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Vinal, William Gould, 1881-

William Gould Vinal Papers

1931-1963
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 138
Image of Cap'n Bill Vinal
Cap'n Bill Vinal

William “Cap’n Bill” Vinal was the first instructor in nature education at Massachusetts State College and a pioneer in the field. A graduate of Bridgewater State (1904), Harvard (MA 1907) and Brown (PhD, 1922), Vinal worked for several years as a camp director on his native Cape Cod and held a variety of university appointments in nature education before joining the faculty at Massachusetts State College as Professor of Nature Education in the Nature Guide School in 1937. Spontaneous in the classroom and field, enthusiastic, and highly popular with his students, Vinal taught courses in conservation, outdoor leadership, outdoor recreation, and nature guiding, and was an important figure in the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the American Camping Association, the Camp Directors Association, and several conservation groups. After retiring from UMass in 1951, Vinal returned to his home in Norwell, Mass., remaining active as a nature writer and teacher until his death in 1973.

A valuable glimpse into the early growth of nature and conservation education, the Vinal collection includes dozens of scarce publications by the exceptionally prolific Cap’n Bill, along with a small quantity of correspondence, talks, and reports. As a collection, these document the origin and growth of the Nature Guide School and the program in nature recreation at MSC and UMass, and more generally the growth of nature, recreation, and conservation education in New England. Of local interest is an extensive report for the town of Amherst Recreation Survey Committee (1948) regarding recreational opportunities for youth. Nearly half of the collection consists of an extensive run of Vinal’s quirky, self-published Nature Guide Newsletter (1935-1951).

Subjects

  • Amherst (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Conservation of natural resources--Study and teaching
  • Nature Guide Newsletter
  • Outdoor education--Massachusetts
  • Recreation--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Nature Guide School
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Nature Recreation

Contributors

  • Vinal, William Gould, 1881-
Oral history

Class of 1889 in front of Durfee Greenhouse
Oral historian at the First National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas, 1977. Photo by Diana Mara Henry

However rich our archival collections may be, there are always parts of the historical record that never make it onto the page. Memories, emotions, and attitudes are notoriously difficult to document, and there a variety of all-too human reasons that people choose not to write down every detail of their lives. As a result, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has been actively engaged in recording oral histories as a way of capturing a more complete record of the many voices and diverse experiences that comprise .

SCUA first ventured into oral historical work in the mid-1970s with efforts to document the history of the university prior to the massive expansion of the previous decade, and the department has subsequently engaged in oral historical projects to document the university’s 125th and 150th anniversaries. In the past decade, SCUA has extended its work to documenting the histories of persons represented in its collections and to a broader array of projects documenting the history and experience of social change and the people and cultures on New England. Furthermore, SCUA is the repository for hundreds of oral histories recorded by other people, ranging in scope from interviews with Franco-Americans in the 1980s, 20th century Argentine political figures, and former residents of the Quabbin towns in Western Massachusetts.

Many of SCUA’s oral histories are available online through our digital repository Credo. These include audio and video recordings and, in a few cases, they may be fully transcribed.

Supporting material

For donors of oral histories:

SCUA is happy to accept donations of oral histories that fit within its collection policy.

Although SCUA accepts materials in most audio and video formats — cassette, reel to reel, RDAT, VHS, Betacam, or digital — we typically prefer to receive interviews in the format in which they were recorded and in the highest quality available. When possible, we prefer uncompressed digital files, however we appreciate receiving a compressed derivative (e.g., mp3 for audio, mp4 for video). When available, transcripts in print and electronic form are a very valuable addition.

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Linguistic Atlas of New England

Linguistic Atlas of New England Records

1931-1972
40 boxes 19.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 330

The Linguistic Atlas of New England project, begun in 1889 and published 1939-1943, documented two major dialect areas of New England, which are related to the history of the settling and dispersal of European settlers in New England with successive waves of immigration.

The collection contains handwritten transcription sheets (carbon copies) in the International Phonetic Alphabet, with some explanatory comments in longhand. Drawn from over 400 interviews conducted by linguists in communities throughout New England in the 1930s, these records document the geographic distribution of variant pronunciations and usages of spoken English. The material, taken from fieldworkers’ notebooks (1931-1933), is arranged by community, then by informant, and also includes audiotapes of follow-up interviews (1934); phonological analyses of informants’ speech; character sketches of informants by fieldworkers; fieldworkers’ blank notebook; and mimeograph word index to the atlas (1948).

Subjects

  • English language--Dialects--New England

Contributors

  • Linguistic Atlas of New England
New England Association of Teachers of English

New England Association of Teachers of English Records

1901-2001 Bulk: 1901-1938
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1011

Formed by a group of 300 teachers in New England in 1901, the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) was the first association of teachers of English in the U.S. Open to all teachers of English from elementary schoolteachers to college deans, NEATE’s focus on the principles and practices of teaching English was as new as the addition of the study of English into the early 20th century curriculum.

While the collection is expected to grow, it currently consists of two published histories of the organization and two early record books of NEATE ranging in date from 1901-1938. These record books include issues of the Leaflet, the organization’s publication; conference programs; notes and minutes; newspaper articles; agendas; and some financial records.

Subjects

  • English teachers--New England
  • Teachers--History--19th century
  • Teachers--History--20th century

Contributors

  • New England Association of Teachers of English
New England Federation of Agricultural Students

New England Federation of Agricultural Students Records

1907-1915
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 333

The New England Federation of Agricultural Students was organized in 1907 for the purpose of bringing together agricultural students of New England colleges for the study and advancement of agriculture and allied sciences and to learn about each others’ work. The Federation organized annual contests in fruit grading and packing, poultry, field crops, and stock.

Correspondence (1915), minutes (1915), constitution, treasurer’s report (1914-1915), records of the secretary and treasurer (1907-1915), contest scores and results (1914), and judging regulations (1913-1916).

Subjects

  • Agricultural education--New England--Societies, etc.--History
  • Agricultural students--New England--History
  • Agriculture--Competitions--New England--History

Contributors

  • New England Federation of Agricultural Students
New England Historical Association

New England Historical Association Records

1965-1999
13 boxes 6.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 352
Image of NEHA meeting, Holy Cross College, April 1982
NEHA meeting, Holy Cross College, April 1982

The New England Historical Association, the regional branch of the American Historical Association, was founded in 1965 in an informal meeting at the University of Connecticut. The purpose of the NEHA is to serve the interests of New England historians of all levels: professional, academic, or amateur. These interests include a means to share their research and work, learn about history resources that are available to them for personal study or teaching, or simply to meet socially. NEHA aims to maintain the pursuit of history through both regional and national dimensions.

This collection holds the records of the New England Historical Association including an organizational history, constitution and meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, membership lists, committee reports, meeting programs, and newsletters.

Subjects

  • History--Study and teaching

Contributors

  • American Historical Association
  • New England Historical Association
  • New England History Teachers' Association

Types of material

  • Photographs
New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse League

New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse League Records

1893-1977
9 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 331

When Charles Marsters founded the Boston Lacrosse Club in 1913, the club was the only one in New England to play teams from outside of the region. Under Marsters’s leadership, however, participation in the sport rose steadily at both the high school and collegiate level, helping establish New England as one of the centers of the American game. In 1935, he and Tom Dent founded the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse League (NEILL) to continue to build the sport.

The NEILL records document the growth of lacrosse from informal club team play to a more regulated, interscholastic and intercollegiate varsity sport. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, minutes, and agendas kept by co-founder Charles Marsters and a handful of other NEILL officers, but with material documenting the growth of the sport at UMass Amherst from the 1950s onward and the addition of women’s lacrosse as a collegiate sport. The collection also includes some printed material (including rulebooks), news clippings, and photographs.

Subjects

  • College sports--New England
  • Lacrosse for women--United States
  • Lacrosse guide
  • Lacrosse--New England--History
  • School sports--New England
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Sports

Contributors

  • Boyden, Frank L. (Frank Learoyd), 1879-1972
  • Marsters, Charles E
  • New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse League
New England Labor and Community Network

New England Labor and Community Newsletters

1979-1984
1 envelope 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 202 bd

Includes eleven of the thirteen newsletters published by the Labor and Community Network, a group of academics and trade unionists interested in labor issues in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Subjects

  • Labor--New England--Periodicals
  • New England--Social conditions--Periodicals
  • Working class--New England--Periodicals

Types of material

  • Newsletters
New England Post-War Marketing

New England Post-War Marketing Plans Collection

1937-1950
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 083

Includes reports, addresses, articles, proposals, memos, and correspondence regarding post-war marketing plans in New England for agricultural products in general, and for dairy products in particular, including the Every Other Day Milk Delivery campaign.

Subjects

  • Agriculture--Economic aspects--New England--20th century
  • Dairy products--New England--Marketing--History--20th century
  • Farm produce--New England--Marketing--History--20th century
  • New England--Economic conditions--20th century
New England Telephone and Telegraph Company

Western Massachusetts Ice Storm Photograph Collection

1942
1 envelope 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 354 bd
Image of Ice damage near Becket
Ice damage near Becket

Approximately every twenty years, western New England suffers from devastating ice storms, leaving heavy ice coating on trees and buildings and hazardous conditions. Major storms struck in 1921, 1942, 1961, 1983, 1998, and 2008, with the storm of December 29-30, 1942, disrupting power and closing roads throughout a broad swath of the northeast. In northern New York state, ice depths reached six inches.

The collection includes twenty six of an original thirty eight photographs depicting ice storm damage to power lines in the Pittsfield District (Windsor, Middlefield, Washington Mountain to Becket) resulting from the storm in December 1942. The collection also includes a cover letter pertaining to photos (not included) documenting a similar situation in Northampton, affecting the New England Power Service Co.

Subjects

  • Electric lines--Massachusetts--Photographs
  • Electric power systems--Natural disaster effects --Massachusetts--Photographs
  • Ice storms--Massachusetts--Photographs

Contributors

  • New England Power Service Company

Types of material

  • Photographs