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Weatherby, William

William Weatherby Account Book

1835-1837
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 179 bd

Transient worker for Seth Porter and Co., a cotton mill in Cummington, Massachusetts and for Wells, Blackinton, and White, manufacturer of fine textiles in North Adams, Massachusetts. Includes accounts of his employers, debits, credits (a running account with a general store for the purchase of clothing and foodstuffs), and notations of providing room and board for other workers.

Subjects
Cummington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
General stores--Massachusetts
North Adams (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Seth Porter and Co. (Firm)
Textile industry--Massachusetts--19th century
Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--19th century
Wells, Blackinton, and White
Contributors
Weatherby, William
Types of material
Account books
Western New England Poetry Collection

Western New England Poetry Collection

1977-2008
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 561
Depiction of Silkworm, 2007
Silkworm, 2007

Since 2004, the Florence Poets Society has been a hub of the poetry communities in Western Massachusetts, promoting the sharing, reading, and publication of works by its members. The group has sponsored outdoor poetry festivals, poetry slams, and readings and it has encouraged publication of poetry through its annual review, The Silkworm, and through chapbooks of its members

Established in partnership with Rich Puchalsky and the Florence Poets Society, the Western New England Poetry Collection constitutes an effort to document the vibrant poetry communities in Western New England. The collection includes all forms of poetry, from the written to the spoken word, in all formats, but with a particular emphasis upon locally produced and often difficult to find chapbooks, small press books, unpublished works, and limited run periodicals. The collection is not limited to members of the Florence Poets Society, and additions from poets in Western New England are eagerly welcomed.

Subjects
Poetry--New England
Contributors
Florence Poets Society
Puchalsky, Rich
Westhampton (Mass. : Town)

Westhampton Town Records

1779-1900
10 boxes, 1 vol. 5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 799
Depiction of Close-up of records from 1779
Close-up of records from 1779

Originally settled by Europeans in 1762, the town of Westhampton, Massachusetts, was separated from adjacent Northampton and incorporated in September 1778. Situated in the western reaches of Hampshire County, it was principally an agricultural town until the later twentieth century, producing apples, other fruit, and maple sugar, with only minor industry. The town still retains its rural character: a century after incorporation, the population had grown to just over 500, and nearly 1,500 by 2000.

The Westhampton collection provides an extensive record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after the date of incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Subjects
Churches--Massachusetts--Westhampton
Poor--Massachusetts--Westhampton
Roads--Massachusetts--Westhampton
Town meetings--Massachusetts--Westhampton
What we collect

Frank Waugh's doves
Garden (white fan tailed doves in bird bath) by Frank Waugh, ca.1920

“… there must come vast social change in the United States; a change not violent, but by the will of the people certain and inexorable; carried out ‘with malice toward none but charity for all’; with meticulous justice to the rich and complete sympathy for the poor, the sick and the ignorant; with freedom and democracy for America, and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, Chicago, June 29, 1951

In pursuit of our mission, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds.

Our approach to collecting

Graphic showing SCUA major collecting areas

Drawing upon the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s most profound insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement — and no solution to social ills — can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas. Our hope is to provide a more robust framework for interpreting the deep histories of social engagement in America and to lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change.

A related feature of SCUA’s approach to collecting is our commitment to documenting “whole lives and whole communities.” Rather than focus solely on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to document the entire life in all its complexity: the person’s background, the events themselves, and the aftermath, as well as the range of colleagues and organizations engaged. Our goal is not simply to highlight the great achievements and great people, but to reveal the broad underpinnings of influences, interests, and organizations that shaped them and the communities in which they operated.

While not exhaustive, the following is a synopsis of the major focal points for SCUA’s collections:

Social change

Emphasizing the cross-fertilization between social movements and centers of activist energy, SCUA collects materials from individuals and organizations involved in the struggles for peace and non-violence, social and racial justice, economic justice, agricultural reform, environmentalism, sustainability, alternative energy, organized labor, gay rights, disability rights, spiritual activism, antinuclear activism, and intentional communities. Our collections branch out to include anti-fluoridation activism, campaigns for voting rights and clean elections, community and charitable organizations, and the history of revolutionary-era Europe (1789-1848).

  • African and African American history and culture:
    The history of race and ethnicity in America, with particular emphasis on the struggle for racial equality and social justice.
  • Agriculture, horticulture, botany:
    Including agricultural science and practice, horticulture, animal husbandry, natural history, organic farming, sustainable living, and heritage breeds.
  • Antifluoridation movement:
    Including right-wing, left-wing, libertarian, popular, and scientific opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies.
  • Antinuclear movement:
    SCUA holds numerous collections documenting grassroots opposition to nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
  • Arts management and arts administration:
    In partnership with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and several other arts agencies, SCUA documents the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state and national arts agencies, we will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities. SCUA also documents the field of Creative Aging, as well as local arts organizations, theatre companies, and others in the performing arts.
  • Cold War Culture:
    The culture of the Cold War, with an emphasis upon East Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Among other areas, SCUA has a strong interest in the Solidarity movement and in partnership with the DEFA Film Library, in East German cinema and graphic arts.
  • Counterculture and political radicalism:
    SCUA’s collections focus on a variety of both cultural and poltiical “alternatives” to maintstream society, including materials on various forms of political radicalism, Communism and Socialism, drug policy reform, prisoners and mass imprisonment, and the underground press.
  • Disability:
    Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States. Among other focal points for our collections are cross-disability activism and the psychiatric survivors’ movement.
  • Folk, blues, and traditional music:
    The revival of interest in folk, blues, and traditional music and the rich and evolving heritage of regional musical traditions are an important focal point for SCUA. In addition to documenting the music itself, SCUA actively collects manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs relating to the performers, behind the scenes actors, venues, and audiences, as well as the extraordinary connections linking the sounds and social movements.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues:
    Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
  • Intentional communities:
    SCUA documents the extended history of alternative approaches to social organization, including the individual and communal lives of communards and the full gamut of intentional communities from communes to co-housing and the back to the land movement. SCUA.
  • Labor, work, and industry:
    Organized labor, industrialization, manufacturing, business history, and the experience and culture of labor and working people.
  • Peace:
    Materials relating to the peace and antiwar movements and non-violence, with an emphasis on New England.
  • Spirituality and religion:
    SCUA documents the experiences of people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration. As repository of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, we have a strong interest in the history of Quakers and Quakerism.
  • Visual culture:
    SCUA’s commitment to the visual culture of social change includes a close focus on artistically-informed documentary photography, including the archives of photojournalists, photographers, videographers, and documentarians, as well as amateur and vernacular photography centered on the daily lives of New Englanders.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

SCUA collects materials that document innovative and entrepreneurial activities and particularly social entrepreneurship. Representative collections in SCUA include the papers of Mark H. McCormack (a pioneer in sport and entertainment marketing), Carl C. Harris (inventor and President of Rodney Hunt Co.), and numerous collections that document our region’s distinctive history of innovation in manufacturing and technology.

New England history and culture

The social, political, cultural, intellectual, literary, and economic life, with an emphasis upon western New England. The department houses thousands of books on New England cookery, with a particular emphasis on charitable and community cookbooks and cookbooks and ephemera published by corporations and the food industry.

  • Cookery and culinary history
    SCUA has thousands of cookbooks and other materials on New England regional cuisine, including community and charitable cookbooks, commercial cookbooks by New England authors, corporate cookbooks, and culinary ephemera.
  • Literature and the arts
    Emphasizing poets and writers, playwrights, and the performing arts in New England.
  • Politics and political culture
    SCUA has rich collections documenting the history and politics of the Commonwealth, including the papers of Congressmen Silvio O. Conte and John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, and State Representatives John Clark and Ellen Story. The records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns add great historical depth.

University Archives collecting

Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, SCUA is steward for the official and unofficial records of the university that document the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community. The collections are a rich record of administrative activity at all levels, from system to program, but they focus on documenting the lives and activities of individual administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Other areas

SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:

  • American Study of Japan and Asia
    American relations with Japan from the Meiji period to the present, and connections with China and other Asian countries.
  • Gravestone studies and death
    Materials relating to the history, culture, preservation, and interpretation of gravestones and related subjects.
  • Protistology
    Records of the scholarly study of the protista (protozoans).

Learn more:

Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828

Amos Whittemore Daybook

1817-1819
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 153 bd

Wagonwright and celebrated inventor of a machine that made cotton and wool cards from West Cambridge (now Arlington), Massachusetts. Includes records of services provided, such as repairing, cleaning, painting and varnishing chaises; providing wheels, springs, waterhooks, whippletrees, bellybands, and carpet; and mending reins and harnesses. Also contains lists of customers (including many prominent families from the town) and records of cash transactions.

Subjects
Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Arlington (Mass.)--History--19th century
Carriage and wagon making--Massachusetts--Arlington--History--19th century
Carriage manufacturers and dealers--Massachusetts --Arlington--History--19th century
Harness making and trade--Massachusetts--Arlington--History--19th century
Contributors
Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828
Types of material
Daybooks
Wilder, Marshall P.

Marshall P. Wilder Collection

1848-1929
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 002/3 W55
Depiction of Marshall P. Wilder
Marshall P. Wilder

A merchant and amateur horticulturalist from Dorchester, Mass., Marshall P. Wilder (1798-1886) was a key figure in American pomology during the mid-nineteenth century and a major supporter of agricultural education. A supreme organizer and institution builder, he was a founder and president of the American Pomological Society and United States Agricultural Society, and president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and New England Historic Genealogical Society. His 1849 address before the Norfolk Agricultural Society is often credited as an important catalyst for the creation of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, and he served as trustee of the College from its opening in 1867 until his death in 1886.

The Wilder Collection consists primarily of printed works written or collected by Marshall P. Wilder, including materials pertaining to early meetings of the American Pomological Society and the United States Agricultural Society, his 1849 address to the Norfolk Agricultural Society, and his address to the first graduating class at MAC. Among the handful of manuscripts are a draft proposal to hold a national meeting of fruit growers (the inaugural meeting of the American Pomological Society), two letters regarding his donation of a large number of books to the MAC library, and a bound set of 22 beautiful watercolors of pear varieties painted by Louis B. Berckmans.

Subjects
Agricultural exhibitions
American Pomological Society
Horticulture--Massachusetts
Massachusetts Agricultural College. Trustees
New-England Historic Genealogical Society
Pomology--Massachusetts
United States Agricultural Society
Contributors
Wilder, Marshall P. (Marshall Pinckney), 1798-1886
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Wilder, Robert W.

Robert W. Wilder Papers

1888-2013
2 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 884

Born in the Quabbin town of Enfield, Mass., Bob Wilder (1933-2015) rose from a life of poverty to a successful career in the Marine Corps and the aerospace industry. Becoming an avid local historian in his retirement, he drew upon his rural childhood while working later as an interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village and became a popular lecturer on topics in regional history.

This small collection consists of materials relating to Wilder’s family and his research into the history of the Swift River Valley and the Quabbin Reservoir. In addition to some Wilder family photographs, the collection includes hand-drawn maps, newspaper clippings, town reports, magazine articles, oral histories, and poems about the towns of the Swift River Valley. Of particular note are several video recordings of Wilder’s lectures and an extensive series of oral histories with Wilder recorded by Marc Peloquin.

Gift of Robert W. Wilder, Nov. 2015
Subjects
Enfield (Mass.)--History
Quabbin Reservoir (Mass.)--History
Swift River Valley (Mass.)--History
Contributors
Peloquin, Marc
Types of material
Diaries
Oral histories
Photographs
Wood, Josiah

Josiah Wood Papers

1854-1874
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 363

A veteran of the Civil War and one time resident of the Hopedale community, Josiah Wood tried his hand at several lines of work during his life, including tin-peddler, farmer, and carpenter.

The Josiah Wood Papers consist primarily of letters between Wood, living in Hopedale and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and his relatives in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the northeastern and western parts of the country. While some of the correspondence contains references to larger-scale historical events, such as the Civil War or westward expansion, the majority concerns events and routines of everyday family life. The letters illustrate the considerable effort made to keep in touch with and informed about distant family members and friends.

Subjects
Spiritualism--United States--History--19th century
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
West (U.S.)--History--19th century
Contributors
Wood, Josiah
Wood, Lurana P
Woodbury, Walter B. (Walter Bentley), 1834-1885

Walter B. Woodbury Photograph Collection

1865-1866
2 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 003
Depiction of Tanah Abang House, ca.1866
Tanah Abang House, ca.1866

In the late 1850s and early 1860s, the pioneering British photographer Walter Woodbury captured images of Java, and especially its capital city Batavia (modern day Jakarta). Working in partnership with James Page, the two established a photographic firm that continued to produce and sell images long after Woodbury’s return to England in 1863.

Consisting of 42 albumen prints, the Woodbury Collection includes numerous images of the landscape and colonial buildings in Batavia, Buitenzorg (Bogor), and Surabaya. A few photographs capture images of the European community in Java, and local Javanese residents.

Subjects
Bogor (Indonesia)--Photographs
Indonesia--Photographs
Jakarta (Indonesia)--Photographs
Java (Indonesia)--Photographs
Surabaya (Indonesia)--Photographs
Contributors
Woodbury & Page
Woodbury, Walter B. (Walter Bentley), 1834-1885
Types of material
Albumen prints
Photograps