Paul S. Kahn Papers, 1964-2009.
10 boxes (17 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 786
An artist, writer, and activist for the disabled, Paul S. Kahn was born on Nov. 6, 1945, into a second-generation family of Jewish immigrants in Auburndale, Mass. Early in life, Kahn rebelled against the perceived “powerlessness” of the neuromuscular disorder with which he was born, pursuing an artistic, academic, and activist life. While studying drawing, painting, and sculpture at Boston University and earning a MA in counseling at Northeastern (1982), Kahn became an activist in the independent living movement and a pioneer in advocating for personal care assistance. Living independently from 1979, he worked as staff therapist at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, as leader of a support group for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and as a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Commission on Disability Policy. In 1980, Kahn met Ruth Stern, who would become his frequent collaborator and wife of 21 years. As Kahn’s physical condition weakened after 1987 and he became dependent upon a ventilator, his creative focus shifted increasingly from art to writing and editing. The last two decades of his life were remarkably productive, resulting in over twenty plays and dozens of published essays and poems, and he was the long-time editor of the newsletter Disability Issues. Kahn died on Jan. 1, 2010.
Paul Kahn’s papers are a reflection of the intensely creative life of a committed activist. The collection centers on Kahn’s literary work, including manuscripts of his plays, essays, and poetry, but it includes numerous examples of his artwork and a number of home movies and tape recordings from his childhood.
- People with disabilities and the arts
- People with disabilities--Civil rights
Types of material
Susan Kleckner Papers, ca.1970-2010.
65 (ca.100 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 725
A feminist, filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, writer, and New Yorker, Susan Kleckner helped to define the Feminist Art Movement. Born in 1941, Kleckner was instrumental in uniting Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) with Feminists in the Arts in 1969, and in 1970 she became a founder of the Women’s Interart Center, which still fosters women artists in the performing, visual, and media arts. A talented and prolific visual artist, she produced several important video documentaries during her career, beginning with Three Lives (made in collaboration with Kate Millet in 1970), which is considered the first all-women produced feature documentary. Her work often reflected a feminist commitment to the cause of peace: she participated in and photographed the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in England during the mid-1980s and in 1987, she curated a major year-long installation on Broadway called WindowPeace. A brilliant teacher, Kleckner was the first woman to teach photography at the Pratt Institute and she worked at the International Center for Photography in New York from 1982 until her death in July 2010.
A wide ranging and highly diverse collection, the Kleckner Papers document a life in art and activism. The diaries, letters, notes, and essays in the collection are augmented by hundreds of photographic prints and artwork in a variety of media.
- Antinuclear movements
- Feminists--New York (State)
- Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp
- Peace movements
- Performance artists--New York (State)
- Photographers--New York (State)
- Women's Interart Center
Types of material
- Drawings (Visual works)
Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston Records, 1937-1997.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 466
The oldest active Polish folk dance ensemble in the United States, the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston was formed in 1937 by a group of young ladies of Polish heritage interested in promoting Polish culture through the mediums of song and dance. The club opened its membership to young men in 1947, and was offcially incorporated in 1957. Since its formation, the dancers have appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and Poland, and the group has received recognition and awards worldwide, including a special performance before his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1983.
The collection includes programs for performances from the club’s earliest days, tickets, newspaper clippings featuring articles about the group, and copies of the organization’s constitution describing the group’s mission and membership.
- Folk dancing, Polish
- Polish Americans--Massachusetts
- Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston
William Lederer Papers, ca. 1930-1985.
91 boxes (61 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 158
William J. Lederer began his long career in the Navy in 1930. During his twenty-eight years of service he traveled throughout Asia on some 30 trips, acquiring several books worth of experience, criticisms, and insight. In 1948, Lederer attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Vermont and met fellow author and political theorist Eugene Burdick. Disillusioned with the style and substance of America’s diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, Lederer and Burdick openly sought to demonstrate their belief that American officials and civilians could make a substantial difference in Southeast Asian politics if they were willing to learn local languages, follow local customs and employ regional military tactics. Together they co-authored two widely influential books, The Ugly American (1958) and Sarkhan (1965).
The collection includes materials related to most of his major publications including, A Nation of Sheep, The Ugly American, Sarkhan, Our Own Worst Enemy, I, Giorghos, Mirages of Marriage, and Martial Choices. A substantial series of correspondence traces Lederer’s associations and communications throughout his entire career. Area files, research materials, and photographs are also include, but not yet fully processed.
- Southeast Asia--Economic conditions
- Southeast Asia--Politics and government--1945-
- United States--Foreign relations
- United States--Politics and government--1945-
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- Burdick, Eugene
- Lederer, William J., 1912-
Types of material
Michael Lenson Collection, 1969-1970.
12 items (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 745
Born in Russia in 1903, the realist painter Michael Lenson emigrated to the United States at the age of eight, and from early in life, took an interest in art. While a student at the National Academy of Design in 1928, Lenson was awarded the Chaloner Paris Prize, enabling him to spend four years of study in Europe and leading to his first three one man shows. With the Great Depression in full effect upon his return to America, he accepted a position as director of mural projects for the Works Progress Administration in New Jersey, through which he built a reputation as one of the most important muralists in the eastern states. Exhibited widely, he was productive as both an artist and critic until his death in 1971. His works are included in the collections of the RISD Museum, the Maier Museum of Art, the Johnson Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Wolfsonian Collection, among others.
Consisting of pencil portraits of poets, each approximately 12 x 18″, the Lenson Collection contains twelve late works by Michael Lenson that were included in an exhibition held at the Montclair Art Museum in 1970. The subjects of the portraits include William Blake, Robert Browning, George Gordon Lord Byron, Robert Burns, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Donne, T.S. Eliot, John Keats, John Milton, Sean O’Casey, Alexander Pope, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
- Blake, William , 1757-1827
- Browning, Robert, 1812-1889
- Burns, Robert, 1759-1796
- Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824
- Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400
- Donne, John, 1572-1631
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965
- Keats, John, 1795-1821
- Milton, John, 1608-1674
- O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964
- Pope, Alexander, 1688-1744
- Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822
- Lenson, Michael, 1903-1971
Types of material
David Levering Lewis Papers, ca.1955-2012.
54 boxes (81 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 827
The historian David Levering Lewis is the author of eight remarkably diverse monographs. Raised in an academic family, his father was president of Morris Brown College, Lewis enrolled at Fisk University at the age of 15 and was only 26 when he was awarded a doctorate in modern European history from the London School of Economics (1962). Through an academic career that has included numerous stops, including Morgan State, Notre Dame, Howard, the University of the District of Columbia (1970-1980), and Rutgers (1985-2003), Lewis remained consistently productive. Author of the first academic biography of Martin Luther King (1970) and a history of the Dreyfus Affair (1974), he wrote an influential study of the Harlem renaissance (1981) and important works on colonialism in Africa (1987) and Islamic Spain (2008), but he is best known for his two monumental biographies of W.E.B. Du Bois (1993, 2000), each of which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. One of the most lauded African American historians of his generation, Lewis was recipient of the Bancroft Prize, the Francis Parkman Prizes, the 2009 National Humanities Medal, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and he was elected as a Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Lewis was Julius Silver University Professor in History at New York University from 2003 until his retirement.
The papers of David Levering Lewis document a long and productive career as an academic historian and scholar of African American history and culture. Beginning with his years in college and graduate school, the collection offers a rich perspective on the evolution of his career. Lewis’s essential biographies of W.E.B. Du Bois are particularly well documented, however the collection includes abundant materials for each of his earlier projects, including correspondence, research notes, and drafts.
- African Americans--History
- Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
- Harlem Renaissance
- Historians--United States
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
- United States--History--20th century
Types of material
Bill Lichtenstein Collection, 1965-1976.
2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 790
In 1970, just fourteen years-old, Bill Lichtenstein began working as a volunteer on the listener line at WBCN-FM in Boston, moving up to become a newscaster and announcer and helping to pioneer the station’s innovative on-air sound with montages of actualities, music, and comedy. As his media career developed over the next forty years, Lichtenstein built a wide reputation as a journalist and documentary producer for ABC News, working as an investigative producer on shows such as 20/20, World News Tonight, and Nightline, and since 1990, he has operated as president of his own production company, Lichtenstein Creative Media. With LCMedia, Lichtenstein has received more than 60 major broadcast honors including a Peabody Award, U.N. Media Award, eight National Headliner Awards, the Cine Golden Eagle, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his documentary West 47th Street was selected as winner of the Atlanta Film Festival. A graduate of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Lichtenstein has served on the faculty of the New School University (1979-2005) and he writes regularly on media, politics, and health for publications ranging from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, the Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide.
The Lichtenstein Collection consists of a growing array of materials gathered in preparation of the documentary film, The American Revolution, which explores the cultural and political impact of WBCN. These include audio tapes of WBCN broadcasts, news reports and stories, photographs and ephemera of social change in Boston during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and two WBCN documentaries: Danny Schechter’s Jamaica: An Island in Crisis (1976) and What Is News (1973), produced by Schechter and Lichtenstein.
- Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
- Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
- WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Types of material
- Sound recordings
Linguistic Atlas of New England Records, 1931-1972.
40 boxes (19.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 330
The Linguistic Atlas of New England project, begun in 1889 and published 1939-1943, documented two major dialect areas of New England, which are related to the history of the settling and dispersal of European settlers in New England with successive waves of immigration.
The collection contains handwritten transcription sheets (carbon copies) in the International Phonetic Alphabet, with some explanatory comments in longhand. Drawn from over 400 interviews conducted by linguists in communities throughout New England in the 1930s, these records document the geographic distribution of variant pronunciations and usages of spoken English. The material, taken from fieldworkers’ notebooks (1931-1933), is arranged by community, then by informant, and also includes audiotapes of follow-up interviews (1934); phonological analyses of informants’ speech; character sketches of informants by fieldworkers; fieldworkers’ blank notebook; and mimeograph word index to the atlas (1948).
- English language--Dialects--New England
- Linguistic Atlas of New England
Louis Martin Lyons Papers, 1918-1980.
(4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 002/3 L96
As a journalist with the Boston Globe, a news commentator on WGBH television, and Curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Louis M. Lyons was an important public figure in the New England media for over fifty years. A 1918 graduate of Massachusetts Agricultural College and later trustee of UMass Amherst, Lyons was an vocal advocate for freedom of the press and a highly regarded commentator on the evolving role of media in American society.
The Lyons Papers contain a selection of correspondence, lectures, and transcripts of broadcasts relating primarily to Lyons’ career in television and radio. From the McCarthy era through the end of American involvement in Vietnam, Lyons addressed topics ranging from local news to international events, and the collection offers insight into transformations in American media following the onset of television and reaction both in the media and the public to events such as the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the war in Vietnam, and the social and political turmoil of the 1960s.
- Boston Globe
- Civil rights movements
- Freedom of the Press
- Frost, Robert, 1874-1963
- Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
- Journalistic ethics
- Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
- University of Massachusetts. Trustees
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- WGBH (Television station : Boston, Mass.)
- World War, 1914-1918
- Lyons, Louis Martin, 1897-
Types of material
- Letters (Correspondence)
Jonathan Evan Maslow Papers, ca.1978-2008.
20 boxes (30 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 639
A man of diverse and interests, Jon Maslow was a naturalist and journalist, an environmentalist, traveler, and writer, whose works took his from the rain forests to the steppes to the salt marshes of his native New Jersey. Born on Aug. 4, 1948, in Long Branch, Maslow received his MA from the Columbia University School of Journalism (1974), after which he spent several years traveling through South and Central America, studying the flora and fauna, reporting and writing, before returning to the States. Always active in community affairs, he was a reporter with the Cape May County Herald (1997-2002) and the West Paterson Herald News (2002-2008). The author of six books, including The Owl Papers (1983), Bird of Life, Bird of Death, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1986, and Sacred Horses: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy (1994), he often combined an intense interest in natural history with a deep environmentalist ethos and, particularly in the latter two cases, with a deep concern for the history of political turmoil. He died of cancer on Feb. 19, 2008.
A large and rich assemblage, the Maslow Papers document his career from his days as a young journalist traveling in Central America through his community involvements in New Jersey during the 2000s. An habitual rewriter, Maslow left numerous drafts of books and articles, and the collection includes valuable correspondence with colleagues and friends, including his mentor Philip Roth, as well as Maslow’s fascinating travel diaries.
- Authors--New Jersey
- Central America--Description and travel
- Journalists--New Jersey
- New Jersey--History
- Reporters and reporting--New Jersey
- Maslow, Jonathan Evan
- Roth, Philip