The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is a center for research into the history and impact of social change and the history and cultures of New England.
With substantial holdings documenting African American history and culture, organized labor, movements for peace and social justice, and the history of agriculture, SCUA houses approximately 35,000 rare books, nationally significant manuscript collections, historic maps, and the official records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SCUA supports the work of a wide range of researchers, from undergraduates to senior scholars and journalists to family historians. Ours is a growing collection used by an international audience of students, scholars, and other members of the general public.
Beyond the major areas of collecting interest, SCUA includes materials touching on topics as diverse as Revolutionary-era France and Belgium (1789-1848), Scottish literature, the history of protistology, the American study of Japan, East Germany and Cold War-era Poland, and the literature of American Socialism.
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Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company Records, 1799.
Call no.: MS 088
Authorized in March 1799, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company constructed a toll road through miles of rough terrain and sparse settlements, connecting Leominster, Athol, Greenfield, and Northfield. Having opened areas to land travel that had previously been accessible only over rivers, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike ceased operations in 1833 after years of declining revenues.
The collection consists primarily of one volume of records of the directors of the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike, including minutes of meetings, accounts of tolls collected, and drafts of letters.
- Toll roads--Massachusetts
- Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company
Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining Records, 1969-1973.
Call no.: MS 023
In 1969, Governor Francis W. Sargeant established a bi-partisan council to review municipal and state collective bargaining practices more than decade after all public employees were extended the right to join unions. Over the next three years, the council heard from both sides, interviewing representatives from management and labor, and holding regional hearings throughout the state. The work of the group culminated in the enactment of the Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law (M.G.L. c.150E) in 1973, which granted full bargaining rights to most state and municipal employees.
The collection includes detailed minutes of meetings, transcripts of testimony, drafts of legislature, reports, and recommendations of the council.
- Collective bargaining
- Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
- Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining
Massachusetts Review Records, 1958-2006.
Call no.: MS 555
The Massachusetts Review is an independent quarterly of literature, the arts, and public affairs. Co-founded by Jules Chametzky and Sidney Kaplan in 1959 to promote eclectic, nontraditional, and underrepresented literary and intellectual talent, the Review has been an important venue for African American, Native American, and feminist writers and poets, mixing new and established authors.
The records of the Massachusetts Review document the history and operations of the magazine from its founding to the present, including general correspondence and nearly complete editorial files for published works. The collection also includes a small number of audio recordings of MR2, a radio show hosted by Review editor David Lenson with interviews of writers, artists, and cultural critics.
- Criticism--20th century--Periodicals
- Literature--20th century--Periodicals
- Poetry--20th century--Periodicals
- Abramson, Doris E
- Chametzky, Jules
- Massachusetts Review
Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council Collection, 1959-1972.
Call no.: MS 327
An advocate for unionized construction workers in the state, the Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council collection consists chiefly of conference proceedings.
- Construction workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council
MSEA University of Massachusetts Chapter Records, 1955-1978.
Call no.: MS 049
Group founded at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the Massachusetts state employees’ retirement system. By 1969, the group became the exclusive bargaining agent for the University’s administrative, clerical, and technical employees. Includes constitution and by-laws, Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases, that document the activities and administration of the University of Massachusetts chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees Association from 1955 to 1978.
- Collective labor agreements--Education, Higher--Massachusetts--Amherst
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
Western New England Poetry Collection, 1977-2008.
Call no.: MS 561
Since 2004, the Florence Poets Society has been a hub of the poetry communities in Western Massachusetts, promoting the sharing, reading, and publication of works by its members. The group has sponsored outdoor poetry festivals, poetry slams, and readings and it has encouraged publication of poetry through its annual review,
Established in partnership with Rich Puchalsky and the Florence Poets Society, the Western New England Poetry Collection constitutes an effort to document the vibrant poetry communities in Western New England. The collection includes all forms of poetry, from the written to the spoken word, in all formats, but with a particular emphasis upon locally produced and often difficult to find chapbooks, small press books, unpublished works, and limited run periodicals. The collection is not limited to members of the Florence Poets Society, and additions from poets in Western New England are eagerly welcomed.
- Poetry--New England
- Florence Poets Society
- Puchalsky, Rich
Franco-American Oral History Collection, 1980-1984.
Call no.: MS 123
With a population of nearly a million French Americans, Massachusetts bears witness to the largest continental migration experienced in the Northeast. Under a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy, 44 interviews of Franco Americans in the region were conducted from August 8, 1982 to January 18, 1983.
These interviews document the lives of those individuals, covering a period beginning in the late nineteenth century through 1984.
- French Americans--Massachusetts
Types of material
- Oral histories
Massachusetts Locales Collection, 1905-1989.
Call no.: MS 300
Materials, such as clippings, maps, and photographs, relating to Amherst, but also including items from other western Massachusetts towns. Topics covered include are Amherst writers such as Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, town history, trees and birds of Amherst, and Connecticut River Valley history.
- Amherst (Mass.)--History
Types of material
Massachusetts Chicken and Turkey Broiler Test Records, 1953-1959.
Call no.: MS 082
Established to conduct poultry tests and research, the Massachusetts Chicken and Turkey Broiler Test, Inc. was located adjacent to the UMass campus in order to take advantage of the professional skills of the staff and students in the Poultry Department. Scientific data were collected for a number of variables including rate of growth, rate of feathering, age of maturity, and egg production and hatchability.
Records consist of minutes, financial documents, correspondence, and test results.
- Poultry industry--Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Chicken and Turkey Broiler Test, Inc