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Chalfen family

Chalfen Family Papers
ca.1890-2011
51 boxes (76.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 770

Born into a Jewish family in Khotyn, Bessarabia (now Ukraine), in 1888, Benjamin Chalfen emigrated to United States as a young man, arriving in New York City in 1910 before making his way to Boston. Taking work as a clerk with the Roxbury Crossing Steamship Agency, he married a fellow Russian immigrant, Annie Berg in 1914 and, after their divorce a few years later, married a second time. Benjamin and Annie’s son, Melvin (1918-2007), studied Forestry at Massachusetts State College (BA 1940) and Yale (MF 1942) before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in Aug. 1942. Moved to active duty in 1943 as a communications specialist, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. After he returned home, Mel met and married a recent Smith College graduate, Judith Resnick (1925-2011), with whom he raised three sons. The couple settled into a comfortable life in the Boston suburbs, where Mel carved out a successful career as a home inspector and educator while Judith became well known as a supporter of the arts and as one of the founders of Action For Children’s Television (1968), an important force in promoting quality television programing for children.

A massive archive documenting three generations of a Jewish family from Boston, the Chalfen family papers contain a rich body of photographs and letters, centered largely on the lives of Melvin and Judith Chalfen. The Chalfens were prolific correspondents and the collection includes hundreds of letters written home while Mal and Judy were in college and while Mel was serving in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War — most of these in Yiddish. The thousands of photographs cover a broader span of family history, beginning prior to emigration from Bessarabia into the 1960s. Among many other items of note are rough drafts of a New Deal sociological study of juvenile delinquency and the impact of boys’ clubs in the late 1930s prepared by Abraham Resnick (a Socialist community organizer and Judith’s father); materials from the progressive Everyman’s Theater (early 1960s); and nearly three feet of material documenting Judy Chalfen’s work with Action for Children’s Television.

Gift of the Chalfen family, 2011.
Language(s): Yiddish
Subjects
  • Action for Children's Television
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts State College--Students
  • Smith College--Students
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Chalfen, Benjamin
  • Chalfen, Judith, 1925-2011
  • Chalfen, Melvin H. (Melvin Howard), 1918-2007
Types of material
  • Photographs

Chigas, George

George Chigas Collection
1987
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 180
Image of Men at consecration of statue at the Trairatanaram Temple, 1987
Men at consecration of statue at the Trairatanaram Temple, 1987

A Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and formerly the Associate Director of the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University (1998-2001), George Chigas is a noted political commentator on the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s.

This small collection is comprised of photographs taken by George Chigas of Cambodian sites and ceremonies in Lowell, Mass. The images document the ordination of novice monks, the consecration of a Buddhist statue, a Cambodian festival kite, and a community money tree celebration.

Gift of George Chigas, Sept. 1987
Subjects
  • Cambodians--Massachusetts
  • Lowell (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Chigas, George
Types of material
  • Photographs

Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)

Civilian Conservation Corps in Massachusetts Photograph Collection
ca.1930-1939
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 015

Relief program established for unemployed men by President Franklin D. Roosevelt whose main work in Massachusetts through the 1930s and early 1940s was tree planting, fire fighting, insect control, and tree and plant disease control. Contains photographs arranged alphabetically by forest name that depict road building, tree planting, and other developments in the state forests. Includes some images of workers.

Subjects
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--Massachusetts--History
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--Photographs
  • Forest roads--Massachusetts--Design and construction--Photographs
  • Forests and forestry--Massachusetts--Photographs
  • New Deal, 1933-1939--Massachusetts--History
  • Tree planting--Massachusetts--Photographs
Contributors
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
Types of material
  • Photographs

Colburn, Paul

Paul and Olive Colburn Collection
1894-2001
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 860
Image of Jonathan Dow marker, Eastern Cemetery, Portland, Me.
Jonathan Dow marker, Eastern Cemetery, Portland, Me.

Husband and wife Paul Francis and Olive (“Tommie” Fox) Colburn were active members of the Association for Gravestone Studies from the 1980s. Natives of Lowell, Mass., and long-time residents of Berwick, Me., the Colburns shared an interest in New England gravestones and marker symbolism, with Tommie enjoying a particular specialty in metal-based markers.

The Colburn collection represents a cross-section of the couple’s work documenting and lecturing about New England grave markers and marker symbolism as well as Victorian funerary practice. Of note are a small number of items reflecting Victorian mourning culture, including images of funeral wreaths and arrangements, three mourning handkerchiefs, and a funeral card.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Maine
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--New Hampshire
  • Gravestones--New York
  • Gravestones--Rhode Island
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • Colburn, Olive
Types of material
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Photographs

Collins, Phebe

Phebe Collins Collection
ca.1875-1969
10 boxes (15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 958
Image of Boy and his dog, 1931
Boy and his dog, 1931

The daughter of a Scottish immigrant and a 1923 graduate of Smith College, Phebe Hazel Ferris returned to her alma mater to pursue graduate work degree in Geology, but in 1928 she married her instructor, Robert Frank Collins. Settling in Williamsburg, Mass., the couple raised a family of three boys, Frank, Robert, and James. Robert, Sr., remained as a Professor of Geology and Geography at Smith, while Phebe eventually returned to graduate work, though in Physics, and thereafter worked for many years at Smith as a laboratory instructor. Phebe died in 1983, less than two months before her husband.

The Collins collection consists primarily of meticulously maintained scrapbooks assembled by Phebe Collins between the 1920s and the 1960s. The range of materials in these scrapbooks is remarkable, including not only photographs, postcards, and letters received, but children’s drawings, report cards, and the occasional surprise like a quarantine sign hung on the family door for a sick child. In aggregate, they are a rich record of the growth of an intellectually-inclined family across four decades. The collection also includes seventeen photograph albums and hundreds of Collins and Ferris family photographs, along with images taken by Robert during his geological work.

Gift of Cathy Englehardt, Jan. 2017
Subjects
  • Family--Massachusetts
  • Ferris family
  • Geologists--Massachusetts
  • Williamsburg (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers
1918-1990
7 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 343
Image of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.

The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

Subjects
  • Nurses--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Davenport, Janina Smiertka
Types of material
  • Photographs

Delevingne, Lionel

Lionel Delevingne Photograph Collection
ca.1975-1995
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 047
Image of Joan of Seabrook
Joan of Seabrook

Born and raised in France, the photojournalist Lionel Delevingne studied education at l’Ecole Normale in Paris, but settled permanently in the United States in 1975. Based at first in Northampton, Mass., he became a prolific photographer of American social movements while working for the Valley Advocate and other publications, covering the early years of the Clamshell Alliance and the antinuclear movement in considerable depth. His work has been exhibited frequently and published widely in the mainstream and alternative press, including the New York Times, Le Figaro Magazine, Die Zeit, Newsweek, Washington Post Magazine, Mother Jones, and Vanity Fair.

The Delevingne collection includes remarkable visual documentation of the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and beyond, including some of the its most iconic images. Beginning with coverage of the Seabrook occupation, Delevingne covered the movement as it spread throughout the northeastern U.S. and internationally. The collection includes exhibition prints, prints for publication, and digitized images ranging in date from the mid-1970s through 1990s. Copyright in the images has been retained by Delevingne.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--United States
  • Clamshell Alliance
  • Photojournalists
  • Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant (N.H.)
Contributors
  • Delevingne, Lionel
Types of material
  • Photographs

Dickinson, Walter Mason, 1856-1898

Walter Mason Dickinson Papers
1858-1900
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 173
Image of Walter Mason Dickinson, ca.1880
Walter Mason Dickinson, ca.1880

Originally a member of the Massachusetts Agricultural College Class of 1876, Walter Mason Dickinson left after his junior year to enter the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During his military career, Dickinson saw service in the southwest and as a military instructor at MAC (1891-1896). As a Captain and Quartermaster in the 17th Infantry, he was called to active duty during the Spanish-American War and was killed in action at the Battle of El Caney. He was the first man associated with MAC to die in military service.

This small collection of photographs and letters centers on the death and family of Walter M. Dickinson, the first person associated with Massachusetts Agricultural College to die in combat. In addition to two of the last letters he wrote as he was heading off to war in Cuba, the collection contains three formal portraits of Dickinson at different points in his military career, images of his wife and family, and two images of the scene of his death at El Caney and one of his temporary grave.

Gift of Alex Kingsbury, Jan. 2016
Subjects
  • Dickinson, Asa Williams--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Charles--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Marquis F. (Marquis Fayette), 1814-1901--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Marquis F. (Marquis Fayette), 1840-19215--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Martha E.--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Walter Mason, 1856-1898--Photographs
  • Dwellings--Massachusetts--Amherst--Photographs
  • El Caney (Cuba)--Photographs
  • Farms--Massachusetts--Amherst--Photographs
  • Soldiers' bodies, Disposition of--Cuba--Photographs
  • Soldiers--United States--Photographs
  • Spanish-American War, 1898
Types of material
  • Ambrotypes
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs

Donahue, Maurice

Maurice A. Donahue Papers
1960-1971
19 boxes, 89 vols. (29 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 311

Maurice A. Donahue was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1948 as part of its first Democratic majority. In 1950, he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate, became Senate Majority Leader in 1958, and in 1964, became Senate President, a position he held until 1971 when he took the position of Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Governmental Services at the University of Massachusetts. Legislation he sponsored while in the Senate established the Willis-Harrington Commission on Education, the University of Massachusetts Boston campus and Medical School, state scholarships for needy students, commissions to improve vocational education, study problems of urban school systems, and extend educational facilities in Massachusetts.

Correspondence, speeches, press releases, appointment books, constituent courtesy files, memorabilia, scrapbooks of clippings, audio recordings of radio talks and speeches, and photographs pertaining to Donahue’s activities and functions as state legislator of Massachusetts.

Gift of Maurice Donahue, July 1974
Subjects
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Massachusetts. House
  • Massachusetts. Senate
Contributors
  • Donahue, Maurice A
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings

Double Edge Theater

Double Edge Theatre Records
1970-2002
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.

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