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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

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
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

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

Dethlefsen, Edwin S.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen Photograph Collection
ca.1965-1970
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 020
Image of Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.
Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen and his colleague James Deetz did pioneering work in the historical archaeology and material culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gravestones in New England. Through a series of articles in the mid-1960s, based on intensive study of well documented sites in Massachusetts, Deetz and Dethlefsen developed a basic framework for understanding the stylistic evolution of gravestones. Their work was foundational for later studies in material culture and folk art, but also the broader study of death and bereavement and colonial culture.

The Dethlefsen Collection consists of nearly 2,900 negatives (black and white, 35m and 2×2″) of gravestones, primarily from eastern Massachusetts and Newport, R.I. Among the towns documented are Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown, Concord, Dorchester, Harvard, Lexington, Marblehead, Marshfield, Plymouth, Quincy, and Scituate.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--Rhode Island
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Rhode Island
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Dethlefsen, Edwin S
Types of material
  • Photographs

Environmental Center for Our Schools

Environmental Center for Our Schools Records
ca. 1968-1973
2 (2.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 919

At the height of the environmental movement, Springfield, Mass., public school teachers Lorraine Ide and Clifford A. Phaneuf set a goal of helping young students to understand and appreciate their role in nature. In collaboration with the city’s parks department and schools, Ide and Phaneuf opened the Environmental Center for Our Schools (ECOS) in 1970. Intended for elementary and middle school students in the city, ECOS enables students and teachers to expand their knowledge of the natural world by exploring the diverse habitats of Forest Park. The program was designed for immersive, hands-on discovery: students participate in outdoor activities, study nature, and learn the survival needs of all living things.

The ECOS records consist of materials from the organization’s planning and early years, including Title III information, curricula, evaluations, copies of tests, teaching guides, and other educational materials, publications, reports, meeting agendas, and conference materials.

Subjects
  • Environmental education--Activity programs--United States.
  • Public schools--Massachusetts--Springfield.

Farber, Daniel

Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber Photograph Collection
1973
12 boxes (7.25 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 022
Image of Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, 1750
Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, 1750

A businessman from Worcester, Mass., Daniel Farber (1906-1998) was among the best known photographers of early American gravestone art. Over the course of twenty years beginning in about 1970, he and his wife Jessie Lie Farber (a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College) took thousands of photographs of gravestones throughout New England and the eastern United States, eventually extending their work internationally. Interested in both the artistic and cultural value of gravestones, the Farbers were founding members of the Association for Gravestone Studies in 1976 and influenced a generation of fellow researchers in gravestone studies.

Printed in 1973, the Farber Collection includes 326 black and white prints (5×7″),mounted on rag board, of of colonial and early national gravestones in Massachusetts. The towns represented, most by multiple images, include Auburn, Billerica, Boylston, Brookfield, Cambridge, Charlestown, Chelmsford, Concord. Holden, Leicester, Lexington, Marlboro, Northboro, North Brookfield, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Watertown, Wayland, and Westboro.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Farber, Daniel
  • Farber, Jessie Lie
Types of material
  • Photographs

Fitchburg Railroad

Fitchburg Railroad Ledger
1884-1887
1 vol. (0.15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 181 bd

The Fitchburg Railroad was incorporated in 1842 to build a rail line across northern Massachusetts from Boston to Fitchburg, but eventually extended its operations through the Hoosac Tunnel, and into Vermont and New York. In 1900, the Fitchburg Railroad was leased for 99 years to the Boston and Maine. It operated as the Fitchburg Division until the two companies merged in 1919.

Organized station by station and by date, this ledger is a ticket account from Fitchburg and connecting railroads. Each page is printed as a form covering one year of transactions for a single station, with a running account of highest number of tickets received, highest sold, and (occasionally) the cost of tickets.

Separated from the Rodney Hunt Co. Records
Subjects
  • Railroad companies--Massachusetts--19th century
Contributors
  • Fitchburg Railroad Company
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