Mass Voters for Fair Elections Records, 1997-2005.
14 boxes (21 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 554
Since 1994 the Mass Voters for Fair Elections has been part of a national movement to minimize the role of money in elections. Watching both the cost of running a successful campaign and the role of fundraising increase, the organization led the fight to put the Clean Elections Initiative on the ballot in 1998. With overwhelming support for the initiative, the ballot question won only to be repealed by the Legislature in 2003. Until it ceased activity in 2007, Mass Voters for Fair Elections continued to work for reform in the electoral process not only to encourage more individuals to run for office, but also to affirm the principle “one person, one vote.”
The collection consists chiefly of subject files that document issues relating to elections and campaign reform addressed by the group and its volunteers. Also included: correspondence, meeting notes, publications, and mailings.
- Campaign funds--Massachusetts
- Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
- Political campaigns--Massachusetts
- Mass Voters for Fair Elections
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.
- Marine engineers
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Civil Engineering
National Priorities Project Records, 1983-2015.
15 boxes (22.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 913
A national non-partisan, not-for-profit organization based in Northampton, Mass., the National Priorities Project was founded in 1983 by Greg Speeter, Brenda Loew, Ricky Fogel, and Alwin Schmidt to conduct research into the depths of the federal budget. Their first effort was to analyze the dramatic reductions affecting many social programs, but the organization grew around the principle of making the complex federal budget transparent and more publicly accessible so that the public can better influence how their tax dollars are spent. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 in recognition of its pioneering work in tracking military spending, the NPP continues to work toward a federal budget that reflects Americans’ priorities, including funding for issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, healthcare, and the need to build a green economy.
The NPP collection documents over thirty years of a not-for-profit organization devoted to research-informed advocacy for a federal budget that reflects the priorities of most Americans. In addition to a run of NPP publications, the collection includes a series of topical files from Greg Speeter and his associates, selected correspondence, talks, and notes on their work.
- Military spending
- United States--Appropriations and expenditures
Mary L. Wentworth Papers, 1966-1968.
13 boxes (19.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 522
The activist Mary Wentworth has worked throughout New England on behalf of a variety of progressive causes, beginning with the antiwar and feminist movements in the 1960s and 1970s and working against racism and other forms of discrimination, militarism, patriarchy, corporate power, and U.S. imperialism. In 1984, she ran for U.S. Congress against long-term incumbent Silvio O. Conte, winning almost 30% of the vote in a district in which Conte had run unopposed.
The Wentworth Papers include records relating to her congressional campaign against Conte, material on U.S. involvement in Central America during the 1980s, and other issues of concern throughout her career.
- Anti-imperialist movements
- Central America--Foreign relations--United States
- Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
- Peace movements--Massachusetts
- United States--Foreign relations--Central America
Types of material
WAG Records, 1995-2002.
2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 530
Informally referring to themselves as WAGs (Women Against Garage), Fay Kaynor, Mary Snyder, Merrylees Turner, and Mary Wentworth, opposed the building of a parking garage in the center of Amherst. Together they collected newspaper clippings, reports, minutes of meetings, and flyers that tell both sides of the story, but in particular shed light on the motivations of those opposed to the garage, concerns not well represented in the local paper, the Amherst Bulletin, at the time. Potential problems raised by garage opponents focused on the environmental issues that added traffic in Amherst would introduce, as well as the financial impact both on the town, if the revenues from the garage did not cover the investment or maintenance costs, and on locally-owned businesses that might not be able to afford higher rents if property values near the garage increased significantly.
- Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
- Kaynor, Fay
- Snyder, Mary
- Turner, Merrylees
- Wentworth, Mary L
MFA Program for Poets and Writers (University of Massachusetts Amherst) Collection, 1963-2014.
(18 linear feet).
Call no.: RB 023
One of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst was established by the poet Joseph Langland in 1963, offering students an opportunity for intensive focus on their creative work. Unlike the Iowa Writers Workshop, where Langland had studied, students in the UMass program were required to take coursework outside of writing workshops. Over its first fifty years, the program has grown into one of the top ten in the nation and its graduates and faculty have been recognized with awards from the Pulitzer to the National Book Award, Pushcart Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and US Poet Laureate.
The MFA collection contains a growing body of work from students, alumni, and faculty affiliated with the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst. Among the hundreds of volumes are novels, collections of short stories, plays, and poetry, including a large number of chapbooks and small press imprints.
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Computer Center, 1965-2007.
(3 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 029
Beginning with the burgeoning of demand for computing resources in the 1960s, the Computer Center and its successors has overseen the growth of computing and instructional technology.
In addition to publications issued by the Computer Center, Record Group 29 includes documentation of two computing initiatives: the New England Regional Consortium for Computational Studies and the Digital Image Analysis Laboratory.
- Digital Image Analysis Laboratory
- New England Regional Consortium for Computational Studies
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Computing Center
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.
- Abair, Gene
- Drinking of alcoholic beverages
Bonnie Acker Collection, 1983-2000.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 582
A collection of t-shirts, gift cards, and posters designed by activist and political artist Bonnie Acker. Each item features an illustration by Acker in support of various issues relating to social change ranging from peace with Nicaragua, to nuclear abolition and from lifting the debt of impoverished countries, to the Burlington, Vermont community land trust.
- Antinuclear movement--United States
- Peace movements
Types of material
Digital (+)Finding aid
Africa-America Institute Records, ca.1953-2014.
439 boxes (658.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 849
Founded in 1953 by a multi-racial collective of educators including Horace Mann Bond, then President of Lincoln University, and William Leo Hansberry, a professor of history at Howard University, the Africa American Institute has encouraged and supported African students in pursuit of higher education in the United States. From its early years, AAI provided financial and social support for African students studying in the U.S., but it has expanded its activities in scope with the goal of helping to building leadership for Africa within the academic, professional, business, and policy making classes. It has become a vibrant intellectual center for developing human capacity, drawing together thought leaders, researchers, and entrepreneurs interested in issues relating to the continent.
A massive body of material documenting the history of the AAI from its founding in the early 1950s to the present, the collection is a remarkable resource for study of American relations with Africa as the continent emerged from colonial domination. With a focus on the history of educational support and exchange between the continents, the collection contains a vibrant record of the growth of leadership in Africa.
- Africa--Foreign relations--United States
- Education, Higher--Africa
- United States--Foreign relations--Africa
- Bond, Horace Mann, 1904-1972
Types of material