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African American history

Founders of the Niagara Movement, ca.1905

Founders of the Niagara Movement, ca.1905

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)

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Allen, Frances and Mary

Frances and Mary Allen Collection of Deerfield Photographs, 1900-1910
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 001
Image of Deerfield, Mass.
Deerfield, Mass.

Influenced by the arts and crafts movement, Frances and Mary Allen began taking photographs of their native Deerfield, Mass., in the mid-1880s. Displaying a finely honed pictorialist aesthetic, the sisters specialized in views of Deerfield and surrounding towns, posed genre scenes of life in colonial times, and the local scenery, earning a reputation as among the best women photographers of the period.

The Allen sisters photograph album contains ten gelatin developing out prints of street scenes in Deerfield, ca.1900-1910. Among these are two shots of the house they inherited from their aunt Kate in 1895, which thereafter became their home and studio.

Subjects
  • Deerfield (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Women photographers--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Allen, Frances
  • Allen, Mary E. (Mary Electa), 1858-1941
Types of material
  • Photographs

American Express Company. Florence (Mass.) Office

American Express Company Florence Office Records, 1867-1890
3 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 298

Records of express agent Watson L. Wilcox of Simsbury, Connecticut, and Florence, Massachusetts, documenting Wilcox’s work for the American Express Company and the evolution of the company from a small shipping business to a delivery organization whose services contributed to the growth of the local and regional economy. Records consist of agent books, receipt books, and waybills listing accounts of local companies and residents for the sending, receiving, and delivery of freight, telegraph messages, express cash, goods, and packages.

Subjects
  • American Merchant's Union Express Company
  • Express service--Massachusetts--Florence--History
  • Florence (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Florence Manufacturing Company
  • Florence Sewing Machine Company
  • Hill, Samuel L
  • Industries--Massachusetts--Florence--History
  • New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company
  • Nonotuck Silk Company
  • Parsons, I. S
  • Simsbury (Conn.)--Economic conditions
  • Williston, A. L
Contributors
  • American Express Company (Florence, Mass.)
  • Wilcox, Watson L., 1832 or 3-1896

Ancient Order of United Workmen. Deerfield Valley Lodge No. 150

Ancient Order of United Workmen. Deerfield Valley Lodge No. 150 Records, 1895-1920
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 453

The Ancient Order of United Workmen, a fraternal benefit society, was originally founded in Pennsylvania in 1868. The Massachusetts lodge was founded in 1879 with the Deerfield Valley Lodge incorporated in 1880.

The collection consists of records dating from 1895–1920, including financial documents, membership information, and correspondence.

Subjects
  • Fraternal Aid Association
  • Fraternal organizations--Massachusetts
  • Shelburne Falls (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Ancient Order of United Workmen. Deerfield Valley Lodge No. 150
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Receipts (Financial records)

Association for Gravestone Studies. Markers

Markers: The journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, 1979-2008
25 issues
Call no.: Digital
Part of: Association for Gravestone Studies Collection

The annual journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, Markers, features definitive illustrated articles on cemetery and gravemarker topics as well as an extensive annual international bibliography of recent scholarship. We digitized back issues and have made them available online; current subscriptions may be obtained through membership in the Association for Gravestone Studies.

View the issues:

vol. I (1979/80)
vol. II (1982)
vol. III (1984)
vol. IV (1987)
vol. V (1988)
vol. VI (1989)
vol. VII (1990)
vol. VIII (1991)
vol. IX (1992)
vol. X (1993)
vol. XI (1994)
vol. XII (1995)
vol. XIII (1996)
vol. XIV (1997)
vol. XV (1998)
vol. XVI (1999)
vol. XVII (2000)
vol. XVIII (2001)
vol. XIX (2002)
vol. XX (2003)
vol. XXI (2004)
vol. XXII (2005)
vol.XXIII (2006)
vol. XXIV (2007)
vol. XXV (2008)
Subjects
  • Sepulchral monuments
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies

Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers

Independent Film and Video Monthly Collection, 1975-2006
28 boxes (42 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 771

Begun in 1978 by the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, The Independent is a leading source of information for independent, grassroots, and activist media-makers. Published monthly, The Independent carries articles and criticism on documentary and independent films and fulfills an important role in providing inspiration and connections for the independent media community. Although the AIVF shut its doors in July 2006, suspending print publication of The Independent, Independent Media Publications acquired the rights to the publications and archives of The Independent Film & Video Monthly in 2007 and will continue the journal online.

In addition to a nearly complete run of The Independent, now fully digitized, the collection contains the surviving editorial and production records for the journal.

Subjects
  • Documentary films--Periodicals
  • Experimental films--Periodicals
Contributors
  • Association of Independent Video and Filmakers
  • Foundation for Independent Video and Film (U.S.)

Austin, Samuel

Samuel Austin Collection, 1718-1920
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 937

An historian and educator, Samuel Austin (1816-1897) was known for his long association with the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. (later renamed the Moses Brown School). An alumnus who married an alumna, Elizabeth H. Osborn, Austin taught at the Boarding school for decades and was instrumental in gathering and preserving documents relating to the school. He wrote and lectured regularly on the history of Friends’ education and on the Boarding School, and its noted teachers and alumni.

A product of the historical work of Samuel Austin, the collection contains both essays, notes, and talks on the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence and on Moses and Obadiah Brown, and some significant original documents used by Austin in his research. Noteworthy among the original materials are a fascinating series of records from monthly and quarterly meetings in and near Rhode Island, mostly in 1787-1793; a rich series of epistles received by Smithfield Monthly Meeting from other meetings in New England (1718-1767); some key printed epistles from Yearly Meetings, including those on war (London, New England, and Philadelphia Yearly) and slavery (London and Philadelphia). Of equal note are a series of letters from Elisha Thornton (a New Bedford merchant, educator, and antislavery advocate), a lengthy letter on doctrine from John Wilbur, and a 1765 sermon from Rachel Wilson.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016
Subjects
  • Antislavery movements
  • Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
  • Friends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)
  • Peace movements--Rhode Island
  • Quaker women--Rhode Island--18th century
  • Quakers--Education--Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island--History--18th century
  • Society of Friends--History--Rhode Island
Contributors
  • Thornton, Elisha, 1748-1816
  • Wilbur, John 1774-1856
Types of material
  • Correspondence
  • Minutes (Administrative records)

Barton, George W.

George W. Barton Papers, 1889-1984 (Bulk: 1914-1920)
(4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 050 B37

George W. Barton was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1896. After attending Concord High School in Concord, Barton began his studies in horticulture and agriculture at Massachusetts Agricultural College.

The Barton collection includes diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper clippings, programs, announcements, and his herbarium, and relates primarily to his career at the Massachusetts Agricultural College where he studied horticulture and agriculture from 1914-1918.

Subjects
  • Botany--Study and teaching
  • Horticulture--Study and teaching
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Students
Contributors
  • Barton, George W
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Herbaria
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Baszak, Mark A.

Mark A. Baszak Papers, 1991-1992
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 653

Born in Springfield in 1960 and raised in the Pioneer Valley, Mark A. Baszak received a bachelors degree in music composition and MEd. from UMass Amherst. Beginning shortly after completing graduate study, Baszak played a prominent part for over two decades in promoting the arts at his alma mater, serving as Acting Director of the Performing Arts Division (1987-1989), Coordinator and then Director of the Jazz in July program (1990-2008), Associate Director of Multicultural Programs (1993), and organizer of the Black Musicians Conferences and Festival (1989-1999). As an arts and culture representative of the Massachusetts Hokkaido Sister State Association in the early 1990s, Baszak helped foster exchanges between the sister states, visiting Hokkaido with the first official state delegation in 1991. Baszak died after a brief illness on September 25, 2008.

Documenting the early efforts to build upon the 1990 designation of Hokkaido and Massachusetts as sister states, the Baszak collection includes materials concentrated on the first Hokkaido Week in Amherst and the delegation that accompanied Gov. William Weld to Hokkaido in 1991. In addition to correspondence and memos, the collection includes ephemera collected by Baszak during the various ceremonies and transcripts of speeches delivered.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts-Hokkaido Sister State Association
Contributors
  • Baszak, Mark A
  • Weld, William F

Battey, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Battey Papers, 1900-1914
13 items (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 947

Elizabeth Battey served as a Housekeeper for aristocratic English families during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. At the turn of the century, she was employed by Frances Evelyn Greville the Countess of Warwick, and former mistress of the Price of Wales, to oversee the female staff at Warwick Castle, and from 1904 until at least 1914, she was Housekeeper under Richard George Penn Curzon, the 4th Earl Howe, at his estates Godshall and the Woodlands.

The letters of Elizabeth Battey offer insight into the daily life of a member of the upper staff at an aristocratic Edwardian estate, revealing an acute class sensibility and attention to the duties of a woman of her station. The letters are filled with information about the estates on which Battey worked, her famous employers the Countess of Warwick and Earl Howe, and the social milieu she witnessed at a servant’s distance.

Gift of I. Eliot Wentworth, Oct. 2016
Subjects
  • Aristocracy (Social class)--Great Britain
  • Gopsall Estate (England)
  • Housekeepers--Great Britain
  • Howe, Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, Earl, 1884-1964
  • Howe, Richard George Penn Curzon, Earl
  • Warwick (England)--Description and travel
  • Warwick Castle (Warwick, England)
  • Warwick, Frances Evelyn Maynard Greville, Countess of, 1861-1938
Contributors
  • McCulloch, Elizabeth E.
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