Special Collections and University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries

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Norwich (Conn.) Ironmonger's Account book, 1844-1847

1 vol., 270p. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 540 bd

Straddling three rivers with easy access to Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, Norwich, Conn., was an important center during the mid-nineteenth century for the shipment of goods manufactured throughout eastern Connecticut.

Despite covering a limited period of time, primarily 1844 and 1845, the account book of an unidentified iron monger from Norwich (Conn.) provides insight into the activities of a highly active purveyor of domestic metal goods. The unidentified business carried a heavy trade in the sale or repair of iron goods, as well as items manufactured from tin, copper, and zinc, including stoves of several sorts (e.g., cooking, bricking, coal), ovens, pipes, kettles and coffee pots, ice cream freezers, lamps and lamp stands, reflectors, and more. The firm did business with individual clients as well as mercantile firms, corporations such as the Mill Furnace Co., organizations such as the Methodist Society, the city of Norwich and County of New London, and with local hotels.


  • Hardware industry--Connecticut
  • Iron industry and trade--Connecticut
  • Norwich (Conn.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Stoves

Types of material

  • Account books

Joseph Obrebski Papers, 1923-1974

48 boxes (24 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 599

A student of Bronislaw Malinowski, the Polish ethnographer Jozef Obrebski was a keen observer of cultural change among eastern European peasantry in the years before the Second World War. After working with the resistance in Warsaw during the war, Obrebski went on to do additional ethnographic research in Jamaica (with his wife Tamara), taught at Brooklyn and Queens College and C.W. Post University, and from 1948-1959, he was senior social affairs officer with the United Nations. He died in 1967.

The Obrebski collection consists largely of ethnographic data collected by Obrebski in Macedonia (1931-1932), Polesia (1934-1936), and Jamaica (1947-1948), including field and interview notes, genealogies, government documents relating to research sites, and ca. 1000 photographs; together with correspondence (1946-1974), drafts of articles, analyses of collected data, and tapes and phonograph records, largely of folk music; and papers of Obrebski’s wife, Tamara Obrebski (1908-1974), also an ethnologist and sociologist.


  • Anthropologists--Poland
  • Ethnology--Jamaica
  • Ethnology--Macedonia
  • Ethnology--Poland
  • Peasantry--Macedonia
  • Peasantry--Poland


  • Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Types of material

  • Photographs

Don Ogden Collection, 1972-2000

1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 440

Don Ogden is a poet, writer and activist who lives in Leverett, Massachusetts. The collection consists of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, an unpublished book, and letters that document primarily anti-war protests in Amherst dating from 1972-2000.


  • Demonstrations--Massachusetts
  • Pacifists--Massachusetts
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Political activists--Massachusetts


  • Ogden, Don

Types of material

  • Photographs

Oldham Camp Records, 1876-1927

1 vol., 27p. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 569bd

The abundant waterfowl at Oldham Pond, Plymouth County, Mass., has long been a lure for hunters. During the nineteenth century, both hunting and recreational shooting of geese and ducks grew in scope throughout the Commonwealth, with the development of at least two formal hunting camps at Oldham.

The Oldham Camp records contains a detailed tally of waterfowl shot at Oldham Pond, along with an “Ancient history of Oldham Pond” by Otis Foster, 1906, chronicling changes in hunting practices and the advent of blinds and decoys. These records include annual summaries of geese taken at the camp (1876-1895) and summaries of both geese and ducks (1896-1919). More valuable are detailed records of “daily bags,” 1905-1915, providing daily kill totals for each species (primarily ducks). An addendum by Edgar Jocelyn, 1927, provides additional historical detail on the hunting stands at Oldham Pond and changes in methods of attracting ducks. There are, as well, narrative annual summaries of the hunting seasons, 1905-1908 and 1912. Tipped into the front of the volume is a typed letter from the renowned Cope Cod decoy maker A. Elmer Crowell (1852-1951), July 2, 1926, reminiscing about hunting at Wenham Lake and promising to begin work on the decoys.


  • Decoys (Hunting)--Massachusetts
  • Ducks--Massachusetts
  • Furnace Pond (Mass.)
  • Geese--Massachusetts
  • Hunting--Massachusetts
  • Oldham Pond (Mass.)


  • Crowell, A. Elmer
  • Foster, Otis
  • Jocelyn, Edgar

Jobs in SCUA

Child and dog, by Burt Brooks, ca.1910
Child and dog, by Burt V. Brooks, ca.1910

Every fall, SCUA offers a limited number of paid positions for undergraduates who wish to work in an active Special Collections or Library environment. Students should have an interest in writing and research, a passion for history and cultural heritage, a comfort with digital technologies, and a willingness to work collaboratively and collegially in an active and sometimes challenging setting.

In addition to these positions, SCUA regularly sponsors internships for either undergraduate or graduate students, from UMass Amherst and elsewhere. Taken for credit (and thus unpaid), these internships are designed to expose aspiring members of the profession to our daily work. As appropriate, internships can be adapted to the interests and needs of the individual student.

Because of the demand, hiring for SCUA positions usually takes place in the spring for students who wish to start in the fall, however positions occasionally open up mid-year. Please contact SCUA for more information.

Archival Training Program Student Assistanceships

Are you interested in exploring a future in history, cultural heritage, archives, libraries, or the information profession? The Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, home to the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois, has openings for two Special Collections Archival Training Program Assistanceships to work with our team of professional archivists and graduate and undergraduate peers.

Two positions are available to undergraduate students from underrepresented populations in the archival profession (African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino/a, and Native American). The students selected for these positions will have an opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience in the information field. Along with working with historical documents, audiovisual materials, and digital technologies, students in the Archival Training Program will assist researchers with their projects and will be responsible for their own research and writing projects.

Students will work a regular schedule of ten hours a week during the academic term.

For more information see the job posting at http://www.library.umass.edu/about-the-libraries/jobs/.

Learn more:

Otis Company Records, 1846-1847

2 folders (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 310

The Otis Company of Ware, Massachusetts, was founded in 1839 and became a major producer of textiles, including checks, denims, and cotton underwear. At the height of their operations, the company operated three mills with a workforce of over 1,300.

The collection contains correspondence between Otis agent Henry Lyon and the firms of Parks, Wright & Co. (1846-47) and Wright, Whitman & Co. (1847), both of Boston. It includes bills, invoices, letters, and memos, covering orders for such goods as lamp glasses, patent starch, whale oil, gas pipes, bales of cotton, pot and pearl ashes, fish glue, sour flour, fire buckets, potato starch, tar, sheet copper, and indigo.


  • Mills and milling--Massachusetts--Ware
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Ware (Mass.)--History


  • Otis Company

Alfred A. Parker Daybooks, 1877-1889

4 vols. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 235

Stove and tinware dealer from Orange, Massachusetts, who also did business in the nearby towns of New Salem and Erving.

Alfred A. Parker’s account books include customers (local residents and Orange businesses such as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co.), charges for labor (especially soldering), the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, roofing material, and information about shipping costs.


  • Freight and freightage--Rates--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Gold Medal Sewing Machine Company
  • Kettles--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Orange Manufacturing Company (Orange, Mass.)
  • Pipe--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Rodney Hunt Machine Company
  • Roofing--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Solder and soldering--Costs--History--19th century
  • Stove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Stoves--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmithing--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Orange--Economic conditions--19th century


  • Parker, Alfred A., b. 1822

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Daybooks

Amos Parker Account Book, 1827-1863

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 211

Owner of a general store in Groveland, Massachusetts. Accounts include goods for sale (such as lumber and hardware) and the methods and form of payment (principally cash but also in exchange for labor or commodities like butter or eggs). Also documents Parker’s role in the burgeoning shoe industry exchanging and receiving shipments of shoes, and supplying local shoemakers with tools.


  • Aaron P. Emerson Co. (Orland, Me.)
  • Barter--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Groveland
  • Hardware--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Essex County--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century


  • Parker, Amos, b. 1792

Types of material

  • Account books

Charles H. Patterson Papers, 1930-1958

2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 089
Charles H. Patterson.<br />Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926
Charles H. Patterson.
Photo by Frank A. Waugh, 1926

For many years, Charles H. Patterson served as head of the Department of Language and Literature at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Born in Smithsonville, Ont., in 1863, Patterson received both a BA (1887) and MA (1893) from Tufts University before launching his teaching career. He joined the faculty at MAC as an assistant professor of English, in 1916, after 13 years at West Virginia University. A former professional actor, he taught courses in modern literature, with a particular interest in drama, and served as department chair for nearly a decade before his sudden death in 1933.

The Patterson Papers contain a small selection of correspondence and notes on English composition and literature as taught at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Most noteworthy, perhaps, is a draft of Patterson’s unpublished book, The Amazing Boucicault.


  • Boucicault, Dion, 1820-1890
  • Drama--Study and teaching
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Department of English


  • Patterson, Charles H

Carol Patton Papers, 1956-2009.

7 boxes (10.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 672

Born in Allentown, Pa., on Jan. 19, 1938, Carol Lazo Patton became an ardent activist in the antifluoridation movement, and one of its great supporters. After studying at the Allentown Hospital School, Patton became a registered nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York city. Both professionally and personally concerned about health issues and the environment, Patton became involved in the antifluoridation movement by the mid-1970s, and became a major supporter of the Fluoride Action Network and other antifluoridation groups, playing a particularly important role in the struggle in her home states of Florida and Pennsylvania. Patton died on March 17, 2009, at her home in Jupiter, Florida.

The Patton Papers contain a record of over 35 years of antifluoridation activism, including valuable correspondence between Patton and other antifluoridation activists, publications and correspondence on fluoride toxicity and public policy, legal challenges to fluoridation, and materials issued by antifluoridation groups. Of particular significance is approximately 1.5 linear feet of material on the early antifluoridation fight in Virginia that Patton, probably associated with Landon B. Lane, apparently acquired as a result of her own work in that state.


  • Antifluoridation movement--Pennsylvania
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--Virginia
  • Fluoride Action Network
  • Fluorides--Environmental aspects
  • Fluorides--Toxicology


  • Lane, Landon B
  • Patton, Carol
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