Cynthia Miller Papers, 1973-1995.
6 boxes (2.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 869
Known in the psychiatric survivors’ movement as Kalisa, Cynthia Miller was a radical activist on behalf of the mentally ill. An ex-patient based in New York, she became a member of Project Release in the early 1970s, one of the first wave of organizations fighting for the civil rights of mental patients and combatting forced institutionalization, and was a contributor to Madness Network News and other publications. A poet, writer, and a committed feminist and out lesbian, she took part in civil disobedience to oppose electroconvulsive therapy, working with Judi Chamberlin, George Ebert, Leonard Roy Frank, and others.
Though varied and fragmentary, Cynthia Miller’s collection is a rich resource for study of the early history of the psychiatric survivors movement and the work of one activist in resisting psychiatric oppression. The collection contains some of Kalisa’s writings and correspondence along with ephemera and a varied collection of newspapers, newsletters, and other publications relating to Project Release and several other organizations that Kalisa supported, including the Mental Patients Liberation Front and the Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients.
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- Mentally ill--Civil rights
- Psychiatric survivors movement--New York (City)
- Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients
- Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010
- Mental Patients Liberation Front
- Project Release
Types of material
J. Wesley Miller Papers, ca.1970s-2005.
9 boxes (13.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 460
A nearly lifelong resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, J. Wesley Miller was actively engaged in the city’s politics. Often described as an eccentric activist, Miller graduated from Colby College and later earned his law degree from Western New England College of Law. Although he never practiced as an attorney, Miller did sue the law school upon graduation for “educational malpractice,” a suit that was settled out of court. Miller taught English at Heidelberg College in Ohio and at the University of Wisconsin, and it is at the latter institution where it seems he formed his habit of collecting street literature, mostly posters and fliers. Evidently consumed by a desire to collect such materials, Miller accrued a vast quantity of street literature by the time of his death in 2005.
The collection consists primarily of flyers and posters collected by Miller in Madison, Wisconsin and throughout western Massachusetts that reflect the contemporary history of the two regions. The literature ranges from announcements of student protests and rallies to advertisements for local pubs. Miller signed each item, possibly as part of a ritual to catalog the collection. Also included is a microfilm copy of Miller’s diaries.
- Popular culture
- Street literature
- Miller, J. Wesley (John Wesley), 1941-
Types of material
Ken Mosakowski Papers, 1970s-2006.
80 boxes (120 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 560
As a student at the University of Massachusetts in the late 1960s, Ken Mosakowski first became a political activist when he protested the Vietnam War. Seeking an outlet to spread his message of peace and justice, he reached out to the student radio station WMUA, and started a weekly talk show Focus. For 38 years Mosakowski hosted the radio program every Sunday afternoon discussing topics of both local and national significance. Deeply involved in Amherst politics, he ran for the Amherst Select Board and lost; the loss, however, did not diminish his passion for serving the town and community he loved. Vocal on many issues, Mosakowski was known for being an activist in electoral politics and more recently an advocate for the homeless in Amherst, urging the creation of the Emergency Homelessness Task Force created in April 2006.
The Ken Mosakowski Papers document more than thirty years of his political activism. Saving everything from flyers and newspaper clippings to campaign buttons and posters, the collection documents a wide array of local and national issues. More importanly, it sheds light on issues of personal importance to Mosakowski, and as such chronicles his contributions as a lifelong activist.
The Mosakowski collection has temporarily been moved offsite. Please allow two business days for retrieval.
- Amherst (Mass.)--History
- Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
- Political activists--Massachusetts
- Social action--Massachusetts--History
MUSE Records, ca.1980-1989.
19 boxes (28.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 521
Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), an activist organization opposing the use of nuclear energy, was founded in 1979 by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall. The MUSE Foundation was established with the proceeds of the concerts and for several years provided small grants to support antinuclear and environmental work.
The bulk of the MUSE collection consists of applications from grass-roots, progressive organizations in the United States relating to their work. As such, the collection presents a wonderful snapshot of early 1980s activisim. The collection is part of the Famous Long Ago Archive.
- Activists--United States
- Antinuclear movement--United States
- Musicians United for Safe Energy
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (U.S.) Records, 1970-2008.
84 boxes (91 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 757
Founded by attorney Keith Stroup in 1970, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is the nation’s oldest and most prominent organization advocating for an end to cannabis prohibition. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group based in Washington, DC, NORML has lobbied at the state and federal levels for the elimination of penalties for the cultivation, possession, and responsible use of cannabis, and it has met with success in state-level efforts at decriminalization. Over the years, NORML has led a wide variety of educational initiatives and coordinated its activities with other organizations working for cannabis reform. More recently, NORML has become a significant voice in the struggle to legalize the therapeutic use of marijuana.
The records of NORML offer a perspective on more than forty years of grassroots advocacy in cause of drug policy legislation. Highly varied in nature, the records include organizational records, research files on marijuana and marijuana use, promotional materials prepared by NORML, and letters from persons incarcerated for possession. The collection is currently being received by SCUA with new additions expected in the near term.
- Marijuana--Law and legislation
- Marijuana--Physiological effect
- Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Social aspects
Types of material
- Letters (correspondence)
Lucy Nguyen Papers, 1983-2001.
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 026
A scholar of Francophone literature in Asia and Director of the United Asia Learning Resource Center, Lucy Nguyen Hong Nhiem was born in Kontum, Vietnam, in 1939. A graduate of the University of Saigon and teacher of French, she fled Saigon in 1975 just three days before its fall. From a refugee camp in Arkansas, she traveled through Connecticut and then to Springfield, Mass., before arriving at UMass in 1976 to resume her studies. After completing her MA (1978) and PhD (1982), she held positions at Smith, Amherst, and Mount Holyoke Colleges before beginning her tenure at UMass in 1984. An Adjunct Professor of Asian Languages and Literatures, she also served as Academic Advisor to the Bilingual Collegiate Program and Vice-Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants.
Nguyen’s papers are a small but critical collection of materials on Southeast Asian Refugees. Included among the papers are materials relating to the resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees, materials relating to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants (1983), and a paper on the status of refugees in Massachusetts in 1987, along with unpublished writings, professional correspondence, and a handful of notes from a search committee.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bilingual Collegiate Program
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Asian Languages and Literatures
- Nguyen, Lucy Hong Nhiem, 1939-
Northampton Committee to Stop the War in Iraq Records, 2000-2006.
4 boxes (6 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 551
Protesting the war since before it began, the Northampton Committee to Stop the War in Iraq continues not only to speak out against the war, but to educate the community about the effects of the war on Iraqi civilians, especially children. Advocates for lifting the sanctions against Iraq in the years leading up to the war, members of the Committee have since called for an end to the war, supporting a Northampton City Council resolution to renounce the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and a subsequent proclamation to honor the dead and wounded on all sides in 2005.
Flyers, signs, and banners document the Committee’s weekly peace vigils protesting the war, and subject files provide background on the group as well as on related issues, such as financing the war, fasting for peace, and the children of Iraq.
- Iraq War, 2003- --Protest movements--United States
- Peace movements--Massachusetts
Northampton Domestic Partnership Coalition Collection, 1993-1995..
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 512
Established in 1995 to gain city-wide support for a domestic partnership ordinance, the Northampton Domestic Partnership Coalition’s campaign included fund raising and neighborhood canvassing. Their early efforts succeeded, and in May 1995, the Northampton City Council passed an ordinance recognizing domestic partnerships in the city allowing people of either gender to register as a couple and entitling them to visitation and child care rights in schools, jails, and health care facilities. After a summer of campaigning on both sides, the measure failed by fewer than one hundred votes.
Consisting chiefly of newspaper clippings covering both sides of the debate over Northampton’s domestic partnership ordinance, this collection includes perspectives extending from Northampton and Boston to Washington D.C. Among the publications represented are The Catholic Monitor, The Washington Blade, and Boston Magazine.
- Domestic partner benefits--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
- Gay couples--Legal status, laws, etc.--Massachusetts
- Lesbian couples--Legal status, laws, etc.--Massachusetts
- Northampton (Mass.)--Politics and government
- Northampton (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Northampton Domestic Partnership Coalition
Types of material
- Clippings (Information artifacts)
Northampton Temperance Collection, 1828-1847.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 194
By the time Massachusetts ratified the Eighteenth Amendment banning the production, sale, and transportation of alcohol in 1918, the Pioneer Valley’s temperance societies had been active for over 75 years. Working “in all suitable ways … [to promote] discontinuance [of the use of alcohol] all throughout the Community”, the Northampton Temperance Association, the Factory Village Total Abstinence Society, and the Northampton Martha Washington Temperance Society recruited members, held meetings, elected presidents, and wrote explicit constitutions.
The Northampton Temperance Association collection contains copies of constitutions, meeting minutes, pledge lists, and membership records from three like-minded Pioneer Valley organizations from 1828 to 1847.
Clark Hopkins Obear Diaries, 1845-1888.
4 vols. (2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 601
A resident of New Ipswich, N.H., Clark Obear (1881-1888) was an ardent supporter of the temperance and antislavery movements, and was deeply involved in the affairs of his church and community. Obear and his wife Lydia Ann Swasey (b.1820), whom he married June 8, 1848, were long-time teachers in Hillsborough County, but he worked at various points as a farmer and in insurance, and served in public office as a deputy sheriff, a Lieutenant Colonel in the militia, a fence viewer and pound keeper, and for several years he was superintendent of schools. Obear and his wife had two children, Annabel Clark (b. June 25, 1852, later wife of George Conant) and Francis A. (b. July 7, 1857).
The Obear collection consists of four diaries dated 1845-1851 (252p.), 1871-1877 (ca.280p.), 1878-1883 (280p.), and 1884-1888 (203p.). Although most entries are brief, they form a continuous coverage of many years and offer details that provide a real sense of the rhythms of life in a small village in south central New Hampshire. Of particular note, Obear carefully notes the various lectures he attends in town and the organizations of which he is part, including middle class reform movements like temperance and antislavery.
- Abolitionists--New Hampshire
- Antislavery movements--New Hampshire
- New Ipswich (N.H.)
Types of material