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Du Bois Visiting Scholars

du bois
Du Bois at his desk

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library offers short-term residential fellowships to assist scholars in conducting research in its collections. Among the approximately 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts held by SCUA are many valuable collections for the study of social change in the United States, including the papers of the most important exponent of the politics and culture of the twentieth century, W.E.B. Du Bois. In addition, the University Library houses over three million volumes and a rich suite of electronic resources to support advanced research in the humanities. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to SCUA’s collections are available on this website.

Fellowships for visiting scholars are awarded to full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD.

View past Du Bois Fellows

Application information


Full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD are eligible to apply. Fellows may come from any field and any perspective, and they may work on any topic, but their research should explore the major themes that characterize Du Bois’s scholarship and activism, including the history and meaning of racial, social, and economic justice; the problems of democracy and political inclusion; the role of capitalism in world affairs; and the global influence of African cultures. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Award & expectations:

Visiting fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 for an eight-week library residency with a housing allowance of $2,500 as well as a research allowance of $600. In addition to the two-month residency, Du Bois Fellows will be invited back to campus to give a public talk to the Five College community, comprised of UMass Amherst faculty, graduate student fellows, and community college faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Fellows should plan to schedule their residencies during July-August 2018.

Selection criteria: Visiting Scholars will be selected on a competitive basis from applicants interested in conducting original research in the Du Bois Papers and other SCUA collections. The criteria for selection will include: 1) potential of the proposal to contribute to scholarship, 2) fit with Du Boisian themes, 3) the need for use of SCUA collections, and 4) the letter of support. The application will consist of a brief (up to 3 pages) description of the research project, a curriculum vita, and a letter of support.
Deadline for submission:

Applications must be received by March 16, 2018.

How to submit: Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] with “Du Bois application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.

Du Bois Visiting Scholars Fellowship application 2018

Enola Gay Controvery

Enola Gay Controversy Collection

2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 615

On January 30, 1995, the National Air and Space Museum capitulated to popular and political pressure and scuttled an exhibit they had planned to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Early in 1993, curators began to develop plans for an exhibit that would center around the Enola Gay, the B-29 Stratofortress bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but opposition from veterans’ groups rose almost immediately. By mid-summer, the Air Force Association and American Legion led opposition to the exhibit, fearing that it would not present a balanced view of the events and that it would focus exclusively on the “horrors of war” and an alleged “moral equivalence” between Japan and the United States. Although several attempts were made to rewrite the script of the exhibit, congressional and public pressure eventually led to the cancellation of the exhibit in January 1995 and to the resignation of the Director of the Museum, Martin Harwit, in May.

Collected by historian Waldo Heinrichs, the Enola Gay Controversy Collection contains the various versions of the scripts of the planned exhibition and copies of correspondence, memos, publications, and the three volumes of “Revisionism gone wrong: Analysis of the Enola Gay controversy” issued by the Air Force Association.

  • Atomic bomb--Moral and ethical aspects
  • Enola Gay (Bomber)--Exhibitions--Political aspects
  • National Air and Space Museum--Exhibitions--Political aspects
  • Heinrichs, Waldo

Fischer, Britta

Britta Fischer, U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association Photograph Collection

449 items 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 054

Founded in 1974, the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association was among the first American organizations devoted to fostering people-to-people diplomacy between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The vision of veteran civil rights activist Unita Blackwell, the USCPFA sponsored speakers, seminars, and cultural exchanges, and in the 1970s, was among the first groups to organize tours from the United States to the People’s Republic.

The 449 color slides (35 mm.) that comprise the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association collection document one of the group’s early tours, undertaken at the height of the agitation over the Gang of Four. Beyond simple touristic scenes, the collection depicts a state-sponsored version of everyday life in China during the early post-Mao era.

Gift of Britta Fischer via Sigrid Schmalzer, 2010
  • Beijing (China)--Photographs
  • Children--China--Photographs
  • China--Photographs
  • Factories--China--Photographs
  • Great Wall of China (China)--Photographs
  • Jinan (China)--Photographs
  • Shanghai (China)--Photographs
  • Tian'an Men (Beijing, China)--Photographs
  • Yangzhou (China)--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs

Fried, Lewis

Lewis Fried Collection of Jack Conroy

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 414

A voice of the radical working class during the Great Depression, Jack Conroy was the son of a union organizer, born and raised in the mining camps near Moberly, Mo. His novels The Disinherited (1933) and A World to Win (1935) were among the best known works of “proletarian” American fiction to appear in the 1930s.

The Conroy Collection includes a series of 24 letters from Jack Conroy to Lewis Fried, a professor of English at Kent State University and UMass PhD, along with a small number of letters by associates of Conroy, and a selection of publications associated with or including work by him. Of particular interest are Fried’s oral history interviews with Conroy (1971) and Sally Goodman (1978).

  • Anvil
  • Bontemps, Arna Wendell, 1902-1973
  • Communists--United States
  • Depressions--1929
  • New Anvil
  • Working class authors
  • Conroy, Jack, 1899-1990
  • Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
  • Fried, Lewis Frederick, 1943-
  • Gold, Michael, 1894-1967
  • Goodman, Percival
  • Goodman, Sally
  • Snow, Walter
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Haigis, John W., 1881-1960

John W. Haigis Papers

12 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 304

Western Massachusetts political leader, publisher, and banker (1881-1960), Trustee of the University of Massachusetts (1940-1956), and founder, editor and publisher of the Greenfield Recorder newspaper (1912-1928); political positions included State Representative (1909-1913), State Senator (1913-1915, 1923-1927), and State Treasurer (1929-1930); in 1934, was Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and in 1936, candidate for Governor.

The Haigis collection includes scrapbooks (1903-1936), chiefly of clippings, together with speeches (1936), posters, badges, campaign material, and photographs, mainly from Haigis’s unsuccessful campaigns for lieutenant governor (1934) and governor (1936); and tape of an interview (1974) with Leverett Saltonstall about Haigis, conducted by Craig Wallwork.

  • Campaign speeches--Massachusetts
  • Legislators--Massachusetts--History--20th century
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950
  • Montague (Mass. : Town)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Political candidates--Massachusetts--History--20th century
  • Republican Party (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Haigis, John W., 1881-1960
  • Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-
  • Wallwork, Craig
Types of material
  • Phonograph records
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Scrapbooks

Hampshire Council of Governments

Hampshire Council of Governments Records

90 volumes, 17 boxes 80 linear feet
Call no.: MS 704
Image of Title page, Volume 1 (1671)
Title page, Volume 1 (1671)

The Hampshire Council of Governments is a voluntary association of cities and towns and the successor to the former government of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, that was abolished in 1999. A body politic and corporate, its charter ratified by Massachusetts General Law 34B, S20(b), the Council oversees roadways, the electricity supply, building inspection, tobacco control, cooperative purchasing, and other services for member communities.

The Hampshire Council collection contains a dense record of county-level governance in western Massachusetts from the colonial period through the mid-twentieth century with extensive documentation of the actions of the County Commissioners, and before them the Court of Common Pleas and Court of General Sessions. Rich in documenting the development of the transportation infrastructure of western Massachusetts, the collection offers detailed information associated with the planning and construction of highways, canals, ferries, and railroads, but the early records offer a broad perspective on the evolution of the legal and cultural environment, touching on issues from disorderly conduct (e.g., fornication, Sabbath breaking) to the settlement of estates, local governance, public works, and politics.

  • Bridges--Massachusetts--Hampshire Count
  • Dams--Massachusetts--Hampshire Count
  • Hampshire County (Mass.)--History
  • Hampshire County (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Indians of North America--Massachusetts
  • Northampton (Mass.)--History
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Railroads--Massachusetts
  • Roads--Massachusetts--Hampshire County
  • Taverns (Inns)--Massachusetts--Hampshire County
  • Hampshire County (Mass.). County Commissioners
  • Massachusetts. Court of General Sessions of the Peace (Hampshire County)
  • Massachusetts. Inferior Court of Common Pleas (Hampshire County)
Types of material
  • Civil court records
  • Maps

Hapgood, Beth

Beth Hapgood Papers

67 boxes 35 linear feet
Call no.: MS 434
Image of Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969
Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969

Daughter of a writer and diplomat, and graduate of Wellesley College, Beth Hapgood has been a spiritual seeker for much of her life. Her interests have led her to become an expert in graphology, a student in the Arcane School, an instructor at Greenfield Community College, and a lecturer on a variety of topics in spiritual growth. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Hapgood befriended Michael Metelica, the central figure in the Brotherhood of the Spirit (the largest commune in the eastern states during the early 1970s) as well as Elwood Babbitt, a trance medium, and remained close to both until their deaths.

The Hapgood Papers contain a wealth of material relating to the Brotherhood of the Spirit and the Renaissance Community, Metelica, Babbitt, and other of Hapgood’s varied interests, as well as 4.25 linear feet of material relating to the Hapgood family.

  • Brotherhood of the Spirit
  • Channeling (Spiritualism)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Graphology
  • Hapgood family--Correspondence
  • Massachusetts--Social life and customs--20th century
  • Mediums--Massachusetts
  • Nineteen sixties--Social aspects
  • Occultism--Social aspects
  • Popular culture--History--20th century
  • Renaissance Community
  • Rock music--1971-1980
  • Warwick (Mass.)--History
  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
  • Boyce, Neith, 1872-1951
  • Hapgood, Beth--Correspondence
  • Hapgood, Charles H
  • Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds
  • Hapgood, Hutchins, 1869-1944
  • Hapgood, Norman, 1868-1937
  • Metelica, Michael

Heath, Gordon, 1918-1991

Gordon Heath Papers

44 boxes 22.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 372 and 372 bd
Image of Gordon Heath, Paris
Gordon Heath, Paris

A multi-talented performer, the African American expatriate Gordon Heath was variously a stage and film actor, musician, director, producer, founder of the Studio Theater of Paris, and co-owner of the Parisian nightclub L’Abbaye. Born in New York City, Heath became involved in acting as a teenager and enjoyed a career that spanned post-World War II Broadway to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s. In addition to his many roles on film and stage, he and his partner Lee Payant enjoyed success as recording artists in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Heath collection includes personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks containing photos and clippings from assorted television and film productions in addition to songs, poetry, and reviews of plays or playbills from productions he attended. The Papers also contain art work, sheet music, personal and production photographs, and drafts of his memoirs.

  • Abbaye (Nightclub : Paris, France)
  • African American actors--France--Paris--History
  • African American singers--France--Paris--History
  • African Americans in the performing arts--History
  • African-American theater--History--20th century
  • Baldwin, James, 1924-
  • Chametzky, Jules
  • Dodson, Owen, 1914-
  • Expatriate musicians--France--Paris--History
  • Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967
  • Musicians--United States--History
  • Nightclubs--France--Paris--History
  • Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Payant, Lee--Correspondence
  • Primus, Pearl
  • Rive gauche (Paris, France)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Studio Theater of Paris
  • Theater--Production and direction--France--Paris--History
  • Abramson, Doris E
  • Heath, Gordon, 1918-1991
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Scripts
  • Sheet music
  • Sketches

International Women’s Year Conference

International Women's Year Conference Collection

6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 510
Image of

After 1975 was designated as the first International Women’s Year by the United Nations, later extended to a decade, President Carter created a National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year. A national women’s conference was proposed and funded by the U.S.Congress, the first and only time the federal government funded a nationwide women’s conference. A series of state meetings were held throughout 1977 to elect delegates to the national conference and to identify goals for improving the status of women over the next decade.

This collection consists of state reports prepared and submitted to the National Commission for the Observance of International Women’s Year. Reports include details about the election of national delegates, topics of workshops held at the meetings, and resolutions adopted by individual states.

  • Feminism--United States
  • International Women's Year Conference
  • Women's rights--United States

Jackson, Charles E.

Charles E. Jackson Papers

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 721
Image of At Camp Devens, 1918
At Camp Devens, 1918

A member of the American Expeditionary Force during the First World War, Charles Edward Jackson was the son of Irish immigrants and a native of Northampton, Massachusetts. Drafted into the 76th (Liberty Bell) Division and assigned to the 301st Ammunition Train of the 151st Field Artillery Brigade, he served in France for a full year beginning in June 1918, seeing front line duty only in the last few days of the war. After the Armistice, he was reassigned to a classification camp in central France where he helped process American soldiers heading home. After making his back in June 1919, he worked as a clerk in a hardware store in Northampton until his death in 1930.

Written entirely while in the military service, Charles Jackson’s letters describe his exploits during the First World War. An optimist, strong Catholic, and good soldier, Jackson describes his year overseas, from mustering at Camp Devens through life in an ammunition train and the long post-war months spent on duty in a classification camp in central France. Although nearly devoid of actual battle content due to the role his unit played and the reach of censorship, Jackson’s letters are descriptive and entertaining, describing day to day life, the late offensives of the war, the influenza epidemic and Armistice, and his growing sense of impatience while awaiting demobilization.

Gift of Ed and Libby Klekowski, Nov. 2011
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Jackson, Charles E.
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs