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Peck Family

Peck-Sisson-White Family Papers

1772-1975 Bulk: 1830-1875
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 933

Perez Peck (1786-1876) and Asa Sisson (1815-1893) of the village of Anthony (Coventry), R.I., were innovative machinists and manufacturers of cotton looms. Active members of the Society of Friends, they were supporters of the antislavery struggle and sent their children to the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I.

Although the Peck-Sisson-White family collection spans three families and three generations, the bulk of material is concentrated on the lives of Asa Sisson and his wife Mary Ann (Peck) and their daughter Emily, who married Willis H. White, with an emphasis on their poetry and their time at the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. The family also copied verse from other writers, including works from George Miller (not otherwise identified) extracting Anthony Benezet and “Remarks on encouraging slavery” and a “lamentation over New England” which touches on the execution of early Quakers in Massachusetts Bay.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandDeath--PoetryFriends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Quakers--Rhode Island

Contributors

Peck, Perez, 1786-1876Sisson, Asa, 1815-1893Sisson, Mary Ann, 1816-1882White, Emily Sisson, 1856-1945

Types of material

DiariesPoetry
Prescott (Mass.)

Prescott (Mass.) Collection

1822-1952
8 vols. (digital)
Call no.: MS 021

Rural and sparsely populated, Prescott, Massachusetts, was founded in 1822 along the ridge separating the West and Middle branches of the Swift River. Its three villages (North Prescott, Atkinson Hollow, and Prescott Hill) never amounted to more than a few houses each, and the town’s total population never exceeded 500. Prescott became the first of four towns to vacate after the Swift River Valley was ordered cleared and dammed to create the Quabbin Reservoir, ceding its administration to the state in 1928 before formally disincorporating in 1938.

The records of Prescott, Mass., document the history of the smallest of the four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Held by the Swift River Valley Historical Society, the materials in this collection consist of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1822-1938, as well as sparser records of the School Committee, the Treasurer, and Overseers of the Poor.

Subjects

Education--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPoor--Massachusetts--Prescott--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Appropriations and expendituresPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryPrescott (Mass.)--Politics and governmenPrescott (Mass.)--Social conditionsQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--HistoryQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs

Contributors

Prescott (Mass. : Town)Prescott (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor

Types of material

Account booksSchool records
Reynolds, Iona Mae

Iona Mae Reynolds Papers

1927-2002
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 012

After receiving her B.S. from Massachusetts State College in 1941 and M.S. in microbiology from UMass in 1957, Iona Mae Reynolds embarked upon a teaching career of over 30 years in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, later serving as the school’s Assistant Director. In 1985 Reynolds was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for her service to the University as a faculty member and her many years on the associate alumni Board of Directors.

The Reynolds Papers include reunion materials, photographs, and writings, as well as a small collection of UMass memorabilia.

Subjects

Massachusetts State College--Alumni and alumnaeUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Contributors

Reynolds, Iona Mae

Types of material

PhotographsRealia
Sears, Fred Coleman, 1866-

Fred C. Sears Papers

1911-1927
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 136
Depiction of Fred C. Sears
Fred C. Sears

For nearly 30 years, Fred C. Sears served as Professor of Pomology at the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Born in Lexington, Mass., in 1866, Sears was raised on the Kansas prairies and educated at Kansas State College. After graduating in 1892, he taught horticulture in Kansas, Utah, and Nova Scotia before returning to Massachusetts and to MAC in 1907. The author of three textbooks and numerous articles on fruit culture and orcharding, he also developed the successful Bay Road Fruit Farm with his colleagues Frank A. Waugh and E.R. Critchett. Sears died at his home in Amherst in October 1949.

In addition to several offprints, the collection contains a set of articles written by Sears for the Country Gentleman bound with editorial correspondence; the well-edited original manuscripts of Sears’ textbooks Productive Orcharding (1914) and Productive Small Fruit Culture (1920), including correspondence, reviews, and photographs; Reports of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association (1911-1912, 1914-1916), and editions of Productive Orcharding (1927) and Fruit Growing Projects (1912) bound with Japanese titles.

Subjects

Fruit-culture--MassachusettsMassachusetts Agricultural College--FacultyMassachusetts Agricultural College. Department of Pomology

Contributors

Sears, Fred Coleman, 1866-
Slade Family

Slade Family Papers

1776-1892 Bulk: 1838-1845
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 934
Depiction of Caroline Talbert
Caroline Talbert

The children of a textile investor, Mary and David Slade were students at the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence, R.I., during the late 1830s. Both died tragically of consumption at a young age, David at 24 and Mary at 28.

The Slade family papers consist largely of the personal correspondence of the ill-starred David and Mary Slade, dating from and just after their time as students at the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence, R.I. Written primarily by schoolmates and friends, with a few letters from David and Mary themselves, the letters include some fine examples of the intimacy of young people, with their sights set on their schooling or beginning to make their life.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Friends' Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Moses Brown SchoolQuakers--Massachusetts--19th centuryStudents--Rhode Island--19th centuryWomen--Education--19th century

Contributors

Fry, John E.Slade, David, 1819-1844Slade, Mary, 1821-1850Stevens, Emily D.Wing, Rebecca A.

Types of material

CorrespondenceDiariesExercise books
Towle, Gifford H.

Gifford H. and Marjorie B. Towle Papers

1970-1987 Bulk: 1945-1980
24 boxes 33 linear feet
Call no.: MS 881
Depiction of Gifford and Marjorie Towle, 1957
Gifford and Marjorie Towle, 1957

As a student at Mount Hermon School in the late 1920s, Gifford Hoag Towle met Marjorie Ripley Blossom, a young woman at the Northfield School for Girls. When Giff went on to the Massachusetts Agricultural College (BS 1932) and Marjorie to a midwestern Bible College for a year (before being called home due to a family crisis), they remained connected and after Giff’s graduation in 1932, they married. By the time that Giff graduated from Hartford Seminary, he had left his Quaker upbringing to enter the Congregationalist ministry, and he and Marjorie filled three pulpits near Pelham, Mass. In 1939, however, they were called by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to serve as missionaries in the American Marathi Mission in Maharashtra State, central India. Following two years of intensive study of the Marathi language in Ahmednagar, they settled in Vadala, a rural village on the semi-arid plains, where they worked for thirty-four years, counting furloughs. In 1946 on furlough in the U.S., Giff earned a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from Cornell while pastoring a small church in the suburbs of Ithaca. In his agricultural work in India, Giff used the mission farm to demonstrate crop diversity and farm animal improvement; created co-operatives to enable poor farmers to use appropriate modern tools and machinery for pennies; taught good irrigation and soil conservation; and later built a Mechanical Unit and trained local Indians as mechanics to repair machinery and drill wells. Giff also invented a pump for which he never filed a patent, wanting instead to make it as widely available as possible. He built networks with relatives, churches, and non-profits to fund these efforts and get supplies.

The Towle Collection contains a wealth of information for research in three distinct areas: missions and religious matters; agriculture in “developing” countries; and the cultural and socio-economic context of social change in rural India. The Towles’ voluminous correspondence and reports offer a particularly rich view into mission life in India, including American participation through churches, relations between Hindus and Christians or between Christians, and the viability of these efforts. Marjorie’s letters are particularly vivid, adding significantly to our understanding of mission lives and experiences. The collection is equally rich in revealing the impact of the Towles’ agricultural work and for study of the efficacy of government agencies and non-profits seeking to understand cross-cultural issues.

Gift of Jean Reed, 2015

Subjects

Agriculture--IndiaIndia--Description and travelMaharasthra (India)--Economic conditionsMissionaries--India

Contributors

Towle, Marjorie Blossom, 1907-1994

Types of material

Photographs
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Black Pioneers Project

Black Pioneers Project Records

2018-2019
0.1 linear feet
Call no.: RG 050/9
UMass Black Pioneer T-Shirt logo
UMass Amherst Black Pioneers T-Shirt logo, 2016

Moved to action after a successful and illuminating 2016 reunion of Black alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, alumna Dr. Cheryl L. Evans (1968) decided to take on the critical project identified by the group, collecting and documenting the stories of the Black alumni who attended the University between 1960 and 1970. Dubbing these students “Black Pioneers,” given the dearth, and then growth, of Black students on campus during the decade, Evans used her connections with alumni and her history as a Black student leader to reach out about recording experiences for preservation and research purposes. In collaboration with Special Collections and University Archives, Evans began the “UMass Black Pioneers Project,” and sent an online questionnaire to around 85 alumni in September 2018. The survey addresses alumni’s backgrounds, academic and social experiences on campus, occasions of racial discrimination and activism, and current perceptions of the University and advice for students. Participation was voluntary, and is ongoing.

The UMass Black Pioneers Project Records contain some planning materials and correspondence for the project, and primarily consist of written answers made in response to the “UMass Black Pioneers Survey.” In addition to the questionnaire, participants were able to send in physical materials, or upload digital content, such as resumes, or videos of their responses, and the collection contains a few of these. Several participants willing to be interviewed were also connected with UMass Public History graduate students for oral histories in the Fall 2018 semester. These videos are a part of the record group, and there are plans to conduct additional interviews.

Aquired with the assistance of Cheryl L. Evans, 2018

Subjects

African American college students--MassachusettsRacism in educationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AlumniUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Students

Types of material

Oral historiesQuestionnaires
White, Barbara J. (Barbara Jean)

BJ White Papers

1971-1978
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 116
Depiction of BJ White with students
BJ White with students

A celebrated instructor of anatomy and physiology, Barbara Jean (B. J.) White joined the UMass faculty in 1961 and became a fixture of the School of Nursing’s core curriculum, teaching the year-long service course on anatomy and physiology. She was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1971 and by the time she retired in 1978, had taught nearly 2,000 aspiring nurses. White was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1918 and earned her A.B in 1939 and her A.M in zoology in 1941, both from Mount Holyoke College.

Documenting her teaching activities at UMass, White’s papers contain recorded lectures on audio cassettes, notes, handouts, and articles used in her classes.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Nursing
Young Women’s City Club (Northhampton, Mass.)

Young Women's City Club Records

1931-1981
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 045

Known as Girl’s City Club until 1954, the Young Women’s City Club was a non-sectarian, self-governing, and largely self-supporting club in Northampton, Massachusetts, that developed educational and recreational opportunities for young women through programs, social events, volunteer services, and fund-raising activities. The club met regularly under the auspices of the People’s Institute until November 1979 when their rooms at James House were taken over by the Highland Valley Elder Service and the club relocated to the People’s Institute.

The records of the Young Women’s City Club document the growth and activities of the club from 1939 to 1981, with the exception of the decade 1961 to 1971. Consisting of photocopies of originals still held by the People’s Institute, the collection includes minutes of council and business meetings and scrapbook pages.

Gift of Margaret Hutchins, People's Institute, 1985

Subjects

Women--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts

Contributors

Young Women's City Club (Northampton, Mass.)