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Western Massachusetts Bridge Association

Western Massachusetts Bridge Association Records

12 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 801
Image of

Established in 1957, the Western Massachusetts Bridge Association (WMBA) Unit 196 was created by founding members of the Springfield Bridge Club eager to share their love for the game with the wider western Massachusetts area. The unit played a prominent role in teaching interested individuals to learn to play contract bridge by reaching out to colleges, clubs, and churches. Over the years, WMBA has remained an active unit in the New England Bridge Conference District 25, one of the largest districts of the American Contract Bridge Association.

Records of the WMBA and District 25 document the growth of contract bridge in New England. From the earliest days of the unit, members drafted by-laws, oversaw membership services, organized tournaments, and tracked finances. Materials in the collection shed light on every aspect of these activities.

Gift of William R. Lenville, Oct. 2013
  • Contract bridge

Western Massachusetts Library Club

Western Massachusetts Library Club Records

7 boxes 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 492
Image of Deerfield Public Library
Deerfield Public Library

Situated in a region known for its progressive spirit, the Western Massachusetts Library Club was established in 1898 to respond to the unique needs of librarians overseeing small or rural libraries, and to foster camaraderie among local colleagues. Almost immediately, however, the club expanded its focus, taking positions on issues ranging from modern library practices to national legislation and leading the way in the expansion of services for public libraries, all while maintaining its identity as an advocate for local libraries and librarians.

The collection is richest in records that document the early history of the club including detailed meeting minutes, news clippings, programs, and circulars. Beginning in the late 1960s, the club’s activities are captured primarily through membership lists and meeting notices and programs. Taken together, the records trace the growth of the WMLC for more than a century from its establishment to the present.

  • Cutter, Charles A. (Charles Ammi), 1937-1903
  • Libraries--Massachusetts--History
  • Western Massachusetts Library Club

Western Massachusetts Regional Library System

Western Massachusetts Regional Library System Records

2 boxes, oversized 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 671
Image of Bookmobile, 1957
Bookmobile, 1957

The Western Massachusetts Regional Library System was formed in 1962 as the Western Regional Public Library System, one of two organizations that provided professional support for the public librarians of the Commonwealth. Through the years, the two regions increased to three and then six, with the west consistently serving as a voice for the many small libraries that comprise its membership. Supported by funds from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, WMRLS provided a range of services, including continuing education for librarians; bookmobiles, delivery services, and interlibrary loan; reference support; catalog support and online databases; and youth services; as well as a purchasing cooperative. Following the national economic crisis in 2008-2009, WMRLS was consolidated with the other five regional library systems in Massachusetts and in June 2010, merged into the Massachusetts Library System.

The WMRLS collection contains a complete run of its newsletter from 1962 to 2010, copies of newsletters for continuing education and youth services, and a small assortment of administrative documents relating to its history and the services it provided.

  • Public libraries--Massachusetts
  • Western Massachusetts Regional Library System

New Approaches to History

New Approaches to History Collection

23 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 182

During the late 1960s, the Department of History at UMass Amherst created a new undergraduate course entitled New Approaches to History, relying almost exclusively on primary sources. The theme of the course varied from the Salem witch trials to Daniel Shay’s Rebellion to the Lizzie Borden murders.

The collection includes the course proposal, correspondence, syllabi, course assignments, and resources for three units: Salem witchcraft, Shay’s Rebellion, and Lizzie Borden.

  • History--Study and teaching
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records

2002-2016 Bulk: 2002-2006
1 box .4 linear feet
Call no.: MS 917

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class flier

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class were a series of dialogue and project action groups begun in 2002 to discuss and enact social change in the school districts and communities around Amherst, MA. They arose as a response by the Amherst Regional High School (ARHS) Parent Center to a question to their group: What were they going to do about racism in the Amherst Schools? The ARHS Parent Center Board suggested the study circle model, and a round of facilitated pilot groups were run in February 2003. The successful pilots stirred the organizers to seek additional support, and with funding from the Amherst Education Foundation and the Amherst Drugs Free Partnership, additional groups were organized each year, building awareness, trust, and power amongst those striving to improve the community’s schools for all students. Almost 200 people, including school administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members participated over the course of several years, and each group culminated in an action forum and set up action groups to propose and enact tangible steps towards specific goals. Action groups affected change in school climate, policies, and course offerings, and organized a standing committee of the ARHS Parent Center called RaDAR: Race and Discipline, Action, Rights.

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records consist of descriptive materials from the ARHS Parent Center; an organizer’s binder with sections on the origin in 2002, participants, action groups, finances, curriculum, and evaluations; and additional materials such as evaluations for study circle sessions and facilitators, newspaper clippings of articles about the group and their work, and documents for student study circles, such as advertisements, curriculum, and certificates.

  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst Regional High School (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Classism--Massachusetts
  • Education--Massachusetts
  • Racism--Massachusetts
  • Amherst Regional High School Parent Center
  • Wolf, Jackie

Massachusetts. Special Commission on Unequal Educational Opportunity

Massachusetts Special Commission on Unequal Educational Opportunity Records

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 126

The Special Commission on the Reorganization of Higher Education was established to investigate and review Massachusetts laws concerning elementary and secondary education. In order to determine the existence and extent of unequal educational opportunity services, the commission reviewed the state’s school systems as well as the educational laws, programs, and school systems of other states.

Consists of records of the Special Commission on the Reorganization of Higher Education Records, including materials relating to the Boston Community Reorganization, a federal finance proposal, lottery distribution, and school finance reform.

  • Education--Massachusetts--History
  • Massachusetts. Special Commission on Unequal Educational Opportunity

UMass Amherst. Dean of Students

UMass Amherst. Dean of Students, 1948-1987. 27 boxes (13.25 linear feet).

The Office of the Dean of Students at UMass Amherst was established by President John Lederle in 1961 to replace the separately structured offices of the Dean of Men and Dean of Women, and to provide more effective, more flexible support for a growing and changing student body. In the 1960s, the Dean of Students had responsibility for almost all operational units related to student life, including Admissions, Records, Residence Halls, Dining Halls, Student Union, Student Activities, Placement, and Financial Aid. As the University became a statewide administrative unit with the opening of UMass Boston and the Medical School, there was an increasing conflict between the Office of the Dean of Students on the Amherst campus and the growing demands for a responsive administrative hierarchy. In 1970, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs was therefore created to provide an appropriate level of supervision for the various Student Affairs divisions with regard to budget, personnel and administration. The Office of the Dean of Students then became a student contact-based office, which cooperated and collaborated with the other divisions. The first Dean of Students, William Field came to UMass in 1951 as a guidance counselor and assistant professor of psychology. His tenure coincided with the massive expansion of campus and the turbulent years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, during which he played an important mediating role. The recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal in 1983, Field retired from office in 1988.

An important series of records documenting student life on the UMass Amherst campus, with an emphasis on the 1960s and 1970s. Among these are an extensive series of bylaws and charters for residence halls and registerred student organizations (RSOs) at UMass, as well as subject files on campus protests and demonstrations, students of color, and student groups of various sorts.


  • African American students–Massachusetts.
  • Field, William.
  • Student movements–Massachusetts.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of Students.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst–Students.
Call no.: RG 30/2

WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

WFCR Radio Broadcast Collection

1954-1987 Bulk: 1964-1987
308 boxes 462 linear feet
Call no.: MS 741
Image of WFCR studio
WFCR studio

The first public radio station in western New England, WFCR Five College Radio has provided a mix of high quality, locally-produced and nationally syndicated programming since May 1961. In 2012, the station reached over 175,000 listeners per week, with a mix of classical and jazz music, news, and entertainment.

The WFCR Collection contains nearly 4,500 reel to reel recordings of locally-produced radio programs, reflecting over fifty years of the cultural and intellectual life of western Massachusetts. Drawing upon the talents of the faculty and students of the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and UMass Amherst), the collection offers a remarkable breadth of content, ranging from public affairs to community and national news, cultural programming, children’s programming, news and current events, scholarly lectures, classical music, and jazz.

  • Amherst (Mass.)
  • Pioneer Valley (Mass.)
  • Radio stations--Massachusetts
  • WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Sound recordings

Abbe, Edward H.

Edward H. Abbe Papers

22 boxes 28.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 736
Image of Ed Abbe in Bora Bora, 1987
Ed Abbe in Bora Bora, 1987

Born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1915 and raised largely in Hampton, Va., Edward Abbe seemed destined to be an engineer. The great nephew of Elihu Thomson, an inventor and founding partner in General Electric, and grandson of Edward Folger Peck, an early employee of a precursor of that firm, Abbe came from a family with a deep involvement in electrification and the development of street railways. After prepping at the Rectory and Kent Schools, Abbe studied engineering at the Sheffield School at Yale, and after graduation in 1938, accepted a position with GE. For 36 years, he worked in the Industrial Control Division in New York and Virginia, spending summers at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard. After retirement in 1975, he and his wife Gladys traveled frequently, cruising both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Ranging from an extensive correspondence from his high school and college days to materials relating to his family’s involvement in engineering, the Abbe collection offers an in depth perspective on an educated family. An avid traveler and inveterate keeper, Ed Abbe gathered a diverse assemblage of letters, diaries, and memorabilia relating to the history of the Abbe, Peck, Booth, Gifford, and Boardman families. The collection is particularly rich in visual materials, including albums and photographs, depicting homes, travel, and family life over nearly a century.

Gift of Edward Abbe, Mar. 2012
  • Abbe family
  • Boardman family
  • Booth family
  • Electrical engineers
  • General Electric
  • Gifford family
  • Kent School--Students
  • Peck family
  • Rectory School--Students
  • Yale University--Students
  • Abbe, Edward H
  • Abbe, Gladys Howard
  • Abbe, William Parker
  • Peck, Edward F
  • Peck, Mary Booth
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs

Alumnus Magazine

Alumnus Magazine Photograph Collection

ca. 1974-1989
12 linear feet
Call no.: RG 147
Image of Julius Erving during basketball workshop at UMass, 1980
Julius Erving during basketball workshop at UMass, 1980

The once active photo morgue of the Alumnus Magazine, the Alumnus Magazine Photograph Collection captures diverse aspects of campus life during the 1970s and 1980s, including portraits of campus officials, sports events, commencements, a visit to campus by Julius Erving, and assorted campus buildings and scenery.

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Alumni
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
Types of material
  • Photographs