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Fellowships & prizes

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To promote scholarship at UMass Amherst and encourage original research in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, the W.E.B. Du Bois Libraries sponsor two annual awards open to the University’s undergraduate and graduate student community.

Du Bois Research Fellowships

For one month’s support for a younger professional whose research is in the tradition of W.E.B. Du Bois

Ethir Fellowships in Digital Humanities

To support UMass Amherst graduate students in digital humanities projects using SCUA collections

Friends of the Library Undergraduate Research Award (FLURA)

Provides a scholarship for excellence in research and writing in the Humanities.

Learn more:

Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company

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.

Subjects

  • Toll roads--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike Company
Folk New England

Folk New England Ephemera Collection

1960-1973
1 oversize box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1017
Image of Poster for performance by Jackie Wilson, 1964 (designed by Eric von Schmidt)
Poster for performance by Jackie Wilson, 1964 (designed by Eric von Schmidt)

Founded by Betsy Siggins in 2009, Folk New England is an organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and interpreting the cultural legacy of folk music in all its forms, with an emphasis on New England’s contributon.

The Ephemera Collection consists of dozens of posters, fliers, calendars, and other promotional materials for musical acts collected by Folk New England. Concentrated in the years of the folk revival in the late 1950s to late 1960s, many of the posters were sent to Club 47 in Cambridge, Mass.

Gift of Tom Curren and Folk New England, March 2018

Subjects

  • Folk music--New England

Types of material

  • Fliers
  • Posters
Freeman, James A., 1935-

James A. Freeman Broadcast Radio Collection

ca.1930-1955
18 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 759

A professor of English at UMass Amherst, James A. Freeman is a scholar of seventeenth century British literature who has compiled an impressively eclectic array of publications and research projects. Educated at Amherst College (AB 1956) and the University of Minnesota (PhD 1968), Freeman joined the faculty in the English Department at UMass shortly after completing his doctorate. He has published on topics ranging from Latin and Greek poets to Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Tennyson, James Agee, Donald Duck, 17th century regicides, and 1930s radio. He has also served as a regular contributor and editor for the Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly.

The Freeman collection consists of many hundreds of cassette tapes of radio broadcasts from the 1930s through early 1950s, reflecting the culture of commercial radio during its golden age. The collection includes representatives of most of the major genres, including comedy, drama, suspense and mystery, soap operas, and westerns. There is some depth popular programs such as Amos and Andy, the Great Gildersleeve, Philip Marlowe, and Nero Wolfe, but the collection also includes less common and short-lived shows.

Subjects

  • Radio

Contributors

  • Freeman, James A., 1935-

Types of material

  • Audiocassettes
Friends genealogy

Genealogists are the largest single group of researchers using the Friends records, but they often meet with frustration. One common misconception is that these records are neatly organized and indexed. While William W. Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy provided thorough indexes for the records of many yearly meetings, including New York, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the New England records have never been completely indexed. In most cases, the only access to information on New England Friends is usually a search of the records, either on microfilm or in the original. Here are some important points to remember for typical genealogical problems.

  1. It is important to know both place and time. If an individual moved around New England, it will be very helpful to sketch out a chronology of their travels.
  2. All vital records are recorded by the Monthly Meeting. You will need to determine which monthly meeting(s) your ancestor belonged to. If there is no monthly meeting named after their town, look it up in the index in the back of this book. Some towns held smaller meetings that were part of a larger nearby monthly meeting.
  3. If your ancestor’s town is not indexed, examine the maps on pages 12 to 14 of this guide. Were there any meetings nearby? Until the age of automobile travel, it is unlikely that many practicing Friends lived more than a few miles away from at least a worship group. Even if they did maintain the “Discipline” of Friends in a distant town, their vital records would probably not be recorded by a Monthly Meeting.
  4. If you are able to determine a probable Monthly Meeting, look at that meeting’s entry in the monthly meeting section. Check for vital records in the listing at the bottom of this entry. Are there any birth, death, marriage or membership records? Removals and denials are also useful (see glossary). Minutes are less useful for genealogy, but sometimes include marriage information, and occasionally memorials to the deceased.
  5. If the records that you want have been microfilmed, this will be indicated in the last column: “Film#”. This is the microfilm number at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library. An asterisk indicates that it can also be found at the Maine Historical Society Library, and a plus sign indicates that it can be ordered from the Family History Centers operated by the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). An @ symbol indicates that the film is available through the Nantucket Historical Association.
  6. If the records have not been microfilmed, you will need to consult the originals, most of which are at UMass Amherst. The location of originals is given in the “Loc.” column. Please note that a complete set of microfilm is available for consultation at the Rhode Island Historical Society.
  7. If you are researching early Friends (pre-Revolutionary), it is likely that you will not discover anything new in the vital records. Friends records have always been a major resource for colonial genealogy, and have been consulted for most of the major reference works that you have already looked at. It is, however, possible to find new information in meeting minutes, to verify membership or residence in a location.

For further information, Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding Them in Quaker Records by Ellen Thomas Berry and David Allen Berry (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987) is a book-length treatment of general approaches to Quaker genealogy.

Gay, Merrick, 1802-1866

Merrick Gay Account Books

1844-1849
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 242

A successful merchant from Gaysville, Vermont, Merrick Gay (1802-1866) operated a general store in his village for many years, later establishing a woolen factory. Gay served his community variously as postmaster, town clerk, and state senator.

These two daybooks document Gay’s business transactions with local individuals and firms and with the Town of Stockbridge and Narrows School District. The entries record the name of each customer, the method and form of payment (cash and goods), and Gay’s purchases, including labor costs for hauling freight.

Subjects

  • Barter--Vermont--Gaysville--History--19th century
  • Blanchard, Solomon, b. ca. 1816
  • Books--Prices--Vermont--History--19th century
  • Claremont Manufacturing Company--History
  • Freight and freightage--Rates--Vermont--History--19th century
  • Gaysville (Vt.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Gaysville (Vt.)--Rural conditions--19th century
  • Gaysville Forge Company--History
  • Gaysville Manufacturing Company--History
  • General stores--Vermont--Gaysville
  • Narrows School District--History
  • Stockbridge (Vt.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Waller, Israel

Contributors

  • Gay, Merrick, 1802-1866

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Daybooks
George H. Gilbert & Company

George H. Gilbert Co. Records

1842-1931
26 boxes, 126 vols. 36 linear feet
Call no.: MS 096

In 1841, George H. Gilbert and Charles A. Stevens formed a partnership to manufacture broadcloth and cloaking in Ware, Massachusetts. Ten years later, the partnership dissolved and each partner carried a part of the business into separate establishments. The newly formed George H. Gilbert Company continued making high-grade woolen flannels, for which it developed a national reputation, until 1930.

Records, consisting of correspondence, financial records and cash books, construction contracts, sales lists, production records, and sample books, document the operation of Gilbert and Stevens and later the Gilbert Company for almost a century. The labor accounts (1851-1930), document the phases of the varying ethnic composition of the workforce — Irish, French-Canadian, and eventually Polish — well as the family orientation of the mills.

Subjects

  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Ware (Mass.)--History

Contributors

  • George H. Gilbert and Co

Types of material

  • Account books
Gibson, W. Walker

W. Walker Gibson Papers

1936-1993
3 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 062
Image of Walker Gibson
Walker Gibson

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.

Gift of W. Walker Gibson, 1999

Subjects

  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

  • Gibson, W. Walker
Goldberg, Felix, ca. 1866-1948

Felix Goldberg Memoir

ca.1930
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 200

Felix Goldberg (1866-1948) was born in Zhuprahn, Lithuania in 1866, emigrating with his second wife, Janet Zelda, to the United States at the turn of the century. Although trained as an engraver, Goldberg was frequently unable to practice his trade due to ill health, and was supported by the boarding house for factory workers and itinerant ice harvesters run by his wife.

A loosely autobiographical manuscript written in Yiddish in the early 1930s by Felix Goldberg, an engraver who immigrated to the U.S. around 1900.

Language(s): Yiddish

Subjects

  • Immigrants--United States--Biography
  • Jews, Lithuanian--United States--Biography

Contributors

  • Goldberg, Felix, ca. 1866-1948

Types of material

  • Autobiographies
Golden, Morris

Morris Golden Papers

1977-1992
14 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 030
Image of

Romanian-born Morris Golden earned his doctorate in English from New York University in 1953. Golden authored six books of literary criticism on 18th and 19th century writers, including Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and Charles Dickens. Appointed Associate Professor of English at UMass Amherst in 1962 and promoted to full professor in 1965, Golden taught at UMass for 24 years. Golden retired from UMass in 1986, the year he was a Guggenheim Fellow, but he continued to teach literature at the Amherst Senior Center until his death in 1994.

The Golden Papers are a collection of Golden’s writings as a student at NYU, a draft of his dissertation and other manuscripts as well as many of his publications. Also included in the collection are grade books, professional correspondence, and extensive notes for research and teaching in the area of English and world literature.

Subjects

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

  • Golden, Morris