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Labor, work, and industry

Picket line, New Bedford

Picket line, New Bedford, 195
“Teamsters crossed the Hathaway picket line”

Western Massachusetts was an early and important center of both industrialization and the development of organized labor, and in recent years, it has experienced many of traumatic effects of de-industrialization and economic transformation. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document the history of organized labor, the experience of work, and business and industry in New England.

At the heart of the SCUA holdings is a suite of collections documenting the organized labor movement in New England. The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, a large and important collection, is joined by records for trades ranging from clothing and textile workers to carpenters, electrical workers, and granite cutters.

Of particular note is the John W. Bennett Labor History Collection, a large assemblage of labor-related realia and ephemera, including hundreds of badges, pins, watch fobs, lighters, and other artifacts distributed to union members at annual conventions and other union events. The collection is a unique resource for study of the iconography of organized labor and includes items from representative unions and locals ranging from the Knights of Labor in the 1870s to the present. While centered on New England, the Bennett Collection extends nationally.

Notable collections

  • Organized Labor
    • From the records of the Massachusetts State AFL-CIO to the papers of union locals and labor leaders.
  • See all Business and industry
    • Manufacturing
      • The industrial heritage of New England is represented in collections ranging from the records of the Clement Co., Lamson and Goodnow, and the Northampton Cutlery Company (manufacturers of cutlery), the American Writing Paper Company, the Rodney Hunt Co. (a manufacturer of textile machinery and waterwheels), and Smith and Wesson. The most recent collection is the papers of Sidney Topol, CEO of Scientific-Atlanta, a corporation at the forefront of the growth of cable television in the United States.
    • Merchants and commerce
      • Account books and other business records for a number of New England merchants dating back to the eighteenth century, ranging from small scale traders to keepers of rural general stores to shipping merchants trading in the Atlantic economy.

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Lajoie, Coralie Guertin

Coralie Guertin Lajoie Collection

1950-1951
4 folders 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 637 bd
Image of Japanese flutist
Japanese flutist

When Capt. Henry Guertin, a native of Leominster, Mass., was ordered to active duty with the 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War, his wife Rita relocated to Japan to raise their growing family in Kokura (Kyushu), Japan. Just 13 at the time and already used to the regular relocation of a military life, the eldest daughter, Coralie Ann (“Coco”) spent the next two years attending the Kokura Dependent School. As an adult, Coco married golf pro Ray Lajoie and settled in central Massachusetts.

The collection contains ephemera and photographs from young Coco Lajoie’s two-year sojourn on Kyushu. These include a copy of her school yearbook for 1951, a bill for a folk dance performance, and a series of letters from Japanese schoolchildren she met on a visit.

Subjects

  • Japan--Description and travel

Types of material

  • Ephemera
  • Photographs
Lambert, Roger Newton

Roger Newton Lambert Account Book

1829-1834
1 vol. 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 256 bd

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Medical School, R. Newton Lambert set up in private practice in Upton, Mass., in 1829. His medical career, however, would be brief. In October 1836, just 37 years old, Lambert died in Lyme, N.H.

Lambert’s double column account book includes records of services performed (such as the extraction of teeth, vaccination, and childbirth) and medicines prescribed, as well as accounts for his patients’ (primarily women and families) and notations on work for the town’s poor.

Subjects

  • Bradish family
  • Childbirth--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Fisk family
  • Phlebotomy--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Physicians--Massachusetts--19th century
  • Physicians--Massachusetts--Upton--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Poor--Medical care--Massachusetts--Upton--History--19th century
  • Putnam family
  • Rockwood family
  • Teeth--Extraction--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Therapeutics--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Upton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Vaccination--Massachusetts--History--19th century

Types of material

  • Account books
Le, Van Khoa

Le Van Khoa Photograph Collection

Undated
7 items 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 170
Image of Going home
Going home

The composer, photographer, and educator, Le Van Khoa arrived in the United States as a war refugee from Vietnam in May 1975. Largely self-taught as a photographer, he was co-founder of the Artistic Photography Association of Vietnam and has published three books of his work. He holds the distinction of being the first Vietnamese photographer to mount an exhibition at the U.S. Congress building.

The seven photographs in the Le Van Khoa collection are artistic reflections of life in Vietnam, including four taken in the imperial city, Hue.

Subjects

  • Vietnam--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs
Lea, Henry A.

Henry A. Lea Papers

1942-ca. 1980s
6 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: FS 139

A talented musician and member of the UMass Amherst faculty in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Henry A. Lea was born Heinz Liachowsky in Berlin in 1920. With the rise of the Nazi Party, the Jewish Liachowskys left their home for the United States, settling in Philadelphia and simplifying the family name to Lea. Henry studied French as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania (1942) but shortly after graduation, he began his military service. After training in Alabama and in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) program at Ohio State, he was assinged to duty interrogating prisoners of war with the G2 (intelligence) section of the First U.S. Army; he later served as a translator at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials in 1947-1948 and for the military government in Frankfurt (1948-1949). Lea returned to his alma mater for a masters degree in German (1951), and accepted a position teaching at UMass in the following year. In 1962, he received a doctorate for a dissertation under Adolf Klarmann on the Austrian expatriate writer Franz Werfel. During his tenure at the university he published extensively on Werfel, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, and Gustav Mahler, including a book on the composer and conductor entitled Gustav Mahler: Man on the Margin. Lea remained at UMass until his retirement in 1985.

The Lea Papers consist chiefly of two types of material: research notes and correspondence. The nearly 200 letters written by Henry A. Lea during his military service in the Second World War provide an excellent account, albeit a self-censored account, of his experience from training through deployment and return. Lea’s research notes include notebooks on Werfel and files on Mahler and Hildesheimer. Other items include a pre-war album containing commercial photographs collected during a vacation and a baby book from an American family living in occupation-era Germany.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Werfel, Franz, 1890-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Lea, Henry A

Types of material

  • Photographs
League of Women Voters of Central Berkshire

League of Women Voters of Central Berkshire Records

1959-2001
9 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: MS 478

First founded as a chapter for Pittsfield and later for all of central Berkshire county, this local league is one of many Massachusetts chapters of the national non-partisan political organization, League of Women Voters, that influences public policy through education and advocacy by registering voters, organizing candidate forums, publishing voting guides, and disseminating general information on the legislative process and the functioning of government on the local, state, and federal levels.

The bulk of the collection documents the activities and topics of interest to members of the League of Women Voters of Central Berkshire during the last three decades of their work before disbanding in 2001. The chapter consistently served to educate the public on voter registration, the voting process, and on the functioning of local and state government. Other issues of importance included child care and rights, prison reform, clean water, and health care.

Subjects

  • Berkshire County (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Drinking water--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Prisons--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • League of Women Voters of Central Berkshire
Lederer, William J., 1912-

William Lederer Papers

ca. 1930-1985
91 boxes 61 linear feet
Call no.: MS 158
Image of William Lederer in naval uniform
William Lederer in naval uniform

William J. Lederer began his long career in the Navy in 1930. During his twenty-eight years of service he traveled throughout Asia on some 30 trips, acquiring several books worth of experience, criticisms, and insight. In 1948, Lederer attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Vermont and met fellow author and political theorist Eugene Burdick. Disillusioned with the style and substance of America’s diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, Lederer and Burdick openly sought to demonstrate their belief that American officials and civilians could make a substantial difference in Southeast Asian politics if they were willing to learn local languages, follow local customs and employ regional military tactics. Together they co-authored two widely influential books, The Ugly American (1958) and Sarkhan (1965).

The collection includes materials related to most of his major publications including, A Nation of Sheep, The Ugly American, Sarkhan, Our Own Worst Enemy, I, Giorghos, Mirages of Marriage, and Martial Choices. A substantial series of correspondence traces Lederer’s associations and communications throughout his entire career. Area files, research materials, and photographs are also include, but not yet fully processed.

Subjects

  • Southeast Asia--Economic conditions
  • Southeast Asia--Politics and government--1945-
  • United States--Foreign relations
  • United States--Politics and government--1945-
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

  • Burdick, Eugene
  • Lederer, William J., 1912-

Types of material

  • Photographs
Leland, James

James Leland Daybook

1854-1855
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 094

Owner of a general store in Enfield, Massachusetts. Includes notations for the sale of a wide variety of goods (notably Know Nothing hats), names of customers (both individuals, particularly Irish, and businesses), and types of payment (cash, barter, and services).

Subjects

  • Barter--Massachusetts--Enfield--History--19th century
  • Consumers--Massachusetts--Enfield--History--19th century
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Ethnic relations--19th century
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Enfield
  • Irish American Catholics--Massachusetts--Enfield--History--19th century
  • J.M. Crosby (Firm)
  • Leonard Woods (Firm)
  • Minot Manufacturing Company
  • Nativism--History--19th century
  • Shopping--Massachusetts--Enfield--History--19th century
  • Swift River Company

Contributors

  • Leland and Smith Co.
  • Leland, James

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Lenn, Marjorie Peace

Marjorie Peace Lenn Papers

ca.1980-2010
40 boxes 60 linear feet
Call no.: MS 838
Image of Marjorie Peace Lenn
Marjorie Peace Lenn

A leader in the global quality assurance movement in higher education, Marjorie Peace Lenn was founding president of the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education (CQAIE). Born in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1946, and educated at Transylvania University (BA, 1968), Yale (MAR, 1970), and UMass Amherst (MEd and EdD, 1978), Lenn began her career in education as as assistant area director of student life at UMass Amherst, rising over the course of twelve years (1970-1982) to become the Director of Residential Life. From UMass, Lenn went on to senior positions with the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (1982-1992) before founding the CQAIE in 1991. Throughout her career, Lenn was in high demand internationally as a consultant on quality assurance and accreditation systems. Working with dozens of governments, ministries of education, universities, and intergovernmental agencies such as the World Bank, UNESCO, OECD, Organization of American States, United Nations Development Program, and the Asia Development Bank, she also became an official advisor to the U.S. government on trade in education services as a member of the International Trade Advisory Commission, influencing the development of accreditation infrastructure in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. After a long battle with cancer, Lenn died at home in Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 16, 2010.

The Lenn Papers offer rich documentation of the international development of accreditation systems in higher education and the impact of Lenn’s ideas on quality assurance. The bulk of the records stem from Lenn’s work with the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education and Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, but also reflect her role as advisor to the US government and her varied consultancies.

Subjects

  • Center for Quality Assurance in International Education
  • Council on Postsecondary Accreditation
  • Education, Higher--Evaluation
  • Quality assurance
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