Roberta Halporn Collection, 1978-2002.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 847
A writer, publisher, and expert in the culture of cemeteries and death, Roberta Halporn was born in New York in 1927. Although she entered NYU intending to study medicine, Halporn soon turned to dance, eventually earning a masters degree and working in the field for nearly two decades. When an injury ended her dance career, however, she changed careers to publishing, opening her own house in 1978. Her growing interest in the culture of death meshed well with her job and following her interests, she founded ran the Center for Thanatology Research and Education in 1986. Based in Brooklyn, the Center was a non-profit organization that worked to raise public awareness of the artistic and historical importance of cemeteries, and in addition to a library and museum, the Center ran tours of cemeteries, published books and periodicals, and operated a retail store. Halporn published regularly on topics ranging from Jewish cemeteries to hospice, thanatology libraries, and her passion, gravestone rubbing. Halporn died in 2014.
The collection consists of files relating to Roberta Halporn’s extensive thanatological research, including drafts, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera from two of her projects: on Chinese American funeral practices (resulting in the book Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors) and on Jewish cemeteries. A significant number of books donated with the collection have been added to the Association for Gravestone Studies Book Collection.
- Funeral rites and ceremonies--China
- Jewish funeral rites and ceremonies
- Center for Thanatology Research and Education
Types of material
Mary Frances Healy Photograph Album, 1919.
1 vol., 53 images (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 069
Mary Frances Healy, a young schoolteacher from Springfield, Mass., volunteered to serve with the National Catholic War Council in the waning days of the First World War. Stationed for sixth months at the Etoile Club in Paris in 1919, Healy helped provide meals, entertainment, and support for Catholic American serviceman awaiting demobilization. After returning home to Springfield, she resumed her teaching career at the Chestnut Street Junior High School.
This slender photograph album contains 53 photographs from Mary Healy’s time working with at the National Catholic War Council’s Etoile Club in Paris in 1919. Healy included a handful of images of the Club’s interior taken by a professional photographer, but also includes her own images depicting the staff and the area around the Club along with side trips to the scene of American military action at Belleau Wood and Chateau Thierry, the American military cemetery there and the devastation inflicted on the nearby town of Bouresches, and scenes in the streets of Paris, Rheims, and in the Haute Pyrenees.
- Belleau, Bois de (France)--Photographs
- National Catholic War Council---Photographs
- Paris (France)--Photographs
- World War, 1914-1919--Photographs
Types of material
- Photograph albums
Ales Hrdlicka Collection, 1995.
1 box (2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 149
Fourteen panels used in a public exhibition depicting the life and work of the Czech-born American anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka through photographs, documents, and narrative.
- Hrdlicka, Ales, 1869-1943
Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage Records, 1998-1999.
8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 758
Organized at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a twelve-month walk through the eastern United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa, and South Africa in 1998-1999, reversing the direction of the Middle Passage symbolically and geographically. A “living prayer of the heart, mind, and body for the sons and daughters of the African Diaspora,” the Pilgrimage was intended by the participants to contribute to a process of healing the wounds inflicted by hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression. Along the way, participants visited sites associated with the history of slavery, from slaves quarters in Virginia to stations on the Underground Railroad and villages that had been raided in Africa, offering prayers for those who had suffered under slavery and commemorating the dignity of those held in bondage and those who resisted.
Chronicling the course of the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage from conception to conclusion, this collection contains a rich textual and visual record of a spiritual approach to addressing the legacy of slavery in the Americas. The collection includes the range of materials collected by participants during the Pilgrimage, including lists of reading materials, information on the sites visited, a handful of mementoes and souvenirs, some correspondence, and notes and photographs taken along the way.
- Pilgrims and pilgrimages
Types of material
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Records, 1929-1985.
11 boxes (5.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 107
The records of Northampton Local 36 of the IBEW provide insight into the adjustments of union members to the introduction of new technology, the changing labor environment, and the local debates over the merits of the use of nuclear power in the region. Collection includes by-laws, reports, correspondence, contracts, membership lists, and materials relating to nuclear energy.
- Electricians--Labor unions
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
Isabel Jansen Papers, ca.1950-1985.
12.5 boxes (19 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 613
A Registered Nurse and surgical assistant at Marquette University Medical and Dental Schools, Isabel Jansen was a long-time opponent of fluoridation of drinking water. In 1949, her hometown of Antigo, Wisconsin, became one of the first in the state to put fluorides in its water supply. Jansen emerged as a prominent voice in opposition, arguing that fluorides had a cumulative toxic effect when ingested over a long period, and using public health data, she concluded that fluoridation was strongly correlated with an increase in mortality from heart disease and with a variety of other deleterious health effects. In 1960, she succeeded in ending fluoridation, however after a follow up survey showed a dramatic rise in tooth decay, Antigo residents voted five years later to reintroduce fluoride. Jansen has continued a vigorous resistance, publishing a series of articles on the public health impact and Fluoridation : A Modern Procrustean Practice (1990) and .
The Jansen Papers include a range of correspondence, newsclippings, articles, and notes regarding Isabel Jansen’s long struggle against the fluoridation of drinking water.
- Antifluoridation movement--Wisconsin
- Fluorides–Environmental aspects
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.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
- Werfel, Franz, 1890-1945
- World War, 1939-1945
Types of material
William Lederer Papers, ca. 1930-1985.
91 boxes (61 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 158
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.
- Southeast Asia--Economic conditions
- Southeast Asia--Politics and government--1945-
- United States--Foreign relations
- United States--Politics and government--1945-
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- Burdick, Eugene
- Lederer, William J., 1912-
Types of material
Marjorie Peace Lenn Papers, ca.1980-2010.
40 boxes (60 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 838
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.
- Center for Quality Assurance in International Education
- Council on Postsecondary Accreditation
- Education, Higher--Evaluation
- Quality assurance
Steve Lerner Papers, 1994-2011.
15 boxes (22.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 673
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.
- Environmental justice
Types of material