Collecting area: Women

Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers

ca.1930-2007
25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 127
Depiction of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008

Subjects

African-American theaterPoets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

Abramson, Doris E.
Aczel, Olga Gyarmati

Olga Gyarmati Aczel Collection

1948-1987
2 boxes 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 803
Depiction of Olga Gyarmati, 1948
Olga Gyarmati, 1948

Olga Gyarmati was one of the most successful and popular athletes in post-war Hungary. A multiple national champion in sprint and jumping events, Gyarmati represented her country in three Olympic games, winning gold in the inaugural women’s long jump competition in 1948. Gyarmati fled Hungary with her husband, the novelist Tamas Aczel, during the 1956 revolution, eventually settling in Hadley, Mass., in 1966 when Tamas joined the faculty at UMass Amherst.

The Aczel collection includes a small quantity of material relating primarily to Olga Gyarmati’s athletic career and particularly to her participation in the 1948 Olympics. Included are the gold medal awarded to her at the London games along with the printed certificate; a silver box commemorating her victory, presented to her by the Hungarian Workers’ Party; a scrapbook and two photograph albums; and a landscape painting done by Gyarmati in later life.

Gift of Maryellen Beturney, Dec. 2013

Subjects

Aczel, TamasOlympic athletes--Hungary

Types of material

MedalsPhotographsScrapbooks
Allen, Frances and Mary

Frances and Mary Allen Collection of Deerfield Photographs

1900-1910
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 001
Depiction of Deerfield, Mass.
Deerfield, Mass.

Influenced by the arts and crafts movement, Frances and Mary Allen began taking photographs of their native Deerfield, Mass., in the mid-1880s. Displaying a finely honed pictorialist aesthetic, the sisters specialized in views of Deerfield and surrounding towns, posed genre scenes of life in colonial times, and the local scenery, earning a reputation as among the best women photographers of the period.

The Allen sisters photograph album contains ten gelatin developing out prints of street scenes in Deerfield, ca.1900-1910. Among these are two shots of the house they inherited from their aunt Kate in 1895, which thereafter became their home and studio.

Subjects

Deerfield (Mass.)--PhotographsWomen photographers--Massachusetts

Contributors

Allen, FrancesAllen, Mary E. (Mary Electa), 1858-1941

Types of material

Photographs
Allison, John R.

John Russell Allison and Marion Sellers Allison Papers

1941-2018 Bulk: 1942-1952
4 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1117

In August 1945, U. S. Army second lieutenant John R. “Jack” Allison was on a troop ship headed for the final invasion of Japan. By the time he arrived, the war had ended. Allison, a native of Ontario and the main provider of his family since he lost his father at 18, had immigrated to Evanston, Ill., in 1933. While taking evening classes at Northwestern University, he worked in a bank, rising from courier to internal auditor, before leaving for the printing firm R.R. Donnelley. He married Marion Sellers, formerly of Missouri, in 1942. When World War II began, Allison enlisted in the army. In Japan, with the war over, he became part of the American Occupation under General Douglas MacArthur, helping in a series of roles to rebuild and stabilize the Japanese economy. Eventually, he became director of finance, supervising the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Central Bank of Japan. Marion and their three-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, joined him in Japan in 1947. While there, Marion studied the Japanese language, visited museums, learned crafts, taught English to new Japanese friends and acquaintances, and had two more children. After the family returned to the U.S. in 1951, the Allisons had another two children.

The Allison Papers richly document the family’s experience of American-occupied Japan from their different perspectives, one as a member of military and government operations, the other as a parent raising children and immersing herself in the culture. The collection includes materials from Jack Allison’s military service and work and letters written by Marion, mostly to her parents, along with two photograph albums, a scrapbook, and family histories in print and audiovisual form.

Gift of Jacqueline A. Osborne, March 2020
Language(s): Japanese

Subjects

Japan--Description and travelJapan--Economic conditions--1945-1989Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952World War, 1939-1945

Types of material

Administrative reportsLetters (Correspondence)Photograph albumsPhotographsScrapbooks
Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society

Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society Records

1986-2000
1 box 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 940
logo
Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society logo

Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society, (a.k.a. the Amelia’s) was a lesbian social club based out of Lebanon, N.H., serving the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire, and beyond. Reachable via an unnamed post-office box, the club began in 1979 and provided members not only with much sought after social, leisure, and entertainment opportunities, but also a unique community of peers for discussion and activities around political, educational, health, and legal issues of importance to women and lesbians. Like their famous namesake, the Amelia’s did not shy away from risks in supporting women, the feminist movement, or actions promoting and educating about lesbians. The group often overlapped with feminist and lesbian print shop and publishing company, New Victoria Press, and the Amelia’s often used the New Vic building for their meetings.

The Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society Records consist of over 25 issues of the “Amelia’s Newsletter” from 1986-2000; two clippings covering news related to the group, including the repeated vandalization of their “Upper Valley Lesbians” Adopt-A-Highway Program sign; a 1994 audiocassette of interviews for an oral history of the Amelia’s; and a VHS tape of a community event held in 2003 to reflect on the women’s movement in the Upper Valley in the 1970s and 1980s. The newsletter offers detailed documentation of the group and their concerns, including calendars of their social gatherings and other local, regional, and national events of interest, and recaps of relevant news to the lesbian community including updates about politics, legal issues, civil rights and benefits, marriage, discrimination cases, women’s health, education and school issues, and lesbian focused social and entertainment events.

Subjects

Feminism--New England--HistoryLesbian community--New EnglandLesbian community--New HampshireLesbian community--Vermont

Contributors

Dingman, Beth

Types of material

AudiocassettesNewslettersVHS
Barfield, Vivian M.

Vivian M. Barfield Papers

1972-1977
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 098
Depiction of Vivian Barfield
Vivian Barfield

Vivian Barfield was the first female Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dedicated to the advancement of women’s athletics, Barfield began her tenure at UMass in January 1975. Charged with upgrading the women’s’ athletic program and contributing to the decision-making process in men’s athletics, Barfield made strides to bring UMass into compliance with Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972. Barfield was ultimately unsuccessful in her efforts after a disagreement with Athletic Director Frank McInerney about her job description led to her resignation. After leaving UMass, Barfield became the Director of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (established 1975) at the University of Minnesota.

Although Barfield’s tenure at UMass was relatively brief, her papers are representative of a specific time in the country and at the University. With materials relating to Title IX, affirmative action, and perhaps most importantly, Barfield’s class action complaint against the University, the Barfield Papers speak to issues of second-wave feminism, women in sports, and discrimination at UMass in the mid-1970s.

Subjects

Sex discrimination in sports--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AthleticsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--WomenWomen physical education teachers

Contributors

Barfield, Vivian M
Barnard, Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor Barnard Papers

1924-2004
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 008

Born in Groton, Massachusetts. In 1930, Mary Taylor became a student of botany at Massachusetts State College in 1930. While there, she struck up a romance with Professor Ellsworth “Dutchie” Barnard, and the two were married on December 31, 1936. The Barnards served on the University Millennium Time Capsule Committee and contributed memorabilia to the capsule. Both were Friends of the Library and for many years, Ellsworth served on the library’s Board of Trustees.

The Mary Taylor Barnard Papers include notes from Barnard’s Botany classes, newsclippings about the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and documents related to the Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst. Botany DepartmentUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Students

Contributors

Barnard, Ellsworth., 1907-Barnard, Mary Taylor
Bevis, Martha

Martha Bevis Papers

ca.1960-2007
100 boxes 150 linear feet
Call no.: MS 737
Depiction of Martha Bevis
Martha Bevis

An important figure in building a network of antifluoridation activists, Martha Bevis was born in North Carolina in 1927 and lived most of her adult life in Houston, Texas. She worked on the staff of Senator Lyndon Johnson beginning in the early 1950s, remaining with him through his period as Vice President. Always energetic, she was involved in a number of political and civic organizations, including those promoting natural childbirth and breastfeeding, but from the mid-1970s, she was especially associated with the antifluoridation movement. A founder of the Safe Water Foundation of Texas, she became a key litigant in a case seeking to block fluoridation of the water supply in Houston, and although the court ruled in 1980 that fluoride was harmful, it permitted the city council to proceed with fluoridation. From that point forward, she played a key role regionally and nationally as an organizer, researcher, propagandist, and funding source for the antifluoridation movement. Bevis died in Houston on April 22, 2007.

This massive archive stems from Martha Bevis’s role as a connector and mediator of information for the antifluoridation movement. Beginning in the 1970s, Bevis gathered, copied, and distributed huge quantities of information on the health effects of fluoride, legal strategies and cases opposing fluoridation of public water supplies, and the antifluoridation movement generally. Bevis maintained a regular correspondence with other activists and antifluoride organizations and played an important role in gathering and preserving the papers of other activists.

Gift of Richard M. Bevis, Jan. 2010

Subjects

Antifluoridation movementDrinking water--Law and legislation--United StatesFluorides--Physiological effect
Bleyman, Lea K.

Lea K. Bleyman Papers

1958-2004
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 548

The protistologist Lea Bleyman has conducted research into the genetics, mating systems, and life cycles of ciliates. A former student of Tracy Sonneborn, Bleyman has served as past Secretary and President (2001-2002) of the Society of Protozoologists, and spent many years on the faculty of the Department of Natural Sciences at Baruch College.

The Bleyman Papers contain lab and research notes, abstracts of talks and conference materials, along with some correspondence and annual progress reports from Baruch College. The earliest materials in the collection relate to her years as a student in Sonneborn’s lab; other Bleyman material is located in the records of the International Society of Protistologists at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Library.

Subjects

Baruch College--FacultyParamecium--GeneticsProtozoans--CompositionProtozoans--GeneticsProtozoology--ConferenceSociety of ProtozoologistsTetrahymena--Genetics

Contributors

Bleyman, Lea KNanney, David Ledbetter, 1925-Sonneborn, Tracy Morton, 1905-1981

Types of material

Laboratory notes
Brauner, Sigrid, 1950-1992

Sigrid Brauner Papers

1969-1992
11 boxes 16.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 123

Sigrid Brauner was born in Hofheim, Germany, earning her BA from the University of Frankfurt before immigrating to the United States. Brauner completed her PhD in German literature at the University of California Berkeley in 1989 and later the same year joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature. Brauner, who served on the executive committee of the Women’s Studies Program, remained at UMass until her death in December 1992.

The papers reflect Sigrid Brauner’s interest in race and gender as well as her research in anthropology and theology. “Witches: Myth and Reality,” the popular course Brauner taught during the fall 1992 semester, is represented in the collection along with other notes for research and teaching. Professional correspondence as well as political and social change periodicals comprise the remainder of the Brauner Papers. A fair portion of the collection is in German.

Subjects

Social change--PeriodicalsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Contributors

Brauner, Sigrid, 1950-1992