Digital UMass contains the results of several initiatives to document the history of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its predecessors the Massachusetts Agricultural College and Massachusetts State College. In addition to an on-going project to capture the oral history of the University’s administrators and reflections on student life, the archives has digitized materials relating to the early years of co-education at MAC and women’s education at the University. Additional materials will be added as they become available.
- Annual Reports, 1864-1932/33
- College Monthly
- Student newspaper, 1887-1889
- Distinguished Visitors Program, 1972-1979
- Invited lectures on current topics by distinguished speakers (audio files in mp3 format).
- Oral Histories
- Barnard, Ellsworth and Mary, Classes of 1928 and 1934
- Bromery, Randolph W., Chancellor
- Class of 1919: Mary E. Garvey, Willard K. French, Anna Liebman Shore, E. Sidney Stockwell
- Conant, Eudora V., Nutritionist and wife of Ralph Van Meter, UMass President, 1947-1954
- Curtis, Helen, Dean of Women, 1945-1973
- McLaughlin, Fred, Class of 1911.
- Mitchell, Helen, Nutritionist; Dean, School of Home Economics
- Rand, Mrs. Frank Prentice, wife of Frank Prentice Rand, poet, writer, and UMass Professor of English. Reminiscences about Robert Frost, faculty lives, MAC.
- Wheeler, Mae Holden, Class of 1916
- Selected records related to women’s education at Massachusetts Agricultural College, 1906-1924
- Selected records related to women’s affairs at the Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC), Massachusetts State College (MSC), and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1924-1951
Student Handbooks, 1890-1950
- Records, 1902-1993 (bulk, 1940-1973)
- Handbooks for Women, 1925/27-1941
(See also Record Group 30/00/2: Student Handbooks, 1890-1950)
- Keith, Vicky, “Mass Aggie Women, 1910-1923” (Fall 1983)
- O’Donnell, Robert, “Undergraduate Women and the Post-War College: The University of Massachusetts” (December 3, 1996)
Robert E. Dillon Papers, 1943-1946.
Call no.: MS 635
A working class native of Ware, Mass., Robert E. Dillon was a student at Massachusetts State College when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. After his induction at Fort Devens, Mass., and training for the Quartermaster Corps in Virginia and California, Dillon was assigned to duty as a mechanic and driver with the First Service Command. Stationed at Rest Camps number 5 and 6 in Khanspur, India (now Pakistan), Dillon’s company maintained the trucks and other vehicles used to carry supplies over the Himalayas to Chinese Nationalist forces. After he left the service in February 1946, having earned promotion to T/5, Dillon concluded his studies at UMass Amherst on the GI Bill and earned a doctorate in Marketing from Ohio State. He taught at the University of Cincinnati for many years until his death in 1985.
The Dillon Papers consist of 178 letters written by Dillon to his family during his service in World War II, along with several written to him and an assortment of documents and ephemera. Beginning with basic training, the letters provide an essentially comprehensive account of Dillon’s military experience and interesting insight into a relatively quiet, but sparsely documented theater of war.
- California--Description and travel
- India--Description and travel
- Pakistan--Description and travel
- World War, 1939-1945
- Dillon, Robert E
Types of material
- Letters (Correspondence)
Luke Drury Papers, 1746-1831.
Call no.: MS 258
Soldier in Revolutionary War and Shays Rebellion, later a state legislator and local politician from Grafton and Marlboro, Massachusetts. Drury’s papers contain family and business (farm and mill) correspondence, notes of hand, bills, receipts, and legal papers as well as records pertaining to the town of Grafton. Collection also includes papers of Timothy Darling and the Goulding, Place, and Sherman families.
- Grafton (Mass.)--History
- Shays' Rebellion, 1786-1787
- Darling, Timothy
- Drury, Luke, 1737-1811
- Goulding, Israel
- Sherman, Thankful Temple
Types of material
Bill Duesing Collection, 1995-2000.
Call no.: MS 760
A pioneer in organic agriculture in New England, Bill Duesing has been as an environmental educator, writer, artist, and lecturer over for four decades. After graduating from Yale University (1964), Duesing worked as a Cooperative Extension agent before turning to organic principles in the early 1970s. Emphasizing sustainability and greater local food sufficiency, he has been instrumental in developing organic standards for gardening and land care and he has served as both founding president and later executive director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association Connecticut and president of the NOFA Interstate Council. During the 1990s, Duesing produced two radio shows, “Living on the Earth” (WSHU) and “The Politics of Food” (WPKN), and he is author of
The Duesing collection consists of transcripts of his radio show, “Living on the Earth” (1990-2000) and fourteen recordings of “The Politics of Food,” which was broadcast monthly over WPKN (89.5 FM) in Bridgeport in 1997-1998. Each half hour segment of “Politics” included news, a fifteen minute interview, recipes, and tips, with interviewees including Mel Bristol, Jac Smit, Vincent Kay, John Wargo, Hugh Joseph, Joseph Kiefer, Julie Rawson, Michael Sligh, Kathy Lawrence, Lee Warren, and Elizabeth Henderson.
- Cookery, Health aspects
- Living on the Earth
- Natural foods--Certification
- Organic farming
- Organic farming--Law and legislation
- Politics of food
- Sustainable agriculture
- Henderson, Elizabeth, 1943-
- Rawson, Julie
Types of material
Marcus A. Emmons Papers, 1858-1864.
Call no.: MS 034
A 21 year-old farmer from Hardwick, Mass., Marcus A. Emmons enlisted in the 21st Massachusetts Infantry in August 1861, and saw active service in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Having survived many of the great battles of the eastern theatre, Emmons was killed in action at Bethesda Church on June 2, 1864.
The letters and journals that comprise this collection document Emmons’ tragically brief experience in the Civil War. Both letters date from April 1864, while the 21st Massachusetts was stationed in Annapolis, Md., prior to the campaigns of that summer. One journal includes some miscellaneous pre-war accounts, a complete list of the Civil War volunteers from Hardwick and their regiments (some with notation of fate in service); a list of conscripts added to Co. K, 21st Mass., in 1863; a list of Civil War battles; military accounts; recruits added to the regiment in 1862, listing place of residence; and a roster of Co. K, 21st Mass. Infantry, with place of residence and fate in the service. The other journal begins as a spelling exercise book and includes diary entries for Mar.-Sept., 1862, discussing farm work.
- Hardwick (Mass.)--History
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 21st (1861-1864)
- Emmons, Marcus A.
Types of material
- Account books
L. Sidney Eslinger Collection, 1905-2003.
Call no.: PH 040
Lucille “Sidney” Eslinger was born in Albany, Missouri, on November 9, 1922, the daughter of Delano R. and Alice M. Willoughby Eslinger. After graduating from high school in 1941, Eslinger turned down an opportunity to attend college to work at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, lll., partly for the opportunity to play for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, the fast-pitch softball team. Through a co-worker, Eslinger developed an interest in history, becoming an active proponent of historic preservation in central Illinois, including graveyards. After retiring from Caterpillar, she and a friend operated a dog grooming business and she was active in the Humane Society. Sidney died in Peoria on August 14, 2011.
The Eslinger Collection contains materials relating to Sidney Eslinger’s interests in gravestone studies, including four books; a research notebook about Springdale Cemetery in Peoria; a photo album of Old Peoria State Hospital; correspondence and miscellaneous materials about stone quarries and symbolism; and a photo scrapbook, “Coin Harvey: A Legend in His Time.” States represented include Illinois and Indiana.
- Monte Ne (Ark.)
- Old Peoria State Hospital
- Sepulchral monuments--Illinois
- Sepulchral monuments--Indiana
- Springdale Cemetery (Peoria, Ill.)
- Eslinger, L. Sidney (Lucille Sidney)
Types of material
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Research Reports, 1959.
Call no.: MS 066
Established in 1914 as one of a dozen federal reserve banks nationwide, the Boston Fed serves the six New England states. The collection consists of research reports issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1959 projecting economic conditions for New England in the year 1970 for manufacturing industries, banking, electronic industry, and population and labor force.
This small collection consists of an incomplete run of forecasts and research reviews of the New England economy in anticipation of the new decade, 1970.
- New England--Economic conditions
- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Charles H. Fernald Papers, 1869-1963.
Call no.: FS 059
During a long and productive career in natural history, Charles Fernald conducted important research in economic entomology and performed equally important work as a member of the faculty and administration at Massachusetts Agricultural College. Arriving at MAC in 1886 as a professor of zoology, Fernald served as acting President of the College (1891-1892) and as the first Director of the Graduate School (1908-1912), and perhaps most importantly, he helped for many years to nurture the Hatch Experiment Station.
Correspondence, published writings, publication notes, newspaper clippings, Massachusetts Board of Agriculture Reports, and biographical material including personal recollections of former student and colleague Charles A. Peters.
- Agriculture--Study and teaching
- Massachusetts Agricultural College--Faculty
- Massachusetts Agricultural College. Department of Zoology
- Zoology--Study and teaching
- Fernald, Charles H.
William F. Field Papers, 1948-1986.
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
The University’s first Dean of Students, William F. Field held the post from 1961 until his retirement in 1988. The 27 years Field was Dean of Students was a critical time of growth and unrest, as the University’s student population more than tripled in size and the nation-wide movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were reflected through student activism and protest on the University’s campus. Responsible for ending student curfews and overseeing all dorms becoming co-ed, Field also worked with minority students and faculty to support the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
The William F. Field Papers document Field’s career as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts and specifically his role as Dean of Students from 1961-1988. The correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and other official printed and manuscript documents are a rich resource for one of the most important and volatile eras in the University’s history. Of particular interest are extensive files on student protests and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the growing diversity of the campus student population, flourishing of the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.
- African American college students--Massachusetts
- Field, William Franklin, 1922-
- Race relations--United States
- Universities and colleges--United States--Administration
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of Students
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States
Types of material
Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company Records, 1799.
Call no.: MS 088
Authorized in March 1799, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company constructed a toll road through miles of rough terrain and sparse settlements, connecting Leominster, Athol, Greenfield, and Northfield. Having opened areas to land travel that had previously been accessible only over rivers, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike ceased operations in 1833 after years of declining revenues.
The collection consists primarily of one volume of records of the directors of the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike, including minutes of meetings, accounts of tolls collected, and drafts of letters.
- Toll roads--Massachusetts
- Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company