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University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students

University of Massachusetts Amherst Student Publications Collection

Image of Collegian editorial staff, 1921-1922
Collegian editorial staff, 1921-1922

Since almost the time of first arrival of students at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1867, the college’s students have taken an active role in publishing items for their own consumption. Beginning with the appearance of the first yearbook, put together by the pioneer class during their junior year in 1870 and followed by publication of the first, short-lived newspaper, The College Monthly in 1887, students have been responsible for dozens of publications from literature to humor to a range of politically- and socially-oriented periodicals.

This series consists of the collected student publications from Massachusetts Agricultural College, Massachusetts State College, and UMass Amherst, including student newspapers, magazines, newsletters, inserts, yearbooks, and songbooks. Publications range from official publications emanating from the student body to unofficial works by student interest groups or academic departments. Links to digitized versions of the periodicals are supplied when available.

  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Students
  • Massachusetts State College--Students
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Types of material
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers

University of Massachusetts Amherst. University as a Whole

University of Massachusetts Amherst. University as a Whole

82.75 linear feet
Call no.: RG 001

Established under the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1863, the Massachusetts Agricultural College began with four faculty members and 56 students distributed among four wooden buildings and acres of farms, orchards, and fields. In keeping with the progressive educational principles of its early years, the College offered advanced instruction in the eminently practical pursuit of agriculture, while its fellow land grant college, MIT, covered the mechanical arts. Although “Mass Aggie’s” fortunes waxed and waned, it grew to become Massachusetts State College in 1931, and the University of Massachusetts in 1947.

Among the official publications of the University in Record Group 1 are institutional histories, annual reports, special reports, minutes, directories, catalogs, newsclippings, press releases, and memorabilia.

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Literary Society

University of Massachusetts Literary Society Collection

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.

  • Authors, American
  • Novelists, American
  • Poets--United States
  • 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

University of Massachusetts. Trustees

University of Massachusetts Amherst. Trustees

84.25 linear feet
Call no.: RG 002

When Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew incorporated the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863, the fourteen members of the board were charged with creating a new agricultural college. Since that time, the Board of Trustees (including student trustees) had governed the University, meeting regularly to act on University-wide matters of policy, mission, finance, and campus maintenance. Governance responsibilities in some areas (e.g., tuition, academic program review and approval) are shared with the statewide Board of Higher Education. The Board of Trustees maintains a Chair and six standing committees: Executive, Administration and Finance, Academic and Student Affairs, Athletics, Audit, and External Affairs. The President and the Five College Chancellors administer board policy.

The bulk of the Board of Trustees records consists of meeting minutes (1906-2007) and Trustee Documents (1963-2007), along with the papers of a small number of individual trustees and the records of the Trustees’ “Commission on the Future of the University of Massachusetts” (1988-1989), which resulted in the consolidation of the state’s five public university campuses under a single President and Board of Trustees. In partnership with the Board of Trustees, SCUA has digitized the complete minutes of the Board from chartering of the university in 1863 through 2004.

  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. Trustees
  • Massachusetts State College. Trustees
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Trustees
Types of material
  • Minutes

Collections in SCUA

Rope pull participants, ca.1913

Rope pull participants, ca.1913

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is a center for research into the history and impact of social change and the history and cultures of New England.

Regardless of format, the collections in SCUA are richly interconnected, with particular depth for a suite of movements devoted to social justice. We have exceptional holdings for African American history and culture; organized labor; the peace, antiwar, and antinuclear movements; political and cultural radicalism; alternative societies; spiritual approaches to social change; and the history of agriculture, with an increasing emphasis on organic agriculture and sustainability.

SCUA houses approximately 40,000 rare books, hundreds of thousands of photographs, and nearly 45,000 linear feet of archives, including nationally significant manuscript collections and the official records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SCUA supports the work of a wide range of researchers, from undergraduates to senior scholars and journalists to family historians, and we are resource for the individuals and communities we document.

In addition to the major areas of collecting interest, SCUA in home to an eclectic assortment of materials documenting Revolutionary-era France and Belgium (1789-1848); the history of protistology; and the American study of Japan.

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EarthAction Records

26 boxes 39 linear feet
Call no.: MS 562

Established by Lois Barber in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1992 with their first campaign at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, EarthAction has been organizing international campaigns ever since. As the world’s largest action network, the group’s campaigns address a variety of global issues from climate change and nuclear weapons to children’s rights and empowering women to protect the land. With a mission both to inform people about pressing problems facing the world and to move them to action, EarthAction creates and distributes information kits aimed at different audiences: individuals and groups, policymakers, and journalists.

The collection includes administrative files that illustrate the process of building a campaign, financial records, and publications, as well as action, legislative, and media kits created for many of the group’s international campaigns.

Gift of Lois Barber, 2008-2017
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
  • Peace movements
  • Social action
  • Social justice

Field, William Franklin, 1922-

William F. Field Papers

27 boxes 13.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
Image of William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971
William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971

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
  • Correspondence
  • Memorandums

Justice for Woody

Justice for Woody Records

3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 444
Image of Rally against police brutality
Rally against police brutality

The organization Justice for Woody (JFW) was formed in December of 2001 in the weeks immediately following the death of Robert “Woody” Woodward, a political and environmental activist, social worker, teacher, and mountaineer. JFW seeks not only to honor Woody’s legacy, but also to advocate for a fair an independent investigation. The collection consists primarily of newspaper articles from various New England papers as well as Attorney General Sorrell’s Report and an independent analysis of it.

  • Brattleboro (Vt.). Police
  • Law enforcemnet--Vermont
  • Police brutality--Vermont
  • Police discretion
  • Woodward, Robert, d. 2001
  • Wrongful death--Vermont

Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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Perske, Robert

Robert and Martha Perske Papers

13 boxes 19.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 772
Image of Bob and Martha Perske with their dog, Wolfie, 2004
Bob and Martha Perske with their dog, Wolfie, 2004

While serving with the U.S. Navy in the Philippines during World War II, the teenaged Bob Perske became aware of the vulnerable and disabled in society and turned his life toward advocacy on their behalf. Studying for the ministry after returning to civilian life, Perske was appointed chaplain at the Kansas Neurological Institute, serving children with intellectual disabilities for 11 years, after which he became a full-time street, court, and prison worker — a citizen advocate — laboring in the cause of deinstitutionalization and civil rights of persons with disabilities, particularly those caught in the legal system. After Bob married his wife Martha in 1971, the two became partners in work, with Martha often illustrating Bob’s numerous books and articles. In 2002, Perske was recognized by the American Bar Association as the only non-lawyer to ever receive the Paul Hearne Award for Services to Persons with Disabilities.

The Perske Papers contains a fifty year record of published and unpublished writings by Bob Perske on issues surrounding persons with disabilities, along with correspondence, photographs, and other materials relating to the Perskes’ activism. The correspondence includes a particularly rich set of letters with a fellow advocate for persons with disabilities, Robert R. Williams.

Gift of Robert and Martha Perske, 2013
  • Mental retardation--Social aspects
  • People with disabilities--Deinstitutionalization
  • People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
  • Perske, Martha
  • Williams, Robert R.
Types of material
  • Photographs