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John P. Roche Collection, 1886-1965

324 items
Call no.: RB 008

A political scientist, writer, and government consultant, John P. Roche was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 7, 1923, the son of a salesman. A liberal Social Democrat and fervent anti-Communist, Roche spent his academic career at Haverford College and Brandeis and Tufts Universities, writing extensively on American foreign policy, constitutional law, and the history of political thought in America, and maintaining a strong interest in the history of the American left. During the 1960s and early 1970s, he served as an adviser to the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

The Roche Collection consists of over 300 publications pertaining to the political left in the United States, with a smaller number of works from the radical right and from European Socialists and Communists. Concentrated in the years spanning the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the McCarthy hearings, many of the works were produced by formal political parties in response to particular political campaigns, current events, or social issues, with other works geared primarily toward consciousness raising and general political education on trade unionism, fascism, war and peace, American foreign policy, and freedom of speech and the press.


  • Communism
  • Fascism
  • Pacifism
  • Socialism
  • United States--Foreign policy--20th century
  • World War, 1939-1945


  • Coughlin, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1891-1979
  • Roche, John P.

José A. Soler Papers, 1972-2014

20 boxes (26.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 864
José Soler (center) at District 65 rally
José Soler (center) at District 65 rally

A scholar of labor studies and activist, José Soler was born in New York City to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father and has been an activist in the cause of Puerto Rican independence and human rights since the 1970s. While a student at the University of New Mexico (BA 1972), Soler emerged as a leader in the Chicano rights organization, the Brown Berets, and while living in Puerto Rico in the late 1970s, he joined the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Soler has subsequently worked in the labor movement as a shop steward, union organizer with UAW District 65, and labor journalist. As a committed Marxist and prolific writer and editor, he has taken part in causes ranging from anti-imperialist work in the Caribbean and Central America to the anti-apartheid struggle, and he has served on the Executive Board of the US Peace Council. From 1993 until his retirement in 2015, Soler worked as Director of the Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center at UMass Dartmouth where he has continued to work on behalf of public education and human rights and national self-determination.

The Soler Papers chronicle over forty years of a life-long activist’s interests and participation in left-wing political, labor, and social justice movements. There is a particular focus on topics relating to socialism and the pro-independence movement in Puerto Rico, anti-imperialist movements in South and Central America and Africa, and issues affecting Puerto Rican and Hispanic workers in the United States, New England, and the New York City area. Published and promotional materials such as periodicals, magazines, newsletters, and pamphlets make up the bulk of the collection, with extensive coverage of the concerns of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP), the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), as well as New Jersey chapters of the unions Communications Workers of America (CWA) and District 65, which eventually joined the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). An additional seven boxes were added to the collection in June 2016, which remain unprocessed. The new materials offer additional documentation from the Dubin Labor Education Center and Soler’s work and interests in education (testing, privatization, and unions), labor, Marxist-Leninism, and various events in the United States and Latin America.


  • Communications Workers of America
  • Labor unions--New York (State)--New York
  • Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño
  • United Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65

Types of material

  • Photographs

Carlos Vega Collection, ca.1966-1995

148 volumes, 1 box, (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 800
Carlos Vega ca. 1990
Carlos Vega ca. 1990

An Ecuadorian-born community activist, Carlos Vega moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, with his family in 1955. Settling in the working-class “Flats” neighborhood at a time when many of Holyoke’s factories were relocating to the southern United States or Asia, the Vegas were one of the few Spanish-speaking families in the city, but when Carlos began to work on a local tobacco farm at the age of 14, he encountered the new influx of migrants from Puerto Rico who had been lured to the Connecticut Valley as agricultural laborers by the Department of Labor. With the Puerto Rican economy declining in the 1960s, many of these farm workers settled permanently in Springfield and Holyoke, but they soon discovered that the declining economy there combined with racism and urban decay blocked their hopes for upward mobility. Radicalized by the anti-colonial, anti-war, and Civil Rights movements of the late 1960s, Vega emerged as an important community organizer in the 1970s, working with Fair Share, New Unity, Urban Ministry, and other progressive organizations. With a backdrop of riots, arson, and racial tension, these organizations focused on issues relevant to the Puerto Rican community, particularly voter education and registration, fair housing, and education. In 1982, Vega helped found Nueva Esperanza, a non-profit community development organization whose mission was to restore and maintain blighted buildings in South Holyoke. He worked with Nueva Esperanza for over 30 years, continuing until 2010 after a brain cancer diagnosis in 1995.  He survived until April 2012.

The materials in this collection reflect Vega’s interests in left wing movements in Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, South America and Africa from the 1960s through 1980s and include leaflets, pamphlets, books, and newsletters. The approximately 300 items offer sometimes scarce documentation of internationalist liberation movements such as the PAIGC in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, the Tupamaros in Uruguay, and the EFLNA in Eritrea. Of particular note is a small collection documenting Vega’s participation in the 1974 Venceremos Brigade and a collection of clippings, newsletters, notes, fliers, conference material, and newspapers from various groups such as New England Action Research, Friends of the Filipino People, The Latin American Student Association, and the Ethiopian Students Union of North America. Some printed materials are cataloged and housed with the rare books collection.


  • Central America--Foreign relations--United States
  • Civil Rights movements--Africa
  • Civil Rights movements--Central America
  • Civil Rights movements--Chile
  • Civil Rights movements--United States
  • Civil Rights movements-Asia
  • Civil Rights movements-Caribbean
  • Latin America--Periodicals
  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990
  • Radicalism--United States
  • Revolutionary literature
  • Socialism
  • United States--Foreign relations--Central America
  • Venceremos Brigade

Amherst Disarmament Coalition Collection, 1979-1987.

1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 165

Vigil for Peace and Justice group that peacefully protested the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, and government policy in Central America and the Middle East by organizing a weekly vigil in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts. Includes handouts and news clippings.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th century
  • Anti-imperialist movements--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Nuclear Moratorium Vigil (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Social movements--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Vigil for Peace and Justice (Amherst, Mass.)


  • Amherst Disarmament Coalition (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Crowe, Frances, 1919-

Types of material

  • Handbills

Amherst Railway Society Records, 1963-2007

1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 794

Founded in 1963 and chartered one year later, the Amherst Railway Society is a non-profit organization of railroad enthusiasts based in the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts. Meeting monthly, the Society sponsors lecturers and programming on railroad-related topics, and since 1968 it has hosted the annual Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show, now held at the Eastern States Exposition. Some of the proceeds from the Hobby Show are used to provide grants to support historic preservation and other railroad-related projects throughout the country.

Documenting the history of the ARS from its founding, this collection contains organizational materials, minutes of meetings, membership lists, officers’ reports, mailings and correspondence, and other materials relating to the Society’s programs.


  • Hobbies
  • Railroads--History
  • Railroads--Models

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records, 2002-2016 (Bulk: 2002-2006)

1 (.4 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 917
Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class flier
Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class flier

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class were a series of dialogue and project action groups begun in 2002 to discuss and enact social change in the school districts and communities around Amherst, MA. They arose as a response by the Amherst Regional High School (ARHS) Parent Center to a question to their group: What were they going to do about racism in the Amherst Schools? The ARHS Parent Center Board suggested the study circle model, and a round of facilitated pilot groups were run in February 2003. The successful pilots stirred the organizers to seek additional support, and with funding from the Amherst Education Foundation and the Amherst Drugs Free Partnership, additional groups were organized each year, building awareness, trust, and power amongst those striving to improve the community’s schools for all students. Almost 200 people, including school administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members participated over the course of several years, and each group culminated in an action forum and set up action groups to propose and enact tangible steps towards specific goals. Action groups affected change in school climate, policies, and course offerings, and organized a standing committee of the ARHS Parent Center called RaDAR: Race and Discipline, Action, Rights.

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records consist of descriptive materials from the ARHS Parent Center; an organizer’s binder with sections on the origin in 2002, participants, action groups, finances, curriculum, and evaluations; and additional materials such as evaluations for study circle sessions and facilitators, newspaper clippings of articles about the group and their work, and documents for student study circles, such as advertisements, curriculum, and certificates.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst Regional High School (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Classism--Massachusetts
  • Education--Massachusetts
  • Racism--Massachusetts


  • Amherst Regional High School Parent Center
  • Wolf, Jackie

Cambodian Americans in Amherst Exhibition Collection, 1986

1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 114

Organized by UMass anthropology professor Joel Halpern, the images in this collection were put on display during the Cambodian New Year celebration in 1986. As part of the celebration, members of the large community of Cambodian refugees who have resettled in Amherst were recognized.


  • Cambodians--Massachusetts--Amherst

Types of material

  • Photographs

Mass Voters for Fair Elections Records, 1997-2005

14 boxes (21 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 554

Since 1994 the Mass Voters for Fair Elections has been part of a national movement to minimize the role of money in elections. Watching both the cost of running a successful campaign and the role of fundraising increase, the organization led the fight to put the Clean Elections Initiative on the ballot in 1998. With overwhelming support for the initiative, the ballot question won only to be repealed by the Legislature in 2003. Until it ceased activity in 2007, Mass Voters for Fair Elections continued to work for reform in the electoral process not only to encourage more individuals to run for office, but also to affirm the principle “one person, one vote.”

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that document issues relating to elections and campaign reform addressed by the group and its volunteers. Also included: correspondence, meeting notes, publications, and mailings.


  • Campaign funds--Massachusetts
  • Elections--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Political campaigns--Massachusetts


  • Mass Voters for Fair Elections

MFA Program for Poets and Writers (University of Massachusetts Amherst) Collection, 1963-2014

(18 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 023

One of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst was established by the poet Joseph Langland in 1963, offering students an opportunity for intensive focus on their creative work. Unlike the Iowa Writers Workshop, where Langland had studied, students in the UMass program were required to take coursework outside of writing workshops. Over its first fifty years, the program has grown into one of the top ten in the nation and its graduates and faculty have been recognized with awards from the Pulitzer to the National Book Award, Pushcart Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and US Poet Laureate.

The MFA collection contains a growing body of work from students, alumni, and faculty affiliated with the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst. Among the hundreds of volumes are novels, collections of short stories, plays, and poetry, including a large number of chapbooks and small press imprints.


  • Fiction
  • Poetry

University of Massachusetts Amherst. Administrative Services

Administrative Services at UMass Amherst coordinates a range of important functions, including finance and the budget, auxiliary services, environmental health and safety, human resources, housing administration, and facilities and campus services.

Record Group 35 includes summary information on institutional finances, along with general information on other administrative activities. Detailed financial records, personnel records, and related materials are maintained by units within Administrative Services.


  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Administrative Services

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