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Geisler, Bruce

Bruce Geisler Collection, 1969-1984
14 boxes (21 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 049
Bruce Geisler Collection image
Renaissance Community, ca.1974

In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.

Documenting everyday life in a Massachusetts commune and performances by the commune bands (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled in conjunction with the making of the film Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of both raw and edited film footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes a rich assemblage of still photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.

Subjects
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Renaissance Community (Commune)
Contributors
  • Geisler, Bruce
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Videotapes

George Cooley & Company

George Cooley & Co. Ledger, 1843-1851
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 111

Ledger, begun by George Cooley in 1843 to record the accounts of his soapmaking business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, continued by Titus Chapin, an ardent abolitionist, and Mordecai Cough who managed the business following Cooley’s death (or departure) in 1848. The 1843 date coincides with the coming of many small businesses to Cabotville in connection with the growth of industries there at the time.

Cooley accepted goods, services and cash as payment. The most frequently accepted goods had relatively obvious value to a soap maker: grease and ashes, tallow, pork, scraps and skins, and candles. Some of the services bartered were repairing wagon, shoeing horse, fixing wippletree, making 30 boxes, and covering umbrella. The business sold gallons, bars, and cakes of soap. Mount Holyoke Seminary bought 28 “fancy soaps”. Also listed were shaving soap and hard or hand soap. In addition, sales sometimes included candles, butter, mop handles, molasses, apples and potatoes, squashes, satinet, cheese, cord wood, paint, and rosin. Some of the listings were annotated with regard to the customer’s character: Ashad Bartlett was seen as “bad and poor and fights with his wife”‘ Norris Starkwether was “an honest man”; and Miss L.B. Hunt “eloped with a man”.

Subjects
  • Chicopee (Mass.)--History
  • Soap trade--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • George Cooley and Company

Gordon, Ann

Ann Gordon Papers, 1986-1989
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 016

Ann Gordon served as the editor of the Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers as a member of African American Studies department from 1982 until the project’s conclusion in 1989. While at the University, Gordon, along with John Bracey, Joyce Berkman, and Arlene Avakian planned a conference discussing the history of African American Women voting from the Cady Stanton’s meeting at Seneca Falls to the Voting Rights Act. The conference, called the African American Women and the Vote Conference, was held in 1988.

The collection is comprised of proposals, reports, meeting transcripts, and correspondence from Gordon’s work planning the 1988 African American Women and the Vote Conference. Also included is preliminary work by Gordon to organize the papers given at the conference into book form.

Subjects
  • African American women
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
Contributors
  • Gordon, Ann

Grace, Frank

Frank Grace Papers, 1976-1985
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 863

A radical political organizer, Frank “Parky” Grace was a founding member of the New Bedford chapter of the Black Panther Party. Radicalized during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967, Grace became involved in the antiwar movement upon his return and organized the local branch of the Black Panthers shortly before the New Bedford Rebellion of 1970. In 1972, he and his brother Ross were charged with the murder, receiving life sentences. Parky Grace contended all along that he had been framed by the police for his political activity and in 1982, Ross admitted that he had been responsible for the murder, backing up his brother’s contention that he was not present at the time. Parky Grace was released from prison in 1984 and lived subsequently in New Bedford and Boston. He died in Boston in October 2001.

The Grace Papers consist of a powerful series of letters written to Gloria Xifaras Clark while Grace was confined in Walpole State Penitentiary. Informed by his revolutionary politics, the letters offer insight into the conditions of imprisonment, his treatment by guards, and his relationships with fellow prisoners.

Subjects
  • Black Panther Party
  • New Bedford (Mass.)--History
  • Prisoners--Massachusetts
  • Walpole State Prison
Contributors
  • Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-

Graham, John Remington, 1940-

John Remington Graham Collection, 1978-1982
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 724
john r. graham
John R. Graham

As the principal attorney representing the plaintiffs in two lawsuits to prevent the fluoridation of civic water supplies, John Remington Graham had a profound impact on the antifluoridation cause. In November 1978, Graham convinced Allegheny County (Pa.) Judge John P. Flaherty to prohibit fluoridation in the borough of West View, Pa., with the judge writing that it was “simple prudence” to do so in the face of evidence that fluoride was a carcinogen. Four years later, Judge Anthony Ferris ruled similarly in the case of Safe Water Foundation of Texas v. city of Houston, citing not only the carcinogenicity of fluorides, but their toxicity and inefficacy in reducing dental decay.

Consisting of the trial transcripts of Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View (No. GD-4585-78) and Safe Water Foundation of Texas v. City of Houston, District Court of Texas (151st Judicial District, No. 80-52271), the Graham collection documents two high-profile, successful attempts to use the legal system to prevent the fluoridation of public water.

Subjects
  • Antifluoridation movement--Pennsylvania
  • Antifluoridation movement--Texas
  • Water--Fluoridation--Law and legislation--Pennsylvania
  • Water--Fluoridation--Law and legislation--Texas
Contributors
  • Graham, John Remington, 1940-
Types of material
  • Legal files

Granite Cutters International Association of America

Granite Cutters' International Association of America Records, 1877-1978
27 boxes (19.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 004

Organized in Rockland, Maine in March 1877 as the Granite Cutters’ National Union, the association later adopted its present name in 1905. The trade union clearly had a strong sense of their identity and purpose claiming for itself “the jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.

Records include National Union Committee minutebooks from 1886-1954, monthly circulars, membership registers, and 100 years of the union’s official publication, the Granite Cutters’ Journal.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--New England
  • Stone-cutters--Labor unions
Contributors
  • Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
  • Minute books

Granite Cutters International Association of America. Tool Sharpeners Local 1

GCIAA Tool Sharpeners Local 1 Records, 1898-1941
(0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 005

The Tool Sharpeners Local 1 of Granite Cutters International Association of America was established in Quincy, Mass., in 1896. The local represented the interests of one of the skilled trades within the Grant Cutters, which claimed for itself “jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.

The minutebooks contain records of membership meetings of the Toolsharpeners Local 1 of the Granite Cutters’ International Association. Spartan documents, these include notice of the election of officers, summaries of business, and occasional brief notes on grievances, communications with other locals, and new and departing members.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Stone-cutters--Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
  • Minute books

Graphic Communications International Union. Local 48B

GCIU Local 48B Records, 1952-1985
3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 059

Local of the Graphic Communications International Union that represented over 1000 bindery workers in the Holyoke, Massachusetts area. Records include detailed minutes, shop reports, committee reports, reports of delegates sent to the Holyoke Central Labor Union and national conventions, copies of agreements, notes on contract negotiations, copies of three newsletters, and subject files that document activities as well as the emergence of factionalism within the union.

Subjects
  • Carrying on
  • Collective bargaining--Paper industry--Massachusetts --Holyoke--History--Sources
  • Holyoke (Mass.)--Economic conditions--Sources
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts--Holyoke
  • National Blank Book Co.--History
  • Old unionist
  • Paper industry workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Holyoke
Contributors
  • Graphic Arts International Union. Local 48B
  • International Brotherhood of Bookbinders. Local 48
Types of material
  • Newsletters

Green, Jeffrey L.

Jeffrey L. Green Papers, ca.1990-2014
17 boxes (25.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 877

The founder and director of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, Jeffrey Lee Green (1946-2014) was a national organizer in the anti-fluoridation movement. A management consultant specializing in the health professionals, Green was adept at using the legal and legislative process to raise awareness of the potential toxicological dangers of fluorides. In 1996, Green helped his colleague David Kennedy facilitate a ballot measure to stop fluoridation in California, and they were instrumental in initiating a congressional investigation into fluoride between 1998 and 2000. Green later contributed to the 2006 National Research Council report on fluoride. Green died suddenly on Nov. 5, 2014.

The collection documents Jeff Green’s work with Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, providing strategic advice for grassroots legal and political challenges to fluoridation. Of particular note are legal files relating to two important cases in California: one challenging the city of Escondido’s decision to use hydrofluosilicic acid and the second leveling a constitutional objection to fluoridation without public consent.

Subjects
  • Antifluoridation movement
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--California
  • Fluorides--Physiological effect
Contributors
  • Kennedy, David

Greenfield (Mass.) Peace Center

Greenfield Peace Center Records, 1962-1978
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 121

Formed in 1963, the Greenfield Peace Center viewed itself as an educational organization teaching about and advocating for world peace. Their activities included organizing peace marches, warning against the dangers of nuclear war, conducting teach-ins, campaigning against war toys, and counseling on the alternatives to the draft.

Correspondence, administrative documents, and news clippings relating to peace activism centered in Greenfield, Massachusetts and in the upper Pioneer Valley, especially by the Greenfield Community Peace Center, William Hefner, and Turn Toward Peace.

Subjects
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Turn Toward Peace
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Hefner, William K
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