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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

Owner of a general store in Fair Haven, Vermont. Includes numbered accounts of customers (many with Welsh surnames), lists of items purchased, the price per measure, forms of payment (cash, goods, services, credit, making clothes), and the goods that were sold (such as fabrics, ready-made clothes, eggs and dairy products, fruits and nuts, garden seeds, cutlery and tinware, and jewelry).

Subjects
  • Barter--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Consumer goods--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--Prices--History--19th century
  • Consumers--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--History--19th century--Biography
  • General stores--Vermont--Fair Haven
  • Shopping--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Welsh Americans--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
Contributors
  • Lloyd, Richard E., b. 1834
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

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

Lyman, Benjamin Smith, 1835-1920

Benjamin Smith Lyman Japanese Book Collection, 1664-1898
(87 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 006

A prominent geologist and mining engineer, Benjamin Smith Lyman traveled to Japan in the 1870s at the request of the Meiji government, helping introduce modern surveying and mining techniques. Omnivorous in his intellectual pursuits, Lyman took an interest in the Japanese language and printing, collecting dozens of contemporary and antiquarian volumes during his travels.

Lyman’s book collection begins with his background in the natural sciences, but runs the gamut from language to literature, religion, the arts, and culture. With several hundred volumes, the collection includes a number of works dating to the eighteenth century and earlier, and while the majority were printed in Japan, a number, particularly of the older works, are in Chinese.

Subjects
  • Japan--History--1868-
  • Printing--Japan--History
Contributors
  • Lyman, Benjamin Smith, 1835-1920

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)

MacLeish, Archibald

Archibald MacLeish Papers, 1938-1982
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 494

American poet, writer, and Librarian of Congress, Archibald MacLeish was associated with the modernist school of poetry and awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times. The collection features a manuscript of “An Evening’s Journey To Conway, Massachusetts,” written to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the town, as well as correspondence with Kenneth Murdoch documenting their friendship over three decades.

Subjects
  • Poets--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • MacLeish, Archibald

Malcolm, David Johnston

David J. Malcolm Collection, 1926-1958
1 reel (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 495 mf

From 1919 to 1923 David J. Malcolm served both as the Superintendent of Schools in Hinsdale, Massachusetts and as the local Hinsdale correspondent for one of the two Springfield newspapers. At the urging of his editor, Malcolm increased the length of his submissions by reporting on the day-to-day activities of the townspeople. Based on the success of his reports, the paper offered him a Sunday column called “Hinsdale Observations.” Returning to Hinsdale after three years in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Malcolm resumed his weekly reports for the Springfield Sunday Republican, this time naming the column “Our Hilltown Neighbors.” For the next thirty-two years Malcolm wrote columns on topics ranging from crop production to weather and from elections to good neighbors.

Microfilm rolls and microfiche cards containing every column published from 1926-1958.

Subjects
  • Hinsdale (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Massachusetts--History
  • Massachusetts--Social life and customs--20th century
Contributors
  • Malcolm, David Johnston

Manchester, William Raymond, 1922-

William Manchester Papers, 1941-1988
4 boxes (1.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 433

William Manchester was a journalist, educator, and author, best known for his biographies of President John F. Kennedy, Douglas MacArthur and Winston Churchill. This collection consists primarily of letters from Manchester to his mother written during his service with the 29th Marines in World War II. Manchester later described his war-time experiences in a memoir entitled Goodbye, Darkness.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts State College--Students
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Manchester, William Raymond, 1922-
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
Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers image
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
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