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Esleeck Manufacturing Company

Esleeck Manufacturing Company Records, 1898-1987
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 505

A manufacturing firm specializing in the production of onion skin paper, the Esleeck Manufacturing Company was established in 1898 as the Monadnock Paper Co. The principal owners, Augustine W. Esleeck and Alfred T. Judd, had worked together with the Valley Paper Mills of Holyoke, Mass., but when striking out on their own, moved to Turners Falls, believing the town to be the ideal location for a mil. Changing their name to Esleeck Manufacturing Co. in 1901, the firm sought to be a good neighbor, using local labor and products from local firms in their manufacturing. After more than 100 years of continuous operation, the company was purchased by Southworth Co. in 2006.

The collection consists chiefly of financial records, but also includes three minute books from 1898-1961 that capture the the company’s early history, as well as a memorial history of the company written by a long-term employee in 1954.

Subjects
  • Paper industry--Massachusetts
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Esleeck Manufacturing Company

Francis, Robert, 1901-1987

Robert Francis Papers, 1891-1988
17 boxes (8.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 403
Robert Francis Papers image
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
Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Poetry--Publishing
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Press
Contributors
  • 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

George & Kent

George and Kent Records, 1887-1890
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 888

Late in the nineteenth century, George and Kent was one among many firms in Barre, Vt., specializing in the supply of granite for grave markers and monuments. Under senior partner William L. George, the firm was located on Seminary Street in the 1880s, supplying a clientele that reached as far away as Iowa. Although the firm was listed in city directories from at least 1883 to 1890, further details are scant.

This small collection consists of receipts and correspondence relating to George and Kent’s trade in granite memorials. Concentrated in a narrow window, mostly 1887-1888, the collection includes three sketches for memorials to be produced by the firm.

Subjects
  • Granite industry and trade--Vermont
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • George, William L.
Types of material
  • Design drawings

George H. Gilbert & Company

George H. Gilbert Co. Records, 1842-1931
26 boxes, 126 vols. (36 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 096

In 1841, George H. Gilbert and Charles A. Stevens formed a partnership to manufacture broadcloth and cloaking in Ware, Massachusetts. Ten years later, the partnership dissolved and each partner carried a part of the business into separate establishments. The newly formed George H. Gilbert Company continued making high-grade woolen flannels, for which it developed a national reputation, until 1930.

Records, consisting of correspondence, financial records and cash books, construction contracts, sales lists, production records, and sample books, document the operation of Gilbert and Stevens and later the Gilbert Company for almost a century. The labor accounts (1851-1930), document the phases of the varying ethnic composition of the workforce — Irish, French-Canadian, and eventually Polish — well as the family orientation of the mills.

Subjects
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Ware (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • George H. Gilbert and Co
Types of material
  • Account books

Great Barrington (Mass.)

Charles Taylor Collection, 1731-1904
(5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 104

Collection of historical documents compiled by Charles Taylor, author of the 1882 town history of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Includes Court of Common Pleas cases, deeds, estate papers, indentures, land surveys, sheriff’s writs, town history reference documents, Samuel Rossiter’s financial papers, and genealogical research papers for over 40 families.

Subjects
  • Debt--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Farm tenancy--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Genealogy
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Land use--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
Contributors
  • Ives, Thomas
  • Kellogg, Ezra
  • Pynchon, George
  • Pynchon, Walter
  • Root, Hewitt
  • Rossiter, Samuel
  • Taylor, Charles J. (Charles James), 1824-1904
Types of material
  • Deeds
  • Genealogies
  • Land surveys
  • Writs

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce Total Community Development Committee Records, 1968-1970
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 154

Formed by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce in 1968, the Total Community Development Committee was assigned the task of assessing the city’s needs and resources in an effort to guide the community in making and remaking its physical shape. Drawn from local business leaders, academics, and city planners, the Committee addressed issues relating to the city’s public assets including the state of the Hampshire County Courthouse, City Hall, schools, and housing, as well as economic and industrial development, recreation and youth, and urban renewal.

The collection consists of minutes and memos of the Total Development Committee, notes kept by Committee member Harvey J. Finison, and supporting material, including a copy of the 1963 master plan for the city and a series of maps. The Committee’s work contributed to a new comprehensive plan for the city by the firm Metcalf and Eddy (1972) and a survey of needs for proposed Hampshire County courthouse prepared by Reinhardt and Associates (1969).

Subjects
  • City planning--Massachusetts--Northampton
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Urban renewal--Massachusetts--Northampton
Contributors
  • Finison, Harvey J., 1916-1987
  • Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee
Types of material
  • Comprehensive plans (reports)
  • Maps

Green, Josiah

Josiah Green and Co. Records, 1829-1905
2 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 683

Josiah Green and Co. were pioneering manufacturers of mass produced pegged boots, one of the earliest and largest firms of its kind in Central Massachusetts. Founded by Josiah Green in the town of Leicester in 1812, the firm relocated to Spencer in 1816 or 1817 and erected its first factory there in 1834. In 1850, J. Green and Co. was the largest of six major shoe- and boot-manufacturers in town, though it lost market share thereafter. Green ran the company until control passed to his sons in 1867.

The records of Josiah Green and Co. document the growth and peak years of operation of one of the most important high-volume manufacturers of boots in central Massachusetts. Although the account books and ledgers extend back into the 1820s, the bulk of the correspondence dates from 1889-1894, when Josiah’s sons controlled the firm and while it was losing ground to its competitors. Although sporadic and incomplete, the correspondence offers a glimpse into the manner in which Green’s business was conducted during a period when the firm sold to a wide network of wholesalers and jobbers in the northeast and Midwest. Most of the correspondence concerns placement or fulfillment of orders and issues over prices and payment. The collection contains four press copybooks containing outgoing letters for the years 1889-1892 and 1904-1905.

Subjects
  • Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Spencer
  • Spencer (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Contributors
  • Green, Josiah
  • J. Green and Co
Types of material
  • Account books

Hampshire Council of Governments

Hampshire Council of Governments Records, 1677-1974
90 volumes, 17 boxes (80 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 704
Hampshire Council of Governments Records image
Title page, Volume 1 (1671)

The Hampshire Council of Governments is a voluntary association of cities and towns and the successor to the former government of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, that was abolished in 1999. A body politic and corporate, its charter ratified by Massachusetts General Law 34B, S20(b), the Council oversees roadways, the electricity supply, building inspection, tobacco control, cooperative purchasing, and other services for member communities.

The Hampshire Council collection contains a dense record of county-level governance in western Massachusetts from the colonial period through the mid-twentieth century with extensive documentation of the actions of the County Commissioners, and before them the Court of Common Pleas and Court of General Sessions. Rich in documenting the development of the transportation infrastructure of western Massachusetts, the collection offers detailed information associated with the planning and construction of highways, canals, ferries, and railroads, but the early records offer a broad perspective on the evolution of the legal and cultural environment, touching on issues from disorderly conduct (e.g., fornication, Sabbath breaking) to the settlement of estates, local governance, public works, and politics.

Subjects
  • Bridges--Massachusetts--Hampshire Count
  • Dams--Massachusetts--Hampshire Count
  • Hampshire County (Mass.)--History
  • Hampshire County (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Indians of North America--Massachusetts
  • Northampton (Mass.)--History
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Railroads--Massachusetts
  • Roads--Massachusetts--Hampshire County
  • Taverns (Inns)--Massachusetts--Hampshire County
Contributors
  • Hampshire County (Mass.). County Commissioners
  • Massachusetts. Court of General Sessions of the Peace (Hampshire County)
  • Massachusetts. Inferior Court of Common Pleas (Hampshire County)
Types of material
  • Civil court records
  • Maps

Hatfield (Mass.) Barite Mine

Hatfield Barite Mine Records, 1840-1843
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 225

In November 1840, the prominent New York merchant firm, Josiah Macy and Son, requested Samuel Wells of Northampton to act as their agent in acquiring a lease to a tract of land in nearby Hatfield for the purpose of mining for barite. Wells involved Amherst College geology professor Edward Hitchcock in the survey for the appropriate mining site, and then during the next two years negotiated for the leases and the start up of the mining. With Hitchcock’s assistance, Wells located the mineral vein in Hatfield, about two miles west of the town village. His diagrams of the vein in his correspondence show that it crossed three property lines; those of Thomas Frary, John D. Morton, and the estate of Charles Smith.

Subjects
  • Hatfield (Mass.)--History
  • Mines and mining--Massachusetts

Heywood, Benjamin, 1746-1816

Benjamin Heywood Daybooks, 1784-1807
17 vols. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 239 bd

Harvard-educated judge and American Revolution veteran from Worcester, Massachusetts, who served in many other civic positions. Includes documentation of civic and farming activities, such as which animals were put to pasture on what date, which pastures were leased to others, the names and terms of indentured laborers, and the sale/exchange of agricultural products to customers such as Isaiah Thomas, William Eaton, Nathaniel Stowell, Ithamar Smith, and Jonathan Rice. Also contains references to family members.

Subjects
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Worcester
  • Worcester (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Daybooks

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