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.
Frederick V. Waugh Collection, 1917-1919.
Call no.: PH 026
In July 1917, prior to the American entry in the First World War, Frederick Vail Waugh joined a group of about fifty residents of Amherst, Mass., who enlisted for duty in the Ambulance Service of the French Army. From August 1917 through April 1919, SSU 39 (Service Sanitaire Unis) — redesignated SSU 539 and transferred to the American Expeditionary Service in January 1918 — served among the trenches of northern France and Belgium. Known as the Black Cat squadron, they took part in three major offensives with the AEF, the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys. Waugh was among three members of the unit awarded the French Croix de Guerre for courage and energy during the last month of the war. After returning to the states, Waugh earned a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Agricultural College (1922), where his father Frank A. Waugh was a Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, followed by an MA from Rutgers (1926) and PhD from Columbia (1929). He enjoyed a distinguished fifty year career as an agricultural economist with the US Department of Agriculture.
A snapshot of life in the First World War, the Waugh collection includes Frederick Waugh’s army jacket (with Croix de Guerre), helmet, and puttees, and a remarkable history of the unit and photo album, Being the Book of S.S.U. 539. A second book, I Was There with the Yanks in France (1919) has been transferred for shelving to the Rare Books stacks.
- Ambulance drivers--United States
- United States. Army Ambulance Service. Section 539
- World War, 1914-1918--Medical care
- Waugh, Frederick V. (Frederick Vail), 1898-1974
Hugh Potter Baker Papers, 1919-1951.
Call no.: RG 003/1 B35
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.
- 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
- Baker, Hugh Potter, 1878-
Walter Banfield Papers, ca.1945-1999.
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
Elso S. Barghoorn Journals, 1944-1984.
Call no.: MS 820
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.
- Harvard University--Faculty
- Panama--Description and travel
- Margulis, Lynn, 1938-2011
Types of material
Mary Taylor Barnard Papers, 1924-2004.
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.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Botany Department
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students
- Barnard, Ellsworth., 1907-
- Barnard, Mary Taylor
Orton Loring Clark Papers, 1910-1922.
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.
- Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
- Massachusetts Agricultural College. Botany Department
- Clark, Orton Loring
William Wallace Denslow Botanical Manuscripts Collection, 1864-1868.
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.
- Botany--History--19th century--Sources
- 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 Photograph Collection, 1924-1970.
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.
Henry James Franklin Papers, 1909-1926.
Call no.: FS 061
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.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Food Science
- Franklin, Henry James, 1883-