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Manuscript collections

Geisha, from the Benjamin Smith Lyman Papers
Geishas, from Benjamin Smith Lyman Papers

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives collects and preserves textual, visual, and auditory materials of enduring historical value and makes them available to researchers at no charge.

The collections held by SCUA are rich and deeply interrelated, documenting four areas of historic and cultural interest: social change, New England, the University of Massachusetts, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Among the distinguished collections held by SCUA are the records of:

  • W.E.B. Du Bois and Horace Mann Bond (African American intellectuals and civil rights pioneers)
  • The Africa America Institute
  • The New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (350 years of Quaker history in the region)
  • The Hampshire Council of Governments (350 years of county-level governance in western Massachusetts
  • David Steindl-Rast (Benedictine monk, participant in interfaith dialogue, and student of the interaction between spirituality and science)
  • Kenneth R. Feinberg (attorney and public figure)
  • Congressman Silvio E. Conte and John Olver, Gov. Jane Swift, and state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (politicians)
  • The Clarke School for the Deaf, International Center for the Disabled, Elmer C. Bartels, Fred Pelka and Denise Kurath, Judi Chamberlin, Lucy Gwin (advocates for people with disabilities)
  • Benjamin Smith Lyman, William Smith Clark, and William Penn Brooks (natural scientists)
  • Mark H. McCormack and Sidney Topol (innovators)
  • William Lederer, Leonard Lewin, Jodi Picoult, Andrew Coburn, Mary McGarry Morris, Harvey Swados, Robert Francis, Charles Whipple (writers)
  • Carl Oglesby, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst, Raymond Mungo, Anna Gyorgy, Mary Wentworth, Randy Kehler, the Liberation News Service, and the Alternative Energy Alliance (activists)
  • Jeff Albertson, Burt Brooks, Alton H. Blackington, Lionel Delevingne, Thomas and Margaret Tenney, and Diana Mara Henry (photographers and photojournalists)

Information about all of our manuscript and photographic collections is included in UMarmot. Use the search box and menus to the right to navigate our collections and to locate collections of interest.

Learn more:

Marcus, Joseph S.

Joseph S. Marcus Papers
1954-1977
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 081
Image of Joseph S. Marcus
Joseph S. Marcus

Joseph Sol Marcus arrived at UMass in 1948 as an Instructor in Civil Engineering and graduate student (MS 1954), remaining there for the rest of his career. Born in Oct. 29, 1921, he was educated at Worcester Polytech (BS 1944) and after war-time service with the Navy, he joined the rapidly growing engineering program at UMass. Although chemical engineer, he took responsibility for the fluid mechanics laboratory and taught in civil and mechanical engineering, and after gaining experience through courses from the Atomic Energy Commission and a year spent at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, he introduced nuclear engineering into the curriculum. As he rose through the academic ranks, Marcus became a key figure in university administration, serving as Associate Dean of Engineering, as preceptor for Emily Dickinson House on Orchard Hill, and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for long-range planning, while serving on committees for military affairs, Engineering hopnors, transfers and admissions, discipline, and Continuing Education. Marcus died of cancer on Nov. 1, 1985. Marcus Hall was named in his honor.

The Joseph Marcus Papers document Marcus’s extensive involvement in campus affairs at UMass Amherst, with an emphasis on the period 1965-1975. A small quantity of material relating to his profession activities and academic appointments is joined by well organized files relating to his participation in committees of Engineering honors, Military Affairs (1967-1968), the Orchard Hill residential college and Emily Dickinson House (1964-1969), ROTC and AFROTC curricula, transfers and admissions, the library, Upward Bound, Discipline (1964-1971), and Continuing Education (1970-1977).

Subjects
  • Continuing education
  • Residential colleges
  • United States. Army. Reserve Officers' Training Corps
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Civil Engineering

Mayants, Lazar, 1912-

Lazar Mayants Papers
1941-2003
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 009

Born in Gomel, Russia in 1912, Lazar Mayants earned a PhD in chemistry (1941) from the Karpov Institute for Physical Chemistry and a Doctor of Science in physics and mathematics (1947) at the Lebedev Institute for Physics (FIAN), both in Moscow. With primary research interests in theoretical molecular spectroscopy, applied linear algebra, quantum physics, probability theory and statistics, and the philosophy of science, he began his career as Professor and Chair of the Theoretical and General Physics Departments at Ivanovo, Saratov, and Smolensk Universities in Russia. Mayants came to University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1981 as a visiting professor, becoming an Adjunct in 1987. He taught at UMass for over six years, often forgoing a paycheck as a result of decreased funding in the sciences. He remained in Amherst until his death in November 2002.

The Mayants Papers are comprised of professional correspondence, drafts of articles, personal and financial records, and notes for research and teaching. Mayants’s dissertation from the Lebedev Institute for Physics is also included with the collection.

Subjects
  • Physics--Research
  • Quantum theory
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Physics
Contributors
  • Mayants, Lazar, 1912-

McCarthy, Harold T.

Harold T. McCarthy Papers
1958-1989
4 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 028

Author, English professor, and University of Massachusetts alumnus (class of 1941) Harold T. McCarthy taught at the University of Massachusetts from 1959 and into his retirement in the late 1980s. In addition to his books on Henry James (1968) and the expatriate perspective on the idea of America (1972), he wrote fiction and poetry as well as critical articles on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Richard Wright.

The McCarthy collection includes correspondence, typescript manuscripts, poems, travel journals, and class materials including syllabi and lecture notes.

Subjects
  • American literature--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States
  • Amherst (Mass.)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • College teachers--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • McCarthy, Harold T. Expatriate perspective
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Alumni and alumnae
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • McCarthy, Harold T
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Lecture notes
  • Letters (Correspondence)

McKenzie, Malcolm Arthur

Malcolm Arthur McKenzie Papers
1926-1995
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 107

Forest pathologist and arboriculturist Malcolm Arthur McKenzie was born in Providence, Rhode Island in April 1903. After attending Brown University (PhD Forest Pathology, 1935), he worked successively as a field assistant for the United States Forest Service forest products lab, as an instructor at the University of North Carolina, and finally with the University of Massachusetts Shade Tree Laboratory. He conducted important research on the diseases of shade trees, including Dutch elm disease, wood decay, and tree pests, as well as related issues in tree hazards in public utility work and municipal tree maintenance.

The McKenzie Papers document McKenzie’s association with the UMass Shade Tree Lab, along with some professional correspondence, research notes and publications, and McKenzie’s dissertation on willows.

Gift of Francis W. Holmes, June 2000
Subjects
  • Plant pathology
  • Shade trees
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Botany Department
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Shade Tree Laboratory
Contributors
  • McKenzie, Malcolm Arthur, 1903-

McKie, Neil

Neil McKie Daybook
1844
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 240 bd

Merchant who owned a dry goods and general merchandise shop in Easton, New York. Daybook representing purchases by hundreds of customers (some of whom were from among the region’s Quaker community) primarily from Easton, South Easton, and Cambridge, listed by surname, as well as lists of a wide variety of dry goods including some textiles identified by town of origin.

Subjects
  • Akin, E. N
  • Beadle, D. S
  • Cambridge (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Dingman, Henry
  • Dry-goods--Prices--New York--Easton--19th century
  • Easton (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Foster, Rhodon
  • General stores--New York--Easton
  • Hoag, Isaac
  • Hunt, Daniel
  • McKie, George
  • Quakers--New York (State)--Cambridge
  • Quakers--New York (State)--Easton
  • Starbuck, Hiram
  • Thomas, D. C
  • Whiteside, Abbey
Contributors
  • McKie, Neil
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Daybooks

McNeal, Robert Hatch, 1930-

Robert Hatch McNeal Papers
1955-1986
8 boxes (4 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 079

Robert H. McNeal, a renowned expert on the history of the Soviet Union, joined the University faculty in 1969 and served as the head of the History department from 1971 to 1975. McNeal wrote authoritative works on Soviet leadership, contributed to the World Book and a number of other reference works, and taught many History courses on Russian and Soviet history. His work, however, came to a tragic end in 1988 when his car was broadsided pulling out of a gas station near Princeton University. Born in 1930 in Newark, New Jersey, McNeal earned his B.A. From Yale University in 1952, his M.A. from Columbia in 1954, and Ph.D. from the same school in 1958.

Representing mainly his work as a teacher at the University of Massachusetts, McNeal’s papers include lecture notes, ordered alphabetically by topic as well as several folders of research and article manuscripts on Pushkanen. Also included in the collection are two years of professional correspondence from 1968-1970, biographical sketches and photographs of important historical figures, and several Soviet Christmas cards from the 1950s.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History
Contributors
  • McNeal, Robert Hatch, 1930-

Medieval and Early Print Studies

Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection
1504-2016
79 titles (24 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 030

Although SCUA’s book collections are focused heavily on modern printing, the evolution of the book and the history of production and spread of the printed word are critical to our instructional mission.

The Medieval and Early Print Studies Collection consists of a growing body of facsimiles of medieval manuscripts and early printed books selected for use in teaching about the history of printing and reading. Emphasizing high quality reproduction, the facsimiles represent a variety of regional styles and traditions in text and illustration, primarily in Europe, from the 11th century through the incunuable era. A handful of post-incunables have been included.

Subjects
  • Manuscripts, Medieval--Facsimiles
  • Printing--History

Meier, August, 1923-2003

August Meier Collection
1837-1984
3 boxes, 329 titles (34.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 844
Image of

A pioneer in African American history, August Meier was a model of an engaged academic, a prolific writer, active participant in the civil rights struggle, and staunch member of the NAACP, SNCC, and CORE. While pursuing graduate work at Columbia under Henry Steele Commager, Meier taught at a succession of Historical Black Colleges, including Tougaloo (1945-1949), Fisk (1953-1956), and Morgan State (1957-1964). His dissertation, completed in 1957, became the first of eleven books he wrote or edited, Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 (1963), with much of later work conducted in collaboration with Elliott Rudwick and John Bracey. Meier joined the faculty at Kent State University in 1967 and remained there until his retirement in 1993. His much-anticipated monograph on the history of the NAACP had not been completed at the time of death in 2003.

Organized in two discrete parts, the Meier collection bookends a long career in the study of African American history. The first part of the collection is centered on Meier’s association with the Pioneer Youth summer camp in Rifton, N.Y., and his growing consciousness of the fundamental problems of race and class in American society, with some materials from his wartime years as an undergraduate at Oberlin College. The second part of the collection includes books collected by Meier during his academic career, mostly on African American history and culture. Titles range from works on the Civil Rights movement to literature and poetry of the late nineteenth century and Harlem Renaissance, works on slavery and antislavery, race theory, the South, and African American education and religion.

Subjects
  • African Americans--History
  • Antislavery movements
  • Camps--New York (State)
  • Civil rights movements
  • Communists--United States
  • Depressions--1929
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt),1868-1963
  • Oberlin College--Students
  • Pioneer Youth of America
  • Race relations
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Braunthal, Gerard, 1923-
Types of material
  • Newsletters
  • Songbooks

Men’s Resource Center for Change

Men's Resource Center Records
ca. 1982-2007
6 boxes (7.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 813

In 1982, Steven Botkin, who had done his doctoral work in the social justice program at UMass Amherst’s School of Education, co-founded the Men’s Resource Connection (MRC) in Amherst, Mass., to promote healthy ideas of masculinity and male leadership by challenging harmful stereotypes involving violence, sexism, and oppression and creating a local network of men as well as of men and women. In 1983 MRC started a newsletter, Valley Men, which became the magazine Voice Male, with a circulation of 10,000. Incorporated as a nonprofit in 1988, MRC developed programs to serve and educate men, with a focus on violence and domestic violence in particular, notably Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE), later called Moving Forward. In 1993 the MRC changed its name to the Men’s Resource Center of Western Massachusetts, and by 2005 it was known as the Men’s Resource Center for Change. Both a social service agency and a social justice organization, MRC made an impact in communities around and far beyond western Massachusetts. It offered workshops, classes, support groups, trainings, and consultations for adult men and youths, on issues relating to violence, anger, surviving abuse, emotional well-being, race, fatherhood, sexuality, and more. In 2016, after several years of financial struggle in the wake of the recession of the late 2000s, MRC announced its plans to merge with Men’s Resources International (MRI), founded by Botkin in 2004, to form MERGE for Equality, Inc. Voice Male, now a national magazine, has a robust online presence as an independent publication.

The MRC Records span most of the organization’s history and include correspondence and memos, background reading and training material, fliers and other ephemera, annual reports, newsletters and copies of Voice Male, clippings (including Voice Male articles organized by subject), and audio and video tapes.

Subjects
  • Masculinity
  • Men’s movement
  • Violence in men
Contributors
  • Okun, Rob A.
Types of material
  • Annual reports
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Fliers (printed matter)
  • Newsletters
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