Social change (284 collections) SCUA

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Brooks, Burt V.

Burt V. Brooks Photograph Collection, 1889-1934.

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 060

The artist Burt Vernon Brooks was one of the outstanding chroniclers of daily life in the Swift River Valley before it was inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Born in Brimfield, Mass., in 1849 and raised in Monson, Brooks moved to Greenwich with his family in the 1870s, where he worked on the family farm. At some unclear point before he turned 40, Brooks became active as an artist, painting local homes and scenery and taking photographs of the landscape, residents, and daily life in the Quabbin region. A prolific photographer, he was, in the words of historian Donald W. Howe, “hardly ever seen without his camera strapped to his back,” remaining active for decades. Three years after following his second wife to the west, Brooks died in Los Angeles in 1934.

The great majority of the 92 photographs in this collection are 5×7″ dry plate glass negatives taken by Brooks in the earliest years of the twentieth century, documenting the houses and people of Greenwich. Brooks’ work includes landscapes, houses, and a significant series of images of the Hillside School, but some of his best works are studio portraits, images of people at home or with their carriages, and posed scenes of children at play or at work. The collection also includes eight images by Brooks at Enfield, Greenwich, and Dana that are the property of the Swift River Valley Historical Society, and six images taken by Chetwynd and Pike in the Quabbin region to document properties slated for removal.

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Carriages and carts--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Children--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Dana (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Dwellings--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Greenwich (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Hillside School (Marlborough, Mass.)
  • Horses--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • New Salem (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Plowing--Massachusetts--Greenwich--Photographs
  • Prescott (Mass.)--Photographs

Types of material

  • Dry plate gelatin negatives
  • Gelatin silver negatives
  • Photographs

Brotherhood of the Spirit

Brotherhood of the Spirit Documentary, ca.1973.

15.24 minutes
Call no.: Video

Beginning in a treehouse in Leyden, Mass., during the summer of 1968, the Brotherhood of the Spirit (later the Renaissance Community) grew to become the largest commune in the eastern United States. Founded by Michael Metelica and six friends, and infused with the spiritual teachings of Elwood Babbitt, the commune relocated several times during its first half decade, setting down at different points in Heath, Charlemont, Warwick, Turners Falls, and Gill, Mass., as well as Guilford, Vt.

Produced at UMass Amherst, this video (digitized from a 16mm motion picture original) provides a largely laudatory glimpse of commune life during the boom years of the Brotherhood of the Spirit, probably around 1973. Sound quality in the video is highly uneven, often poor, particularly in the first two minutes.

Subjects

  • Brotherhood of the Spirit
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Metelica, Michael

Types of material

  • Motion pictures (Visual works)

Brown, Daniel A.

Daniel A. Brown Photograph Collection, 1968-2003.

ca.450 items
Call no.: PH 011
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen

Having joined the the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in 1973, Dan Brown remained a member for a decade as it evolved first into Metelica’s Aquarian Concept and then into the Renaissance Community. Throughout his time as a member, he photographed his fellow communards as they moved through a variety of localities, including Turner’s Falls, Gill, and Warwick, Mass. Since leaving the community in 1983, he has written and lectured regularly on its history for audiences throughout the region.

One of the principle photographers of the Brotherhood and Renaissance Community during the period 1973-1983, Brown preserved an archive of approximately 450 photographs documenting the commune from its founding in 1968 through the time of Michael Metelica’s death in 2003. In addition to his own work, he collected and preserved images of many other photographers, most notably Gary Cohen.

Subjects

  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Metelica, Michael

Contributors

  • Brown, Daniel A
  • Cohen, Gary

Types of material

  • Photographs

Brown, John, 1800-1859

John Brown Research Collection, 1826-1942.

10 reels of microfilm (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 308 mf

Microfilm containing documents drawn from various repositories including John Brown’s correspondence with family, friends, and others; court records and testimony; transcripts of interviews and other personal reminiscences; drafts of narratives; memorandum book; drafts of speeches; church records; minutes of Anti-slavery Society of Lawrence, Kansas; financial and legal records; broadsides and circulars; newspaper clippings; other miscellaneous records.

Subjects

  • Abolitionists--United States--History
  • Slavery--United States--History
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Causes

Contributors

  • Brown, John, 1800-1859

Bryson, Christopher, 1960-

Christopher Bryson and Joel Griffiths Papers, 1997-2010.

6 boxes (9 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 810

In the spring of 1997, the investigative journalists Chris Bryson and Joel Griffiths were commissioned by the Christian Science Monitor to investigate the connections between the Manhattan Project and the origins of fluoridation of drinking water supplies. Using reclassified documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests and deep archival research, Bryson and Griffiths uncovered a powerful story that connected the rise of fluoridation to the rise of atomic weapons production in the early Cold War era. Although the Monitor elected not to publish the article, it appeared in the anti-fluoridation journal Waste Not in 1998, and was cited as the year’s 18th most censored story in the 1998 Project Censored Series. Bryson continued his work on the military-industrial roots of fluoridation in a later book, The Fluoride Deception (2004), which received that year’s Project Censored Award.

The Bryson-Griffiths collection consists of materials compiled by the authors during the course of their research, representing the intellectual work of a decade of study on the politics and science of fluoridation. The collection includes a range of correspondence, transcripts of original interviews, memos between Bryson and Griffiths, and archival material gathered from the Manhattan Project and Kettering Laboratory archives. Noteworthy among these materials is a series of suppressed, unpublished, industry-funded studies that found fluoride harmful.

Subjects

  • Antifluoridation movement
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Fluorides--Physiological effect

Contributors

  • Griffiths, Joel

Burgstahler, Albert W.

Albert W. Burgstahler Papers, ca.1956-2007.

75 boxes (120 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 798
Albert Burgstahler
Albert Burgstahler

The chemist and ardent opponent of fluoridation of drinking water, Albert W. Burgstahler was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1928. After receiving degrees from Notre Dame (BS 1949) and Harvard (PhD 1953), he embarked on a productive career of over forty years at the University of Kansas. His research in the synthesis and chemistry of natural products and the biological properties of fluorinated amino acids, led Burgstahler to a keen interest in environmental pollutants, particularly fluorides, and from the mid-1960s on, he enjoyed a reputation as one of the most prominent and prolific scientific voices opposing fluoridation. His efforts and long service as editor and chief of the International Society for Fluoride Research’s quarterly journal, Fluoride, was formally recognized by the Fluoride Action Network in 2006, which awarded him its Scientific Integrity Award. Burgstahler retired from KU in 1998 and died on Oct. 12, 2013.

A large and diverse assemblage, the Burgstahler collection reflects the career of a stalwart in the anti-fluoridation movement. Spanning nearly five decades, the correspondence, publications, and research offer a perspective on Burgstahler’s activism in science and public policy and documents his association with other anti-fluoridation activists, including George Waldbott and Paul Connett.

Subjects

  • Antifluoridation movement
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Fluorides--Physiological effect

Contributors

  • Waldbott, George L., 1898-

Cambodian Crisis Committee

Cambodian Crisis Committee Records, 1982-1990.

17 boxes (26 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 361

In 1979 the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia removing the Khmer Rouge from power and ending the four year reign of a regime responsible for the deaths of more than a million people. In the upheaval surrounding the invasion hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled to nearby Thailand. From camps along the border of Thailand and Cambodia 150,000 Cambodian refugees eventually resettled in the U.S.

The Cambodian Crisis Committee in Amherst, Massachusetts worked to educate Americans about the situation of the refugees, as well as help Cambodian families reunite. Elaine Kenseth Abel, a member of the Family Reunification Advocacy Project, received numerous letters from Cambodian refugees in the U.S. seeking assistance in getting their family members out of Thailand. The collection consists of case files, correspondence, and photographs documenting Cambodian refugees and their American advocates reunite families. The collection also includes newsletters and correspondence from other advocacy groups like the Cambodian Crisis Committee throughout the U.S.

Subjects

  • Cambodians--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Political refugees--United States
  • Refugees--Cambodia

Contributors

  • Cambodian Crisis Committee
  • Kenseth-Abel, Elaine

Cannabis Reform Coalition

Cannabis Reform Coalition Records, 1993-2013.

2 boxes (2 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 045/80 C3
Extravaganja poster
Extravaganja poster

The Cannabis Reform Coalition at UMass Amherst was founded in 1991 and is considered the oldest student-run organization devoted to ending the prohibition on cannabis both locally and nationally and advocating for its industrial, medicinal, and recreational use for moral, environmental, and economic reasons. The CRC is one of the more active student organizations on campus and among other events, it sponsors the annual Extravaganja in April, which has attracted as many as 10,000 participants.

The CRC collection contains an assortment of fliers, posters, ephemera, and photographs, documenting the organization’s activities and activism, along with a small number of published and unpublished essays on the utility of hemp and cannbis products.

Subjects

  • Marijuana--Law and legislation
  • Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Social aspects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students

Types of material

  • Fliers (Printed matter)
  • Photographs

Carton, Robert J.

Robert J. Carton Papers, 1935-2002 (Bulk: 1983-2002).

(3 boxes linear feet).
Call no.: MS 643

The environmental scientist Robert J. Carton emerged in the mid-1980s as one of the leading scientific critics of fluoridation of the water supply. After receiving his doctorate in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, Carton accepted a position in 1972 with the Office of Toxic Substances in the Environmental Protection Agency, assessing the risks associated with a range of toxic substances from asbestos to arsenic and hexachlorobenzene. By 1985, Carton became concerned about EPA standards for fluoride in drinking water, taking a public stance against undue political influence in framing those standards and insisting that there was no scientific evidence that fluorides prevented tooth decay and that any level of fluoride exposure presented a significant health hazard. In 1992, Carton left the EPA to work for as Chief of Environmental Compliance for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Consisting primarily of research, notes, and some correspondence relating to the health effects of fluoridation of drinking water, the collection documents Robert Carton’s nearly two decade long struggle against the EPA and federal government. Also included are transcripts of filings relating to various legal challenges against fluoridation during the mid-1980s.

Subjects

  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Fluorides--Physiological effect
  • United States. Environmental Protection Agency

Contributors

  • Carton, Robert J

Center for Popular Economics

Center for Popular Economics Records, 1978-1986.

21 boxes (12.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 109

The Center for Popular Economics was established in 1978 by a group of University of Massachusetts Amherst radical economists and local community and labor activists. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums. The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.

Subjects

  • Economics
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics

Contributors

  • Center for Popular Economics
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