University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Collection policy

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:

Collections in SCUA

Rope pull participants, ca.1913
Rope pull participants, ca.1913

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is a center for research into the history and impact of social change and the history and cultures of New England.

Regardless of format, the collections in SCUA are richly interconnected, with particular depth for a suite of movements devoted to social justice. We have exceptional holdings for African American history and culture; organized labor; the peace, antiwar, and antinuclear movements; political and cultural radicalism; alternative societies; spiritual approaches to social change; and the history of agriculture, with an increasing emphasis on organic agriculture and sustainability.

SCUA houses approximately 40,000 rare books, hundreds of thousands of photographs, and nearly 45,000 linear feet of archives, including nationally significant manuscript collections and the official records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SCUA supports the work of a wide range of researchers, from undergraduates to senior scholars and journalists to family historians, and we are resource for the individuals and communities we document.

In addition to the major areas of collecting interest, SCUA in home to an eclectic assortment of materials documenting Revolutionary-era France and Belgium (1789-1848); the history of protistology; and the American study of Japan.

Learn more:

Concordance to the Archives

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Copeland, Thomas W.

Thomas W. Copeland Papers, 1923-1979
22 boxes (10 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 050
Thomas W. Copeland Papers image
Thomas W. Copeland, 1940

A scholar of eighteenth century British literature and culture, Thomas W. Copeland began what would become more than half a century of research on the statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke while studying for his doctorate at Yale (1933). After publication of his dissertation in 1949 as Our Eminent Friend Edmund Burke, Copeland was named managing editor of the ten-volume Correspondence (1958-1978). After academic appointments at Yale and the University of Chicago, he joined the faculty at UMass in 1957, remaining here until his retirement in 1976. A chair was established in his name in the Department of English.

The Copeland Papers are a rich collection of personal and professional correspondence, journals and writings from Copeland’s Yale years, manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and draft revisions of his works on Edmund Burke, and a journal chronicling Copeland’s four-year exercise in the daily practice of writing.

Subjects
  • Burke, Edmund, 1729-1797
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Golden, Morris

Dalsimer, Susan

Susan Dalsimer Papers, 1969-1970
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 578
Susan Dalsimer Papers image
Steve Diamond, Ray Mungo, and Susan Dalsimer, ca.1969

Famous Long Ago launched the literary career of Raymond Mungo with a splash, but even before the book had reached the shelves, he turned to his next project. In October 1969, Mungo began planning for a memoir of his life at the Packer Corners commune. Soon entitled Total Loss Farm, the book would become a classic in the literature of the 1960s counterculture. Signing a contract in November with E.P. Dutton, he worked with a young and sympathetic editor, Susan Stern (later Susan Dalsimer).

This small, but rich collection consists of a series of letters between Raymond Mungo and his editor at E.P. Dutton, Susan Stern, regarding his ideas on writing and life. Beginning in October 1969 with editorial commentary on Famous Long Ago and Mungo’s additions, the Dalsimer Papers offer insight into the development of Total Loss Farm from concept to printed page.

Gift of Susan Dalsimer, Nov. 2008
Subjects
  • Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Diamond, Stephen
  • McLardy, Peter
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Famous Long Ago
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- . Total Loss Farm
  • Nineteen Sixties
  • Packer Corners Community (Vt.)
  • Simon, Peter, 1947-
Contributors
  • Dalsimer, Susan
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946-
Types of material
  • Photographs

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)

Diamond, Arlyn, 1941-

Arlyn Diamond Papers, 1976-1988
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 118

As a member of the faculty in the English Department at UMass Amherst in 1972, Arlyn Diamond became one of the founding members of the Program in Women’s Studies. A scholar of medieval European literature, Diamond received her doctorate from Berkeley in 1970 and became an early proponent of feminist criticism. Among other works, she was author of Authority of Experience: Essays in Feminist Criticism (1988) and editor (with Lee Edwards) of American Voices, American Women (1973). Diamond retired from the University in 2004.

This small collection consists primarily of notes for research and teaching. Of particular interest is a series of women’s studies bibliographies, readings for the Five College Women’s Studies Faculty Seminar (Autumn 1977), graduate level feminist theory courses, and notes related to the history of women’s studies. Also included among the papers are financial records from the 1977 Five College Women’s Studies Faculty Seminar.

Subjects
  • Feminist Criticism
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Du Bois Fellowships

du bois

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library offers short-term residential fellowships to assist scholars in conducting research in its collections. Among the approximately 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts held by SCUA are many valuable collections for the study of social change in the United States, including the papers of the most important exponent of the politics and culture of the twentieth century, W.E.B. Du Bois. In addition, the University Library houses over three million volumes and a rich suite of electronic resources to support advanced research in the humanities. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to SCUA’s collections are available on this website.

Fellowships are awarded in two categories: 1.) Full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD and 2.) graduate students at UMass Amherst or in the Five College community.

View past Du Bois Fellows

Application information

Eligibility:

Category 1: Full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD are eligible to apply. Fellows may come from any field and any perspective, and they may work on any topic, but their research should explore the major themes that characterize Du Bois’s scholarship and activism, including the history and meaning of racial, social, and economic justice; the problems of democracy and political inclusion; the role of capitalism in world affairs; and the global influence of African cultures. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Category 2: All graduate students enrolled at UMass Amherst or in the Five College community are eligible to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Award & expectations:

Category 1: Faculty fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 for an eight-week library residency with a housing allowance of $2,500 as well as a research allowance of $600. In addition to the two-month residency, Du Bois Fellows will be invited back to campus to give a public talk to the Five College community, comprised of UMass Amherst faculty, graduate student fellows, and community college faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Fellows should plan to schedule their residencies during July-August 2017.

Category 2: Five College graduate student fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 for an eight-week library residency. Fellows may schedule their residencies for any time between July in the year of award through the following April.

Selection criteria: All fellows will be selected on a competitive basis from applicants interested in conducting original research in the Du Bois Papers and other SCUA collections. The criteria for selection will include: 1) potential of the proposal to contribute to scholarship, 2) fit with Du Boisian themes, 3) the need for use of SCUA collections, and 4) the letter of support. The application will consist of a brief (up to 3 pages) description of the research project, a curriculum vita, and a letter of support.
Deadline for submission:

Category 1: Faculty applications must be received by April 10, 2017.

Category 2: Five College graduate student applications must be received by April 14, 2017.

How to submit: Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] library.umass.edu with “Du Bois application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.

InformationFaculty Du Bois Fellowship application 2017 (rtf file).

InformationFive College Graduate Student Du Bois Fellowship application 2017 (rtf file).

Finestone, Roy

Roy Finestone Photograph Collection, 1969-1990
239 images
Call no.: PH 005
Roy Finestone Photograph Collection image
Nina, Smoky, Chuck, Janis (Smoky and Nina on bikes)

A wave of experimentation in communal living in New England reached a peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with dozens of communities spread across the landscape of western Massachusetts and Vermont. Nina Finestone joined the Johnson Pastures in Guilford , Vermont, in 1969, however after the main house there went up in flames on April 16, 1970, killing four people, she joined a number of its residents who moved to the nearby Montague Farm in Montague, Massachusetts. Nina married a fellow Montague farmer, Daniel Keller, and the couple moved to Wendell in 1980.

Providing exceptional visual documentation of life at Johnson Pasture, the Montague Farm, and Wendell Farm between 1969 and 1990, the Finestone collection is centered on the lives and family of Daniel and Nina Keller. All images were taken by Roy Finestone, Nina’s father, with a medium format camera using color transparency film.

Subjects
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Johnson Pasture Community (Vt.)
  • Keller, Daniel
  • Keller, Nina
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
  • Wendell Farm Community (Mass.)
Contributors
  • Finestone, Roy

Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974

Sidney Finkelstein Papers, 1914-1974
11 boxes (5.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 128

Noted critic of music, literature, and the arts, as well as a writer and an active member of the Communist Party U.S.A. Includes letters to and from Mr. Finkelstein; original manuscripts of reviews, articles, essays, and books; legal documents, educational, military, and personal records, financial papers, contracts, photographs, and lecture and course notes.

Subjects
  • Art criticism--United States--History--20th century
  • Communism--United States--History
  • Communist Party of the United States of America--History--20th century
  • Communist aesthetics--History--Sources
  • Culture--Study and teaching--United States--History--20th century
  • Music--History and criticism
  • Musical criticism--United States--History
  • Socialist realism--History--Sources
Contributors
  • Cohen, R. S. (Robert Sonné)
  • Finkelstein, Sidney Walter, 1909-1974
  • Gorton, Sally Kent, 1915-2000
  • Hille, Waldemar, 1908-
  • Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971
  • Lawson, John Howard, 1894-
  • Richmond, Al, 1913-1987
  • Selsam, Millicent Ellis, 1912-
  • Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-
  • Thomson, Virgil, 1896-
  • Veinus, Abraham
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs

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