Drawing upon the unique materials under their care, the staff of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives organize two to three exhibits a year in their reading room and work regularly with their colleagues in the general library to prepare other exhibits for display on the Lower Level of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
Deep in the Hole: Experiences of Imprisonment
- Sept. 15, 2014-Jan. 21, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
Deep in the Hole focuses on experiences of imprisonment and the prison-industrial complex, using documents from prison rights and activism collections held in Special Collections & University Archives. The exhibit examines a wide range of experiences of imprisonment including political prisoners, conscientious objectors in WWII, the war on drugs and marijuana decriminalization, psychiatric confinement, and the role of controversial activism and publications. The materials range from historic to contemporary, from the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois to the trenchant comics of prisoners.
Photographs of Alton Blackington
- Jan. 25, 2015-May 31, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Lower Level, Du Bois Library
The exhibit showcases “Blackie” Blackington’s New England photography from the 1920s to the 1940s. It covers terrain stretching from news of public officials and civic events to local personalities, but the heart of the exhibit is images of typically eccentric New England characters and human interest stories.
M.A.C. and the Women’s Land Army of America in World War I
- June 5, 2015-Sept. 21, 2015
- Location: SCUA and Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
This exhibit investigates Massachusetts Agricultural College’s participation in the Women’s Land Army of America, a women’s organization to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military from 1917-1922.
Benjamin Smith Lyman in Japan
- Sept. 25, 2015-Jan. 21, 2016
- Location: Learning Commons, Du Bois Library
A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, Benjamin Smith Lyman was a prominent geologist and mining engineer. At the request of the Meiji government in Japan, Lyman helped introduce modern geological surveying and mining techniques during the 1870s and 1880s, and his papers from that period illuminate aspects of late nineteenth century Japan, New England, and Pennsylvania, as well as the fields of geology and mining exploration and engineering.
Photographs from the collection of Diana Mara Henry
An exhibit by Chuck Abel.
|E.D. Hudson: an Abolitionist Life
An examination of social reform and antislavery in Antebellum New England. An exhibit by Charles Weisenberger.
|Rhetoric or Research
interprets student protests against CIA recruitment at UMass Amherst during the 1980s through a selection of images taken by student photojournalists.
By Tom Hohenstein (ETHIR recipient, 2011).
|Source, History, Story: Teaching U.S. History in the Archives
A digital curriculum for teaching U.S. history using archival resources.
An exhibit by Emily Oswald (ETHIR recipient, 2011).
|Behold And See As You Pass By
An online exhibit on gravestones and mortuary art in Early New England drawn from the Association for Gravestones Studies Collections.
By Molly Campbell (ETHIR recipient, 2011)
Science fiction readership in the Cold War and beyond.
An exhibit by Morgan Hubbard.
Conrad D. Totman’s letters home from Korea, 1954-1955.
An exhibit by Alex McKenzie.
|Du Bois: The Activist Life
An online exhibit on the life and legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois based on his papers.
|Herbals and Insects
A selection of rare botanical and entomological books from the SCUA collections.
|Apiculture and culture
Books on bees and beekeeping.
An exhibit by Richard A. Steinmetz.
William F. Field Papers, 1948-1986.
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
The University’s first Dean of Students, William F. Field held the post from 1961 until his retirement in 1988. The 27 years Field was Dean of Students was a critical time of growth and unrest, as the University’s student population more than tripled in size and the nation-wide movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were reflected through student activism and protest on the University’s campus. Responsible for ending student curfews and overseeing all dorms becoming co-ed, Field also worked with minority students and faculty to support the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
The William F. Field Papers document Field’s career as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts and specifically his role as Dean of Students from 1961-1988. The correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and other official printed and manuscript documents are a rich resource for one of the most important and volatile eras in the University’s history. Of particular interest are extensive files on student protests and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the growing diversity of the campus student population, flourishing of the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
- African American college students--Massachusetts
- Field, William Franklin, 1922-
- Race relations--United States
- Universities and colleges--United States--Administration
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of Students
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States
Types of material
Robert Fowler Diary, 1831-1854.
Call no.: MS 174
A native of Salisbury, Massachusetts, Robert Fowler (b.1805) was a prosperous shipbuilder and merchant with a trade extending from Nova Scotia to the Gulf South. He and his wife Susan Edwards, whom he married in 1830, had at least four children.
Kept by Robert Fowler between 1831 and 1854, the volume includes both diary entries (primarily 1841-1846) and accounts. With occasional commentary on local political matters, commerce, weather, and family matters, the diary is largely a record of Fowler’s spiritual concerns and his wrestling with doctrinal matters and the relationship of religion and daily life. An ardent temperance man, he commented on religious topics ranging from the Millerite movement to the resurrection, salvation, and the duty of prayer.
- Fitch, Charles, 1805-1844
- Millerite movement
- Religious life--Massachusetts--Salisbury
- Salisbury (Mass.)--History
- Second Advent
Types of material
- Account books
Robert Francis Papers, 1891-1988.
Call no.: MS 403
The poet and essayist Robert Francis settled in Amherst, Mass., in 1926, three years after his graduation from Harvard, and created a literary life that stretched for the better part of half a century. An associate of Robert Frost and friend of many other writers, Francis occasionally worked as a teacher or lecturer, including a brief stint on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, but he sustained himself largely through his writing, living simply in “Fort Juniper,” a cottage he built on Market Hill Road in North Amherst. A recipient of the Shelley Award (1939) and the Academy of American Poets award for distinguished poetic achievement (1984), Francis was a poet in residence at both Tufts (1955) and Harvard (1960) Universities. He died in Amherst in July 1987.
The Francis Papers contains both manuscript and printed materials, drafts and finished words, documenting the illustrious career of the poet. Of particular note is Francis’s correspondence with other writers, publishing houses, and readers, notably Paul Theroux. Also contains personal photographs and Francis family records and a small number of audio recordings of Francis reading his poetry. Letters from Francis to Regina Codey, 1936-1978, can be found in MS 314 along with two typescript poems by Francis.
- Amherst (Mass.)--History
- University of Massachusetts Press
- Brown, Rosellen
- Ciardi, John, 1916-
- De Vries, Peter
- Fitts, Dudley, 1903-
- Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
- Hall, Donald, 1928-
- Humphries, Rolfe
- Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
- Moss, Howard, 1922-
- Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972
- Theroux, Paul
- Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Types of material
- Phonograph records
Charles A. Goessmann Papers, 1850-1917.
Call no.: FS 063
German-born agricultural chemist, professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst when it was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College, and President of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists and the American Chemical Society who made several important contributions in nineteenth century chemistry and held at least four patents.
The Goessman collection includes correspondence (mostly professional), some with presidents of Massachusetts Agricultural College, William Smith Clark (1826-1886) and Henry Hill Goodell (1839-1905). Also contains handwritten drafts of addresses and articles, his dissertation, printed versions of published writings, handwritten lecture notes, class records, proposed college curricula, notes taken by students, handwritten research notes, newsclippings and offprints utilized in research, and biographical materials.
- Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
- Massachusetts Agricultural College. Department of Chemistry
- Goessmann, Charles A. (Charles Anthony), 1827-1910
Granite Cutters' International Association of America Records, 1877-1978.
Call no.: MS 004
Organized in Rockland, Maine in March 1877 as the Granite Cutters’ National Union, the association later adopted its present name in 1905. The trade union clearly had a strong sense of their identity and purpose claiming for itself “the jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.
Records include National Union Committee minutebooks from 1886-1954, monthly circulars, membership registers, and 100 years of the union’s official publication, the Granite Cutters’ Journal.
- Labor unions--New England
- Stone-cutters--Labor unions
- Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
- Minute books
James C. Greenough Papers, 1854-1887.
Call no.: RG 003/1 G74
James C. Greenough was born in 1829 in Wendell, Massachusetts. After working as a schoolteacher in Heath, Massachusetts, from 1854 to 1856, Flint returned to the State Normal School at Westfield to become assistant principal, leaving there in 1871 to become principal of the Rhode Island Normal School. In 1883, Greenough came to the Massachusetts Agricultural College to become president, serving for three years. During his tenure, he was noted for raising academic standards, extending the course of study, and guiding a transition from a small vocational college to a more comprehensive institution supporting agriculture and extension services. Greenough saw the construction of the college chapel and the establishment of the Experiment Station before finishing his term in 1886.
The Greenough collection includes 3 letters (1885-1921); biographical materials; a published letter to alumni (1884); photocopy, and an Annual Report (1883).
- Massachusetts Agricultural College. President
- Greenough, James C
Samuel Henry Accounts Books, 1813-1881.
Call no.: MS 013
Justice of the peace, merchant, landowner, and entrepreneur from Prescott and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Nine volumes contain descriptions of his duties as justice of the peace, a book of deeds and mortgages from local real estate transactions, account books of sales in his general store and from his palm leaf hat business, and notes of accounts with individuals.
- General stores--Massachusetts--Shutesbury
- Panama hat industry--Massachusetts
- Prescott (Mass.)--History
- Shutesbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Shutesbury (Mass.)--History
- Henry, Samuel, 19th cent
Types of material
- Account books
Lyman Higgins Account Book, 1851-1886.
Call no.: MS 118
Primarily a basket maker from South Worthington, Massachusetts, but also a mechanic, farmer, blacksmith, sawmill proprietor, and manufacturer. Account book includes the jobs he performed, the ways in which he was paid (goods and services as well as in cash), employees and their wages, and the local companies to which he sold his custom-made basket products.
- Basket industry--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
- Basket making--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
- Harris Woollen Mill
- Lawrence Duck Co.
- Paper industry--Equipment and supplies--History--19th century
- Sawmills--Massachusetts--History--19th century
- South Worthington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Stark Mills
- Sugar River Paper Co.
- Textile industry--Equipment and supplies--History--19th century
- Wages--Basket industry--Massachusetts--History--19th century
- Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
- Higgins, Lyman
Types of material
- Account books
Within a decade of its founding, the Massachusetts Agricultural College began to forge what would become fast ties with its counterparts in Japan. Seeking to establish a thoroughly modern college in Hokkaido, the Imperial Government in Japan looked to America for a model of innovation in agricultural education, settling quickly on MAC. With the leadership of William Smith Clark, a succession of faculty, students, and alumni helped develop the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University).
The Dept. of Special Collections at UMass Amherst (SCUA) houses several collections from those early exchanges, including the papers of William Smith Clark and his students and colleagues William Brooks and William Wheeler, along with the remarkable collections associated with the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman, a resident of Northampton. These collections have formed a core on which SCUA continues to build. Today, the department specializes in documenting the American study of Japanese history and culture, particularly in the post-war period.
- Beato, Felice. Papers, ca. 1863-1871.
- As a photographer, Beato was an important chronicler of late-Edo and early-Meiji era Japan.
- Brooks, William Penn. Papers, 1863-1939.
- Invited by the Japanese government — and his mentor, William Smith Clark — to help establish the Sapporo Agricultural College, modeled on the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Spending over a decade in Hokkaido, Brooks helped to introduce western scientific agricultural practices and the outlines of a program in agricultural education, and he built a solid foundation for the School.
- Clark, William Smith. 1814-2003 (bulk: 1844-1886).
- Held the presidency of Massachusetts Agricultural College (now University of Massachusetts Amherst) from 1867-1879, and helped to found Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) in Japan in 1876.
- Lewis, Gertrude. Papers, 1920-2001.
- An educator for most her life, Lewis ‘s papers document changes within theory and pedagogy over time and in various geographic locales, including Japan, in the field of education.
- Lyman, Benjamin Smith
- Papers, 1831-1921. Prominent geologist and mining engineer, Lyman was invited by the Meiji government in Japan to help introduce modern geological surveying and mining techniques during the 1870s and 1880s.
- Japanese Book Collection, 1710-1898. During his years as a consultant to the Meiji government in Japan, Benjamin Smith Lyman accumulated a large collection of books printed in Japan. His book collection includes works on language to literature, religion, the arts, and culture.
- Maki, John. Papers.
- Japanese-American professor of political science at UMass who worked on contemporary Japan, militarism, and post-war constitution. Maki served in U.S. Army Intelligence during the Second World War, and spent several months in Japan in 1946 as part of the Occupation administration.
- Passin, Herbert. Collection, 1944-1955.
- Inducted into the Army in 1941 and 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.
- Stockbridge, Levi. Papers, 1841-1878.
- Pioneering agriculturist and president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, whose son, Horace Edward Stockbridge, taught at Hokkaido University and sent descriptions of his travel in Japan home.
- Totman, Conrad. Papers, 1800-2005.
- A professor of Japanese history at Yale, Totman’s collection a treasure trove of information on Japan in general, and particularly on his specialties: early modern Japan and forestry and environmental management.
- Wheeler, William. Papers, 1876-1930.
- Joined Massachusetts Agricultural College President William Smith Clark and two other alumni of the college in helping to found the Sapporo Agricultural College in Japan (now Hokkaido University), succeeding Clark as president of the school from 1877 to 1879.
- Yamashita, Yoskiaki. Photograph album, ca. 1904.
- Professor from Tokyo who traveled the United States providing instruction in the new martial art of judo from 1903-1960.