University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Lesinski-Rusin family

Lesinski-Rusin Family Papers
1908-1925
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 131
Image of Nun and two girls at first communion, ca.1920
Nun and two girls at first communion, ca.1920

Polish immigrants Jan Lesinski and his wife Weronika (Rusin) settled in Easthampton, Massachusetts, in 1909 and worked in the textile mills there for decades. Married in 1922, the couple raised a son and daughter in their home on Franklin Street. Weronika Lesinski died in Northampton in 1961, her husband following twelve years later.

The Lesinski and Rusin family collection reflect the lives of an average working-class Polish family from Easthampton, Mass., during the early twentieth century. Numerous family photographs document important occasions for the families, such as baptisms, first communions, and weddings, and the photographic postcards and commercial postcards document their relationships, interests, and travel.

Gift of Mary Ryan, June 1990
Language(s): Polish
Subjects
  • Lesinski family
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Easthampton
  • Rusin family
  • Soldiers--Massachusetts--Easthampton--Photographs
  • World War, 1914-1918--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks

Levy, Donald

Donald Levy Papers
1966-1987
2 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 878
Image of Richie Havens at Krackerjacks, ca. 1968
Richie Havens at Krackerjacks, ca. 1968

The co-owner with Alan Peterson of Krackerjacks, a psychedelic clothing store in Boston, Donald “Jack” Levy grew the boutique he started in 1966 into a staple of the counterculture in the Boston area and eventually a franchise. Levy was at the center of a controversy in Cambridge when the city tried to ban “obscene” buttons. Though several stores removed the buttons, Levy refused and with community support, fought the city’s ban. Levy also opened several clothing stores in the Boston-area: Garbo, a women’s clothing store; Dazzle in 1973, a vintage clothing store; Goods in 1976, a natural fiber and novelty store; and purchased and refurbished the Blue Diner in 1986 (now the South Street Diner). He currently owns diners in Newton, Framingham, and Watertown Mass.

The Donald Levy Papers contain ephemera, photographs, and clippings primarily documenting Krackerjacks as well as Levy’s other clothing stores and the opening of Blue Diner. Of particular interest is a petition circulated by Levy during the city’s attempt to ban “obscene” buttons. Included among the signatures is a 15-year-old Jonathan Richman, who called the button ban, “an example of lingering Victorianism.”

Subjects
  • Counterculture--United States--20th century
  • Fashion--United States--20th century
  • Massachusetts--Cambridge--History--20th century
  • Stores, Retail--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Richman, Jonathan (Vocalist)
Types of material
  • Clippings
  • Petitions
  • Photographs

Lewis, Patricia Lee, 1937-

Patricia Lee Lewis Photograph Collection
1977-1979
3 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 059
Image of Cotton Mill no. 2, Beijing, 1977
Cotton Mill no. 2, Beijing, 1977

A co-founder of the Valley Women’s Center and the Everywoman’s Center at UMass Amherst, Patricia Lee Lewis has been an important part of the vibrant activist culture in the Pioneer Valley since her graduation from Smith College in 1970, advocating for women, civil rights, peace, the environment, for small farms and rural communities, and for art. Her varied career has included service as Supervisor of Community Development for the Massachusetts Office for Children (1974-1976), as Rural Development Specialist for the Massachusetts Cooperative Extension Service, and as County Commissioner for Hampshire County (1984-1988). After receiving an MFA from Vermont College, she founded Patchwork Farm Writing Retreat in Westhampton in 1992, which offers workshops and retreats in creative writing and yoga.

As a member of a National Women’s Delegation, Lewis visited the People’s Republic of China in 1977. Having been invited by the All China Women’s Federation, Lewis and her colleagues toured the country, seeing the sights and examining the role of women, education, and agriculture, visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Tachai, and Guilin. The many hundreds of photographs she took during the tour are a powerful visual record of the country only a few months after the Gage of Four were arrested and the Cultural Revolution declared ended. The collection also includes approximately 100 photographs taken of agriculture and rural life in Louisiana and Texas in 1979.

Gift of Patricia Lee Lewis, Mar. 2014
Subjects
  • China--Photographs
  • Louisiana--Photographs
  • Texas--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs

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.

Learn more:

Local Rural Life Audiotapes

Local Rural Life Audiotape Collection
1980s
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 507

Audiotape recordings of interviews conducted with members of the Pioneer Valley community for a public radio program. Titles of the shows that aired include: “Portrait of a Farm Woman,” “Hadley: the Portrait of an Endangered Town,” Keeping Rural Businesses in Business,” and “Shepherds, Bumpkins and Farmers’ Daughters.”

Subjects
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--History
  • Hadley (Mass.)--History
  • Massachusetts--Economic conditions
  • Massachusetts--Social life and customs--20th century
Types of material
  • Sound recordings

Locke, Samuel A.

Samuel A. Locke Account Book
1821-1829
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 168

Businessman from West Cambridge, Massachusetts with additional dealings in Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.

The volume includes lists of personal and business purchases, services provided for his family, and business services such as whitewashing, carting coal, sawing wood, carrying letters, collecting debts, relaying a brick fireplace, and “work loading Sloop Rapid,” and barter and cash transactions. References made to Locke’s involvement with Universalism and members of the Tufts family of Cambridge and Middlesex County.

Subjects
  • Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Barter--Massachusetts--History
  • Building materials industry--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Building trades--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Quincy (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Tufts family
  • Tyngsboro (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Universalism
  • Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
  • Waltham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Contributors
  • Locke, Samuel A
Types of material
  • Account books

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
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