The SCUA staff have assembled a series of introductory guides to assist researchers in navigating through our collections. These guides provide a broad overview of our collections for the history of social change; labor, work, and industry; agriculture; and the regional history of New England, and intended for use in conjunction with the descriptions in UMarmot and our finding aids.
On the right side of this page, UMarmot includes a suite of menus to help you find what you need in our manuscript and archival collections: from top to bottom, you may search collections by entering terms in the search box; browse by general category using the drop down menu; browse our university archives; or browse all collections alphabetically by clicking on the appropriate letter.
We encourage researchers with more specialized interests or who require more in-depth work with our collections to consult with our staff.
Roberta Uno Collection of Asian American Women Playwrights' Scripts, 1924-2005.
Call no.: MS 345
Roberta Uno was the founder and long time artistic director of the New WORLD Theater at UMass Amherst, a theater in residence dedicated to the production of works by playwrights of color.
Established by Uno in 1993, the Asian American Women Playwrights Scripts Collection contains manuscripts of plays, but also production histories, reviews, and articles, along with biographies and audio and videotaped interviews with playwrights. Among the individuals represented are Brenda Wong Aoki, Jeannie Barroga, Marina Feleo Gonzales, Jessica Hagedorn, Velina Hasu Houston, Genny Lim, le thi diem thuy, Ling-Ai Li, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Nobuko Miyamoto, Bina Sharif, and Diana Son.
- Asian American women authors
- New WORLD Theater
- Uno, Roberta, 1956-
Types of material
- Scripts (Documents)
ACWA New England Joint Board Records, 1939-1976.
Call no.: MS 193
Organized in Chicago in 1914, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was formed after a split in the United Garment Workers, and quickly became the dominant force for union in the men’s clothing industry. Within a decade of its founding, ACWA had more than 100,000 members across the U.S. and Canada.
Records of the New England Joint Board of ACWA consist of general correspondence, membership lists, press releases, and collective bargaining files for companies such as Arlan’s Department Stores, Bedford Shirtmakers Corporation, Ethan Ames Company, Holyoke Shirt Company, Lawrence Clothing Company, and Whitney Shirt Company.
- Clothing trade--Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Textile industry--Massachusetts
- Textile workers--Labor unions--New England
- Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. New England Joint Board
Center for Popular Economics Records, 1978-1986.
Call no.: MS 109
Established in 1978 by a group of radical economists at UMass Amherst and local community and labor activists, the Center for Popular Economics. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums.
The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics
- Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)
Cigar Makers of the U.S.A., Local 39 Minute Books, 1886-1941.
Call no.: MS 383
Founded in 1864, the Cigar Makers were charted by the AFL in 1887. The collection consists of two minute books for Local 39 of New Haven, Connecticut, the earlier dating from 1886-1891 and the later volume dating from 1930-1941. Beginning in 1880, cigar manufacturers who negotiated labor contracts with the union affixed blue labels to boxes of “union made” cigars. A sheet of these union labels are laid into the back of the earlier minute book.
- Cigar makers--Labor unions
- Labor unions--Connecticut
- Cigar Makers Union
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Records, 1929-1985.
Call no.: MS 107
The records of Northampton Local 36 of the IBEW provide insight into the adjustments of union members to the introduction of new technology, the changing labor environment, and the local debates over the merits of the use of nuclear power in the region. Collection includes by-laws, reports, correspondence, contracts, membership lists, and materials relating to nuclear energy.
- Electricians--Labor unions
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
Isabel Jansen Papers, ca.1950-1985.
Call no.: MS 613
A Registered Nurse and surgical assistant at Marquette University Medical and Dental Schools, Isabel Jansen was a long-time opponent of fluoridation of drinking water. In 1949, her hometown of Antigo, Wisconsin, became one of the first in the state to put fluorides in its water supply. Jansen emerged as a prominent voice in opposition, arguing that fluorides had a cumulative toxic effect when ingested over a long period, and using public health data, she concluded that fluoridation was strongly correlated with an increase in mortality from heart disease and with a variety of other deleterious health effects. In 1960, she succeeded in ending fluoridation, however after a follow up survey showed a dramatic rise in tooth decay, Antigo residents voted five years later to reintroduce fluoride. Jansen has continued a vigorous resistance, publishing a series of articles on the public health impact and Fluoridation : A Modern Procrustean Practice (1990) and .
The Jansen Papers include a range of correspondence, newsclippings, articles, and notes regarding Isabel Jansen’s long struggle against the fluoridation of drinking water.
- Antifluoridation movement--Wisconsin
- Fluorides–Environmental aspects
- Jansen, Isabel
Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection, 1885-1975.
Call no.: MS 552
The author, publisher, and radical bookseller Michael Katanka (1922-1983) was a staunch Socialist and historian of British labor. Beginning with his 1868: Year of Unions in 1968, Katanka wrote or edited a series of books and articles on Fabianism, satirical caricature, and trade unionism.
The Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection consists of audio recordings, sheet music, and songbooks of politically-inspired music in a variety of languages. The works range from the English and German Socialist press of the 1880s to the antiwar movement of the 1960s and 1970s, touching upon labor agitation, proletarian songs, student protest, the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles, the Spanish Civil War, and Communism and Socialism. The collection also includes a few books and sound recordings from the extreme right in Nazi Germany.
- International Workers of the World--Music
- Political ballads and songs
- Protest songs
- Radicalism--Songs and music
- Working class--Music
- Fraser, James
- Katanka, Michael
Michella Marino Oral History Collection, 2011-2012.
Call no.: MS 812
Michella Marino received her doctorate from the Department History of at UMass Amherst in May 2013. Her dissertation, Sweating femininity: women athletes, masculine culture, and American inequality from 1930 to the present, drew on extensive oral historical and archival research to examine how feminist women negotiated the cultural boundaries surrounding gender to carve out identities as women, athletes, and mothers. Focusing on women’s participation in two sports, basketball and roller derby, Marino wrote that her goal was to “explain the tension between women’s representation and agency, between cultural constructs and women’s lives, between images of women and their individual identities.”
The Marino Collection consists of 23 oral historical interviews with female and male participants in roller derby and basketball.
- Roller derby
- Sex discrimination in sports--History
- Sports for women
- Women athletes
- Women's basketball
Types of material
- Oral histories
Memory Corps oral histories, 2011-2012.
Call no.: Digital
Memory Corps was launched in 2011 to collect brief oral histories of the alumni of UMass Amherst. Interviews will include alumni from throughout the history of the university and center on memories of their experiences at UMass and their careers since.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Alumni
Types of material
- Oral histories