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Western Massachusetts Bridge Association

Western Massachusetts Bridge Association Records

1957-2007
12 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 801
Depiction of

Established in 1957, the Western Massachusetts Bridge Association (WMBA) Unit 196 was created by founding members of the Springfield Bridge Club eager to share their love for the game with the wider western Massachusetts area. The unit played a prominent role in teaching interested individuals to learn to play contract bridge by reaching out to colleges, clubs, and churches. Over the years, WMBA has remained an active unit in the New England Bridge Conference District 25, one of the largest districts of the American Contract Bridge Association.

Records of the WMBA and District 25 document the growth of contract bridge in New England. From the earliest days of the unit, members drafted by-laws, oversaw membership services, organized tournaments, and tracked finances. Materials in the collection shed light on every aspect of these activities.

Gift of Wilfred R. Lenville, Oct. 2013

Subjects

Contract bridge
What we collect

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

Graphic showing SCUA major collecting areas

Drawing upon 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 most profound 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. Our hope is to provide a more robust framework for interpreting the deep histories of social engagement in America and to lay 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 solely on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to document the 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 simply to highlight 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 major 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. SCUA also documents the field of Creative Aging, as well as local arts organizations, theatre companies, and others in the performing arts.
  • 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.
  • Counterculture and political radicalism:
    SCUA’s collections focus on a variety of both cultural and poltiical “alternatives” to maintstream society, including materials on various forms of political radicalism, Communism and Socialism, drug policy reform, prisoners and mass imprisonment, and the underground press.
  • Disability:
    Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States. Among other focal points for our collections are cross-disability activism and the psychiatric survivors’ movement.
  • Folk, blues, and traditional music:
    The revival of interest in folk, blues, and traditional music and the rich and evolving heritage of regional musical traditions are an important focal point for SCUA. In addition to documenting the music itself, SCUA actively collects manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs relating to the performers, behind the scenes actors, venues, and audiences, as well as the extraordinary connections linking the sounds and social movements.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues:
    Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
  • Intentional communities:
    SCUA documents the extended history of alternative approaches to social organization, including the individual and communal lives of communards and the full gamut of intentional communities from communes to co-housing and the back to the land movement. SCUA.
  • 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.
  • Spirituality and religion:
    SCUA documents the experiences of people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration. As repository of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, we have a strong interest in the history of Quakers and Quakerism.
  • Visual culture:
    SCUA’s commitment to the visual culture of social change includes a close focus on artistically-informed documentary photography, including the archives of photojournalists, photographers, videographers, and documentarians, as well as amateur and vernacular photography centered on the daily lives of New Englanders.

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 Representatives John Clark and Ellen Story. The records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns add great historical depth.

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:

Whisler, Howard C. (Howard Clinton)

Howard C. Whisler Papers

1963-2007
5 boxes 7.6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 716

As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, Howard Whisler was introduced to the study of zoosporic fungi, beginning what would become a lifelong interest in evolutionary protistology. During his graduate work at Berkeley, Whisler focused on fungi associated with invertebrates, receiving his doctorate in 1960 for a study of the entomogenous fungus Amoebidium parasiticum. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1963, where he remained until his retirement in 1999. A prolific researcher, and developer of the fungal research program at the Friday Harbor Marine Biological Laboratory, he became noted for his work on zoosporic fungi and protists, particularly of parasites or commensals in arthropods, with publications ranging from studies of reproduction in the Monoblepharidales to the molecular systematics of Saprolegnia in salmon, and the sexual stages and life cycle of Coelomomyces, a fungal pathogen of mosquitos. An active member of the Mycological Society of America, Whisler was also a founder of the International Society of Evolutionary Protistology with Max Taylor and Lynn Margulis. Whisler died on Sept. 16, 2007, at the age of 76.

The Whisler Papers contain correspondence, notebooks, scanning electron micrographs, and motion pictures dating primarily from the mid- to late 1970s.

Subjects

Fungi--Study and teachingInternational Society of Evolutionary ProtistologyMycology

Contributors

Whisler, Howard C. (Howard Clinton)

Types of material

Motion pictures (Visual work)Scanning electron micrographs
White, Barbara J. (Barbara Jean)

BJ White Papers

1971-1978
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 116
Depiction of BJ White with students
BJ White with students

A celebrated instructor of anatomy and physiology, Barbara Jean (B. J.) White joined the UMass faculty in 1961 and became a fixture of the School of Nursing’s core curriculum, teaching the year-long service course on anatomy and physiology. She was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1971 and by the time she retired in 1978, had taught nearly 2,000 aspiring nurses. White was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1918 and earned her A.B in 1939 and her A.M in zoology in 1941, both from Mount Holyoke College.

Documenting her teaching activities at UMass, White’s papers contain recorded lectures on audio cassettes, notes, handouts, and articles used in her classes.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Nursing
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963

William Carlos Williams Letters

1946-1986
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 367

An obstetrician from Rutherford, N.J., William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was a key figure in modernist poetry in the United States. Innovative and experimental in his poetry, Williams was a member of the avant garde poetically and politically, writing in a simple though never simplistic style that was unencumbered by the formalism and literary allusion of peers such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.

This collection consists of a small group of eleven letters and postcards written by Williams during the years 1946-1962, the majority of which were sent to Marie Leone, a nurse at the Passaic General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey. In these letters Williams thanks Marie and her coworkers for the cards, good wishes, and gifts they sent to cheer him up. The letters are friendly and humorous even though they are for the most part written from Williams’s hospital bed during one of the frequent illnesses he suffered from in the later years of his life.

Acquired from Paul Mariani, 1993

Subjects

Poets, American

Contributors

Williams, Florence H. (Florence Herman), d. 1976Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)PhotographsPostcards
Woodbury House

Woodbury House Boarding Register

1804-1920
1 vol. 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 172 bd

Boarding house on Folly Cove in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and boarding house at Echo Hill Cottage, perhaps also in Gloucester. Includes names of visitors, callers, boarders, and lodgers (some family friends and neighbors, others unknown guests) who hailed primarily from Massachusetts but also from states around the country. Also contains early accounts from 1804, guests at a Christmas party, lists of members of the Lanesville Universalist Church and Society who died or moved away, moral and religious verses entered by “Grand Ma”, and numerous preserved dried flowers and foliage, among other notations.

Subjects

Boardinghouses--Massachusetts--GloucesterGloucester (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Guest registers
Woodcock, Christopher L. F.

Christopher L. F. Woodcock Papers

1968-1974
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 158

The distinguished cellular biologist Chris Woodcock came to UMass Amherst in 1972 after receiving a doctorate at the University College London (1966) and appointments at the University of Chicago and Harvard. During a long and highly productive career, Woodcock became widely known for work on the structure and functions of the cell nucleus and its components, applying a variety of advanced techniques to investigate the architecture and dynamics and chromatin folding at the nucleosome level and the larger scale architecture of chromosomes. A prolific grant writer and recipient, he helped build the Central Microscopy Facility at UMass, serving as its Director, and was appointed Gilbert Woodside Chair in Zoology in 1994.

The Woodcock collection consists of a series of laboratory notebooks kept during his early research on the green alga Acetabularia, accompanied by hundreds of electron micrographic photographs of cellular structures.

Subjects

CytologyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Zoology

Types of material

Laboratory notes
Wulkan, Ferd

Ferd Wulkan Collection

1968-1985
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 841

A 1968 graduate in mathematics from MIT, Ferd Wulkan has been a fixture in activist circles for many years. A member of SDS in college and a rank-and-file clerical union leader at Boston University, Wulkan moved to Amherst in 1989. His passion has been the intersection of the labor movement with other progressive movements; he served for 15 years as a field representative with Locals 509 and 888 of SEIU, working with non-faculty professional personnel at UMass Amherst and Boston, and then as a representative and organizer for the Massachusetts Society of Professors from 2004 to 2016. In 2007, Wulkan became organizing director for the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), a grassroots advocacy organization for affordable and accessible public higher education.

The Wulkan Collection consists of a fascinating array of material from Leftist and radical political movements during the late 1960s and early 1980s, with an emphasis on the Cambridge-Somerville area. In addition to a rich assemblage of formally published pamphlets and magazines, the collection includes a large number of fliers, handouts, informally published works, and underground newspapers on Socialist, Feminist, and anarchist topics and relating to the war in Vietnam, the labor movement, civil rights, and Black Power.

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--HistoryFeminism--MassachusettsRadicals--Massachusetts--CambridgeSomerville (Mass.)--HistoryUnderground press publicationsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Contributors

Black Panther Party
Yamashita, Yoshiaki, 1865-1935

Yoshiaki Yamashita Photograph Album

ca.1904
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 006
Depiction of Yoshiaki and Fude Yamashita, ca.1904
Yoshiaki and Fude Yamashita, ca.1904

From 1903 to 1906, Professor Yoshiaki Yamashita of Tokyo traveled the United States providing instruction in the new martial art of judo. In Washington, D.C., he provided instruction for the sons and daughters of the nation’s political and business elite and was brought to the White House to teach President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1905-1906, Yamashita was employed by the U.S. Naval Academy to train midshipmen, but after his contract ended in the fall 1906, he returned to Japan and continued to teach judo until his death on October 26, 1935. He was posthumously awarded the 10th degree black belt, the first ever so honored.

The Yamashita photograph album contains 53 silver developing out prints apparently taken to illustrate various judo throws and holds, along with Yamashita’s calling card and four documents relating to his time teaching judo in Washington.

Gift of Caroline Watson, Dec. 2007

Subjects

Judo--PhotographsKawaguchi, SaburoYamashita, FudeYamashita, Yoshiaki

Types of material

Photograph albumsPhotographs
Yeomans, Lawrence D.

Lawrence D. Yeomans Papers

1895-1946 Bulk: 1917-1919
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 873
Depiction of Lawrence D. Yeomans, nurse, and dog
Lawrence D. Yeomans, nurse, and dog

A native of Ontario, Lawrence D. Yeomans was working in New York when he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the First World War. For eighteen months, Yeomans served as a chauffeur with the Signal Corps in France, driving senior officers around Paris and to and from the front.

This small collection documents Lawrence Yeomans’ time as a chauffeur with the Signal Corps during the First World War. In addition to a handful of official documents relating to his service, Yeomans held onto a few pieces of ephemera as souvenirs, some postcards, and a set of photographs, including three depicting him in uniform and ten showing a display of German war material confiscated at war’s end.

Gift of Leslie Button, June 2015

Subjects

World War, 1914-1918

Types of material

EphemeraPhotographsPostcards