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Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (LAOS)

Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies Records
1956-1976
22 boxes (11.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 020

An oecumenical ministry based in Amherst, Massachusetts, that sought to inspire local citizens to act upon their religious faith in their daily lives and occupations, and to reinvigorate religious dialogue between denominations.

Includes by-laws, minutes, membership records, news clippings, press releases, treasurer’s reports, letters to and from David S. King, correspondence between religious leaders and local administrators, and printed materials documenting programs and organizations in which the Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (L.A.O.S.) participated or initiated, especially Faith and Life Meetings. Also contains questionnaires, announcements, bulletins, and photographs.

Subjects
  • Christian union--Massachusetts--History
  • Interdenominational cooperation--Massachusetts--History
Contributors
  • King, David S., 1927-
  • Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies (Amherst, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Photographs

Le, Van Khoa

Le Van Khoa Photograph Collection
Undated
7 items (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 170
Image of Going home
Going home

The composer, photographer, and educator, Le Van Khoa arrived in the United States as a war refugee from Vietnam in May 1975. Largely self-taught as a photographer, he was co-founder of the Artistic Photography Association of Vietnam and has published three books of his work. He holds the distinction of being the first Vietnamese photographer to mount an exhibition at the U.S. Congress building.

The seven photographs in the Le Van Khoa collection are artistic reflections of life in Vietnam, including four taken in the imperial city, Hue.

Subjects
  • Vietnam--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs

League of Women Voters of Amherst (Amherst, Mass.)

League of Women Voters of Amherst Records
1939-2001
60 boxes (33 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 296

Non-partisan political organization based in Amherst, Massachusetts that influences public policy through education and advocacy by registering voters, organizing candidate forums, publishing voting guides, and disseminating general information on the legislative process and the functioning of government on the local, state, and federal levels.

Includes minutes, annual reports, financial records, publications, extensive files on specific programs, photographs, video- and audio-tapes, scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings. Also contains information on two league members who rose to national prominence: Lucy Wilson Benson (Under Secretary of State in the federal government in 1977) and Jane F. Garvey (Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in 1997).

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Education--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
  • Housing--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
Contributors
  • Benson, Lucy Wilson
  • Garvey, Jane F
  • League of Women Voters of Amherst (Amherst, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Lederer, William J., 1912-

William Lederer Papers
ca. 1930-1985
91 boxes (61 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 158
Image of William Lederer in naval uniform
William Lederer in naval uniform

William J. Lederer began his long career in the Navy in 1930. During his twenty-eight years of service he traveled throughout Asia on some 30 trips, acquiring several books worth of experience, criticisms, and insight. In 1948, Lederer attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Vermont and met fellow author and political theorist Eugene Burdick. Disillusioned with the style and substance of America’s diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, Lederer and Burdick openly sought to demonstrate their belief that American officials and civilians could make a substantial difference in Southeast Asian politics if they were willing to learn local languages, follow local customs and employ regional military tactics. Together they co-authored two widely influential books, The Ugly American (1958) and Sarkhan (1965).

The collection includes materials related to most of his major publications including, A Nation of Sheep, The Ugly American, Sarkhan, Our Own Worst Enemy, I, Giorghos, Mirages of Marriage, and Martial Choices. A substantial series of correspondence traces Lederer’s associations and communications throughout his entire career. Area files, research materials, and photographs are also include, but not yet fully processed.

Subjects
  • Southeast Asia--Economic conditions
  • Southeast Asia--Politics and government--1945-
  • United States--Foreign relations
  • United States--Politics and government--1945-
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Contributors
  • Burdick, Eugene
  • Lederer, William J., 1912-
Types of material
  • Photographs

Leff, David K.

David K. Leff Papers
ca.1975-2016
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 907
Image of David K. Leff
David K. Leff

A writer, poet, and environmental and historic preservation advocate, David K. Leff worked for many years as an agricultural and environmental policy adviser to the Connecticut legislature and as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. A graduate of UMass Amherst (BA 1975) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (1978), Leff began writing and lecturing from early in his career and in addition to publishing dozens of magazine articles and serving as a regular contributor to the Hartford Courant, he has written five works of non-fiction, The Last Undiscovered Place (2004), Deep Travel: In Thoreau’s Wake on the Concord and Merrimack (2009), Hidden in Plain Sight (2012), Maple Sugaring (2015), and Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash (2016); three books of poetry Price of Water (2008), Depth of Field (2010), and Tinker’s Damn (2013), and a novel in verse, Finding the Last Hungry Heart (2014). Leff has been active as a lecturer and instructor on various topics, ranging from the environment to local history and writing. In 2016, he was named the first Poet-in-Residence of the New England Trail.

In addition to containing a nearly comprehensive collection of the published writings of David Leff, the collection includes selected correspondence, unpublished poetry and short stories, a draft of an unpublished novel (Hungry Heart), talks, interviews, notes, newsclippings, over 400 pages of interviews with sugarmakers that Leff conducted for his book on maple sugaring, and selected materials relating to Leff’s work with the DEP in Connecticut and other endeavors. The collection also includes several thousand photographs (mostly digital) takenby Leff and used to illustrate his publications and lectures.

Gift of David K. Leff, 2016
Subjects
  • Maple sugar industry--Connecticut
  • Newspaper columnists--Connecticut
  • Poets--Connecticut
Contributors
  • Photographs

Lerner, Steve, 1946-

Steve Lerner Papers
1994-2011
15 boxes (22.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 673
Image of Diamond, La.
Diamond, La.

For decades, the writer Steve Lerner has been a significant contributor to public awareness of the issues surrounding environmental justice. Immersed in the environmental movement through his work as research director at Commonweal, a health and environment research institute founded with his brother Michael in 1976, Lerner earned wide recognition for his first book, Eco-Pioneers (1998), about “practical visionaries” who developed pragmatic solutions to environmental problems. In two subsequent books, Lerner turned to an examination of the impact of environmental toxins and industrial pollutants on low-income communities and people of color and the rise of grassroots opposition within those communities. In Diamond (2006), Lerner explored the impact of a Shell Chemical plant in Louisiana as a microcosm of the broader environmental-justice movement, and more recently, Sacrifice Zones (2010) traced the organization and resistance against industrial and chemical pollutants in a dozen communities in the eastern United States. In 2007, Lerner left his position at Commonweal, but continues his research and writing on environmental issues.

The research notes, interviews, photographs and other documentation comprising the Lerner collection form the basis for Lerner’s three major books.

Subjects
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
Types of material
  • Audiotapes
  • Photographs

Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-

Gertrude M. Lewis Papers
ca.1920-2001
6 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 096
Image of Gertrude
Gertrude "Jean" Lewis, ca.1935

Overcoming a deeply impoverished childhood, Gertrude Lewis struggled to build a career in education, putting herself through college and graduate school. At the age of 32, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State, continuing on to a masters degree at New York University (1933), and finally, at age 51, a PhD from Yale (1947). For many years after receiving her doctorate, Lewis was employed as a Specialist for Upper Grades with the U.S. Office of Education in Washington. Among other career highlights, Lewis spent two years in Japan (1950-1951) as a Consultant in Elementary Education in the Education Section of the Allied Occupation government (SCAP). Lewis outlived her life partner, Ruth Totman, dying at home on December 10, 1996, a few months after her one hundredth birthday.

The Lewis Papers document the work and life of an educator of the masses, a traveler of the world, and a woman of the twentieth century. Documents pertaining to her work as an educator of both young students and veteran teachers show the changes within the theory and practice of pedagogy over time, over various geographic locales, and also highlight her role in that change. This collection also documents the numerous on-going side projects on which Lewis worked, including fostering creativity in schoolchildren, a biography of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and her own poetry and prose.

Subjects
  • Education, Elementary--Japan
  • Education, Elementary--United States--History
  • Education--Evaluation
  • Education--United States--History
  • Health Education--United States
  • Japan--Civilization--American influences
  • Students--Health and hygiene
Contributors
  • Lewis, Gertrude Minnie, 1896-
  • Totman, Conrad D
  • Totman, Ruth J
Types of material
  • Motion pictures (Visual work)
  • Photographs

Lillydahl, Sandy

Sandy Lillydahl Venceremos Brigade Photograph Collection
1970-2005 (Bulk: 1970)
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 056

A 1969 graduate of Smith College and member of Students for a Democratic Society, Sandy Lillydahl took part in the second contingent of the Venceremos Brigade. Between February and April 1970, Lillydahl and traveled to Cuba as an expression of solidarity with the Cuban people and to assist in the sugarcane harvest.

The 35 color snapshots that comprise the Lillydahl collection document the New England contingent of the second Venceremos Brigade as they worked the sugarcane fields in Aguacate, Cuba, and toured the country. Each image is accompanied by a caption supplied by Lillydahl in 2005, describing the scene and reflecting on her experiences; and the collection also includes copies of the file kept by the FBI on Lillydahl, obtained by her through the Freedom of Information Act in 1975.

Subjects
  • Cuba--Photographs
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)--Photographs
  • Sugarcane--Harvesting--Cuba--Photographs
  • Venceremos Brigade--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs

Linguistic Atlas of New England

Linguistic Atlas of New England Records
1931-1972
40 boxes (19.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 330

The Linguistic Atlas of New England project, begun in 1889 and published 1939-1943, documented two major dialect areas of New England, which are related to the history of the settling and dispersal of European settlers in New England with successive waves of immigration.

The collection contains handwritten transcription sheets (carbon copies) in the International Phonetic Alphabet, with some explanatory comments in longhand. Drawn from over 400 interviews conducted by linguists in communities throughout New England in the 1930s, these records document the geographic distribution of variant pronunciations and usages of spoken English. The material, taken from fieldworkers’ notebooks (1931-1933), is arranged by community, then by informant, and also includes audiotapes of follow-up interviews (1934); phonological analyses of informants’ speech; character sketches of informants by fieldworkers; fieldworkers’ blank notebook; and mimeograph word index to the atlas (1948).

Subjects
  • English language--Dialects--New England
Contributors
  • Linguistic Atlas of New England

Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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