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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
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).
- 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
- Lloyd, Richard E., b. 1834
Types of material
Lyman Family Papers, 1839-1942.
7 boxes (2.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 634
The descendants of Joseph Lyman (1767-1847) flourished in nineteenth century Northampton, Mass., achieving social prominence, financial success, and a degree of intellectual acclaim. Having settled in Northampton before 1654, just a generation removed from emigration, the Lymans featured prominently in the development of the Connecticut River Valley. A Yale-educated clerk of the Hampshire County courts, Joseph’s descendants included sons Joseph Lyman (an engineer and antislavery man) and Samuel Fowler Lyman (a jurist), and three Harvard-educated grandsons, Benjamin Smith Lyman (a geologist and traveler in Meiji-era Japan) and brothers Joseph and Frank Lyman (both trained in the natural sciences).
Consisting of the scattered correspondence and photographic record of three generations of an intellectually adventurous Northampton family, the Lyman collection explores the ebb and flow of family relations, collegiate education, and educational travel in Europe during the mid-nineteenth century, with important content on antislavery and the Free State movement in Kansas. Although the family’s tendency to reuse names (repeatedly) presents a challenge in distinguishing the various recipients, the focal points of the collection include the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman, his uncle Joseph (1812-1871), cousins Joseph (1851-1883) and Frank, and Frank’s son Frank Lyman, Jr. Antislavery is a major theme in the letters of Samuel F. Lyman to his son Benjamin, and in the letterbook of the Kansas Land Trust, an affiliate of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, of which the elder Joseph was Treasurer.
- Antislavery movements--Massachusetts
- Germany--Description and travel--19th century
- Harvard University--Students
- Kansas Land Trust
- New England Emigrant Aid Company
- Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886
- Lyman, Benjamin Smith, 1835-1920
- Lyman, Joseph B, 1812-1871
Types of material
Arthur P. Mange Photograph Collection, 1965-2010.
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 044
Arthur P. Mange taught in the Biology Department at University of Massachusetts Amherst for 31 years before retiring in 1995. A co-author of numerous works in human genetics, Mange served on the chair of the Conservation Committee in Amherst, and currently serves on the Burnett Gallery Committee. In 1983, his New England images were featured in Across the Valley (from Cummington to New Salem) held at the Burnett Gallery. This exhibition was followed at the Hitchcock Center in 1984 with Delight in Familiar Forms (celebrating some well-known plants and animals), with Ring Bell to Admit Bird at the Jones Library and Net Prophet at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Architectural Sights — Big and Small, Mange’s most recent show (2002), appeared at the Burnett Gallery. In addition to exhibitions, Mange has also donated collections for fund-raising auctions at New York University, the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center, the Amherst Historical Society, Jones Library, and the Amherst Community Arts Center.
His photographic collection spans more than half a century of subjects reflecting his varied interests in animals, plants, our region, gravestones, what he calls “whimsical signs,” and attention-grabbing shadows.
- Amherst (Mass.)--Pictorial works
- Cemeteries--Pictorial works
- Hadley (Mass.)--Pictorial works
- New England--Pictorial works
- New Salem (Mass.)--Pictorial works
- New York (N.Y.)--Pictorial works
Types of material
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, 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, 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, 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 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.
- Marijuana--Law and legislation
Massachusetts AFL-CIO Records, 1902-1995.
72 boxes (64 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 369
Formed in 1887 as the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Labor, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO currently represents the interests of over 400,000 working people in the Commonwealth. Like its parent organization, the national AFL-CIO, the Mass. AFL-CIO is an umbrella organization, a union of unions, and engages in political education, legislative action, organizing, and education and training.
The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO provide insight into the aims and administrative workings of the organization. These includes a nearly complete run of proceedings and reports from its conventions since 1902, except for a five year gap 1919-1923, minutes and agendas for the meetings of the Executive Council, and the President’s files (1982- ). The collection is particularly strong in the period since about 1980.
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Massachusetts Association of Extension Home Economists Records, 1930-1990.
5 boxes (2.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 346
An outgrowth of the extension movement in Massachusetts aimed at assisting rural women in domestic work, the Massachusetts Home Demonstration Agents’ Association (later the Massachusetts Association of Extension Home Economists) was formed in 1930. Offering an opportunity for the sharing of resources, approaches, and information, the organization provided encouragement for its members to improve their skills as home economists and adult educators.
The MAEHE collection includes award applications, minutes, correspondence, newsletters, and membership files.
- Home economics extension work--Massachusetts
- Home economics--Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Home Demonstration Agents Association
- National Association of Extension Home Economists
Types of material
MassEquality Records, ca.1993-2008.
18 boxes (23.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 674
In the late 1990s, MassEquality was formed as a coalition of advocacy groups that sought to build legislative support for same-sex marriage and gay rights in Massachusetts. Formally incorporated as a 501(c)4 advocacy organization in late 2001, the coalition hired its first employee, Campaign Coordinator Marty Rouse, in late 1993, and achieved a landmark success that November when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to allow equal marital rights to same-sex couples. Since that time, MassEquality has continued to champion marriage equality nationally.
The MassEquality Records document the origins, operations, and activism of one of the leading organizations in New England advocating for marriage rights and civic equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. The collection includes some material generated by the Freedom to Marry Coalition, a partner in the coalition, and a series of large banners and posters, some of which were displayed during the event celebrating the arrival of marriage equality in Massachusetts.
- Gay rights--New England
- Gays--Legal status, laws, etc.--New England
- Same-sex marriage--Law and legislation--New England
- Freed to Marry Coalition
Types of material
Neil McKie Daybook, 1844.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 240 bd
Merchant who owned a dry goods and general merchandise shop in Easton, New York. Daybook representing purchases by hundreds of customers (some of whom were from among the region’s Quaker community) primarily from Easton, South Easton, and Cambridge, listed by surname, as well as lists of a wide variety of dry goods including some textiles identified by town of origin.
- Akin, E. N
- Beadle, D. S
- Cambridge (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Dingman, Henry
- Dry-goods--Prices--New York--Easton--19th century
- Easton (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Foster, Rhodon
- General stores--New York--Easton
- Hoag, Isaac
- Hunt, Daniel
- McKie, George
- Quakers--New York (State)--Cambridge
- Quakers--New York (State)--Easton
- Starbuck, Hiram
- Thomas, D. C
- Whiteside, Abbey
Types of material