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Kaisando Temple
Kaisando Temple

Within a decade of its founding, the Massachusetts Agricultural College began to forge what would become fast ties with its counterparts in Japan. Seeking to establish a thoroughly modern college in Hokkaido, the Imperial Government in Japan looked to America for a model of innovation in agricultural education, settling quickly on MAC. With the leadership of William Smith Clark, a succession of faculty, students, and alumni helped develop the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University).

The Dept. of Special Collections at UMass Amherst (SCUA) houses several collections from those early exchanges, including the papers of William Smith Clark and his students and colleagues William Brooks and William Wheeler, along with the remarkable collections associated with the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman, a resident of Northampton. These collections have formed a core on which SCUA continues to build. Today, the department specializes in documenting the American study of Japanese history and culture, particularly in the post-war period.

Selected collections

  • Beato, Felice. Papers, ca. 1863-1871.
    • As a photographer, Beato was an important chronicler of late-Edo and early-Meiji era Japan.
  • Brooks, William Penn. Papers, 1863-1939.
    • Invited by the Japanese government — and his mentor, William Smith Clark — to help establish the Sapporo Agricultural College, modeled on the Massachusetts Agricultural College. Spending over a decade in Hokkaido, Brooks helped to introduce western scientific agricultural practices and the outlines of a program in agricultural education, and he built a solid foundation for the School.
  • Clark, William Smith. 1814-2003 (bulk: 1844-1886).
    • Held the presidency of Massachusetts Agricultural College (now University of Massachusetts Amherst) from 1867-1879, and helped to found Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) in Japan in 1876.
  • Lewis, Gertrude. Papers, 1920-2001.
    • An educator for most her life, Lewis ‘s papers document changes within theory and pedagogy over time and in various geographic locales, including Japan, in the field of education.
  • Lyman, Benjamin Smith
    • Papers, 1831-1921. Prominent geologist and mining engineer, Lyman was invited by the Meiji government in Japan to help introduce modern geological surveying and mining techniques during the 1870s and 1880s.
    • Japanese Book Collection, 1710-1898. During his years as a consultant to the Meiji government in Japan, Benjamin Smith Lyman accumulated a large collection of books printed in Japan. His book collection includes works on language to literature, religion, the arts, and culture.
  • Maki, John. Papers.
    • Japanese-American professor of political science at UMass who worked on contemporary Japan, militarism, and post-war constitution. Maki served in U.S. Army Intelligence during the Second World War, and spent several months in Japan in 1946 as part of the Occupation administration.
  • Passin, Herbert. Collection, 1944-1955.
    • Inducted into the Army in 1941 and assigned to duty in Tokyo in December 1945, he became chief of the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. During his tour of duty, Passin coordinated a series of sociological studies of Japanese village life to help guide U.S. Occupation policy, particularly as it dealt with land and labor reform.
  • Stockbridge, Levi. Papers, 1841-1878.
    • Pioneering agriculturist and president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, whose son, Horace Edward Stockbridge, taught at Hokkaido University and sent descriptions of his travel in Japan home.
  • Totman, Conrad. Papers, 1800-2005.
    • A professor of Japanese history at Yale, Totman’s collection a treasure trove of information on Japan in general, and particularly on his specialties: early modern Japan and forestry and environmental management.
  • Wheeler, William. Papers, 1876-1930.
    • Joined Massachusetts Agricultural College President William Smith Clark and two other alumni of the college in helping to found the Sapporo Agricultural College in Japan (now Hokkaido University), succeeding Clark as president of the school from 1877 to 1879.
  • Yamashita, Yoskiaki. Photograph album, ca. 1904.
    • Professor from Tokyo who traveled the United States providing instruction in the new martial art of judo from 1903-1960.

Learn more:

Larry Kelley Papers, 1994-2004

2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 524
Kelley raising the flag, Ground Zero, 2001
Kelley raising the flag, Ground Zero, 2001

Owner of the Amherst Athletic Club and columnist for the Amherst Bulletin from 1991 to 2004, Larry Kelley is deeply involved with Amherst area relations and government. He ran for both Select Board and Finance Committee, and was instrumental in raising awareness about and banning the illegal sale of martial arts weapons in Massachusetts.

Included in the Kelley papers are over 100 newspaper clippings, either his editorials, letters to the editor, or guest columns, about issues ranging from the use of town safety services by Amherst College, his objection to the Civil Rights Review Commission’s right to subpoena, his fight to fly commemorative flags in downtown Amherst both on the anniversary of September 11th and on the day Osama bin Laden is captured, to his objection over the Amherst-Pelham Regional High School’s production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst Bulletin
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

Robert and Henry Ketcham Account Book, 1829-1875

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 176 bd

Owners of a farm business/general store in Charlton, Saratoga County, New York. Includes lists of items sold, services performed (such as plowing, harvesting, and planting corn), transactions with fellow townsmen, and debts owed. Also includes newspaper clippings of poetry, samples of dried pressed foliage, written document of Ketcham family births, deaths, and marriages, and the document of a house sale agreement.


  • Agricultural laborers--New York--Charlton (Town)--History--19th century
  • Charlton (N.Y. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Farmers--New York--Charlton (Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Food prices--New York (State)--New York--Charlton (Town)--History--19th century
  • General stores--New York--Charlton
  • Ketcham family--Genealogy


  • Ketcham, Henry
  • Ketcham, Robert, b. 1796?

Types of material

  • Account books

Ethel A. Killgrove Papers, 1948-1962 (Bulk: 1949-1951)

1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 866
Ethel A. Killgrove and Mr. Braden, Addis Ababa, 1950
Ethel A. Killgrove and Mr. Braden, Addis Ababa, 1950

Between 1948 and 1951, Chicagoan Ethel A. Killgrove worked as a missionary with the Sudan Interior Mission. A graduate of the St. Paul Bible Institute, Killgrove was based in Aden, Yemen, and worked spreading the gospel and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After returning home in 1951, Killgrove studied education at Wheaton College (Bed, 1959) and Roosevelt (MEd., 1963), teaching in elementary schools in Illinois and Chester County, Pa. She died in Lancaster, Pa., in 2002.

The 142 letters that Killgrove wrote home to her parents and brother Tom include fascinating information on life as a missionary in British-controlled Aden and Ethiopia during the transitional years following the end of World War II. From her perspective on the southern rim of the Middle East, Killgore was witness to the of the impact of the formation of the state of Israel and the growing hostility toward colonial domination in the Arab world and Africa. The collection includes an excellent photograph album with 55 images of her time in mission, along with 65 other images.


  • Aden (Yemen)--Description and travel
  • Ethiopia--Description and travel
  • Missionaries--Africa
  • Missionaries--Ethiopia
  • Missionaries--Yemen


  • Sudan Interior Mission

Types of material

  • Photographs

Doug Kraner Collection, 1978-2014

3 boxes, 7 tubes (4 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 942

With an MFA in theater from UMass Amherst (1979), Doug Kraner built a career of thirty five years that grew from scenic design for the stage into production design for feature films and television. After his time in Amherst, Kraner taught at SUNY Stonybrook and worked on and off-Broadway, but by 1981, he moved to Hollywood and began a film career as set decorator for My Dinner With Andre (1981). Among dozens of credits as art director or production designer, Kraner worked on commercially successful films such as Uncle Buck, Lean on Me, Sleeping with the Enemy (which was the start of a long and productive working relationship with the director Danny Cannon), Extreme Measures, and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. He received an Emmy nomination in 1983 for Little Gloria… Happy at Last, and in his work on the television show Gotham in 2014-2015 earned both Emmy and Art Directors Guild Award nominations. After a lengthy struggle with cancer, Kraner died on April 4, 2016.

Organized project by project, the Kraner collection includes a cross-section of work from a production designer in the film and television industries from the 1980s to 2010s. Although the depth of coverage and contents vary from film to film, the files may contain anything from rough concept sketches to finished designs, photographs of three-dimensional models, and schematics for the construction of sets, and in the aggregate, the work documents the transition from paper-based to purely digital production techniques. Kraner retained a small number of sketches from his time as a graduate student at UMass Amherst, two sketchbooks, and a portfolio of his work for film.

Winston Lavallee Collection, 1937-2005

1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 796
CCC camp
CCC camp

A native New Englander, Winston Lavallee grew up in the Berkshires and attended UMass Amherst where he received his Ph.D. in entomology. He served as a professor for more than 35 years at Holyoke Community College and as a life-long advocate for the stewardship of natural resources and ecological sustainability. Lavallee is the author of several short stories and two novels: Tempest in the Wilderness and Dancing in the Dark, a novel about the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The collection consists of research notes, publications, photographs, and the recollections of men who Lavallee interviewed about their service in the Civilian Conservation Corps. These materials were first accumulated to record the conservation and plant pest control techniques employed in New England during the 1930s-1940s, but were later used during the preparation and writing of Dancing in the Dark. Altogether they offer rich historical background on the CCC and the men who were employed in the various jobs, such as road building, fire hazard reduction, and the development of recreational space, which constituted the program.


  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--New England--History
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--Photographs
  • New Deal, 1933-1939--New England--History


  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
  • Lavallee, Winston

Types of material

  • Oral histories
  • Photographs

Sidney Lipshires Papers, 1932-2012

7 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 730
Sidney Lipshires
Sidney Lipshires

Born on April 15, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Minnie Lipshires, Sidney was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts where his father owned two shoe stores, David Boot Shop and The Bootery. He attended the Massachusetts State College for one year before transferring to the University of Chicago and was awarded a BA in economics in 1940. His years at the University of Chicago were transformative, Lipshires became politically active there and joined the Communist Party in 1939. Following graduation in 1941, he married Shirley Dvorin, a student in early childhood education; together they had two sons, Ellis and Bernard. Lipshires returned to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1940s, working as a labor organizer. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 working as a clerk and interpreter with a medical battalion in France for over a year. Returning home, he ran for city alderman in Springfield on the Communist Party ticket in 1947. Lipshires married his second wife, Joann Breen Klein, in 1951 and on May 29, 1956, the same day his daughter Lisa was born, he was arrested under the Smith Act for his Communist Party activities. Before his case was brought to trial, the Smith Act was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the Communist Party, he severed his ties with it in 1957, but continued to remain active in organized labor for the rest of his life. Earning his masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1971, Lipshires taught history at Manchester Community College in Connecticut for thirty years. During that time he worked with other campus leaders to establish a statewide union for teachers and other community college professionals, an experience he wrote about in his book, Giving Them Hell: How a College Professor Organized and Led a Successful Statewide Union. Sidney Lipshires died on January 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Ranging from an autobiographical account that outlines his development as an activist (prepared in anticipation of a trial for conspiracy charges under the Smith Act) to drafts and notes relating to his book Giving Them Hell, the Sidney Lipshires Papers offers an overview of his role in the Communist Party and as a labor organizer. The collection also contains his testimony in a 1955 public hearing before the Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities, photographs, and biographical materials.


  • Communism--United States--History
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Northampton--History
  • Jews--Political activity--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor movement--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography


  • Lipshires, David M
  • Lipshires, Joann B
  • Lipshires, Sidney

Types of material

  • Autobiographies
  • Photographs
  • Testimonies

Richard E. Lloyd Daybook, 1859-1862

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 229 bd

Owner of a general store in Fair Haven, Vermont. Includes numbered accounts of customers (many with Welsh surnames), lists of items purchased, the price per measure, forms of payment (cash, goods, services, credit, making clothes), and the goods that were sold (such as fabrics, ready-made clothes, eggs and dairy products, fruits and nuts, garden seeds, cutlery and tinware, and jewelry).


  • Barter--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Consumer goods--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--Prices--History--19th century
  • Consumers--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--History--19th century--Biography
  • General stores--Vermont--Fair Haven
  • Shopping--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
  • Welsh Americans--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century


  • Lloyd, Richard E., b. 1834

Types of material

  • Daybooks

Benjamin Smith Lyman Japanese Book Collection, 1664-1898

(87 linear feet)
Call no.: RB 006

A prominent geologist and mining engineer, Benjamin Smith Lyman traveled to Japan in the 1870s at the request of the Meiji government, helping introduce modern surveying and mining techniques. Omnivorous in his intellectual pursuits, Lyman took an interest in the Japanese language and printing, collecting dozens of contemporary and antiquarian volumes during his travels.

Lyman’s book collection begins with his background in the natural sciences, but runs the gamut from language to literature, religion, the arts, and culture. With several hundred volumes, the collection includes a number of works dating to the eighteenth century and earlier, and while the majority were printed in Japan, a number, particularly of the older works, are in Chinese.


  • Japan--History--1868-
  • Printing--Japan--History


  • Lyman, Benjamin Smith, 1835-1920

William P. MacConnell Aerial Photograph Collection, ca.1950-2000

ca.24,000 items
Call no.: Map Collection

In the 1950s, William P. MacConnell (Class of 1943), and his photogrammetry students in the Dept. of Forestry began using aerial photography to map forests, agricultural fields, wetlands, and other land cover in Massachusetts. Their work was eventually expanded to include the mapping of all land use for Massachusetts, making this state the first in the nation to be completely mapped in this fashion, and laying the foundation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory.

The MacConnell Collection includes a comprehensive set of stereopair photographs derived from multiple transects of the state taken between 1950 and 2000. In addition to some original field notes, a stereoscope, and other project materials, the collection includes the following series:

  • 1951: Massachusetts, black and white prints (1:20,000 scale)
  • 1971: Massachusetts, black and white prints (1:20,000)
  • 1985: Massachusetts and Rhode Island, infrared transparencies (1:25,000)
  • 1990: Boston, Cape Cod, Buzzard’s Bay, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1991-1992: Massachusetts, infrared transparencies (1:40,000)
  • 1991-1992: Merrimack River Valley, North Shore, MDC-1, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1993: Massachusetts, Cape Cod, MDC-2, Nantucket, Dukes and Plymouth Counties, Naushon, West Metro, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1999: Massachusetts. infrared transparencies and prints (1:25,000)

The collection is housed in the Map Collection on the 2nd Floor of the library.


  • Land use--Massachusetts
  • MacConnell, William Preston, 1918-
  • Maps--Massachusetts
  • Wetlands--Massachusetts

Types of material

  • Aerial photography
  • Maps

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