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Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Joseph Obrebski Papers

48 boxes 24 linear feet
Call no.: MS 599

A student of Bronislaw Malinowski, the Polish ethnographer Jozef Obrebski was a keen observer of cultural change among eastern European peasantry in the years before the Second World War. After working with the resistance in Warsaw during the war, Obrebski went on to do additional ethnographic research in Jamaica (with his wife Tamara), taught at Brooklyn and Queens College and C.W. Post University, and from 1948-1959, he was senior social affairs officer with the United Nations. He died in 1967.

The Obrebski collection consists largely of ethnographic data collected by Obrebski in Macedonia (1931-1932), Polesia (1934-1936), and Jamaica (1947-1948), including field and interview notes, genealogies, government documents relating to research sites, and ca. 1000 photographs; together with correspondence (1946-1974), drafts of articles, analyses of collected data, and tapes and phonograph records, largely of folk music; and papers of Obrebski’s wife, Tamara Obrebski (1908-1974), also an ethnologist and sociologist.

Language(s): Polish
  • Anthropologists--Poland
  • Ethnology--Jamaica
  • Ethnology--Macedonia
  • Ethnology--Poland
  • Peasantry--Macedonia
  • Peasantry--Poland
  • Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967
Types of material
  • Photographs

Our Hideaway

Our Hideaway Collection

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 647

Founded in Chicopee, Massachusetts in 1949 under another name, Our Hideaway was the oldest women’s bar on the east coast, offering the local lesbian community a safe haven in which to socialize for fifty continuous years. Before the bar was forced to close after losing its lease in 1999, it was home to a diverse community of women from those known as “old timers,” comprised of women patronizing the bar for upwards of 25 years, to college students new to the area.

As part of a project to research the lesbian bar as a social institution, Smith College student Heather Rothenberg conducted interviews of the women who frequented Our Hideaway. During the course of her research an unexpected announcement was made: the bar was closing. As a result, Rothenberg’s efforts to document Our Hideaway extended far beyond her original intent, and she was able to capture the final days of the bar as both a physical place as well as a community of women assembled over five decades. The collection consists of interview transcripts, emails, photographs and Rothenberg’s written reports. Transcripts of the interviews were modified to protect the privacy of the women interviewed; the original transcripts are restricted.

Gift of Heather Rothenberg, Oct. 2009
  • Lesbian bars--Massachusetts
  • Lesbian business enterprises--Massachusetts
  • Lesbian community--Massachusetts
  • Rothenburg, Heather

Ozer Family

Ozer Family Papers

ca. 1935-2015
10 boxes 13 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1002
Ruth and Abe Ozer celebrating their 90th birthdays in 2010.
Ruth and Abe Ozer celebrating their 90th birthdays in 2010.

Both children of Jewish Eastern European immigrants, and born five days apart in June 1920 in Manhattan, Abraham Jay Ozer (born Abraham Ozersky) and Ruth Sydell Ozer (born Ruth Sydell Newman) married in 1947 after Abe returned from his army service in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. Abe received the Purple Heart as a part of an Ordnance Company bringing supplies for the Battle of Leyte, where he was wounded by shrapnel from a kamikaze attack on his ship during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. Returning to New York, Abe and Ruth began their romance, after being friends before the war as part of a Workmen Circle teen group, and lived almost the entirety of the rest of their lives in the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx, the country’s oldest nonprofit housing cooperative. The Ozers were involved in the social, cultural, and financial community of the cooperative, originally founded by Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union members, and decidedly Jewish and progressive in its early decades. Working for RKO Pictures Inc. and as a substitute teacher at Walton High School, Ruth also volunteered at the local Amalgamated nursery school, which her daughters Alison and Stephanie attended as children. Self-employed in the insurance business, Abe served on several of the community’s boards and societies, and after early retirement volunteered as a dispatcher for ambulances in the Amalgamated, and as a tour guide at the Bronx Zoo. The two were also able to pursue their passion for travel, after being unable to take the intercontinental honeymoon of their dreams, making it only as far as Montreal, and having other commitments earlier in their lives. The couple finally began their travel adventures in 1969 with a trip to the United Kingdom. Over the next thirty-five years they would take more than fifty international and national trips, with Ruth writing as early as 1982, “We’ve roamed the globe. Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, Central Asia, North Africa, the near East. We’ve visited ancient historic capitals, modern picturesque cities, jet-set resorts and spas and thousands of slides recall the sights, the sounds and encounters of our travels there.”

The Ozer Family Papers primarily document the lives of Abe and Ruth Ozer, including their high school and college years, their correspondence and other records from Abe’s military service in the 311th and then 168th Ordnance Depot Company, additional war correspondence between Ruth and other parties, and extensive documentation of the couple’s many years of travel, including selected slides, photographs, travel planning documents, and Ruth’s detailed travel journals for each trip from 1969 through 2005. Additional materials cover the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative, RKO Pictures Inc., and other aspects of the Ozer’s lives, including numerous oral history interviews and home movies on formats ranging from 8mm film to digital. The greater Ozer family is also represented, from a large family tree tracing the family and photographs back to Abe’s grandparents from Belorussia, to content and interviews with his mother, Sadie Uretsky, and several folders of clippings and mixed materials about Abe’s late brother, Bernard Ozer, an important figure in fashion forecasting and purchasing, and former vice-president of Associated Merchandising Corporation. Additional content on the Ozer’s children, grandchildren, and extended family rounds out the collection.

Gift of Alison Ozer, November 2017
  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)--Social life and customs
  • Housing, Cooperative
  • Hunter College--Students
  • Jews--New York (State)--New York
  • Leyte Gulf, Battle of, Philippines, 1944
  • Tourism
  • Travel
  • United States. Army. Ordnance Corps
  • World War, 1939-1945
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs
  • Slides (photographs)

Passin, Herbert

Herbert Passin Collection

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 565

A distinguished scholar of contemporary Japan, Herbert Passin was born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1916. After completing a doctorate in anthropology in 1941, Passin was inducted into the Army and sent to the Army’s Japanese language school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for training. Assigned to duty in Tokyo in December 1945, he became chief of the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. During his tour of duty, Passin coordinated a series of sociological studies of Japanese village life to help guide U.S. Occupation policy, particularly as it dealt with land and labor reform.

The Passin Collection contains reports and notes of sociological surveys of two Japanese villages, Yuzurihara and Yawatano, conducted by U.S. Occupation authorities in 1946 and 1947, along with a wartime report by Arthur Meadow of “Japanese character structure based on Japanese film plots and thematic apperception tests on Japanese Americans,” and a post-war letter from the novelist Takami Jun.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, Oct. 2007
  • Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952
  • Japan--Sociology--Occupation
  • Passin, Herbert
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)


Patagonian Rebellion Collection

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 353

In 1921-1922, Chilean workers on sheep ranches in Patagonia rebelled violently against their conditions, egged on by anarchist agitators. Under pressure from Conservatives to act decisively, the Radical government in Buenos Aires ordered the 10th Cavalry Regiment under Hector Benigno Varela to quell the disturbance, which they did with a heavy hand.

The Patagonian Rebellion Collection consists of typescripts and photocopies of materials relating to the suppression of the workers’ revolt of 1921-1922. The most significant items include the official diaries and reports of cavalry officers sent to quell the uprising, but the collection also includes correspondence after the fact, news clippings documenting public reaction, and photocopies of photographs depicting the principle individuals involved and the damage wrought. .

Gift of Robert Potash, 1988
Language(s): Spanish
  • Argentina--History
  • Argentina--History--Revolution
  • Varela, Hector B.
  • Anello, Alfredo
  • Campos, Pedro E
  • Ibarra, Pedro Vinas
Types of material
  • Diaries

Patton, Carol

Carol Patton Papers

7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 672

Born in Allentown, Pa., on Jan. 19, 1938, Carol Lazo Patton became an ardent activist in the antifluoridation movement, and one of its great supporters. After studying at the Allentown Hospital School, Patton became a registered nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York city. Both professionally and personally concerned about health issues and the environment, Patton became involved in the antifluoridation movement by the mid-1970s, and became a major supporter of the Fluoride Action Network and other antifluoridation groups, playing a particularly important role in the struggle in her home states of Florida and Pennsylvania. Patton died on March 17, 2009, at her home in Jupiter, Florida.

The Patton Papers contain a record of over 35 years of antifluoridation activism, including valuable correspondence between Patton and other antifluoridation activists, publications and correspondence on fluoride toxicity and public policy, legal challenges to fluoridation, and materials issued by antifluoridation groups. Of particular significance is approximately 1.5 linear feet of material on the early antifluoridation fight in Virginia that Patton, probably associated with Landon B. Lane, apparently acquired as a result of her own work in that state.

Gift of Kathy Douglass, July 2010
  • Antifluoridation movement--Pennsylvania
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--Virginia
  • Fluoride Action Network
  • Fluorides--Environmental aspects
  • Fluorides--Toxicology
  • Lane, Landon B
  • Patton, Carol

Peckham, Alford S.

Alford S. Peckham Collection

6 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: MS 707
Image of New England agricultural event
New England agricultural event

Born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1919, Alford S. Peckham attended Rhode Island College, graduating in 1941, before serving in the U.S. Army 1st Division until receiving a medical discharge. For twenty-one years he worked as the manager of public relations for the United Farmers of New England, a cooperative of dairy farmers. His interest and expertise in agricultural history continued even after he left the cooperative for the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston; he was appointed the Massachusetts state agricultural historian in July 1989 and amassed his own collection of historical resources in the hopes of developing a Massachusetts Agricultural History Society. Peckham died on December 20, 2005 in Newport, Rhode Island, his home since his retirement in 1984.

Consisting chiefly of subject files, the Alford S. Peckham Collection covers topics ranging from agricultural history and fairs to dairy farmers and animal rights. Also included are photographs of agricultural events around New England, such as the Massachusetts Dairy Festival (1958), the American Dairy Princess (1961), and the Big E (1950s).

Gift of Sean M. Fisher, DCR Archives, June 2011
  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--History
  • Agriculture--New England--History
  • Dairy farms--Massachusetts--History
  • Farms--New England--History

Pictou, Louis, collector

Louis Pictou Mi'kmaq Manuscript

Prior to 1903
1 vol., 140 p. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 342 bd

The Pictou family were prominent members of the Bear River Band of the Mi’kmaq nation in Nova Scotia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Notably, Chief Benjamin Pictou (1830-1931) lived for over a century, witnessing the evolution of the Mi’kmaq economy from hunting, fishing, and trapping to include guiding and attempts at agriculture, and was listed by the anthropologist Frank G. Speck in 1922 as having a hunting allocation near Sporting Lake, southwest of the Bear River.

An extensive, unidentified manuscript written in Mi’kmaq (Micmac) language, using the “hieroglyphic” (pictographic) writing system. At one time, the manuscript was apparently in the possession of Louis Pictou, an “Indian guide” on the Bear River, who stating that the manuscript was written by his “ancestors.”

Language(s): Mi'kmaq
  • Indians of North America--Nova Scotia
  • Micmac Indians--Manuscripts
  • Pictou, Louis

Pines Hotel (South Hadley, Mass.)

Pines Hotel (South Hadley, Mass.) Register

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 498 bd

The Pines in South Hadley, Mass., was a popular meeting place for men to socialize in the 1920s and 1930s. Employees of Bosch Magneto, the West End Sporting Club, and other groups who enjoyed hunting and fishing held special suppers where they consumed their prey with quantities of alcohol, Prohibition or not.

Using a standard hotel register, The Pines recorded a series of meetings of men’s groups in South Hadley, mostly centered around the activities of hunting and fishing. The Bosch Club (apparently employees of Bosch Magneto in Springfield), the Pines Gang, and the West End Sporting Club — with overlapping membership — held an array of events annually, including Coon Suppers, Deer Dinners, and Game Suppers, as well as occasional Chicken Fries, Piano Suppers, Pig Roasts, Dog Roasts, and special events such as member’s weddings. Summaries at the end of the year in 1926 and 1927, replete with bad verse, provide a sense of their socializing.

Acquired from Peter Masi, Mar. 2005
  • Fishers--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • Hunters--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • Men--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • South Hadley (Mass.)--History

Pope, Ebenezer

Ebenezer Pope Ledger

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 167 bd

Blacksmith who was prominent in the town affairs of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Includes debit and credit entries, the method and form of customer payment (cash, services, labor, and goods such as corn, potatoes, wheat, cider brandy, hog, veal, sheep, lambs, and an ox), and an entry noting the building of the Great Barrington and Alford Turnpike in 1812. Also includes documentation of seamstress activity and of African American customers.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
  • African Americans--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History--19th century
  • Barter--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History--19th century
  • Blacksmiths--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--Economic conditions--19th century
  • George, Negro
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Great Barrington and Alford Turnpike (Mass.)--History
  • Palmer, Anna M
  • Toll roads--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Wages--Men--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History--19th century
  • Wages--Women--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History--19th century
  • Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History--19th century
  • Pope, Ebenezer
Types of material
  • Account books