Collecting area: Politics & governance

Mainstream Media Project

Mainstream Media Project Records

1995-2012
11 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 976

A World of Possibilities logo, ca. 1998

Founded in 1995, by founder and former executive director Mark Sommer, the Mainstream Media Project (MMP) was a nonprofit public education organization focused on print and broadcast media about creative approaches in achieving peace, security, and sustainability in an interdependent global community. Until its closing in early 2014, it was particularly involved with placing top policy analysts, social innovators, and on-the-ground organizers on radio and television stations across the country and globe. One such project, A World of Possibilities radio show, founded in 2001, was an award-winning one hour weekly show hosted by Sommer. A program “of spirited global conversations,” featuring interviews searching for understanding of, and solutions to, longstanding global public affairs challenges, A World of Possibilities was nationally and internationally syndicated until it ceased broadcasting in 2011.

The MMP Records contain over ten linear feet of CD and DVD masters of uncut interviews and produced radio shows. Shows, including Heart of the Matter and A World of Possibilities, explore promising new thinking and experimentation in fields ranging from energy, food, water, and wilderness to human rights, global security, and public health, and include interviews with leading experts and innovators, such as Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger, Laurie Garrett, Wangari Maathai, Frances Moore Lappe, Howard Gardner, Lily Yeh, Robert Reich, Majora Carter, Van Jones and many more. The collection also contains MMP business files, consisting of correspondence, reports, articles, grant information, and organizational materials.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

ActivistsEnvironmentalismGlobalizationGreen movementPeaceful changePolitics and cultureReconciliationScience--Social aspectsSustainable livingTechnology--Social aspects

Types of material

InterviewsRadio programs
Mass Voters for Fair Elections

Mass Voters for Fair Elections Records

1997-2005
14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: MS 554

Since 1994 the Mass Voters for Fair Elections has been part of a national movement to minimize the role of money in elections. Watching both the cost of running a successful campaign and the role of fundraising increase, the organization led the fight to put the Clean Elections Initiative on the ballot in 1998. With overwhelming support for the initiative, the ballot question won only to be repealed by the Legislature in 2003. Until it ceased activity in 2007, Mass Voters for Fair Elections continued to work for reform in the electoral process not only to encourage more individuals to run for office, but also to affirm the principle “one person, one vote.”

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that document issues relating to elections and campaign reform addressed by the group and its volunteers. Also included: correspondence, meeting notes, publications, and mailings.

Subjects

Campaign funds--MassachusettsElections--MassachusettsMassachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Political campaigns--Massachusetts

Contributors

Mass Voters for Fair Elections
Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining

Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining Records

1969-1973
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 023

In 1969, Governor Francis W. Sargeant established a bi-partisan council to review municipal and state collective bargaining practices more than decade after all public employees were extended the right to join unions. Over the next three years, the council heard from both sides, interviewing representatives from management and labor, and holding regional hearings throughout the state. The work of the group culminated in the enactment of the Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law (M.G.L. c.150E) in 1973, which granted full bargaining rights to most state and municipal employees.

The collection includes detailed minutes of meetings, transcripts of testimony, drafts of legislature, reports, and recommendations of the council.

Subjects

Collective bargainingMassachusetts--Politics and government--1951-

Contributors

Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining
Massachusetts Constitution

Massachusetts Constitution Revision Collection

1948-1965
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 449

In the early 1960s the Council for Constitutional Reform, a nonpartisan citizen organization seeking to promote economical and efficient state government, called for a constitutional convention to convene in Massachusetts. The group cited the state’s national reputation for corruption and public immorality as reasons for amending the constitution, while others argued that the state’s problems, primarily governmental waste, a cumbersome state tax structure, and inefficient state agencies, could only be resolved by the legislature and governor. Opponents to the convention argued too that the cost of such a convention, in total more than $2 million, would only increase the financial burden of the state.

Correspondence and position statements arguing both sides of the debate offer insight into the politics of the 1960s as well as the public’s response to the political climate in the Commonwealth. Newspaper clippings trace the movement for constitutional reform from early proposals to the approval of four amendments during the November 1964 election.

Subjects

Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th centuryMassachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. Constitution
Massachusetts Governmental Activities Exposition

Massachusetts Governmental Activities Exposition Photograph Album

1930
88 images 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 043
Depiction of Library exhibit
Library exhibit

To celebrate its tercentenary in 1930, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts organized over two thousand events in 253 communities, drawing over eleven million visitors. One of the most elaborate of these events was the Exposition of Governmental Activities held at the Commonwealth Armory in Boston between September 29 and October 11. A celebration more of contemporary governmental activity than the historical precedents, the exposition featured displays representing nearly every branch of government, from the Department of Education to the state police, mental and public health, public welfare, transportation, agriculture, labor, and industry.

P.E. (Paul) Genereux (1892-1977), a commercial photographer from East Lynn, was hired to document the exhibits and displays in the Exposition of Governmental Activities, producing commemorative albums containing silver gelatin prints, carefully numbered and backed on linen. This disbound album includes 88 of the original 175 prints, including interior and exterior shots, with an additional image by Hildebrand.

Subjects

Massachusetts Governmental Activities Exposition--PhotographsMassachusetts--Centennial celebrations, etc.

Contributors

Genereux, P. E.

Types of material

Photographs
North Bridgewater (Mass.). Treasurer

North Bridgewater (Mass.) Treasurer Account Book

1858-1881
1 vol. 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 223 bd

In the years after it separated from Bridegwater in 1821, North Bridgewater emerged as a center of manufacturing. During the industrial boom years of the mid-nineteenth century, it grew into the largest producer of shoes and boots in the nation, boasting 97 factories by the end of the century. In 1874, the town changed to its current name, Brockton, and it was incorporated as a city seven years later.

Nearly two thirds of this town treasurer’s account book from North Bridgewater (later Brockton), Massachusetts, is devoted to a monthly accounting of money paid to the families of Civil War volunteers, beginning in April 1861 and carrying through 1881, made mostly by town treasurer R.P. Kingman; accounts of school district expenses and revenues for the years 1858 to 1869, for the 14 school districts in North Bridgewater (teacher salaries, supplies, and accounts with textbook publishers such as Harper & Bros. and Heath & Co.); and listings of salaries paid town officers, including the Superintendent of Streets, Overseer of the Poor, city clerk, city treasurer, and the Police Department.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

Police--Massachusetts--North BridgewaterSchools--Massachusetts--North BridgewaterUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contributors

North Bridgewater (Mass.). Treasurer

Types of material

Records (Documents)
Olver, John W.

John W. Olver Papers

ca.1990-2012
57 boxes 85.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 748
Depiction of John Olver, April 2012
John Olver, April 2012

John Olver served as representive from the 1st Congressional District in Massachusetts for over two decades. Born in Honesdale, Pa., on Sept. 3, 1936, Olver began an academic career at UMass Amherst shortly after earning his doctorate in chemistry at MIT in 1961. In 1969, however, he resigned his position to pursue a career in politics. Winning election to the Massachusetts House in 1969 as a Democratic representative from Hampshire County, Olver went on to the state Senate in 1973, and finally to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991, where he followed 17-term Republican Congessman Silvio O. Conte. Olver was a progressive voice for a district stretching from the Berkshire Hills through northern Worcester and Middlesex Counties, enjoying consistently strong support from his constituents for his support for issues ranging from national health care to immigration reform, regional economic development, human rights, and opposition to the wars in Iraq. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he held seats on the Appropriations Committee and subcommittees on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Water Development, and Homeland Security. With the redistricting process in Massachusetts in 2011, Olver announced that he would not seek reelection in 2012.

The Olver papers contain thorough documentation of the congressman’s career in Washington, including records of his policy positions, committee work, communications with the public, and the initiatives he supported in transportation, economic development, the environment, energy policy, and human rights. Material in the collection was drawn from each of Olver’s three district offices (Holyoke, Pittsfield, and Fitchburg), as well his central office in Washington.

Gift of John Olver, 2012

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-United States--Politics and government--1989-United States--Politics and government--2001-2009United States. Congress. House

Contributors

Olver, John W.
Prescott (Mass.)

Prescott (Mass.) Collection

1822-1952
8 vols. (digital)
Call no.: MS 021

Rural and sparsely populated, Prescott, Massachusetts, was founded in 1822 along the ridge separating the West and Middle branches of the Swift River. Its three villages (North Prescott, Atkinson Hollow, and Prescott Hill) never amounted to more than a few houses each, and the town’s total population never exceeded 500. Prescott became the first of four towns to vacate after the Swift River Valley was ordered cleared and dammed to create the Quabbin Reservoir, ceding its administration to the state in 1928 before formally disincorporating in 1938.

The records of Prescott, Mass., document the history of the smallest of the four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Held by the Swift River Valley Historical Society, the materials in this collection consist of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1822-1938, as well as sparser records of the School Committee, the Treasurer, and Overseers of the Poor.

Subjects

Education--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPoor--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Appropriations and expendituresPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Politics and governmenPrescott (Mass.)--Social conditionsQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs

Contributors

Prescott (Mass. : Town)Prescott (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor

Types of material

Account booksSchool records
Pyle, Christopher H.

Christopher Pyle Papers

ca.1970-1985
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 545

As an army captain teaching constitutional law at the U.S. Army Intelligence School in Fort Holabird, Maryland during the late 1960s, Christopher Pyle learned about the army’s domestic spying operation that targeted antiwar and civil rights protesters. Disclosing his knowledge about that surveillance in 1970 in two award-winning articles, Pyle led the fight to end the military’s domestic spying program by testifying before three Congressional committees. Currently a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College, Pyle continues to write about civil liberties and rights to privacy focusing his attention now on the Patriot Act and the detention of aliens and citizens without trial.

Documenting Pyle’s investigation into the military domestic spying operation, the collection consists of court transcripts, telephone logs, surveillance binders, correspondence, research notes, and news clippings.

Subjects

Civil rights--United StatesMilitary intelligenceMilitary surveillance--United States
Quabbin Towns

Quabbin Towns Annual Reports Collection

1864-1937
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 368

During the 1920s and 1930s, the populations of four towns in the Swift River Valley, Mass., were relocated to make way for completion of the Quabbin Reservoir. Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were formally disincorporated in 1938, marking an end to nearly a century of small town government in the region.

The annual reports of the four towns of the Quabbin region provide important documentation of the activities of the local officials and the lives of residents in Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott. Issued under various titles and with variable content, these reports include information on the activities of town officials, including the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, School Committee, and Library. In most years, the reports also include town expenditures and a list of residents with a valuation of property and taxes paid. Although substantial, this collection is not complete, particularly prior to 1880.

Subjects

Dana (Mass.)--HistoryEnfield (Mass.)--HistoryGreenwich (Mass.)--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History