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Coburn, Andrew

Andrew Coburn Papers

ca.1950-2015
16 boxes 24 linear feet
Call no.: MS 936

In taut and haunting prose, Andrew Coburn left a memorable impression as both novelist and journalist. Born in Exeter, N.H., on May 1, 1932, Coburn became serious about writing while fulfilling his military duty in Germany and earning a degree at Suffolk University. After landing a position with the local newspaper, the Lawrence Eagle, he put his talents to good use. Building his career as a journalist covering organized crime during the day, he managed to spend nearly every night writing fiction until dawn. His successes on the beat earned him steady promotions all the way to editor, and he eventually founded two newspapers of his own, though fiction would be his future. Winning a Eugene Saxton Fellowship in 1965, Coburn drew upon his experiences on the streets of Lawrence to publish his first novel, The Trespassers in 1974, followed by The Babysitter in 1979, and eventually eleven other novels, a novella, and a host of short stories and essays. A master at language and dialog grounded in a strong sense of place, Coburn won both a wide readership and praise from other writers. His work has garnered nominations for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and Pushcart Prize, has been translated into 14 languages, and three of his novels have been made into films. He is married to Bernadine Casey Coburn, a former journalist and public relations expert, with whom he has one son and four daughters.

The Coburn Papers contain working drafts of Andrew Coburn’s novels and short stories, along with selected correspondence, and dozens of journals, scrapbooks, and notebooks used in his fiction. In many cases, the completeness of the collection makes it possible to follow a work from its earliest inception, often recorded as a sketch (literal or in prose), through its final iteration.

Gift of Andrew Coburn, 2016

Subjects

  • Journalists--Massachusetts
  • Novelists--Massachusetts

Types of material

  • Journals
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)

Common Reader Bookshop Collection

1978-1997
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 472

Co-owned by Dorothy Johnson and Doris Abramson, the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem, Massachusetts, specialized in women’s studies materials, or in their words, “books by, for, and about women.” A couple for almost 40 years and married in 2004, Johnson and Abramson, a professor in the theater department at UMass, opened the store in 1977. After nearly twenty-five years in operation, the book shop closed its doors for business in 2000. Comprised mostly of photographs, the collection highlights not only the shop as a place, but also the community it fostered.

Subjects

  • Booksellers and Bookselling--Massachusetts
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Women--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Abramson, Doris
  • Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)
  • Johnson, Dorothy
Construyamos Juntos

Construyamos Juntos Collection

1986
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 052
Image of Parrot in Nicaragua
Parrot in Nicaragua

In May 1985, a group of activists in Western Massachusetts opposed to the interventionist U.S. foreign policy of the Reagan era formed a construction brigade to assist with basic human needs and express solidarity with the people of Central America. Modeled on the Venceremos Brigade, Construyamos Juntos, Building Peace of Nicaragua, raised over $20,000 for construction supplies in addition to funds for individual travel. Between January and March 1986, the 17 activists joined a smaller brigade from West Virginia in constructing the Carlos Armin Gonzales elementary school in San Pedro de Lovago. During their first month in Nicaragua, they witnessed a Contra assault on the town that left one assailant dead and two residents of the town wounded.

This exhibit includes 55 mounted images and 99 35mm slides taken during the brigade’s time in Nicaragua, documenting the brigade’s construction work and providing a valuable visual record of life in Nicaragua during the Contra war. Used in public talks about Contruyamos Juntos, the collection includes exhibit labels that explain the purpose and activity of the brigade, the history of Nicaragua, and the Contra attack in January 1986.

Subjects

  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990

Types of material

  • Photographs
Council for Fair School Finance

Council for Fair School Finance Records

1977-2005
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 784

The Council for Fair School Finance began its fight in 1978 when it filed a lawsuit (McDuffy v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Education) to require Massachusetts to meet its constitutional obligation to provide a quality education for all schoolchildren. The suit was quickly suspended due to recently enacted school reform legislation. Within five years, the Council took up the suit once more, and again further reform legislation was enacted that prevented the suit from going to trial. Finally in 1993, the case was heard and decided in favor of the plaintiffs; three days later the governor signed the Education Reform Act of 1993. By the end of the decade, the promise of the McDuffy decision had not yet been fully realized and the Council filed a second suit (Hancock v. Commissioner of Education). In April 2004, Superior Judge Margot Botsford issued a report that found the state’s efforts to fix the problems identified in the previous case were insufficient and that the plaintiffs were entitled to remedial relief. The Supreme Judicial Court, however, did not uphold the recommendation and the motion for relief was denied.

The collection consists of administrative records, including documents created early in the Council’s history, minutes of Council meetings, media reports, research materials, and financial records.

Subjects

  • Education--Finance--Massachusetts
  • Educational change--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Council for Fair School Finance
Cummington School of the Arts

Cummington School of the Arts Records

1908-1993
30 boxes 45 linear feet
Call no.: MS 891
Image of Poster, ca.1925
Poster, ca.1925

In 1923, Katherine Frazier established the Playhouse-in-the-Hills as a venue for theatrical performances in the small Berkshire County town of Cummington, Mass. Frazier’s vision, however, soon led her to expand the project into the Cummington School of the Arts (later the Cummington Community of the Arts), which she envisioned as “an environment congenial to creative activity.” Over its seventy years of operation, the School emphasized creative collaboration across the fine arts, offering not only performances, but summer residencies and six-week courses where writers, artists, performers, and musicians could study and practice under the guidance of visiting artists. Among its noted alumni were luminaries such as Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Diane Arbus, Marianne Moore, and Archibald Macleish, and the school was a starting point for Harry Duncan’s renowned Cummington Press. The increasing financial challenges facing not-for-profit organizations led a cessation of operations in about 1993.

The records of the Cummington School of the Arts offer a cross-sectional view of the School across its years of operation. In addition to a very small selection of personal material from Katherine Frazier, the collection includes valuable correspondence and ephemera relating to the school’s philosophy and founding, and nearly a third of the collection consists of records of students, often including their applications, comments on the work accomplished in Cummington, and occasionally, copies of work produced. The balance of the collection consists of many of the school’s publications, administrative materials (including curricula and planning documents), and financial and fundraising materials.

Transferred from Springfield Museums through Margaret Humberston, Dec. 2015
d’Errico, Peter

Peter d'Errico Papers

ca.1990-2010
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 154

With a law degree from Yale in hand in 1968, Peter d’Errico began work as a staff attorney with Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe Navajo Legal Services in Shiprock, Arizona, representing American Indian interests in the US courts. Stemming from his frustrations with a stilted legal system, however, he evolved into an “anti-lawyer,” and in 1970 returned to academia. Joining the faculty at UMass, d’Errico focused his research and writing on the legal issues affecting indigenous peoples and he regularly taught courses on Indian law and the role of the law in imposing state systems on non-state societies. His impact was instrumental in establishing the Department of Legal Studies. Both before and after his retirment in 2002, d’Errico also remained active as a practitioner in Indian law.

The d’Errico collection contains a significant record of d’Errico’s high profile legal work in Indian law, including his work with Western Shoshone land rights and on the case Randall Trapp, et al. v. Commissioner DuBois, et al. In Trapp, a long-running, but ultimately successful First Amendement case, he and Robert Doyle represented prisoners in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections seeking to establish a sweat lodge.

Gift of Peter D'Errico, Feb. 2012

Subjects

  • Freedom of religion
  • Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Legal Studies

Contributors

  • d'Errico, Peter
Dana (Mass.)

Dana (Mass.) Collection

1801-1938
21 vols. 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 012

Situated in the northeastern reaches of the Swift River Valley in western Massachusetts, Dana was one of four towns inundated in the 1930s to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Rural and relatively sparsely populated, Dana’s economy centered on agriculture, leavened with manufacturing wood products and soapstone quarrying.

The Dana Collections include a comprehensive records of town meetings from incorporation through disincorporation (1801-1938), plus rich records for the Congregational Church and its affiliate organizations, the Ladies Aid Society, the Orthodox Congregational Society, and the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. Most of the materials listed in this finding aid are held at the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem, Mass., and were part of a cooperative digitization project centered on the records of the Quabbin towns.

Gift of Donald Howe, 1960

Subjects

  • Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Dana--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Dana (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Dana (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Poor-Massachusetts--Dana
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Women--Massachusetts--Dana
  • Women--Societies and clubs

Contributors

  • Dana (Mass. : Town)
  • Dana (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor
  • First Universalist Church (North Dana, Mass.)
  • Ladies' Aid Society (Dana, Mass.)
  • Orthodox Congregational Church (Dana, Mass.)
  • Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor

Types of material

  • Church records
Dawson, Alexandra

Alexandra Dawson Papers

Bulk: 1965-2015
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 905

An attorney from Hadley, Mass., Alexandra D. Dawson was known throughout New England for her work in conservation law and environmental activism. Born in Maryland in 1931, Dawson married shortly after graduating from Barnard College and after raising a family of three, she resumed her education, earning a law degree from Harvard in 1966. Early in her legal career, she took up the cause of protecting “wildlife, wetlands, and woodlands.” She was among the earliest employees of the Conservation Law Foundation and later served as general counsel for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The author of a string of influential works in environmental law, including Environmental Law (1978), Land-Use Planning and the Law (1982), and the Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners (1978-2006), she was also an educator, teaching at Antioch College (where she launched the environmental studies program), Tufts, the Kennedy School of Government, and Rhode Island School of Design. Among other commitments, Dawson was a key figure in the Kestrel Trust and served long stints on the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and the Hadley Conservation Commission. Dawson died of complication from emphysema on Dec. 30, 2011.

The product of a forty year commitment to conservationism, Dawson’s papers provide valuable documentation of land preservation efforts in New England, with a focus on the evolution of the legal context. Dawson was a formidable figure in efforts to protect wetlands, agricultural land, and open space, and her papers offer insight into land use planning, her teaching, writing, and speaking.

Gift of Rachel Spring, Apr. 2016

Subjects

  • Conservationists--Massachusetts
  • Environmentalists--Massachusetts
  • Land use--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
  • Wetlands--Law and legislation--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Kestrel Trust
Dean, Stephen A.

Stephen A. Dean Collection

1983-2016 Bulk: 2013-2016
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 979

Since the 1960s, the chiropractor Stephen Dean has been one of the leading activists in Massachusetts opposing fluoridation of the water supply. Based in Springfield, he has been an effective organizer in antifluoridation campaigns in communities around the state, arguing against fluoridation both as a medical hazard and a violation of individual choice. In 2005, he led the successful effort to strike down a state mandate to fluoridate all civic water supplies.

This small collection contains a handful of articles and clippings collected by the activist Stephen A. Dean regarding fluoride and the fluoridation of water supplies, and a note offering his expert perspective to journalists writing about the controversy.

Gift of Stephen A. Dean, Feb. 2017

Subjects

  • Antifluoridation movement--Massachusetts
Deary, Tom

Tom Deary Papers

ca. 1970-2006
9 boxes 12.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 526
Image of Tom Deary (right) at meeting of New England Labor News
Tom Deary (right) at meeting of New England Labor News

Tom Deary was an union organizer for the IUE, serving on the executive board of Local 201 at the GE Plant in Lynn, Massachusetts. Involved in the 1969-1970 strike, Deary joined the IUE staff in 1971 and served for 30 years as an organizer, negotiator, and strike leader in the northeast and southern states. Frequently at odds with union careerists, he built a small labor newspaper in the 1980s into one with a regional focus, New England Labor News and Commentary.

The Deary papers include organizer reports, correspondence, IUE election campaign literature, and oral histories and videotapes. Letters, financial records, and business plans document Deary’s establishment of a regional labor newspaper, the New England Labor News and Commentary.

Gift of Marge Deary, June 2007

Subjects

  • Labor unions--New England
  • Labor unions--Organizing--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--History--20th century

Contributors

  • Deary, Tom