The acquisition of the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois in 1972 established SCUA as a center for research in African American history. In subsequent years, UMass has supported publication of three volumes of Du Bois’ correspondence and SCUA has digitized the papers and made them freely available on the internet while serving as a resource for many dozens of scholarly articles and books. SCUA continues in its efforts to build around the Du Bois collection, adding other important printed and manuscript materials both in African American history and in the history of efforts to promote social change.
Every February, SCUA and the Du Bois Department of Afro-Americans Studies at UMass Amherst commemorate Du Bois’s birthday by co-sponsoring a public colloquium on Du Bois and his legacy. Our lecturers have included distinguished scholars such as Herbert and Bethina Aptheker, Randolph Bromery, Clayborne Carson, Arnold Rampersad, and David Levering Lewis.
Significant collections (view all)
- Africa American Institute. Records, 1953-2014
- Antislavery Pamphlet Collection
- Several hundred pamphlets relating to political antislavery in the United States, with an emphasis opn New England.
- See our Antislavery pamphlets digital archive
- Aronson, James. Collection, 1946-1983
- Editor of the National Guardian
- Banks, Katherine Bell. Papers, 1926-1960.
- Letters from W.E.B. Du Bois to Banks, a family friend
- Bond, Horace Mann. Papers, 1830-1979
- Educator, President of Lincoln University
- Brown, John. Papers (microfilm), 1826-1942 (bulk: 1856-1859)
- Du Bois, W. E. B. Papers, 1868-1963
- Heath, Gordon. Papers, 1940-1991
- Expatriate writer, actor, director, and musician
- Hudson Family. Papers, 1780-1955
- Family papers of the antislavery activist Erasmus D. Hudson
- International Oil Working Group. Records, 1981-1986
- Lewis, David Levering. Papers, ca.1955-2012
- Massachusetts. Special Commission on Unequal Education Opportunities. Records, 1974-1978
- Obrebski, Joseph and Tamara. Papers, 1923-1974
- Anthropological field work in Jamaica, 1947-1948
- Urban League of Springfield (Mass.). Records, 1970s
- Trent, Lloyd A. Family Papers, 1850-1996
Sesquicentennial oral history project
Marking the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the University of Massachusetts, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is conducting an oral history project to capture the many voices and diverse experiences that make up our campus community. The anniversary presents an opportunity to reflect on the real achievements — and real challenges — of public higher education over the past century and a half, and a chance to consider where we would like to be in the future.
Over the course of eighteen months, the staff of SCUA and our associates will conduct one hundred and fifty interviews with an array of administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and university employees, as well as selected members of the local community. As they are completed, the interviews will be made available to the public through this website and Credo, SCUA’s digital repository.
If you are interested in participating in the project, please contact the SCUA staff.
As one of the main repositories documenting the history of western Massachusetts and New England, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects primary materials relating to the political, cultural, economic, and intellectual life of our region, and the lives and experiences of its residents.
Concentrated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the collections in SCUA touch on many aspects of the history of the region with developing depth in immigration, labor, work, and industry, social change and movements for social change, and literature and the arts. Among the more valuable collections for the political history of the region is the papers of Silvio O. Conte, Republican congressman from the First District of Massachusetts from 1959-1991. A member of the House Appropriations Committee (and its ranking minority member from 1979-1991), Conte is particularly remembered for his work in Health and Human Services, education, and the environment. SCUA also holds collections for state representatives John Haigis and Maurice Donahue, as well as other figures involved in political life in the Commonwealth.
Although the Department holds materials relating to individual communities in western Massachusetts, the history of the Quabbin watershed is a particular focal point. SCUA collects books printed in the Quabbin region and more generally, in rural New England prior to 1900, as well as manuscript, printed, and photographic collections relating to Quabbin towns.
- Business and industry
- In addition to collections relating to organized labor and the labor movement, SCUA attempts to document the experience of work and the business community to provide a rounded understanding of work life in New England. For a more complete listing, see our guide for Labor, Work, and Industry.
- Civic organizations and charities
- Collections ranging from the records of charitable organizations that provide social services to groups that foster civic engagement and social justice, benevolent and ethnic self-help societies, to organizations that support social and professional communities.
- Family history
- SCUA has a strong interest in “family collections,” typically collections that include correspondence, photograph albums, family and farm accounts, and other materials that reveal the every day lives of New Englanders. Researchers on family life and genealogy should note that many collections indexed under other subjects contain personal and family information of some importance. Our printed materials collections include many local and county histories, genealogies, and other resources which may be useful for understanding family life.
- Immigration, demography, and ethnicity
- Medical history
- Collections include daybooks and medical accounts of physicians, primarily from the nineteenth century, personal papers of physicians, and some materials on public health policy.
- Military history
- Political life and culture
- The distinctive political culture of Massachusetts and formal and informal political activity in the Commonwealth. Although the collections extend back into the nineteenth century, our focus is primarily on the post-World War II period.
- Printing in rural Massachusetts
- SCUA collects books, broadsides, and other materials printed in rural New England prior to 1900. The collections include a growing collection for the printers in the Quabbin region, Solomon and John Howes, but also includes works printed in small towns throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Hamden, and Franklin Counties.
- Quabbin Regional collections
- Collections relating to all aspects of life and the legacy of the four towns inundated by the Quabbin Reservoir: Dana, Greenwich, Enfield, and Prescott, as well as surrounding communities such as New Salem, Petersham, and Wendell. In our rare books holdings, we have a number of works printed in Enfield or Greenwich, mostly by Solomon and John Howe.
- Religious life
- Our efforts to document the spiritual lives and religious commitments of New Englanders has resulted in a number of manuscript and archival collections. Our social change holdings include a number of collections on spiritually-motivated social reform, and our rare book holdings include hundreds of published sermons and other printed materials relating to religious life in the region.
- New England regional history
Founded under the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, UMass Amherst has long been dedicated to the study and teaching of agriculture and the natural sciences. One of two land grant institutions in the Commonwealth (along with MIT), the university has played an important role in the development of scientific agriculture in New England and has been a major factor in agricultural instruction through its classes and extension service.
SCUA’s collections contain a wealth of information on the history of agriculture and related fields, including horticulture, botany, entomology, animal husbandry, gardening, and landscape design. The strength of the collection lies in documenting the development of American agricultural sciences with an emphasis upon the northeastern states, but it is supplemented with numerous works on British, French, and German agriculture. Adding additional depth are the records of the several departments at UMass Amherst charged with instruction in the agricultural sciences and the papers of individual agricultural educators.
Currently, SCUA is particularly interested in documenting the growth of organic agriculture, heritage breeds, and the practices of sustainable living.
Significant Manuscript collections (view all)
- Agricultural education
- Papers of faculty members at Massachusetts Agricultural College and UMass Amherst, as well as educational organizations dedicated to instruction in the agricultural sciences. Among the individuals represented are the agricultural educator, Kenyon Butterfield; Levi Stockbridge, the first farm manager and long-time instructor at MAC; and William Smith Clark, William Penn Brooks, and William Wheeler, who were instrumental in the 1870s in establishing the agricultural college in Hokkaido, Japan.
- Farming and rural life
- Correspondence, farm accounts, and other records of farming and rural life, primarily in New England, as well as materials relating to the sociology of rural life.
- Botany and horticulture
- Collections relating to the scientific study of botany, horticulture, forestry, and related sciences.
- Landscape and gardening
- The papers and photographs of the landscape designer Frank Waugh, and other collections.
- Other natural sciences
- Including entomology and geology.
Printed works: Collecting areas
- Early works through the late nineteenth century on agriculture in America, Britain, and Europe, including those by John Fitzherbert, Thomas Hale, Arthur Young, “Columella,” John Smith, Gervase Markham, et al.
- Animal husbandry
- Works on sheep culture in the United States (Robert R. Livingston, Samuel Bard) and England (Lord Somerville, John Lawrence); dairy and beef cattle, horses, poultry science.
- Beekeeping and entomology
- Among the earliest rare books acquired by the Massachusetts Agricultural Library were a collections of rare books in beekeeping, including key works by Thomas Hill, John Keys, Daniel Wildman, Henry Eddy, from the late 17th through late 19th centuries. Works by Maria Sibylla Merian, John Curtis, Dru Drury, Johann Jakob Romer, Jacob l’Admiral
- Botany and Silviculture
- Important works on American botany by Frederick Pursh, Thomas Nuttall, Humphry Marshall’s Arbustrum Americanum, François André Michaux, early editions of Linnaeus
- Gardening and landscape design
- Three editions of Bernard M’Mahon’s American Gardener’s Calendar, William Cobbett, Alexander Jackson Davis, Humphry Repton, and others.
- Genetics, eugenics, animal breeding
- Essentially compete runs of Eugenics Quarterly, and key works in eugenics.
- Pomology, viticulture, and fruit culture
- William Prince, William Coxe, William Chorlton, et al.
“… there must come vast social change in the United States; a change not violent, but by the will of the people certain and inexorable; carried out ‘with malice toward none but charity for all'; with meticulous justice to the rich and complete sympathy for the poor, the sick and the ignorant; with freedom and democracy for America, and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, Chicago, June 29, 1951
In pursuit of our mission, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds.
While not comprehensive, the following includes a brief synopsis of some of the primary focal points for SCUA’s collections:
Echoing the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s great insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement — and no solution to social ills — can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas, all in the hope of better representing the true histories of social engagement in America and laying the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change.
A related feature of SCUA’s approach to collecting is our commitment to documenting “whole lives and whole communities.” Rather than focus just on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to represent the person’s entire life in all its complexity: the person’s background, the events themselves, and the aftermath, as well as the range of colleagues and organizations engaged. Our goal is not to highlight simply the great achievements and great people, but to reveal the broad underpinnings of influences, interests, and organizations that shaped them and the communities in which they operated.
Emphasizing the cross-fertilization between social movements and centers of activist energy, SCUA collects materials from individuals and organizations involved in the struggles for peace and non-violence, social and racial justice, economic justice, agricultural reform, environmentalism, sustainability, alternative energy, organized labor, gay rights, disability rights, spiritual activism, antinuclear activism, and intentional communities. Our collections branch out to include anti-fluoridation activism, campaigns for voting rights and clean elections, community and charitable organizations, and the history of revolutionary-era Europe (1789-1848).
- African and African American history and culture: The history of race and ethnicity in America, with particular emphasis on the struggle for racial equality and social justice.
- Agriculture, horticulture, botany: Including agricultural science and practice, horticulture, animal husbandry, natural history, organic farming, sustainable living, and heritage breeds.
- Antinuclear movement: SCUA holds numerous collections documenting grassroots opposition to nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
- Arts management and arts administration:
In partnership with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and several other arts agencies, SCUA documents the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state and national arts agencies, we will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities.
- Cold War Culture: The culture of the Cold War, with an emphasis upon East Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Among other areas, SCUA has a strong interest in the Solidarity movement and in partnership with the DEFA Film Library, in East German cinema and graphic arts.
- Disability: Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States.
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues: Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
- Labor, work, and industry: Organized labor, industrialization, manufacturing, business history, and the experience and culture of labor and working people.
- Peace: Materials relating to the peace and antiwar movements and non-violence, with an emphasis on New England.
SCUA collects materials that document innovative and entrepreneurial activities and particularly social entrepreneurship. Representative collections in SCUA include the papers of Mark H. McCormack (a pioneer in sport and entertainment marketing), Carl C. Harris (inventor and President of Rodney Hunt Co.), and numerous collections that document our region’s distinctive history of innovation in manufacturing and technology.
The social, political, cultural, intellectual, literary, and economic life, with an emphasis upon western New England. The department houses thousands of books on New England cookery, with a particular emphasis on charitable and community cookbooks and cookbooks and ephemera published by corporations and the food industry.
- Cookery and culinary history
SCUA has thousands of cookbooks and other materials on New England regional cuisine, including community and charitable cookbooks, commercial cookbooks by New England authors, corporate cookbooks, and culinary ephemera.
- Literature and the arts
Emphasizing poets and writers, playwrights, and the performing arts in New England.
- Politics and political culture
SCUA has rich collections documenting the history and politics of the Commonwealth, including the papers of Congressmen Silvio O. Conte and John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, and State Representative John Clark; and the records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns.
Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available official and non-official records documenting the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community, including its administration, departments and programs, faculty, and staff. The Archives avidly collects materials that reflect the lives and experiences of its students and alumni and that reflect our history as one of the Commonwealth’s two land grant institutions.
SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:
- Hadley Farm (Physical Plant)
- see also UMass Foundation–Land Acquisition RG-50/7
- Haigis Mall (Physical Plant)
- Haitian Student Association (HASA) (1986- )
- Hampden County Cooperative Extension (1972-1973)
- Hampshire College
- see New College Committee and Hampshire College RG-60/6
- Hampshire County Cooperative Extension (1922-1983)
- Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) and 4 or 5 College Cooperation (Library) (1951- )
- Handbooks (Student Affairs) (1890- )
- see also Dean of Women–Handbook for Women RG-30/3
- Handicapped, Committee on Facilities for
- see also CASIAC, Handicapped Counselor RG-11/15
- Handicapped Student Affairs, Office of (1973- )
- Handicapped Student Affairs Newsletter (1980-1987)
- Handicapped Student Collective (1979-1981)
- Handicapped Students, Committee to Study Accommodations for (Faculty Senate, 1969-1970)
- Hands Club (Sign Language) (1980’s-1996)
- Hang Gliding Club (1989- )
- see Haitian Student Association (HASA) RG-45/40/H1
- Health Club, Hilltop
- see Hilltop Health Club (1983) RG-45/40/H5
- Health Council (Faculty Senate, 1965- )
- Health Education, Division of
- Health Plan, Valley
- see Valley Health Plan RG-30/15/13
- Health Program (Official University Committee) (1970-1972)
- Health Sciences, School of
- see School of Health Sciences RG-17
- Health Services
- Health Watch (1977-1989, 1992-1995)
- Healy Endowment/Public Service Fund (Research and Graduate Studies)
- Hellenic Student Association (1982- )
- see also European Club RG-45/40/E8
- Herb, Spice and Medicinal Plant Digest
- see Extension Service, Cooperative–Herb, Spice and Medicinal Plant Digest (1983-1995) RG-15/8
- Herter Art Gallery
- see Art Gallery RG-11/15
- High Points (Honors Program) (1986-1990)
- High School Guest Day, ad hoc Committee on (Faculty Senate, 1956-1960)
- Higher Education, Center for (School of Education)
- Higher Education Coordination Council (1991-1996)
- Higher Education Information Reporting, Statewide, Committee for
- see Statewide Higher Education Information Reporting, Committee for (SHEIR) RG-60/11
- Higher Education, Massachusetts Board of
- see Massachusetts Board of Higher Education RG-1/3
- see also Board of Regents (1980-1991) RG-1/4
- Higher Education Coordination Council (1991-96)/Board of Higher Education (1996- ) RG-1/5
- Higher Education, New England Board of
- see New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) RG-60/2
- Higher Education Reorganization, ad hoc Committee on (Faculty Senate, 1992)
- see Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) RG-8/7
- Hillel (Religious Group) (1955- )
- Hilltop Health Club (1986)
- Hindu Students Organization (HSO) (Religious Group) (1995- )
- Hispanic Cultural Center (1989)
- Hispanic Literature and Linguistics
- Historical Collection, University
- see University Historical Collection RG-1/200-299
- Histories, Published, and Historian’s Files
- see Published Histories and Historian’s Files RG-1/201
- see also Duplicate Collection, Histories of Campus RG-99/6
- History Committee, University (1986-1987)
- see also Campus Awareness Committee (1986- ) RG-40/2/C5
- History Department
- History Institute
- History Newsletter (1977- )
- History of the University
- History of the University, By periods (1850- )
- History of the University, General (1851-1960’s)
- History, Oral
- see Oral History RG-1/207
- History Project, University
- see University History Project (125th Anniversary, 1987-1988) RG-1/208
- HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
- see Health Services RG-30/15
- Hobbit, The (Student Publication) (1967)
- Hockey, Men’s
- see Sports-Men’s Hockey (1910- ) RG-18/2
- Hokkaido University Committee
- see Foreign and International Studies Council (Faculty Senate, 1967- ) RG-40/2/A3
- Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
- see Trustee William Wheeler RG-2/3
- President William Smith Clark RG-3/1
- Professor Horace E. Stockbridge RG-3/1
- President Jean Paul Mather RG-3/1
- President John Lederle RG-3/1
- David Penhallow (Class of 1873) RG-50/6
- see also International Agricultural Studies, Center for RG-15/4
- Holdsworth Highlights–Newsletter (1985-1986)
- Holdsworth Natural Resources Center (College of Food and Natural Resources)
- see also College of Agriculture, Holdsworth Natural Resource Center microfilm in main library
- microfilms collection, containing serials.
- Holdsworth Natural Resources Center Publication
- see Community Resource Development RG-15/3
- Holdsworth Natural Resources Center–Planning and Resource Development Series (1964-1970)
- Home Economics Division (College of Food and Natural Resources)
- Home Economics Education Department
- see also Home Economics Division (College of Food and Natural Resources) RG-15/12
- Home Economics Leader
- see Extension Service, Cooperative–Home Economics Leader (1934-1935) RG-15/8
- Home Economics Newsletter
- see Creative Living Newsletter (1987- ) RG-15/12
- Home Economics Slide Shows
- Honor System
- Honorary Degrees (1972- )
- Honorary Degrees (Official University Committee) (1975-1976, 1979)
- Honorary Degrees, Advising Committee on (Faculty Senate, 1980)
- Honorary Degrees Committee (Faculty Senate, 1956-1965)
- Honorary Societies (Student)
- Honors Committee (Faculty Senate, 1956-1969)
- Honors Day
- see Honors Office RG-6/4/11
- Honors Program (1956-1999)
- Commonwealth College (1999- )/Honors Program (1956-1999) RG-6/4/11
- Honors Theses, Senior
- see Senior Honors Theses RG-46/3
- Horace Mann Bond Center for Equal Education
- see also Equal Education RG-13/3/23/2.5
- Hort Notes
- see Extension Service, Cooperative–Hort Notes (1990- ) RG-15/8
- Horticultural Research Center (College of Food and Natural Resources)
- Horticulture Division of MAC
- Hosmer Memorial Garden (2000)
- Hotel Operations (Campus Center)
- Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration publication
- see HRTA Alumni Key RG-25/H8/00
- Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration Department
- House Mouse
- Housing Administration
- see also Housing Office RG-30/21
- Dormitories RG-32
- Student Center for Educational Research–In Pursuit of Shelter (1975) RG-45/10
- Housing Assignment Office
- see Housing Office (Housing Assignment Office) RG-30/21
- see also Greek Affairs RG-30/2/3
- Housing Administration (Administrative Services) RG-35/12
- Fraternities and Sororities RG-45/90
- Housing Assignments (Housing Services)
- see also Housing Office (Housing Assignment Office) RG-30/21
- Housing, Family
- see Family Housing (Housing Services) RG-32/10
- Housing Office (Housing Assignment Office)
- see also Greek Affairs RG-30/2/3
- Housing Assignments (Housing Services) RG-32/13
- Housing Administration (Administrative Services) RG-35/12
- Fraternities and Sororities RG-45/90
- Housing Resource Center, Commuter Service and
- see Off Campus Housing Office (OCHO) RG-45/18
- Housing Services
- Housing Services (Microfilm)
- Housing Services Cable Network (HSCN) (1991- )
- Housing Service, Maintenance and Operations
- Housing Services, Budget and Finance
- Housing Services Newsletter
- see Perspectives (Housing Services) (1984-1985) RG-32/00
- Housing Services, Personnel
- Housing Services Publications
- Housing Services–Racial Understanding, Center for
- Housing Service Review Committee (1993)
- Housing Sub-Committee, Northeast Quadrangle President’s Council
- see Northeast Quadrangle President’s Council, Housing Sub-Committee (1968) RG-40/3/N6
- see Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration Department RG-25/H8
- HRTA Alumni Association Newsletter(1974-1976)
- HRTA Alumni Key (1974-1976, 1983-1986)
- HRTA News (1974-1986)
- HRTA Newsletter (Alumni Publication) (1974-1976)
- see Division of Human Services and Applied Behavioral Sciences (HS/ABS) RG-13/4/1
- see Handicapped Student Affairs–Newsletter (1980-1987) RG-30/29
- see Housing Services Cable Network (HSCN) (1991- ) RG-32/15
- Human Development Department
- Human Development Laboratory School (School of Education)
- Human Development Laboratory School–Newsletter (1986-1987)
- Human Needs, Committee on Nutrition and
- see Nutrition and Human Needs, Committee on RG-45/80/N8
- Human Potential, Center for (School of Education)
- RGs: 13/3/15/3, 13/3/17/1, 13/3/26/6
- Human Potential Division (School of Education)
- see Human Services and Applied Behavioral Sciences RG-13/4/1
- see also Human Potential, Center for RGs-13/3/15/3, 13/3/17/1, 13/3/26/6
- Human Relations (School of Education)
- Human Relations, Commission on Civility in
- see Civility in Human Relations, Chancellors Commission on (1980- ) RG-40/2/C3
- Human Relations, Office of
- Human Relations, Office of Community Development and
- see Community Development and Human Relations, Office of RG-30/22
- Human Resources News (Human Resources Office) (1983-1985)
- Human Resources Office
- see Personnel/Payroll (Human Resources Office) RG-35/2
- Human Resources, Office of
- Human Rights and a Responsible University, Committee for (1987- )
- Human Rights in the Soviet Area, Committee for (1974)
- Human Service and Applied Behavioral Sciences (HS/ABS), Division of (School of Education)
- Human Subjects Review (Official University Committee ) (1982)
- Human Subjects Review, ad hoc Committee on (Faculty Senate, 1971-1972, 1982)
- see also Graduate Council (Faculty Senate, 1960- ) RG-40/2/A3
- Human Subjects Review (Official University Committee) (1982) RG-40/2/H8
- Human Subjects Review Committee
- see University Human Subjects Review Committee RG-9/1/2/1
- Humanistic Applications of Social and Behavioral Sciences Cluster
- Humanistic Education, Center for (School of Education)
- Humanities and Fine Arts, College of
- see Humanities and Fine Arts Faculty RG-11/10
- Humanities and Fine Arts, Dean
- Humanities and Fine Arts Faculty
- Humanities and Public Policy, Massachusetts Foundation for
- see Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy RG-6/10
- Humanities Institute
- see Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities RG-6/19
- Hunger Task Force, UMass (1982-1989)
- see also MASS AID RG-45/40/M4
William F. Field Papers, 1948-1986.
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
The University’s first Dean of Students, William F. Field held the post from 1961 until his retirement in 1988. The 27 years Field was Dean of Students was a critical time of growth and unrest, as the University’s student population more than tripled in size and the nation-wide movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were reflected through student activism and protest on the University’s campus. Responsible for ending student curfews and overseeing all dorms becoming co-ed, Field also worked with minority students and faculty to support the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
The William F. Field Papers document Field’s career as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts and specifically his role as Dean of Students from 1961-1988. The correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and other official printed and manuscript documents are a rich resource for one of the most important and volatile eras in the University’s history. Of particular interest are extensive files on student protests and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the growing diversity of the campus student population, flourishing of the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
- African American college students--Massachusetts
- Field, William Franklin, 1922-
- Race relations--United States
- Universities and colleges--United States--Administration
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of Students
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States
Types of material
William L. Machmer Papers, 1899-1953.
Call no.: RG 006/1 M33
Enjoying one of the longest tenures of any administrator in the history of the University of Massachusetts, William Lawson Machmer served under five presidents across 42 years, helping to guide the university through an economic depression, two world wars, and three name changes. During his years as Dean, Machmer witnessed the growth of the university from fewer than 500 students to almost 3,800, and helped guide its transformation from a small agricultural college into Massachusetts State College (1931) and finally into the University of Massachusetts (1947).
Machmer’s papers chronicle the fitful development of the University of Massachusetts from the days of Kenyon Butterfield’s innovations of the 1920s through the time of the GI Bill. The collection is particularly strong in documenting the academic experience of students and the changes affecting the various departments and programs at the University, with particular depth for the period during and after the Second World War.
- Agricultural education
- Fort Devens (Mass.)
- Massachusetts Agricultural College
- Massachusetts State College
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Mathematics
- World War, 1939-1945
- Baker, Hugh Potter, 1878-
- Butterfield, Kenyon L. (Kenyon Leech), 1868-1935
- Lewis, Edward M
- Machmer, William L
- Van Meter, Ralph Albert, 1893-
Types of material
- Letters (Correspondence)
- Student records
The Department of Special Collections and University Archives houses over 35,000 volumes reflecting an evolving history of collecting at UMass Amherst. Beginning in the late 1860s with a focus on agriculture and the natural sciences, SCUA has developed into a resource for the study of regional and local history in New England, emphasizing our varied cultural, social, religious, and political histories.
Beyond New England, SCUA has built strength in several distinct areas, ranging from the history of social change to the extraordinary collection of Japanese rarities collected by the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman during the Meiji era. Other noteworthy collections include those pertaining to the culture of the Cold War: a growing collection of books printed in East Germany and one of the largest collections of materials in the United States from the Solidarity movement in Poland.
All books and periodicals held by SCUA are cataloged in the Library’s online catalog and summary descriptions of most major book collections, but not individual titles, are included in SCUA’s own online catalog, UMarmot.
Selected areas of collecting interest:
Agriculture, horticulture, natural history
The library holds key works in apiculture, entomology, gardening, landscape design, organic agriculture, pomology, sustainability, and viticulture, with numerous works in animal husbandry. Materials date back to the 16th century, however the strength of the collections lies in the late 18th and 19th centuries.
Cookery in New England
The collections of Beatrice A. McIntosh, Athena Savas, and Lynette Foucher, among others, include books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to the culinary history of New England, including many thousands of cookbooks published by church and community organizations.
European history and culture
Diverse collections ranging from materials on Revolutionary-era Europe, 1789-1848 (the Binet and Brabançonne Collections); Anglo-American Political Economy; twentieth century German history (the Harold Gordon Collection on the Interwar period and the Hans Joachim Ring Collection on East German cinema); and Communist-era Poland (Basia Jakubowska Schlatner Solidarity Collection).
Gay and Lesbian Literature
The centerpiece extensive of our holdings is the collection of gay rights pioneer Barbara Gittings and her partner, Kay Tobin Lahusen, which includes books on the history of homosexuality in America, works by and about gay writers, gay activism, and related topics.
Books by and about Robert Francis, Archibald MacLeish, William Manchester, William Lederer, and the Broadside Press, among others, as well as the poetry libraries of Francis, Wallace Stevens, and Anne Halley. Although the literary collections focus largely on New England writers, SCUA houses fine collections of the works of William Morris and William Butler Yeats, signed first editions of works by Thomas Mann, and collections of French and Scottish writers.
New England history and culture
Local and regional histories, novels, and other writing about Massachusetts from the eighteenth century to the present. These include an array of election, ordination, installation, dedication, fast-day, mission, farewell, and funeral sermons; Fourth of July orations; and addresses to or by benevolent, cultural, and civic organizations in the Commonwealth. SCUA also collects works printed in small towns and rural districts of Massachusetts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Valuable collections for the history of antislavery in New England and politics of the left. The John P. Roche and Steven Siteman Collections focus on the American left from the late 19th century through the 1950s, with some European materials and materials from the political right.
The University Archives contains the official and unofficial records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst throughout its evolution from a small agricultural college into a dynamic and complex university. Within the archives are letters and artifacts, records, photographs, and sound recordings documenting the lives of its founders, the pursuits of its faculty, and the changing attitudes of its students and alumni, revealing what high quality public education means to our Commonwealth and nation.
Among the hundreds of discrete collections and over 13,000 linear feet of records are the official papers of Chancellors, Presidents, Trustees, and other administrators; information about the University’s academic units and student organizations; and the founding documents of our sister campuses at Worcester, Boston, Lowell, and Dartmouth. The papers of faculty members add a wealth of information about the lives and intellectual pursuits of our campus community as well as their chosen academic disciplines.
Finding things in the archives
A comprehensive alphabetical index of UMass departments, programs, and other units, including acronyms. Each entry includes a reference to the archival Record Group where the records can be found.
YouMass is wiki devoted to the life and history of the campus community.