Special Collections and University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries

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Undertaker's Daybook, 1855-1884

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 904 bd

A small town situated on the Southegan River in the southern tier of New Hampshire, Wilton had a population of over 1,300 in 1860. Fed by an influx of Irish and Canadian immigrants, the economy at the time was based on a mix of agriculture and small-scale manufacturing, including woolen and yarn mills and factories for furniture and shoes and boots.

Although the identity of the undertaker who kept this volume is nowhere recorded, research into the names of his clients strongly suggests that he operated in or near Wilton (Hillsborough County), New Hampshire. The entries are invariably brief but informative, noting the name of the deceased, date of death and age, notes on the services provided (coffin plate, handles, “sexton service,” “grave”), and the cost of those services. On rare occasions, there are notes on the cause of death, including a cluster of deaths by consumption in the winter of 1858-1859.


  • Undertakers and undertaking--New Hampshire--Wilton
  • Wilton (N.H.)--History

Types of material

  • Daybooks

United Paperworkers International Strike Support Group Collection, 1988

1 folder (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 322

By February 1988 members of of United Paperworkers International Union Local 14 of Jay, Maine, had been on strike for seven months. With the support of their state officials and officials of Massachusetts and Northampton AFL-CIO, a caravan of strikers traveled to Northampton to inform the public of their struggle. Collection is limited to a city of Northampton resolution and a brief report of the strikers position and their trip to the city.


  • Paper industry workers--Labor unions--Maine
  • Strikes and lockouts--Paper industry--Maine


  • United Paperworkers International Union. Local 14

United Steelworkers of America Local 3654 Records, ca. 1940-1979

11 boxes (5.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 316

Local 3654 of the United Steel Workers of America was organized in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Records include Minutes, by-laws, newsletters, grievances, company reports, and publications.


  • Labor unions--Massachusetts


  • United Steelworkers of America. Local 3654

Urbana Wine Company Records, 1881-1911

6 boxes (9 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 660
Urbana Wine Co. document
Urbana Wine Co. document

Founded by John W. Davis, H.H. Cook, A.J. Startzer and others in 1865, the Urbana Wine Company was among the earliest and most successful wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Organized in Hammondsport, N.Y., the center of the eastern wine industry, Urbana’s claim to fame was its widely popular Gold Seal Champagne and other sparkling wines and along with Walter Taylor, they dominated regional wine production during the Gilded Age. The winery survived passage of Prohibition in 1919 , both World Wars operating under the Gold Seal label, but was closed by its parent company, Seagrams, in 1984.

The Urbana Records are concentrated in the period 1881-1885, as the company was growing rapidly. Among other materials, the collection includes a range of correspondence, receipts, some financial records, and tallies of grapes. Additional material on the company is located in Cornell University’s Eastern Wine and Grape Archive.


  • Grapes
  • Viticulture
  • Wine industry--New York


  • Urbana Wine Company

Ralph Van Meter Papers, 1919-1958

2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 003/1 V36
Ralph Van Meter
Ralph Van Meter

Ralph Van Meter, the first president of the University of Massachusetts after it changed its name from Massachusetts State College in 1947, spent nearly 40 years learning, teaching, and leading on the Amherst campus. A graduate of Ohio State University (B.S., 1917), he came to the Massachusetts Agricultural College as a specialist in Food Conservation in 1917, serving in the Pomology Department first as a professor, and then as the head from 1936 to 1948. The Board of Trustees appointed Van Meter as Acting President in 1947 and President in 1948. He was responsible for a number of innovations, including the creation of the position of Provost (first held by John Paul Mather) and the establishment of new schools of business administration and engineering.

Correspondence, memos, reports, clippings, and other papers, relating to matters at issue during Van Meter’s presidency of University of Massachusetts including the building program, World War II veterans, accreditation, and the university seal; together with published writings, biographical material, military records, and material from Van Meter’s inauguration as university president.


  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. President


  • Van Meter, Ralph Albert, 1893-

Who can use the collections?

Enfield (Quabbin) dancers
How they danced in Enfield, a Quabbin town

Special Collections and University Archives is open at no cost to researchers, regardless of affiliation, during normal business hours. SCUA staff are happy to assist in planning or conducting research and welcome inquiries from students interested in internships in archival and library studies.

Although research appointments are not required, advance notice will help our staff to locate and retrieve research materials. First-time researchers will be asked to register and to provide name, institutional affiliation (when applicable), and current address. At registration, researchers must present a valid form of identification, including a photograph.

In the reading room

  • General
    • Please sign in at the front desk each visit
    • Only pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Please do not use pens.
    • Smoking, food, and drink are not permitted
    • Please switch off cell phones or set them to silent mode; calls may be taken in the adjacent elevator lobby
  • Care and handling of materials
    • Please use care in handling materials to prevent damage
    • Use only a single box of manuscript or archival material at a time; take care to preserve the existing arrangement of files
    • Photographs of materials are permitted for research purposes only
    • Scans and photocopies are made by staff members in keeping with our copying policies
    • Upon leaving for the day, please notify the staff whether you are finished with your material or wish to place it on hold for a return visit

Instruction in SCUA

SCUA’s archivists welcome visits from groups at any level or of any affiliation who wish to make use of our collections or to learn about archives and history. Our staff are available to provide introductions to archival research, overviews of specific areas of historical or cultural interest, information about the collections, or discussions of the history of New England or UMass Amherst. In recent years we have hosted classes from a wide range of disciplines, including history and American culture, African American studies, English and comparative literature, art history, education, anthropology, politics, business, plant and soil sciences, and library and information science.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, class visits should be arranged ahead of time. Please include the following information when contacting SCUA:

  • Name of instructor or contact
  • Affiliation
  • Date(s) requested, with start and finish time
  • Number of students or visitors
  • Subject area and research interests
  • Special requests (for collections)

Learn more:

Otto Vogl Papers, 1970-1998

4 boxes (6 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 161

A native of Traiskirchen, Austria, Otto Vogl (b. 1927) earned an international reputation as a polymer scientist while working with the Polychemicals Department at Du Pont. In June 1970, he was recruited to join the relatively new Program in Polymer Science and Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has continued research on the structure and organic chemistry of polymers, focusing on macromolecular architecture and macromolecular asymmetry (chirality), among other topics. A prolific scholar, he has contributed over 630 articles, received nearly fifty U.S. and foreign patents, and among many other honors, has won election to the Austrian and Swedish Academies of Science.

The Otto Vogl Papers consist primarily of scholarly writings and professional correspondence, along with numerous master’s theses and doctoral dissertations completed under Vogl’s supervision and books written by Vogl’s wife, Jane C. Vogl.


  • Polymers--Structure
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering


  • Vogl, Otto, 1927-

W.H. Grindol and Son, 1895-1900

1 letterbook (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 705
Monument design
Monument design

A great-grandson of Revolutionary War general Henry Haller, William H. Grindol (1840-1927) settled with his family in Decatur, Illinois, in 1864, building a successful career in the retail marble trade. Beginning in partnership with Paul F. Jones, and later with his son, Grindol advertised his firm as dealers in “all kinds of foreign and American monuments,” selling marble and granite monuments, building stone, and iron reservoir vases. He was one of the founders of the Retail Marble and Granite Dealer’s Association of Illinois, serving as President of the Central District in 1897. Grindol died in Decatur in 1927 and is buried at Fairlawn Cemetery.

Grindol and Son’s letterpress copy book contains approximately 900 outgoing letters, 1895-1900, to marble and granite suppliers, in Vermont, Massachusetts, and other states. The majority of the correspondence consists of orders for gravemarkers, with many letters including measurements and other details, along with rough sketches of monuments, decorative motifs, and inscriptions.


  • Marble industry and trade--Illinois
  • Sepulchral monuments--Illinois


  • W.H. Grindol and Son

Types of material

  • Letterpress copies

Frederick V. Waugh Collection, 1917-1919

6 items (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 026
Black cat logo
Black cat logo

In July 1917, prior to the American entry in the First World War, Frederick Vail Waugh joined a group of about fifty residents of Amherst, Mass., who enlisted for duty in the Ambulance Service of the French Army. From August 1917 through April 1919, SSU 39 (Service Sanitaire Unis) — redesignated SSU 539 and transferred to the American Expeditionary Service in January 1918 — served among the trenches of northern France and Belgium. Known as the Black Cat squadron, they took part in three major offensives with the AEF, the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys. Waugh was among three members of the unit awarded the French Croix de Guerre for courage and energy during the last month of the war. After returning to the states, Waugh earned a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Agricultural College (1922), where his father Frank A. Waugh was a Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, followed by an MA from Rutgers (1926) and PhD from Columbia (1929). He enjoyed a distinguished fifty year career as an agricultural economist with the US Department of Agriculture.

A snapshot of life in the First World War, the Waugh collection includes Frederick Waugh’s army jacket (with Croix de Guerre), helmet, and puttees, and a remarkable history of the unit and photo album, Being the Book of S.S.U. 539. A second book, I Was There with the Yanks in France (1919) has been transferred for shelving to the Rare Books stacks.


  • Ambulance drivers--United States
  • United States. Army Ambulance Service. Section 539
  • World War, 1914-1918--Medical care


  • Waugh, Frederick V. (Frederick Vail), 1898-1974
The Marmot, a Wayfinder

UMarmot is an online interactive catablog containing information on all manuscript and archival collections held by the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the UMass Amherst Libraries.

What does a UMarmot record contain?

Each UMarmot record contains a brief description of each collection, including the collection name, size, and date range, a brief description of its contents, selected subject terms, and links (when available) to detailed finding aids and other online resources. Each record is also indexed under one or more general subject categories, which may be selected using the drop-down menu on the right side of the page.

Searches in UMarmot cover the complete contents of all records, including the detailed finding aids when available. Finding aids are cross-posted on the Five Colleges Consortium finding aids website.

Creative Commons no rights reserved

To the extent possible under U.S. law, the author(s) of metadata and other content in UMarmot have dedicated all copyright and related and neighboring rights to the public domain worldwide in keeping with Creative Commons “no rights reserved” specifications.

We welcome comments on collections or the website and thank you for bearing with us while we burrow into the future.

What collections are included in UMarmot?

  • Manuscript collections: personal papers, organizational records, and documents
  • Papers of faculty, staff, and administrators from UMass Amherst
  • University Archives from UMass Amherst
  • Photographic collections, some containing thumbnails of individual images
  • Book collections: overviews at the collection level only. Individual titles are cataloged in the UMass Amherst Libraries’ online catalog.
  • Digital collections, including those that are part of manuscript, archival, photographic, or book collections

What is not included in UMarmot?

What lies behind the UMarmot catablog?

UMarmot was launched in early 2007 as a response to two perceived needs. First, we were seeking a low cost solution to maximizing public access to our collections, and second, we hoped to find a solution that could be shared with colleagues in institutions with less support for technological initiatives. After completing a comprehensive survey of our holdings and generating standards-compliant, minimal descriptions of each collection, we recognized that the indexing capacity, web-readiness, and familiarity of blogging software made it easy to adapt into an online catalog. Thus the “catablog” was born.

After reviewing surveying options for blogging software, we selected WordPress for its superior combination of power, ease of development and maintenance, and flexibility in design. Because our goal was to make catablogging accessible to all, we initially refrained from developing UMarmot beyond installing freely-available plugins, and although we have subsequently delved into building our own themes, we have sought to keep the focus on keeping UMarmot as an inexpensive, easily implemented, open source alternative. The UMarmot approach had been taken up by many institutions and projects, some of whom have added their own interesting twists.

We are glad to share our experiences with UMarmot and are available to help anyone interested in building their own catablog. The SCUA website was designed and developed by DDHW Design, Easthampton, Mass.

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