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Sunderland (Mass.)

Sunderland Town Records
1620-1912
4 reels (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 409 mf

Although the Connecticut River Valley town of Swampfield was set off from Hadley in 1673, European settlement there was decimated by King Phillip’s War and with continued turmoil in the region, the town was not resettled by Europeans until after the turn of the eighteenth century. Officially incorporated as the town of Sunderland on Nov. 12, 1718, the town’s economy has been rooted in agriculture, taking advantage of the valley’s rich soils.

The five reels of microfilm of Sunderland’s records include vital records and information on town meetings, militia, and town finances.

Subjects
  • Sunderland (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Microfilm

Swados, Harvey, 1920-1972

Harvey Swados Papers
1933-1983
49 boxes (23 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 218

The author and social critic Harvey Swados (1920-1972) was a graduate of the University of Michigan who embarked on a literary life after service in the merchant Marine during the Second World War. His first novel, Out Went the Candle (1955), introduced the themes to which Swados would return throughout his career, the alienation of factory workers and the experience of the working class in industrial America. His other works include a widely read collection of stories set in an auto plant, On the Line, the novels False Coin (1959), Standing Fast (1970), and Celebration (1975), and a noted collection of essays A Radical’s America (1962). His essay for Esquire magazine, “Why Resign from the Human Race?,” is often cited as inspiring the formation of the Peace Corps.

The Swados collection includes journals, notes, typewritten drafts of novels and short stories, galley proofs, clippings, and correspondence concerning writings; letters from family, publishers, literary agents, colleagues, friends, and readers, including Richard Hofstadter, Saul Bellow, James Thomas Farrell, Herbert Gold, Irving Howe, Bernard Malamud, and Charles Wright Mills; letters from Swados, especially to family, friends, and editors; book reviews; notes, background material, and drafts of speeches and lectures; financial records; biographical and autobiographical sketches; bibliographies.

Subjects
  • Authors, American--20th century--Biography
  • Jewish authors--United States--Biography
  • National Book Awards--History--20th century
  • Socialists--United States--Biography
Contributors
  • Bellow, Saul
  • Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
  • Gold, Herbert, 1924-
  • Hofstadter, Richard, 1916-1970
  • Howe, Irving
  • Malamud, Bernard
  • Mills, C. Wright (Charles Wright), 1916-1962
  • Swados, Harvey, 1920-1972

Taylor, Levi E. (Levi Ely), 1795-1858

Levi E. Taylor Daybook
1836-1843
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 483 bd

The wheelwright Levi Ely Taylor was born in Longmeadow, Mass., on Nov. 17, 1795, the son of Nathaniel and Jerusha Taylor. Marrying a woman from Rocky Hill, Conn., Laura Peirce, he settled in Longmeadow and built a prosperous life for himself in his trade. His eldest son, Newton, followed him into the business.

Taylor’s daybook contains careful records of a wheelwright from Longmeadow, Mass., documenting his varied work in the repair of carriages. The transactions that appear in the volume range from making whiffletrees to shortening wheels, making and fitting out carriage seats, and painting and varnishing vehicles, with occasional forays into selling goods such as wheelbarrows and straw cutters.

Subjects
  • Carriage industry--History--Massachusetts--Longmeadow
  • Longmeadow (Mass.)--History
  • Wheelwrights--Massachusetts--Longmeadow
Types of material
  • Daybooks

Weatherby, William

William Weatherby Account Book
1835-1837
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 179 bd

Transient worker for Seth Porter and Co., a cotton mill in Cummington, Massachusetts and for Wells, Blackinton, and White, manufacturer of fine textiles in North Adams, Massachusetts. Includes accounts of his employers, debits, credits (a running account with a general store for the purchase of clothing and foodstuffs), and notations of providing room and board for other workers.

Subjects
  • Cummington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • General stores--Massachusetts
  • North Adams (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Seth Porter and Co. (Firm)
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts--19th century
  • Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Wells, Blackinton, and White
Contributors
  • Weatherby, William
Types of material
  • Account books

Wells, William, 1767-1848

William Wells Papers
1796-1863
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 347

A prominent figure in the rural town of Shelburne, Mass., during the early nineteenth century, William Wells served for many years as a town selectman, representative in the state legislature, and captain of the militia. He died in Shelburne in July 1848, leaving behind his wife Prudence (May) and their nine children.

This tightly focused body of documents from William Wells represents a cross-section of public life in the town of Shelburne during the early decades of the nineteenth century, touching on the town’s finances, care for the church, school, highways, roads, and the local militia.

Subjects
  • Shelburne (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Wells, William

Westhampton (Mass. : Town)

Westhampton Town Records
1779-1900
10 boxes (5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 799
Image of Close-up of records from 1779
Close-up of records from 1779

Originally settled by Europeans in 1762, the town of Westhampton, Massachusetts, was separated from adjacent Northampton and incorporated in September 1778. Situated in the western reaches of Hampshire County, it was principally an agricultural town until the later twentieth century, producing apples, other fruit, and maple sugar, with only minor industry. The town still retains its rural character: a century after incorporation, the population had grown to just over 500, and nearly 1,500 by 2000.

The Westhampton collection provides an extensive record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after the date of incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Subjects
  • Churches--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Poor--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Roads--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Town meetings--Massachusetts--Westhampton

Westhampton Congregational Church (Westhampton, Mass.)

Westhampton Congregational Church Records
1817-1970
17 vols. (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 806

The Congregational Church in Westhampton, Mass., was formally organized on Sept. 1, 1779, with the installation of a young graduate of Yale, Enoch Hale, brother of the patriot Nathan Hale. At the end of Hale’s fifty years in the Westhampton pulpit, the church experienced a crisis that resulted in the separation of a portion of the membership as the Union Church, led by the charismatic evangelical preacher John Truair. The churches were reunited in 1850.

The records of the Westhampton Congregational Church document nearly two hundreds of religious life in a rural western Massachusetts community. Beginning with the founding of the church in 1779, the collection include a nearly unbroken record of church activities including thorough records of membership, transfers, marriages, baptisms, deaths, and church discipline, and for the latter century, a complete record of church finances. Of particular note is a volume recording the activities of the secessionist Union Church, 1829-1849.

Subjects
  • Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Hale, Enoch, 1753-1837
  • Revivals--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Second Great Awakening
  • Truair, John, 1780-1845
  • Westhampton (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
Contributors
  • Union Church (Westhampton, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Account books

White, Cyrus

Cyrus White Daybook
1823-1829
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 085a

A cooper based in South Hadley, Massachusetts, during the first half of the nineteenth century, Cyrus White made tubs and barrels of all varieties: soap tubs, leach tubs, oil barrels and casks, cheese presses, butter churns, and buckets.

Cyrus White’s daybook is a closely focused record of the range of work of one cooper in a country town in Massachusetts. White’s work ranged from repairing wheelbarrows and making washing machines to making all varieties of a cooper’s oeuvre.

Subjects
  • Coopers and cooperage--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • South Hadley (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • White, Cyrus
Types of material
  • Daybooks

Wilder, Marshall P.

Marshall P. Wilder Collection
1848-1929
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 002/3 W55
Image of Marshall P. Wilder
Marshall P. Wilder

A merchant and amateur horticulturalist from Dorchester, Mass., Marshall P. Wilder (1798-1886) was a key figure in American pomology during the mid-nineteenth century and a major supporter of agricultural education. A supreme organizer and institution builder, he was a founder and president of the American Pomological Society and United States Agricultural Society, and president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and New England Historic Genealogical Society. His 1849 address before the Norfolk Agricultural Society is often credited as an important catalyst for the creation of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, and he served as trustee of the College from its opening in 1867 until his death in 1886.

The Wilder Collection consists primarily of printed works written or collected by Marshall P. Wilder, including materials pertaining to early meetings of the American Pomological Society and the United States Agricultural Society, his 1849 address to the Norfolk Agricultural Society, and his address to the first graduating class at MAC. Among the handful of manuscripts are a draft proposal to hold a national meeting of fruit growers (the inaugural meeting of the American Pomological Society), two letters regarding his donation of a large number of books to the MAC library, and a bound set of 22 beautiful watercolors of pear varieties painted by Louis B. Berckmans.

Subjects
  • Agricultural exhibitions
  • American Pomological Society
  • Horticulture--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Trustees
  • New-England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Pomology--Massachusetts
  • United States Agricultural Society
Contributors
  • Wilder, Marshall P. (Marshall Pinckney), 1798-1886
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

Williams, Gray

Gray Williams Photograph Collection
ca.1988-2000
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 027

The editor, writer, and photographer Gray Williams was born in New York City in 1932, and spent most of his life in Chappaqua (Westchester County), N.Y. A 1954 graduate of Yale, Williams worked in the publishing industry for many years, including for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, and since 1988, he has been a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Long dedicated to history and historical preservation, he has served as New Castle Town Historian, chair of the New Castle Landmarks Advisory Committee, trustee of the Westchester County Historical Society, and as a member of the Property Council at the National Trust property Lyndhurst. He is the author of Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County (Westchester County Historical Society, 2003). A specialist in the early stone carvers of New York and Connecticut, as well as the use of grave monuments to illuminate and enrich the study of American history, art, and culture, Williams is a former trustee of the Association for Gravestone Studies and has contributed articles to its annual journal, Markers, and its Quarterly. In 2007, he was awarded the Association’s Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award for contributions to scholarship and preservation in the field.

The photographs and research materials he has contributed to the Association for Gravestone Studies are largely devoted to the subjects of three articles in the AAGS journal, Markers: “‘Md. by Thomas Gold’: The Gravestones of a New Haven Carver,” in collaboration with Meredith M. Williams, Markers V (1988); “Solomon Brewer: A Connecticut Valley Yankee in Westchester County,” Markers XI (1994); “By Their Characters You Shall Know Them: Using Styles of Lettering to Identify Gravestone Carvers,” Markers XVII (2000). The collection also includes photographs taken during AGS conferences, principally in New England, as well as a small group taken in Natchez Cemetery in Mississippi.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--New York
  • Stone carving--New York
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Williams, Gray
Types of material
  • Photographs
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