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Lerner, Steve, 1946-

Steve Lerner Papers

1994-2011
15 boxes 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 673
Image of Diamond, La.
Diamond, La.

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.

Subjects

  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism

Types of material

  • Audiotapes
  • Photographs
Levasseur, Raymond Luc

Raymond Luc Levasseur Papers

1966-2017
10 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 971

Raymond Luc Levasseur went underground with a revolutionary Marxist organization in 1974 and spent a decade in armed resistance against the American state. Radicalized by his experiences in Vietnam and by a stint in a Tennessee prison for the alleged sale of marijuana, Levasseur became convinced that revolutionary action was a “necessary step in defeating the enemy — monopoly Capitalism and its Imperialism expression.” As leader of the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, later called the United Freedom Front, he took part in a string of bombings and bank robberies targeting symbols of the state including government and military buildings and corporate offices. All active members of the UFF were arrested in 1984 and 1985 and sentenced to long prison terms, although the government’s effort to prosecute them (the Ohio 7) on separate charges of seditious conspiracy ultimately failed. Levasseur spent over twenty years of a 45 year sentence in supermax prisons, much of the time in solitary confinement, before being released on parole in 2004. He continues to write and speak out for prisoners’ rights.

The Levasseur papers are an important record of a committed revolutionary and political prisoner. Beginning with his work in the early 1970s with the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR), a prisoners’ rights organization, the collection includes communiques and other materials from revolutionary groups including the UFF, Armed Clandestine Movement, and the Black Liberation Army; Levasseur’s political and autobiographical writings; numerous interviews; selected correspondence; and a range of material on political prisoners and mass incarceration. Consisting in part of material seized by the FBI following Levasseur’s arrest or recovered through the Freedom of Information Act, and supplemented by newsclippings and video from media coverage, the collection has particularly rich content for the criminal trials of UFF members and the Ohio 7 seditious conspiracy case, as well as Levasseur’s years in prison and his work on behalf of political prisoners

Gift of Raymond Luc Levasseur, 2017

Subjects

  • Anti-imperialist movements--United States
  • Political prisoners--United States
  • Prisons--United States
  • Revolutionaries

Contributors

  • Armed Clandestine Movement
  • Black Liberation Army
  • Manning, Tom
  • Ohio 7
  • Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit
  • Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform
  • United Freedom Front
  • Williams, Raymond C.

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Trials
Lewin, Julie

Julie Lewin Papers

1947-2003
11 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 454

Julie Lewin began her career as a freelance writer and newspaper journalist, and went from writing articles about sexual abuse of children and women’s prison reforms to lobbying for the protection and treatment of animals. The collection documents Lewin’s efforts to uphold the rights of animals, and in particular focuses on her opposition to the pet industry and to the use of animals in research.

Subjects

  • Animal rights--Activism
  • Animal rights--Advocates
  • Animal rights--Law and legislation
  • Animal welfare--Rescue
  • Connecticut Humane Society
  • Greyhound racing
  • Hunting
  • Pet industry
  • Trapping--Leghold
  • Vivisection-Animal research

Contributors

  • Lewin, Julie
Lewis, J. Roy

J. Roy Lewis Papers

1910-1949
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 024

A native and long-time resident of Holyoke, Mass., J. Roy Lewis was a prominent businessman in the lumber trade and a model of civic engagement during the decades prior to the Second World War. A 1903 graduate of Phillips Academy, Lewis worked as an executive with the Hampden-Ely Lumber Company and was active in trade associations as well as civic and political groups such as the Kiwanis Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tax Association, and the Holyoke Planning committee. Locally, he may have been best known as the writer of hundreds of letters and opinion pieces to the editors of the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram and the Springfield Republican. An ardent conservative, Lewis was a vocal opponent of women’s suffrage, prohibition, and anything he deemed contrary to the interests of business.

This small collection, consisting of a scrapbook and a handful of miscellaneous letters from J. Roy Lewis are a testament to the mindset of a conservative businessman during a progressive age. Lewis’s letters to the editor and his small surviving correspondence touch on a wide range of political and social issues of the day, most notably women’s suffrage, prohibition, business support, the New Deal, and the Depression.

Subjects

  • Depressions--1929
  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • United States--Economic policy--1933-1945

Contributors

  • Lewis, J. Roy

Types of material

  • Letters to the editor
  • Scrapbooks
Lichtenstein, Bill

Bill Lichtenstein Collection

1965-1976
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 790
Image of Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford
Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford

In 1970, just fourteen years-old, Bill Lichtenstein began working as a volunteer on the listener line at WBCN-FM in Boston, moving up to become a newscaster and announcer and helping to pioneer the station’s innovative on-air sound with montages of actualities, music, and comedy. As his media career developed over the next forty years, Lichtenstein built a wide reputation as a journalist and documentary producer for ABC News, working as an investigative producer on shows such as 20/20, World News Tonight, and Nightline, and since 1990, he has operated as president of his own production company, Lichtenstein Creative Media. With LCMedia, Lichtenstein has received more than 60 major broadcast honors including a Peabody Award, U.N. Media Award, eight National Headliner Awards, the Cine Golden Eagle, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his documentary West 47th Street was selected as winner of the Atlanta Film Festival. A graduate of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Lichtenstein has served on the faculty of the New School University (1979-2005) and he writes regularly on media, politics, and health for publications ranging from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, the Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide.

The Lichtenstein Collection consists of a growing array of materials gathered in preparation of the documentary film, The American Revolution, which explores the cultural and political impact of WBCN. These include audio tapes of WBCN broadcasts, news reports and stories, photographs and ephemera of social change in Boston during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and two WBCN documentaries: Danny Schechter’s Jamaica: An Island in Crisis (1976) and What Is News (1973), produced by Schechter and Lichtenstein.

Subjects

  • Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
  • Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Jamaica--History--1962-
  • WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)

Contributors

  • Schechter, Danny

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Videotapes
Lincoln, Abisha, 1800-1863

Abisha Lincoln Daybooks

1861-1867
3 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 233

Born in February 1800, Abisha Lincoln kept a general store in Raynham, Mass., selling groceries, hardware, dry goods, shoes, and many other items to residents of the north end of town. Successful in business, Lincoln won election to local and state office and was followed into business by each of his three sons.

These daybooks from Abisha Lincoln record customer names, goods sold (such as groceries, hardware, dry goods, and shoes) and the form of payment: principally cash, with some local trade of agricultural commodities.

Subjects

  • Barter--Massachusetts--Raynham--History--19th century
  • Consumer goods--Prices--Massachusetts--Raynham--History--19th century
  • Consumers--Massachusetts--Raynham--History--19th century
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Raynham
  • Raynham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Raynham (Mass.)--History--19th century--Biography
  • Shopping--Massachusetts--Raynham--History--19th century

Contributors

  • Lincoln, Abisha, 1800-1863

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Daybooks
Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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Loomis Communities

Loomis Communities Records

1909-2015 Bulk: 1980-2000
11 boxes 15.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 685
Loomus House logo
Loomis House logo

In 1902, a group of residents of Holyoke, Mass., secured a charter for the Holyoke Home for Aged People, wishing to do “something of permanent good for their city” and provide a “blessing to the homeless.” Opened in March 1911 on two acres of land donated by William Loomis, the Holyoke Home provided long-term care of the elderly, and grew slowly for its first half century. After changing its name to Loomis House in 1969, in honor of the benefactor, Loomis began slowly to expand, moving to its present location in 1981 upon construction of the first continuing care retirement community in the Commonwealth. In 1988, the Board acquired a 27-acre campus in South Hadley on which it established Loomis Village; in 1999, it became affiliated with the Applewood community in Amherst; and in 2009, it acquired Reeds Landing in Springfield.

The Loomis Communities Records offer more than a century perspective on elder care and the growth of retirement communities in western Massachusetts. The collection includes a nearly complete run of the minutes of the Board of Directors from 1909 to the present, an assortment administrative and financial records, and some documentation of the experience of the communities’ residents, with the bulk of materials dating from the 1980s to the present. An extensive series of oral histories with residents of Loomis Village was conducted in 2010.

Subjects

  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Holyoke Home for Aged People
  • Loomis Communities
  • Loomis Village
  • Older people--Care--Massachusetts
  • Retirement communities--Massachusetts
Loomis, Lyman

Lyman Loomis Daybook

1836-1857
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 626 bd

Born on July 31, 1818, the fifth of eight children of Squire and Patience (Root) Loomis, Lyman Loomis spent his life as a farmer and agricultural worker in Westfield, Mass. Loomis married Elmina Hayes in March 1846, and died in May 1902.

A slender and rough hewn volume kept by a farm laborer, the Loomis account book contains sketchy records detailing work performed and crops tended, with occasional notes on commodities purchased.

Subjects

  • Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--Westfield
  • Westfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Loomis, Lyman, 1818-1902

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Lyman, Florence Porter

Florence Porter Lyman Papers

1894-1931
10 boxes 5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 946
Image of Florence Porter Lyman with her dog (from the Lyman Family Papers)
Florence Porter Lyman with her dog (from the Lyman Family Papers)

Florence Porter Lyman (1870-1960) was born into the Chapin Moodey family in the late 19th century. She married Charles Wendell Porter, a Northampton lawyer who spent his summers in Northern Maine, in 1894. After her first husband’s death in 1899 she continued to spend her summers in Maine. She then married Frank Lyman of the prominent Lyman family in 1903. They had three children together and lived in both Northampton and Brooklyn. During her summers in Northern Maine, Florence Porter Lyman stayed in touch with her many family and friends who lived in Massachusetts and New York.

This collection contains almost forty years of Florence Porter Lyman’s in-coming correspondence. Letters refer primarily to domestic matters including: her first husband’s train accident and death, her engagement and re-marriage to Frank Lyman, and the birth of her three children.

Subjects

  • Northampton (Mass.)--History
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Perry (Me.)--History
  • Perry (Me.)--Social life and customs

Contributors

  • Lyman, Frank, 1852-1938
  • Porter, Charles Wendell, 1866-1899

Types of material

  • Correspondence