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Williams, Gray

Gray Williams Photograph Collection

3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 027

The editor, writer, and photographer Gray Williams was born in New York City in 1932, and spent most of his life in Chappaqua (Westchester County), N.Y. A 1954 graduate of Yale, Williams worked in the publishing industry for many years, including for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, and since 1988, he has been a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Long dedicated to history and historical preservation, he has served as New Castle Town Historian, chair of the New Castle Landmarks Advisory Committee, trustee of the Westchester County Historical Society, and as a member of the Property Council at the National Trust property Lyndhurst. He is the author of Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County (Westchester County Historical Society, 2003). A specialist in the early stone carvers of New York and Connecticut, as well as the use of grave monuments to illuminate and enrich the study of American history, art, and culture, Williams is a former trustee of the Association for Gravestone Studies and has contributed articles to its annual journal, Markers, and its Quarterly. In 2007, he was awarded the Association’s Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award for contributions to scholarship and preservation in the field.

The photographs and research materials he has contributed to the Association for Gravestone Studies are largely devoted to the subjects of three articles in the AAGS journal, Markers: “‘Md. by Thomas Gold’: The Gravestones of a New Haven Carver,” in collaboration with Meredith M. Williams, Markers V (1988); “Solomon Brewer: A Connecticut Valley Yankee in Westchester County,” Markers XI (1994); “By Their Characters You Shall Know Them: Using Styles of Lettering to Identify Gravestone Carvers,” Markers XVII (2000). The collection also includes photographs taken during AGS conferences, principally in New England, as well as a small group taken in Natchez Cemetery in Mississippi.

  • Gravestones--New York
  • Stone carving--New York
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Williams, Gray
Types of material
  • Photographs

Williams, Roger

Roger Williams Account Book

1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 619 bd

During the early decades of the nineteenth century, Roger Williams ran a ferry in West Springfield, Mass., carrying passengers and freight across the Connecticut River.

The Williams ledger is a combination daybook and account book, recording several dozen transactions of a Connecticut River ferryman, centered on the years around the War of 1812. Most of the entries are brief records of trips carrying individuals or freight across the river, however a few provide indications of other economic activity, including framing and joining, making a coffin, fixing sleds, and cidering.

  • Ferries--Massachusetts--Connecticut River
  • West Springfield (Mass.)
  • Williams, Roger
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Daybooks

Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963

William Carlos Williams Letters

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 367

An obstetrician from Rutherford, N.J., William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was a key figure in modernist poetry in the United States. Innovative and experimental in his poetry, Williams was a member of the avant garde poetically and politically, writing in a simple though never simplistic style that was unencumbered by the formalism and literary allusion of peers such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.

This collection consists of a small group of eleven letters and postcards written by Williams during the years 1946-1962, the majority of which were sent to Marie Leone, a nurse at the Passaic General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey. In these letters Williams thanks Marie and her coworkers for the cards, good wishes, and gifts they sent to cheer him up. The letters are friendly and humorous even though they are for the most part written from Williams’s hospital bed during one of the frequent illnesses he suffered from in the later years of his life.

  • Williams, Florence H. (Florence Herman), d. 1976
  • Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Wilson, John S.

John S. Wilson Collection

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 858
Image of Amos Foster stone, 1793, New Salem Cemetery
Amos Foster stone, 1793, New Salem Cemetery

As an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, John S. Wilson undertook of study of gravestones in New Salem, Mass. Working under George Armelagos, he receiving a BA in Anthropology with honors (1971) for his work on the “social dimension of New England mortuary art,” and returned for an MA in (1976). Wilson later worked as Regional Historic Preservation Officer and Archaeologist for the Northeast Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Part of the collections of the Association for Gravestone Studies, the collection includes two copies of John Wilson’s senior honors thesis, a card file associated with the thesis, and several dozen slides (both color and black and white) of New Salem headstones. Some images appear to be later prints of images taken in 1970-1971.

  • Gravestones--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Photographs

Wood, Josiah

Josiah Wood Papers

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 363

A veteran of the Civil War and one time resident of the Hopedale community, Josiah Wood tried his hand at several lines of work during his life, including tin-peddler, farmer, and carpenter.

The Josiah Wood Papers consist primarily of letters between Wood, living in Hopedale and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and his relatives in Philadelphia and elsewhere in the northeastern and western parts of the country. While some of the correspondence contains references to larger-scale historical events, such as the Civil War or westward expansion, the majority concerns events and routines of everyday family life. The letters illustrate the considerable effort made to keep in touch with and informed about distant family members and friends.

  • Spiritualism--United States--History--19th century
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • West (U.S.)--History--19th century
  • Wood, Josiah
  • Wood, Lurana P

Worthington (Mass.) Tavern

Worthington (Mass.) Tavern Account Book

1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 421 bd

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Hampshire County town of Worthington, Massachusetts, was a significant crossroads on the Boston-Albany Turnpike, belying its small size. The population in Worthington peaked at barely over 1,000 in 1810, and declined slowly thereafter, although it remained an active stopover on the road for many years.

This standard double column account book provides a concentrated record of financial and other transactions in the antebellum period, probably associated with a tavern in Worthington, Mass. Although the ledger’s keeper is unidentified, it records an assortment of odd jobs filing saws, smoking meat, lending horses, carting, pasturing cattle, and tending sheep, along with the sale of significant quantities of beer and cider and a regular stream of hard brandy and rum. There are records as well of providing meals and, in one instance, caring for prisoners and their keepers overnight (p. 21). Most of the clients who can be positively identified were residents of Worthington (e.g., Persis Knapp, Chauncy B. Rising, Nathan Searl, Shubal Parish, Elisha H. Brewster, Addison D. Perry, Merritt Hall, and Otis Boies), however others are noted as wayfarers, passing through from towns such as Whately or Hadley. Clients settled their accounts with a motley mixture of cash, goods, and labor.

  • Taverns (Inns)--Massachusetts--Worthington
  • Worthington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Types of material
  • Account books

Yankee Publishing Incorporated

Yankee Publishing Inc. Records

1799-1999 Bulk: 1935-1999
50 boxes 61.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 732
Image of First issue of Yankee Magazine
First issue of Yankee Magazine

Yankee Publishing was founded in 1935 by Robb Sagendorph, who saw an opportunity for a magazine devoted to depicting New England life and culture. With an initial subscription of 614, Yankee Magazine was launched in September of that year and despite the hardships of Depression and war, it has thrived, becoming a beloved institution. In 1939, Sagendorph purchased publishing rights for the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which had been published continuously since 1792, and quickly restored it to profitability. Still based in Dublin, N.H., Yankee remains an independent, family-owned enterprise, with responsibilities passing to his nephew Judson Hale, son-in-law Rob Trowbridge, and grandson Jamie Trowbridge. Although the company has made forays into other areas of publishing, Yankee Magazine and Old Farmer’s Almanac remain its core business.

The records of Yankee Publishing offer insight into the early years and growth of the corporation and its remarkable survival in age of media conglomeration. The collection includes two boxes of materials relating to the founder, Robb Sagendorph, and extensive correspondence, reports, memos, and other materials relating to Yankee Magazine and Old Farmer’s Almanac through 1999. In addition to nearly complete runs of both of the mainstay periodicals, the collection also includes a variety of materials accumulated by Yankee’s owners over the years, including several hundred glass plate negatives depicting New England and its characters.

Gift of Yankee Publishing, Mar. 2012
  • Almanacs, American
  • New England--History
  • New England--Social life and customs
  • Old Farmer's Almanac
  • Perodicals--New England
  • Publishers and publishing--New England
  • Yankee Magazine
  • Hale, Judson D
  • Sagendorph, Robb Hansell
  • Trowbridge, Rob
Types of material
  • Almanacs
  • Photographs

Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939

Russell K. Alspach Collection of William Butler Yeats

ca.475 items 35 linear feet
Call no.: RB 014

The Irish poet W.B. Yeats was a key figure in the Celtic literary revival of the early twentieth century. Born into an artistic family in Dublin in 1865, Yeats was heavily influenced early in his career by Irish folk literature and Theosophical mysticism, but he was simultaneously rooted in the political issues of the day. An Irish nationalist by inclination, he became a two-term Senator in the Irish Free State and he was a key supporter of the arts and theatre in the new nation. His international reputation was cemented when he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923. Yeats died in 1939 at the age of 73.

The Alspach collection consists of hundreds of works by and about W.B. Yeats, collected by Yeats scholar Russell K. Alspach, a member of the UMass English faculty. An extensive assemblage with first editions of most of the key works, the collection also includes critical works on Yeats, works by his literary peers, bibliographies, and items published by the Cuala Press, a private press operated by Yeats’s sister Elizabeth that was a strong influence in the Celtic revival. A few items have been added to the collection since its acquisition in 1971.

  • Irish poetry--20th century
  • Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-
  • Cuala Press
Restrictions: Collection currently unavailable due to renovation in SCUA

Yeomans, Lawrence D.

Lawrence D. Yeomans Papers

1895-1946 Bulk: 1917-1919
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 873
Image of Lawrence D. Yeomans, nurse, and dog
Lawrence D. Yeomans, nurse, and dog

A native of Ontario, Lawrence D. Yeomans was working in New York when he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the First World War. For eighteen months, Yeomans served as a chauffeur with the Signal Corps in France, driving senior officers around Paris and to and from the front.

This small collection documents Lawrence Yeomans’ time as a chauffeur with the Signal Corps during the First World War. In addition to a handful of official documents relating to his service, Yeomans held onto a few pieces of ephemera as souvenirs, some postcards, and a set of photographs, including three depicting him in uniform and ten showing a display of German war material confiscated at war’s end.

Gift of Leslie Button, June 2015
  • World War, 1914-1918
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Young Women’s City Club (Northhampton, Mass.)

Young Women's City Club Records

2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 045

Known as Girl’s City Club until 1954, the Young Women’s City Club was a non-sectarian, self-governing, and largely self-supporting club in Northampton, Massachusetts, that developed educational and recreational opportunities for young women through programs, social events, volunteer services, and fund-raising activities. The club met regularly under the auspices of the People’s Institute until November 1979 when their rooms at James House were taken over by the Highland Valley Elder Service and the club relocated to the People’s Institute.

The records of the Young Women’s City Club document the growth and activities of the club from 1939 to 1981, with the exception of the decade 1961 to 1971. Consisting of photocopies of originals still held by the People’s Institute, the collection includes minutes of council and business meetings and scrapbook pages.

Gift of Margaret Hutchins, People's Institute, 1985
  • Women--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts
  • Young Women's City Club (Northampton, Mass.)