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Collecting area: Counterculture Page 1 of 3
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Albertson, Jeff

Jeff Albertson Photograph Collection

ca.1966-2005
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 057
Depiction of Jeff Albertson, ca.1970
Jeff Albertson, ca.1970

Born in Reading, Mass., on Sept 13, 1948, Jeff Albertson was still a student at Boston University, working on the staff of the BU News, when he was hired as a photographer by the Boston Globe. Reflecting the youth culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, his photographs earned him positions with several prominent Boston alternative media outlets. Covering news, music, and the political interests of his generation, he served as photo editor for the Boston Phoenix and associate publisher for the Real Paper, and his work appeared regularly in mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone, People, and Boston Magazine. After becoming photo editor for the Medical Tribune News Group and moving to New York City in the 1980s, he met and married Charlene Laino. In later years, he became involved in early efforts to create websites devoted to issues surrounding health. Albertson died in 2008.

As a photographer, Albertson covered a wide range of subjects, with particular focus on music and social change. The many thousands of prints, slides, and negatives in the collection include stunning shots of Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Lee Hooker, activists such as Abbie Hoffman, politicians, and public personalities. The collection also includes several photographic essays centered on poverty, old age, fire fighting in Boston, and prisoners in Massachusetts (among other issues) along with a wide array of landscapes and street scenes.

Gift of Charlene Laino, Oct. 2013
Subjects
Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
Musicians--Photographs
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Contributors
Simon, Peter
Types of material
Photographs
American Revolution Documentary Collection

The American Revolution Documentary Collection

ca.1968-2010
Depiction of

On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The station’s eclectic and unpredictable broadcasts included music from little-known performers who would emerge into the biggest acts of the day; regularly scheduled live musical performances from local clubs; trenchant political analysis and newscasts of the major events of the day; interviews with legendary cultural figures; and innovative new shows including one of the first women’s programs and the Lavender Hour, the nation’s first regularly broadcast LGBT radio show. Music, politics, culture, and community were intensely interconnected through WBCN, while its “listener line,” which took calls and answered questions on any subject, helped make it a virtual two-way hub for countercultural Boston.

While producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974, former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein recognized the importance of archiving the wealth of primary materials that told the story of WBCN, its community and the dramatic changes of the era. The American Revolution Documentary Collection is the product of Lichtenstein’s energy, serving as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people who witnessed and took part in an extended public conversation on the direction of our nation during the period of profound social, political, and cultural upheaval and who used media to help change it.

TAR collections include:

Selected recordings from the American Revolution Documentary Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. ​Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID’s, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN-FM’s launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/

Subjects
Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
Cambridge (Mass.)--History--20th century
Nineteen sixties
Rock music
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Types of material
Photographs
Sound recordings
Baker, James

James Baker Free Spirit Press Collection

1969-2005 Bulk: 1969-1974
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 834
Depiction of Spirit in Flesh tour bus
Spirit in Flesh tour bus

James Baker was a member of the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune (later the Renaissance Community) in the early 1970s, and a key contributor to the Free Spirit Press, the commune’s publishing operation. Part promotion, information, and entertainment, the Free Spirit Press magazine ran for four issues in the winter and spring 1972-1973.

The Baker collection consists of the surviving materials from the production of Free Spirit Press concentrated heavily in the period between winter 1972 and summer 1974. Accumulated mostly while preparing a brochure for the commune, the manuscript material contains copies of the commune’s by-laws and membership rolls, comments from community members on how they wished to be represented, and a story board for the brochure and series of quotes from community members to be included. The second half of the collection contains hundreds of images, mostly 35mm negatives, taken of or by the commune and its residents. The images depict the production and distribution of Free Spirit Press and the commune band (Spirit in Flesh, later called Rapunzel), but they also include several rolls of film taken by commune members of major rock and roll acts of the era, including the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, Santana, Chuck Berry, Hot Tuna, and Fleetwood Mac.

Subjects
Berry, Chuck
Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
Communal living--Massachusetts
Grateful Dead (Musical group)
Grateful Dead (Musical group)--Photographs
Metelica, Michael
Renaissance Community (Commune)
Rock music--1971-1980--Photographs
Taj Mahal (Musician)
Taj Mahal (Musician)--Photographs
Contributors
Geisler, Bruce
Types of material
Photographs
Brotherhood of the Spirit

Brotherhood of the Spirit Documentary

ca.1973
15.24 minutes
Call no.: Video

Beginning in a treehouse in Leyden, Mass., during the summer of 1968, the Brotherhood of the Spirit (later the Renaissance Community) grew to become the largest commune in the eastern United States. Founded by Michael Metelica and six friends, and infused with the spiritual teachings of Elwood Babbitt, the commune relocated several times during its first half decade, setting down at different points in Heath, Charlemont, Warwick, Turners Falls, and Gill, Mass., as well as Guilford, Vt.

Produced at UMass Amherst, this video (digitized from a 16mm motion picture original) provides a largely laudatory glimpse of commune life during the boom years of the Brotherhood of the Spirit, probably around 1973. Sound quality in the video is highly uneven, often poor, particularly in the first two minutes.

Subjects
Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
Communal living--Massachusetts
Metelica, Michael
Types of material
Motion pictures (Visual works)
Brown, Daniel A.

Daniel A. Brown Photograph Collection

1968-2003
ca.450 items
Call no.: PH 011
Depiction of Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen

Having joined the the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in 1973, Dan Brown remained a member for a decade as it evolved first into Metelica’s Aquarian Concept and then into the Renaissance Community. Throughout his time as a member, he photographed his fellow communards as they moved through a variety of localities, including Turner’s Falls, Gill, and Warwick, Mass. Since leaving the community in 1983, he has written and lectured regularly on its history for audiences throughout the region.

One of the principle photographers of the Brotherhood and Renaissance Community during the period 1973-1983, Brown preserved an archive of approximately 450 photographs documenting the commune from its founding in 1968 through the time of Michael Metelica’s death in 2003. In addition to his own work, he collected and preserved images of many other photographers, most notably Gary Cohen.

Subjects
Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
Communal living--Massachusetts
Metelica, Michael
Renaissance Community (Commune)
Contributors
Brown, Daniel A
Cohen, Gary
Types of material
Photographs
Delevingne, Lionel

Lionel Delevingne Photograph Collection

ca.1975-1995
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 047
Depiction of Joan of Seabrook
Joan of Seabrook

Born and raised in France, the photojournalist Lionel Delevingne studied education at l’Ecole Normale in Paris, but settled permanently in the United States in 1975. Based at first in Northampton, Mass., he became a prolific photographer of American social movements while working for the Valley Advocate and other publications, covering the early years of the Clamshell Alliance and the antinuclear movement in considerable depth. His work has been exhibited frequently and published widely in the mainstream and alternative press, including the New York Times, Le Figaro Magazine, Die Zeit, Newsweek, Washington Post Magazine, Mother Jones, and Vanity Fair.

The Delevingne collection includes remarkable visual documentation of the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and beyond, including some of the its most iconic images. Beginning with coverage of the Seabrook occupation, Delevingne covered the movement as it spread throughout the northeastern U.S. and internationally. The collection includes exhibition prints, prints for publication, and digitized images ranging in date from the mid-1970s through 1990s. Copyright in the images has been retained by Delevingne.

Subjects
Antinuclear movement--United States
Clamshell Alliance
Photojournalists
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant (N.H.)
Contributors
Delevingne, Lionel
Types of material
Photographs
Diamond, Stephen

Steve Diamond Papers

1968-2005
13 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 542
Depiction of Steve Diamond and border collie at Montague Farm, ca.1980
Steve Diamond and border collie at Montague Farm, ca.1980

An author and activist, Steve Diamond worked for the newly formed Liberation News Service in 1968 covering stories like the student strike at Columbia University. After more than a year of internal strife resulting from ideological differences, the alternative news service split into two factions, with Marshall Bloom and Raymond Mungo leading a new division of LNS in rural New England. Diamond, among those who left for New England, settled into life in a commune on old Ripley Farm in Montague, Massachusetts. His experiences during the first year on the farm are recorded in his book, What the Trees Said. Diamond later worked as a writer and consultant for Green Mountain Post Films, editor of the Valley Advocate and Boston Phoenix, and as a contributor for The Atlantic Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Village Voice.

This collection consists chiefly of Diamond’s correspondence and writing, including drafts of his book chapters, stories, and articles; research notes; and diary entries. The collection also contains printed articles by and about Diamond, digital images, and audio recordings.

Subjects
Activists--Massachusetts
Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
Communal living--Massachusetts
Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)
Liberation News Service (New York, N.Y.)
Mungo, Raymond, 1946-
Contributors
Diamond, Stephen
Famous Long Ago Archive

Famous Long Ago Collection

ca.1960-2005
Depiction of The barn, Montague Farm Photo by Roy Finestone, Oct. 1976
The barn, Montague Farm Photo by Roy Finestone, Oct. 1976

Ray Mungo’s Famous Long Ago (1970) and Steve Diamond’s What the Trees Said (1971) are classic visions of late 1960s counterculture and of life in New England communes. The communes on which Mungo and Diamond settled, Packer Corner and the Montague Farm, became the center of what might be considered a single extended community, embracing the Wendell Farm and Johnson Pasture and Tree Frog Farm in Vermont. The Farmers themselves were, and remain, a diverse group, including photographers, novelists, and poets, artists, actors, and activists.

An umbrella collection, the Famous Long Ago Archive contains a growing number of collections relating to the communes at Montague Farm, Packer Corners, Johnson Pasture, Wendell Farm, and Tree Frog Farm. These range from the papers of Steve Diamond, Raymond Mungo, and Jonathan Maslow to Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner (the latter of whom lived at Montague Farm), the records of the Liberation News Service, the Alternative Energy Coalition, and Musicians United for Safe Energy, to the photographic collections of Roy Finestone and Stephen Josephs. View all the Famous Long Ago Collections.

Collections include:

Subjects
Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
Communal living--Massachusetts
Communal living--Vermont
Johnson Pasture Community (Vt.)
Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
Packer Corners Community (Vt.)
Political activists--Massachusetts
Finestone, Roy

Roy Finestone Photograph Collection

1969-1990
239 images
Call no.: PH 005
Depiction of Nina, Smoky, Chuck, Janis (Smoky and Nina on bikes)
Nina, Smoky, Chuck, Janis (Smoky and Nina on bikes)

A wave of experimentation in communal living in New England reached a peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with dozens of communities spread across the landscape of western Massachusetts and Vermont. Nina Finestone joined the Johnson Pastures in Guilford , Vermont, in 1969, however after the main house there went up in flames on April 16, 1970, killing four people, she joined a number of its residents who moved to the nearby Montague Farm in Montague, Massachusetts. Nina married a fellow Montague farmer, Daniel Keller, and the couple moved to Wendell in 1980.

Providing exceptional visual documentation of life at Johnson Pasture, the Montague Farm, and Wendell Farm between 1969 and 1990, the Finestone collection is centered on the lives and family of Daniel and Nina Keller. All images were taken by Roy Finestone, Nina’s father, with a medium format camera using color transparency film.

Gift of Dan and Nina Keller, 1999
Subjects
Communal living--Massachusetts
Communal living--Vermont
Johnson Pasture Community (Vt.)
Keller, Daniel
Keller, Nina
Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
Wendell Farm Community (Mass.)
Contributors
Finestone, Roy
Foster, Georgana

Georgana Foster Collection

1970s-2007
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 544

Collection of chiefly newspaper clippings compiled by Georgana Foster documenting the response of the western Massachusetts community to a variety of local and national topics such as the Vietnam War, communes, the re-elections of Congressmen Silvio Conte and John Olver, the Amherst Peace Vigil, the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, and the Iraq War.

Subjects
Activists--Massachusetts
Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
Peace movements--Massachusetts
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Contributors
Foster, Georgana
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