Special Collections and University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries

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The University Archives is a partner in preserving the legal and historical record of UMass Amherst and we work with academic, administrative, and other units all across campus. Our goal is to make the process of transferring records to the archives as simple as possible while ensuring that the records can be found and retrieved easily.

The record transfer process

  • Confirm that the records you wish to transfer are no longer needed for regular operations in your department. Remove and destroy any duplicate or redundant files as well as those not scheduled for retention.
    • In most cases, we advise retaining three years of records in-house, transferring only older records.
  • Rehouse the records to be transferred into banker boxes which we provide. Keep the current file order intact.
  • Create an inventory of the records using the transfer form (excel) we provide and label the corresponding boxes using the box labels template (MS Word).
    • To assist in identification and retrieval, please keep file names clear, concise, and memorable.
  • Inform the archivists of any restrictions on access that apply to files being transferred. If any records are scheduled for future destruction, please note carefully which are to be destroyed and when.
  • Schedule a time for pick up by emailing or phoning (413-545-2780) the Archives. Please allow 2-3 business days.
    • Upon receipt of the materials at the Archives, we will send an acknowledgment for your records and provide you with an accession number for future reference.
    • Make three copies of the transfer form: two are for use by the archives, and the third will serve as your record of transfer and guide for future access.

Is this your first time transferring records to the archives?

Email or call (413-545-2780) us for a consultation. We will survey your records, discuss best practices for caring for your files, and review the transfer process.

How can you retrieve items that have been sent to the archives?

Email or call (413-545-2780) us with the following information: accession number, Record Group (RG) number, Box number, and folder title. We will retrieve requested materials and deliver them, typically within 2-3 business days.

Trent Family Papers, 1850-1996

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 373

Five generations of an African-American family that achieved commercial success and wealth through the restaurant and catering business as well as extensive real estate investments at the turn of the 20th century in New York City, Brooklyn, and Sea Cliff, Long Island, New York. Includes letters, public and church records, news clippings, ephemera, a videotape, and 87 photographs.


  • African American capitalists and financiers--New York (State)--Biography
  • African American families--New York (State)--History
  • African Americans--Genealogy--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • African Americans--New York (State)--Biography
  • African Americans--New York (State)--Social life and customs
  • Burleigh, H. T. (Harry Thacker), 1866-1949
  • Capitalists and financiers--New York (State)--Biography
  • Fuller, Meta Warrick, 1877-1968
  • Landowners--New York (State)--Biography
  • Restauranteurs--New York (State)--Biography
  • Smith family
  • Smith, William H. (William Henry), 1836-1923
  • Trent family

Types of material

  • Baptismal certificates
  • Deeds
  • Genealogies
  • Photographs
  • Vital statistics records
  • Wills

Ralph L. Tucker Collection, 1951-ca.2000

14 boxes (6 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 041
Erased stone, Salem, Mass.
Erased stone, Salem, Mass.

Known for his extensive research into Boston and Merrimac Valley area gravestone carvers, particularly Joseph Lamson and John Hartshorne, Ralph Tucker received the AGS Forbes Award in 1992 for his excellence in carver research. One of the attendees at the inaugural Dublin Seminar, and the first President of the Association for Gravestone Studies, Tucker served as editor of a column, “17th and 18th Century Gravestones and Carvers,” in the AGS Newletter from 1993-1999. Born on May 29, 1921 in Winthrop, Mass., Tucker attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, and Episcopal Theological School. He married Mildred R. Moore in 1946 and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1947. Tucker spent two years as a missionary in China, returning to serve parishes in Utah, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. In addition to extending his ministry to hospitals and prisons, he participated in 1960s Civil Rights protests in Alabama and Boston. In 1985 he went to Zimbabwe as a missionary, retiring to Maine soon thereafter where he acted as interim pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Bath. Tucker died March 28, 2010, and was survived by his wife, four sons — Ralph, Jr., Richard R., Roger W., and Paul M. Tucker, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Tucker collection includes research notes and copies of published works stemming from Ralph Tucker’s decades of research on stone carvers and other gravestone-related topics, along with hundreds of images documenting carvers and stones in Massachusetts.


  • Cemeteries--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts


  • Tucker, Ralph L.

Types of material

  • Photographs

Abel Turner, The Life and Travels of Abel Turner, 1839

451p. (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 708 bd

As a young man in Foxcroft, Maine, Abel Turner was caught up in the evangelical revivals and converted to Free Will Baptism, becoming a minister by the age of 21. Beginning in the backwoods settlements, Turner spent the better part of a decade attempting to “convert sinners” in Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties and the in the Burned-Over District of New York state, from Utica to Penn Yan and Cattaraugus County.

Written for his wife, Abel Turner’s long and detailed autobiography is a remarkable record of a young Free Will Baptist minister’s labors during the Second Great Awakening. Beginning with his childhood in Maine and his conversion experience, the manuscript provides insight into Turner’s experiences preaching in the rough-hewn interior settlements of Maine and the Burned-Over District of New York from roughly 1821 through 1839. In addition to some wonderful commentary on evangelical religion in the heart of the Awakening and on Turner’s own spiritual development, the memoir includes fascinating descriptions of the towns and people he met along the way.


  • Free Will Baptists (1727-1935)--Clergy
  • Maine--History--19th century
  • New York (State)--History--19th century
  • Second Great Awakening--Maine--History
  • Second Great Awakening--New York (State)--History


  • Turner, Abel

Types of material

  • Autobiographies

Phileman L. Tyler Daybooks, 1841-1852

2 vols. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 236 bd

The shoemaker, Philemon L. Tyler, was born in Massachusetts in 1812. He and his wife Tersilla, also a native of Massachusetts, settled in New York some time before the birth of their first child in 1838. By 1850, after at least a decade in the village of Springville in the agricultural town of Concord, New York, Tyler had three children, and real estate valued at $4,400.

Daybooks include a record of the prices of boots and shoes, and the method and form of payment (rarely cash, sometimes labor, but often apples, potatoes, chicken, wheat, mutton, pork, beef, hay, and other farm products such as cow hides and calf skins).


  • Barter--New York--Erie County--History--19th century
  • Boots--Prices--New York--Erie County--History--19th century
  • Debtor and creditor--New York--Erie County--History--19th century
  • Erie County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Erie County (N.Y.)--Rural conditions--19th century
  • Hides and skins--New York--Erie County--History--19th century
  • Shoemakers--New York--Erie County--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Shoes--Prices--New York--Erie County--History--19th century
  • Springville (Erie County, N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Springville (Erie County, N.Y.)--Rural conditions--19th century


  • Tyler, Phileman L., 1812-

Types of material

  • Daybooks

United States Information Service Photographs of Laos, 1961-1969

1 envelope (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 145

Photographs taken in the 1960s by the United States Information Service depicting Lao dignitaries, the funeral of King Sisavongvong, the cremation of Prince Ratsamphanthavong at Luong Prabong, a Pathet Lao soldier, a Yao woman, and a Lao woman.


  • Laos--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs

UAW District 65 Collection, ca.1985

1 folder (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 320

The decision of clerical and technical workers at Boston University to organize with District 65 of the UAW was as rooted in the labor movement as it was in the womens movement. By the early 1970s, office workers at B.U. were dissatsified with working conditions that included — among other grievances — sexual harassment and a classification system that did not value “women’s work.” In 1979 after an intense struggle with the administration, B.U. finally recognized the union and signed their first contract.

The collection includes a printed history and videotape documenting unionization activities at Boston University’s Medical Campus.


  • Boston University. Medical Campus
  • Collective bargaining--Professions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Collective labor agreements--Medical personnel --Massachusetts--Boston--History
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts


  • United Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65

Types of material

  • Videotapes

United Paperworkers International Strike Support Group Collection, 1988

1 folder (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 322

By February 1988 members of of United Paperworkers International Union Local 14 of Jay, Maine, had been on strike for seven months. With the support of their state officials and officials of Massachusetts and Northampton AFL-CIO, a caravan of strikers traveled to Northampton to inform the public of their struggle. Collection is limited to a city of Northampton resolution and a brief report of the strikers position and their trip to the city.


  • Paper industry workers--Labor unions--Maine
  • Strikes and lockouts--Paper industry--Maine


  • United Paperworkers International Union. Local 14

United Steelworkers of America Local 3654 Records, ca. 1940-1979

11 boxes (5.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 316

Local 3654 of the United Steel Workers of America was organized in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Records include Minutes, by-laws, newsletters, grievances, company reports, and publications.


  • Labor unions--Massachusetts


  • United Steelworkers of America. Local 3654
Goat cart at football game with Amherst College, ca.1913
Goat cart at football game vs.
Amherst College, ca.1913

The University Archives contains the official and unofficial records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst throughout its evolution from a small agricultural college into a dynamic and complex university. Within the archives are letters and artifacts, records, photographs, and sound recordings documenting the lives of its founders, the pursuits of its faculty, and the changing attitudes of its students and alumni, revealing what high quality public education means to our Commonwealth and nation.


Among the hundreds of discrete collections and over 13,000 linear feet of records are the official papers of Chancellors, Presidents, Trustees, and other administrators; information about the University’s academic units and student organizations; and the founding documents of our sister campuses at Worcester, Boston, Lowell, and Dartmouth. The papers of faculty members add a wealth of information about the lives and intellectual pursuits of our campus community as well as their chosen academic disciplines.

Finding things in the archives

concordance to the archives

A comprehensive alphabetical index of UMass departments, programs, and other units, including acronyms. Each entry includes a reference to the archival Record Group where the records can be found.

YouMass wiki

YouMass is wiki devoted to the life and history of the campus community.

Credo digital repository

SCUA’s digital repository Credo is home to all of SCUA’s digital collections, including UMass student publications, 12,000 university-related photographs, oral histories, and much more…

Links to University archives resources

Records relating to

People and groups on campus


Faculty and fields

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