Bruce Geisler Collection, 1969-1984.
14 boxes (21 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 049
In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.
Documenting everyday life in a Massachusetts commune and performances by the commune bands (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled in conjunction with the making of the film Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of both raw and edited film footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes a rich assemblage of still photographs, ephemera, and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.
- Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
- Communal living--Massachusetts
- Renaissance Community (Commune)
Types of material
Thomas Gould, A list of the names of publick Friends, who have visited New England, 1790-1838.
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 903 bd
Born in Middletown, R.I., on May 25, 1730, Thomas Gould was part of an extended Quaker family in Newport County and descendant of one of the first Quaker converts in Rhode Island. Enjoying success as a “mechanic” and farmer, according to Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island (1908), he married Alice Chase of Portsmouth in March 1757 and raised a large family of five boys and five girls. Gould died on May 3, 1795.
This slender volume includes a chronological record visits to New England by Public Friends: Quakers who were considered to have a special gift in prayer or public speaking and who often traveled widely to minister.
Types of material
Granite Cutters' International Association of America Records, 1877-1978.
27 boxes (19.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 004
Organized in Rockland, Maine in March 1877 as the Granite Cutters’ National Union, the association later adopted its present name in 1905. The trade union clearly had a strong sense of their identity and purpose claiming for itself “the jurisdiction over cutting, carving, dressing, sawing, and setting all granite and hard stone on which granite cutters tools are used,” and further claiming that “no other other trade, craft or calling has any right or jurisdiction over” the these activities.
Records include National Union Committee minutebooks from 1886-1954, monthly circulars, membership registers, and 100 years of the union’s official publication, the Granite Cutters’ Journal.
- Labor unions--New England
- Stone-cutters--Labor unions
- Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material
Granville Brothers Airplane Company, 1978-1980.
Call no.: MS 911
Between 1929 and 1934, the Granville Airplane Company manufactured their distinctive Gee Bee aircraft at the airport in Springfield, Mass., using a hangar converted from a former dance hall as their plant. Originally from New Hampshire, the five brothers drew upon their self-taught mechanical ingenuity in the years after the First World War to transform an automobile and aircraft repair business into aircraft design and production. The brothers flew their first craft in Boston in May 1929, a biplane they advertised as “the fastest and most maneuverable licensed airplane for its horsepower in the United States,” moving operations to Springfield later that year. Although only about two dozen Bee Gees were ever manufactured, the planes gained a wide reputation for their innovative aerodynamic designs, raw power, and extraordinary success on the air racing circuit. Gee Bees claimed speed records and numerous prizes, including the coveted Thompson Trophy in 1932 won by pilot Jimmy Doolitte, but their reputation for instability in the air (partly a function of their power) and the impact of the Great Depression caused the company to shutter in 1934.
Aviation historian Tom Nallen conducted a series of interviews with former employees of the Granville Airplane Co. beginning in the late 1970s, recording memories of the company and its workers, the Bee Gee planes, and their performance during the golden age of air racing.
- Airplanes--Design and construction
- Gee-Bee (Racing plane)
- Granville, Robert
- Nallen, Thomas E.
- Roberts, Paul
Types of material
- Oral histories
- Sound recordings
Asa Gray, A pilgrimage to Torreya, 1875.
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 419 bd
The great botanist and early supporter of evolutionary theory, Asa Gray, toured the Florida Panhandle during the spring of 1875, making “a pious pilgrimage to the secluded native haunts of that rarest of trees, the Torreya taxifolia.” His journey took him along the Apalachicola River in search of Torreya, an native yew prized by horticulturists.
This slender manuscript account was prepared by Gray for publication in the American Agriculturist (vol. 43). In a light and graceful way, his “pilgrimage” describes the difficulties of travel in the deep south during the post-Civil War years and his exploits while botanizing. The text is edited in Gray’s hand and varies slightly from the published version.
- Florida--Description and travel--19th century
Jonah B. Griswold Ledgers, 1841-1876.
4 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 638
An industrious artisan with a wide custom, Jonah B. Griswold made gravestones and sepulchral monuments in Sturbridge, Mass., during the three decades saddling the Civil War. Making 20 or more stones a month, Griswold had clients throughout southern Worcester County, including the Brookfields, Charlton, Wales, Woodstock, Warren, Brimfield, Union, Oxford, Worcester, Southbridge, Holland, New Boston, Spencer, Webster, Dudley, and Podunk, and as far south as Pomfret, Conn.
The four volumes that survive from Griswold’s operation include: record of cash expenditures for personal items, 1843-1876, combined with accounts of work performed for Griswold and daybook with records of marble purchased and stones carved, 1861-1876; daybook of cash on hand 1841-1842, with accounts of stone purchased and stones carved, April 1843-1849; daybook of stones carved, 1849-1860; and daybook of stones carved, 1855-1876. Griswold seldom records inscriptions, with most entries restricted to the name of the client and/or deceased, location, and cost, such as: “Oct. 14. Brookfield. Stone for Mr. Woods child 25.43″ Prices during the antebellum period ranged from $10 (half that for infants) to over $140, with larger monuments going higher.
- Stone carving--Massachusetts
- Sturbridge (Mass.)--History
- Association for Gravestone Studies
- Griswold, Jonah B
Types of material
Anna Gyorgy Papers, 1974-1988..
6 boxes (6.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 631
As a member of the Montague Farm community, Anna Gyorgy became a leader in the movement against nuclear energy. In 1974, she helped organize the Alternative Energy Alliance in Montague, Mass., and two years later, she was part of the coalition that founded the Clamshell Alliance. An author, ecofeminist, and peace activist, she has lived In Ireland, West Africa, and Germany since 1985 and remains deeply involved in international movements for justice and peace.
Tightly focused on Anna Gyorgy’s activism from the mid-1970s through late 1980s, the collection contains important documentation on the early antinuclear movement in western Massachusetts with some material on the international movement in the 1980s. In addition to a small run of correspondence, the collection includes writings, news clippings, publications, and ephemera relating to antinuclear activism during the 1970s and 1980s and to other related causes, including the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson’s run for the presidency in 1984.
- Alternative Energy Coalition
- Antinuclear movement
- Clamshell Alliance
Types of material
Joseph A. Hagar Papers, 1897-1976 (Bulk: 1930-1965).
6 boxes (7.92 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 743
An ornithologist and conservationist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Joseph A. “Archie” Hagar’s career was rooted in the generation of naturalists such as William Brewster, Edward Howe Forbush, and Arthur Cleveland Bent. Born in Lawrence, Mass., on May 13, 1896, Hagar’s undergraduate career at Harvard was interrupted by service in the First World War, after which he completed his studies at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, graduating with the class of 1921. An expert field biologist and ecologist, he was appointed State Ornithologist in the Department of Fish and Game in November 1934 serving in that position for almost twenty five years. A specialist in waterfowl and raptors, Hagar was deeply involved in early conservation efforts in New England, noted for his work on wetland conservation and for linking the use of DDT with eggshell thinning in peregrine falcons, and he was famously at the center of a dispute with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the design of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Never a prolific writer, he was an active member of the American Ornithological Union, the Nuttall Ornithological Club, the Wildlife Society, and other professional organizations, and after retirement, he was specially cited for his work in waterfowl conservation by Ducks Unlimited. Active until late in life, he died at home in Marshfield Hills on Dec. 17, 1989.
The Hagar Papers are a deep and valuable resource for the study of New England birds and the growth of modern conservation biology. With abundant professional correspondence, field notes on shorebirds and raptors, and drafts of articles, the collection documents the full range of Hagar’s activities as State Ornithologist, including a particularly thick run of material for the controvery over the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Hagar also acquired a set of field notes, 1897-1921, from the Harvard ornithologist John E. Thayer.
- Black duck
- Massachusetts Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnae
- Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
- Hagar, Joseph A. (Joseph Archibald), 1896-1989
Types of material
- Field notes
- Letters (Correspondence)
Anne Halley Papers, 1886-2004.
11 boxes (7 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 628
Writer, editor, and educator, Anne Halley was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1928. A child during the Holocaust, she relocated with her family to Olean, New York during the late 1930s so that her father, who was Jewish, could resume his practice of medicine. Graduating from Wellesley and the University of Minnesota, Halley married a fellow writer and educator, Jules Chametzky, in 1958. Together they raised three sons in Amherst, Massachusetts where Chametzky was a professor of English at UMass and Halley taught and wrote. It was during the late 1960s through the 1970s that she produced the first two of her three published collections of poetry. The last was published in 2003 the year before she died from complications of multiple myeloma at the age of 75.
Drafts of published and unpublished short stories and poems comprise the bulk of this collection. Letters to and from Halley, in particular those that depict her education at Wellesley and her professional life during the 1960s-1980s, make up another significant portion of her papers. Publisher’s correspondence and a draft of Halley’s afterward document the Chametzkys effort to release a new edition of Mary Doyle Curran’s book, The Parish and the Hill, for which Halley and Chametzky oversaw the literary rights. Photographs of Halley’s childhood in Germany and New York as well as later photographs that illustrate the growth of her own family in Minnesota and Massachusetts offer a visual representation of her remarkable professional and pesonal life.
- Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
- Poets, American--20th century
- Women authors, American
- Women poets, American
- World War, 1939-1945
- Chametzky, Jules
- Halley, Anne
Paul Halpern Collection, ca.1975-1985.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 646
A theoretical physicist at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Paul Halpern is the author of a dozen popular books on science and dozens of scholarly articles. After spending his undergraduate years at Temple University, Halpern received a doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook, and has since written on complex and higher-dimensional solutions in general relativity theory and the nature of time as well as the history of the modern physical sciences. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
The hundreds of ephemeral publications, fliers, and handbills in the Halpern Collection provide a window into political and social activism in Philadelphia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The content ranges widely from publications produced by peace and disarmament groups to the literature of anti-imperialist (e.g. CISPES), antinuclear groups (SANE and post-Three Mile Island mobilization), radical political parties, and religious organizations including the Unification Church and the Church of Scientology.
- Antinuclear movement--United States
- El Salvador--History--1979-1992
- Peace movements