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Burgett-Irey family

Burgett-Irey Family Papers

1832-2010 Bulk: 1929-2008
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 605

Born in 1908 to Louis and Sarah Kessel Burgett, Katherine grew up on the family farm outside of Oquawka, Illinois. In 1924 her parents purchased their own farm in Monmouth, which they later lost due to the devastating impact of the Depression on agriculture, and it was there that she first met her future husband, Kenneth Monroe Irey, a student at Monmouth College. The newlyweds moved to New Jersey in 1931 where Kenneth was transferred for work. As a chemical engineer, Kenneth enjoyed a successful career and comfortably supported his wife and two children. Retiring in 1970, he and Katherine spent their later years pursuing two passions: traveling and bird-watching. Kenneth and Katherine’s eldest daughter, June Irey Guild, spent most of her adult life in Massachusetts where she has married twice, raised six children, and operated her own business. During her retirement years, June focused on preserving her family’s history by collecting letters and recoding family narratives.

The Burgett-Irey Family Papers chronicle the changes that many twentieth-century American families experienced as the nation descended into an economic depression, entered into a world war, and emerged as one of the most powerful countries in the world. The collection, which will continue to grow, includes approximately 65 letters between Katherine Burgett Irey and her family. Most of the letters exchange family updates, particularly precious after Katherine relocated to New Jersey. Among the earliest letters is an account of Katherine and Kenneth’s first meeting described as “fast work,” since he asked her out on the spot. Also included are autobiographical writings by Kenneth describing his cross-country trip to California in 1927 and a brief history of his life and career.

Subjects
Bird watching
Burgett family
Irey family
Marriage--United States
Motherhood--United States--History--20th century
Mothers--United States--History--20th century
Women--United States--History--20th century
Contributors
Guild, June Irey
Irey, Katherine Burgett
Irey, Kenneth Monroe, 1905-1994
Types of material
Diaries
Letters (Correspondence)
Slides
Chrisman, Miriam Usher

Miriam Chrisman Papers

1937-2007
13 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: FS 128
Depiction of Miriam U. Chrisman, 1964
Miriam U. Chrisman, 1964

A noted scholar of the social impact of the German Reformation, Miriam Usher Chrisman was born in Ithaca, New York, on May 20, 1920. With degrees from Smith College, American University, and Yale, she served for over thirty years on the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, becoming a well-loved professor and treasured mentor to a generation of students.

A faithful and colorful correspondent, the bulk of Miriam Chrisman’s papers consist of letters written to family and friends stretching from her college days at Smith through the year before her death. The bulk of the correspondence is with her husband, Donald Chrisman, an orthopedic surgeon who was enrolled at Harvard Medical School during their courtship. Soon after the Chrismans married in November 1943, Donald left for active duty in the Navy on the U.S.S. Baldwin. The couple’s war correspondence is unusually rich, offering insight on everything from the social responsibilities of married couples to their opinions on the progression of the war. Of particular note is a lengthy letter written by Donald during and immediately after D-Day in which he provides Miriam a real-time description of the events and his reactions as they unfold. Later letters document Miriam’s extensive travels including a trip around the world. .

Subjects
Smith College--Students
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Chrisman, Miriam Usher
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Clapp, Lyman

Lyman Clapp Diary

1825 August 8-25
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 709 bd

When Lyman Clapp and Lucia Cowls agreed to marry in 1825, they took a celebratory tour of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. Over nine days, they traveled from Mt. Pleasant, Mass. (possibly in Worcester County) through Brimfield to Stafford, Tolland, Vernon, Hartford, and Litchfield, Connecticut, before returning home by way of Springfield and Northampton. The Clapp’s party consisted of the engaged couple chaperoned by Lucia’s parents, and they were joined by a relative, Edward, near Hartford.

Filled with interesting vignettes of travel in western New England during the 1820s, Clapp’s diary includes fine descriptions of the various taverns and inns they visited en route and the range of natural and cultural sites, from rolling hills to modern milling technology. Among other sights that caught Clapp’s eye were the the Charter Oak, a hermit living in the hills near Avon, the Walcott Factories at Torrington, Northampton, and the extraordinary view from the top of Mount Holyoke.

Acquired from Michael Brown, April 2011
Subjects
African Americans--Connecticut
Brookfield (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
Connecticut--Description and travel--19th century
Ferries--Massachusetts
Hartford (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
Hermits--Connecticut
Litchfield (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
Massachusetts--Description and travel--19th century
Mount Holyoke (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
Northampton (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
Springfield (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
Stafford (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
Taverns (Inns)--Connecticut
Vernon (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
Contributors
Clapp, Lyman
Types of material
Diaries
Klaw, Alonzo

Alonzo Klaw Photograph Collection

1929-1931
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 048
Depiction of New York street scene, ca.1931
New York street scene, ca.1931

A landscape painter and photographer, Alonzo “Lon” Klaw was born in 1885 to Antoinette Morris and Marc Klaw, the attorney, theatrical impresario, and partner in the powerful Broadway production partnership of Klaw and Erlanger. Lon and his wife Alma (Ash) lived on a farm, Almalon, near Carmel, New York, but spent large parts of each year at their home in Santa Barbara, California, traveling frequently to Europe, particularly after his father’s retirement in 1927.

The several hundred photographic prints from Lon Klaw reflect his interests in landscape and travel and the influence on his work of the Photo Secession on his aesthetic. Approximately half of the collection consists of American views, primarily from southern California, depicting bucolic scenery, grazing cattle, and trees, but there are occasional portraits and views of the built environment in California and street scenes from New York. Taken during a European trip in 1929 or 1930, the remainder of the collection includes images of Cannes and Paris. Klaw typically printed each image several times to produce different visual effects.

Gift of Thomas W. Tenney and family, Nov. 2012
Subjects
California--Photographs
Cannes (France)--Photographs
Cows--Photographs
Paris (France)--Photographs
Trees--Photographs
Contributors
Klaw, Alonzo
Types of material
Photographs
Maslow, Jonathan Evan

Jonathan Evan Maslow Papers

ca.1978-2008
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 639
Depiction of Jon Maslow
Jon Maslow

A man of diverse and interests, Jon Maslow was a naturalist and journalist, an environmentalist, traveler, and writer, whose works took his from the rain forests to the steppes to the salt marshes of his native New Jersey. Born on Aug. 4, 1948, in Long Branch, Maslow received his MA from the Columbia University School of Journalism (1974), after which he spent several years traveling through South and Central America, studying the flora and fauna, reporting and writing, before returning to the States. Always active in community affairs, he was a reporter with the Cape May County Herald (1997-2002) and the West Paterson Herald News (2002-2008). The author of six books, including The Owl Papers (1983), Bird of Life, Bird of Death, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1986, and Sacred Horses: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy (1994), he often combined an intense interest in natural history with a deep environmentalist ethos and, particularly in the latter two cases, with a deep concern for the history of political turmoil. He died of cancer on Feb. 19, 2008.

A large and rich assemblage, the Maslow Papers document his career from his days as a young journalist traveling in Central America through his community involvements in New Jersey during the 2000s. An habitual rewriter, Maslow left numerous drafts of books and articles, and the collection includes valuable correspondence with colleagues and friends, including his mentor Philip Roth, as well as Maslow’s fascinating travel diaries.

Subjects
Authors--New Jersey
Central America--Description and travel
Journalists--New Jersey
New Jersey--History
Reporters and reporting--New Jersey
Contributors
Maslow, Jonathan Evan
Roth, Philip
Nichols, Reuben

Reuben Nichols, The adventures and ramblings of a sailor

1840
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 901 bd

The son of a Revolutionary War veteran from Fairfield County, Conn., Reuben Nichols went to sea as teenager and spent a quarter of a century sailing the Atlantic aboard merchant ships and privateers. After rising to become master of the New York and Savannah packets Exact and Angelique in the 1830s, he retired to a life on shore near Bridgeport.

This vigorous account of a life on the antebellum seas runs Nichols’ childhood hardships through a series of adventures at sea in war and peace. An observant and effective writer, Nichols describes voyages to western and northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and South America during and after the War of 1812. During a colorful career, he took part in the operations of warships and privateers, witnessed attempted mutinies and desertions, rescued the abolitionist John Hopper from a mob in Georgia, and was drawn into the struggles for colonial liberation. His experiences aboard the privateer Kemp and descriptions of Haiti, Cape Verde, Spain, Gibraltar, Turkey, and Argentina are particularly evocative.

Acquired from William Reese, Mar. 2016
Subjects
Abolitionists--Georgia
Argentina--Description and travel--19th century
Aruba--Description and travel--19th century
Gibraltar--Description and travel--19th century
Haiti--Description and travel--19th century
Hopper, John, 1815-1865
Merchant ships--Connecticut
Mutiny
Privateering
Sailors--Connecticut
Spain--Description and travel--19th century
Stratford (Conn.)--History
Turkey--Description and travel--19th century
United States--History--War of 1812--Naval operations
Types of material
Autobiographies
Memoirs
Noyes, Helen Haskell

Helen Haskell Noyes Diary

1885
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 072 bd

A fine bookbinder and daughter of New Thought dietary reformer Charles C. Haskell, Helen Haskell Noyes (“Nellie”) was raised in privilege in Deer Isle, Maine, and Norwich, Conn. At the age of 21, Nellie and a group of friends embarked on a grand tour, visiting Switzerland, Italy, France, and England over the course of several months, taking in the usual fare of art and antiquities, cathedrals, palaces, fortifications, museums, and hotels.

In her diary for 1885, Noyes kept a careful record of her experiences while on her grand European tour. In sometimes perfunctory, but often interesting and humorous detail, she notes the challenges and pleasures of European travel, but more importantly, she offers a reflection of a young American woman’s first encounter with a foreign culture and her growing fascination with the deep art history in Italy.

Subjects
France--Description and travel--19th century
Grand tours (Education)
Great Britain--Description and travel--19th century
Italy--Description and travel--19th century
Switzerland--Description and travel--19th century
Contributors
Haskell, Nellie Gowan
Types of material
Diaries
Ozer Family

Ozer Family Papers

ca. 1935-2015
8 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1002
Ruth and Abe Ozer celebrating their 90th birthdays in 2010.
Ruth and Abe Ozer celebrating their 90th birthdays in 2010.

Born five days apart in June 1920 in Manhattan, Abraham Jay Ozer (born Abraham Ozersky) and Ruth Sydell Ozer (born Ruth Sydell Newman) married in 1947 after Abe returned from his army service in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. Abe received the Purple Heart after being wounded by shrapnel from a kamikaze attack on his ship after the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. Returning to New York, Abe and Ruth began their romance, after being friends earlier as part of a Workmen Circle teen group, and lived almost the entirety of the rest of their lives in the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx, the country’s oldest nonprofit housing cooperative. The Ozers were involved in the social, cultural, and financial community of the cooperative, originally founded by Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union members, and decidedly Jewish and progressive in its early decades. Working for RKO Pictures Inc. and as a substitute teacher, Ruth also volunteered at the local Amalgamated nursery school, which her daughters Alison and Stephanie attended as children. Self-employed in the insurance business, Abe served on several of the community’s boards and societies, and later volunteered as a dispatcher for ambulances in the Amalgamated, and as a tour guide at the Bronx Zoo. The two were also able to pursue their passion for travel, beginning their adventures in 1969 with a trip to the United Kingdom. Over the next thirty-five years they would take more than fifty international and national trips.

The Ozer Family Papers primarily document the lives of Abe and Ruth Ozer, including their high school and college years, their correspondence and other records from Abe’s military service in the 311th and then 168th Ordnance Depot Company, additional war correspondence between Ruth and other parties, and extensive documentation of the couple’s many years of travel, including selected slides, photographs, travel planning documents, and Ruth’s detailed travel journals for each trip from 1969 through 2005. Additional materials cover the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, RKO Pictures Inc., and other aspects of the Ozer’s lives, including numerous oral history interviews and home movies on formats ranging from 8mm film to digital. The greater Ozer family is also represented, from a family tree back to Abe’s grandparents from Belorussia, to content and interviews with his mother, Sadie Uretsky, and several folders of clippings about Abe’s brother, Bernard Ozer, an important figure in fashion, and former vice-president of Associated Merchandising Corporation. Additional content on the Ozer’s children, grandchildren, and extended family rounds out the collection.

Gift of Alison Ozer, November 2017
Subjects
Bronx (New York, N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Housing, Cooperative
Hunter College--Students
Jews--New York (State)--New York
Leyte Gulf, Battle of, Philippines, 1944
Tourism
Travel
United States. Army. Ordnance Corps
World War, 1939-1945
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Oral histories
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Sawin-Young Family Papers

Sawin-Young Family Papers

1864-1924
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 583
Depiction of Atop Mt. Tom
Atop Mt. Tom

At the turn of the twentieth century, Albert Sawin and his wife Elizabeth (nee Young) lived on Taylor Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with their three children, Allan, Ralph, and Alice. Elizabeth’s brother, also named Allan, traveled in the west during the 1880s, looking for work in Arizona, Utah, and Montana.

The bulk of the Sawin-Young Family Papers consists of letters exchanged between Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sawin, her sisters, and Jennie Young of nearby Easthampton. Later letters were addressed to Beatrice Sawin at Wheaton College from her father Walter E. Sawin, who contributed to the design for the Holyoke dam. The photograph album (1901) kept by Alice E. Sawin features images of the interior and exterior of the family’s home, as well as candid shots of family and friends and photographs of excursions to nearby Mt. Tom and the grounds of Northfield School.

Subjects
Holyoke (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Montana--Description and travel
Sawin family
Utah--Description and travel
Young family
Contributors
Sawin, Alice E.
Sawin, Beatrice
Young, Allan
Young, Elizabeth
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Photographs
Sommer, Mark

Mark Sommer Papers

1966-2017
21 boxes 32 linear feet
Call no.: MS 973

Mark Sommer, with Zetta, the first newborn goat at the Sommer homestead in northern CA, May 1985

Mark Sommer is an explorer, storyteller, and award-winning public radio and print journalist focused on advocacy and narratives of social, political, and environmental change and positive action. In Washington, D.C., Sommer found himself on hand for some of the 1960s pivotal moments, where he was involved with the Liberation News Service and the New Left think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies. Sommer moved to California in 1969 to explore the counterculture, spending several years journeying – spiritually, psychedelically, and physically between communes, farms, and wilderness homesteads along the western coast – before he and his wife built a self-reliant organic homestead in the deep woods of northern CA, where they lived from the 1970s to the 1990s. The resilience of nature deeply impacted Sommer’s outlook and work as a writer and journalist, driving his interest in the human capacity for overcoming adversity. Sommer founded and directed the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit media placement service scheduling leading edge thinkers and social innovators for extensive radio interviews, and Sommer served as host and executive producer of the internationally syndicated and award winning, one-hour weekly radio program, A World of Possibilities. Sommer is the author of three books (Beyond the Bomb, The Conquest of War, and Living in Freedom), and hundreds of op-eds in major newspapers worldwide. Current projects include short and movie length videos crafted from his photographs, films, interviews, and experiences.

Chronicling over five decades of creative and journalistic output of a life-long explorer and progressive advocate, the Mark Sommer Papers are an extensive collection, covering Sommer’s entire career and personal life from the late 1960s to the present. Writings include personal and multiple travel journals (including a unique trip to North Vietnam in 1968), correspondence, student essays, op-eds, articles, project and grant plans, memoirs, and book manuscripts. Additional journals exist in audio format, along with radio interviews where Sommer served as a guest. Slides, photographs, and movies cover Sommer’s family and home life to his wide-ranging travels and interests. Some main topics of coverage include foreign policy and international politics, progressivism, peace and conflict studies, the anti-nuclear and disarmament movements, wilderness and back-to-the-land experiences, and later in life fatherhood. Materials from Mainstream Media Project have been separated into the Mainstream Media Project Records.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017
Subjects
Antinuclear movement
Counterculture--United States
Institute for Policy Studies
Journalists--California
Nuclear disarmament
Peace--research
Peaceful change (International relations)
Political activists
Reconciliation
Self-reliant living--California
Sustainable living
Travel writing
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Types of material
Articles
Correspondence
Diaries
Memoirs
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
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