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MassEquality

MassEquality Records, ca.1993-2008
18 boxes (23.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 674
MassEquality Records image
MassEquality sticker

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.

Subjects
  • Gay rights--New England
  • Gays--Legal status, laws, etc.--New England
  • Same-sex marriage--Law and legislation--New England
Contributors
  • Freed to Marry Coalition
  • MassEquality
Types of material
  • Banners
  • Posters

McIntosh, Beatrice A.

Beatrice A. McIntosh Cookery Collection, ca.1880-2005
ca.8,000 items (200 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 395

The McIntosh Cookery Collection includes books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to the history of cookery in New England. Of particular note are nearly 7,500 cookbooks prepared by community organizations from the 1880s to the present, usually for fund-raising or charitable purposes. These cookbooks were produced by a variety of organizations, including parent-teacher groups, churches and synagogues, social service agencies, private clubs, and historical societies as fund-raising projects.

These cookbooks document important aspects of the lives of families and women in the region, as well as ethnic groups and their adaptation of traditional foods to New England. The collection is focused primarily on New England, but includes cookbooks from other states for comparative purposes.

Subjects
  • Community cookbooks
  • Cookbooks
  • Cookery--New England

Mercantile House (Portland, Me.)

Mercantile House Ledger, 1792-1804
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 285

Firm based in Portland, Maine, that supplied “merchandize” to local merchants in Maine, as well as in several locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and northeastern Massachusetts. Firm undertook international “adventures” as well. Ledger includes general accounts for merchandise, bills receivable and payable, cash, profit and loss, storage, and truckage, as well as accounts generated with certain ships.

Subjects
  • Maine--Commerce--18th century
  • Maine--Commerce--Massachusetts--18th century
  • Maine--Commerce--New Hampshire--18th century
  • Massachusetts--Commerce--Maine--18th century
  • Merchants--Maine--Portland--18th century
  • New Hampshire--Commerce--Maine--18th century
  • Portland (Me.)--Commerce--18th century
  • Shipping--Accounting--18th century
  • Storage and moving trade--Maine--18th century
Types of material
  • Account books

Meyer, Norman

Norman and Mary-Louise Meyer Papers, 1960-1980
4 boxes (6 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 778

Opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies in Massachusetts swelled in the 1950s, culminating in passage of a law in 1958 mandating that towns that wished to fluoridate would first put the proposal to public referendum. The primary force advocating for this law was the Massachusetts Citizens Rights Association, an organization founded and directed by Norman and Mary-Louise (Shadman) Meyer of Wellesley and which remained the leading anti-fluoridation group in the Boston area for twenty years. Having met and married while students at Harvard (1943) and Wellesley, respectively, the Meyers were tireless supporters of civic activities ranging from educational and environmental causes to public television (through the Citizens for Public Television in Boston), and disability (Norman served as director of the Protestant Guild for the Blind in Watertown), and they were stalwart members of the Wellesley town meeting. Norman Meyer died in Tortola in 1986, with Mary-Louise following in 1999.

The Meyer collection is a rich assemblage of letters and other materials documenting the Massachusetts Citizens Rights Association and the struggle against fluoridation in Wellesley, Newton, and other communities in eastern Massachusetts. Central figures in the movement, the Meyers maintained a wide correspondence with other activists throughout the region and published and disseminated information on the dangers of flourides in the water supply.

Subjects
  • Antifluoridation movement--Massachusetts
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
  • Water--Fluoridation--Law and legislation--Massachusetts

Miller, Cynthia

Cynthia Miller Papers, 1973-1995
6 boxes (2.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 869

Known in the psychiatric survivors’ movement as Kalisa, Cynthia Miller was a radical activist on behalf of the mentally ill. An ex-patient based in New York, she became a member of Project Release in the early 1970s, one of the first wave of organizations fighting for the civil rights of mental patients and combatting forced institutionalization, and was a contributor to Madness Network News and other publications. A poet, writer, and a committed feminist and out lesbian, she took part in civil disobedience to oppose electroconvulsive therapy, working with Judi Chamberlin, George Ebert, Leonard Roy Frank, and others.

Though varied and fragmentary, Cynthia Miller’s collection is a rich resource for study of the early history of the psychiatric survivors movement and the work of one activist in resisting psychiatric oppression. The collection contains some of Kalisa’s writings and correspondence along with ephemera and a varied collection of newspapers, newsletters, and other publications relating to Project Release and several other organizations that Kalisa supported, including the Mental Patients Liberation Front and the Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients.

Subjects
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Feminism
  • Mentally ill--Civil rights
  • Psychiatric survivors movement--New York (City)
Contributors
  • Alliance for the Liberation of Mental Patients
  • Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010
  • Mental Patients Liberation Front
  • Project Release
Types of material
  • Newsletters

Miller, J. Wesley (John Wesley), 1941-

J. Wesley Miller Papers, ca.1970s-2005
9 boxes (13.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 460

A nearly lifelong resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, J. Wesley Miller was actively engaged in the city’s politics. Often described as an eccentric activist, Miller graduated from Colby College and later earned his law degree from Western New England College of Law. Although he never practiced as an attorney, Miller did sue the law school upon graduation for “educational malpractice,” a suit that was settled out of court. Miller taught English at Heidelberg College in Ohio and at the University of Wisconsin, and it is at the latter institution where it seems he formed his habit of collecting street literature, mostly posters and fliers. Evidently consumed by a desire to collect such materials, Miller accrued a vast quantity of street literature by the time of his death in 2005.

The collection consists primarily of flyers and posters collected by Miller in Madison, Wisconsin and throughout western Massachusetts that reflect the contemporary history of the two regions. The literature ranges from announcements of student protests and rallies to advertisements for local pubs. Miller signed each item, possibly as part of a ritual to catalog the collection. Also included is a microfilm copy of Miller’s diaries.

Subjects
  • Activists--Massachusetts
  • Popular culture
  • Street literature
Contributors
  • Miller, J. Wesley (John Wesley), 1941-
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Microfilm

Montague, Holland

Holland Montague Diary, 1857-1877
1 vol. (0.15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 257 bd

A lifelong diarist, Granby farmer Holland Montague wrote chiefly about life on the farm where he made a comfortable living supplying produce to surrounding towns. While most of his entries are bland accounts of the weather and agricultural duties, Montague occasionally offers a glimpse into his personal life, especially on the diary’s endpapers, where he records medicinal remedies for humans and livestock, purchases made and payments received, as well as a valuation of his property in 1872. Very few references are made to political events of the day, including the Civil War, although he does note on April 16, 1865 that President Lincoln is dead.

Laid into the volume is a manuscript copy of the 1826 document listing depositions to be taken from individuals in the petition of the town of Granby against the town of South Hadley relating to a dispute over the boundary line between the two towns.

Subjects
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Granby
  • Granby (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Montague, Holland
Types of material
  • Diaries

Mosakowski, Ken

Ken Mosakowski Papers, 1970s-2006
80 boxes (120 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 560

As a student at the University of Massachusetts in the late 1960s, Ken Mosakowski first became a political activist when he protested the Vietnam War. Seeking an outlet to spread his message of peace and justice, he reached out to the student radio station WMUA, and started a weekly talk show Focus. For 38 years Mosakowski hosted the radio program every Sunday afternoon discussing topics of both local and national significance. Deeply involved in Amherst politics, he ran for the Amherst Select Board and lost; the loss, however, did not diminish his passion for serving the town and community he loved. Vocal on many issues, Mosakowski was known for being an activist in electoral politics and more recently an advocate for the homeless in Amherst, urging the creation of the Emergency Homelessness Task Force created in April 2006.

The Ken Mosakowski Papers document more than thirty years of his political activism. Saving everything from flyers and newspaper clippings to campaign buttons and posters, the collection documents a wide array of local and national issues. More importanly, it sheds light on issues of personal importance to Mosakowski, and as such chronicles his contributions as a lifelong activist.

Subjects
  • Activists--Massachusetts
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Political activists--Massachusetts
  • Social action--Massachusetts--History
Contributors
  • Mosakowski, Ken
Restrictions: The Mosakowski collection has temporarily been moved offsite; it is closed to research. Contact SCUA for more information.

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends Collection, 1977-1991
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 694

The Northampton Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (later the Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly Meeting) was formally established in 1939, bringing together the small community of Friends in Western Massachusetts. In 1959, the small preparative meetings in Amherst, Greenfield, Northampton, and South Hadley agreed to consolidate to create a more vital gathering. After five years without a fixed location, a Friend was moved to donate three acres of land on Long Plain Road in Leverett on which to build a proper meetinghouse. When that building opened in 1964, the meeting was renamed the Mt Toby Meeting.

Reflecting a strong history of promoting peace social justice, the Mt. Toby collection documents Friends’ involvement in a wide variety of issues ranging from war tax resistance (Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner), the “Colrain action” when the Kehler/Corner house was seized by the IRS), peace education and civil disobedience, refugee resettlement, the Sanctuary movement, and support for LGBT issues and racial equality. The collection consists largely of fliers and newsletters, ephemera, and newspaper clippings.

Subjects
  • Corner, Betsy
  • Kehler, Randy
  • Mount Toby Meeting of Friends (Quakers)
  • Pacifists
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Sanctuary movement
  • War tax resistance--Massachusetts

Murray, Samuel E., 1906-1989

Samuel E. Murray Papers, ca.1945-1989
14 boxes (7 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 568
Samuel E. Murray Papers image
Samuel Murray, 1966

One of the pioneers in the ephemera trade, Samuel E. Murray (1906-1989) was a long time antiquarian bookman, based at his home in Wilbraham, Mass. Born on Christmas Day, 1906, Murray interrupted his college studies to go to sea, but after the Depression left him unemployed, he landed a position as sales representative for McGraw-Hill and, later, G. & C. Merriam and other firms. Always an avid book collector, Murray left the publishing industry in 1970 to become a full time bookseller. Without ever advertising or issuing catalogs, he developed a wide reputation among dealers and collectors for his keen eye and perspicacity with rare and uncommon books. A generalist by trade, Murray had a particular fondness for colorplate books and travel literature, but was renowned both for his extensive reference library and for recognizing early on the value of ephemera. After a lengthy bout with myelofibrosis, Murray died at home on June 4, 1989.

The Murray Papers contain correspondence between Murray and a range of his fellow booksellers and clients, as well as his extensive card files on fellow book dealers and wants lists. The collection offers insight into the operations of a well known antiquarian bookman during the 1970s and 1980s.

Subjects
  • Antiquarian booksellers--Massachusetts
  • Book collecting
  • Books--Want lists
  • Printed ephemera--Collectors and collecting--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
  • Ephemera Society of America
  • Murray, Samuel E., 1906-1989
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