Special Collections and University Archives
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Gene Abair Alcoholism Collection, ca.1875-1962

ca. 100 vols. (11 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 002

After joining Alcoholics and Anonymous in Springfield to regain control over his life, Gene Abair emerged a new man. And a bibliophile. A janitor with a limited education, Abair began to collect books relating to alcoholism and temperance, eventually devoting himself to making his growing collection available to alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike as a lending library. The collection was acquired by UMass in 1972 with the assistance of Abair’s friend, Mrs. Walter E. Carlson, and about 100 titles (of over 400) were transferred to SCUA.

The Abair Collection includes works on the physiology, psychology, ethics, and social history of alcohol consumption from the mid-19th through the mid-twentieth centuries. Among other items, it includes key works on medical aspects of inebriety, personal narratives and biographies of temperance leaders and alcoholics, and books on the formal temperance movement and prohibition.


  • Abair, Gene
  • Alcoholism
  • Drinking of alcoholic beverages
  • Prohibition
  • Temperance

Africa-America Institute Records, ca.1953-2014

439 boxes (658.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 849
Studying in Lesotho, 1963
Studying in Lesotho, 1963

Founded in 1953 by a multi-racial collective of educators including Horace Mann Bond, then President of Lincoln University, and William Leo Hansberry, a professor of history at Howard University, the Africa American Institute has encouraged and supported African students in pursuit of higher education in the United States. From its early years, AAI provided financial and social support for African students studying in the U.S., but it has expanded its activities in scope with the goal of helping to building leadership for Africa within the academic, professional, business, and policy making classes. It has become a vibrant intellectual center for developing human capacity, drawing together thought leaders, researchers, and entrepreneurs interested in issues relating to the continent.

A massive body of material documenting the history of the AAI from its founding in the early 1950s to the present, the collection is a remarkable resource for study of American relations with Africa as the continent emerged from colonial domination. With a focus on the history of educational support and exchange between the continents, the collection contains a vibrant record of the growth of leadership in Africa.


  • Africa--Foreign relations--United States
  • Education, Higher--Africa
  • United States--Foreign relations--Africa


  • Bond, Horace Mann, 1904-1972

Types of material

  • Photographs

Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., during the academic year, except major holidays. During semester breaks, on certain holidays, and in the summer, SCUA is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. SCUA will be closed on days when the W.E.B. Du Bois Library is closed.

If you are planning a visit from a distance, please contact us in advance to verify that the department will be open. A small number of collections are stored off site and advance notice will expedite service.

Dates SCUA is closed:
Holiday 2015 2016
New Year’s Day Jan. 1 Jan. 1
Memorial Day May 25 May 30
Independence Day July 4 July 4
Labor Day Sept. 7 Sept. 5
Thanksgiving Day Nov. 26 Nov. 24
Christmas holiday Dec. 25, 30, 31, and Jan. 1 Dec. 26

Contact information

Mailing address

25th Floor
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
UMass Amherst

University Libraries
154 Hicks Way
UMass Amherst
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275

Phone: 413-545-2780
Email us

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For directions to campus, see also the UMass Visitor’s Center Home Page. If you are driving, park in the Campus Center Parking Garage. When you emerge from the garage, the tall brick tower to the south is the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Inside the Library, take the elevators to the 25th floor.

The most convenient accommodations are located in the Campus Center Hotel, however other options are listed on the Robsham Memorial Center website.

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History of Protistology

“The province of protozoa, reminiscent of the fertile crescent in the Middle East, straddles the highways of thought that run between the major continents of biology. Down these roads come caravans of concepts and analogies: ideas about hierarchies and taxonomies from one direction, convictions about the basic structures and functions of life from another, opinions about reproduction and development from a third, and theories of the origin and evolution of life’s forms from still another quarter. It is uncanny how these separate trains of thought intersect one another in the land of the single-celled organisms. There they interact, exchange views, and rearrange their loads before they disperse again to inform other regions of biology of their contents and conclusions. A complete history of protozoology must recognize the centrality of this terrain.”

Frederick B. Churchill. 1989. “Toward the History of Protozoology,” Journal of the History of Biology 22: 185-187.

Protistology (formerly called protozoology) is the scientific study of unicellular eukaryotes and their relatives — single cells as living organisms. Protists make up 57 of the 60 distinct “ultrastructural identities” of eukaryotes, with the macroscopic forms most familiar to us (plants, animals and fungi) nestled amongst the other three (Simpson and Patterson, 2007). An extraordinarily diverse assemblage of organisms, protists have distinctive genetic systems, numerous primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of symbiosis, and unique cytoskeletons, and they play important roles in food webs and as pathogens. Among them are some of the most serious human parasites, including the malaria parasites Plasmodium spp., Leishmania, Trypanosoma, Entamoeba and Trichomonas. Many protists, such as Chlamydomonas, Tetrahymena, and Dictyostelium, have become important experimental organisms in scientific and medical research.

What do the Protistology Collections include?

The Protistology collections at UMass focus on the unique aspects of protist biology, those not found in plants, animals and fungi, but which inform our understanding of the evolution of these macroscopic lineages. In addition to having the professional papers, lab notebooks and journals of some of the leading 20th century protistologists, the collection includes the world’s primary repository of light and electron micrographs of protists. Due to the ubiquity and diversity of protists, the collections cross a broad range of disciplines and methodologies, from evolutionary biology to ecology, physiology, medicine, and public health.

The growing number of collections include the papers of:

For further information, please contact the Archivists.


Simpson and Patterson, 2007. In Katz, L.A. and D. Bhattacharya, eds. Genomics and Evolution of Microbial Eukaryotes. Oxford

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Hula cats
Postcard, Miriam Chrisman Papers

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.

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Roberta Uno Collection of Asian American Women Playwrights' Scripts, 1924-2005

25 boxes (9 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 345
Coconut masquerade postcard
Coconut masquerade postcard

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
  • Playwrights


  • Uno, Roberta, 1956-

Types of material

  • Scripts (Documents)

ACWA New England Joint Board Records, 1939-1976

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
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

Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society Records, 1986-2000

1 folder, 1 audiocassette, 1 VHS tape (.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 940
Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society logo

Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society, (a.k.a. the Amelia’s) was a lesbian social club based out of Lebanon, N.H., serving the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire, and beyond. Reachable via an unnamed post-office box, the club began in 1979 and provided members not only with much sought after social, leisure, and entertainment opportunities, but also a unique community of peers for discussion and activities around political, educational, health, and legal issues of importance to women and lesbians. Like their famous namesake, the Amelia’s did not shy away from risks in supporting women, the feminist movement, or actions promoting and educating about lesbians. The group often overlapped with feminist and lesbian print shop and publishing company, New Victoria Press, and the Amelia’s often used the New Vic building for their meetings.

The Amelia Earhart’s Underground Flying Society Records consist of over 25 issues of the “Amelia’s Newsletter” from 1986-2000; two clippings covering news related to the group, including the repeated vandalization of their “Upper Valley Lesbians” Adopt-A-Highway Program sign; a 1994 audiocassette of interviews for an oral history of the Amelia’s; and a VHS tape of a community event held in 2003 to reflect on the women’s movement in the Upper Valley in the 1970s and 1980s. The newsletter offers detailed documentation of the group and their concerns, including calendars of their social gatherings and other local, regional, and national events of interest, and recaps of relevant news to the lesbian community including updates about politics, legal issues, civil rights and benefits, marriage, discrimination cases, women’s health, education and school issues, and lesbian focused social and entertainment events.


  • Feminism--New England--History
  • Lesbian community--New England
  • Lesbian community--New Hampshire
  • Lesbian community--Vermont


  • Dingman, Beth

Types of material

  • Audiocassettes
  • Newsletters
  • VHS

Walter Banfield Papers, ca.1945-1999

12 boxes (6.75 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 117

The plant pathologist Walter M. Banfield joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1949 after service in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. A native of New Jersey with a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Banfield’s research centered on diseases affecting shade trees in the United States, and he is widely credited with identifying the origin of Dutch elm disease. As early as 1950, he emerged as a prominent advocate for the protection of open space and farmland, becoming a founder of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. An avid hiker and canoeist, he remained in Amherst following his retirement. He died at age 95.

The Banfield Papers include records from his Army service, family records, and professional and family correspondence – particularly between Banfield and his wife Hertha whom he met in Germany during WWII. The professional correspondence documents Banfield’s commitment to land preservation, and include many applications for land to be set aside for agricultural or horticultural use. Banfield was also a talented landscape photographer, and the collection includes a large number of 35mm slides reflecting his varied interests, including images of Europe at the end of World War II and various images of landscape, trees, forests, and other natural features that he used in teaching.


  • Dutch elm disease
  • Plant pathology
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant Pathology
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Banfield, Walter M

Tom Benedek Collection, 1967-1973

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 073
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973

A screenwriter and visual artist, Tom Benedek majored in film as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, earning the distinction of becoming the first graduate of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program in 1971. From early in his college career, Benedek worked as a photographer the newspaper, the Collegian, while studying with faculty such as Jerome Liebling (at Hampshire College) and Jerrold Maddox (at Amherst), and he spent his junior year in Paris studying at the Ecole du Louvre and l’Institut de Formation Cinematographique. In his career in Hollywood, he has written screenplays for the movies Cocoon, Zeus and Roxanne, and The Adventures of Pinocchio and worked with Robert Zemeckis, Lawrence Kasdan, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Richard Rush, and Harold Ramis, among many others. He is a member of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and teaches screenwriting at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

The hundreds of images in the Benedek Collection document the development of a talented photographer. While some of the images stem from his work for the Collegian, most were taken on his own around campus and beyond, including trips to Boston and New Orleans, and his year studying abroad in Paris following shortly after the events of 1968. The collection consists entirely of 35mm black and white negatives and color slides.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
  • New Orleans (La.)--Photographs
  • Paris (France)--Photographs
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs
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