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Rodin, Phyllis

Phyllis Rodin Papers
1950-2014
ca.50 boxes (75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 894
Image of Phyllis Rodin
Phyllis Rodin

Born into a Jewish Lithuanian family in Williamsburg., N.Y., on May 10, 1914, Phyllis Rodin was drawn to the struggle for peace and social justice from early in life. Her widowed mother set an example as an antiwar activist and advocate for women’s rights, and after marrying at age 18, Phyllis and her husband ran a dairy farm that they reorganized on cooperative principles in the 1930s. A watershed in her life came after witnessing the suffering of war first hand while engaged as a psychiatric aid worker for the Red Cross during the Second World War. From that point, Rodin was an unrelenting activist for peace, traveling internationally and remaining vocal through the McCarthy era and Vietnam War and diving headlong into the second wave of the feminist movement. Returning to school late in life, she completed an undergraduate degree at Wisconsin before moving to Amherst in 1980 to study for a doctorate in Future Studies through the UMass Department of Education. Her activism barely skipped a beat as she worked closely with Quaker groups and stalwart activists such as her friend Frances Crowe to oppose nuclear weapons and violence in all forms. Rodin died in Amherst on Jan. 2015.

The Rodin Papers are the product of a long life of a woman devoted to the struggle for peace, feminism, and social justice. Richer in documenting Rodin’s latter decades and the philosophy of world peace she honed, the collection contains an abundance of correspondence, ephemera, and audiovisual materials related to international work in peacebuilding.

Acquired from Anne Griffin, Dec. 2015
Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Feminists
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts

Shutesbury (Mass.)

Shutesbury (Mass.) 250th Anniversary Collection
1961-2014
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 957

The town of Shutesbury was founded as “Roadtown” in 1735 and was incorporated as a town in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1761. The town celebrated its 250th Anniversary in 2011 and planned a year’s worth of events, lectures, and celebrations.

This collection comprises the flyers and notes for several of these events and includes commemorative albums and town histories. A perfect example of a small New England town, these materials are a snapshot of the history of Shutesbury and a celebration of the town’s legacy.

Subjects
  • Shutesbury (Mass.)--History.
  • Shutesbury 250th Anniversary Steering Committee.
Types of material
  • Correspondence.
  • Flyers.

Simon, Peter, 1947-

Peter Simon Collection
ca. 1945-2016
10 boxes (20 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 009
Image of Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968
Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968

Peter Simon’s life and work as a photojournalist follows the quintessential arc of the counterculture, baby boom generation. The son of Richard Simon, founder of Simon and Schuster, Peter grew up in the New York City suburb of Riverdale and attended Boston University, graduating in 1969. While a student at BU, he began documenting the political turmoil in the US when he became photo editor for the radical student newspaper, the BU News, and later as a press photographer for the Cambridge Phoenix. In 1970, Simon left Boston to form Tree Frog Farm, a back-to-the-land commune in Guilford, Vermont, and after leaving there in 1972, he immersed himself in the New Age, forming a close relationship with spiritual leader Ram Dass. Among the most constant threads connecting his work throughout these changes was music. Simon’s sisters, Carly, Lucy, and Joanna have all been involved in music, and through a partnership with longtime friend Stephen Davis and his association with Rolling Stone magazine, Simon enjoyed unique access to many of the most important musicians of his generation. He spent time on the road with the Grateful Dead; went backstage and at home with Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and many others. His early forays into the world of reggae with Bob Marley and other Jamaican recording artists resulted in one of his nine books, Reggae Bloodlines. Simon’s other photographic interests are as wide-ranging as his background. A visitor to Martha’s Vineyard since the 1950s and a resident since 1974, his work reflects the changes and cultural richness of that island; his family’s friendship with Jackie Robinson has driven his lifelong documentation of baseball, and he is in high demand for portraits, weddings, and other work for hire.

The Peter Simon Collection houses the original negatives for Simon’s complete body of work as a photo journalist and also includes many photographs taken by his father Richard, an avid amateur photographer, which documents the Simon family and life in Riverdale and Stamford, Connecticut, where the family had a summer home.

Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Counterculture--United States--20th century
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Musicians--Photographs
  • Simon, Carly--Photographs
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Contributors
  • Simon, Richard L. (Richard Leo), 1899-1960
Types of material
  • Photographs

Smith Family

Smith Family Papers
1802-1825
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 500

Legal and financial documents of the Smith family of West Springfield, Massachusetts, including personal accounts, notes on road planning and construction, wills, deeds, and indentures.

Subjects
  • Smith family
  • West Springfield (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Accounts
  • Deeds
  • Indentures
  • Wills

Springfield Environmental Coalition

Springfield Environmental Coalition Collection
1964-1977 (Bulk: 1970-1976)
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 875

In the early 1970s, the Springfield Environmental Coalition emerged as one of the grassroots organizations dedicated to environmental causes in the lower Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Under the leadership of its president, William R. Lenville, the Coalition took part in regional planning efforts relating to urban expansion in the city of Springfield as well as issues relating to regional land use, agriculture, and water quality in the Connecticut River.

A tightly-focused assemblage of formally and informally published materials from the lower Pioneer Valley, the SEC collection addresses a range of issues in regional planning during the early 1970s, including land use, agriculture, water resources, zoning, and urban growth. Of particular note are a series of interesting typewritten studies of individual neighborhoods in Springfield, 1970-1972. The collection includes one folder of correspondence regarding the Coalition’s work.

Subjects
  • City planning--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Connecticut River Valley (Mass.)
  • Land use
  • Regional planning--Massachusetts--Springfield region
  • Springfield (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Lenville, William R.

Sroka Family

Sroka Family Papers
1842-1960
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 216

Polish family who emigrated to the United States in 1912-1913 and settled in Chicopee, Massachusetts, working in meat packing firms and textile factories, and also as seamstresses and farmers.

Includes birth and wedding certificates, military and employment documentation, residential and passport applications, photographs, and lists of baptisms, weddings, and deaths. Also contains a family history written by Gary Sroka, correspondence, payment book for the Society of St. Joseph (Chicopee, Massachusetts), and a news clipping. All materials exist as photocopies and are written primarily in Polish, German, and Hungarian, though some are in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

Subjects
  • Chicopee (Mass.)--History
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

St. Kazimier Society (Turners Falls, Mass.)

St. Kazimier Society Records
1904-1984
15 boxes (8 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 253 bd

The St. Kazimier Society was an early mutual aid society formed in the Polish community in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Established in 1904, the Society preceded the founding of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church by five years.

Records of the St. Kazimier Society of Turners Falls include administrative files, financial records, educational materials, and photographs. Account books generally reflect members’ premium payments and benefits, the income and expenses of the society itself, and of the club.

Subjects
  • Mutual aid societies--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Turners Falls
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • St. Kazimier Society (Turners Falls, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Account books

Story, Ellen

Ellen Story Papers
1997-2016
14 boxes (21 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 962

Born in Oklahoma in 1941, Ellen Story served as the Associate Executive Director of the Family Council of Western Massachusetts for nearly 20 years before deciding to run for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in a 1992 special election. While in office, she was an advocate for a variety of women’s and social issues ranging from pay equity for women and transgender rights to health services. After 24 years representing the 3rd Hampshire District, Story announced she would not seek another term in 2016.

The bulk of the collection consists of background research and publications related to various issues that went before the Massachusetts state legislature. Also included are reports, administrative and office files, and constituent files.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Massachusetts. General Court. House of Representatives
Contributors
  • Story, Ellen

Tenney, Thomas W.

Thomas W. and Margaret Tenney Photograph Collection
1966-1978 (Bulk: 1966-1972)
12 boxes (6 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 045
Image of Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.
Submit Gaylord, 1766, Hadley, Mass.

A long-time resident of Berkeley, Calif., Thomas W. Tenney and his wife Margaret took up photography in a serious way in the early 1960s. Photographing the Bay Area scene and publishing in the New York Times and elsewhere, the Tenneys became full time photographers by about 1964. For over a decade, they took summer trips to New England to photograph colonial and early national gravestones, culminating in a public exhibition of their work in 1972 at the Bolles Gallery in San Francisco.

The Tenney collection consists of several hundred scrupulously-documented images of gravestones in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other New England states taken between 1966 and 1978. Selecting stones for “artistic rather than historical reasons,” the Tenney’s focused primarily on details of the carving and inscriptions.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--Rhode Island
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • Tenney, Margaret K.
  • Tenney, Thomas W.
Types of material
  • Photographs

U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. Bureau of Valuation

U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of Valuation, Engineering Report upon the Boston and Maine Railroad Company
1931
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 641

Chartered in 1835, the Boston and Maine Railroad was one of the largest and most successful railroad operations in northern New England for over a century, hauling both freight and passengers. The Railway began a slow decline as early as the 1930s with the decline in manufacturing in the region and later with the decline of passenger service. It came through a bankruptcy in 1970 and continues as a non-operating ward of Pan Am Railways.

This collection consists of blueprint valuations of the assets of the Boston and Maine Railroad, compiled by the Bureau of Valuation of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission in 1931.

Subjects
  • Boston and Maine Railroad
  • Railroads--New England
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