Collecting area: Politics & governance

Rosenberg, Stanley C.

Stan Rosenberg Papers

ca.1991-2008
88 boxes 132 linear feet
Call no.: MS 556

Graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1977, Stan Rosenberg began his career in politics as an aide to state Senator John Olver from 1980-1983. By 1986 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives where he served until 1991 when he was elected to the state Senate, a seat vacated by U.S. Congressmen John Olver. The Democratic Senator has served in the Senate ever since, assuming a number of leadership positions from chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to President Pro Tem of the Massachusetts Senate. Representing towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties, Senator Rosenberg was a moving force behind a campaign finance reform bill that reduced the role of private money in the state’s political system.

Although the collection continues to grow, it currently consists of correspondence, publications, and subject files relating to particular initiatives led by Rosenberg.

Gift of Stanley Rosenberg, 2007-2013

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. Senate

Contributors

Rosenberg, Stanley C.
Ross, Laura

Laura M. Ross Papers

1945-2003 Bulk: 1967-1990
13 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 515
Depiction of Laura Ross
Laura Ross

Born in the coal mining town of Blossburg, Pa., in 1913, Laura Ross (nee Kaplowitz) grew up in poverty as one of seven children of Lithuanian immigrants. In about 1932, Ross married Harry Naddell, a wine merchant, and settled into a comfortable life Brooklyn, N.Y., raising a son and daughter. During the Second World War, however, she became intensely politicized through her work with Russian War Relief, joining the Communist Party and eventually divorcing her les radical husband. Moving to the Boston area, she married Max Ross in 1963, an attorney for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and became a noted presence in a wide range of political activities, working for civil rights, the antiwar movement, and for many years, helping to run the Center for Marxist Education in Central Square , Cambridge. Perhaps most notably, between 1974 and 1984, Ross ran for Congress three times on the Communist Party ticket, taking on the powerful incumbent Tip O’Neill and winning almost a quarter of the vote. An activist to the end, Ross died in Cambridge on August 5, 2007.

The Ross papers are the legacy of a highly visible activist, organizer, educator, and member of the Communist Party USA. Heavily concentrated in the period 1967-1990, the collection includes material relating to her affiliation with CPUSA and her work with the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge, Mass., including information on party membership, platforms, and conventions, minutes from various district committee meetings, material relating to the People’s Daily World, and course information and syllabi. Scattered throughout the collection are materials pertaining to contemporary political issues and elections, particularly the policies associated with Ronald Reagan. Ross was a vocal and persistent opponent of Reaganomics and the nuclear arms race that Reagan accelerated.

Gift of Eugene Povirk, 2007

Subjects

Center for Marxist Education (Cambridge, Mass.)Communist Party of the United States of AmericaPeace movements--MassachusettsPeople’s Daily WorldUnited States--Politics and government--1981-1989

Contributors

Ross, Laura
Stockbridge, Levi, 1820-1904

Levi Stockbridge Papers

1841-1878
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: RG 003/1 S76
Depiction of Levi Stockbridge, ca.1853
Levi Stockbridge, ca.1853

Born in Hadley, Mass., in 1820, Levi Stockbridge was one of the first instructors at Massachusetts Agricultural College and President from 1879-1882. Known for his work on improving crop production and for developing fertilizers, Stockbridge was an important figure in the establishment of the college’s Experiment Station. After filling in as interim President of MAC in 1879, he was appointed president for two years, serving during a period of intense financial stress. After his retirement in 1882, he was named an honorary professor of agriculture.

The Stockbridge Papers include correspondence, personal notebooks, travel diary, journal as a farmer (1842-1845), writings, lectures, notes on experiments, clippings, photocopies of personal and legal records, and biographical material, including reminiscences by Stockbridge’s daughter. Also contains auction records, notebook of Amherst, Massachusetts town records (1876-1890), and printed matter about Amherst and national elections, including some about his candidacy for Congress on Labor-Greenback party ticket 1880. Also contains papers (13 items) of Stockbridge’s son, Horace Edward Stockbridge (1857-1930), agricultural chemist and educator, including a letter (1885) from him to the elder Stockbridge, written from Japan while he was professor at Hokkaido University.

Subjects

Agriculture--Experimentation--HistoryAgriculturists--Massachusetts--HistoryAmherst (Mass.)--Politics and government--19th centuryGreenback Labor Party (U.S.)--HistoryJapan--Description and travel--19th centuryLegislators--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryMassachusetts Agricultural CollegeMassachusetts Agricultural College--StudentsMassachusetts Agricultural College. PresidentMassachusetts Cattle CommissionMassachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950Stockbridge family

Contributors

Stockbridge, Horace E. (Horace Edward),1857-1930Stockbridge, Levi, 1820-1904

Types of material

Diaries
Story, Ellen

Ellen Story Papers

1997-2016
14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: MS 962

Born in Oklahoma in 1941, Ellen Story served as the Associate Executive Director of the Family Council of Western Massachusetts for nearly 20 years before deciding to run for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in a 1992 special election. While in office, she was an advocate for a variety of women’s and social issues ranging from pay equity for women and transgender rights to health services. After 24 years representing the 3rd Hampshire District, Story announced she would not seek another term in 2016.

The bulk of the collection consists of background research and publications related to various issues that went before the Massachusetts state legislature. Also included are reports, administrative and office files, and constituent files.

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. General Court. House of Representatives

Contributors

Story, Ellen
Strickland, William, 1937-

William Strickland Papers

1988-1997
4 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: FS 159

A native of Boston and graduate of Boston Latin School and Harvard, Bill Strickland was a scholar, activist, and longtime member of the Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst. After fulfilling his service with the Marine Corps, Strickland became active in civil rights and Black liberation work, serving as Executive Director of the Northern Student Movement, working in Mississippi for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and then as Northern Coordinator of the Party’s Congressional Challenge. He was a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and in 1969, was also a founding member of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta. An exacting scholar, Strickland was a key member of the faculty in Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst teaching history and politics and held a number of important roles, including acting as Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Papers. He retired in 2013.

The Strickland Papers contain materials from two of Strickland’s many commitments during his time at UMass: the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow People’s Party in 1988 and an initiative to commemorate the complex life and legacy of Jackie Robinson in 1996-1997. Additional materials for Strickland are included in the records of the Department of Afro-American Studies.

Gift of Bill Strickland, 2013-

Subjects

Elections--United States--1988Jackson, Jesse, 1941-Rainbow People's PartyRobinson, Jackie, 1919-1972
Sunderland (Mass.)

Sunderland Town Records

1620-1912
4 reels 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 409 mf

Although the Connecticut River Valley town of Swampfield was set off from Hadley in 1673, European settlement there was decimated by King Phillip’s War and with continued turmoil in the region, the town was not resettled by Europeans until after the turn of the eighteenth century. Officially incorporated as the town of Sunderland on Nov. 12, 1718, the town’s economy has been rooted in agriculture, taking advantage of the valley’s rich soils.

The five reels of microfilm of Sunderland’s records include vital records and information on town meetings, militia, and town finances.

Subjects

Sunderland (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Microfilm
Swift, Jane, 1965-

Jane Swift Papers

1988-2008
16 boxes 22 linear feet
Call no.: MS 823
Depiction of Jane Swift
Jane Swift

Just 36 years of age, Jane Swift became Acting Governor of Massachusetts in 2001, the first and only woman to hold that office, the youngest woman governor in US history, and the only one to give birth while in office. A native of North Adams, Swift served as a Republican in the state Senate from 1990-1996, becoming widely known for her role in passing the Education Reform Act of 1993. Defeated in a bid to represent the 1st District in the US Congress, she served in the William Weld administration before earning election as Lieutenant Governor in 1998, rising to the governorship three years later when Paul Cellucci resigned to become Ambassador to Canada. During her time in office, Swift, but her tenure is remembered both for her calm management of the fallout from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and for a series of controversies that ultimatley cost her political support. Trailing eventual nominee Mitt Romney in the 2002 Republican gubentorial primary, Swift abandoned her campaign. Returning home to Williamstown, where she has been involved in several educational initiatives, including serving as Director of Sally Ride Science, a lecturer in Leadership Studies at Williams Colege, and since July 2011, CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages. She remains active in Republican politics.

Centered on her political career, Jane Swift’s Papers provide insight into her experiences as governor of Massachusetts with content ranging from policy briefings to topical files, technical reports, economic and budgetary information, correspondence, legal filings, and transition reports at the time of leaving office. The visual documentation of Swift’s time in office includes a wide range of photographs, videotapes, paraphernalia, and souvenirs. There is comparatively little material is available to document Swift’s time in the state senate.

Gift of Jane Swift, May 2014

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. GovernorRepublican Party (Mass.)

Types of material

Photographs
Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts

Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts Intiative Collection

1988-1989
1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 321

The Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts (TEAM) was formed in 1987 as a coalition of tax reformers made up government groups, civic and business leaders, human services advocates, unions, and others who shared the conviction that fair taxation and quality services must go hand-in-hand and who opposed extreme tax reduction for the dire impact it would have on state budgets and support for state programs.

This small collection contains a copy of “Talking Tax,” a publication of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, along with brochures for their volunteers and for the public.

Gift of Ken Fones-Wolf, 1990

Subjects

Taxation--Massachusetts
Thacher-Channing families

Thacher-Channing Family Papers

1757-1930
3 boxes, books 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1005
Depiction of Stephen Thacher, ca.1853
Stephen Thacher, ca.1853

A graduate of Yale, failed schoolmaster, and politically-connected customs collector in eastern Maine during the antebellum period, Stephen Thacher raised a large family with grand intellectual ambitions. Thacher’s sons made the most of their collegiate educations in their careers in law and the ministry, his eldest daughter Mary married Thomas Wentworth Higginson, while a granddaughter Alice Thacher married the Harvard historian Edward Channing, son of William Ellery Channing and nephew of Margaret Fuller.

These relics of a prominent New England family contain nearly 150 letters, dozens of photographs and other visual materials, and a large assortment of books from three generations of Thachers and Channings. The letters are a rich resource for understanding the life of Stephen Thacher from the uncertainty of youth in Connecticut to political and financial success in the ports of eastern Maine. Assembled by Stephen’s son Peter, the collection includes a number of noteworthy items, including an excellent letter from Timothy Goodwin in July 1775, describing his experiences during the failed expedition on Quebec and the retreat to Crown Point, and a series of letters from Congressman Martin Kinsley on the major issues of the day, including the extension of slavery to the territories and formation of the state of Maine.

Gift of Ben Forbes and Fran Soto, 2017

Subjects

Channing familyMaine--Politics and government--19th centuryMassachusetts--Politics and government--19th centuryThacher family

Types of material

AmbrotypesDaguerreotypesPhotographsSilhouettes
U.S. Presidential Campaigns

U.S. Presidential Campaign Audio and Video Tapes

1972-1988
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 120

The collection consists of audio and visual tapes of radio and television coverage of U.S. presidential elections in 1972, 1980, and 1988. In total there are more than 250 tapes containing interviews with the candidates, election commercials, speeches, party conventions, and news media commentary.

Subjects

Presidents--United States--Election

Types of material

Videotapes