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Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Depiction of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBus drivers--Labor unionsCharter schoolsJackson, Jesse, 1941-Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--North CarolinaNational Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)Public schoolsSmithfield Foods, Inc.Strikes and lockouts--Bus driversWeatherman (Organization)

Contributors

Boston School Bus Drivers UnionUnited Steelworkers of America
Coffin, George R. (George Richards)

George R. Coffin Journal

1854-1857
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1000 bd

The son of a master mariner from Newburyport, Massachusetts, George Richards Coffin was born in Castine, Maine, on Feb. 12, 1832. Sent to Boston at the age of 19 to get his start in business as a clerk, Coffin became a wharfinger in 1854, just a year before he married Hannah Balch, the eldest daughter of a prominent Newburyport merchant. As his family grew to eight, Coffin thrived in his trade, becoming a long-time member of the Merchant’s Exchange in Boston and Inspector of Grain for the Commercial Exchange in the 1870s. By the 1880s, he relocated his family to the genteel western suburbs of the city and by the time of his death in 1894, he had earned a spot in the Boston Blue Book.

This beautifully written diary was kept by George Coffin as he was starting out in life. Kept regularly, though not daily, the entries are filled with details about his budding business and personal lives, providing a rich portrayal of an aspiring young man in antebellum Boston. Beginning during the last few months of his clerkship and courtship of Hannah Balch and continuing through their engagement and marriage to the birth of their first child, the diary is filled with descriptions of socializing at parties and lectures, religious attendance and recreational activities, and it includes his thoughts on marriage, family, and his career in business. Of particular note are Coffin’s accounts of a visit to the State Prison in Charlestown, his reactions to local resistance to the capture of Anthony Burns under the Fugitive Slave Act, and the steady growth of his relationship with Hannah.

Gift of Elizabeth Hartmann, Nov. 2017

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th centuryBurns, Anthony, 1834-1862Clerks--Massachusetts--BostonCoffin, Hannah B.Courtship--Massachusetts--BostonHusband and wife--Massachusetts--BostonMarriage--Massachusetts--BostonNewburyport (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th centuryUnited States. Fugitive Slave Law (1850)Weddings--Massachusetts--Newburyport

Types of material

Diaries
Dobrowski, Elaine H.

Elaine H. Dobrowski Collection

ca.1935-1995
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 376
Depiction of Ogniko Polek (Polish Women's Club) at Blinstrub's Village nightclub, 1950
Ogniko Polek (Polish Women's Club) at Blinstrub's Village nightclub, 1950

Deeply involved in the Polish community in Boston, Elaine (Proborszcz) Dobrowski (1923-2009) was the wife of attorney Francis R. Dobrowksi and mother of two children. She was a resident of Dorchester and Milton, Mass., and a long-time member of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in South Boston.

Compiled by Elaine Dobrowski, this collection of photographs, printed materials, and news clippings documents the Polish community in Boston from the 1930s through the 1990s. The collection includes photographs of the Kosciusko Monument in the Boston Public Gardens, a children’s dance festival, and a Polish Women’s circle outing at Blinstrub’s Village as well as images of parades, receptions, and conventions.

Gift of Elain H. Dobrowski, Jan. 1995.
Language(s): pol

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customsPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Types of material

Photographs
Flint and Lawrence Family

Flint and Lawrence Family Papers

1642-1798
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 273

Personal, financial and legal papers of Flint and Lawrence families of Lincoln, Massachusetts including wills, estate inventories, indenture documents, receipts of payment for slaves and education, correspondence; and records of town and church meetings, town petitions and receipts relating to the construction of the meeting house. Papers of Reverend William Lawrence include letter of acceptance of Lincoln, Massachusetts ministry, record of salary, a sermon and daybook. Personal papers of loyalist Dr. Joseph Adams, who fled to England in 1777, contain letters documenting conditions in England in the late 1700s and the legal and personal problems experienced by emigres and their families in the years following the Revolutionary War.

Subjects

American loyalists--Great BritainAmerican loyalists--MassachusettsChurch buildings--Massachusetts--Lincoln--CostsEngland--Emigration and immigration--18th centuryFlint familyImmigrants--England--17th centuryLand tenure--Massachusetts--LincolnLandowners--Massachusetts--LincolnLawrence familyLincoln (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th centuryLincoln (Mass.)--HistoryLincoln (Mass.)--Social conditions--18th centuryMassachusetts--Emigration and immigation--18th centurySlaves--Prices--Massachusetts--Lincoln

Contributors

Adams, Joseph, 1749-1803Flint, Edward, 1685-1754Flint, Ephraim, b. 1714Flint, Love Adams, d. 1772Flint, Thomas, d. 1653Lawrence, William, 1723-1780

Types of material

AccountsGenealogiesIndenturesInventories of decedents estatesWills
Framingham Friends Meeting

Framingham Friends Meeting Records

1963-2018
4 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 f736

Beginning as an informal gathering in the home of Margaret Welch in 1959, Framingham Friends Meeting of the Society of Friends evolved organizationally into a formal worship group under the care of Cambridge Monthly Meeting in 1961 and then a preparatory meeting (1964). It was set off as an independent monthly meeting in 1979.

A newer monthly meeting, Framingham is well documented through a continuous set of meeting minutes from 1983-2018 (with some extending back to 1963) and a long run of newsletters and directories of members. The minutes often include official reports and other documents.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Framingham (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Massachusetts

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of Friends

Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1985-2010
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 F747

Since the merger of the Boston Monthly Meeting with the Independent Cambridge Monthly during the second quarter of the twentieth century, the Society of Friends has expanded in the Boston area. Fresh Pond began as an allowed meeting under Cambridge Monthly in 1989 and was set off as a monthly meeting of its own in 1991. It has been under care of Salem Quarterly Meeting since its inception.

The records from Fresh Pond include a nearly complete set of minutes for the meeting’s first five years and a nearly comprehensive set of newsletters.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Massachusetts

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Friends Meeting at Cambridge Records

8 vols., 15 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 C363

The present-day Friends Meeting at Cambridge began as an independent, informal, unprogrammed meeting for worship that met between 1899 and 1901, and then again beginning in 1911. After holding joint meetings with neighboring Boston Monthly Meeting starting in 1926, Cambridge became an official independent monthly meeting in 1937, and during the Quaker union of 1944, merged with Boston Monthly to create the new Friends Meeting at Cambridge.

Although records from Cambridge are beset with significant gaps, they nevertheless provide a rich opportunity for examining the growth of a monthly meeting in New England during the post-World War II era and the commitment shown by its members to creating social justice. The collection includes extensive records of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee (and related endeavors), documenting peace activism during the Cold War and Vietnam years, and initiatives to fight poverty and racial injustice.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--Religious life and customsPeace movements--Massachusetts--CambridgeQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts--Cambridge

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)NewslettersPhotographs
Gale, Amory, 1800-1873

Amory Gale Ledgers

1840-1872
2 vols. 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 259 bd

A physician and native of Warwick, Mass., Amory Gale worked as an allopath after his graduation from Brown College in 1824, before turning to homeopathy in the mid-1850s. Often struggling with ill health, Gale plied his trade in a long succession of towns, including Canton, Scituate, Mansfield, and Medway, Massachusetts, as well as towns in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Between 1844 and 1853, he interrupted his medical practice for a turn in the pulpit.

Gale’s surviving ledgers include accounts with patients, their form of payment, lists of medical fees, and a draft of a business agreement with a fellow homeopath in Woonsocket, J.S. Nichols.

Subjects

Physicians--Massachusetts

Types of material

Account books
Halpern, Joel Martin

Joel Martin Halpern Papers

1950-2007
ca.300 linear feet
Call no.: FS 001
Depiction of

The anthropologist Joel Martin Halpern (1929- ) has worked in regions from the Alaskan arctic to Laos and Lapland, but he is best known for his studies of modernization in the Balkans. Following undergraduate study in history at the University of Michigan (BA, 1950), Halpern entered the renowned anthropology program at Columbia, receiving his doctorate in 1956 for a study of the village of Orašac in the former Yugoslavia, which in turn became the basis of his first book, A Serbian Village (N.Y., 1958). After two years working in Laos as a Field Service Officer with the Community Development Division of the U.S. International Cooperation Administration, Halpern was a member of the faculty at UCLA, Brandeis, and the Russian Research Center at Harvard (1965-1967) before coming to UMass Amherst in 1967. A prolific author, Halpern has written or edited dozens of books on the Balkans and Southeast Asia, including A Serbian Village in Historical Context (1972), The Changing Village Community (1967), The Changing Peasantry of Eastern Europe (1976), and The Far East Comes Near (1989). Since retiring from the university in 1992, Halpern has remained in Amherst.

A massive collection documenting the long and varied career of a prolific ethnographer, the Halpern Papers include a wide range of textual and visual materials documenting the anthropological study of modernization, ethnicity, rural life and urbanization, the economy, and cultural change. Much of Halpern’s research centered on the Balkans (Macedonia and Serbia), Laos, and arctic Alaska and Canada, however he has worked on Asian immigrant communities in the United States and many other topics.

Subjects

Balkan Peninsula--Ethnic relationsLaos--AnthropologyMacedonia--AnthropologySerbia--AnthropologyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of AnthropologyYugoslavia--Anthropology

Contributors

Halpern, Joel Martin

Types of material

Field notesPhotographs
Hill, David W.

David W. Hill Diaries

1864-1885
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 496

A native of Swanzey, N.H., David W. Hill became a brass finisher in the years following his military service during the Civil War, working as a machinist for several concerns in Cambridgeport, Mass., New York City, NY, Newport, R.I., and Haydenville, Mass., through the mid-1880s.

The 13 pocket diaries in the Hill collection contain regular entries describing the weather, Hill’s work as a brass finisher, his travels, the state of his health, and miscellaneous mundane observations on his daily life.

Acquired from Peter Masi, Mar. 2005.

Subjects

Brass industry and trade--MassachusettsCambridge (Mass.)--History--19th centuryHaydenville (Mass.)--History--19th century

Types of material

Diaries