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Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Joseph Donohue Collection of Theatre Programs and Theatrical Ephemera

23 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 696

An historian of modern British drama, Joseph Donohue was a longtime member of the Department of English at UMass Amherst. A native of Brookline, Mass., Donohue was educated at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown before receiving his doctorate at Princeton (1965), and he studied directing at both Columbia and Yale. After five years at Princeton, he joined the faculty at UMass in 1971, where he remained for thirty four years. The author of numerous articles and books on the British and Irish theatre, Donohue was author — among many other works — of Dramatic Character in the English Romantic Age (1970) and Theatre in the Age of Kean (1975) and editor of the London Stage, 1800-1900 Project. A past president of the American Society for Theatre Research, he was also a fixture in local performances, including the Valley Light Opera Company. Upon retirement from the department in 2005, Donohue was named Professor Emeritus.

Consisting of hundreds of theatrical programs and other ephemera, the Donohue collection documents a lifetime of avid theater-going. The astonishing array of playwrights and plays represented in the collection, and the diversity of theatres (mostly in New York and London), provides a nearly exhaustively chronicle of Donohue’s theatrical habits from his days as a graduate student to nearly the present.

  • Theater--England--London
  • Theater--New York (State)--New York
  • Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Playbills

Double Edge Theater

Double Edge Theatre Records

28 boxes 15.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 455
Image of Bold Stroke for a Wife
Bold Stroke for a Wife

Since its founding, Double Edge Theatre has embraced a two-fold mission: to develop and promote the highest quality of original theatre performance, and to create a permanent center of performance, practice, training research, and cultural exchange.

The collection documents the Theatre’s focus on research, international collaboration, and the elevation of artistic performance above and beyond stage work into the realm of cultural exchange.

  • Experimental theater
  • Theater and society
  • Theatrical companies--Massachusetts
  • Arnoult, Philip
  • Double Edge Theatre
  • Durand, Carroll
  • Klein, Stacy
  • Odin teatret
  • Staniewski, Wlodzimierz
  • Stowarzyszenie Teatralne "Gardzienice"
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programs

Ebert, Siegfried

Siegfried Ebert Papers

2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 576
Image of Ebert in his studio, ca.1965
Ebert in his studio, ca.1965

The graphic artist Siegfried Ebert had an important influence on the visual language of East German television and animated motion pictures. Born in Eibau on July 20, 1926, Ebert was drafted into the Luftwaffe in 1943, but shortly after going on active duty, he was severely wounded and taken prisoner by the English. After his release, Ebert shifted course in life, studying commercial art at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zittau and film at the Hochschule für bildende und angewandte Kunst in Wiessensee. He became one of the earliest artists to specialize in the new medium of television, working for Deutscher Fernsehfunk, doing graphic design and animation. A member of the Verband Bildender Künstler Deutschlands, he later worked on animated films for the DEFA studios. Suffering from ill health for the last several years of his life, Ebert suffered a heart attack in November 1985, and died at home shortly after his sixtieth birthday in 1986.

The Ebert Collection includes a small assortment of correspondence, awards, and biographical materials, along with examples of his graphic work for television and film. Among other unusual items in the collection are attractive handbills (small posters) for Progress and DEFA films, some original sketches, photographs and mockups of his artwork for television, and an assortment of personal and professional ephemera.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, 2007
Language(s): German
  • Germany, East--Social life and customs
  • Graphic artists--Germany, East
  • Motion pictures--Germany, East
  • Prisoners of War--Germany
  • Television--Germany, East
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Ebert, Siegfried
  • Thorndike, Andrew
Types of material
  • Animation drawings
  • Ephemera
  • Handbills
  • Photographs
  • Posters

Ellis, James, 1935-

James Ellis Theatre Collection

ca.8,000 vols.
Call no.: MS 779

During a long career as Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, James Ellis wrote on the Victorian stage and the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. A founding member of the Valley Light Opera Company, he was also an actor and director of theatricals in the Pioneer Valley.

The Ellis Collection contains approximately 8,000 published works on the Anglo-American stage, 1750-1915, including individual plays and anthologies of English and American playwrights; biographical works on performers; works on the theatre in London, the provinces, and America; periodicals, playbills, prints, broadsides, and ephemera; and works that provide cultural context for interpreting the stage. Although the collection includes some works from the 18th century, it is deepest for the English stage in the period 1850-1900.

Gift of James Ellis, 2009-2013
  • Actors--Great Britain
  • Actors--United States
  • Amateur theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--United States--19th century
  • Ellis, James, 1935-
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Lithographs
  • Photographs

Emery, George

George Emery Papers

1875-1977 Bulk: 1930-1977
11 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 982
Image of Tri-County Fair, ca.1920
Tri-County Fair, ca.1920

After graduating from Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1924, George Edward “Red” Emery taught high school briefly and held a handful of other jobs before deciding to fulfill a childhood dream. Born in Marlboro, Mass., in 1904, Emery turned his love for the circus into a life touring the country as a white-face circus clown. After marrying Virginia Link, a Smith College student, in 1932, he settled down to a stable job in the Alumni Office at his alma mater, later filling in as Veterans Coordinator and as a staff member in the Student Placement Office until his retirement in 1972. Emery never left the circus behind entirely. Throughout his years in Amherst he continued to talk and write about the history of the circus and his personal experiences, and from the late 1940s through early 1960s, he used his show business connections to book talent for the Tri-County Fair. Longtime residents of Leverett, Mass., he and his wife died within a year of one another, Virginia in 1974 and George in 1975.

With his passion for the circus, George Emery’s papers contain material not only from his career as a circus clown in the 1920s but also from his later writings about the history of the circus, his work with the Tri-County Fair, and his long association with UMass Amherst. The collection includes correspondence with friends and family; circus toys and games; posters, photographs, and ephemera; and a library of books on circus history. Of special note are some exceptional photographs, a few posters, and a thick sheaf of material from the Tri-County Fair.

Gift of Chris Emery, July 2017
  • Circus performers
  • Circus--History
  • Clowns
  • Pigs
  • Tri-County Fair
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Alumni
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Staff

Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Kenneth R. Feinberg Collection of Classical Music Programs

6 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: MS 766
Image of Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969
Program, Metropolitan Opera, 1969

Attorney and UMass alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg, well known as a mediator, special master of compensation funds, and dedicated public servant, is a longtime devotee of opera and classical music. Since his days as a law student in New York in the late 1960s, continuing through his career practicing law in Washington, D.C., Feinberg has regularly attended operas, concerts, musical theater, and other musical performances. He has also served as president of the Washington National Opera and led a private opera appreciation group.

This extensive collection of more than 1,000 items encompasses a wide range of composers, productions, concerts, companies, and venues, mainly in the United States, with some European performances represented. Documenting more than four decades of concert- and opera-going, and arranged in rough chronological order according to Feinberg’s numbering system, the programs are searchable by composer in an accompanying card index. There is also a small amount of related ephemera, including some vintage programs. Additions to the collection are expected.

Gift of Kenneth R. Feinberg, Nov. 2012
  • Music
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Symphony orchestras
  • Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-
Types of material
  • Card files
  • Ephemera
  • Playbills

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Robert Francis Papers

17 boxes 8.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 403
Image of Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,<br />Nov. 1939
Robert Francis, by Frank A. Waugh,
Nov. 1939

The poet and essayist Robert Francis settled in Amherst, Mass., in 1926, three years after his graduation from Harvard, and created a literary life that stretched for the better part of half a century. An associate of Robert Frost and friend of many other writers, Francis occasionally worked as a teacher or lecturer, including a brief stint on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, but he sustained himself largely through his writing, living simply in “Fort Juniper,” a cottage he built on Market Hill Road in North Amherst. A recipient of the Shelley Award (1939) and the Academy of American Poets award for distinguished poetic achievement (1984), Francis was a poet in residence at both Tufts (1955) and Harvard (1960) Universities. He died in Amherst in July 1987.

The Francis Papers contains both manuscript and printed materials, drafts and finished words, documenting the illustrious career of the poet. Of particular note is Francis’s correspondence with other writers, publishing houses, and readers, notably Paul Theroux. Also contains personal photographs and Francis family records and a small number of audio recordings of Francis reading his poetry. Letters from Francis to Regina Codey, 1936-1978, can be found in MS 314 along with two typescript poems by Francis.

Connect to another siteListen to interviews with Francis on Poems to a Listener", 1977-1978
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Poetry--Publishing
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Press
  • Brown, Rosellen
  • Ciardi, John, 1916-
  • De Vries, Peter
  • Fitts, Dudley, 1903-
  • Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
  • Hall, Donald, 1928-
  • Humphries, Rolfe
  • Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
  • Moss, Howard, 1922-
  • Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972
  • Theroux, Paul
  • Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Types of material
  • Audiotapes
  • Phonograph records
  • Photographs

Gates, John Edward

John Edward Gates Papers

2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 518

Lexicographer and former English faculty at Indiana State University, John Edward Gates is the author of numerous scholarly articles on idiomatic phrases and the principles and practice of dictionary making, as well as the co-editor of the Dictionary of Idioms for the Deaf. Reflecting his work as a lexicographer, this collection consists of research notes and proofs of articles and book reviews.

  • Lexicography
  • Linguistics
  • Gates, John Edward

Geisler, Bruce

Bruce Geisler Collection

14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: PH 049
Image of Renaissance Community, ca.1974
Renaissance Community, ca.1974

In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.

Documenting everyday life in a Massachusetts commune and performances by the commune bands (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled in conjunction with the making of the film Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of both raw and edited film footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes a rich assemblage of still photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.

  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)
  • Geisler, Bruce
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Videotapes

Goldspinner, Jay

Jay Goldspinner Periodicals Collection

1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 909

1977 Spring Equinox cover of WomenSpirit

All social change and cultural movements have their associated resources for the exchange of information, ideas, stories, and art. Particularly in the women’s movement, the effort to create newsletters, journals, and other forms of information dissemination was a proactive step taken to assert women’s stories and to locate the power of the press within women-run communities. These periodicals, both large and small in scale, reveal the ways women connected to each other and to larger spiritual and cultural concepts. Local artist, activist, and feminist Jay Goldspinner was engaged with many of these communities, particularly those characterizing the spiritual elements of the women’s liberation and feminist movements, and collected and saved their periodicals. Her collection includes journals focusing on feminist linguistics, goddess myths and spirituality, Wiccan and witch traditions, progressive politics, and women’s spirituality and community in local and international settings. Each is a unique window into discourses of women’s history, feminist movements, and social change work.

The Jay Goldspinner Periodicals Collection consists of issues of feminist and progressive periodicals, journals, and newsletters from four decades. The titles represented include Always in Season, Goddessing, The Lonesome Node, The People’s Voice of Franklin County, Themis/Thesmophoria, Wicked Word, and an almost complete run, including the two indexes, of the seminal magazine of feminist spirituality, WomenSpirit.

  • Feminism--Periodicals
  • Franklin County (Mass.) --Periodicals
  • Goddess religion--Periodicals
  • Neopaganism--Periodicals
  • Spiritual feminism--Periodicals
  • Wicca--Periodicals
  • Witchcraft--Periodicals
  • Women and spiritualism--Periodicals
  • Women's rights and spiritualism--Periodicals
Types of material
  • Periodicals