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Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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Lloyd, Richard E., b. 1834

Richard E. Lloyd Daybook

1859-1862
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 229 bd

Born in Wales in 1833, Richard E. Lloyd found great financial success after migrating to Vermont in the 1850s. Beginning as the proprietor of a dry goods business in Fair Haven, Vermont, he diversified and expanded his holdings, eventually becoming a senior partner in the slate manufacturing firm Lloyd, Owens, and Co.

The daybooks from Richard Lloyd’s dry goods firm include numbered accounts of customers (many with Welsh surnames), lists of items purchased, price per measure, forms of payment (cash, goods, services, credit, making clothes), and the goods sold. Lloyd dealt in a typical range of goods found in a rural general store, including fabrics, ready-made clothes, eggs and dairy products, fruits and nuts, garden seeds, cutlery and tinware, and jewelry.

Subjects

  • Consumer goods--Vermont--Fair Haven--Prices--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt.)--History--19th century
  • General stores--Vermont--Fair Haven
  • Welsh Americans--Vermont--Fair Haven--19th century

Contributors

  • Lloyd, Richard E.

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Locke, Samuel A.

Samuel A. Locke Account Book

1821-1829
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 168

Businessman from West Cambridge, Massachusetts with additional dealings in Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.

The volume includes lists of personal and business purchases, services provided for his family, and business services such as whitewashing, carting coal, sawing wood, carrying letters, collecting debts, relaying a brick fireplace, and “work loading Sloop Rapid,” and barter and cash transactions. References made to Locke’s involvement with Universalism and members of the Tufts family of Cambridge and Middlesex County.

Subjects

  • Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Barter--Massachusetts--History
  • Building materials industry--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Building trades--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Quincy (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Tufts family
  • Tyngsboro (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Universalism
  • Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
  • Waltham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Locke, Samuel A

Types of material

  • Account books
Loomis, Lyman

Lyman Loomis Daybook

1836-1857
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 626 bd

Born on July 31, 1818, the fifth of eight children of Squire and Patience (Root) Loomis, Lyman Loomis spent his life as a farmer and agricultural worker in Westfield, Mass. Loomis married Elmina Hayes in March 1846, and died in May 1902.

A slender and rough hewn volume kept by a farm laborer, the Loomis account book contains sketchy records detailing work performed and crops tended, with occasional notes on commodities purchased.

Subjects

  • Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--Westfield
  • Westfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Loomis, Lyman, 1818-1902

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Ludwig, Allan I.

Allan I. Ludwig Collection

1956-1966
10 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: PH 034

An historian and photographer, Allan I. Ludwig’s book Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815 (1966) played a critical role in the rise in interest in gravestone studies in the 1960s. Born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1933, Ludwig received his PhD in art history from Yale in 1964 and became involved with the Association for Gravestone Studies beginning with the initial Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife in 1976. He received the AGS Forbes Award in 1980 in recognition of his contributions to gravestone studies. He has been a professor of art history at Dickinson College, Bloomfield College, Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and Syracuse University. In addition to his books Reflections Out of Time: A Portfolio of Photographs (1981) and Repulsion: Aesthetics of the Grotesque (1986), Ludwig has curated numerous art exhibitions and exhibited his own photographs worldwide.

The Ludwig Collection consists of many hundreds of photographs of New England and English gravemarkers organized either by the deceased’s name or by the town, as well as copies of all photos used in Graven Images. Also included in the collection is a copy of Ludwig’s dissertation on gravestone iconography and offprints of several of his articles.

Subjects

  • Gravestones--New England

Contributors

  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Ludwig, Allan I

Types of material

  • Photographs
Lyons Family

Lyons Family Correspondence

1859-1895
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 133

Includes letters addressed mostly to Mary Lyons or her brother Frederick D. Lyons about friends and family in Greenfield and Colrain, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Topics discussed are sickness, death, accidents, an instance of probable wife abuse, recipes, Greenfield scandals, clothing, quilting, Methodist/Universalist bickering, and Aunt Mary’s investments.

Subjects

  • Abused wives--United States--History--19th century
  • Clothing and dress--United States--History--19th century
  • Colrain (Mass.)--Biography
  • Colrain (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Cookery--United States--History--19th century
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Biography
  • Greenfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Lyons family
  • Methodist Church--Relations--Universalist Church
  • Methodist Church--United States--History--19th century
  • Quilting--United States--History--19th century
  • Scandals--Massachusetts--Greenfield--History--19th century
  • Universalist churches--Relations--Methodist Church
  • Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
  • Wife abuse--United States--History--19th century
  • Women--Massachusetts--Colrain--Correspondence

Contributors

  • Lyons, J. L
  • Lyons, Mary

Types of material

  • Letters (Correspondence)
Mann, Eric

Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers

1967-2007
22 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 657
Image of Eric Mann, Dec. 1969<br />Photo by Jeff Albertson
Eric Mann, Dec. 1969
Photo by Jeff Albertson

Revolutionary organizers, writers, and theorists, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann have been active in the struggle for civil rights for decades. The son of Jewish Socialist and labor organizer from New York, Mann came of age during the early phases of the Civil Rights movement and after graduating from Cornell (1964), he became field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality. Increasingly radicalized through exposure to Black revolutionary nationalists, Mann took part in the Newark Community Union Project and became a leader in anti-imperialist opposition to the war in Vietnam as a New England regional coordinator for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later with the Revolutionary Youth Movement I — the Weatherman above-ground tendency of SDS. Following a militant demonstration at the Harvard Center for International Affairs late in 1969, Mann was convicted of assault on the basis of perjured testimony and sentenced to two years in prison. An organizer of his fellow prisoners even behind bars, he was “shipped out” often in the middle of the night, from prison to prison, spending the last year at Concord State Prison. After being released early in July 1971, he continued his prison activism through the Red Prison Movement. At the same time, as a writer, he earned a national audience for his book Comrade George: an account of the life, politics, and assassination of Soledad Brother George Jackson. Feeling himself at a low point in his radical career, Mann met Lian Hurst while vacationing in Mexico during the summer 1974. Hurst, a leader in the Berkeley Oakland Women’s Union, architect, and a strong Socialist Feminist, soon became his partner in life and politics, and Mann left Massachusetts to join with her in Berkeley. Hurst lead a group of women from BOWU who formed a “Thursday night group” and left the organization with the polemic, “socialist feminism is bourgeois feminism” all of whom moved towards integrating women’s liberation and Marxism-Leninism. At her urging, the two took part in Marxist Leninist party building, becoming union organizers with the United Auto Workers, and eventually moving to Los Angeles. Hurst was elected shop steward by her fellow workers as a known revolutionary. There, Mann led a campaign to keep the Van Nuys assembly plant open (1982-1992) — captured in his book, Taking on General Motors. They joined the August 29th Movement and its successor, the League of Revolutionary Struggle. They left LRS in 1984. In 1989, Mann and veterans of the GM Van Nuys Campaign formed the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which has been a primary focal points for their work ever since, helping to build consciousness, leadership, and organization within communities of color. Hurst became editor of AhoraNow, an innovative bilingual left publication that featured articles by Black and Latino working class leaders and helped initiate the center’s National School for Strategic Organizing. In 2003 Hurst wrote, “Socialist Feminism: Thoughts After 30 Years” for AhoraNow, a critical re-engagement of those important debates from an historical perspective after a 30 year reunion of BOWU’s key leaders. Mann’s latest book is Playbook For Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Hurst and Mann continue to write and agitate in the cause of revolutionary change, particularly for oppressed communities of color.

The Mann-Hurst collection contains the records of two lives intertwined with one another with the cause of liberation of Black and Latino communities, women, and an internationalist pro-socialist anti-imperialism. Containing a nearly complete set of publications, the collection also contains early materials on Lian Hurst’s work with BOWU and the both Eric and Lian’s time as organizers for the UAW and their participation in the August 29th Movement and League of Revolutionary Struggle. Of particular interest are a series of letters home written by Eric during his imprisonment. The collection contains comparatively little on Hurst and Manns’ more recent work with the Labor/Strategy Strategy Center or Bus Riders Union

Subjects

  • August 29th Movement
  • Berkeley Oakland Women's Union
  • Communists--California
  • Feminism
  • International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
  • Labor unions--California
  • League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L)
  • Prisoners--Massachusetts
  • Red Prison Movements
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

  • Mann, Lian Hurst
Manuscript collections

Geisha, from the Benjamin Smith Lyman Papers
Geishas, from Benjamin Smith Lyman Papers

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects and preserves textual, visual, and auditory materials of enduring historical value and makes them available to researchers at no charge.

The collections held by SCUA are rich and deeply interrelated, documenting four areas of historic and cultural interest: social change, New England, the University of Massachusetts, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Among the distinguished collections held by SCUA are the records of:

  • W.E.B. Du Bois and Horace Mann Bond (African American intellectuals and civil rights pioneers)
  • The Africa America Institute
  • The New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (350 years of Quaker history in the region)
  • The Hampshire Council of Governments (350 years of county-level governance in western Massachusetts
  • David Steindl-Rast (Benedictine monk, participant in interfaith dialogue, and student of the interaction between spirituality and science)
  • Kenneth R. Feinberg (attorney and public figure)
  • Congressman Silvio E. Conte and John Olver, Gov. Jane Swift, and state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (politicians)
  • The Clarke School for the Deaf, International Center for the Disabled, Elmer C. Bartels, Fred Pelka and Denise Kurath, Judi Chamberlin, Lucy Gwin (advocates for people with disabilities)
  • Benjamin Smith Lyman, William Smith Clark, and William Penn Brooks (natural scientists)
  • Mark H. McCormack and Sidney Topol (innovators)
  • William Lederer, Leonard Lewin, Jodi Picoult, Andrew Coburn, Mary McGarry Morris, Harvey Swados, Robert Francis, Charles Whipple (writers)
  • Carl Oglesby, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst, Raymond Mungo, Anna Gyorgy, Mary Wentworth, Randy Kehler, the Liberation News Service, and the Alternative Energy Alliance (activists)
  • Jeff Albertson, Burt Brooks, Alton H. Blackington, Lionel Delevingne, Clif Garboden, Nancy Palmieri, Peter Simon, Thomas and Margaret Tenney, and Diana Mara Henry (photographers and photojournalists)

Information about all of our manuscript and photographic collections is included in UMarmot. Use the search box and menus to the right to navigate our collections and to locate collections of interest.

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Marijuana Policy Project

Marijuana Policy Project Records

1995-2014
27 boxes 40.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 920

Rob Kampia, the valedictorian of his high school class, was an undergraduate at Penn State when he was arrested for growing marijuana for personal use and sentenced to three months in a Pennsylvania county jail. Out of that experience, he decided to move to Washington, D.C., to work for the legalization of marijuana. After working briefly at NORML, he and colleagues Chuck Thomas and Mike Kirshner established the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in January 1995, which lobbies at the federal level to changes laws to enable states to set their own policies regarding marijuana and at the state level to promote legalization and regulation. MPP has an educational branch, the MPP Foundation, and a branch that donates to congressional candidates, MPP PAC.

The Marijuana Policy Project Records span MPP’s work from its early years through recent efforts and include voluminous research files and reports, promotional materials, newsletters and mailings and other printed items, strategic plans, and grants funded by its foundation. Additions to the collection are expected.

Subjects

  • Marijuana--Law and legislation

Contributors

  • Kampia, Rob
Markham, George F.

George F. Markham Papers

1876-2012
6 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 456

The activist George Markham was born in Wisconsin on Aug. 15, 1909. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he began working with the Associated Press in 1936 where he became an ardent member of the American Newspaper Guild. During the Second World War, he served with distinction on the aircraft carriers Saratoga and Yorktown in the South Pacific, however after the war, his leftist politics and associations with Communists led to his dismissal with less than honorable discharge. Following the trial, Markham returned to college to earn a masters degree in social studies and began teaching middle school in Pelham, NY, but was released, probably for political reasons. He later taught in colleges in New York before he and his second wife, Arky, moved to Northampton in the 1960s. George and Arky remain active on behalf of peace and social justice.

The Markham Papers contain materials relating to George Markham’s McCarthy-era trial and dismissal from the Navy, along with documents relating to other aspects of his life and career and the Markham family in Wisconsin. Among these is a fine Civil War unit history of the 20th Indiana Regiment written by Markham’s grandfather, William Emery Brown.

Subjects

  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities

Contributors

  • Markham, George F