Immigration & ethnicity (32 collections) SCUA

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George H. Gilbert & Company

George H. Gilbert Co. Records, 1842-1931.

26 boxes, 126 vols. (36 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 096

In 1841, George H. Gilbert and Charles A. Stevens formed a partnership to manufacture broadcloth and cloaking in Ware, Massachusetts. Ten years later, the partnership dissolved and each partner carried a part of the business into separate establishments. The newly formed George H. Gilbert Company continued making high-grade woolen flannels, for which it developed a national reputation, until 1930.

Records, consisting of correspondence, financial records and cash books, construction contracts, sales lists, production records, and sample books, document the operation of Gilbert and Stevens and later the Gilbert Company for almost a century. The labor accounts (1851-1930), document the phases of the varying ethnic composition of the workforce — Irish, French-Canadian, and eventually Polish — well as the family orientation of the mills.


  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Ware (Mass.)--History


  • George H. Gilbert and Co

Types of material

  • Account books

Goldberg, Felix, ca. 1866-1948

Felix Goldberg Memoir, ca.1930.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
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

  • Autobiographies

Halley, Anne

Anne Halley Papers, 1886-2004.

11 boxes (7 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 628

Writer, editor, and educator, Anne Halley was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1928. A child during the Holocaust, she relocated with her family to Olean, New York during the late 1930s so that her father, who was Jewish, could resume his practice of medicine. Graduating from Wellesley and the University of Minnesota, Halley married a fellow writer and educator, Jules Chametzky, in 1958. Together they raised three sons in Amherst, Massachusetts where Chametzky was a professor of English at UMass and Halley taught and wrote. It was during the late 1960s through the 1970s that she produced the first two of her three published collections of poetry. The last was published in 2003 the year before she died from complications of multiple myeloma at the age of 75.

Drafts of published and unpublished short stories and poems comprise the bulk of this collection. Letters to and from Halley, in particular those that depict her education at Wellesley and her professional life during the 1960s-1980s, make up another significant portion of her papers. Publisher’s correspondence and a draft of Halley’s afterward document the Chametzkys effort to release a new edition of Mary Doyle Curran’s book, The Parish and the Hill, for which Halley and Chametzky oversaw the literary rights. Photographs of Halley’s childhood in Germany and New York as well as later photographs that illustrate the growth of her own family in Minnesota and Massachusetts offer a visual representation of her remarkable professional and pesonal life.


  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Jews--Germany--History--1933-1945
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Women authors, American
  • Women poets, American
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Chametzky, Jules
  • Halley, Anne

Halpern, Joel Martin

Joel Martin Halpern Atlas of Massachusetts Collection, 1985-1989.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 263

As a contributor to the Atlas of Massachusetts, Professor Joel Halpern collected data and articles in support of his essay published in the “Ethnic Groups” section. The collection consists primarily of drafts of his essay and research notes.


  • Atlas of Massachusetts
  • Ethnic groups--Massachusetts
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts


  • Halpern, Joel Martin

Kenseth-Abel, Elaine

Elaine Kenseth-Abel Cambodian Photographs, 1970-1979.

1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 115

The collection primarily consists of photographs taken by Elaine Kenseth-Abel of Cambodians refugees in Thailand who later relocated to Amherst, Massachusetts during the 1970s-1980s. The collection also includes color prints of drawings by E. Seng Huot depicting Cambodian genocide.


  • Cambodia--Photographs
  • Cambodians--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Refugees--Cambodia
  • Refugees--Thailand
  • Thailand--Photographs


  • Huot, E. Seng
  • Kenseth-Abel, Elaine

Types of material

  • Photographs

Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978

Michael Z. Kislo Notebooks, 1954-1974.

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 246

After emigrating from Dzieciekowo, Poland, Michael Kislo found work in a Northampton basket shop and later as a machinist at International Silver Company. He was a resident of Florence, Mass.

The Kislo collection contains nine volumes of Kislo’s writing (mostly in Polish and thematically religious, patriotic, personal, and autobiographical) and artwork (drawings and paintings with religious allusions, Polish costumes, weapons, imaginary animals and fanciful landscapes).


  • Art, Polish--Massachusetts--20th century
  • Florence (Mass.)--Biography
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts--Florence
  • Polish American artists--Massachusetts--Florence
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Florence
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation


  • Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978

Types of material

  • Diaries
  • Notebooks
  • Watercolors (Paintings)

Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski

Sophie D. Zmijewski Kopiecki Papers, ca. 1950-1990.

8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 553

An active member of a number of women’s Polish American clubs in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs, Sophie Kopiecki was a schoolteacher and mother in the eastern part of the state. Documenting her contributions to the various clubs of which she was a member as well as her activities as a teacher, this collection includes publications, programs, memorabilia, and student assignments.


  • Polish American friendly societies--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th century
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts


  • Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski

Kszepka, Joseph A., collector

Joseph A. Kszepka Collection, 1906-1949.

8 items (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 276

Collection of printed materials, primarily the constitutions and by-laws of Massachusetts Polish-American organizations, including publications of the Pilsudski Polish-American Citzens Club in Southbridge, St. Stanislaus’ Polish Lyceum in Three Rivers, and the Polish American Citizens’ Club also in Three Rivers, which contains study questions for the U.S. citizenship exam. Also a prayerbook (1906) and a textbook for parents and teachers, Masturbation in Men and Women and Its Effects (1912), translated to Polish from German.


  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts


  • Kszepka, Joseph A.

Lesinski-Rusin family

Lesinski-Rusin Family Papers, ca.1910-1925.

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 131

The Lesinski and Rusin families represent the average working-class Polish family settled in the Pioneer Valley during the early twentieth century. Numerous family photographs document important occasions for the families, such as baptisms, first communions, and weddings, while photographic postcards and commercial postcards document their relationships, interests, and travel. The collection also includes Polish-language textbooks and a Polish-English dictionary, which suggest that learning English may have been both a challenge as well as a priority.


  • Lesinski family
  • Rusin family

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs Records, 1949-1995.

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 465

The Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs was formed in 1931 when Kolo Polek of Boston and Mrs. Frances Siluk as President hosted delegates representing 26 Polish women’s organizations in Massachusetts. The group’s object was to unite women’s clubs in the state whose members were of Polish birth or descent for civic, cultural, and educational purposes, and to foster an understanding of Polish culture.

The collection includes the organization’s newsletters and convention programs from the late 1940s through the mid 1990s.


  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • Women--Massachusetts--Societies and clubs


  • Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs
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