Elaine Dobrowski Boston Polish Community Collection, ca.1935-1995.
1 box (0.25 linear feet). Call no.: MS 376
Compiled by Elaine Dobrowski, this collection of photographs, printed materials, and news clippings documents the Polish community in Boston during the 1930s through the 1990s. Includes photographs of the Kosciusko Monument in the Boston Public Gardens, a children’s dance festival, and a Polish Women’s circle outing at Blinstrub’s Village as well as images of parades, receptions, and conventions.
As a child, W.E.B. Du Bois lived for several years on a five acre parcel of land on the Egremont plain near Great Barrington, Mass. Although barely five when his family moved into town, Du Bois never lost his feeling for this property that had been in his family for six generations, and when presented with the opportunity to reacquire the site in 1928, he accepted, intending to build a house there and settle.
Walter Wilson and Edmund Gordon purchased the Du Bois homesite in 1967 with the intention of erecting a memorial to Du Bois’ life and legacy. On October 18, 1969, the site was formally dedicated as the W. E. B. Du Bois Memorial Park, with civil-rights activist and future Georgia legislator Julian Bond giving the keynote address and Ossie Davis presiding as master of ceremonies. Nineteen years later, the Du Bois Memorial Foundation donated the property to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, designating the University of Massachusetts Amherst as custodian.
Narrated by Davis and including Bond’s keynote address, this documentary (originally shot on 16mm motion picture film) depicts the 1969 dedication ceremonies. For additional information, please visit the website for the Du Bois boyhood homesite.
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Homes and haunts
Eagle Lodge, International Brotherhood of Paper Maker Records, 1901-1978.
1 box (0.5 linear feet). Call no.: MS 081
First organized as Eagle Lodge in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the United Brotherhood of Paper Makers was granted a charter by the AFL in May 1883. Almost as soon as the union was established, however, it faced a serious struggle for power from within. Hoping to maintain their higher economic and social status, the machine tenders ultimately organized their own union, and the two remained separate for a number of years until they finally merged in 1902 as the International Brotherhood of Paper Makers.
Records of the Eagle Lodge, Local 1 include by-laws, minutes, correspondence, contracts, a ledger, and three histories of the local and the early days of the union.
Paper industry workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
After emigrating from Dzieciekowo, Poland, Michael Kislo found work in a Northampton basket shop and later as a machinist at International Silver Company. He was a resident of Florence, Mass.
The Kislo collection contains nine volumes of Kislo’s writing (mostly in Polish and thematically religious, patriotic, personal, and autobiographical) and artwork (drawings and paintings with religious allusions, Polish costumes, weapons, imaginary animals and fanciful landscapes).
Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston Records, 1937-1997.
1 box (0.5 linear feet). Call no.: MS 466
The oldest active Polish folk dance ensemble in the United States, the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston was formed in 1937 by a group of young ladies of Polish heritage interested in promoting Polish culture through the mediums of song and dance. The club opened its membership to young men in 1947, and was offcially incorporated in 1957. Since its formation, the dancers have appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and Poland, and the group has received recognition and awards worldwide, including a special performance before his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1983.
The collection includes programs for performances from the club’s earliest days, tickets, newspaper clippings featuring articles about the group, and copies of the organization’s constitution describing the group’s mission and membership.
Collection of printed materials, primarily the constitutions and by-laws of Massachusetts Polish-American organizations, including publications of the Pilsudski Polish-American Citzens Club in Southbridge, St. Stanislaus’ Polish Lyceum in Three Rivers, and the Polish American Citizens’ Club also in Three Rivers, which contains study questions for the U.S. citizenship exam. Also a prayerbook (1906) and a textbook for parents and teachers, Masturbation in Men and Women and Its Effects (1912), translated to Polish from German.
For decades, the writer Steve Lerner has been a significant contributor to public awareness of the issues surrounding environmental justice. Immersed in the environmental movement through his work as research director at Commonweal, a health and environment research institute founded with his brother Michael in 1976, Lerner earned wide recognition for his first book, Eco-Pioneers (1998), about “practical visionaries” who developed pragmatic solutions to environmental problems. In two subsequent books, Lerner turned to an examination of the impact of environmental toxins and industrial pollutants on low-income communities and people of color and the rise of grassroots opposition within those communities. In Diamond (2006), Lerner explored the impact of a Shell Chemical plant in Louisiana as a microcosm of the broader environmental-justice movement, and more recently, Sacrifice Zones (2010) traced the organization and resistance against industrial and chemical pollutants in a dozen communities in the eastern United States. In 2007, Lerner left his position at Commonweal, but continues his research and writing on environmental issues.
The research notes, interviews, photographs and other documentation comprising the Lerner collection form the basis for Lerner’s three major books.
The Lesinski and Rusin families represent the average working-class Polish family settled in the Pioneer Valley during the early twentieth century. Numerous family photographs document important occasions for the families, such as baptisms, first communions, and weddings, while photographic postcards and commercial postcards document their relationships, interests, and travel. The collection also includes Polish-language textbooks and a Polish-English dictionary, which suggest that learning English may have been both a challenge as well as a priority.
Southbridge Polish American Photograph Collection, 1934-1988.
1 flat box (1 linear feet). Call no.: MS 048
Photographs from the 1930s of members of local Polish communities in Massachusetts, including images of the Polish Women’s Club, the Polish Tigers, and the Polish Boy Scouts. Also includes photographs, correspondence, and brochures documenting the Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. in 1988.
Born in 1911, Commander Stanley Lipski was an Annapolis graduate and Naval intelligence officer. A Russian language expert, Lipski had been stationed in Finland prior to the start of World War II and was in Riga, Latvia during a Russian invasion in 1940. He died in the Philippine Sea when the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine in July 1945.
The Stanley Lipski Papers contain newspaper articles about Lipski, a letter informing his family that he was killed in action, as well as information pertaining to the court martial of Charles McVay, captain of the USS Indianapolis. Also included are photographs of the Polish officer corps that Lipski took with him when he escaped Latvia in 1940.