Special Collections and University Archives
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Michael Cornish Photograph Collection, ca.1975-2005

20 boxes (20.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 035

Michael Cornish first became interested in gravemarkers while writing a senior thesis at the Massachusetts College of Art, and since that time, he has prepared numerous exhibitions of his photographic work and conducted important research on colonial markers. Widely known for his work on the carver Joseph Barbur of West Medway, Mass., and a group of “tendril carvers” in southeastern Massachusetts, Cornish speaks frequently to historical societies around Massachusetts, delivering slide shows tailored to the particular area. An inventory photographer for the City of Boston’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative, he has also consulted for several towns regarding the preservation and rehabilitation of their burying grounds. As a member of the AGS Board of Directors, Cornish has worked in various capacities and played an active role in organizing and participating in the annual conventions, programs, exhibits, and tours.

The Cornish Collection includes many thousands of photographs and direct rubbings of early New England gravestones, primarily in Massachusetts and Connecticut, focusing on their beauty and artistic merit. Originally inspired by the work of Harriette Merrifield Forbes, and encouraged by Dan and Jessie Farber, Cornish photographed in a variety of formats, including Kodachrome transparencies, black-and-white negatives, and black-and-white prints. The collection also includes research notes relating to his work on Barbur and other stonecarvers.

  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Connecticut
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Cornish, Michael
Types of material
  • Photographs

James Underwood Crockett Papers, 1944-1980

8 boxes (12 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 664

The horticulturist, Jim Crockett (1915-1979) earned wide acclaim as host of the popular television show, Crockett’s Victory Garden. A 1935 graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, Crockett returned home to Massachusetts after a stint in the Navy during the Second World War and began work as a florist. A small publication begun for his customers, Flowery Talks, grew so quickly in popularity that Crockett sold his flower shop in 1950 to write full time. His first book, Window Sill Gardening (N.Y., 1958), was followed by seventeen more on gardening, ornamental plants, and horticulture, culminating with twelve volumes in the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening. He was the recipient of numerous awards for garden writing and was director of the American Horticultural Society. In 1975, he was contacted about a new gardening show on PBS, Victory Garden, which he hosted until his death by cancer in 1979.

Documenting an important career in bringing horticulture to the general public, the Crockett Papers contain a mix of professional and personal correspondence and writing by Jim Crockett from throughout his career. The collection includes a particularly extensive set of letters from George B. Williams, Crockett’s father in law, and copies most of his publications.

  • Garderning
  • Horticulture
  • Crockett, James Underwood

Mary Doyle Curran Papers, 1917-1980

7 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 435
Mary Curran Doyle and dog
Mary Curran Doyle and dog

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1917 and a graduate of Massachusetts State College, Mary Doyle Curran was an author, editor, and professor, who published her only novel, The Parish and the Hill, in 1948. Curran taught English and Irish Literature at Wellesley College, Queens College, and UMass Boston before retiring; she died in 1981.

The collection includes unpublished drafts of novels and short stories; photographs; correspondence from family and friends; publishers and literary associates such as Saul Bellow and Josephine Herbst. The Parish and the Hill, Curran’s only published novel, is today considered a classic among Irish American literature.

  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Irish American literature
  • Irish American women--History
  • Women authors--Massachusetts
  • Bellow, Saul
  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Halley, Anne
  • Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969
Types of material
  • Photographs


John Hyland (English, University of Buffalo and Haverford College)
“The forest of melody: Black Diasporic Poetics and the Sounding of the Environment”
Nicholas T. Rinehart (English, Harvard University)
“‘These illegitimate children of my thought’: The dramatic work and criticism of W.E.B Du Bois”


Nneka Dennie (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“Black Male Feminism and the Evolution of Du Boisian Thought, 1903-1920”
Crystal Webster (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“‘The Transfiguring Soul of Childhood’: Du Bois and the Social, Political, and Cultural Role of Black Children”


Brandon Byrd (Assistant Professor of History, Mississippi State University and University of North Carolina)
“The Problem of Haiti as it Stands Today:” W.E.B. Du Bois on the U.S. Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934″
Donald Geesling (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“Black Song and the Talented Tenth: The Musical Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois, 1902-1942″


Horace D. Ballard Jr. (Public Humanities, History of Art, and American Studies, Brown University)
“Ethics and Aesthetics: Citizenship and Form”
Emahunn Raheem Ali Campbell (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“W.E.B. Du Bois’s Literary Interventions on Black Criminality”
Daniel Chard (History, UMass Amherst)
Exploring the history of ’60s-’70s radical groups allows Chard to investigate the origins of the first police institutions in the U.S. dedicated to domestic “counter-terrorism”


J. Anthony Guillory (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“The Physical Uplift of Race”
Desmond Jagmohan (Government, Cornell)
“Creating Community, Cultivating Citizens, and Interrogating Jim Crow: The Political Thought of Booker T. Washington”


Markeysha Davis (Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst)
“Daring propaganda for the beauty of the Human Mind’:
Redefinition and Reaffirmation of the New Black Self in Poetry and Drama of the 1960s and 1970s”
Ricky Fayne (English, Northwestern)
“‘The Shadow of a Mighty Negro Past': Du Bois and the Re-memory of Africa in to the Black America”

Peter Duus Papers, ca.1970-2008

13 boxes (19.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 574

The William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford University and a prolific scholar, Peter Duus has made significant contributions to the understanding of the development of Japanese imperialism and the emergence of the modern Japanese nation. Having received his doctorate from Harvard, Duus taught successively at Harvard, Washington University, and the Claremont Graduate School before arriving at Stanford in 1973. The recipient of numerous awards during his career, he has served in numerous positions within the field and as Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford.

The Duus Papers contain the professional correspondence, research notes, and other materials relating to the career of the eminent Japanologist, Peter Duus.

  • Japan--History--20th century
  • Stanford University--Faculty
  • Stanford University. Department of History
  • Duus, Peter, 1933-

EarthAction Records, 1992-2008

26 boxes (39 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 562

Established by Lois Barber in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1992 with their first campaign at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, EarthAction has been organizing international campaigns ever since. As the world’s largest action network, the group’s campaigns address a variety of global issues from climate change and nuclear weapons to children’s rights and empowering women to protect the land. With a mission both to inform people about pressing problems facing the world and to move them to action, EarthAction creates and distributes information kits aimed at different audiences: individuals and groups, policymakers, and journalists.

The collection includes administrative files that illustrate the process of building a campaign, financial records, and publications, as well as action, legislative, and media kits created for many of the group’s international campaigns.

  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
  • Peace movements
  • Social action
  • Social justice

James Ellis Theatre Collection, 1700-2005

ca.8,000 vols.
Call no.: MS 779

During a long career as Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, James Ellis wrote on the Victorian stage and the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. A founding member of the Valley Light Opera Company, he was also an actor and director of theatricals in the Pioneer Valley.

The Ellis Collection contains approximately 8,000 published works on the Anglo-American stage, 1750-1915, including individual plays and anthologies of English and American playwrights; biographical works on performers; works on the theatre in London, the provinces, and America; periodicals, playbills, prints, broadsides, and ephemera; and works that provide cultural context for interpreting the stage. Although the collection includes some works from the 18th century, it is deepest for the English stage in the period 1850-1900.

  • Actors--Great Britain
  • Actors--United States
  • Amateur theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--Great Britain--19th century
  • Theater--United States--19th century
  • Ellis, James, 1935-
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Lithographs
  • Photographs

How can I apply for an ETHIR Fellowship?


Chelsea Sams (Art)
Delene White (German and Scandinavian Studies)


David Bendiksen (Comparative Literature)
Gregory Coleman (English)
Donald Geesling (Afro-American Studies)


Spencer Kuchle (Afro-American Studies)
Jaime Pagana (Art History)


Matthew Ferrari (Communications)
Nature, Landscape, and the Visual Culture of Sport Marketing in the McCormack Archive
Thomas Hopper (English)


Molly Campbell (History)
Behold And See As You Pass By: Gravestones and Mortuary Art In Early New England
A digital exhibit drawn from the collections of the Association for Gravestone Studies
Tom Hohenstein (History)
Rhetoric or Research: The CIA at UMass
An examination of protests and counter-protests against CIA recruitment at UMass Amherst in the 1980s.
Emily Oswald (History)
Source, History, Story: Teaching U.S. History in the Archives
Double exposure of Steve Diamond
Double exposure of
Steve Diamond, ca.1985

To promote scholarship, raise public awareness of its collections, and encourage discussion of critical issues affecting American society, SCUA sponsors a number of events each year, including two annual colloquiua:

Throughout the year, the department sponsors other events, ranging from exhibit openings to lectures, book signings, and celebrations of donors and new donations. All SCUA events are free and open to the public. Please contact the department for additional information.

Learn more:

Britta Fischer, U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association Photograph Collection, 1978

449 items (1 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 054

Founded in 1974, the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association was among the first American organizations devoted to fostering people-to-people diplomacy between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The vision of veteran civil rights activist Unita Blackwell, the USCPFA sponsored speakers, seminars, and cultural exchanges, and in the 1970s, was among the first groups to organize tours from the United States to the People’s Republic.

The 449 color slides (35 mm.) that comprise the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association collection document one of the group’s early tours, undertaken at the height of the agitation over the Gang of Four. Beyond simple touristic scenes, the collection depicts a state-sponsored version of everyday life in China during the early post-Mao era.

  • Beijing (China)--Photographs
  • Children--China--Photographs
  • China--Photographs
  • Factories--China--Photographs
  • Great Wall of China (China)--Photographs
  • Jinan (China)--Photographs
  • Shanghai (China)--Photographs
  • Tian'an Men (Beijing, China)--Photographs
  • Yangzhou (China)--Photographs
Types of material
  • Photographs
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