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Clark, Edie

Edie Clark Papers

1834-2018 Bulk: 1939-2017
18 boxes 25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1018

Beloved for her essays on New England life and for a long-running column in Yankee Magazine, Edie Clark was born in northern New Jersey in 1948 and raised near Morristown. A graduate of Beaver College, Clark cut short a career as editor for the Chilton Company in 1973 when she and her husband, inspired by Scott Nearing, moved to Vermont to pursue a simpler, more self-sufficient life. Drawing on the skills honed at Chilton, Clark developed a successful editorial business, which led her to approach Yankee Magazine in 1978 with the idea of writing an article on Abby Rockefeller and composting toilets, beginning an association that would last nearly twenty years. In 1990, Clark began writing a regular column on country life for Yankee, and in the years since, she has written dozens of essays and seven books, including The place he made (2008), a memoir about her second husband’s struggle with cancer; States of grace (2010), containing essays on “real Yankees;” and What there was not to tell (2013), an account of Clark’s search to uncover her parents’ experiences during the Second World War. Following a lengthy period of ill health, Clark retired from writing in 2017.

The record of a popular writer known for her depictions of contemporary New England, the Edie Clark Papers contain drafts and printed copies of nearly all of Clark’s work. An assiduous researcher, she gathered background materials on topics ranging from Lyme disease to the New England-Canadian border region to psychics and Spiritualists, and she corresponded or conducted interviews with dozens of people who featured in her work, including the author Carolyn Chute (author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine) and her husband Michael, then leaders in the so-called Second Maine Militia. Even more voluminous are some remarkable Clark family materials, including dozens of essays and letters by Clark’s grandmother Eleanor Sterling Clark and over 2,000 letters from her parents. Luther and Dorothy Clark, written during the Second World War while they were serving in the Army Air Corps and Marine Corps, respectively. These letters formed the basis for Clark’s remarkable book, What there was not to tell.

Gift of Edie Clark, April 2018.

Subjects

  • Authors--New England
  • New England--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Spiritualism
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Chute, Carolyn
  • Clark, Dorothy Rahmann
  • Clark, Eleanor Sterling
  • Clark, Luther Stowell, Jr.

Types of material

  • Audiocassettes
  • Oral histories
Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-

Gloria Xifaras Clark Papers

1943-2015
20 boxes 9.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 865
Image of Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964
Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964

Gloria Xifaras Clark was working as an elementary school teacher in her home town of New Bedford in 1964 when she answered the call to enlist in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. A recent graduate of Wheelock College, she was assigned to teach in the Benton County Freedom School in Holly Springs for several months, and stayed on to help organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and to teach literacy and Negro history in Benton, Tippah, and Union Counties. She continued on the activist path after returning to Massachusetts, devoting her energies to economic justice initiatives and work with the Friends of SNCC and the NAACP, and diving headlong into the antiwar movement as head of the Greater New Bedford Draft Information Center. After spending three years in England with her family in 1972-1975, she resumed her civic and educational work in New Bedford, eventually earning appointment as head of the Commonwealth’s Office for Children under Michael Dukakis in 1983. With a keen awareness of the historical importance of the civil rights struggle, Clark became a key organizer of an oral history project during the 1990s that included her fellow veterans of the civil rights movement in northern Mississippi. The results are available digitally through the University of Southern Mississippi.

Documenting the evolution of one activist’s career, the Clark Papers offer valuable information on the Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in northern Mississippi, particularly in Tippah and Benton Counties, and civil rights activism more generally. The collection includes communiques among civil rights workers in the region, a variety of correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, and ephemera, plus a small, but noteworthy collection of photographs. Of particular significance among the later materials is a thick body of material from the Draft Information Center in New Bedford (1967-1968), the Vietnam Summer project (1967), and relating to Clark’s role in the Harvard Strike of 1969.

Subjects

  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Civil Rights movements--Mississippi
  • Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)
  • Draft resisters--Massachusetts
  • Harvard University--Student strike, 1969
  • Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
  • Mississippi Freedom Project
  • Peace movements--Masachusetts
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts

Types of material

  • Photographs
Class Action

Class Action Records

2004-2010
13 boxes 19.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 687

Since incorporating as a non-profit in 2004, Class Action has been dedicated to exploring issues surrounding class and identifying means of dismantling classism. Founded by Felice Yeskel (an activist and founder of the Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst) and Jennifer Ladd, Class Action offers training, workshops, and organizational consulting to raise awareness of the impact of class barriers and class privilege on the lives of individuals and communities and of the intersections between race and class. Their goals include making class a diversity issue and promoting a broader vision of economic and social justice that will create lasting systemic change.

The records of Class Action include administrative files for the organization along with a range of materials used in training sessions and workshops.

Subjects

  • Classism
  • Racism
  • Social classes

Contributors

  • Ladd, Jennifer
  • Yeskel, Felice

Types of material

  • Sound recordings
Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981

Mary Doyle Curran Papers

1917-1980
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 435

Mary Curran Doyle and dog

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1917 and a graduate of Massachusetts State College, Mary Doyle Curran was an author, editor, and professor, who published her only novel, The Parish and the Hill, in 1948. Curran taught English and Irish Literature at Wellesley College, Queens College, and UMass Boston before retiring; she died in 1981.

The collection includes unpublished drafts of novels and short stories; photographs; correspondence from family and friends; publishers and literary associates such as Saul Bellow and Josephine Herbst. The Parish and the Hill, Curran’s only published novel, is today considered a classic among Irish American literature.

Subjects

  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Irish American literature
  • Irish American women--History
  • Women authors--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Bellow, Saul
  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Halley, Anne
  • Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969

Types of material

  • Photographs
Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers

1918-1990
7 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 343
Image of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.

The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

Subjects

  • Nurses--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Types of material

  • Photographs
Dawson, Alexandra

Alexandra Dawson Papers

Bulk: 1965-2015
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 905

An attorney from Hadley, Mass., Alexandra D. Dawson was known throughout New England for her work in conservation law and environmental activism. Born in Maryland in 1931, Dawson married shortly after graduating from Barnard College and after raising a family of three, she resumed her education, earning a law degree from Harvard in 1966. Early in her legal career, she took up the cause of protecting “wildlife, wetlands, and woodlands.” She was among the earliest employees of the Conservation Law Foundation and later served as general counsel for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The author of a string of influential works in environmental law, including Environmental Law (1978), Land-Use Planning and the Law (1982), and the Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners (1978-2006), she was also an educator, teaching at Antioch College (where she launched the environmental studies program), Tufts, the Kennedy School of Government, and Rhode Island School of Design. Among other commitments, Dawson was a key figure in the Kestrel Trust and served long stints on the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and the Hadley Conservation Commission. Dawson died of complication from emphysema on Dec. 30, 2011.

The product of a forty year commitment to conservationism, Dawson’s papers provide valuable documentation of land preservation efforts in New England, with a focus on the evolution of the legal context. Dawson was a formidable figure in efforts to protect wetlands, agricultural land, and open space, and her papers offer insight into land use planning, her teaching, writing, and speaking.

Gift of Rachel Spring, Apr. 2016

Subjects

  • Conservationists--Massachusetts
  • Environmentalists--Massachusetts
  • Land use--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
  • Wetlands--Law and legislation--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Kestrel Trust
DeFrees, Madeline

Madeline De Frees Papers

1951-1988
13 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: FS 051

After receiving her MA from the University of Oregon in 1951, Madeline De Frees embarked on a career teaching English and writing to students ranging in age from elementary school to college (University of Montana, Seattle University). Joining the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1979, she served as Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing from 1980 to 1983, retiring in 1985.

The DeFrees Papers are a collection of personal and professional correspondence, poems and other writings, interviews and photographs. Biographical materials, financial records, and interviews comprise the remainder of the collection.

Subjects

  • Poets--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • De Frees, Madeline
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Eshbach, Charles E.

Charles E. and M. Sybil Hartley Eshbach Papers

1913-1963
14 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 886
Image of Charles Eshbach on pony, ca.1915
Charles Eshbach on pony, ca.1915

Charles Edgar Eshbach, Jr., a 1937 graduate of Massachusetts State College, and Maude Sybil Hartley met in late 1939, while she was a student at Simmons College and he was working for the New England Radio News Service, part of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. They soon began dating and in February 1941 were engaged. After graduating in 1942, Sybil lived at home in Rochester, Mass., and taught school. Charles was drafted and enlisted in the army December 30, 1942. Trained as a radio operator, he was assigned to the Army Air Force Technical Training Command’s 326th Signal Co. Wing. Charles and Sybil married in September of 1943, and by November, Charles was in England, part of the 67th Fighter Wing stationed at Walcot Hall in Lincolnshire. Although not in combat, Charles rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He returned to the U.S. in December 1945. He and Sybil moved to Weymouth and had four children. Charles was appointed professor of Agricultural Economics at UMass in 1959. The family moved to Amherst in 1964, as Charles’ department was transforming into the Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration Department. He taught at UMass until 1986, when he retired. He died in 1997. Sybil worked at the University store for thirty years and died in 2009.

Consisting chiefly of their letters to each other, the Eshbach Papers vividly document the courtship and early married life of Charles and Sybil, particularly during their long separation, against a wartime backdrop. The collection also contains diaries, photograph albums, loose photographs, histories and rosters from Charles’ army unit, and a variety of ephemera and memorabilia such as ration tickets, receipts, programs, and Charles’ army badges and dog tags.

Gift of Aimee E. Newell, Nov. 2015

Subjects

  • 4-H clubs
  • England--Description and travel
  • Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)
  • United States. Agricultural Marketing Service
  • United States. Army Air Forces. Technical Training Command
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Eshbach, M. Sybil Hartley

Types of material

  • Diaries
  • Ephemera
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs
Forman, Sylvia Helen, 1944 or 1945-1992

Sylvia Forman Collection

1983-1987
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 341

Shortly after receiving her doctorate from the University of California Berkeley in 1972, the anthropologist Sylvia Helen Forman joined the faculty at UMass Amherst. A staunch feminist and activist, Forman was known for her commitment to her students and to the political life at the university, and for her engagement in the community. She died of cancer in 1992, just 48 years old.

The nine papers in this collection were the products of studies by students enrolled in Forman’s Anthropology 497 class at UMass Amherst. All are intensive analyses of issues of race, gender, and social justice in local communities, including disability, teenage pregnancy, child care, Cambodian refugees, and attitudes toward community living and community change.

Gift of Sylvia Forman, 1989.

Subjects

  • Amherst (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Anthropology--Massachusetts
  • Cambodians--Massachusetts
  • Child care--Massachusetts
  • Community and college--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Deerfield (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Hadley (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Leverett (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Pelham (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Teenage pregnancy--Massachusetts--Holyoke
Friedman, Alice H. (Alice Howell)

Alice Howell Friedman Papers

ca. 1967-2014
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 169

Alice Howell Friedman, a professor in the School of Nursing from 1967 until her retirement in 1984, was a strong advocate for the professionalization of nursing, and an activist for unionization and equitable compensation for nurses. Friedman arrived during a period of rapid growth for the School of Nursing and her push to broaden the educational content of nursing students played a significant role in the further growth and success of the program. This approach is exemplified in the International Experiences program she founded. After retirement, Friedman remained very involved in the field of nursing and, among many significant activities, focused on the history of nursing, becoming a tireless lay-archivist, forming the Nursing Archives at Boston University and developing the School of Nursing collections at UMass Amherst.

The Alice Howell Friedman papers document Friedman’s time as an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at UMass and her work as a labor activist, including lecture notes, publications, correspondence, clippings, and biographical materials.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Nursing