University of Massachusetts Amherst
SCUA

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What we collect

Frank Waugh's doves
Garden (white fan tailed doves in bird bath) by Frank Waugh, ca.1920

“… 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.

Our approach to collecting

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.

While not exhaustive, the following is a synopsis of the primary focal points for SCUA’s collections:

Social change

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.
  • Antifluoridation movement: Including right-wing, left-wing, libertarian, popular, and scientific opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies.
  • 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.
  • Spiritual approaches to social change: Materials relating to people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

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.

New England history and culture

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.

University Archives collecting

Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, SCUA is steward for the official and unofficial records of the university that document the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community. The collections are a rich record of administrative activity at all levels, from system to program, but they focus on documenting the lives and activities of individual administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Other areas

SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:

  • American Study of Japan and Asia
    American relations with Japan from the Meiji period to the present, and connections with China and other Asian countries.
  • Gravestone studies and death
    Materials relating to the history, culture, preservation, and interpretation of gravestones and related subjects.
  • Protistology
    Records of the scholarly study of the protista (protozoans).

Learn more:

Baker, Hugh Potter, 1878-

Hugh Potter Baker Papers
1919-1951
(4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 003/1 B35
Image of Hugh P. Baker, ca.1945
Hugh P. Baker, ca.1945

Hugh Baker served as President during most of the existence of Massachusetts State College, taking office in 1933, two years after it changed name from Massachusetts Agricultural College, and retiring in 1947, just as the college became the University of Massachusetts. A forester by training, Baker began his career as a professor, and later dean, in the College of Forestry at Syracuse University. In 1920, he left Syracuse to become Executive Secretary of the American Paper and Pulp Association, and for nearly a decade, he worked in the forestry industry. He returned to academia in 1930, when he resumed the deanship at the New York State School of Forestry. During his presidency at Massachusetts State College, Baker oversaw the construction of improved housing and classroom facilities for students, a new library, the expansion of the liberal arts curriculum, and a near doubling of student enrollment. Further, chapel services were reorganized to be voluntary, and a weekly convocation was initiated. Baker also founded popular annual conferences on recreation and country life.

The Baker Papers include correspondence with college, state, and federal officials, college suppliers, and alumni; speeches and articles; reports and other papers on topics at issue during Baker’s college presidency, 1933-1947, particularly the building program. Also included are several biographical sketches and memorial tributes; clippings and other papers, relating to Baker’s career as professor of forestry at several colleges, trade association executive, and college president.

Subjects
  • Clock chimes--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
  • College buildings--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
  • Massachusetts State College--Anniversaries, etc
  • Massachusetts State College--Buildings
  • Massachusetts State College--History
  • Massachusetts State College--Student housing
  • Massachusetts State College. President
  • Massachusetts State College. School of Home Economics
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950
  • Old Chapel (Amherst, Mass.)--History
  • Student housing--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--History
Contributors
  • Baker, Hugh Potter, 1878-

Banfield, Walter

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.

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

Barghoorn, Elso S. (Elso Sterrenberg), 1915-1984

Elso S. Barghoorn Journals
1944-1984
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 820
Image of Hoba West meterorite, Nov. 1971, 12 miles west of Grootfontein, South West Africa
Hoba West meterorite, Nov. 1971, 12 miles west of Grootfontein, South West Africa

The paleobotanist Elso Barghoorn exerted an enormous influence on the scientific understanding of the early evolution of life on earth. After receiving his doctorate at Harvard in 1941, Barghoorn taught briefly at Amherst College before returning to Havard five years later, eventually becoming the Richard A. Fisher Professor of Natural History. A pioneer in paleopalynology, he he and two colleagues announced the startling discovery of a well-preserved Archaean fossil flora in 1954, including the first solid record of fossil bacteria and cyanobacteria from the Gunflint chert of Ontario. Culminating in a landmark 1965 publication (with Stanley Tyler), his work demonstrated conclusively the existence of unicellular fossils and helped to revolutionize study of deep evolutionary time.

The Barghoorn collection consists of seven bound journals containing notes from trips to Panama (1944), Europe (1957-58); Ghana, South Africa, and Tonga (1971-1972); Europe (1972); Hawaii, the South Pacific, and Africa (1975); Greenland (1977); South Africa and Australia (1978); and Australia and the South Pacific (1981). Comprehensive typescripts are available for each journal.

Subjects
  • Harvard University--Faculty
  • Paleobotany
  • Palynology
  • Panama--Description and travel
Contributors
  • Margulis, Lynn, 1938-2011
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Photographs

Barnard, Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor Barnard Papers
1924-2004
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 008

Born in Groton, Massachusetts. In 1930, Mary Taylor became a student of botany at Massachusetts State College in 1930. While there, she struck up a romance with Professor Ellsworth “Dutchie” Barnard, and the two were married on December 31, 1936. The Barnards served on the University Millennium Time Capsule Committee and contributed memorabilia to the capsule. Both were Friends of the Library and for many years, Ellsworth served on the library’s Board of Trustees.

The Mary Taylor Barnard Papers include notes from Barnard’s Botany classes, newsclippings about the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and documents related to the Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Botany Department
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students
Contributors
  • Barnard, Ellsworth., 1907-
  • Barnard, Mary Taylor

Clark, Orton Loring

Orton Loring Clark Papers
1910-1922
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 047

Orton Loring Clark was an associate professor of botany and biology at the University of Massachusetts. After earning his B.A. in 1908 from the University, then the Massachusetts Agricultural College, Clark studied at the University of Strasbourg, where he earned his doctorate. He joined the faculty of his alma mater in 1913, specialized in plant physiology, and taught until his retirement in 1946. Known as a great teacher and fine artist, Clark was active in Amherst town politics. He passed away in 1965 at the age of 79.

Orton Loring Clark’s collection includes several notebooks of research notes, data, and hand-drawn field diagrams. The notebooks date from his student years in Germany to his first several years on the faculty at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. The collection also includes one letter from 1922.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Botany Department
Contributors
  • Clark, Orton Loring

Denslow, William Wallace, 1826-1868

William Wallace Denslow Botanical Manuscripts Collection
1864-1868
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 064

A druggist by training, William Denslow became interested in botany as a means of combating tuberculosis through outdoor exercise. As his interests developed, Denslow amassed an herbarium that included between 11,000 and 15,000 specimens, including both American and European species.

The Denslow collection consists of a single volume of manuscripts, chiefly letters, collected from significant botanists and other individuals, including William Henry Brewer, Mordecai Cubitt Cooke, Asa Gray, Isaac Hollister Hall, Thomas P. James, Horace Mann, Edward Sylvester Morse, Charles Horton Peck, George Edward Post, Frederick Ward Putnam, George Thurber, and John Torrey.

Subjects
  • Botanists--Correspondence
  • Botany--History--19th century--Sources
Contributors
  • Brewer, William Henry, 1828-1910
  • Cooke, M. C. (Mordecai Cubitt), b. 1825
  • Denslow, William Wallace, 1826-1868
  • Gray, Asa, 1810-1888
  • Hall, Isaac H. (Isaac Hollister), 1837-1896
  • James, Thomas Potts, 1803-1882
  • Mann, Horace, 1844-1868
  • Morse, Edward Sylvester, 1838-1925
  • Peck, Charles H. (Charles Horton), 1833-1917
  • Post, George E. (George Edward), 1838-1909
  • Putnam, F. W. (Frederic Ward), 1839-1915
  • Thurber, George, 1821-1890
  • Torrey, John, 1796-1873
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

Forestry and Lumbering

Forestry and Lumbering Photograph Collection
1924-1970
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 159

Foresty and lumbering have been substantial sectors of the Massachusetts economy for more than 300 years. This collection includes photographs of forests throughout New England and New York, lumbering and related occupations, tools of forestry, and distinguished foresters. Together these images capture the history and traditions of forestry and lumbering in Massachusetts from mill work to Christmas trees.

Subjects
  • Forests--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Photographs

Franklin, Henry James, 1883-

Henry James Franklin Papers
1909-1926
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 061
Image of Henry James Franklin
Henry James Franklin

H.J. Franklin was an expert cranberry grower and a trained entomologist, whose research centered on the bumble bee. Franklin would wed these two interests in his career at the University, where he studied the cranberry pollination habits of the bumble bee and oversaw the cultivation of cranberries at the University’s Cranberry Experiment Station at Wareham, which Franklin founded and directed from 1909 until he retired in 1953. Born in Guildford, Vermont in 1883, Franklin moved to Bernardston, Mass. when he was eleven, eventually attending the University of Massachusetts, where he earned his B.S in 1903, and Ph.D in 1912. Franklin spent his career and life with cranberries, owning and managing his own bogs in three eastern Massachusetts counties and working with cranberry producers to develop the industry. Franklin died in 1958 in Wareham, Mass.

The H.J. Franklin Papers document his research on the bumble bee as well as his work with cranberry producers. In the collection are reports from the cranberry grower’s association, published articles by Franklin on cranberries and the Bombidae, and reports from the State Agricultural Board on cranberry production.

Subjects
  • Bees
  • Cranberries
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Food Science
Contributors
  • Franklin, Henry James, 1883-

Gray, Asa, 1810-1888

Asa Gray, A pilgrimage to Torreya
1875
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 419 bd

The great botanist and early supporter of evolutionary theory, Asa Gray, toured the Florida Panhandle during the spring of 1875, making “a pious pilgrimage to the secluded native haunts of that rarest of trees, the Torreya taxifolia.” His journey took him along the Apalachicola River in search of Torreya, an native yew prized by horticulturists.

This slender manuscript account was prepared by Gray for publication in the American Agriculturist (vol. 43). In a light and graceful way, his “pilgrimage” describes the difficulties of travel in the deep south during the post-Civil War years and his exploits while botanizing. The text is edited in Gray’s hand and varies slightly from the published version.

Subjects
  • Florida--Description and travel--19th century
  • Yew
Contributors
  • Gray, Asa, 1810-1888
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