Ann Ferguson Papers, 1970-2007.
23 boxes (33 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 101
Ann Ferguson began her tenure at UMass as an Instructor in 1964 as she completed the last year of her doctoral work at Brown under supervision of R.M. Chisolm. With academic interests in ethics, aesthetics, women’s studies, and social and political philosophy, Ferguson has been politically engaged in human rights and social justice initiatives since the 1960s, supporting organizations such as Feminist Aid to Central America, Marxist Activist Philosophers, and the Radical Philosopher’s Association. In 1995, Ferguson accepted a three-year term as Director of Women’s Studies, describing the program as one with the “roots in political activism to fight social injustice.” Despite her 2008 retirement, Ferguson continues to teach in both Philosophy and Women’s Studies.
The Ferguson Papers document Ann Ferguson’s academic career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as well as her commitment to political activism and social change. The papers include material relating to campus politics, the women’s movement and other social movements, Philosophy Department files (1971-1997) from Ferguson’s tenure as Head of the Philosophy Department, and course materials from both Women’s Studies and Philosophy. Also included among the papers are professional correspondence, feminist pamphlets (1970s-1980s), and several posters from Ferguson’s office.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Philosopy
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Women's Studies
Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company Records, 1799.
1 vol. (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 088
Authorized in March 1799, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company constructed a toll road through miles of rough terrain and sparse settlements, connecting Leominster, Athol, Greenfield, and Northfield. Having opened areas to land travel that had previously been accessible only over rivers, the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike ceased operations in 1833 after years of declining revenues.
The collection consists primarily of one volume of records of the directors of the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike, including minutes of meetings, accounts of tolls collected, and drafts of letters.
- Toll roads--Massachusetts
- Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company
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.)
Florence Manufacturing Company Histories, 1916, 1974.
1 folder (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 380
Photocopies of two typescript company histories for the Florence Manufacturing Company: “50 Years of Brush Making (1866-1916)” and “50 More Years of Brush Making, 1916-1974.”
- Broom and brush industry--Massachusetts--History
- Florence Manufacturing Company
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
Henry Flagg French Papers, 1860-1974.
40 items (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 003/1 F74
Although Henry Flagg French was selected as the first president of the new Massachusetts Agricultural College, he served in that office for barely two years. A graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard Law School, French was a strong proponent of scientific agriculture, but in 1866, after falling out with the college administration over campus design, he resigned his office, leaving before the first students were actually admitted.
The French collection includes a suitably small body of correspondence, including 16 letters (1864-1866) from French to the original campus landscape designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, and letters and reports from French to college officials, together with published writings, biographical material about French and his son, sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), and photographs. In part, these are copies of originals in the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers at American University, Washington, DC.
- French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931
- Massachusetts Agricultural College
- Massachusetts Agricultural College. President
- French, Henry F. (Henry Flagg), 1813-1885
- Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903
Laurel K. Gabel Collection, 1976-1990.
11 boxes (12.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 066
A registered nurse by profession, Laurel K. Gabel came to the field of gravestone studies through an initial interest in genealogy. Attending her first Association for Gravestone Studies annual conference in 1980, just three years after the organization’s founding, she quickly became one of the organization’s most active members, noted for presenting papers distinguished equally by their scholarship and accessibility to a wide audience. She has regularly led tours and workshops during conferences, and in more recent years, she has taken a lead role in introducing first-time attendees to the field of gravestone studies. In 1988, Gabel received the AGS’s highest honor, the Harriet Merrifield Forbes Award.
This collection of 35 mm slides was assembled by Gabel for use in illustrating lectures and slide presentations. The collection is divided into two discrete sets, one documenting gravestone design and motifs, and the other documenting specific carvers.
- Gravestones--New England
- Stone carvers--New England
Types of material
G. Edward Gage Papers, 1912-1937.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 131
Recruited to Massachusetts Agricultural College by Lyman Butterfield in 1912, George Edward Gage helped build several scientific departments at the college. Born in Springfield, Mass., on the last day of the year 1884, Gage received his doctorate at Yale in 1909, and served at various points as head of Animal Pathology, Veterinary Science, and Physiology and Bacteriology. He died unexpectedly in March 1948 at the age of 64.
A slender collection, the Gage papers contain seven offprints of Gage’s articles on poultry diseases (1912-1922) and an impressively thorough set of notes taken by MSC student Roy H. Moult in Gage’s Physiology 75 class, 1936-1937.
- Massachusetts State College--Faculty
- Massachusetts State College. Department of Bacteriology and Physiology
- Physiology--Study and teaching
- Gage, G. Edward
- Moult, Roy H
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
W. Walker Gibson Papers, 1936-1993.
3 boxes (3.5 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 062
Walker Gibson, a professor of English at the University from 1967 to 1987, was a passionate teacher of writing and rhetoric and author of humorous verse. Gibson was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1919 but was raised in Albany, New York. He earned his B.A. from Yale in 1940 and began graduate work at Harvard, however, his studies were interrupted by World War II, where he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After the War, Gibson earned his M.A. from the University of Iowa, where he was a research assistant for the Iowa Writers Workshop. For the next twenty years, Gibson taught English and writing at Amherst College and published prose and his signature humorous verse in the New Yorker, Atlantic, Harpers, and the New York Times Magazine among others. Gibson also published several books, including collections of verse, as well as prose works on writing, teaching composition, and literary criticism. Gibson died at the age of 90 in February, 2009.
The Walker Gibson Papers document the writer and teacher’s career through published and unpublished early writings during his years at Yale, binders including his published writings from the 1950s, correspondence with Theodore Baird, his supervisor at Amherst College, and lecture notes from his University writing and English classes. Completing the collection are three folders of miscellaneous correspondence and a folder of Gibson’s unpublished manuscripts from the late seventies and early eighties.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English