SCUA

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What we collect

Frank Waugh's doves
Garden (white fan tailed doves in bird bath) by Frank Waugh, ca.1920

“… there must come vast social change in the United States; a change not violent, but by the will of the people certain and inexorable; carried out ‘with malice toward none but charity for all’; with meticulous justice to the rich and complete sympathy for the poor, the sick and the ignorant; with freedom and democracy for America, and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, Chicago, June 29, 1951

In pursuit of our mission, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds.

Our approach to collecting

Echoing the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s great insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement — and no solution to social ills — can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas, all in the hope of better representing the true histories of social engagement in America and laying the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change.

A related feature of SCUA’s approach to collecting is our commitment to documenting “whole lives and whole communities.” Rather than focus just on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to represent the person’s entire life in all its complexity: the person’s background, the events themselves, and the aftermath, as well as the range of colleagues and organizations engaged. Our goal is not to highlight simply the great achievements and great people, but to reveal the broad underpinnings of influences, interests, and organizations that shaped them and the communities in which they operated.

While not exhaustive, the following is a synopsis of the primary focal points for SCUA’s collections:

Social change

Emphasizing the cross-fertilization between social movements and centers of activist energy, SCUA collects materials from individuals and organizations involved in the struggles for peace and non-violence, social and racial justice, economic justice, agricultural reform, environmentalism, sustainability, alternative energy, organized labor, gay rights, disability rights, spiritual activism, antinuclear activism, and intentional communities. Our collections branch out to include anti-fluoridation activism, campaigns for voting rights and clean elections, community and charitable organizations, and the history of revolutionary-era Europe (1789-1848).

  • African and African American history and culture: The history of race and ethnicity in America, with particular emphasis on the struggle for racial equality and social justice.
  • Agriculture, horticulture, botany: Including agricultural science and practice, horticulture, animal husbandry, natural history, organic farming, sustainable living, and heritage breeds.
  • Antifluoridation movement: Including right-wing, left-wing, libertarian, popular, and scientific opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies.
  • Antinuclear movement: SCUA holds numerous collections documenting grassroots opposition to nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
  • Arts management and arts administration:
    In partnership with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and several other arts agencies, SCUA documents the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state and national arts agencies, we will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities.
  • Cold War Culture: The culture of the Cold War, with an emphasis upon East Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Among other areas, SCUA has a strong interest in the Solidarity movement and in partnership with the DEFA Film Library, in East German cinema and graphic arts.
  • Disability: Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues: Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
  • Labor, work, and industry: Organized labor, industrialization, manufacturing, business history, and the experience and culture of labor and working people.
  • Peace: Materials relating to the peace and antiwar movements and non-violence, with an emphasis on New England.
  • Spiritual approaches to social change: Materials relating to people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

SCUA collects materials that document innovative and entrepreneurial activities and particularly social entrepreneurship. Representative collections in SCUA include the papers of Mark H. McCormack (a pioneer in sport and entertainment marketing), Carl C. Harris (inventor and President of Rodney Hunt Co.), and numerous collections that document our region’s distinctive history of innovation in manufacturing and technology.

New England history and culture

The social, political, cultural, intellectual, literary, and economic life, with an emphasis upon western New England. The department houses thousands of books on New England cookery, with a particular emphasis on charitable and community cookbooks and cookbooks and ephemera published by corporations and the food industry.

  • Cookery and culinary history
    SCUA has thousands of cookbooks and other materials on New England regional cuisine, including community and charitable cookbooks, commercial cookbooks by New England authors, corporate cookbooks, and culinary ephemera.
  • Literature and the arts
    Emphasizing poets and writers, playwrights, and the performing arts in New England.
  • Politics and political culture
    SCUA has rich collections documenting the history and politics of the Commonwealth, including the papers of Congressmen Silvio O. Conte and John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, and State Representative John Clark; and the records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns.

University Archives collecting

Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, SCUA is steward for the official and unofficial records of the university that document the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community. The collections are a rich record of administrative activity at all levels, from system to program, but they focus on documenting the lives and activities of individual administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Other areas

SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:

  • American Study of Japan and Asia
    American relations with Japan from the Meiji period to the present, and connections with China and other Asian countries.
  • Gravestone studies and death
    Materials relating to the history, culture, preservation, and interpretation of gravestones and related subjects.
  • Protistology
    Records of the scholarly study of the protista (protozoans).

Learn more:

Whisler, Howard C. (Howard Clinton)

Howard C. Whisler Papers
1963-2007
5 boxes (7.6 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 716

As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, Howard Whisler was introduced to the study of zoosporic fungi, beginning what would become a lifelong interest in evolutionary protistology. During his graduate work at Berkeley, Whisler focused on fungi associated with invertebrates, receiving his doctorate in 1960 for a study of the entomogenous fungus Amoebidium parasiticum. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1963, where he remained until his retirement in 1999. A prolific researcher, and developer of the fungal research program at the Friday Harbor Marine Biological Laboratory, he became noted for his work on zoosporic fungi and protists, particularly of parasites or commensals in arthropods, with publications ranging from studies of reproduction in the Monoblepharidales to the molecular systematics of Saprolegnia in salmon, and the sexual stages and life cycle of Coelomomyces, a fungal pathogen of mosquitos. An active member of the Mycological Society of America, Whisler was also a founder of the International Society of Evolutionary Protistology with Max Taylor and Lynn Margulis. Whisler died on Sept. 16, 2007, at the age of 76.

The Whisler Papers contain correspondence, notebooks, scanning electron micrographs, and motion pictures dating primarily from the mid- to late 1970s.

Subjects
  • Fungi--Study and teaching
  • International Society of Evolutionary Protistology
  • Mycology
Contributors
  • Whisler, Howard C. (Howard Clinton)
Types of material
  • Motion pictures (Visual work)
  • Scanning electron micrographs

Brauner, Sigrid, 1950-1992

Sigrid Brauner Papers
1969-1992
11 boxes (16.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 123

Sigrid Brauner was born in Hofheim, Germany, earning her BA from the University of Frankfurt before immigrating to the United States. Brauner completed her PhD in German literature at the University of California Berkeley in 1989 and later the same year joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature. Brauner, who served on the executive committee of the Women’s Studies Program, remained at UMass until her death in December 1992.

The papers reflect Sigrid Brauner’s interest in race and gender as well as her research in anthropology and theology. “Witches: Myth and Reality,” the popular course Brauner taught during the fall 1992 semester, is represented in the collection along with other notes for research and teaching. Professional correspondence as well as political and social change periodicals comprise the remainder of the Brauner Papers. A fair portion of the collection is in German.

Subjects
  • Social change--Periodicals
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Contributors
  • Brauner, Sigrid, 1950-1992

Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-

Gerard Braunthal Papers
1958-1894
6 boxes (7.25 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 013
Image of Gerard Braunthal
Gerard Braunthal

Born in Germany in 1923, Gerard Braunthal was a scholar of German politics and taught as a professor in the Political Science department from 1954. Before receiving his B.A. from Queens College in 1947, Braunthal served in intelligence during World War II, going on to receive his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1948 and Ph.D from Columbia University in 1953. While studying at Columbia, Braunthal worked as an interviewer for US Air Force intelligence. An expert on the German Social Democratic party (SPD), Braunthal published extensively on modern German politics. His work on the subject was well regarded in Germany as well as the United States. In parallel to his academic research, Braunthal was also an anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, serving on the executive committees of both the Valley Peace Center and the Citizens for Participation in Political Action (CPPAX). Braunthal received the Order of Merit from the German government.

The collection includes Braunthal’s correspondence, article manuscripts and research materials, as well as pamphlets, form-letters, and broadsides relating to anti-Vietnam war activism, interspersed with a small amount of personal correspondence from his own antiwar activities. Among his research materials is a collection of interview transcripts with members of the Federation of German Industry (BDI). There is also a significant collection of documents from his involvement with local activist groups, which includes minutes, form-letters, reports, conference proceedings, and leaflets.

Subjects
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political Science
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Contributors
  • Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-

Brinsfield, Mark

Mark Brinsfield Poster Collection
1979-1994
53 items (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 854
Image of Wer Kohl wählt, wählt Reagan
Wer Kohl wählt, wählt Reagan

Mark Taylor Brinsfield studied languages and law in Europe before receiving his MA in European Studies at the University of Exeter. His research has included work in the history of multiracial people in post-World War II Southeast Asia. Brinsfield currently lives in Northampton, Mass.

The posters in the Brinsfield Collection represent a cross-section of West German political campaigning during the decade leading up to reunification. Focused primarily on national, rather than regional elections, the collection includes representative work from the major left- and right-leaning political parties (CDU and RCDS, SDU, the Greens) as well as a few posters addressed at major political issues, including the antinuclear and antiwar movements.

Language(s): German
Subjects
  • Antinuclear movements--Germany
  • Antiwar movements--Germany
  • Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands
  • Germany--History --1945-1990
  • Germany--Politics and government--1945-1990
  • Grünen (Political party)
  • Ring Christlich-Demokratischer Studenten
  • Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Contributors
  • Staeck, Klaus
Types of material
  • Posters

Coburn, Andrew

Andrew Coburn Papers
ca.1950-2015
16 boxes (24 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 936

In taut and haunting prose, Andrew Coburn left a memorable impression as both novelist and journalist. Born in Exeter, N.H., on May 1, 1932, Coburn became serious about writing while fulfilling his military duty in Germany and earning a degree at Suffolk University. After landing a position with the local newspaper, the Lawrence Eagle, he put his talents to good use. Building his career as a journalist covering organized crime during the day, he managed to spend nearly every night writing fiction until dawn. His successes on the beat earned him steady promotions all the way to editor, and he eventually founded two newspapers of his own, though fiction would be his future. Winning a Eugene Saxton Fellowship in 1965, Coburn drew upon his experiences on the streets of Lawrence to publish his first novel, The Trespassers in 1974, followed by The Babysitter in 1979, and eventually eleven other novels, a novella, and a host of short stories and essays. A master at language and dialog grounded in a strong sense of place, Coburn won both a wide readership and praise from other writers. His work has garnered nominations for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and Pushcart Prize, has been translated into 14 languages, and three of his novels have been made into films. He is married to Bernadine Casey Coburn, a former journalist and public relations expert, with whom he has one son and four daughters.

The Coburn Papers contain working drafts of Andrew Coburn’s novels and short stories, along with selected correspondence, and dozens of journals, scrapbooks, and notebooks used in his fiction. In many cases, the completeness of the collection makes it possible to follow a work from its earliest inception, often recorded as a sketch (literal or in prose), through its final iteration.

Gift of Andrew Coburn, 2016
Subjects
  • Journalists--Massachusetts
  • Novelists--Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Journals
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Communist Party of Massachusetts

Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection
1932-1957
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 538

A branch of the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Communist Party of Massachusetts enjoyed strong popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, organizing the textile and other manufacturing industries.

This small collection is comprised of a miscellaneous assemblage of fliers, broadsides, and ephemera issued by the Communist Party of Massachusetts and its affiliates from the mid-1930s through the repression of the McCarthy era. Originating mostly from Boston, the items in the collection center on significant themes in Communist thought, including opposition to Fascism and militarism, labor solidarity against capital, and elections. A small number of items relate to Party-approved cultural productions, including plays and gatherings to celebrate Lenin or the Russian Revolution. Many items are associated with Otis A. Hood, a perpetual candidate for public office on the Communist Party ticket who became a target for McCarthy-era repression in the mid-1950s.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2008
Subjects
  • Antiwar movements--Massachusetts
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Elections--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Communist Party of Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Fliers

Gale, Amory, 1800-1873

Amory Gale Ledgers
1840-1872
2 vols. (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 259 bd

A physician and native of Warwick, Mass., Amory Gale worked as an allopath after his graduation from Brown College in 1824, before turning to homeopathy in the mid-1850s. Often struggling with ill health, Gale plied his trade in a long succession of towns, including Canton, Scituate, Mansfield, and Medway, Massachusetts, as well as towns in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Between 1844 and 1853, he interrupted his medical practice for a turn in the pulpit.

Gale’s surviving ledgers include accounts with patients, their form of payment, lists of medical fees, and a draft of a business agreement with a fellow homeopath in Woonsocket, J.S. Nichols.

Subjects
  • Physicians--Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Account books

Halley, Anne

Anne Halley Papers
1886-2004
11 boxes (7 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 628

Writer, editor, and educator, Anne Halley was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1928. A child during the Holocaust, she relocated with her family to Olean, New York during the late 1930s so that her father, who was Jewish, could resume his practice of medicine. Graduating from Wellesley and the University of Minnesota, Halley married a fellow writer and educator, Jules Chametzky, in 1958. Together they raised three sons in Amherst, Massachusetts where Chametzky was a professor of English at UMass and Halley taught and wrote. It was during the late 1960s through the 1970s that she produced the first two of her three published collections of poetry. The last was published in 2003 the year before she died from complications of multiple myeloma at the age of 75.

Drafts of published and unpublished short stories and poems comprise the bulk of this collection. Letters to and from Halley, in particular those that depict her education at Wellesley and her professional life during the 1960s-1980s, make up another significant portion of her papers. Publisher’s correspondence and a draft of Halley’s afterward document the Chametzkys effort to release a new edition of Mary Doyle Curran’s book, The Parish and the Hill, for which Halley and Chametzky oversaw the literary rights. Photographs of Halley’s childhood in Germany and New York as well as later photographs that illustrate the growth of her own family in Minnesota and Massachusetts offer a visual representation of her remarkable professional and pesonal life.

Subjects
  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Jews--Germany--History--1933-1945
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Women authors, American
  • Women poets, American
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Chametzky, Jules
  • Halley, Anne

Halpern, Joel Martin

Joel Martin Halpern Papers
1950-2007
(ca.300 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 001
Image of

The anthropologist Joel Martin Halpern (1929- ) has worked in regions from the Alaskan arctic to Laos and Lapland, but he is best known for his studies of modernization in the Balkans. Following undergraduate study in history at the University of Michigan (BA, 1950), Halpern entered the renowned anthropology program at Columbia, receiving his doctorate in 1956 for a study of the village of Orašac in the former Yugoslavia, which in turn became the basis of his first book, A Serbian Village (N.Y., 1958). After two years working in Laos as a Field Service Officer with the Community Development Division of the U.S. International Cooperation Administration, Halpern was a member of the faculty at UCLA, Brandeis, and the Russian Research Center at Harvard (1965-1967) before coming to UMass Amherst in 1967. A prolific author, Halpern has written or edited dozens of books on the Balkans and Southeast Asia, including A Serbian Village in Historical Context (1972), The Changing Village Community (1967), The Changing Peasantry of Eastern Europe (1976), and The Far East Comes Near (1989). Since retiring from the university in 1992, Halpern has remained in Amherst.

A massive collection documenting the long and varied career of a prolific ethnographer, the Halpern Papers include a wide range of textual and visual materials documenting the anthropological study of modernization, ethnicity, rural life and urbanization, the economy, and cultural change. Much of Halpern’s research centered on the Balkans (Macedonia and Serbia), Laos, and arctic Alaska and Canada, however he has worked on Asian immigrant communities in the United States and many other topics.

Subjects
  • Balkan Peninsula--Ethnic relations
  • Laos--Anthropology
  • Macedonia--Anthropology
  • Serbia--Anthropology
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Anthropology
  • Yugoslavia--Anthropology
Contributors
  • Halpern, Joel Martin
Types of material
  • Field notes
  • Photographs
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