EarthAction Records, 1992-2008.
26 boxes (39 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 562
Established by Lois Barber in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1992 with their first campaign at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, EarthAction has been organizing international campaigns ever since. As the world’s largest action network, the group’s campaigns address a variety of global issues from climate change and nuclear weapons to children’s rights and empowering women to protect the land. With a mission both to inform people about pressing problems facing the world and to move them to action, EarthAction creates and distributes information kits aimed at different audiences: individuals and groups, policymakers, and journalists.
The collection includes administrative files that illustrate the process of building a campaign, financial records, and publications, as well as action, legislative, and media kits created for many of the group’s international campaigns.
- Environmental justice
- Peace movements
- Social action
- Social justice
East German Packaging Design Collection, ca.1955-1985.
4 boxes (6 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 519
The concept of product marketing in a Communist state may seem slightly incongruous, but in the countries of the Eastern Bloc, consumer goods were packaged and sold with much the same care as they were in the west. The Packaging Design Collection contains examples of quotidian products sold during the post-war period, ranging from boxes for soap powder to toothpaste, shampoo, and sugar sacks. The collection documents the visual language used on consumer products in East Germany and the evolution of graphic design in the Communist states of Eastern Europe from the 1950s through 1980s.
- Germany, East
- Packaging--Design--Germany, East
Kenneth R. Feinberg Papers, 1980-2011.
217 boxes (325.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 755
One of the most prominent and dedicated attorneys of our time, Kenneth R. Feinberg has assumed the important role of mediator in a number of complex legal disputes, often in the aftermath of public tragedies. Frequently these cases necessitate not only determining compensation to victims and survivors but also confronting the very question of the value of human life. A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, and a graduate of UMass Amherst (1967) and New York University School of Law (1970), Feinberg served as a clerk to Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, as a federal prosecutor, and as Chief of Staff for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. After acting as the mediator and special master of the high-profile Agent Orange settlement, he administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Virginia Tech’s Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, and the BP Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF). Feinberg has taught at several law schools; is the author of the books What is Life Worth? and Who Gets What and numerous articles; and is a devotee of opera and classical music. He practices law in Washington, D.C., and continues to be guided by a commitment to public service.
The Feinberg Papers contain correspondence, memos, drafts, reports, research files, and memorabilia. The collection is arriving in stages and is being processed. Some materials will be restricted.
- Compensation (Law)--United States
- Compromise (Law)--United States
- Damages--United States
- Products liability--Agent Orange
- Public Policy (Law)--United States
- Reparation (Criminal justice)--United States
- September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
- Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-
Types of material
- Correspondence (letters)
- Legal files
Forestry and Lumbering Photograph Collection, 1924-1970.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 159
Foresty and lumbering have been substantial sectors of the Massachusetts economy for more than 300 years. This collection includes photographs of forests throughout New England and New York, lumbering and related occupations, tools of forestry, and distinguished foresters. Together these images capture the history and traditions of forestry and lumbering in Massachusetts from mill work to Christmas trees.
Sylvia Forman Collection of Local Issues Student Papers, 1983-1987.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 341
Student papers covering topics such as the availability of child care lower income parents in Amherst, Cambodian refugees and their sponsors, teenage pregnancy in Holyoke, and perspectives on community living.
Georgana Foster Collection, 1970s-2007.
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 544
Collection of chiefly newspaper clippings compiled by Georgana Foster documenting the response of the western Massachusetts community to a variety of local and national topics such as the Vietnam War, communes, the re-elections of Congressmen Silvio Conte and John Olver, the Amherst Peace Vigil, the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, and the Iraq War.
- Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
- Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
- Peace movements--Massachusetts
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Lewis Fried Collection of Jack Conroy, 1969-1995.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 414
A voice of the radical working class during the Great Depression, Jack Conroy was the son of a union organizer, born and raised in the mining camps near Moberly, Mo. His novels The Disinherited (1933) and A World to Win (1935) were among the best known works of “proletarian” American fiction to appear in the 1930s.
The Conroy Collection includes a series of 24 letters from Jack Conroy to Lewis Fried, a professor of English at Kent State University and UMass PhD, along with a small number of letters by associates of Conroy, and a selection of publications associated with or including work by him. Of particular interest are Fried’s oral history interviews with Conroy (1971) and Sally Goodman (1978).
- Bontemps, Arna Wendell, 1902-1973
- Communists--United States
- New Anvil
- Working class authors
- Conroy, Jack, 1899-1990
- Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
- Fried, Lewis Frederick, 1943-
- Gold, Michael, 1894-1967
- Goodman, Percival
- Goodman, Sally
- Snow, Walter
Types of material
Bruce Geisler Collection, 1969-1984.
14 boxes (21 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 049
In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.
Documenting everyday life in a Massachusetts commune and performances by the commune bands (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled in conjunction with the making of the film Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of both raw and edited film footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes a rich assemblage of still photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.
- Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
- Communal living--Massachusetts
- Renaissance Community (Commune)
Types of material
George Cooley & Co. Ledger, 1843-1851.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 111
Ledger, begun by George Cooley in 1843 to record the accounts of his soapmaking business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, continued by Titus Chapin, an ardent abolitionist, and Mordecai Cough who managed the business following Cooley’s death (or departure) in 1848. The 1843 date coincides with the coming of many small businesses to Cabotville in connection with the growth of industries there at the time.
Cooley accepted goods, services and cash as payment. The most frequently accepted goods had relatively obvious value to a soap maker: grease and ashes, tallow, pork, scraps and skins, and candles. Some of the services bartered were repairing wagon, shoeing horse, fixing wippletree, making 30 boxes, and covering umbrella. The business sold gallons, bars, and cakes of soap. Mount Holyoke Seminary bought 28 “fancy soaps”. Also listed were shaving soap and hard or hand soap. In addition, sales sometimes included candles, butter, mop handles, molasses, apples and potatoes, squashes, satinet, cheese, cord wood, paint, and rosin. Some of the listings were annotated with regard to the customer’s character: Ashad Bartlett was seen as “bad and poor and fights with his wife”‘ Norris Starkwether was “an honest man”; and Miss L.B. Hunt “eloped with a man”.
- Chicopee (Mass.)--History
- Soap trade--Massachusetts
- George Cooley and Company
Gittings-Lahusen Gay Book Collection, ca.1920-2007.
Call no.: RB 005
Barbara Gittings and her life partner Kay Tobin Lahusen were pioneers in the gay rights movement. After coming out during her freshman year at Northwestern University, Gittings became keenly aware of the difficulty of finding material to help her understand her gay identity. An inveterate organizer, she helped found the New York chapter of the early Lesbian organization, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in 1957, and she became well known in the 1960s for organizing the first gay rights demonstrations at the White House and Independence Hall. Gittings later worked with organizations from the American Library Association to the American Psychiatric Association to address systematic forms of anti-gay discrimination.
The Gittings-Lahusen Gay Book Collection contains nearly 1,000 books on the gay experience in America collected by Gittings and Lahusen throughout their career. The contents range from a long run of The Ladder, the DOB magazine co-edited by the couple, to works on the psychology and sociology of homosexuality, works on religious and political issues, novels and histories by gay authors, and examples of the pulp fiction of the 1950s and 1960s.