Digital UMass contains the results of several initiatives to document the history of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its predecessors the Massachusetts Agricultural College and Massachusetts State College. In addition to an on-going project to capture the oral history of the University’s administrators and reflections on student life, the archives has digitized materials relating to the early years of co-education at MAC and women’s education at the University. Additional materials will be added as they become available.
- Annual Reports, 1864-1932/33
- College Monthly
- Student newspaper, 1887-1889
- Distinguished Visitors Program, 1972-1979
- Invited lectures on current topics by distinguished speakers (audio files in mp3 format).
- Oral Histories
- Barnard, Ellsworth and Mary, Classes of 1928 and 1934
- Bromery, Randolph W., Chancellor
- Class of 1919: Mary E. Garvey, Willard K. French, Anna Liebman Shore, E. Sidney Stockwell
- Conant, Eudora V., Nutritionist and wife of Ralph Van Meter, UMass President, 1947-1954
- Curtis, Helen, Dean of Women, 1945-1973
- McLaughlin, Fred, Class of 1911.
- Mitchell, Helen, Nutritionist; Dean, School of Home Economics
- Rand, Mrs. Frank Prentice, wife of Frank Prentice Rand, poet, writer, and UMass Professor of English. Reminiscences about Robert Frost, faculty lives, MAC.
- Wheeler, Mae Holden, Class of 1916
- Selected records related to women’s education at Massachusetts Agricultural College, 1906-1924
- Selected records related to women’s affairs at the Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC), Massachusetts State College (MSC), and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1924-1951
Student Handbooks, 1890-1950
- Records, 1902-1993 (bulk, 1940-1973)
- Handbooks for Women, 1925/27-1941
(See also Record Group 30/00/2: Student Handbooks, 1890-1950)
- Keith, Vicky, “Mass Aggie Women, 1910-1923” (Fall 1983)
- O’Donnell, Robert, “Undergraduate Women and the Post-War College: The University of Massachusetts” (December 3, 1996)
Drawing upon the unique materials under their care, the staff of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives organize two to three exhibits a year in their reading room and work regularly with their colleagues in the general library to prepare other exhibits for display on the Lower Level of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
Deep in the Hole: Experiences of Imprisonment
- Sept. 15, 2014-Jan. 21, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
Deep in the Hole focuses on experiences of imprisonment and the prison-industrial complex, using documents from prison rights and activism collections held in Special Collections & University Archives. The exhibit examines a wide range of experiences of imprisonment including political prisoners, conscientious objectors in WWII, the war on drugs and marijuana decriminalization, psychiatric confinement, and the role of controversial activism and publications. The materials range from historic to contemporary, from the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois to the trenchant comics of prisoners.
Photographs of Alton Blackington
- Jan. 25, 2015-May 31, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Lower Level, Du Bois Library
The exhibit showcases “Blackie” Blackington’s New England photography from the 1920s to the 1940s. It covers terrain stretching from news of public officials and civic events to local personalities, but the heart of the exhibit is images of typically eccentric New England characters and human interest stories.
M.A.C. and the Women’s Land Army of America in World War I
- June 5, 2015-Sept. 21, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
This exhibit investigates Massachusetts Agricultural College’s participation in the Women’s Land Army of America, a women’s organization to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military from 1917-1922.
Benjamin Smith Lyman in Japan
- Sept. 25, 2015-Jan. 21, 2016
- Location: Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, Benjamin Smith Lyman was a prominent geologist and mining engineer. At the request of the Meiji government in Japan, Lyman helped introduce modern geological surveying and mining techniques during the 1870s and 1880s, and his papers from that period illuminate aspects of late nineteenth century Japan, New England, and Pennsylvania, as well as the fields of geology and mining exploration and engineering.
Photographs from the collection of Diana Mara Henry
An exhibit by Chuck Abel.
|Rhetoric or Research
interprets student protests against CIA recruitment at UMass Amherst during the 1980s through a selection of images taken by student photojournalists.
By Tom Hohenstein (ETHIR recipient, 2011).
|Source, History, Story: Teaching U.S. History in the Archives
A digital curriculum for teaching U.S. history using archival resources.
An exhibit by Emily Oswald (ETHIR recipient, 2011).
|Behold And See As You Pass By
An online exhibit on gravestones and mortuary art in Early New England drawn from the Association for Gravestones Studies Collections.
By Molly Campbell (ETHIR recipient, 2011)
Science fiction readership in the Cold War and beyond.
An exhibit by Morgan Hubbard.
Conrad D. Totman’s letters home from Korea, 1954-1955.
An exhibit by Alex McKenzie.
|Du Bois: The Activist Life
An online exhibit on the life and legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois based on his papers.
|Herbals and Insects
A selection of rare botanical and entomological books from the SCUA collections.
|Apiculture and culture
Books on bees and beekeeping.
An exhibit by Richard A. Steinmetz.
Robert Francis Papers, 1891-1988.
Call no.: MS 403
The poet and essayist Robert Francis settled in Amherst, Mass., in 1926, three years after his graduation from Harvard, and created a literary life that stretched for the better part of half a century. An associate of Robert Frost and friend of many other writers, Francis occasionally worked as a teacher or lecturer, including a brief stint on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, but he sustained himself largely through his writing, living simply in “Fort Juniper,” a cottage he built on Market Hill Road in North Amherst. A recipient of the Shelley Award (1939) and the Academy of American Poets award for distinguished poetic achievement (1984), Francis was a poet in residence at both Tufts (1955) and Harvard (1960) Universities. He died in Amherst in July 1987.
The Francis Papers contains both manuscript and printed materials, drafts and finished words, documenting the illustrious career of the poet. Of particular note is Francis’s correspondence with other writers, publishing houses, and readers, notably Paul Theroux. Also contains personal photographs and Francis family records and a small number of audio recordings of Francis reading his poetry. Letters from Francis to Regina Codey, 1936-1978, can be found in MS 314 along with two typescript poems by Francis.
- Amherst (Mass.)--History
- University of Massachusetts Press
- Brown, Rosellen
- Ciardi, John, 1916-
- De Vries, Peter
- Fitts, Dudley, 1903-
- Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
- Hall, Donald, 1928-
- Humphries, Rolfe
- Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
- Moss, Howard, 1922-
- Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972
- Theroux, Paul
- Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Types of material
- Phonograph records
Felix Goldberg Memoir, ca.1930.
Call no.: MS 200
Felix Goldberg (1866-1948) was born in Zhuprahn, Lithuania in 1866, emigrating with his second wife, Janet Zelda, to the United States at the turn of the century. Although trained as an engraver, Goldberg was frequently unable to practice his trade due to ill health, and was supported by the boarding house for factory workers and itinerant ice harvesters run by his wife.
A loosely autobiographical manuscript written in Yiddish in the early 1930s by Felix Goldberg, an engraver who immigrated to the U.S. around 1900.
- Immigrants--United States--Biography
- Jews, Lithuanian--United States--Biography
- Goldberg, Felix, ca. 1866-1948
Types of material
Maxwell Henry Goldberg Papers, 1888-1986.
Call no.: FS 064
Professor of English, adviser to student newspaper (The Collegian) and Jewish student organizations, University of Massachusetts, and founding member, College English Association.
The Goldberg Papers contain correspondence, speeches, published writings, papers written as a graduate student, biographical material, book reviews, subject files, newsclippings, and material from committees and projects with which he was involved, including the College English Association, College English Association Institute, Humanities Center for Liberal Education, and American Humanities Seminar.
- College English Association
- Humanities Center for Liberal Education
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
- Goldberg, Maxwell Henry, 1907-
Barrie B. Greenbie Papers, 1934-1997.
Call no.: FS 142
Barrie Barstow Greenbie was a key member of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at UMass Amherst from 1970-1989. In a long and remarkably diverse career, Greenbie worked as an artist with the Works Progress Administration, as a soldier and journalist, as a professor of theater, an architect, inventor, author, and landscape planner. After earning a BA in drama from the University of Miami (1953),he worked for several years in the theatre program at Skidmore College. While there, he added architecture to his array of talents, designing the East 74th Street Theater in New York in 1959, and founded a company to produce a “self-erecting” building designed to substitute for summer tent theaters. Two years after joining the faculty at UMass in 1970, he completed a doctorate in urban affairs and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin and continued with a characteristically broad array of creative pursuits, designing the William Smith Clark Memorial, among other things, and conducting an extensive aerial survey of the landscapes of the Connecticut River Valley. In monographs such as Design for Diversity and Spaces: Dimensions of the Human Landscape, Greenbie examined the interactions between humans and nature. He died at his home on South Amherst in 1998.
The Greenbie Papers document a long career as academic, writer, artist, architect, and theatrical designer. Of particular note is the extensive and engrossing correspondence, which extends from Greenbie’s years as a student at the Taft School in the late 1930s through his World War II service with the Sixth Army in the South Pacific and Japan, to his tenure at UMass Amherst (1970-1989). The collection also includes a small, but interesting correspondence between Greenbie’s parents (1918-1919).
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
- World War, 1939-1945
- Greenbie, Barrie B
Adeline Hicks Papers, 1917-1987.
Call no.: FS 070
Professor of Physical Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst when it was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College who established the physical education program for women and helped to create the women’s gymnasium and athletic field. In her retirement she composed music that was performed by the University of Arizona orchestra.
Includes musical scores, lesson-plan photographs illustrating instruction in modern dance, correspondence, printed programs for performance of the musical compositions, text of an address, a history of physical education for women at Massachusetts State College by Mrs. Hicks, personnel records, and brief biographical items.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Physical Education
- Hicks, Adeline
To spark researchers’ imaginations and to celebrate the legacy of innovation and the activist spirit, SCUA pursues an ambitious program of collecting materials of enduring historical value and offers strong support for research and learning. Through its collections, programs, public events, and exhibitions, SCUA promotes meaningful engagement with the broad record of social change in America, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the varied histories of the people of New England and the UMass Amherst community. We embrace the university’s historic role as a center of knowledge for the people of the Commonwealth and are committed to providing free and unfettered access to our holdings for all who wish to use them, using the highest professional standards and practices and the best technologies available.
In 1931, nearly half a century after Librarian Henry Hill Goodell first authorized the permanent retention of the official records of Massachusetts Agricultural College, the Library established a College History Collection. Documenting the activities of the administration and faculty and the life of its students, this collection grew steadily, until in 1953, the Library dedicated a room named in honor of Dean William L. Machmer to serve as the first true home of the University Archives.
The timing of Goodell’s proposal to preserve the College archives coincided roughly with the Library’s first efforts to assemble a collection of rare books to support its educational mission. Although the campus had no separate library building until 1885, the College accepted several significant gifts of books, beginning as early as 1868, when the apiarist and state Adjutant General Henry K. Oliver donated twenty scarce volumes on bee culture, followed by other donations of important works in agriculture, history, and science. By the time the library published its first catalogue in 1875, rare books were a small, but distinctive part of the collections. Among the Library’s earliest acquisitions were the first London edition of William Bartram’s Travels Through North and South Carolina (1792), François Augier de Marigny’s The History of the Arabians (London, 1758), and two early bee manuals by John Keys, The Practical Bee-Master (London, 1780) and The Antient Bee-Master’s Farewell (London, 1796) — both courtesy of Oliver. All remain part of the collections today.
From its initial focus on agriculture, horticulture, and the natural sciences, the Library soon extended its collections to encompass the history and culture of New England. With the acquisition of the records of the Valley Peace Center and the papers of ethnographer Jozef Obrebski in 1973, the Library began to acquire collections of personal papers and organizational records of historical significance. The rare book and manuscript collections were combined administratively with the University Archives in the early 1990s to form the current Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Today, SCUA oversees a growing research collection of primary materials that includes rare books and manuscripts, historic maps, photographs, prints, and the official records of the campus at UMass Amherst.
W. L. Holland Papers, 1922-2008.
Call no.: MS 782
Born in New Zealand in 1907, Bill Holland first traveled to Japan at the age of 21 to take part in the conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, beginning over thirty years of association with the organization. During his time at IPR, Holland held a number of leadership positions, including Research Secretary (1933-1944), Secretary-General (1946-1960), and editor of its periodicals Far Eastern Survey and Pacific Affairs. He took leave from the IPR twice: to study for a MA in economics under John Maynard Keynes at Cambridge (1934) and, during the Second World War, to become acting director of the Office of War Information in Chungking, China. Founded on an internationalist philosophy as a forum to discuss relations between Pacific nations, the IPR was targeted under the McCarthy-era McCarran act during the 1950s, accused of Communist sympathies. After political pressure led the IPR to disband in 1960, Holland accepted a position on faculty with the newly created Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia (1961-1972), helping to lead that department to international prominence. He remained in BC until the death of his wife Doreen in 1990, after which he settled in Amherst to live with his only child, Patricia G. Holland. Holland died in Amherst in May 2008.
The Holland Papers are a dense assemblage of correspondence of Bill Holland, his wife Doreen, and their family, from his first trip abroad in the 1920s through the time of his death. Although largely personal in nature, the letters offer important insight into Holland’s travel in pre-war Asia, his work with the IPR, the war, and the of the 1950s. The collection also includes a wealth of photographs, including two albums documenting trips to Japan, China, and elsewhere 1929-1933.
- China--Description and travel
- Japan--Description and travel
- World War, 1939-1945
- Holland, Doreen P.
- Institute of Pacific Relations
Types of material
Within a decade of its founding, the Massachusetts Agricultural College began to forge what would become fast ties with its counterparts in Japan. Seeking to establish a thoroughly modern college in Hokkaido, the Imperial Government in Japan looked to America for a model of innovation in agricultural education, settling quickly on MAC. With the leadership of William Smith Clark, a succession of faculty, students, and alumni helped develop the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University).
The Dept. of Special Collections at UMass Amherst (SCUA) houses several collections from those early exchanges, including the papers of William Smith Clark and his students and colleagues William Brooks and William Wheeler, along with the remarkable collections associated with the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman, a resident of Northampton. These collections have formed a core on which SCUA continues to build. Today, the department specializes in documenting the American study of Japanese history and culture, particularly in the post-war period.
- Beato, Felice. Papers, ca. 1863-1871.
- As a photographer, Beato was an important chronicler of late-Edo and early-Meiji era Japan.
- Brooks, William Penn. Papers, 1863-1939.
- Invited by the Japanese government — and his mentor, William Smith Clark — to help establish the Sapporo Agricultural College, modeled on the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Spending over a decade in Hokkaido, Brooks helped to introduce western scientific agricultural practices and the outlines of a program in agricultural education, and he built a solid foundation for the School.
- Clark, William Smith. 1814-2003 (bulk: 1844-1886).
- Held the presidency of Massachusetts Agricultural College (now University of Massachusetts Amherst) from 1867-1879, and helped to found Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) in Japan in 1876.
- Lewis, Gertrude. Papers, 1920-2001.
- An educator for most her life, Lewis ‘s papers document changes within theory and pedagogy over time and in various geographic locales, including Japan, in the field of education.
- Lyman, Benjamin Smith
- Papers, 1831-1921. Prominent geologist and mining engineer, Lyman was invited by the Meiji government in Japan to help introduce modern geological surveying and mining techniques during the 1870s and 1880s.
- Japanese Book Collection, 1710-1898. During his years as a consultant to the Meiji government in Japan, Benjamin Smith Lyman accumulated a large collection of books printed in Japan. His book collection includes works on language to literature, religion, the arts, and culture.
- Maki, John. Papers.
- Japanese-American professor of political science at UMass who worked on contemporary Japan, militarism, and post-war constitution. Maki served in U.S. Army Intelligence during the Second World War, and spent several months in Japan in 1946 as part of the Occupation administration.
- Passin, Herbert. Collection, 1944-1955.
- Inducted into the Army in 1941 and assigned to duty in Tokyo in December 1945, he became chief of the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. During his tour of duty, Passin coordinated a series of sociological studies of Japanese village life to help guide U.S. Occupation policy, particularly as it dealt with land and labor reform.
- Stockbridge, Levi. Papers, 1841-1878.
- Pioneering agriculturist and president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, whose son, Horace Edward Stockbridge, taught at Hokkaido University and sent descriptions of his travel in Japan home.
- Totman, Conrad. Papers, 1800-2005.
- A professor of Japanese history at Yale, Totman’s collection a treasure trove of information on Japan in general, and particularly on his specialties: early modern Japan and forestry and environmental management.
- Wheeler, William. Papers, 1876-1930.
- Joined Massachusetts Agricultural College President William Smith Clark and two other alumni of the college in helping to found the Sapporo Agricultural College in Japan (now Hokkaido University), succeeding Clark as president of the school from 1877 to 1879.
- Yamashita, Yoskiaki. Photograph album, ca. 1904.
- Professor from Tokyo who traveled the United States providing instruction in the new martial art of judo from 1903-1960.