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American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts

American Friends Service Committee Records

1960-2007 Bulk: 1975-2005
25 boxes, 1 oversized folder 36.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 459

Established in 1968 in response to the war in Vietnam, the AFSC office in western Massachusetts did not limit its focus to draft and military counseling, instead the organization broadened its focus over time to include educational and outreach programs for a variety of peace and socal justice issues. Today the chapter focuses on economic justice, campaigns against U.S. military intervention, and actions to combat racism and classism. With an emphasis on serving the community of western Massachusetts, the program is equally committed to calling attention to issues of both national and local importance. Recent campaigns range from ending the war in Iraq and supporting peace in Columbia to preventing the construction of a new jail in Chicopee.

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that together provide a picture of the various issues in which the western Massachusetts AFSC was involved. Topics range from the organization’s earliest focus, the Vietnam War, to the first Gulf War, landlord/tenant relations, immigration, and landmines. The collection also includes materials relating to public figures, some of whom traveled to the region to speak.

Subjects
Activists--Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Economic conditions
Peace movements--Massachusetts
Social justice--Massachusetts
Contributors
American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832

Moses Brown Papers

1713-1840
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 930

In the early Republic, Moses Brown emerged as an ardent abolitionist, a social reformer, and one of the best known philanthropists in his native Providence, R.I. A Baptist who converted to the Society of Friends in 1774, Brown had made a fortune as a merchant, partly in the triangular trade, but a crisis of conscience brought on by the ghastly results of an attempted slaving voyage in 1765 and the death of his wife in 1773 led him to reexamine his life. Withdrawing from most of his business affairs, Brown joined the Society of Friends and emancipated his slaves. He was a founder of the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1786 and a strong voice for peace, temperance, and universal education.

A small, but rich archive of the personal papers of Moses Brown, this collection centers on Brown’s activities in antislavery, peace, and educational reform and his connections to the Society of Friends between the 1760s and 1830s. In addition to significant correspondence with major figures in early antislavery cause, including Anthony Benezet, George Benson, William Dillwyn, and Warner Mifflin, and some material relating to the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery, the collection includes outstanding content on peace activism. In addition to materials from Moses Brown, the collection includes letters to Moses’ son Obadiah Brown and some fascinating letters and manuscripts relating to Moses’ friend and fellow Friend, Job Scott.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016
Subjects
Antislavery movements--Rhode Island
Peace movements--Rhode Island
Quakers--Rhode Island
Rhode Island--History--18th century
Contributors
Benson, George W., 1808-1879
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822
Mifflin, Warner
Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade
Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery
Scott, Job, 1751-1793
Civilian Public Service Camps

Civilian Public Service Camp Newsletter Collection

1941-1944
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 537

Born out of a unique collaboration between the United States government and the historic peace churches, the first Civilian Public Service Camps were established in 1941 to provide conscientious objectors the option to perform alternative service under civilian command. Nearly 12,000 COs served in the 152 CPS camps in projects ranging from soil conservation, agriculture, and forestry to mental health. While the work was supposed to be of national importance, many of the men later complained that the labor was menial and not as important as they had hoped. Furthermore with no ability to earn wages and with their churches and families responsible for financing the camps, many COs, their wives and children found themselves impoverished both during and after the war.

During their time off, many of the men in the CPS camps published newsletters discussing education programs, which frequently involved religious study, work projects, and news about individuals sent to family and friends back home. This collections consists of newsletters created in camps in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana, Maryland, and Colorado.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2009
Subjects
Civilian Public Service--Periodicals
Conscientious objectors--United States
Pacifists--United States
World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors--United States
Types of material
Newsletters
Goldspinner, Jay

Jay Goldspinner Periodicals Collection

1974-2012
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 909

1977 Spring Equinox cover of WomenSpirit

All social change and cultural movements have their associated resources for the exchange of information, ideas, stories, and art. Particularly in the women’s movement, the effort to create newsletters, journals, and other forms of information dissemination was a proactive step taken to assert women’s stories and to locate the power of the press within women-run communities. These periodicals, both large and small in scale, reveal the ways women connected to each other and to larger spiritual and cultural concepts. Local artist, activist, and feminist Jay Goldspinner was engaged with many of these communities, particularly those characterizing the spiritual elements of the women’s liberation and feminist movements, and collected and saved their periodicals. Her collection includes journals focusing on feminist linguistics, goddess myths and spirituality, Wiccan and witch traditions, progressive politics, and women’s spirituality and community in local and international settings. Each is a unique window into discourses of women’s history, feminist movements, and social change work.

The Jay Goldspinner Periodicals Collection consists of issues of feminist and progressive periodicals, journals, and newsletters from four decades. The titles represented include Always in Season, Goddessing, The Lonesome Node, The People’s Voice of Franklin County, Themis/Thesmophoria, Wicked Word, and an almost complete run, including the two indexes, of the seminal magazine of feminist spirituality, WomenSpirit.

Subjects
Feminism--Periodicals
Franklin County (Mass.) --Periodicals
Goddess religion--Periodicals
Neopaganism--Periodicals
Spiritual feminism--Periodicals
Wicca--Periodicals
Witchcraft--Periodicals
Women and spiritualism--Periodicals
Women's rights and spiritualism--Periodicals
Types of material
Periodicals
Hapgood, Beth

Beth Hapgood Papers

1789-2005
67 boxes 35 linear feet
Call no.: MS 434
Depiction of Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969
Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969

Daughter of a writer and diplomat, and graduate of Wellesley College, Beth Hapgood has been a spiritual seeker for much of her life. Her interests have led her to become an expert in graphology, a student in the Arcane School, an instructor at Greenfield Community College, and a lecturer on a variety of topics in spiritual growth. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Hapgood befriended Michael Metelica, the central figure in the Brotherhood of the Spirit (the largest commune in the eastern states during the early 1970s) as well as Elwood Babbitt, a trance medium, and remained close to both until their deaths.

The Hapgood Papers contain a wealth of material relating to the Brotherhood of the Spirit and the Renaissance Community, Metelica, Babbitt, and other of Hapgood’s varied interests, as well as 4.25 linear feet of material relating to the Hapgood family.

Subjects
Brotherhood of the Spirit
Channeling (Spiritualism)
Communal living--Massachusetts
Graphology
Hapgood family--Correspondence
Massachusetts--Social life and customs--20th century
Mediums--Massachusetts
Nineteen sixties--Social aspects
Occultism--Social aspects
Popular culture--History--20th century
Renaissance Community
Rock music--1971-1980
Warwick (Mass.)--History
Contributors
Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
Boyce, Neith, 1872-1951
Hapgood, Beth--Correspondence
Hapgood, Charles H
Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds
Hapgood, Hutchins, 1869-1944
Hapgood, Norman, 1868-1937
Metelica, Michael
Hapgood, Charles H.

Charles H. Hapgood Papers

1955-1996
6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 445

Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-1982) was working toward a doctorate in French history at Harvard when the Great Depression derailed his plans. After a succession of jobs and wartime service, however, Hapgood returned to the academy, teaching history at Springfield College and Keene State for over three decades. He is best remembered as an advocate of several scientifically heterodox ideas, arguing that the earth’s outer crust shifts on geological time scales, displacing continents, and that the earth’s rotational axis has shifted numerous times in geological history. A long time friend and supporter of the medium Elwood Babbitt, he was author of several books, including The Earth’s Shifting Crust (1958), Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966), The Path of the Pole (1970), and Voices of Spirit : Through the Psychic Experience of Elwood Babbitt (1975). Hapgood died in Fitchburg, Mass., on Dec. 21, 1982, after being struck by an automobile.

The Hapgood Papers contain a small grouping of correspondence and writings that offer a glimpse into some of Charles Hapgood’s late-career interests. Although the correspondence is relatively slight, relating primarily to publications in the last two or three years of his life, the collection is a rich resource for the lectures and writings of Elwood Babbitt.

Subjects
Channeling (Spiritualism)
Mediums--Massachusetts
Contributors
Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
Hapgood, Charles H
Hill, Aurin F.

Aurin F. Hill Papers

1885-1929
8 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 579
Depiction of Aurin and Izetta Hill at Lake Pleasant,<br />ca.1928
Aurin and Izetta Hill at Lake Pleasant,
ca.1928

The self-styled “insane architect” Aurin F. Hill (b. 1853) was a free thinking carpenter and architect in Boston who waged a concerted campaign for his vision of social reform at the turn of the twentieth century. A Spiritualist, social radical, and union man, Hill carried the torch for issues ranging from the nationalization of railroads and corporations to civil rights and women’s rights, and joined in opposition to vaccination, Comstockery and censorship, capital punishment, and lynching. A writing medium, married to the Spiritual evangelist Izetta Sears-Hill, he became President of the National Spiritual Alliance in 1915, a Spiritualist organization based in Lake Pleasant, Mass.

Esoteric, rambling, and often difficult to follow, the Hill papers provide profound insight into the eclectic mind of an important Boston Spiritualist and labor activist at the turn of the twentieth century. Whether written as a diary or scattered notes, a scrapbook, essays, or letters to the editor, Hill’s writings cover a wide range of topics, from spirit influence to labor law, from his confinements for insanity to police strikes, hypnotism, reincarnation, and housing. More than just a reflection of one man’s psychology, the collection reveals much about broader social attitudes toward gender and race, sexuality, urban life, politics, and religion, and the collection is a particularly important resource for the history of the American Spiritualist movement between 1890 and 1920.

Subjects
Architects--Massachusetts--Boston
Boston (Mass.)--History
Carpenters--Labor unions
Hypnotism
Labor unions--Massachusetts
Lake Pleasant (Mass.)--History
Mediums--Massachusetts
Montague (Mass.)--History
National Spiritual Alliance
Spiritualism
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Contributors
Hill, Aurin F.
Sears-Hill, Izetta B.
Types of material
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage

Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage Records

1975-2006 Bulk: 1997-1999
6 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 758
Depiction of Landing at Havana, Cuba, Nov. 24, 1998
Landing at Havana, Cuba, Nov. 24, 1998

Organized at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a twelve-month walk through the eastern United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa, and South Africa in 1998-1999, reversing the direction of the Middle Passage symbolically and geographically. A “living prayer of the heart, mind, and body for the sons and daughters of the African Diaspora,” the Pilgrimage was intended by the participants to contribute to a process of healing the wounds inflicted by hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression. Along the way, participants visited sites associated with the history of slavery, from slaves’ quarters in Virginia to stations on the Underground Railroad and villages that had been raided in Africa, offering prayers for those who had suffered under slavery and commemorating the dignity of those held in bondage and those who resisted.

Chronicling the course of the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage from conception to conclusion, this collection contains a rich textual and visual record of a spiritual approach to addressing the legacy of slavery in the Americas. The collection includes the range of materials collected by participants during the Pilgrimage, including lists of reading materials, information on the sites visited, a handful of mementoes and souvenirs, some correspondence, and notes and photographs taken along the way.

Subjects
Pilgrims and pilgrimages
Slavery--History
Types of material
Photographs
Josephs, Stephen

Stephen Josephs Photograph Collection

1972-1978
13 images
Call no.: PH 013
Depiction of Stephen Josephs
Stephen Josephs

The Guru Ram Das Ashram was founded in Montague, Massachusetts, in 1972 by Steve Josephs under the inspiration of Yogi Bhajan. Affiliated with the 3HO (Healthy Happy Holy Organization) and the Sikh Dharma Brotherhood, the ashram provided instruction in Kundalini Yoga and Tantric meditation, and at one point, there were as many as 21 residents of the house. Yogi Bhajan married Josephs and his wife Alice in an arranged marriage in 1972, and the couple (then called Gurushabd Singh and Gurushabd Kaur) left the ashram in 1983.

The Josephs Collection includes 13 digital images depicting the Montague ashram and its residents. The collection includes images of Yogi Bhajan and the Josephs.

Subjects
Ashrams--Massachusetts
Guru Ramdas Ashram (Montague, Mass.)
Josephs, Stephen
Montague (Mass.)--Photographs
Types of material
Photographs
Kehler, Randy

Randy Kehler Papers

1978-1997
21 boxes 13 linear feet
Call no.: MS 396

A veteran of the peace movement and founder of the Traprock Peace Center (1979), Randy Kehler was active in the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, the Peace Development Fund, and the Working Group on Electoral Democracy. Beginning in 1977, he and his wife became war tax resisters, withholding federal income tax to protest U.S. military expenditures, donating it instead to charity. As a consequence, their home was seized by the IRS in 1989, setting up a protracted legal struggle that resulted in Kehler’s arrest and imprisonment and the sale of the house. They remain tax resisters.

The Kehler Papers document the five year struggle (1989-1994) against the seizure and sale of the Kehlers’ home by the IRS. The collection includes meeting minutes, notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings; letters to the editor, essays, articles, plans and strategy documents for the vigil set outside the Kehler home; support committee information and actions; correspondence with government officials, the IRS, and the Justice Department; letters of support; documents from the legal proceedings; and political literature addressing the Kehlers’ situation.

Subjects
Activists--Massachusetts
Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
Argo, Ed
Colrain (Mass.)
Pacifists--Massachusetts
Peace movements--Massachusetts
Political activists--Massachusetts
Tax collection--Massachusetts--Colrain
Tax evasion--Massachusetts--Colrain
Tax-sales--Massachusetts--Colrain
Taxation--Law and Legislation
Traprock Peace Center
Valley Community Land Trust
War tax resitance--Massachusetts--Colrain
Withholding tax--Law and legislation
Withholding tax--Massachusetts
Contributors
Corner, Betsy
Kehler, Randy
Link, Mary
Mosely, Don
Nelson, Juanita
Types of material
Court records
Diaries
Legal documents
Letters (Correspondence)
Scrapbooks
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