Alexandra Dawson Papers
20 boxes (30 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 905
An attorney from Hadley, Mass., Alexandra D. Dawson was known throughout New England for her work in conservation law and environmental activism. Born in Maryland in 1931, Dawson married shortly after graduating from Barnard College and after raising a family of three, she resumed her education, earning a law degree from Harvard in 1966. Early in her legal career, she took up the cause of protecting “wildlife, wetlands, and woodlands.” She was among the earliest employees of the Conservation Law Foundation and later served as general counsel for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The author of a string of influential works in environmental law, including (1978), (1982), and the (1978-2006), she was also an educator, teaching at Antioch College (where she launched the environmental studies program), Tufts, the Kennedy School of Government, and Rhode Island School of Design. Among other commitments, Dawson was a key figure in the Kestrel Trust and served long stints on the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and the Hadley Conservation Commission. Dawson died of complication from emphysema on Dec. 30, 2011.
The product of a forty year commitment to conservationism, Dawson’s papers provide valuable documentation of land preservation efforts in New England, with a focus on the evolution of the legal context. Dawson was a formidable figure in efforts to protect wetlands, agricultural land, and open space, and her papers offer insight into land use planning, her teaching, writing, and speaking.
- Land use--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
- Wetlands--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
East German Packaging Design Collection, ca.1955-1985.
4 boxes (6 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 519
The concept of product marketing in a Communist state may seem slightly incongruous, but in the countries of the Eastern Bloc, consumer goods were packaged and sold with much the same care as they were in the west. The Packaging Design Collection contains examples of quotidian products sold during the post-war period, ranging from boxes for soap powder to toothpaste, shampoo, and sugar sacks. The collection documents the visual language used on consumer products in East Germany and the evolution of graphic design in the Communist states of Eastern Europe from the 1950s through 1980s.
- Germany, East
- Packaging--Design--Germany, East
Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies Records, 1982-1989.
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 264
Established in 1983 by a group of faculty and administrators in the Five College community who perceived an urgent need for increased faculty dialogue about issues involving peace, security, and the nuclear arms race. Expanded in 1984 with the support of a grant from the Ford Foundation, PAWSS continued as a multidisciplinary program that sought to engage faculty in a consideration of various perspectives on world security and to assist them with curriculum development involving these issues.
This small collection includes circular letters and flyers produced by PAWSS describing the group’s activities as well as materials used by faculty during summer institutes and to develop curriculum.
- Nuclear disarmament--History--Sources
- Peace movements--Massachusetts
- Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (Mass.)
Sylvia Forman Collection of Local Issues Student Papers, 1983-1987.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 341
Student papers covering topics such as the availability of child care lower income parents in Amherst, Cambodian refugees and their sponsors, teenage pregnancy in Holyoke, and perspectives on community living.
Georgana Foster Collection, 1970s-2007.
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 544
Collection of chiefly newspaper clippings compiled by Georgana Foster documenting the response of the western Massachusetts community to a variety of local and national topics such as the Vietnam War, communes, the re-elections of Congressmen Silvio Conte and John Olver, the Amherst Peace Vigil, the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, and the Iraq War.
- Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
- Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
- Peace movements--Massachusetts
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
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
Gittings-Lahusen Gay Book Collection, ca.1920-2007.
Call no.: RB 005
Barbara Gittings and her life partner Kay Tobin Lahusen were pioneers in the gay rights movement. After coming out during her freshman year at Northwestern University, Gittings became keenly aware of the difficulty of finding material to help her understand her gay identity. An inveterate organizer, she helped found the New York chapter of the early Lesbian organization, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in 1957, and she became well known in the 1960s for organizing the first gay rights demonstrations at the White House and Independence Hall. Gittings later worked with organizations from the American Library Association to the American Psychiatric Association to address systematic forms of anti-gay discrimination.
The Gittings-Lahusen Gay Book Collection contains nearly 1,000 books on the gay experience in America collected by Gittings and Lahusen throughout their career. The contents range from a long run of The Ladder, the DOB magazine co-edited by the couple, to works on the psychology and sociology of homosexuality, works on religious and political issues, novels and histories by gay authors, and examples of the pulp fiction of the 1950s and 1960s.
Frank Grace Papers, 1976-1985.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 863
A radical political organizer, Frank “Parky” Grace was a founding member of the New Bedford chapter of the Black Panther Party. Radicalized during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967, Grace became involved in the antiwar movement upon his return and organized the local branch of the Black Panthers shortly before the New Bedford Rebellion of 1970. In 1972, he and his brother Ross were charged with the murder, receiving life sentences. Parky Grace contended all along that he had been framed by the police for his political activity and in 1982, Ross admitted that he had been responsible for the murder, backing up his brother’s contention that he was not present at the time. Parky Grace was released from prison in 1984 and lived subsequently in New Bedford and Boston. He died in Boston in October 2001.
The Grace Papers consist of a powerful series of letters written to Gloria Xifaras Clark while Grace was confined in Walpole State Penitentiary. Informed by his revolutionary politics, the letters offer insight into the conditions of imprisonment, his treatment by guards, and his relationships with fellow prisoners.
- Black Panther Party
- New Bedford (Mass.)--History
- Walpole State Prison
- Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-
John Remington Graham Collection, 1978-1982.
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 724
As the principal attorney representing the plaintiffs in two lawsuits to prevent the fluoridation of civic water supplies, John Remington Graham had a profound impact on the antifluoridation cause. In November 1978, Graham convinced Allegheny County (Pa.) Judge John P. Flaherty to prohibit fluoridation in the borough of West View, Pa., with the judge writing that it was “simple prudence” to do so in the face of evidence that fluoride was a carcinogen. Four years later, Judge Anthony Ferris ruled similarly in the case of Safe Water Foundation of Texas v. city of Houston, citing not only the carcinogenicity of fluorides, but their toxicity and inefficacy in reducing dental decay.
Consisting of the trial transcripts of Paul Aitkenhead v. Borough of West View (No. GD-4585-78) and Safe Water Foundation of Texas v. City of Houston, District Court of Texas (151st Judicial District, No. 80-52271), the Graham collection documents two high-profile, successful attempts to use the legal system to prevent the fluoridation of public water.
- Antifluoridation movement--Pennsylvania
- Antifluoridation movement--Texas
- Water--Fluoridation--Law and legislation--Pennsylvania
- Water--Fluoridation--Law and legislation--Texas
- Graham, John Remington, 1940-
Types of material
GCIAA Tool Sharpeners Local 1 Records, 1898-1941.
(0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 005
The Tool Sharpeners Local 1 of Granite Cutters International Association of America was established in Quincy, Mass., in 1896. The local represented the interests of one of the skilled trades within the Grant Cutters, which claimed for itself “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.
The minutebooks contain records of membership meetings of the Toolsharpeners Local 1 of the Granite Cutters’ International Association. Spartan documents, these include notice of the election of officers, summaries of business, and occasional brief notes on grievances, communications with other locals, and new and departing members.
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Stone-cutters--Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Granite Cutters' International Association of America
Types of material