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American Revolution Documentary Collection

The American Revolution Documentary Collection
ca.1968-2010
Image of

On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The station’s eclectic and unpredictable broadcasts included music from little-known performers who would emerge into the biggest acts of the day; regularly scheduled live musical performances from local clubs; trenchant political analysis and newscasts of the major events of the day; interviews with legendary cultural figures; and innovative new shows including one of the first women’s programs and the Lavender Hour, the nation’s first regularly broadcast LGBT radio show. Music, politics, culture, and community were intensely interconnected through WBCN, while its “listener line,” which took calls and answered questions on any subject, helped make it a virtual two-way hub for countercultural Boston.

While producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974, former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein recognized the importance of archiving the wealth of primary materials that told the story of WBCN, its community and the dramatic changes of the era. The American Revolution Documentary Collection is the product of Lichtenstein’s energy, serving as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people who witnessed and took part in an extended public conversation on the direction of our nation during the period of profound social, political, and cultural upheaval and who used media to help change it.

TAR collections include:

Selected recordings from the American Revolution Documentary Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. ​Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID’s, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN-FM’s launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/

Subjects
  • Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
  • Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Cambridge (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Nineteen sixties
  • Rock music
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
  • WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings

Amherst (Mass.)

Amherst Town Records
ca.1750-1860
3 reels (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 338 mf

Incorporated in 1775, Amherst was settled by Massachusetts Bay colonists who moved west, first to the Springfield area, then to Amherst. The microfilm records of the town consist of tax and valuation lists.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Microfilm

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records
2002-2016 (Bulk: 2002-2006)
1 box (.4 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 917

Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class flier

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class were a series of dialogue and project action groups begun in 2002 to discuss and enact social change in the school districts and communities around Amherst, MA. They arose as a response by the Amherst Regional High School (ARHS) Parent Center to a question to their group: What were they going to do about racism in the Amherst Schools? The ARHS Parent Center Board suggested the study circle model, and a round of facilitated pilot groups were run in February 2003. The successful pilots stirred the organizers to seek additional support, and with funding from the Amherst Education Foundation and the Amherst Drugs Free Partnership, additional groups were organized each year, building awareness, trust, and power amongst those striving to improve the community’s schools for all students. Almost 200 people, including school administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members participated over the course of several years, and each group culminated in an action forum and set up action groups to propose and enact tangible steps towards specific goals. Action groups affected change in school climate, policies, and course offerings, and organized a standing committee of the ARHS Parent Center called RaDAR: Race and Discipline, Action, Rights.

The Amherst Study Circles: Dialogues on Race and Class Records consist of descriptive materials from the ARHS Parent Center; an organizer’s binder with sections on the origin in 2002, participants, action groups, finances, curriculum, and evaluations; and additional materials such as evaluations for study circle sessions and facilitators, newspaper clippings of articles about the group and their work, and documents for student study circles, such as advertisements, curriculum, and certificates.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst Regional High School (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Classism--Massachusetts
  • Education--Massachusetts
  • Racism--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Amherst Regional High School Parent Center
  • Wolf, Jackie

Antinuclear Activism

Antinuclear Activism Collection
ca.1977-1990
32 boxes (47.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 547

In the mid-1970s, Western Massachusetts was a hotbed of antinuclear activism, sparked both by the proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Montague, Mass., and by the construction and operation of plants nearby in Rowe, Mass., and Seabrook, N.H. A group of activists associated with the Liberation News Service and Montague Farm commune, including Anna Gyorgy, Sam Lovejoy, Harvey Wasserman, Steven Diamond, Chuck Light, and Dan Keller, were instrumental in organizing popular opposition to nuclear power and they helped establish several antinuclear organizations, ranging from the Alternative Energy Coalition to the Renewable Energy Media Service, Clamshell Alliance, and Musicians United for Safe Energy.

The Antinuclear Activism Collection contains the results of the grassroots opposition to nuclear power in Western Massachusetts. The bulk of the collections consists of a variety of publications produced by or collected by a group of antinuclear activists in Franklin County, Mass. In addition to a large number newspapers (e.g. Clamshell Alliance News) and pamphlets, the collection includes t-shirts and bumper stickers, ephemeral publications, notes, sporadic correspondence, and other information collected both for research purposes and to aid in their public campaigns. Of particular interest are a set of early minutes of the Clamshell Alliance Coordinating committee (1977-1978), and information on protests at the Seabrook and Rowe nuclear facilities and the proposed facility at Montague. The collection is part of the Famous Long Ago Archive.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement–Massachusetts
  • Clamshell Alliance
  • Gyorgy, Anna
  • Nuclear energy--Massachusetts
  • Renewable Energy Media Service
Contributors
  • Alternative Energy Coalition

Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records
1989-2005
18 boxes (27 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects
  • Music--17th century
  • Music--18th century
  • Musicians--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Arcadia Players

Artists-Research-Technology, Inc.

Artists-Research-Technology, Inc., Collection
1977-2013
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 832
Image of John Roy, Three Cows
John Roy, Three Cows

Artists-Research-Technology, Inc., was a collaboration of printmakers based in western Massachusetts, that in the late 1970s, began using mechanized offset lithography as an alternative to more traditional lithographic techniques in the production of limited-edition fine art prints. On the commercial press of Hamilton I. Newell, the artists avoided merely adapting artistic processes to offset, placing innovative demands on themselves to explore the intersections of technology and fine art. An extensive body of prints by the key participants (Ron Michaud, Hanlyn Davies, Oriole Feshbach, Hiroshi Murata, John Roy, Dale Schlaeppi, and Larry Spaid) were exhibited nationally and internationally.

The ART collection consists of photographs and original prints by the key members of the ART collaborative, along with phootgraphs, scans, correspondence, minutes of meetings, publicity, a videotape, and other material relating to the project.

Subjects
  • Art and technology
  • Lithography
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History
Contributors
  • Davies, Hanlyn
  • Feshbach, Oriole Farb
  • Michaud, Ronald
  • Murata, Hiroshi, 1941-
  • Roy, John
  • Schläppi, Dale
Types of material
  • Lithographs
  • Photographs

Ashcraft, Barr G.

Barr G. Ashcraft Photograph Collection
1972-1975
2 boxes, ca.125 items
Call no.: PH 007
Image of Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973
Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973

A graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, Wake Forest University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA, 1966), Barr Gallop Ashcraft (1940-2005) lived what he called a “gypsy” life in the late 1960s, traveling through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and eventually settling on a career in photojournalism. As a stringer for news organizations and magazines, he covered the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1972 to 1975, taking other assignments throughout Asia for magazines ranging from Life to National Geographic, Newsweek, and Time. For several years, he lived in Japan, working as a teacher, but returned to Amherst to join his father in the building trade. He remained in Amherst, lecturing occasionally on his experiences as a war correspondent, until his death at his home in Shutesbury in 2005.

The Ashcraft Photograph Collection represents a small fraction of the images he took as a freelance photographer in Southeast Asia during the early 1970s. In both black and white and color prints, the collection provides stark and often graphic evidence of the destruction of the war in Vietnam, emphasizing its latter years and the period of Vietnamization, but also includes documentary work on Cambodia. The remainder of Ashcraft’s 22,000 negatives and accompanying notes were destroyed in a house fire in 1995.

Subjects
  • Cambodia--Photographs
  • Photojournalists
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Vietnam--Photographs
Contributors
  • Ashcraft, Barr G
Types of material
  • Photographs

Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Associated Industries of Massachusetts Collection
1944-1986
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 155

Founded in 1915, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) is the largest non-profit, nonpartisan association of employers in the state and a “voice for business.” As a lobbying organization, the AIM focuses on issues affecting employers of all size in the state with goal of supporting job growth and economic activity and advocates for fair and equitable public policy. The organization also provides services for management and human relations professionals to increase workforce productivity and to improve workforce recruitment and retention.

Approximately half of this small collection consists of AIM newsletters from the 1940s and 1950s, with the other half consisting of newsletters relating to lobbying efforts in the early- to mid-1980s.

Subjects
  • Employers' Associations--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--20th century

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Elwood Babbitt Papers
1974-2000
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 517
Image of Elwood Babbitt, 1970.  Photo by Gary Cohen
Elwood Babbitt, 1970. Photo by Gary Cohen

Clairvoyant from youth, Elwood Babbitt developed his psychic abilities at the Edgar Cayce Institute, and by the mid-1960s, was well known in Western Massachusetts through his readings and lectures, often opening his home to other seekers. Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene State College, worked closely with Babbitt studying the physical effects of the medium’s trance lectures, and by 1967, he began to take on the painstaking process of transcribing and copying them. With communications purporting to come from Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the Hindu god Vishnu, among others, these lectures formed the basis for several books by Hapgood and Babbitt, including Voices of Spirit (1975) and Talks with Christ (1981). Babbitt ultimately established a non-profit, alternative school, the Opie Mountain Citadel, which was essentially run out of Babbitt’s home in Northfield.

The collection consists of proofs of publications, lectures, some correspondence, film reels, and transcripts of spiritual communications for which Babbitt was the medium.

Language(s): German
Subjects
  • Channeling (Spiritualism)
  • Hapgood, Charles H
  • Mediums–Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Bajgier Family

Bajgier Family Papers
1925-1986
2 boxes (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 400
Image of Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937
Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937

On March 13, 1903, Joseph Michael Bajgier was born in Odrzykon, Poland, the youngest of three sons in a farming family. Schooled only through the third grade, Joseph served as a young man in the First Air Division of the Polish Army before following his older brother in emigrating to the United States in 1927. Settling in Chicopee, Mass., with its large and active Polish community, Bajgier began work as a slaughterer of pigs for a meat processing company, but within a few years, he had saved enough money to purchase a small grocery store in Longmeadow. In about 1935, he returned to Chicopee, purchasing a grocery and deli, Bell Market, that his family ran for 36 years. Bajgier was deeply involved in the local Polish community as a member of the Polish National Alliance, the Holy Name Society of St. Stanislaus Parish, and an organization of Polish veterans in exile (Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow). He and his wife Martha (Misiaszek) had two sons, Casimir and Edward

The Bajgier collection documents the lives of a Polish family in Chicopee, Mass., from the time of immigration through the 1970s. The core of the collection surrounds the life of Joseph Bajgier, and includes a number of documents and a diary from the time of his emigration in 1927, a fascinating series of letters from relatives in Turaszowka, Poland before and after the Second World War, and several photographs of the family and their business in Chicopee.

Subjects
  • Chicopee (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Bajgier, Joseph M
Types of material
  • Photographs
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