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Mainstream Media Project

Mainstream Media Project Records

1995-2012
11 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 976

A World of Possibilities logo, ca. 1998

Founded in 1995, by founder and former executive director Mark Sommer, the Mainstream Media Project (MMP) was a nonprofit public education organization focused on print and broadcast media about creative approaches in achieving peace, security, and sustainability in an interdependent global community. Until its closing in early 2014, it was particularly involved with placing top policy analysts, social innovators, and on-the-ground organizers on radio and television stations across the country and globe. One such project, A World of Possibilities radio show, founded in 2001, was an award-winning one hour weekly show hosted by Sommer. A program “of spirited global conversations,” featuring interviews searching for understanding of, and solutions to, longstanding global public affairs challenges, A World of Possibilities was nationally and internationally syndicated until it ceased broadcasting in 2011.

The MMP Records contain over ten linear feet of CD and DVD masters of uncut interviews and produced radio shows. Shows, including Heart of the Matter and A World of Possibilities, explore promising new thinking and experimentation in fields ranging from energy, food, water, and wilderness to human rights, global security, and public health, and include interviews with leading experts and innovators, such as Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger, Laurie Garrett, Wangari Maathai, Frances Moore Lappe, Howard Gardner, Lily Yeh, Robert Reich, Majora Carter, Van Jones and many more. The collection also contains MMP business files, consisting of correspondence, reports, articles, grant information, and organizational materials.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

  • Activists
  • Environmentalism
  • Globalization
  • Green movement
  • Peaceful change
  • Politics and culture
  • Reconciliation
  • Science--Social aspects
  • Sustainable living
  • Technology--Social aspects

Types of material

  • Interviews
  • Radio programs
Nash, William A.

William A. Nash Papers

ca.1945-2006
13 boxes 19.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 125

in 1944, William Nash graduated as valedictorian of Illinois Institute of Technology in civil and mechanical engineering and five years later he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. Pursuing a career in naval engineering, Nash worked as a research engineer at the Naval Ship Research and Development Center in Washington, D.C. (1949-1954) and as a structural researcher at Bethesda Naval Institute (1953-1957), where he participated in the deepest recorded naval dive and reverse engineering of recovered Soviet submarines off the coast of Norway, the details of which remain classified. After nine years teaching mechanical engineering at the University of Florida, Nash joined the Department of Civil Engineering at UMass in 1967, where he remained until his retirement in 1992. During his career, Nash also served as a consultant for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Lockheed International, General Electric and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Nash Papers contain correspondence, publications, and research notes documenting William Nash’s varied academic work and teaching as an engineer, along with selected work of his students.

Subjects

  • Marine engineers
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Civil Engineering

Contributors

  • Nash, William A
Snow, Ephraim

Ephraim Snow Daybook

1822-1878
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 198 bd
Image of

The wheelwright Ephraim Snow was born in Rochester, Mass., on Sept. 9, 1821, the son of Samuel and Rhoda (Stewart) Snow. Apparently beginning as a general carpenter, he moved to neighboring Mattapoisett shortly after 1850, where he worked as a wheelwright for many years. He married Silvia A. Nickerson on July 1, 1858, who died after giving birth to their fourth child in 1874. Ephraim Snow appears to have died in Mattapoisett in either 1880 or 1881.

This unusual daybook offers an intimate glimpse into the lively shipbuilding and whaling village of Mattapoisett as these industries peaked and begin to decline. The earliest portions of the books include sparse accounts apparently kept by Samuel Snow, Ephraim’s father, with Ephraim’s day book covering the period 1842-1878. Most of his work involved repairing or manufacturing wagon wheels or shafts, but he applied his skills quite widely in repairing wheelbarrows, chairs, cradles, and boxes, hanging doors or doing general house carpentry, and taking boarders in his home. Interspersed in the volume are a large number of poems, a few nicely rendered pen and ink drawings, and a small handful of letters.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

  • Mattapoisett (Mass.)--History
  • Mattapoisett (Mass.)--Social conditions
  • Wheelwrights--Massachusetts--Mattapoisett

Contributors

  • Snow, Ephraim

Types of material

  • Pen drawing
  • Poems
  • Tintypes (Prints)
Thompson, William

William Thompson Account Book

1861-1862
1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 097

During the years of the Civil War, George Dodge and Co. operated a general store, possibly in Worcester County, Mass., selling a range of personal consumables.

This diminutive account book includes records of personal purchases by William Thompson at a general store operated by George Dodge and Co. Beginning in Dec. 1861, Thompson purchased small quantities of goods such as coffee, fish, pork, flour and rye meal, bed cord and suspenders, indigo, molasses, and butter, settling his accounts in January 1864.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Thompson, William

Types of material

  • Account books
Tilton, Hannah

Hannah Tilton Account Book

1845-1885
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 250 bd

Born into a working class family from New Bedford, Mass., in Nov. 1829, Hannah Sisson was the daughter of a cooper Job Tilton and his wife Patience, and was raised in the multigenerational home owned by her grandparents John and Nancy Tilton. In April 1853, Hannah married George Oliver Tilton, a farmer from Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, and moved to the island.

The first 340 pages of this daybook detail the daily transactions of a general store in New Bedford between 1845 and 1847. The store traded in very small quantities of consumable goods, ranging from a gallon of molasses to 150 crackers, a pound of butter, a peck of potatoes or apples, flour, pork, and fish. Most purchases were for less than a dollar.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--New Bedford
  • New Bedford (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Daybooks
U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. Bureau of Valuation

U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of Valuation, Engineering Report upon the Boston and Maine Railroad Company

1931
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 641

Chartered in 1835, the Boston and Maine Railroad was one of the largest and most successful railroad operations in northern New England for over a century, hauling both freight and passengers. The Railway began a slow decline as early as the 1930s with the decline in manufacturing in the region and later with the decline of passenger service. It came through a bankruptcy in 1970 and continues as a non-operating ward of Pan Am Railways.

This collection consists of blueprint valuations of the assets of the Boston and Maine Railroad, compiled by the Bureau of Valuation of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission in 1931.

Subjects

  • Boston and Maine Railroad
  • Railroads--New England
Wells, Samuel

Samuel Wells Collection

1840-1843
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 225

In November 1840, the prominent New York mercantile firm, Josiah Macy and Son, contracted with Samuel Wells to act as an agent in leasing land in Hatfield, Mass., to mine barite. Wells, a resident of nearby Northampton, consulted with the renowned geologist Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College to locate the appropriate mining site, and then, over the next two years, he negotiated the leases and prepared for the start-up of mining. Ultimately, the presence of the lead ore galena rendered the barite unfit for use as a whitening agent.

The three dozen letters written to Samuel Wells, mostly by his employer Josiah Macy and Son, document the brief and ill-fated effort to start up a barite mine in Hatfield, Mass. Although some of the letters deal with the barite itself, most concern negotiations over locating the proper mine site and obtaining mineral rights and land leases.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1989

Subjects

  • Barite mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield
  • Hatfield (Mass.)--History
  • Lead mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield

Contributors

  • Chase, G. C.
  • Hitchcock, Edward, 1793-1864
  • Josiah Macy and Son
Wheeler, Truman, Jr.

Truman Wheeler, Jr., Account Book

1813-1833
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 036 bd

Truman Wheeler, Jr., of Great Barrington, Mass., is considerably more obscure than his father, a prominent merchant, but in the two decades after the War of 1812, he made his living raising and selling rye, oats, and corn, tending sheep, and operating a substantial cider mill.

Wheeler Jr.’s account book records an array of fairly typical transactions in a non-cash economy, in which goods (grain, cider, barrels, food) or services (rental of the cider mill, lodging, labor) of one sort were exchanged for another. The frequency and scale of his cidering operation, and his rental of his cider mill when not used, is a distinguishing feature of his account book, which includes accounts with members of the Burghardt, Ives, Tucker, Warner, Wheeler, Willcox, and other families, as well as with Jack Negro, to whom Wheeler sold grain, pork, and brandy in exchange for assistance in haying.

Subjects

  • Cider industry--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Negro, Jack

Types of material

  • Account books
Woodward, John

John Woodward Account book

1838-1868
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 063 bd

John Woodward was a farmer in Groton, Mass., during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Although little is known of his life, it appears that Woodward was born in nearby Tyngsboro on March 7, 1813, and that he married twice: first to Rebecca Sawtelle of Groton in 1823 and second to Mary Jane Nutting — almost 30 years his junior — in Dec. 1866. With Mary Jane, at least, he was highly reproductive, fathering his first son, a seventh child, at the age of 66. Woodward died in Groton on Apr. 20, 1895, and was buried in his family’s ancestral home of Dunstable.

John Woodward’s accounts document the financial transactions of fairly typical farmer in Groton over the period of three decades. Raising an array of produce, from cranberries and chestnuts, to squash, barley, apples, and turnips, Woodward also raised poultry and a variety of livestock. The ledger documents the day to day exchanges of food and labor that comprised the core of the local economy. Noteworthy among his customers are locally prominent families such as Blood and Swett and at least two Nuttings.

Subjects

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Groton
  • Groton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Types of material

  • Account books
Abair, Gene

Gene Abair Alcoholism Collection

ca.1875-1962
ca. 100 vols. 11 linear feet
Call no.: RB 002

After joining Alcoholics and Anonymous in Springfield to regain control over his life, Gene Abair emerged a new man. And a bibliophile. A janitor with a limited education, Abair began to collect books relating to alcoholism and temperance, eventually devoting himself to making his growing collection available to alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike as a lending library. The collection was acquired by UMass in 1972 with the assistance of Abair’s friend, Mrs. Walter E. Carlson, and about 100 titles (of over 400) were transferred to SCUA.

The Abair Collection includes works on the physiology, psychology, ethics, and social history of alcohol consumption from the mid-19th through the mid-twentieth centuries. Among other items, it includes key works on medical aspects of inebriety, personal narratives and biographies of temperance leaders and alcoholics, and books on the formal temperance movement and prohibition.

Subjects

  • Abair, Gene
  • Alcoholism
  • Drinking of alcoholic beverages
  • Prohibition
  • Temperance