research was the massive, 26 volume Life Histories of North American Birds (1919-1968).

The Bent collection is a glimpse into the birding life of a remarkable amateur ornithologist. It contains the field notebooks of his collaborator, Owen Durfee (1880-1909), his own journals (1887-1942), photographs and negatives (1896-1930), correspondence concerning the photographs (1925-1946), and mimeographed and printed material. Bent’s records cover nest observations, egg measurements, bird sightings, and notes on specimens provided to organizations such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Bristol County Agricultural School, and the United States National Museum.

Subjects
American Ornithologists' Union
Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954. Life Histories of North American Birds
Birds
Birds--Eggs
Birds--Eggs--Photographs
Birds--Nests
Birds--Nests--Photographs
Birds--Photographs
Bristol County Agricultural School (Bristol County, Mass.)
Massachusetts Audubon Society
Ornithologists--Massachusetts
United States National Museum
Contributors
Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954
Durfee, Owen
Types of material
Field notes
Photographs
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--Photographs
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937--Photographs
Maine--Social life and customs--Photographs
Massachusetts--Social life and customs--Photographs
New England--Social life and customs--Photographs
New Hampshire--Social life and customs--Photographs
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--Photographs
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921--Photographs
Types of material
Photographs
Boardman, Charles M.

Charles M. Boardman Papers

1919-1949
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 035

A member of of QTV fraternity, Charles Meade Boardman graduated from the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1920 with a degree in landscape gardening.

Boardman’s Papers include two of his college yearbooks, a smattering of correspondence from the 1920s relating to landscape gardening, and approximately 30 photographs, apparently taken during or shortly after his time at MAC.

Subjects
Landscape gardening
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Contributors
Boardman, Charles M
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 Island
Rhode Island--Photographs
Contributors
Providence Journal
Types of material
Photographs
Brann, Clinton

Clinton Brann Papers

1891-1963
4 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 594
Depiction of Clinton Brann
Clinton Brann

In 1918, Clinton Melville Tilman Brann, a dentist by training, served with in the 17th Field Artillery of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, a unit cited for gallantry in five critical engagements of the First World War. During his time overseas, Brann maintained an intense correspondence with Rhea Oppenheimer, despite fears that their different religious (he Presbyterian, she Jewish) and family backgrounds would prove an obstacle. After demobilization, Brann returned home and on Sept. 17, 1919, married Rhea. He went on to build a successful practice in dentistry in Iowa, raising a son and daughter. Clinton Brann passed away on Sept 8, 1961, in Orlando, Fla., with Rhea following on December 29, 1987 in Winter Park, Fla.

In two regards, the Brann collection presents an unusual glimpse into families affected by the First World War. First, Brann’s letters home offer a sense of his unusual role in the service, as a junior officer and dentist, and second, his letters are marked by his unusual relationship with Rhea Oppenheimer and their concerns over the future prospects for a mixed marriage. The collection also includes a wealth of photographs of the Branns’ life together, a family scrapbook, and a handful of mementoes and miscellaneous documents.

Subjects
Brann family
Courtship
Dentists--Iowa
World War, 1914-1918--Medical care
Contributors
Brann, Clinton
Brann, Rhea Oppenheimer
Types of material
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Bridegam, Marybeth

Marybeth Bridegam Collection

1989-2002
17 boxes 23.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 063

A long time teacher in the schools in Amherst, Mass., Marybeth Bridegam operated tour agency, Cross-Culture Inc., from the late 1980s through early 2000s. Cross-Culture ran small-group tours of locations around the world led by local tour leaders and specialized guides that were distinguished by itineraries that included sites outside the usual tourist routes.

The Bridegam collection consists of thousands of images taken by Bridegam during her travels, many in preparation for Cross Culture tour groups. Locations include China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and Russia.

Gift of Marybeth Bridegam, Dec. 2014
Subjects
Australia--Photographs
China--Photographs
Greece--Photographs
Japan--Photographs
New Zealand--Photographs
Russia--Photographs
Tibet--Photographs
Turkey--Photographs
Types of material
Photographs
Brooks Farm

Summer Scenes, Brooke Farm, 1922

1922-1923
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 037
Depiction of Haying at MAC
Haying at MAC

In 1922, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts appropriated $15,000 for the Massachusetts Agricultural College to purchase sixty acres of land lying immediately north of the existing Experiment Station. Known as the William P. Brooks Experimental Farm, the property was intended as a site for experimental work devoted to the dominant crops of the Connecticut Valley, tobacco and onions.

This small homemade photograph album documents a picnic and group outing at the Brooke (i.e. Brooks) Farm at Massachusetts Agricultural College in September 1922. Although the participants — over thirty of them — are unidentified, they took part in standard picnic activities, including a tug of war, three legged race, and rope jumping. The album contains labeled snapshots pasted onto thick brown paper, tied with a brown ribbon, and includes images of haying on the farm (with Stockbridge Hall in the background) and the homes of William P. Brooks and Prof. Arthur N. Julian.

Subjects
Amherst (Mass.)--Photographs
Brooks Experimental Farm (Amherst, Mass.)
Hay
Massachusetts Agricultural College--Photographs
Picnics--Photographs
Contributors
Fay, Harry W.
Types of material
Photograph albums
Photographs
Brooks, Burt V.

Burt V. Brooks Photograph Collection

1889-1934
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 060
Depiction of

The artist Burt Vernon Brooks was one of the outstanding chroniclers of daily life in the Swift River Valley before it was inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Born in Brimfield, Mass., in 1849 and raised in Monson, Brooks moved to Greenwich with his family in the 1870s, where he worked on the family farm. At some unclear point before he turned 40, Brooks became active as an artist, painting local homes and scenery and taking photographs of the landscape, residents, and daily life in the Quabbin region. A prolific photographer, he was, in the words of historian Donald W. Howe, “hardly ever seen without his camera strapped to his back,” remaining active for decades. Three years after following his second wife to the west, Brooks died in Los Angeles in 1934.

The great majority of the 92 photographs in this collection are 5×7″ dry plate glass negatives taken by Brooks in the earliest years of the twentieth century, documenting the houses and people of Greenwich. Brooks’ work includes landscapes, houses, and a significant series of images of the Hillside School, but some of his best works are studio portraits, images of people at home or with their carriages, and posed scenes of children at play or at work. The collection also includes eight images by Brooks at Enfield, Greenwich, and Dana that are the property of the Swift River Valley Historical Society, and six images taken by Chetwynd and Pike in the Quabbin region to document properties slated for removal.

Gift of Friends of Quabbin through Gene Theroux, Paul Godfrey, and Les Campbell, June 2014
Subjects
Agriculture--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
Carriages and carts--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
Children--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
Dana (Mass.)--Photographs
Dwellings--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
Enfield (Mass.)--Photographs
Greenwich (Mass.)--Photographs
Hillside School (Marlborough, Mass.)
Horses--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
New Salem (Mass.)--Photographs
Plowing--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
Prescott (Mass.)--Photographs
Types of material
Dry plate gelatin negatives
Gelatin silver negatives
Photographs
Brooks, William Penn, 1851-

William Penn Brooks Papers

1863-1939
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 003/1 B76
Depiction of Sapporo Ag. College students, 1881
Sapporo Ag. College students, 1881

Two years after graduating from Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1875, William Penn Brooks accepted an invitation from the Japanese government — and his mentor, William Smith Clark — to help establish the Sapporo Agricultural School. Spending over a decade in Hokkaido, Brooks helped to introduce western scientific agricultural practices and the outlines of a program in agricultural education, and he built a solid foundation for the School. After his return to the states in 1888, he earned a doctorate at the University of Halle, Germany, and then accepted a position at his alma mater, becoming a leading figure at the Massachusetts Experiment Station until his retirement in 1921.

Brooks’ papers consist of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, an account book, and translations which provide rich detail on Brooks’ life in Japan, the development of Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University), and practical agricultural education in the post-Civil War years.

Subjects
Agricultural colleges--Japan--History
Clark, William Smith, 1826-1886
Hokkaido (Japan)--History
Hokkaid¯o Daigaku
Japan--Description and travel--19th century
Japan--History--1868-
Massachusetts Agricultural College--History
Massachusetts State Agricultural Experiment Station
Sapporo N¯ogakk¯o--History
Sapporo-shi (Japan)--History
Contributors
Brooks, William Penn, 1851-
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)