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Enfield (Quabbin) dancers
How they danced in Enfield, a Quabbin town

Special Collections and University Archives is open at no cost to researchers, regardless of affiliation, during normal business hours. SCUA staff are always happy to assist in planning or conducting research and welcome inquiries from students interested in internships in archival and library studies.

Although research appointments are not required, advance notice may help our staff to locate and retrieve research materials. First-time researchers will be asked to register and to provide name, institutional affiliation (when applicable), and current address. At registration, researchers must present a valid form of identification, including a photograph.

In the reading room

  • General
    • Please sign in at the front desk each visit
    • Only pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Please do not use pens.
    • Please switch off cell phones or set them to silent mode; calls may be taken in the adjacent elevator lobby
    • Smoking, food, and drink are not permitted
  • Care and handling of materials
    • Please use care in handling materials to prevent damage
    • Use only a single box of manuscript or archival material at a time; take care to preserve the existing arrangement of files
    • Photographs of materials are permitted for research purposes only
    • Scans and photocopies are made by staff members in keeping with our copying policies
    • Upon leaving for the day, please notify the staff whether you are finished with your material or wish to place it on hold for a return visit

Instruction in SCUA

Providing instruction in archival research and the use of primary resources is a priority for SCUA, and our archivists welcome visits from groups or classes at any level or of any affiliation. Each semester we host dozens of classes from UMass and the Five Colleges, but we also support classes and projects for local high schools and for both undergraduate and graduate courses at universities throughout the region. The disciplines who come here range widely, from history and American culture to African American studies, English and comparative literature, art history, education, anthropology, politics, business, plant and soil sciences, and library and information science.

Our staff are always available to offer introductions to archival research and the use of primary materials, and we provide overviews of specific areas of historical or cultural interest, information about our collections, or discussions of the history of social change, New England, or UMass Amherst.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, class visits should be arranged ahead of time. Please include the following information when contacting SCUA:

  • Name of instructor or contact
  • Affiliation
  • Date(s) requested, with start and finish time
  • Number of students or visitors
  • Subject area and research interests
  • Special requests (for collections)

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W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture

Du Bois and Mao Tse-Tung, 1959

Du Bois and Mao Tse Tung, 1959

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives and the Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst co-sponsor an annual colloquium to commemorate W.E.B. Du Bois. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of his birth (February 23), the departments invite a distinguished Speaker to discuss Dr. Du Bois’ life, work, and legacy.


22nd Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, 2016
2016 Feb. 26. 4pm. Campus Center Auditorium, UMass Amherst
Speaker: Aldon Morris, Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University
Title: W.E.B. Du Bois and the founding of Sociology
21st Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, 2015
2015 Feb. 23. 4pm. Campus Center Auditorium, UMass Amherst
Speaker: David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University
Title: W.E.B. Du Bois
20th Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, 2014
2014 Feb. 25. 4pm. Campus Center Auditorium, UMass Amherst
Performer: Brian Richardson and Pulse Ensemble Theatre
Title: “A Man for All Times: W.E.B. Du Bois”
Brian Richardson as W.E.B. Du Bois

This year’s Du Bois Birthday Celebration features performances of “A Man for All Times: W.E.B. Du Bois,” performed by the Pulse Ensemble Theatre. The one-hour one-man show of the 95-year-long life of W.E.B. Du Bois unfolds in a gripping performance by Brian Richardson, and a moving script by writer/director Alexa Kelly. Learn more about Great Barrington’s native son, civil rights leader, and visionary of equality and democracy at this free performance by Pulse Theatre Ensemble.

Additional free performances will be held on Saturday, February 22, 7:00 p.m., at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and on Sunday, February 23, 10:00 a.m., at St. John’s Congregational Church, Springfield, Massachusetts.

19th Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, 2013
2013 Feb. 26. 4pm. Lower Level, W.E.B. Du Bois Library
Speaker: Arthur McFarlane II
Title: “The Life of W.E.B. Du Bois and Its Relevance to Today
Colorado Department of Public Health and Envrionment

McFarlane, the great-grandson of W.E.B. Du Bois, will discuss the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, civil rights activist, co-founder of the NAACP, and the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University.

Previous Du Bois Lectures:
2012 Feb. 23
Speaker: Derrick Alridge
Title: “Ideas Have Consequences: The Radical Pedagogy of W.E.B. Du Bois”
Professor in the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Derrick Alridge

Derrick Alridge is author of The Educational Thought of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Intellectual History, lead editor of Message in the Music: Hip Hop, History, and Pedagogy, and Distinguished Lecturer for the Association of the Study of African American Life and History. He is currently completing an intellectual history of Hip Hop as a social movement called The Hip Hop Mind: An Intellectual History of the Social Consciousness of a Generation (University of Wisconsin Press) and is conducting research for a book on the role of education in the civil rights movement.

An educational and intellectual historian, Alridge is associate editor of the Journal of African American History and served as Director of the Institute for African American Studies. Alridge’s areas of scholarship include the history of African America education, African American intellectual history and the history of ideas, and civil rights studies. His work has been published in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Negro Education, and teh History of Education Quarterly, among others.

2011 Feb. 28
Speaker: Bettina Aptheker
Title: “W.E.B. Du Bois: Personal Stories/Political Reflections”
Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies and History
University of California, Santa Cruz
Bettina Aptheker

Bettina Aptheker is Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she has taught for more than 30 years. Her most recent book is a memoir, Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech and Became a Feminist Rebel (2006). It contains many stories of her early friendship with W.E.B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois. Other major books include, The Morning Breaks: The Trial of Angela Davis (1976; 2nd edition, 1999); Woman’s Legacy: Essays on Race, Sex, and Class in American History (1982) and Tapestries of Life: Women’s Work, Women’s Consciousness, and the Meaning of Daily Experience (1989). She is the biographer of Shirley Graham Du Bois for Notable American Women, and is currently writing a critical essay on Graham Du Bois’ creative career as an opera composer, playwright, biographer, and novelist. She is also at work on a major research project: “Queering the History of the American Left: 1940s-1980s.”

2010 Feb. 25
Speaker: Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
Title: “The Many Lives of W.E.B. Du Bois in the New From Slavery to Freedom
Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies
Harvard University
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham has been chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard since 2006. She also served as Acting-Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute in the Spring 2008. A prolific author, she is co-editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of the African American National Biography (2008)—a multivolume-reference work that presents African American history through the lives of people, and she and Gates also co-edited African American Lives (2004), which served as the forerunner to the AANB. Professor Higginbotham was the editor-in-chief of The Harvard Guide to African-American History (2001) with general editors Darlene Clark Hine, and Leon Litwack. She also co-edited History and Theory: Feminist Research, Debates and Contestations (1997).

Professor Higginbotham is the author of Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church: 1880-1920 (1993), which won numerous book prizes, most notably from the American Historical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the Association of Black Women Historians, and the Association for Research on Non-Profit and Voluntary Organizations. Righteous Discontent was also included among the New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books of the Year in 1993 and 1994.

2009 Feb. 26
Speaker: Howard Dodson
Chief of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
New York Public Library
Howard Dodson

A scholar, historian, educator, curator, consultant, and lecturer, Howard Dodson, has committed his professional life to the retrieval, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of the history and culture of African and African American peoples.

Since 1984, Dodson has served as chief of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the world’s leading and most prestigious repository for materials and artifacts on black cultural life. Under Dodson’s leadership, the Schomburg Center has developed into the world’s most comprehensive public research library devoted exclusively to documenting and interpreting African diasporan and African history and culture.

Dodson’s books include Becoming American: The African American Journey (Sterling Publishing, Inc., 2009), In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (National Geographic Press, 2004), Jubilee: The Emergence of African-American Culture (National Geographic Press, 2002), and The Black New Yorkers: Four Hundred Years of African American History (Wiley, 2000).

2008 Feb. 28: W.E.B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison
Speaker: Arnold Rampersad
Department of English, Stanford University

A distinguished biographer and literary critic, Arnold Rampersad is the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford University. A scholar of race and American literature and the Harlem Renaissance, Rampersad has written books on W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, and most recently, Ralph Ellison. He has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and was a 1991 recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant.” He is a recipient of fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Professor Rampersad has recently published Ralph Ellison, a biography of the novelist (1914-1994). His other books include The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois (1976); The Life of Langston Hughes (2 vols., 1986, 1988); Days of Grace: A Memoir (1993), co-authored with Arthur Ashe; and Jackie Robinson: A Biography (1997). In addition, he has edited several volumes including Collected Poems of Langston Hughes; the Library of America edition of works by Richard Wright, with revised individual editions of Native Son and Black Boy; and (as co-editor with Deborah McDowell) Slavery and the Literary Imagination. He was also co-editor, with Shelley Fisher Fishkin, of the Race and American Culture book series published by Oxford University Press. His teaching covers such areas as nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature; American autobiography; race and American literature; and African-American literature.

2007 March 9: The Unknown Du Bois: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Future of Black Studies in the Twenty-First Century
Speaker:James Turner
Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University
Poster (pdf)
2006: W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King
Speaker: Clayborne Carson
Stanford University, editor, Papers of Martin Luther King
Press release (pdf)

2005: The Enduring Greatness of the The Souls of Black Folk
Speaker: Robert Hill
UCLA, editor, Papers of Marcus Garvey
Press release (Word file)

2004: Du Bois and Bond: Black Education in the Age of Jim Crow
Speaker: John H. Bracey
Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst

2003: Revisiting The Souls of Black Folk: A Centenary Celebration
Horace Clarence Boyer
Music, UMass Amherst
Esther Terry
Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst
Phil Zuckerman, “Du Bois, Religion, and The Souls of Black Folk
Sociology, Pitzer College
David Blight, “A Poet’s Sense of the Past: The Souls of Black Folk as History”
History, Yale University
Ernest Allen, “The Education of Black Folk: The Educational Philosophies of W.E.B. Du Bois”
Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst
Gerald Friedman, “Reconstructing the Color Line: The New Economics of Race in the Post-bellum South”
Economics, UMass Amherst

2002: Recollections of W.E.B. Du Bois in the McCarthy Era by His Friends and Colleagues
Esther Cooper Jackson
Co-founder, Freedomways
James Jackson
Editor, Daily Worker
Abbott Simon
Executive director, Peace Information Center and co-defendant with Dr. Du Bois

2001: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Problem of the Twenty-first Century
Speaker: David Levering Lewis
History, Rutgers University

2000: Du Bois’ Prophecy: The Color Line and Education at the Start of a New Century
Speaker: Ruth Simmons
President, Smith College

1999: Du Boisian Double Consciousness: The Unsustainable Argument
Speaker: Ernest Allen
Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst

1998: Du Bois in Context
Speaker: Randolph W. Bromery
President, Springfield College and former Chancellor, UMass Amherst

1996: W.E.B. Du Bois
Speaker: David Levering Lewis
History, Rutgers University

1995: Celebration of Learning
David Du Bois
William Strickland
Michael Thelwell

1987: The Du Bois Legacy: Reflections on His Birthday
Speaker: Herbert Aptheker
Editor, Complete Published Works of W.E.B. Du Bois
Listen to a recording of Aptheker’s lecture.

Wangerin, David

David Wangerin Soccer Collection

4 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 850

David Wangerin (1962-2012) was a noted soccer historian, writing for When Saturday Comes, a British soccer magazine, and authoring several highly-respected books on the history of soccer in America, including Soccer in a Football World: The Story of America’s Forgotten Game (2006) and Distant Corners: American Soccer’s History of Missed Opportunities and Lost Causes (2008). Born in Chicago and growing up in Wisconsin, Wangerin was a soccer enthusiast all his life and in 1978 helped to set up one of the first adult soccer leagues in the Jefferson County area. He also coached the first girls’ and boys’ soccer teams at Fort Atkinson High School in 1986. He moved to the U.K. in 1987, in part as a fan of Aston Villa Football Club, and was employed at an Edinburgh-based asset management firm. He passed away from cancer in 2012 at 50.

The Wangerin collection encompasses research materials for his books and articles, almost extensively photocopies of newspaper articles on American soccer matches, plus approximately 200 books on the history of soccer and the NFL. Wangerin plots the ebb and flow of American soccer through stories in major publications and, more significantly, small local newspapers. A rare collection of sources on a topic that can almost only be researched through the press it garnered, a selection of materials documents early St. Louis and Wisconsin soccer leagues.

Gift of Anne Price, Dec. 2014
  • Soccer--History
  • American Soccer League
  • Major League Soccer (Organization)
  • North American Soccer League

Ward, Dana F.

Dana F. Ward Diaries

1897-1982 Bulk: 1904-1951
2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 577

Born in Chelsea, Mass., in 1874, and a long-time resident of Somerville, Dana F. Ward enjoyed a prominent career in the fisheries industry in Massachusetts. Entering the wholesale fish business in 1900 when he organized the firm of Whitman, Ward, and Lee, Ward became Director and Advertising Manager of the Boston Fish Market Corporation (builder and operator of the Fish Pier) and an investor. Before the U.S. entry into the First World War, Ward was employed by the state to lecture on the benefits of frozen fish as a food source. An active member in both the Congregational Church and local Masonic lodge, he married Katherine B. Symonds (d. 1948) in Leominster in October 1899.

Personal in nature, the Ward diaries provide a chronicle of the daily life of a relatively well to do fish wholesaler from 1897 through 1951, with some gaps. Generally small in size, the diaries are densely written and are laid in with letters, various sorts of documents, stamps, newsclippings, and other ephemera that help define the contours of Ward’s life. The collection is particularly rich for the years during the Second World War and it includes three diaries (1967, 1977, 1982) from later family members.

Acquired from Ben Katz, Nov. 2008
  • Fisheries--Massachusetts
  • Somerville (Mass.)--History
  • Ward, Dana F
Types of material
  • Diaries

Ware, Ellen and Mary E.

Ellen and Mary E. Ware Papers

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 511

The working class women Ellen Ware and her step-daughter Mary E. lived in North Hadley, Massachusetts, during the mid to late nineteenth century.

This collection of letters documents the older generation’s reaction to the draft during the Civil War and the younger generation’s daily activities, including their education, social events, and the growing temperance movement.

Gift of Virginia Goldsbury, Feb. 2007
  • Hadley (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1851-1865
  • Women--Massachusetts
  • Ware, Ellen
  • Ware, Mary E.

Waugh, Frederick V. (Frederick Vail), 1898-1974

Frederick V. Waugh Collection

6 items 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 026
Image of Black cat logo
Black cat logo

In July 1917, prior to the American entry in the First World War, Frederick Vail Waugh joined a group of about fifty residents of Amherst, Mass., who enlisted for duty in the Ambulance Service of the French Army. From August 1917 through April 1919, SSU 39 (Service Sanitaire Unis) — redesignated SSU 539 and transferred to the American Expeditionary Service in January 1918 — served among the trenches of northern France and Belgium. Known as the Black Cat squadron, they took part in three major offensives with the AEF, the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys. Waugh was among three members of the unit awarded the French Croix de Guerre for courage and energy during the last month of the war. After returning to the states, Waugh earned a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Agricultural College (1922), where his father Frank A. Waugh was a Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, followed by an MA from Rutgers (1926) and PhD from Columbia (1929). He enjoyed a distinguished fifty-year career as an agricultural economist with the US Department of Agriculture.

A snapshot of life in the First World War, the Waugh collection includes Frederick Waugh’s army jacket (with Croix de Guerre), helmet, and puttees, and a remarkable history of the unit and photo album, Being the Book of S.S.U. 539. A second book, I Was There with the Yanks in France (1919), has been transferred for shelving to the Rare Books stacks.

Gift of Prudence Waugh Donovan, Oct. 2009
  • Ambulance drivers--United States
  • United States. Army Ambulance Service. Section 539
  • World War, 1914-1918--Medical care
  • Waugh, Frederick V. (Frederick Vail), 1898-1974

Wells, Samuel

Samuel Wells Collection

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 225

In November 1840, the prominent New York mercantile firm, Josiah Macy and Son, contracted with Samuel Wells to act as an agent in leasing land in Hatfield, Mass., to mine barite. Wells, a resident of nearby Northampton, consulted with the renowned geologist Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College to locate the appropriate mining site, and then, over the next two years, he negotiated the leases and prepared for the start-up of mining. Ultimately, the presence of the lead ore galena rendered the barite unfit for use as a whitening agent.

The three dozen letters written to Samuel Wells, mostly by his employer Josiah Macy and Son, document the brief and ill-fated effort to start up a barite mine in Hatfield, Mass. Although some of the letters deal with the barite itself, most concern negotiations over locating the proper mine site and obtaining mineral rights and land leases.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1989
  • Barite mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield
  • Hatfield (Mass.)--History
  • Lead mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield
  • Chase, G. C.
  • Hitchcock, Edward, 1793-1864
  • Josiah Macy and Son

West Springfield Airport, Inc.

West Springfield Airport, Inc. Records

2 boxes 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 497 bd

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, a small group of residents formed a corporation to build an airport in West Springfield, Mass. Chartered on June 3, 1946, and based on Riverdale Street, the corporation attracted a small group of investors, but appears never to have prospered. After many months of attempting to sell off their real estate, the corporation voted to liquidate in August 1954.

The records of the West Springfield Airport, Inc., offer a brief, but relatively complete history of small, failed corporation. Although sparsely detailed, the collection documents the financial and organizational uncertainties that led to the early cessation of operations.

Acquired from Peter Masi, Mar. 2005
  • Airports--Massachusetts--West Springfield
  • West Springfield (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Minute books

Western New England Poetry Collection

Western New England Poetry Collection

4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 561
Image of Silkworm, 2007
Silkworm, 2007

Since 2004, the Florence Poets Society has been a hub of the poetry communities in Western Massachusetts, promoting the sharing, reading, and publication of works by its members. The group has sponsored outdoor poetry festivals, poetry slams, and readings and it has encouraged publication of poetry through its annual review, The Silkworm, and through chapbooks of its members

Established in partnership with Rich Puchalsky and the Florence Poets Society, the Western New England Poetry Collection constitutes an effort to document the vibrant poetry communities in Western New England. The collection includes all forms of poetry, from the written to the spoken word, in all formats, but with a particular emphasis upon locally produced and often difficult to find chapbooks, small press books, unpublished works, and limited run periodicals. The collection is not limited to members of the Florence Poets Society, and additions from poets in Western New England are eagerly welcomed.

  • Poetry--New England
  • Florence Poets Society
  • Puchalsky, Rich

Wetherbee, David Kenneth

David Kenneth Wetherbee Collection of New Salem

3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 305

David Kenneth Wetherbee was a naturalist and local historian who lived for many years in the small town of New Salem, Mass. Receiving a doctorate in ornithology from the University of Connecticut in 1959, Wetherbee worked as an adjunct instructor in Wildlife Biology at UMass Amherst and pursued his eclectic research agenda that ran from butterflies in the Caribbean to the history of his adopted New Salem. He died in 1997 at the age of 70.

This unusual collection is the result of David K. Wetherbee’s concerted effort to collocate data on the early settlement of New Salem, Mass., and his attempt to “reconstruct” the record book of the town’s Proprietors that had succumbed to fire in 1856. In addition to a scarce copy of his eccentric summary of his findings, Heare Lies Salim New Grant, the collection includes notes on the original divisions of land among the early settlers, arranged by division; and information on each of the early settlers and their landholdings, arranged alphabetically by name.

Gift of David K. Wetherbee
  • Birds--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • Geology--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History