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Olver, John

John Olver Papers, ca.1990-2012
57 boxes (85.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 748
John Olver Papers image
John Olver, April 2012

John Olver served as representive from the 1st Congressional District in Massachusetts for over two decades. Born in Honesdale, Pa., on Sept. 3, 1936, Olver began an academic career at UMass Amherst shortly after earning his doctorate in chemistry at MIT in 1961. In 1969, however, he resigned his position to pursue a career in politics. Winning election to the Massachusetts House in 1969 as a Democratic representative from Hampshire County, Olver went on to the state Senate in 1973, and finally to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991, where he followed 17-term Republican Congessman Silvio O. Conte. Olver was a progressive voice for a district stretching from the Berkshire Hills through northern Worcester and Middlesex Counties, enjoying consistently strong support from his constituents for his support for issues ranging from national health care to immigration reform, regional economic development, human rights, and opposition to the wars in Iraq. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he held seats on the Appropriations Committee and subcommittees on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Water Development, and Homeland Security. With the redistricting process in Massachusetts in 2011, Olver announced that he would not seek reelection in 2012.

The Olver papers contain thorough documentation of the congressman’s career in Washington, including records of his policy positions, committee work, communications with the public, and the initiatives he supported in transportation, economic development, the environment, energy policy, and human rights. Material in the collection was drawn from each of Olver’s three district offices (Holyoke, Pittsfield, and Fitchburg), as well his central office in Washington.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • United States--Politics and government--1989-
  • United States--Politics and government--2001-2009
  • United States. Congress. House
Contributors
  • Olver, John

Spragens, John

John Spragens Cambodian Photograph Collection, 1983
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 116

Washington based photojournalist John Spragens, Jr. lived in Asia for more than seven years. He spent a total of three years in Vietnam between 1966 and 1974, and traveled in several other countries in Southeast Asia., including Cambodia.

Spragens’ photographs document Cambodia under the rule of the Communist-Vietnamese dominated government that came to power in January 1979, after the defeat of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese army.

Subjects
  • Cambodia--Photographs
Contributors
  • Spragens, John
Types of material
  • Photographs

Stone, John

John Stone Account Book, 1836-1842
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 247 bd

John Stone appears to have been a storekeeper in North Dennis, Massachusetts in the 1830s and 1840s. He also dealt in lumber, wood products, and building materials.

This volume represents a number of miscellaneous accounts, and because there are no page numbers, the exact nature of the book is difficult to discern and information is difficult to extract. Starting at the front, a more or less complete list of the accounts includes: cost of loads of lumber, 1837-1840; accounts with individuals, 1837-1840; invoice of goods, 1839; bills not paid, 1840-1841.

Subjects
  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--North Dennis
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--North Dennis
  • North Dennis (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Account books

Strong, John D.

John D. Strong Papers, 1938-1986
10 boxes (15 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 019
John D. Strong Papers image
John D. Strong

John D. Strong was a professor of Physics and Astronomy from 1967 to 1975 and served as the head of the laboratory of astrophysics and physical meteorology. Strong, one of the world’s foremost optical scientists, was known for being the first to detect water vapor in the atmosphere of Venus and for developing a number of innovations in optical devices, ranging from improved telescope mirrors to anti-reflective coatings for optical elements and diffraction gratings. Born in Riverdale, Kansas in 1905, Strong received degrees from the University of Kansas (BA 1926) and the University of Michigan (M.S., 1928, Ph.D., 1930). After twelve years at CalTech and wartime research at Harvard on infrared systems, Strong became professor and director of the Astrophysical and Physical Meteorology Laboratories at Johns Hopkins University in 1946, where, among many other projects, he conducted research on balloon astronomy for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Strong published hundreds of papers throughout his career and was author of Procedures of Experimental Physics, a standard physics textbook for many years. Strong served as president of the American Optical Association in 1959 and patented numerous inventions for optics in spectroscopy as well as golf (see US Patent no. 3720467). Strong passed away in 1992.

The Strong Papers contain forty years of research notebooks in experimental physics (1930-1970) centered on Strong’s years at Johns Hopkins (1946-1967), along with correspondence, printed publications by Strong for the ONR, and manuscripts for several textbooks (though lacking material on Procedures of Experimental Physics). Strong’s balloon work is documented by diagrams in his lab books and photographs of the Stratolab at John’s Hopkins, and an oral history of his life was made by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in 1985, a transcript of which is included in the collection.

Subjects
  • Institute for Man and the Environment
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
Contributors
  • Strong, John D

Thomes, John B.

John B. Thomes Contract Bridge Collection, 1929-1936
5 vols. (0.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 874
John B. Thomes Contract Bridge Collection image
Shepard Club, ca.1934 (Thomas standing, second from right)

An enthusiast for contract bridge, John Bidwell Thomes was at his playing peak when the new game was sweeping the nation in popularity. In 1931, Thomes and his fellow Portland aficionados organized what may be the first state-wide contract bridge conference in their native state of Maine, just three years after formation of the American Bridge League and prior to creation of the present-day New England Bridge Conference.

Thomes indicated that these five typewritten volumes were originally intended as a means of preserving a record of “some hands that were quite remarkable,” holding out hope that his project might develop into a book that might be called “Adventures at the bridge table.” Simultaneously a record of the games themselves and the strategy and tactics pursued, these volumes are equally a record of the early formation of a bridge conference in New England and its first tournaments. The league included both men’s and women’s teams.

Subjects
  • Contract bridge
  • Contract bridge--Tournaments--Maine
Contributors
  • Shepard Club (Portland, Me.)
  • Shepard, E. V. (Edward Valentine), 1866-
Types of material
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs

Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921

John Thomson Photograph Collection, 1863
8 items (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 002
John Thomson Photograph Collection image
Caledonia Sugar Mill

The Scotsman John Thomson is considered one of the fathers of social documentary photography and a pioneer in the photography of southeast Asia. Between 1861 and 1872, he traveled extensively in Asia, documenting the scenery and people of modern day Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and China.

The collection includes eight albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives taken early in Thomson’s photographic career. The images of Penang, Malaysia, are all signed by John Thomson, with five dated November 1863. Subjects include Malay people, a native infantry regiment, sugar mill, temple, and Thomson’s widely reproduced image of tree ferns.

Subjects
  • George Town (Pinang)--Photographs
  • Kedah--Photographs
  • Malaysia--Photographs
Contributors
  • Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921
Types of material
  • Albumen prints
  • Photographs

Wilson, John S.

John S. Wilson Collection, 1970-1983
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 858
John S. Wilson Collection image
Amos Foster stone, 1793, New Salem Cemetery

As an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, John S. Wilson undertook of study of gravestones in New Salem, Mass. Working under George Armelagos, he receiving a BA in Anthropology with honors (1971) for his work on the “social dimension of New England mortuary art,” and returned for an MA in (1976). Wilson later worked as Regional Historic Preservation Officer and Archaeologist for the Northeast Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Part of the collections of the Association for Gravestone Studies, the collection includes two copies of John Wilson’s senior honors thesis, a card file associated with the thesis, and several dozen slides (both color and black and white) of New Salem headstones. Some images appear to be later prints of images taken in 1970-1971.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Photographs

Woodward, John

John Woodward Account book, 1838-1868
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 063 bd

John Woodward was a farmer in Groton, Mass., during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Although little is known of his life, it appears that Woodward was born in nearby Tyngsboro on March 7, 1813, and that he married twice: first to Rebecca Sawtelle of Groton in 1823 and second to Mary Jane Nutting — almost 30 years his junior — in Dec. 1866. With Mary Jane, at least, he was highly reproductive, fathering his first son, a seventh child, at the age of 66. Woodward died in Groton on Apr. 20, 1895, and was buried in his family’s ancestral home of Dunstable.

John Woodward’s accounts document the financial transactions of fairly typical farmer in Groton over the period of three decades. Raising an array of produce, from cranberries and chestnuts, to squash, barley, apples, and turnips, Woodward also raised poultry and a variety of livestock. The ledger documents the day to day exchanges of food and labor that comprised the core of the local economy. Noteworthy among his customers are locally prominent families such as Blood and Swett and at least two Nuttings.

Subjects
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Groton
  • Groton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Types of material
  • Account books

Abbe, Edward H.

Edward H. Abbe Papers, 1828-2004
22 boxes (28.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 736
Edward H. Abbe Papers image
Ed Abbe in Bora Bora, 1987

Born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1915 and raised largely in Hampton, Va., Edward Abbe seemed destined to be an engineer. The great nephew of Elihu Thomson, an inventor and founding partner in General Electric, and grandson of Edward Folger Peck, an early employee of a precursor of that firm, Abbe came from a family with a deep involvement in electrification and the development of street railways. After prepping at the Rectory and Kent Schools, Abbe studied engineering at the Sheffield School at Yale, and after graduation in 1938, accepted a position with GE. For 36 years, he worked in the Industrial Control Division in New York and Virginia, spending summers at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard. After retirement in 1975, he and his wife Gladys traveled frequently, cruising both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Ranging from an extensive correspondence from his high school and college days to materials relating to his family’s involvement in engineering, the Abbe collection offers an in depth perspective on an educated family. An avid traveler and inveterate keeper, Ed Abbe gathered a diverse assemblage of letters, diaries, and memorabilia relating to the history of the Abbe, Peck, Booth, Gifford, and Boardman families. The collection is particularly rich in visual materials, including albums and photographs, depicting homes, travel, and family life over nearly a century.

Subjects
  • Abbe family
  • Boardman family
  • Booth family
  • Electrical engineers
  • General Electric
  • Gifford family
  • Kent School--Students
  • Peck family
  • Rectory School--Students
  • Yale University--Students
Contributors
  • Abbe, Edward H
  • Abbe, Gladys Howard
  • Abbe, William Parker
  • Peck, Edward F
  • Peck, Mary Booth
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs
Founders of the Niagara Movement, ca.1905

Founders of the Niagara Movement, ca.1905

The acquisition of the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois in 1972 established SCUA as a center for research in African American history. In subsequent years, UMass has supported publication of three volumes of Du Bois’ correspondence and SCUA has digitized the papers and made them freely available on the internet while serving as a resource for many dozens of scholarly articles and books. SCUA continues in its efforts to build around the Du Bois collection, adding other important printed and manuscript materials both in African American history and in the history of efforts to promote social change.

Every February, SCUA and the Du Bois Department of Afro-Americans Studies at UMass Amherst commemorate Du Bois’s birthday by co-sponsoring a public colloquium on Du Bois and his legacy. Our lecturers have included distinguished scholars such as Herbert and Bethina Aptheker, Randolph Bromery, Clayborne Carson, Arnold Rampersad, and David Levering Lewis.

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