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Western Massachusetts Bridge Association

Western Massachusetts Bridge Association Records
1957-2007
12 boxes (16 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 801
Image 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 William R. Lenville, Oct. 2013
Subjects
  • Contract bridge

Westhampton (Mass. : Town)

Westhampton Town Records
1779-1900
10 boxes (5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 799
Image of Close-up of records from 1779
Close-up of records from 1779

Originally settled by Europeans in 1762, the town of Westhampton, Massachusetts, was separated from adjacent Northampton and incorporated in September 1778. Situated in the western reaches of Hampshire County, it was principally an agricultural town until the later twentieth century, producing apples, other fruit, and maple sugar, with only minor industry. The town still retains its rural character: a century after incorporation, the population had grown to just over 500, and nearly 1,500 by 2000.

The Westhampton collection provides an extensive record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after the date of incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Subjects
  • Churches--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Poor--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Roads--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Town meetings--Massachusetts--Westhampton

What do we want? What do we keep?

Appraisal policies in SCUA

The following guidelines apply to “appraisal,” the process by which archivists decide which materials to retain as part of the permanent collection and which not. Since every archival or manuscript collection has unique attributes, the guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but rather points for consideration.

SCUA archivists apply their experience and professional judgment when making decisions about each collection on its own merits. In general, these guidelines are applied to groups of materials, rather than individual items, and in most cases we prefer to err on the side of caution, opting for retention when there is any doubt, not disposal. In appraising a collection, we emphasize efficiency and speed in carrying out the work, as opposed to a thorough vetting of every item.

Factors tending toward permanent retention of material

  • Research potential: do these materials have a significant historical or cultural value and will future researchers likely have an interest in them?
  • Documentary value: does this material provide useful documentation of an event, person, process, idea, or place?
  • Depth of documentation: do these materials as a whole provide a rich understanding of a subject?
  • Context of the whole: Are these materials part of a coherent whole within the collection that should be retained intact?
  • Uniqueness or rarity: are these materials unique or sufficiently rare or are they duplicated elsewhere, perhaps in other form? Do these materials provide a unique or uniquely valuable perspective?
  • Associational value: are these materials associated with someone else in SCUA’s collections or with some well-known figure who we may wish to document?
  • Monetary value: are these materials valuable in a monetary sense?
  • Display or promotional value: would these materials be useful in an exhibit (either in house or online) or in informational material we produce?

Highly desired types of material

  • Unpublished material: Our goal is to document not just what happened, but how things happened, and we are particularly interested in materials that reveal behind-the-scenes activities and personal perspectives. While published materials are valued, we are most interested in unpublished material, such as correspondence, diaries and journals, memoranda, notes, lectures and speeches, drafts, and unpublished writings. In many cases, these materials reflect a personal perspective on events that will unavailable in any other form.
  • Minutes of meetings, agendas: minutes of meetings, agendas, and annual reports are highly valuable for documenting an organization’s activity, and when paired with the correspondence of officers and internal memoranda and other communications, they may provide a particularly well-rounded view.
  • Audiovisual materials: SCUA places a high emphasis on visual documentation and actively seeks photographs, motion pictures and videos, drawings, and sound recordings for their cultural, aesthetic, and historical value.

Types of materials less likely to be retained

  • Detailed financial records are generally not retained because of their often voluminous nature, their low research potential, and, in some cases, their exposure of potentially sensitive or personal information.
    • Receipts, invoices, legal financial filings, and such are rarely retained, however annual reports and summary statements may be valuable.
  • Published materials are typically closely scrutinized. Many modern (post-1900) books, periodicals, sound recordings, and movies are “readily available,” either through a circulating library or online, and are therefore not retained because they are seldom consulted by researchers in SCUA.
    • SCUA emphasizes retention only of those items that are not readily available in their specific form (e.g. edition), that are so integral to the content and context of the collection that they should not be disposed; that have unique association with key people or that have annotations or marginalia of value; or that have high cultural or monetary value.
    • In most cases, we retain a single copy of each publication by the creator of a collection.
    • News clippings are seldom retained, particularly if the source is unidentified.
    • Offprints, reprints, and photocopies of articles are seldom retained unless they are by the
  • Personnel records: Due to the potential for exposing personal data or other sensitive information, SCUA typically does not retain personnel records of any sort.
  • Medical records: Formal medical records are generally not retained. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) limits our ability to make most classes of medical records publicly available, but we generally choose not to retain materials that fall outside of HIPAA due to the likelihood of revealing personal information and to generally low research value.
    • Collections relating to the history of medicine or other fields in which health and medical care are of central concern.
    • Medical records 75 years old and older are typically retained.
    • A person wishing to include their own medical records in their collection may do so.
  • Student records: Most student records cannot be made public under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and SCUA typically does not accept student records unless mandated by State records keeping requirements
    • Student papers, class records, or other instructional records that include grades or evaluations are not accepted.
    • Recommendations for students (e.g. for application to graduate school or employment) are not accepted if they were written under an expectation of confidentiality.
    • A person wishing to include their own student records in their collection may do so.
  • Research data: although data sets may be retained due to their importance to a collection, SCUA archivists will give due consideration to whether the archive is the appropriate place to preserve the information and whether we have the technology and skills to make the data available in the long term.
  • Duplicate and redundant materials: In most cases, SCUA’s archivists will retain only a single copy of each item, however they may choose to retain additional copies
    • Although SCUA archivists will remove duplicates when they are encountered, they make no special effort to be thorough.
    • Photostats, photocopies, or digital copies of materials held in other repositories are generally not retained unless the originals are unavailable to the public.
    • Unidentified photographs: Although unidentified photographs have only a limited utility for researchers, SCUA’s archivists may choose to retain them due to their artistic merit, their role within the context of the collection as a whole, the scene(s) or period of time represented, or the photographic process involved.

Considerations around restricted materials

  • Closure due to privacy: Although SCUA regularly agrees to close portions of a collection, or even an entire collection to preserve privacy or confidentiality; we do not accept materials that are permanently closed.
    • SCUA is glad to work with donors to discuss closure of sensitive materials and arrive at a clearly specified date after which the materials may be made available to the public.
  • Copyright restrictions: SCUA often accepts materials in which the donor retains copyright or in which copyright is help by a third party, however these can be less convenient for researchers to use.
  • Materials on deposit: Due to considerations over liability and the potential for scholarly confusion, SCUA does not accept materials on deposit, wherein SCUA acts as steward of materials for which the donor retains legal ownership.
  • Other considerations: SCUA may choose not to accept materials for which we cannot provide proper stewardship due to the lack of necessary technology or skills. For example, materials that require specific equipment or proprietary software to use or materials written in languages or scripts for which we have lack expertise may be better cared for and used at another institution. To the extent that we are able, we will be glad to assist you in locating a better home for your materials.

Abbe, Edward H.

Edward H. Abbe Papers
1828-2004
22 boxes (28.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 736
Image of Ed Abbe in Bora Bora, 1987
Ed Abbe in Bora Bora, 1987

Born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1915 and raised largely in Hampton, Va., Edward Abbe seemed destined to be an engineer. The great nephew of Elihu Thomson, an inventor and founding partner in General Electric, and grandson of Edward Folger Peck, an early employee of a precursor of that firm, Abbe came from a family with a deep involvement in electrification and the development of street railways. After prepping at the Rectory and Kent Schools, Abbe studied engineering at the Sheffield School at Yale, and after graduation in 1938, accepted a position with GE. For 36 years, he worked in the Industrial Control Division in New York and Virginia, spending summers at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard. After retirement in 1975, he and his wife Gladys traveled frequently, cruising both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Ranging from an extensive correspondence from his high school and college days to materials relating to his family’s involvement in engineering, the Abbe collection offers an in depth perspective on an educated family. An avid traveler and inveterate keeper, Ed Abbe gathered a diverse assemblage of letters, diaries, and memorabilia relating to the history of the Abbe, Peck, Booth, Gifford, and Boardman families. The collection is particularly rich in visual materials, including albums and photographs, depicting homes, travel, and family life over nearly a century.

Gift of Edward Abbe, Mar. 2012
Subjects
  • Abbe family
  • Boardman family
  • Booth family
  • Electrical engineers
  • General Electric
  • Gifford family
  • Kent School--Students
  • Peck family
  • Rectory School--Students
  • Yale University--Students
Contributors
  • Abbe, Edward H
  • Abbe, Gladys Howard
  • Abbe, William Parker
  • Peck, Edward F
  • Peck, Mary Booth
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board

ACWA Boston Joint Board Records
1926-1979
(8 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 002

The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America originated from a split in the United Garment Workers in 1914 and quickly became the dominant force for union in the men’s clothing industry, controlling shops in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York. The Boston Joint Board formed at the beginning of the ACWA and included locals from a range of ethnic groups and trades that comprised the industry. It coordinated the activities and negotiations for ACWA Locals 1, 12, 102, 149, 171, 172, 173, 174, 181,183, 267, and 335 in the Boston area. In the 1970s the Boston Joint Board merged with others to form the New England Regional Joint Board.

Records, including minutes, contracts, price lists, and scrapbooks, document the growth and maturity of the ACWA in Boston and the eventual decline of the industry in New England. Abundant contracts and price lists show the steady improvement of conditions for workers in the men’s clothing industry. Detailed minutes reflect the political and social influence of the ACWA; the Joint Board played an important role in local and state Democratic politics and it routinely contributed to a wide range of social causes including the Home for Italian Children and the United Negro College Fund. Minutes also document the post World War II development of industrial relations in the industry and include information relating to Joint Board decisions to strike. Minutes also contain information relating to shop grievances, arbitration, shop committees, and organizing. The records largely coincide with the years of leadership of Joseph Salerno, ACWA Vice President and New England Director from 1941 to 1972.

Gift of the New England Regional Joint Board, through Edward Clark, Nov. 1984
Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Clothing trade--Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th century
Contributors
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Boston Joint Board
  • Salerno, Joseph, fl. 1907-1972
Types of material
  • Contracts
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Scrapbooks

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Journeymen Tailors Union. Local 115

ACWA Journeyman Tailors Union Local 115 Records
1945-1984
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 025

Local 115 of Connecticut was comprised of branches from Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury, and affiliated with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

The ACWA records consist of minutes of meetings, correspondence, reports, and contracts. Also included are a number of agreements between local businesses and the union identifying the union as the bargaining representative of their employees.

Subjects
  • Clothing trade--Labor unions--Connecticut
  • Labor unions--Connecticut
Contributors
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Local 125

Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Local 125 Records
1928-1984
16 boxes (8 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 001

Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Local 125 was a chapter of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) that worked to improve wages and hours of work, to increase job security, to provide facilities for advancing cultural, educational, and recreational interests of its members, and to strengthen the labor movement. Key figures in Local 125 included Aldo Cursi who, with Mamie Santora, organized the Connecticut shirtworkers and served as Manager from 1933 to 1954; John Laurie who served as Business Manager from 1933 to 1963; and Nick Aiello, Business agent in 1963 and Manager from 1964 to 1984.

The collection includes constitution, by-laws, minutes, contracts, piece rate schedules, accounts, subject files, scrapbooks, newsclippings, printed materials, photographs and a phonograph record. These records document the history of Local 125 from its founding in 1933 to 1984, when the Local office in New Haven was closed. Included also are correspondence and case materials pertaining to grievance and arbitration proceedings (access restrictions apply).

Subjects
  • Clothing trade--Labor unions--Connecticut
  • Labor unions--Connecticut
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Textile industry--Connecticut
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--Connecticut
Contributors
  • Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Local 125
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings

American Express Company. Florence (Mass.) Office

American Express Company Florence Office Records
1867-1890
3 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 298

Records of express agent Watson L. Wilcox of Simsbury, Connecticut, and Florence, Massachusetts, documenting Wilcox’s work for the American Express Company and the evolution of the company from a small shipping business to a delivery organization whose services contributed to the growth of the local and regional economy. Records consist of agent books, receipt books, and waybills listing accounts of local companies and residents for the sending, receiving, and delivery of freight, telegraph messages, express cash, goods, and packages.

Subjects
  • American Merchant's Union Express Company
  • Express service--Massachusetts--Florence--History
  • Florence (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Florence Manufacturing Company
  • Florence Sewing Machine Company
  • Hill, Samuel L
  • Industries--Massachusetts--Florence--History
  • New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company
  • Nonotuck Silk Company
  • Parsons, I. S
  • Simsbury (Conn.)--Economic conditions
  • Williston, A. L
Contributors
  • American Express Company (Florence, Mass.)
  • Wilcox, Watson L., 1832 or 3-1896

Amherst Community Association (Amherst, Mass.)

Amherst Community Association Records
1939-1978
5 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 050

Contains bylaws, incorporation papers, minutes, budgets, reports, and correspondence relating to the administration and fundraising activities of the Amherst Community Association, including the Community Chest fund drive. Also included are budget proposals and agency profiles documenting organizations such as the Amherst Boys Club and Girls Club, Children’s Aid and Family Service, Hampshire County Association for Retarded Citizens and Camp Anderson.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Camp Anderson
  • Social service--Massachusetts--Amherst
Contributors
  • Amherst Boys' Club (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Amherst Community Association (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Amherst Girls' Club (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Children's Aid and Family Service of Hampshire County (Hampshire County, Mass.)
  • Hampshire County Association for Retarded Citizens (Hampshire County, Mass.)
  • Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records
1989-2005
18 boxes (27 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects
  • Music--17th century
  • Music--18th century
  • Musicians--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Arcadia Players
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