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Undergraduate Research Award

students
Recent applicants for FLURA

Although scholarship in the humanities and social sciences is grounded in the skillful use of primary sources, few undergraduates ever have the opportunity to engage with original historical materials. To encourage scholarly and creative research and promote the use of our collections, the Friends of the Library and Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) have established an award for undergraduates at UMass Amherst recognizing excellence in the use of historical primary sources.

Students are invited to submit papers or projects they have completed at UMass Amherst during the 18 months prior to the deadline for submission. Submissions will be considered by the Evaluation Committee and winners will be announced in late April. All winning papers/projects will be published on the SCUA web site and added to the University Archives.

View past FLURA recipients

Application information

Eligibility: Projects must represent work completed for a class or independent study in any field within the 18 months prior to the application deadline and while the student was enrolled as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst.
Award: First place: $1000 scholarship
Honorable mention: $250 scholarship
Evaluation criteria:
  1. Papers or projects must draw upon historical primary sources either from collections in SCUA, other archives, or from other Library resources.
    What is a primary source?
    An historical primary source is a record of an event, occurrence, or time period produced at the time by a participant or observer. Appropriate sources may be include the records of individuals (e.g. letters, diaries, essays, speeches) or the archives of organizations (e.g. correspondence, memoranda, minutes, annual reports), and they may include non-textual materials (e.g. artwork, artifacts, maps, music, film, audio recordings, videotape, computer files, photographs, scrapbooks), provided they date from the time period in question.
  2. Creativity and originality
  3. Clarity and effectiveness of writing
Deadline for submission: Friday, Mar. 24, 2017 by 5 p.m.
Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) and the UMass Amherst Libraries reserve the right to extend the deadline or cancel the contest if too few entries are received. The determination of number of entries required to award a winner is at the sole discretion of SCUA and the UMass Amherst Libraries.
How to apply: Complete the cover sheet and submit a copy of your paper/project as two separate files. Note: your name must not appear on the paper itself. Submissions should be delivered to the following with “FLURA” in the subject line:

  • scua@library.umass.edu

Download application materials (.rtf format)

 

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Massachusetts State Council

UBCJA Massachusetts State Council Records
1892-1980
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 015

One of the largest building trade unions in the U.S., the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America was established in 1881 by a convention of carpenters’ unions. An early member of the American Federation of Labor, the Brotherhood began as a radical organization, but beginning in the 1930s, were typically aligned with the conservative wing of the labor movement.

The records of the Massachusetts State Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America contain reports and other information generated during the union’s annual conventions as well as copies of the constitution and by-laws, handbooks, and histories of the union.

Subjects
  • Carpenters--Labor unions
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts

United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts Water Pollution Surveys Collection
1936-1938
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 068

Under the federal New Deal in the late 1930s, the Works Project Administration authorized a series of surveys of major watersheds to gauge water quality and sources of pollution. In Massachusetts, the studies were coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Health and resulted in a series of more or less detailed reports issued between September 1936 and January 1938.

The pollution survey collection contains reports for six major watersheds in New England — the Blackstone, Hoosic, Housatonic, Merrimack, Nashua, and Ten Mile — measuring the impact of both civic and industrial waste on regional water resources.

Subjects
  • Blackstone River Watershed (Mass. and R.I.)
  • Hoosic River Watershed
  • Housatonic River Watershed (Mass. and Conn.)
  • Merrimack River Watershed (N.H. and Mass.)
  • Nashua River Watershed (Mass. and N.H.)
  • Ten Mile River Watershed (Mass.)
  • Water--Pollution--Massachusetts
  • Water-resources--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Massachusetts. Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts. State Planning Board

University Anti-Intervention, Disarmament & Conversion Project

University Anti-Intervention, Disarmament and Conversion Project Resource Guide
1989
1 envelope (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 280 bd

Founded in September 1989, the University Anti-Intervention, Disarmament & Conversion Project was developed by individuals in the UMass Amherst community who wanted to eliminate the university’s dependence on defense research. The purpose of the project was to serve as a resource center for students, faculty, and community activists working to break the link between the nation’s institutions of higher learning and the military industrial complex.

The collection consists of a resource guide created by the group.

Subjects
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts--Amherst

University of Massachusetts Literary Society

University of Massachusetts Literary Society Collection
1956
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 40/3 L4

In 1955, the Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts and Professor H. Leland Varley received a grant of $5,800 from the Educational Television and Radio Center to produce a series of one-hour radio programs centered on a discussion of the impact of eight major American novelists from a European perspective. The subjects included Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and John Steinbeck (who replaced the original choice, John Marquand).

The collection is comprised of recordings of the Literary Society radio program, ‘As others see us.’ Moderated by a member of the UMass Department of English, each broadcast featured discussions by distinguished literary critics such as W.H. Auden, R.P. Blackmur, Perry Miller, Maxwell Geismar, and Renato Poggioli. Dos Passos, Faulkner, and Steinbeck participated in person.

Subjects
  • Authors, American
  • Novelists, American
  • Poets--United States
Contributors
  • Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973
  • Bailey, Robeson, 1906-
  • Barron, Leone
  • Blackmur, R. P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965
  • Coindreau, Maurice Edgar
  • Collins, Carvel Emerson, 1912-
  • Cowie, Alexander, 1896-1978
  • Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962
  • Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970
  • Faulkner, William, 1897-1962
  • Fenton, Charles
  • Geismar, Maxwell David, 1909-
  • Girard, Rene, 1923-
  • Goldberg, Maxwell Henry, 1907-
  • Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
  • James, Henry, 1843-1916
  • Klarmann, Adolf D. (Adolf Donald), 1904-1975
  • Koehler, Stanley
  • Levin, Harry, 1912-1994
  • Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951
  • Lohner, Edgar
  • Magny, Claude-Edmonde, 1913-1966
  • Miller, Perry, 1905-1963
  • Niedeck, Arthur E.
  • Peyre, Henri, 1901-
  • Poggioli, Renato, 1907-1963
  • Rudin, Seymour, 1922-
  • Savage, Richard C.
  • Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968
  • Varley, H. Leland
  • Wolfe, Thomas, 1900-1938
Types of material
  • Sound recordings

Upholsters International Union. Local 58

Upholsters International Union Local 58 Minutebooks
1901-1939
7 vols. (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 018

Upholsterers were among the earliest trades in the United States to organize into a national union, with the first efforts dating to the 1850s. The most successful of their unions, the Upholsterers International Union of North America, was founded in Chicago in 1892 and affiliated with the American Federation of Laborers in 1900. One year later, UIU Local 58 was established to organize workers in Washington, D.C.

The minutebooks of UIU Local 58 document the history of the union from its formation in 1901 through the late 1930s.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--Washington (D.C.)
  • Upholsterers--Labor unions
Contributors
  • Upholsters International Union
Types of material
  • Minutebooks

Váli, Ferenc A. (Ferenc Albert), 1905-

Ferenc A. Vali Papers
1964-1969
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 137
Image of Ferenc Vali
Ferenc Vali

A scholar of international politics, Ferenc Vali left his native Hungary during the revolution of 1956 after five years of imprisonment for his political activities. Born on May 25, 1905, Vali was educated at the University of Budapest and London School of Economics (PhD, 1932), and worked as a Professor of International Law at the University of Budapest until his arrest. Following his escape and a brief period as Fellow at Harvard, he joined the faculty in political science at UMass Amherst in 1961. A popular lecturer, he became the first member of the Political Science Department to receive emeritus status in 1975. He died at his home in Amherst in 1984.

The Vali collection includes both published and unpublished essays by Ferenc Vali on Hungary during the post-revolutionary years and idealism and realism in American foreign policy.

Subjects
  • Hungary--History--1945-1989
  • United States--Foreign relations
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political Science
Contributors
  • Váli, Ferenc A. (Ferenc Albert), 1905-

Valley Light Opera

Valley Light Opera Records
1977-2005
12 boxes (18.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 476

Founded in 1975 by a group of Gilbert and Sullivan devotees, the Valley Light Opera is based in Amherst, Massachusetts. VLO presents one fully staged opera and one less formal production every year, and over the years the company has presented all fourteen of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at least once.

This collection contains a wonderful visual record of VLO productions with literally hunderds of photographs capturing dozens of performances. The collection contains, too, records that document the company’s activities from the moment an opera is selected to be performed to last curtain call.

Gift of Valley Light Opera, 2005-2010
Subjects
  • Theatrical companies--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Valley Light Opera

Visit SCUA

Who can use the collections?

Enfield (Quabbin) dancers
How they danced in Enfield, a Quabbin town

Special Collections and University Archives is open at no cost to researchers, regardless of affiliation, during normal business hours. SCUA staff are happy to assist in planning or conducting research and welcome inquiries from students interested in internships in archival and library studies.

Although research appointments are not required, advance notice will help our staff to locate and retrieve research materials. First-time researchers will be asked to register and to provide name, institutional affiliation (when applicable), and current address. At registration, researchers must present a valid form of identification, including a photograph.

In the reading room

  • General
    • Please sign in at the front desk each visit
    • Only pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Please do not use pens.
    • Smoking, food, and drink are not permitted
    • Please switch off cell phones or set them to silent mode; calls may be taken in the adjacent elevator lobby
  • Care and handling of materials
    • Please use care in handling materials to prevent damage
    • Use only a single box of manuscript or archival material at a time; take care to preserve the existing arrangement of files
    • Photographs of materials are permitted for research purposes only
    • Scans and photocopies are made by staff members in keeping with our copying policies
    • Upon leaving for the day, please notify the staff whether you are finished with your material or wish to place it on hold for a return visit

Instruction in SCUA

SCUA’s archivists welcome visits from groups at any level or of any affiliation who wish to make use of our collections or to learn about archives and history. Our staff are available to provide introductions to archival research, overviews of specific areas of historical or cultural interest, information about the collections, or discussions of the history of New England or UMass Amherst. In recent years we have hosted classes from a wide range of disciplines, including history and American culture, African American studies, English and comparative literature, art history, education, anthropology, politics, business, plant and soil sciences, and library and information science.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, class visits should be arranged ahead of time. Please include the following information when contacting SCUA:

  • Name of instructor or contact
  • Affiliation
  • Date(s) requested, with start and finish time
  • Number of students or visitors
  • Subject area and research interests
  • Special requests (for collections)

Learn more:

Vogl, Otto, 1927-

Otto Vogl Papers
1970-1998
9 boxes (16.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 161

A native of Traiskirchen, Austria, Otto Vogl (b. 1927) earned an international reputation as a polymer scientist while working with the Polychemicals Department at Du Pont. In June 1970, he was recruited to join the relatively new Program in Polymer Science and Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has continued research on the structure and organic chemistry of polymers, focusing on macromolecular architecture and macromolecular asymmetry (chirality), among other topics. A prolific scholar, he has contributed over 630 articles, received nearly fifty U.S. and foreign patents, and among many other honors, has won election to the Austrian and Swedish Academies of Science.

The Otto Vogl Papers consist primarily of scholarly writings and professional correspondence, along with numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations completed under Vogl’s supervision and books written by Vogl’s wife, Jane C. Vogl.

Gift of Otto Vogl, 2007-2008
Subjects
  • Polymers--Structure
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
Contributors
  • Vogl, Otto, 1927-
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