Religion (39 collections) SCUA

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Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (LAOS)

Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies Records, 1956-1976.

22 boxes (11.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 020

An oecumenical ministry based in Amherst, Massachusetts, that sought to inspire local citizens to act upon their religious faith in their daily lives and occupations, and to reinvigorate religious dialogue between denominations.

Includes by-laws, minutes, membership records, news clippings, press releases, treasurer’s reports, letters to and from David S. King, correspondence between religious leaders and local administrators, and printed materials documenting programs and organizations in which the Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (L.A.O.S.) participated or initiated, especially Faith and Life Meetings. Also contains questionnaires, announcements, bulletins, and photographs.


  • Christian union--Massachusetts--History
  • Interdenominational cooperation--Massachusetts--History


  • King, David S., 1927-
  • Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies (Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

  • Photographs

Lyons Family

Lyons Family Correspondence, 1859-1895.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 133

Includes letters addressed mostly to Mary Lyons or her brother Frederick D. Lyons about friends and family in Greenfield and Colrain, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Topics discussed are sickness, death, accidents, an instance of probable wife abuse, recipes, Greenfield scandals, clothing, quilting, Methodist/Universalist bickering, and Aunt Mary’s investments.


  • Abused wives--United States--History--19th century
  • Clothing and dress--United States--History--19th century
  • Colrain (Mass.)--Biography
  • Colrain (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Cookery--United States--History--19th century
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Biography
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Lyons family
  • Methodist Church--Relations--Universalist Church
  • Methodist Church--United States--History--19th century
  • Quilting--United States--History--19th century
  • Scandals--Massachusetts--Greenfield--History--19th century
  • Universalist churches--Relations--Methodist Church
  • Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
  • Wife abuse--United States--History--19th century
  • Women--Massachusetts--Colrain--Correspondence


  • Lyons, J. L
  • Lyons, Mary

Types of material

  • Letters (Correspondence)

Massachusetts Indian Association. Stockbridge Auxilliary

Massachusetts Indian Association Stockbridge Auxiliary Records, 1886-1909.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 151 bd

The Stockbridge Auxilliary of the Massachusetts Indian Association was formed by prominent local women in western Berkshire County who sought to aid in educational and missionary work for and among Indians, and to “abolish all oppression of Indians within our national limits.”

Records include minutes that document the group’s committees, meetings, dues, and contributions to Indians on reservations nation-wide, accounts, membership lists, and a letter.


  • Indians of North America--Arizona--Social conditions
  • Indians of North America--Government relations--History
  • Indians of North America--Missions--History
  • Indians of North America--Social conditions
  • Indians, Treatment of--United States--History
  • Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indian
  • Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indian and Other Dependent Peoples
  • Stockbridge Indians--Social conditions


  • Carter, Henry J
  • Massachusetts Indian Association. Stockbridge Auxiliary

Morley, Cathrin

Cathrin Morley Poetry Album, 1832-1837.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 136 bd

Possibly a worker who boarded in Van Duesenville, a growing industrial area of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Notebook consists of poems, most of which concern religious faith and local events that were written in Cathrin Morley’s hand but may not have been created by her. Also includes a list of significant family dates.


  • Christian poetry, American--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Death--Poetry
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History
  • Morley family
  • Sex role--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--Poetry
  • Spiritual life--Poetry
  • Van Duesenville (Great Barrington, Mass.)
  • Women--Poetry


  • Morley, Cathrin

Types of material

  • Notebooks
  • Poems

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends Collection, 1977-1991.

1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 694

The Northampton Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (later the Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly Meeting) was formally established in 1939, bringing together the small community of Friends in Western Massachusetts. In 1959, the small preparative meetings in Amherst, Greenfield, Northampton, and South Hadley agreed to consolidate to create a more vital gathering. After five years without a fixed location, a Friend was moved to donate three acres of land on Long Plain Road in Leverett on which to build a proper meetinghouse. When that building opened in 1964, the meeting was renamed the Mt Toby Meeting.

Reflecting a strong history of promoting peace social justice, the Mt. Toby collection documents Friends’ involvement in a wide variety of issues ranging from war tax resistance (Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner), the “Colrain action” when the Kehler/Corner house was seized by the IRS), peace education and civil disobedience, refugee resettlement, the Sanctuary movement, and support for LGBT issues and racial equality. The collection consists largely of fliers and newsletters, ephemera, and newspaper clippings.


  • Corner, Betsy
  • Kehler, Randy
  • Mount Toby Meeting of Friends (Quakers)
  • Pacifists
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Sanctuary movement
  • War tax resistance--Massachusetts

Noble, David F.

David F. Noble Papers, 1977-2010.

15 boxes (22.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 879

David F. Noble was a critical and highly influential historian of technology, science, and education, writing from a strong leftist perspective. Receiving his doctorate at the University of Rochester, Noble began his academic career at MIT. His first book, America By Design (1977), received strong reviews for its critique of the corporate control of science and technology, but proved too radical for MIT, which denied him tenure despite strong support from his peers. A stint at the Smithsonian followed, but ended similarly, and he continued to face opposition in his career for his radicalism and persistence. After several years at Drexel (1986-1994), Noble landed at York University, where he remained committed to a range of social justice issues, including opposition to the corporatization of universities. Among his major works Forces of Production (1984), A World Without Women (1992), The Religion of Technology (1997), Digital Diploma Mills (2001), and Beyond the Promised Land (2005). Noble died of complications of pneumonia in December 2010, and was survived by his wife Sarah Dopp and three daughters.

The challenges of academic freedom and corporate influence that Noble confronted throughout his career, and his trenchant analysis of technology, science, and religion in contemporary culture, form the core of this collection. Although the files relating to his first book were mostly lost, each of his later books is well represented, accompanied by general correspondence, documentation of his lawsuits against his employers, and selective public talks and publications. Noble’s time at York is particularly well documented, including content relating to his principled stand against grading students.


  • Academic freedom
  • Corporatization
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology--Faculty
  • Science--Social aspects
  • Technology--Social aspects
  • York University--Faculty

Panus, Mary Lou

Mary Lou Panus Polish American Collection, 1895-1997.

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 378

Mary Lou Panus documented Polish American life in Massachusetts by collecting newspaper clippings, business cards, programs, and Polish language prayer books and prayer cards.

The Panus collection includes photographs of Polish churches in Massachusetts, reflecting the important role religion played in the culture and in various communities. The collection also includes a doll dressed as a nun.


  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts


  • Panus, Mary Lou

Pelczynski, Walter, 1916-2000

Walter Pelczynski Papers, 1983.

1 envelope (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 148 bd

Walter Pelczynski was a native of Adams, Massachusetts and the second native-born American to be ordained by the Congregation of Marians, which has its roots in Poland. He served as head of the Marians at Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for many years.

Included in this small collection is a photocopy of Pelczynski’s typewritten memoirs, written in 1983, that cover the years 1934 to 1983.


  • Catholic Church--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History
  • Marian Fathers. St. Stanislaus Kostka Province
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Stockbridge
  • Stockbridge (Mass.)--Biography
  • Superiors, Religious--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Biography


  • Pelczynski, Walter, 1916-2000

Types of material

  • Autobiographies

Robinson, Frank B. (Frank Bruce), b. 1886

Psychiana Collection, 1932.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 502

Moved by a vision in which he saw himself as the head of a new religion, Frank Bruce Robinson established Psychiana soon after moving to Moscow, Idaho, in 1928-1929. Once established, word about the religion spread quickly, primarily through advertisements Robinson placed in newspapers and magazines. Within the first year more than 600,000 students in 67 countries were receiving his printed lessons. Robinson’s launching of Psychiana could not have been better timed. The Great Depression provided a ready-made audience eager to grasp onto his message of “health, wealth, and prosperity” achieved by positive affirmations and self help. This collection consists of 16 lessons in the Psychiana Advanced Course printed in 1932.


  • Psychiana movement


  • Robinson, Frank B. (Frank Bruce), b. 1886

Rowe Camp and Conference Center

Rowe Camp and Conference Center Collection, 1982-2007.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 536

Founded as a Unitarian camp in 1924 for high school students and later adding a junior high component in 1947, the Rowe Camp and Conference Center now offers retreat programs in a variety of areas, including health care, exploration of rituals and dreams, astronomy, and workshops for families, couples, men and women.

This collection consists of newspaper clippings and the Rowe Conference Center and camp annual bulletin.


  • Religion--Massachusetts


  • Rowe Camp and Conference Center
  • Spiritual healing
  • Spiritual life
  • Spiritual retreats--Christianity
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