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Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)

Northeast Organic Farming Association Records
1977-2007
12 boxes (6.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 461

The Northeast Organic Farming Association began as the vision of a New York City plumbing supplies salesman and has grown into a large association supporting information-sharing, education, collaboration, and certification. Increasingly influential non-profit organization with chapters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, NOFA has “nearly 4,000 farmers, gardeners and consumers working to promote healthy food, organic farming practices and a cleaner environment.”

The NOFA collection includes records, publications, ephemera, photographs, and other materials from NOFA chapters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, along with material from the Interstate Council. The collection includes information on NOFA’s conferences and programs, educational work, lobbying, and their initiatives in organic certification and organic land care.

Subjects
  • Agriculture--Massachusetts
  • Organic farming
  • Organic gardening
  • Sustainable agriculture
Contributors
  • NOFA Massachusetts

Rodney Hunt Company

Rodney Hunt Company Records
ca.1850-1987 (Bulk: 1862-1943)
316 boxes, 150 vols. (158 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 105

The Rodney Hunt Company Records document the operation of one of the region’s major producers of textile machinery, water wheels, turbines, and other specialty industrial products. Founded in Orange, Massachusetts, in 1840, the company was incorporated in 1873. Still an active concern, it continues to sell its products in international markets.

Due to a fire in 1882, and several floods, relatively few early records of the Rodney Hunt Company survive, but from the time of its incorporation in 1873, documentation improves, with nearly complete coverage from the period 1883–1914. The collection provides an excellent introduction to the history of technology and industry in 19th- and 20th-century Massachusetts. Of particular note is the incoming correspondence from 1876 to 1903, which is nearly complete. Other materials include company histories, correspondence, board minutes, blueprints, installation drawings, sketchbook drawings, patents, payroll ledgers, account books, price lists, sales books, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, subject files and photographs.

Subjects
  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Turbines--Design and construction
  • Waterwheels
Contributors
  • Rodney Hunt Company
Types of material
  • Account books

Sagendorph Woolen Co.

Sagendorph Woolen Company Daybook
1885-1887
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 430

The Sagendorph Woolen Company of East Brookfield, located about sixty miles southwest of Boston in Worcester County, Massachusetts, maintained sixteen looms and specialized in the carding of shoddy and the manufacture of cashmeres, repellents, and suitings. There is some evidence that Sagendorph also spun raw materials for other companies and sold some textile goods on commission.

This daybook records the daily transactions between the Sagendorph Woolen Company and other businesses, local residents, and the company’s labor force. These detailed entries present a dynamic picture of the company’s manufacturing operations ranging from the purchase of raw materials to the sales of finished products.

Subjects
  • Carding (textiles)
  • East Brookfield (Mass.)--History
  • Textile construction processes and techniques
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts--History
  • Textile manufacturers--Massachusetts
  • Textile materials
  • Yarn-making processes and techniques
Contributors
  • Sagendorph Woolen Company
Types of material
  • Daybooks

Swift, Jane, 1965-

Jane Swift Papers
1988-2008
16 boxes (22 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 823
Image of Jane Swift
Jane Swift

Just 36 years of age, Jane Swift became Acting Governor of Massachusetts in 2001, the first and only woman to hold that office, the youngest woman governor in US history, and the only one to give birth while in office. A native of North Adams, Swift served as a Republican in the state Senate from 1990-1996, becoming widely known for her role in passing the Education Reform Act of 1993. Defeated in a bid to represent the 1st District in the US Congress, she served in the William Weld administration before earning election as Lieutenant Governor in 1998, rising to the governorship three years later when Paul Cellucci resigned to become Ambassador to Canada. During her time in office, Swift, but her tenure is remembered both for her calm management of the fallout from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and for a series of controversies that ultimatley cost her political support. Trailing eventual nominee Mitt Romney in the 2002 Republican gubentorial primary, Swift abandoned her campaign. Returning home to Williamstown, where she has been involved in several educational initiatives, including serving as Director of Sally Ride Science, a lecturer in Leadership Studies at Williams Colege, and since July 2011, CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages. She remains active in Republican politics.

Centered on her political career, Jane Swift’s Papers provide insight into her experiences as governor of Massachusetts with content ranging from policy briefings to topical files, technical reports, economic and budgetary information, correspondence, legal filings, and transition reports at the time of leaving office. The visual documentation of Swift’s time in office includes a wide range of photographs, videotapes, paraphernalia, and souvenirs. There is comparatively little material is available to document Swift’s time in the state senate.

Gift of Jane Swift, May 2014
Subjects
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Massachusetts. Governor
  • Republican Party (Mass.)
Types of material
  • Photographs

Undertaker (Wrentham, Mass.)

Undertaker and Home Furnishings Dealer Account Book
1881
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 171 bd

Owner of business (identity unknown) who served in the vicinity of Wrentham, Massachusetts, as a purveyor of home decorating supplies and furnishings and as an undertaker. The account book includes records of goods for sale and services provided (repairing and upholstering furniture, packing bodies in ice, carrying to tomb, grave digging, etc.); forms of payment (cash, exchange of goods such as soap, eggs, tables, and chairs, and exchange of services); and lists of customers, including City Mills Felting Company, A.H. Morse, J.A. Guild, Joseph Hutchinson, Charles Scott, and Foster Smith.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Subjects
  • Undertakers and undertaking--Massachusetts--Wrentham
  • Wrentham (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Account books

What do we want? What do we keep?

Appraisal policies in SCUA

The following guidelines apply to “appraisal,” the process by which archivists decide which materials to retain as part of the permanent collection and which not. Since every archival or manuscript collection has unique attributes, the guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but rather points for consideration.

SCUA archivists apply their experience and professional judgment when making decisions about each collection on its own merits. In general, these guidelines are applied to groups of materials, rather than individual items, and in most cases we prefer to err on the side of caution, opting for retention when there is any doubt, not disposal. In appraising a collection, we emphasize efficiency and speed in carrying out the work, as opposed to a thorough vetting of every item.

Factors tending toward permanent retention of material

  • Research potential: do these materials have a significant historical or cultural value and will future researchers likely have an interest in them?
  • Documentary value: does this material provide useful documentation of an event, person, process, idea, or place?
  • Depth of documentation: do these materials as a whole provide a rich understanding of a subject?
  • Context of the whole: Are these materials part of a coherent whole within the collection that should be retained intact?
  • Uniqueness or rarity: are these materials unique or sufficiently rare or are they duplicated elsewhere, perhaps in other form? Do these materials provide a unique or uniquely valuable perspective?
  • Associational value: are these materials associated with someone else in SCUA’s collections or with some well-known figure who we may wish to document?
  • Monetary value: are these materials valuable in a monetary sense?
  • Display or promotional value: would these materials be useful in an exhibit (either in house or online) or in informational material we produce?

Highly desired types of material

  • Unpublished material: Our goal is to document not just what happened, but how things happened, and we are particularly interested in materials that reveal behind-the-scenes activities and personal perspectives. While published materials are valued, we are most interested in unpublished material, such as correspondence, diaries and journals, memoranda, notes, lectures and speeches, drafts, and unpublished writings. In many cases, these materials reflect a personal perspective on events that will unavailable in any other form.
  • Minutes of meetings, agendas: minutes of meetings, agendas, and annual reports are highly valuable for documenting an organization’s activity, and when paired with the correspondence of officers and internal memoranda and other communications, they may provide a particularly well-rounded view.
  • Audiovisual materials: SCUA places a high emphasis on visual documentation and actively seeks photographs, motion pictures and videos, drawings, and sound recordings for their cultural, aesthetic, and historical value.

Types of materials less likely to be retained

  • Detailed financial records are generally not retained because of their often voluminous nature, their low research potential, and, in some cases, their exposure of potentially sensitive or personal information.
    • Receipts, invoices, legal financial filings, and such are rarely retained, however annual reports and summary statements may be valuable.
  • Published materials are typically closely scrutinized. Many modern (post-1900) books, periodicals, sound recordings, and movies are “readily available,” either through a circulating library or online, and are therefore not retained because they are seldom consulted by researchers in SCUA.
    • SCUA emphasizes retention only of those items that are not readily available in their specific form (e.g. edition), that are so integral to the content and context of the collection that they should not be disposed; that have unique association with key people or that have annotations or marginalia of value; or that have high cultural or monetary value.
    • In most cases, we retain a single copy of each publication by the creator of a collection.
    • News clippings are seldom retained, particularly if the source is unidentified.
    • Offprints, reprints, and photocopies of articles are seldom retained unless they are by the
  • Personnel records: Due to the potential for exposing personal data or other sensitive information, SCUA typically does not retain personnel records of any sort.
  • Medical records: Formal medical records are generally not retained. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) limits our ability to make most classes of medical records publicly available, but we generally choose not to retain materials that fall outside of HIPAA due to the likelihood of revealing personal information and to generally low research value.
    • Collections relating to the history of medicine or other fields in which health and medical care are of central concern.
    • Medical records 75 years old and older are typically retained.
    • A person wishing to include their own medical records in their collection may do so.
  • Student records: Most student records cannot be made public under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and SCUA typically does not accept student records unless mandated by State records keeping requirements
    • Student papers, class records, or other instructional records that include grades or evaluations are not accepted.
    • Recommendations for students (e.g. for application to graduate school or employment) are not accepted if they were written under an expectation of confidentiality.
    • A person wishing to include their own student records in their collection may do so.
  • Research data: although data sets may be retained due to their importance to a collection, SCUA archivists will give due consideration to whether the archive is the appropriate place to preserve the information and whether we have the technology and skills to make the data available in the long term.
  • Duplicate and redundant materials: In most cases, SCUA’s archivists will retain only a single copy of each item, however they may choose to retain additional copies
    • Although SCUA archivists will remove duplicates when they are encountered, they make no special effort to be thorough.
    • Photostats, photocopies, or digital copies of materials held in other repositories are generally not retained unless the originals are unavailable to the public.
    • Unidentified photographs: Although unidentified photographs have only a limited utility for researchers, SCUA’s archivists may choose to retain them due to their artistic merit, their role within the context of the collection as a whole, the scene(s) or period of time represented, or the photographic process involved.

Considerations around restricted materials

  • Closure due to privacy: Although SCUA regularly agrees to close portions of a collection, or even an entire collection to preserve privacy or confidentiality; we do not accept materials that are permanently closed.
    • SCUA is glad to work with donors to discuss closure of sensitive materials and arrive at a clearly specified date after which the materials may be made available to the public.
  • Copyright restrictions: SCUA often accepts materials in which the donor retains copyright or in which copyright is help by a third party, however these can be less convenient for researchers to use.
  • Materials on deposit: Due to considerations over liability and the potential for scholarly confusion, SCUA does not accept materials on deposit, wherein SCUA acts as steward of materials for which the donor retains legal ownership.
  • Other considerations: SCUA may choose not to accept materials for which we cannot provide proper stewardship due to the lack of necessary technology or skills. For example, materials that require specific equipment or proprietary software to use or materials written in languages or scripts for which we have lack expertise may be better cared for and used at another institution. To the extent that we are able, we will be glad to assist you in locating a better home for your materials.

What we collect

Frank Waugh's doves
Garden (white fan tailed doves in bird bath) by Frank Waugh, ca.1920

“… there must come vast social change in the United States; a change not violent, but by the will of the people certain and inexorable; carried out ‘with malice toward none but charity for all’; with meticulous justice to the rich and complete sympathy for the poor, the sick and the ignorant; with freedom and democracy for America, and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, Chicago, June 29, 1951

In pursuit of our mission, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Our collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds.

Our approach to collecting

Echoing the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s great insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement — and no solution to social ills — can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas, all in the hope of better representing the true histories of social engagement in America and laying the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change.

A related feature of SCUA’s approach to collecting is our commitment to documenting “whole lives and whole communities.” Rather than focus just on a person’s “significant” actions or ideas, our goal is to represent the person’s entire life in all its complexity: the person’s background, the events themselves, and the aftermath, as well as the range of colleagues and organizations engaged. Our goal is not to highlight simply the great achievements and great people, but to reveal the broad underpinnings of influences, interests, and organizations that shaped them and the communities in which they operated.

While not exhaustive, the following is a synopsis of the primary focal points for SCUA’s collections:

Social change

Emphasizing the cross-fertilization between social movements and centers of activist energy, SCUA collects materials from individuals and organizations involved in the struggles for peace and non-violence, social and racial justice, economic justice, agricultural reform, environmentalism, sustainability, alternative energy, organized labor, gay rights, disability rights, spiritual activism, antinuclear activism, and intentional communities. Our collections branch out to include anti-fluoridation activism, campaigns for voting rights and clean elections, community and charitable organizations, and the history of revolutionary-era Europe (1789-1848).

  • African and African American history and culture: The history of race and ethnicity in America, with particular emphasis on the struggle for racial equality and social justice.
  • Agriculture, horticulture, botany: Including agricultural science and practice, horticulture, animal husbandry, natural history, organic farming, sustainable living, and heritage breeds.
  • Antifluoridation movement: Including right-wing, left-wing, libertarian, popular, and scientific opposition to fluoridation of public water supplies.
  • Antinuclear movement: SCUA holds numerous collections documenting grassroots opposition to nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
  • Arts management and arts administration:
    In partnership with the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and several other arts agencies, SCUA documents the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state and national arts agencies, we will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities.
  • Cold War Culture: The culture of the Cold War, with an emphasis upon East Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Among other areas, SCUA has a strong interest in the Solidarity movement and in partnership with the DEFA Film Library, in East German cinema and graphic arts.
  • Disability: Organizational records and collections of personal papers documenting the history of disability and disability rights in the United States.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues: Materials relating to the history and experience of the LGBTQ community and liberation struggles.
  • Labor, work, and industry: Organized labor, industrialization, manufacturing, business history, and the experience and culture of labor and working people.
  • Peace: Materials relating to the peace and antiwar movements and non-violence, with an emphasis on New England.
  • Spiritual approaches to social change: Materials relating to people and organizations motivated to take social action through spiritual consideration.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

SCUA collects materials that document innovative and entrepreneurial activities and particularly social entrepreneurship. Representative collections in SCUA include the papers of Mark H. McCormack (a pioneer in sport and entertainment marketing), Carl C. Harris (inventor and President of Rodney Hunt Co.), and numerous collections that document our region’s distinctive history of innovation in manufacturing and technology.

New England history and culture

The social, political, cultural, intellectual, literary, and economic life, with an emphasis upon western New England. The department houses thousands of books on New England cookery, with a particular emphasis on charitable and community cookbooks and cookbooks and ephemera published by corporations and the food industry.

  • Cookery and culinary history
    SCUA has thousands of cookbooks and other materials on New England regional cuisine, including community and charitable cookbooks, commercial cookbooks by New England authors, corporate cookbooks, and culinary ephemera.
  • Literature and the arts
    Emphasizing poets and writers, playwrights, and the performing arts in New England.
  • Politics and political culture
    SCUA has rich collections documenting the history and politics of the Commonwealth, including the papers of Congressmen Silvio O. Conte and John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, and State Representative John Clark; and the records of the Hampshire Council of Governments and several individual towns.

University Archives collecting

Serving as the memory of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, SCUA is steward for the official and unofficial records of the university that document the people, policies, programs, facilities, and activities of the campus community. The collections are a rich record of administrative activity at all levels, from system to program, but they focus on documenting the lives and activities of individual administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Other areas

SCUA has developed depth in a handful of other collecting areas, including:

  • American Study of Japan and Asia
    American relations with Japan from the Meiji period to the present, and connections with China and other Asian countries.
  • Gravestone studies and death
    Materials relating to the history, culture, preservation, and interpretation of gravestones and related subjects.
  • Protistology
    Records of the scholarly study of the protista (protozoans).

Learn more:

Adams, Leonard

Leonard Adams Papers
1976-2008
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 093

Leonard Adams (1946-) began his career with the UMass Amherst Libraries in May 1974 when he was hired to work as an Exit Check on the night shift. Before earning his MLS at the University of Rhode Island in 1975, Adams worked in Circulation and Serials, after which he became Serials Cataloger and Bindery Supervisor, and in 1980, Government Documents Librarian. He added Patents and Trademarks to his job duties in 2004. A founding member of the Boston Library Consortium’s Government Documents Interest Group, Leonard Adams served the UMass Amherst Libraries for 33 years before his retirement in May 2008.

Adams’s papers provide insight into the inner-workings of a Government Documents Repository and convey, even in their brevity, the nature of the work of a Government Documents librarian. Included among the papers are professional correspondence, a Government Documents Technical Processing Manual and articles written by Adams, Adams’s annual reports and performance reviews, and other documents relating to Adams’s long tenure at the University Libraries.

Gift of Leonard Adams, May 2008
Subjects
  • Government documents
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Library
Contributors
  • Adams, Leonard, 1946-

Albertson, Dean, 1920-

Dean Albertson Oral History Collection
1975-1977
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 224

A long-time faculty member at UMass Amherst, Dean Albertson was an historian of the twentieth century United States with a specialty in oral history. A veteran of the Second World War, Albertson received his BA from University of California Berkeley (1942) and doctorate from Columbia (1955), joining the Department of History at UMass in 1965 after several years at Brooklyn College. The author of books on Dwight Eisenhower, Claude Wickard (Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Agriculture), and the student movements of the 1960s, Albertson was interested throughout his career in new methods in research and teaching history. He died at his home in Longmeadow, Mass., on March 31, 1989, at the age of 68.

Dean Albertson’s History 384 class at UMass Amherst, required students to conduct oral histories relating to a theme in contemporary U.S. history chosen each year. Between 1975 and 1977, Albertson’s students interviewed social activists of the 1960s and early 1970s, participants and observers in the North End riots of 1975 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and war and nuclear power resisters. The collection includes transcripts of 15 interviews conducted during this period, as well as the students’ papers, which put the transcripts into context.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Civil rights--Massachusetts--Hampden County
  • Demonstrations--Massachusetts--Chicopee
  • History--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts-- Amherst
  • Police shootings--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Political activists--Massachusetts--Interviews
  • Prison riots--New York (State)--attica
  • Puerto Ricans--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Riots--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Selma-Montgomery rights March, 1965.
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Race relations
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Venceremos Brigade
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Protest movements -- Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Welfare rights movement--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Westover Air Force Base (Mass.)
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Alumnus Magazine

Alumnus Magazine Photograph Collection
ca. 1974-1989
(12 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 147
Image of Julius Erving during basketball workshop at UMass, 1980
Julius Erving during basketball workshop at UMass, 1980

The once active photo morgue of the Alumnus Magazine, the Alumnus Magazine Photograph Collection captures diverse aspects of campus life during the 1970s and 1980s, including portraits of campus officials, sports events, commencements, a visit to campus by Julius Erving, and assorted campus buildings and scenery.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Alumni
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Contributors
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
Types of material
  • Photographs
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