Collecting area: Arts & literature Page 2 of 21
Artwork

Artwork Collection

ca.1645-2003
ca.100 items
Call no.: MS 597
Image of Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor
Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor

Over the years, SCUA has become home to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art pertaining to three of its key thematic collecting areas: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, New England, and social change.

The Artwork Collection is comprised of miscellaneous works visual art, realia, and decorative arts, relating primarily to figures in UMass or to leftist or proletarian artists. Among the artists represented are Michael Russo, Cook Glassgold, Lydia Gibson Minor, Laura Wheeler Waring, Daniel Chester French, and Laurence Bradshaw. For reference purposes, we have cross-listed paintings belonging to other SCUA collections.

Subjects

  • Portraits

Types of material

  • Oil paintings
  • Prints (Visual works)
  • Sculpture (Visual works)
Ashcraft, Barr G.

Barr G. Ashcraft Photograph Collection

1972-1975
2 boxes, ca.125 items
Call no.: PH 007
Image of Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973
Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973

A graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, Wake Forest University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA, 1966), Barr Gallop Ashcraft (1940-2005) lived what he called a “gypsy” life in the late 1960s, traveling through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and eventually settling on a career in photojournalism. As a stringer for news organizations and magazines, he covered the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1972 to 1975, taking other assignments throughout Asia for magazines ranging from Life to National Geographic, Newsweek, and Time. For several years, he lived in Japan, working as a teacher, but returned to Amherst to join his father in the building trade. He remained in Amherst, lecturing occasionally on his experiences as a war correspondent, until his death at his home in Shutesbury in 2005.

The Ashcraft Photograph Collection represents a small fraction of the images he took as a freelance photographer in Southeast Asia during the early 1970s. In both black and white and color prints, the collection provides stark and often graphic evidence of the destruction of the war in Vietnam, emphasizing its latter years and the period of Vietnamization, but also includes documentary work on Cambodia. The remainder of Ashcraft’s 22,000 negatives and accompanying notes were destroyed in a house fire in 1995.

Subjects

  • Cambodia--Photographs
  • Photojournalists
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Vietnam--Photographs

Contributors

  • Ashcraft, Barr G

Types of material

  • Photographs
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers

Independent Film and Video Monthly Collection

1975-2006
28 boxes 42 linear feet
Call no.: MS 771

Begun in 1978 by the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, The Independent is a leading source of information for independent, grassroots, and activist media-makers. Published monthly, The Independent carries articles and criticism on documentary and independent films and fulfills an important role in providing inspiration and connections for the independent media community. Although the AIVF shut its doors in July 2006, suspending print publication of The Independent, Independent Media Publications acquired the rights to the publications and archives of The Independent Film & Video Monthly in 2007 and will continue the journal online.

In addition to a nearly complete run of The Independent, now fully digitized, the collection contains the surviving editorial and production records for the journal.

Subjects

  • Documentary films--Periodicals
  • Experimental films--Periodicals

Contributors

  • Association of Independent Video and Filmakers
  • Foundation for Independent Video and Film (U.S.)
Baker, James

James Baker Free Spirit Press Collection

1969-2005 Bulk: 1969-1974
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 834
Image of Spirit in Flesh tour bus
Spirit in Flesh tour bus

James Baker was a member of the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune (later the Renaissance Community) in the early 1970s, and a key contributor to the Free Spirit Press, the commune’s publishing operation. Part promotion, information, and entertainment, the Free Spirit Press magazine ran for four issues in the winter and spring 1972-1973.

The Baker collection consists of the surviving materials from the production of Free Spirit Press concentrated heavily in the period between winter 1972 and summer 1974. Accumulated mostly while preparing a brochure for the commune, the manuscript material contains copies of the commune’s by-laws and membership rolls, comments from community members on how they wished to be represented, and a story board for the brochure and series of quotes from community members to be included. The second half of the collection contains hundreds of images, mostly 35mm negatives, taken of or by the commune and its residents. The images depict the production and distribution of Free Spirit Press and the commune band (Spirit in Flesh, later called Rapunzel), but they also include several rolls of film taken by commune members of major rock and roll acts of the era, including the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, Santana, Chuck Berry, Hot Tuna, and Fleetwood Mac.

Subjects

  • Berry, Chuck
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Grateful Dead (Musical group)
  • Grateful Dead (Musical group)--Photographs
  • Metelica, Michael
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)
  • Rock music--1971-1980--Photographs
  • Taj Mahal (Musician)
  • Taj Mahal (Musician)--Photographs

Contributors

  • Geisler, Bruce

Types of material

  • Photographs
Barbershop music

Barbershop Music Collection

1952-1985
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 893

Founded in 1938, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America was one of the earliest organziation devoted to promoting barbershop harmony singing.

Mostly undated, the dozens of printed SPEBSQSA songbooks and sheet music in this collection appear to have been printed between the early 1950s and mid-1980s.

Gift of William R. Lenville, Oct. 2013

Subjects

  • Barbershop (Music)

Types of material

  • Sheet music
  • Songbooks
Barnard, Ellsworth, 1907-

Ellsworth Barnard Papers

1924-2004
12.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 002
Image of Ellsworth Barnard
Ellsworth Barnard

Ellsworth “Dutchy” Barnard attended Massachusetts Agricultural College, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1928. Barnard began teaching college English in 1930 at Massachusetts State College. In the fall of 1957 he took a position at Northern Michigan University (NMU). As chairman of the English department, Barnard presided over a selection committee which brought the first African-American faculty member to NMU. During the 1967-1968 academic year, he led the faculty and student body in protesting the dismissal of Bob McClellan, a history professor. Although the effort to reappoint McClellan was successful, Barnard had already tendered his resignation at NMU and returned to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the 1968-1969 academic year. He ended his career at UMass as the Ombudsperson, the first to fill that office. Barnard retired in 1973 and lived in Amherst until his death in December 2003.

Barnard’s papers document his distinguished career as an English professor and author, as well as his social activism, particularly on behalf of the environment. They consist of course materials, personal and professional correspondence, drafts of essays, lectures and chapters, published works, a collection of political mailings, a number of artifacts both from the University of Massachusetts and other educational institutions and organizations, and a number of poems by Barnard and others.

Subjects

  • English--Study and teaching
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

  • Barnard, Ellsworth, 1907-2003
Bascom, Eric

Eric Bascom Collection of Jazz Recordings

ca. 1940-1950
ca. 500 phonograph records 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 882
Image of David Stone Martin cover for Slim Gaillard and Bam Brown's 'Opera in Vout'
David Stone Martin cover for Slim Gaillard and Bam Brown's 'Opera in Vout'

When he was fifteen or sixteen, Eric Bascom’s life changed forever when he saw renowned jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery perform. Though Bascom had been playing guitar himself since he was young, seeing Montgomery opened his eyes to a completely new way of playing guitar and a completely new approach to music. Since that time, Bascom has been an avid listener, collector, and practitioner of jazz. He is currently performing as the Eric Bascom Trio with Ed Brainerd and Genevieve Rose.

The Eric Bascom Collection of Jazz Recordings consists of hundreds of jazz 78 rpm records from the 1940s and 1950s, including a number of 78 books with beautifully illustrated covers. In addition to the records are player piano rolls, several of which were punched by Fats Waller, and a portable Walters Conley Phonola 78 record player.

Subjects

  • Bop (Music)
  • Jazz musicians

Contributors

  • Basie, Count, 1904-1984
  • Christian, Charlie, 1916-1942
  • Fitzgerald, Ella
  • Parker, Charlie, 1920-1955

Types of material

  • 78 rpm records
  • Piano rolls
Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers

ca. 1970-2012
30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 806
Image of

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects

  • Free Jazz--United States
  • Jazz musicians--United States

Types of material

  • Scores
  • Sound recordings
Berkeley, Roy

Roy and Ellen Perry Berkeley Papers

ca.1954-2011
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 972

Born in New York City in 1935, Roy Berkeley’s eclectic creative career began while working his way through Columbia University (BA, 1956) as an editor for the New York Post and pseudonymous author of 14 pulp novels, and continued after graduation, working for two years at the height of the Cold War in U.S. intelligence. A self-taught guitarist, he became a stalwart of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, performing at the Gaslight regularly and at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and eventually recording three albums. In 1966, Berkeley married Ellen Perry, a writer and editor for Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum, and one of the few women architectural critics of the time. Their time in New York City ended in 1971, however, when Ellen’s job as an editor at an architectural magazine ended. Using Roy’s winnings from his appearance on the television show Jeopardy, the couple relocated to Shaftsbury, Vt., where they led a freelance life as writers, editors, teachers, and lecturers. Roy was eventually appointed deputy Sheriff in own and became a member of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. After a struggle with cancer, Roy Berkeley died in 2009 at the age of 73.

The bulk of the Perry Papers consists of Roy’s research files and drafts of a never-completed history of the folk music scene, along with some correspondence, notes, and ephemera that includes both editions of his Bosses Songbook, a satirical send-up of the People’s Songbook. The collection also contains a sampling of the exceptional range of Ellen’s writing on topics from architecture to cats, cookery, to grieving.

Gift of Ellen Perry Berkeley, April 2017

Subjects

  • Architecture
  • Folk music

Contributors

  • Berkeley, Ellen Perry
Berlin, Normand

Normand Berlin Papers

1968-2013
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 180

A literary scholar and much admired teacher, Normand Berlin joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1965, four years after receiving his doctorate at the University of California for his study of Elizabethan drama. The author of five books and numerous articles on topics ranging from medieval poetry to contemporary film, Berlin was known equally for his work on early modern drama and for his work on Eugene O’Neill, for which he was awarded the Eugene O’Neill Bronze Medal. He was equally popular in the classroom, where his course on Shakespeare became a campus staple for many years, earning the university’s highest teaching award in 1976, the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award. After retirement in 1995, Berlin remained in Amherst. He died at home on July 13, 2015, at the age of 83.

This small collection contains scattered notes, writings, and correspondence from Normand Berlin’s career, much of which pertains to his research on drama.

Gift of Barbara Berlin, Sept. 2016

Subjects

  • Drama--Study and teaching
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English