SCUA

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Trent, Lloyd A., Jr.

Lloyd A. Trent Family Collection
1850-1996
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 375

Over five generations, the African-American Trent worked toward commercial success and wealth through the restaurant and catering business as well as extensive real estate investments at the turn of the 20th century in New York City, Brooklyn, and Sea Cliff, Long Island, New York.

Focused primarily on family and genealogy, the Trent family collection contains letters, public and church records, news clippings, ephemera, a videotape, and 87 photographs

Gift of Brooke Trent, widow of Lloyd A. Trent, Jr., 1995
Subjects
  • African American families--New York (State)
  • African Americans--New York (State)
Types of material
  • Photographs

Undergraduate Research Award

students
Recent applicants for FLURA

Although scholarship in the humanities and social sciences is grounded in the skillful use of primary sources, few undergraduates ever have the opportunity to engage with original historical materials. To encourage scholarly and creative research and promote the use of our collections, the Friends of the Library and Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) have established an award for undergraduates at UMass Amherst recognizing excellence in the use of historical primary sources.

Students are invited to submit papers or projects they have completed at UMass Amherst during the 18 months prior to the deadline for submission. Submissions will be considered by the Evaluation Committee and winners will be announced in late April. All winning papers/projects will be published on the SCUA web site and added to the University Archives.

View past FLURA recipients

Application information

Eligibility: Projects must represent work completed for a class or independent study in any field within the 18 months prior to the application deadline and while the student was enrolled as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst.
Award: First place: $1000 scholarship
Honorable mention: $250 scholarship
Evaluation criteria:
  1. Papers or projects must draw upon historical primary sources either from collections in SCUA, other archives, or from other Library resources.
    What is a primary source?
    An historical primary source is a record of an event, occurrence, or time period produced at the time by a participant or observer. Appropriate sources may be include the records of individuals (e.g. letters, diaries, essays, speeches) or the archives of organizations (e.g. correspondence, memoranda, minutes, annual reports), and they may include non-textual materials (e.g. artwork, artifacts, maps, music, film, audio recordings, videotape, computer files, photographs, scrapbooks), provided they date from the time period in question.
  2. Creativity and originality
  3. Clarity and effectiveness of writing
Deadline for submission: Friday, Mar. 24, 2017 by 5 p.m.
Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) and the UMass Amherst Libraries reserve the right to extend the deadline or cancel the contest if too few entries are received. The determination of number of entries required to award a winner is at the sole discretion of SCUA and the UMass Amherst Libraries.
How to apply: Complete the cover sheet and submit a copy of your paper/project as two separate files. Note: your name must not appear on the paper itself. Submissions should be delivered to the following with “FLURA” in the subject line:

  • scua@library.umass.edu

Download application materials (.rtf format)

 

Visit SCUA

Who can use the collections?

Enfield (Quabbin) dancers
How they danced in Enfield, a Quabbin town

Special Collections and University Archives is open at no cost to researchers, regardless of affiliation, during normal business hours. SCUA staff are happy to assist in planning or conducting research and welcome inquiries from students interested in internships in archival and library studies.

Although research appointments are not required, advance notice will help our staff to locate and retrieve research materials. First-time researchers will be asked to register and to provide name, institutional affiliation (when applicable), and current address. At registration, researchers must present a valid form of identification, including a photograph.

In the reading room

  • General
    • Please sign in at the front desk each visit
    • Only pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Please do not use pens.
    • Smoking, food, and drink are not permitted
    • Please switch off cell phones or set them to silent mode; calls may be taken in the adjacent elevator lobby
  • Care and handling of materials
    • Please use care in handling materials to prevent damage
    • Use only a single box of manuscript or archival material at a time; take care to preserve the existing arrangement of files
    • Photographs of materials are permitted for research purposes only
    • Scans and photocopies are made by staff members in keeping with our copying policies
    • Upon leaving for the day, please notify the staff whether you are finished with your material or wish to place it on hold for a return visit

Instruction in SCUA

SCUA’s archivists welcome visits from groups at any level or of any affiliation who wish to make use of our collections or to learn about archives and history. Our staff are available to provide introductions to archival research, overviews of specific areas of historical or cultural interest, information about the collections, or discussions of the history of New England or UMass Amherst. In recent years we have hosted classes from a wide range of disciplines, including history and American culture, African American studies, English and comparative literature, art history, education, anthropology, politics, business, plant and soil sciences, and library and information science.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, class visits should be arranged ahead of time. Please include the following information when contacting SCUA:

  • Name of instructor or contact
  • Affiliation
  • Date(s) requested, with start and finish time
  • Number of students or visitors
  • Subject area and research interests
  • Special requests (for collections)

Learn more:

Waldbott, George L., 1898-

George L. Waldbott Papers
1930-1989 (Bulk: 1957-1982)
7 boxes (10.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 609

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1921, George L. Waldbott accepted a residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and embarked on a pioneering career in the study and treatment of allergic diseases. He is noted for his fundamental research on human anaphylaxis and penicillin shock, allergy-induced respiratory problems, and later in his career, the health impact of air pollutants. In 1955, Waldbott began conducting research in fluoride toxicity, becoming one of the first physicians to warn of the health effects of mass fluoridation. A founder of the International Society for Fluoride Research, he was considered one of the key figures in the antifluoridation movement for over two decades, contributing dozens of books and articles, including the influential The American Fluoridation Experiment (1957) and Fluoridation : The Great Dilemma (1978). He died in Detroit on July 17, 1982, from complications following open heart surgery.

The Waldbott Papers document one physician’s long struggle against the fluoridation of the American water supply. In addition to a considerable quantity of correspondence with other leading antifluoridation activists, the collection includes an array of subject files relating to fluoridation, air pollution, and allergens, as well as drafts of articles and offprints, newsclippings, and notes.

Separated from the papers of Martha Bevis, Jan. 2010
Subjects
  • Air--Pollution
  • Antifluoridation movement--Michigan
  • Fluorides--Environmental aspects
  • Fluorides--Toxicology
  • Public health
Contributors
  • Waldbott, George L., 1898-

What do we want? What do we keep?

Appraisal policies in SCUA

The following guidelines apply to “appraisal,” the process by which archivists decide which materials to retain as part of the permanent collection and which not. Since every archival or manuscript collection has unique attributes, the guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but rather points for consideration.

SCUA archivists apply their experience and professional judgment when making decisions about each collection on its own merits. In general, these guidelines are applied to groups of materials, rather than individual items, and in most cases we prefer to err on the side of caution, opting for retention when there is any doubt, not disposal. In appraising a collection, we emphasize efficiency and speed in carrying out the work, as opposed to a thorough vetting of every item.

Factors tending toward permanent retention of material

  • Research potential: do these materials have a significant historical or cultural value and will future researchers likely have an interest in them?
  • Documentary value: does this material provide useful documentation of an event, person, process, idea, or place?
  • Depth of documentation: do these materials as a whole provide a rich understanding of a subject?
  • Context of the whole: Are these materials part of a coherent whole within the collection that should be retained intact?
  • Uniqueness or rarity: are these materials unique or sufficiently rare or are they duplicated elsewhere, perhaps in other form? Do these materials provide a unique or uniquely valuable perspective?
  • Associational value: are these materials associated with someone else in SCUA’s collections or with some well-known figure who we may wish to document?
  • Monetary value: are these materials valuable in a monetary sense?
  • Display or promotional value: would these materials be useful in an exhibit (either in house or online) or in informational material we produce?

Highly desired types of material

  • Unpublished material: Our goal is to document not just what happened, but how things happened, and we are particularly interested in materials that reveal behind-the-scenes activities and personal perspectives. While published materials are valued, we are most interested in unpublished material, such as correspondence, diaries and journals, memoranda, notes, lectures and speeches, drafts, and unpublished writings. In many cases, these materials reflect a personal perspective on events that will unavailable in any other form.
  • Minutes of meetings, agendas: minutes of meetings, agendas, and annual reports are highly valuable for documenting an organization’s activity, and when paired with the correspondence of officers and internal memoranda and other communications, they may provide a particularly well-rounded view.
  • Audiovisual materials: SCUA places a high emphasis on visual documentation and actively seeks photographs, motion pictures and videos, drawings, and sound recordings for their cultural, aesthetic, and historical value.

Types of materials less likely to be retained

  • Detailed financial records are generally not retained because of their often voluminous nature, their low research potential, and, in some cases, their exposure of potentially sensitive or personal information.
    • Receipts, invoices, legal financial filings, and such are rarely retained, however annual reports and summary statements may be valuable.
  • Published materials are typically closely scrutinized. Many modern (post-1900) books, periodicals, sound recordings, and movies are “readily available,” either through a circulating library or online, and are therefore not retained because they are seldom consulted by researchers in SCUA.
    • SCUA emphasizes retention only of those items that are not readily available in their specific form (e.g. edition), that are so integral to the content and context of the collection that they should not be disposed; that have unique association with key people or that have annotations or marginalia of value; or that have high cultural or monetary value.
    • In most cases, we retain a single copy of each publication by the creator of a collection.
    • News clippings are seldom retained, particularly if the source is unidentified.
    • Offprints, reprints, and photocopies of articles are seldom retained unless they are by the
  • Personnel records: Due to the potential for exposing personal data or other sensitive information, SCUA typically does not retain personnel records of any sort.
  • Medical records: Formal medical records are generally not retained. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) limits our ability to make most classes of medical records publicly available, but we generally choose not to retain materials that fall outside of HIPAA due to the likelihood of revealing personal information and to generally low research value.
    • Collections relating to the history of medicine or other fields in which health and medical care are of central concern.
    • Medical records 75 years old and older are typically retained.
    • A person wishing to include their own medical records in their collection may do so.
  • Student records: Most student records cannot be made public under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and SCUA typically does not accept student records unless mandated by State records keeping requirements
    • Student papers, class records, or other instructional records that include grades or evaluations are not accepted.
    • Recommendations for students (e.g. for application to graduate school or employment) are not accepted if they were written under an expectation of confidentiality.
    • A person wishing to include their own student records in their collection may do so.
  • Research data: although data sets may be retained due to their importance to a collection, SCUA archivists will give due consideration to whether the archive is the appropriate place to preserve the information and whether we have the technology and skills to make the data available in the long term.
  • Duplicate and redundant materials: In most cases, SCUA’s archivists will retain only a single copy of each item, however they may choose to retain additional copies
    • Although SCUA archivists will remove duplicates when they are encountered, they make no special effort to be thorough.
    • Photostats, photocopies, or digital copies of materials held in other repositories are generally not retained unless the originals are unavailable to the public.
    • Unidentified photographs: Although unidentified photographs have only a limited utility for researchers, SCUA’s archivists may choose to retain them due to their artistic merit, their role within the context of the collection as a whole, the scene(s) or period of time represented, or the photographic process involved.

Considerations around restricted materials

  • Closure due to privacy: Although SCUA regularly agrees to close portions of a collection, or even an entire collection to preserve privacy or confidentiality; we do not accept materials that are permanently closed.
    • SCUA is glad to work with donors to discuss closure of sensitive materials and arrive at a clearly specified date after which the materials may be made available to the public.
  • Copyright restrictions: SCUA often accepts materials in which the donor retains copyright or in which copyright is help by a third party, however these can be less convenient for researchers to use.
  • Materials on deposit: Due to considerations over liability and the potential for scholarly confusion, SCUA does not accept materials on deposit, wherein SCUA acts as steward of materials for which the donor retains legal ownership.
  • Other considerations: SCUA may choose not to accept materials for which we cannot provide proper stewardship due to the lack of necessary technology or skills. For example, materials that require specific equipment or proprietary software to use or materials written in languages or scripts for which we have lack expertise may be better cared for and used at another institution. To the extent that we are able, we will be glad to assist you in locating a better home for your materials.

What is UMarmot?


The Marmot, a Wayfinder

This website, known as UMarmot, is an online catablog containing summary information about all manuscript and archival collections held by the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the UMass Amherst Libraries (SCUA), as well as information about the Department and its activities.

What does a UMarmot record contain?

In addition to informational pages about SCUA, UMarmot contains brief descriptions of each individual collection, listing the collection name, extent, and date range covered, accompanied by a brief description of its contents, selected subject terms, and links (when available) to detailed finding aids, digital content, and other online resources. Each these records is also indexed under one or more general subject categories, which may be selected using the drop-down menu on the right side of the page. With few exceptions, every collection held by SCUA, catalogued or uncatalogued, is described in UMarmot at the collection-level, including manuscript, archival, photographic, and printed collections.

Searches in UMarmot cover the complete contents of all records, including the detailed finding aids when available. Finding aids are cross-posted on the Five Colleges Consortium finding aids website.

Creative Commons no rights reserved

To the extent possible under U.S. law, the author(s) of metadata and other content in UMarmot have dedicated all copyright and related and neighboring rights to the public domain worldwide in keeping with Creative Commons “no rights reserved” specifications.

We welcome comments on collections or the website and thank you for bearing with us while we burrow into the future.

What collections are included in UMarmot?

  • Manuscript collections: personal papers, organizational records, and documents
  • Papers of faculty, staff, and administrators from UMass Amherst
  • University Archives from UMass Amherst
  • Photographic collections, some containing thumbnails of individual images
  • Book collections: overviews at the collection level only. Individual titles are cataloged in the UMass Amherst Libraries’ online catalog.
  • Digital collections, including those that are part of manuscript, archival, photographic, or book collections

What is not included in UMarmot?

What lies behind the UMarmot catablog?

UMarmot was launched in early 2007 as a response to two perceived needs. First, we were seeking a low cost solution to maximizing public access to our collections, and second, we hoped to find a solution that could be shared with colleagues in institutions with less support for technological initiatives. After completing a comprehensive survey of our holdings and generating standards-compliant, minimal descriptions of each collection, we recognized that the indexing capacity, web-readiness, and familiarity of blogging software made it easy to adapt into an online catalog. Thus the “catablog” was born.

After reviewing surveying options for blogging software, we selected WordPress for its superior combination of power, ease of development and maintenance, and flexibility in design. Because our goal was to make catablogging accessible to all, we initially refrained from developing UMarmot beyond installing freely-available plugins, and although we have subsequently delved into building our own themes, we have sought to keep the focus on keeping UMarmot as an inexpensive, easily implemented, open source alternative. The UMarmot approach had been taken up by many institutions and projects, some of whom have added their own interesting twists.

We are glad to share our experiences with UMarmot and are available to help anyone interested in building their own catablog. The SCUA website was designed and developed by DDHW Design, Easthampton, Mass.

Wright, Robert A.

Robert A. Wright Collection
ca.1980-1989
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 030

A graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in studio art and student at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, N.Y., Robert A. Wright was working as a freelance photographer and writer in Madison, Wisconsin, in the late 1980s. Wright had a strong interest in Victorian cemeteries, rural cemeteries, and gravestone art.

A product of Robert Wright’s research on rural cemeteries and carvers, this collection includes notes, drafts, newsclippings, and selected copies of readings on Mt. Auburn (Boston), Spring Garden (Cincinnati), Cave Hill (Louisville), Oakland (Iowa City), and Bonaventure (Savannah). Of particular note is a selection of large and beautifully-printed photographs, mounted on board for exhibition, depicting monuments in a number of Victorian cemeteries.

Gift of Robert A. Wright, 2009, and transferred by AGS, 2010
Subjects
  • Cemeteries
  • Gravestones
Types of material
  • Photographs

Antipa, Gregory A.

Gregory A. Antipa Papers
1953-1960
10 boxes (15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 567

A specialist in ciliate development and ecology, Gregory Antipa received a doctorate in Zoology at the University of Illinois in 1970, and since 1978, has been on faculty at San Francisco State University. Working with Paramecium, Conchophthirus, and other taxa, Antipa’s research has ventured into structure/function relationships, chemotaxis, and cellular adaptations, and he has been involved in research into the decomposition of organic wastes by protozoa. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Cell Biology,the Microscopy Society of America, and the International Society of Protistologists.

The Antipa collection consists primarily of electron micrographs of ciliates Condylostoma, Trichodina, Conchophthirus, and the mussel encommensal Mytilophilus, along with a lab manual on protist culture and assorted notes.

Subjects
  • Conchophthirus
  • Condylostoma
  • Protozoans--Development
  • Trichodina
Contributors
  • Antipa, Gregory A
Types of material
  • Scanning electron micrographs

Balamuth, William

William Balamuth Collection
1931-1964
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 644
Image of Protist
Protist

Born in New York City in 1914, William Balamuth enjoyed a long career in protistology. Introduced to the field as a graduate student in Harold Kirby’s laboratory at the University of California Berkeley, Balamuth received his dissertation in 1939 for a study of regeneration in the heterotrichous marine ciliate, Licnophora macfarlandi. After several years at the University of Missouri and Northwestern, he returned to Berkeley in 1953 to replace his mentor. During the course of his career, Balamuth worked on fundamental issues in the biology of organisms ranging from parasitic amoebae to amoeboflagellates, publishing over 80 papers on culturing, nutritional requirements, cell cycling, and encystment. He died suddenly on June 10, 1981.

The Balamuth Collection consists of 114 drawings of ciliates prepared by William Balamuth for use in courses and publications between the 1930s and early 1960s, along with a handful of offprints of articles and scattered research notes.

Subjects
  • Ciliates
  • University of California, Berkeley--Faculty
Contributors
  • Balamuth, William
Types of material
  • Photographs

Benedek, Tom

Tom Benedek Collection
1967-1973
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 073
Image of Passengers on a plane, ca.1973
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973

A screenwriter and visual artist, Tom Benedek majored in film as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, earning the distinction of becoming the first graduate of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program in 1971. From early in his college career, Benedek worked as a photographer the newspaper, the Collegian, while studying with faculty such as Jerome Liebling (at Hampshire College) and Jerrold Maddox (at Amherst), and he spent his junior year in Paris studying at the Ecole du Louvre and l’Institut de Formation Cinematographique. In his career in Hollywood, he has written screenplays for the movies Cocoon, Zeus and Roxanne, and The Adventures of Pinocchio and worked with Robert Zemeckis, Lawrence Kasdan, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Richard Rush, and Harold Ramis, among many others. He is a member of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and teaches screenwriting at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

The hundreds of images in the Benedek Collection document the development of a talented photographer. While some of the images stem from his work for the Collegian, most were taken on his own around campus and beyond, including trips to Boston and New Orleans, and his year studying abroad in Paris following shortly after the events of 1968. The collection consists entirely of 35mm black and white negatives and color slides.

Gift of Tom Benedek, 2016
Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
  • New Orleans (La.)--Photographs
  • Paris (France)--Photographs
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs
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