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Class Action

Class Action Records, 2004-2010
13 boxes (19.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 687

Since incorporating as a non-profit in 2004, Class Action has been dedicated to exploring issues surrounding class and identifying means of dismantling classism. Founded by Felice Yeskel (an activist and founder of the Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst) and Jennifer Ladd, Class Action offers training, workshops, and organizational consulting to raise awareness of the impact of class barriers and class privilege on the lives of individuals and communities and of the intersections between race and class. Their goals include making class a diversity issue and promoting a broader vision of economic and social justice that will create lasting systemic change.

The records of Class Action include administrative files for the organization along with a range of materials used in training sessions and workshops.

Subjects
  • Classism
  • Racism
  • Social classes
Contributors
  • Ladd, Jennifer
  • Yeskel, Felice
Types of material
  • Sound recordings

Cornish, Michael

Michael Cornish Photograph Collection, ca.1975-2005
20 boxes (20.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 035

Michael Cornish first became interested in gravemarkers while writing a senior thesis at the Massachusetts College of Art, and since that time, he has prepared numerous exhibitions of his photographic work and conducted important research on colonial markers. Widely known for his work on the carver Joseph Barbur of West Medway, Mass., and a group of “tendril carvers” in southeastern Massachusetts, Cornish speaks frequently to historical societies around Massachusetts, delivering slide shows tailored to the particular area. An inventory photographer for the City of Boston’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative, he has also consulted for several towns regarding the preservation and rehabilitation of their burying grounds. As a member of the AGS Board of Directors, Cornish has worked in various capacities and played an active role in organizing and participating in the annual conventions, programs, exhibits, and tours.

The Cornish Collection includes many thousands of photographs and direct rubbings of early New England gravestones, primarily in Massachusetts and Connecticut, focusing on their beauty and artistic merit. Originally inspired by the work of Harriette Merrifield Forbes, and encouraged by Dan and Jessie Farber, Cornish photographed in a variety of formats, including Kodachrome transparencies, black-and-white negatives, and black-and-white prints. The collection also includes research notes relating to his work on Barbur and other stonecarvers.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Connecticut
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Cornish, Michael
Types of material
  • Photographs

Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981

Mary Doyle Curran Papers, 1917-1980
7 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 435

Mary Curran Doyle and dog

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1917 and a graduate of Massachusetts State College, Mary Doyle Curran was an author, editor, and professor, who published her only novel, The Parish and the Hill, in 1948. Curran taught English and Irish Literature at Wellesley College, Queens College, and UMass Boston before retiring; she died in 1981.

The collection includes unpublished drafts of novels and short stories; photographs; correspondence from family and friends; publishers and literary associates such as Saul Bellow and Josephine Herbst. The Parish and the Hill, Curran’s only published novel, is today considered a classic among Irish American literature.

Subjects
  • Holyoke (Mass.)--History
  • Irish American literature
  • Irish American women--History
  • Women authors--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Bellow, Saul
  • Curran, Mary Doyle, 1917-1981
  • Halley, Anne
  • Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969
Types of material
  • Photographs

Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-

Joseph Donohue Collection of Theatre Programs and Theatrical Ephemera, 1968-2010
23 boxes (12 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 696

An historian of modern British drama, Joseph Donohue was a longtime member of the Department of English at UMass Amherst. A native of Brookline, Mass., Donohue was educated at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown before receiving his doctorate at Princeton (1965), and he studied directing at both Columbia and Yale. After five years at Princeton, he joined the faculty at UMass in 1971, where he remained for thirty four years. The author of numerous articles and books on the British and Irish theatre, Donohue was author — among many other works — of Dramatic Character in the English Romantic Age (1970) and Theatre in the Age of Kean (1975) and editor of the London Stage, 1800-1900 Project. A past president of the American Society for Theatre Research, he was also a fixture in local performances, including the Valley Light Opera Company. Upon retirement from the department in 2005, Donohue was named Professor Emeritus.

Consisting of hundreds of theatrical programs and other ephemera, the Donohue collection documents a lifetime of avid theater-going. The astonishing array of playwrights and plays represented in the collection, and the diversity of theatres (mostly in New York and London), provides a nearly exhaustively chronicle of Donohue’s theatrical habits from his days as a graduate student to nearly the present.

Subjects
  • Theater--England--London
  • Theater--New York (State)--New York
Contributors
  • Donohue, Joseph W., 1935-
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Playbills

Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963

W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1984
328 boxes (168.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 312
W.E.B. Du Bois Papers image
W.E.B. Du Bois

Scholar, writer, editor of The Crisis and other journals, co-founder of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan African Congresses, international spokesperson for peace and for the rights of oppressed minorities, W.E.B. Du Bois was a son of Massachusetts who articulated the strivings of African Americans and developed a trenchant analysis of the problem of the color line in the twentieth century.

The Du Bois Papers contain almost 165 linear feet of the personal and professional papers of a remarkable social activist and intellectual. Touching on all aspects of his long life from his childhood during Reconstruction through the end of his life in 1963, the collection reflects the extraordinary breadth of his social and academic commitments from research in sociology to poetry and plays, from organizing for social change to organizing for Black consciousness.

Acquired from Shirley Graham Du Bois, 1973
Subjects
  • African Americans--Civil rights
  • African Americans--History--1877-1964
  • Crisis (New York, N.Y.)
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on democracy
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Pan-Africanism
  • United States--Race relations
Contributors
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
Types of material
  • Photographs

Duus, Peter, 1933-

Peter Duus Papers, ca.1970-2008
13 boxes (19.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 574

The William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford University and a prolific scholar, Peter Duus has made significant contributions to the understanding of the development of Japanese imperialism and the emergence of the modern Japanese nation. Having received his doctorate from Harvard, Duus taught successively at Harvard, Washington University, and the Claremont Graduate School before arriving at Stanford in 1973. The recipient of numerous awards during his career, he has served in numerous positions within the field and as Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford.

The Duus Papers contain the professional correspondence, research notes, and other materials relating to the career of the eminent Japanologist, Peter Duus.

Subjects
  • Japan--History--20th century
  • Stanford University--Faculty
  • Stanford University. Department of History
Contributors
  • Duus, Peter, 1933-

ETHIR Fellowships

Experiential Training in Historic Information Resources (Ethir) is an initiative of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives in the UMass Amherst Libraries designed to provide students with structured, hands-on experience using and interpreting historical documentary resources. As part of our effort to integrate Special Collections more fully into the learning and research mission of the university, we offer an opportunity for select graduate students to work in the Department on a research project, while gaining first-hand experience in historical and archival praxis. Ethir fellows will take part in a range of activities in the digital humanities tied to primary source material, including curating exhibits, building digital corpora, or developing other interpretive materials.

Successful applicants will work with SCUA staff to identify a digital project that will make use of their interests and experience and that will provide a creative opportunity for building new digital skills. We ask students write a 1-2 page statement of interest outlining how their research interests might engage the department and the primary source material we collect.

Projects may include work with our collections in:

Or fellows can propose to work with a collection or topic of their choice.

Through the Ethir program, we also offer orientation for classes in any discipline that would benefit from exposure to the primary archival resources under our stewardship. Our staff are happy to work with the faculty to increase their students’ information literacy in a variety of legacy formats as well as with new digital media.

View past Ethir Fellows

Application information

Eligibility: Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.
Award: Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.
Evaluation criteria: Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants on a competitive basis based upon: 1) a brief (1-2 page) statement of interest, 2) ability to contribute to the work of SCUA, and 3) a curriculum vita and letter of support.
Support & expectations: Fellows will receive an honorarium of $500, plus hourly compensation for 150 hours of work.
Deadline for submission: Applications must be received by April 17, 2015.
How to submit: Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] library.umass.edu with “ethir application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.

InformationDownload the application form (rtf file).

Ethir Outcomes

For Fellows

  • Provide hands-on experience using and interpreting historical materials
  • Expose fellows to historical and archival standards and practices
  • Assist fellows in developing research projects based on primary resources
  • Increase access and provide additional scholarly layers for SCUA’s collections
  • Foster information literacy in legacy historical formats
  • Enhance learning and research at the university
  • Create web-accessible guides and exhibits that will enhance fellow’s portfolios
  • Fellows will produce tangible products for public consumption (e.g., finding aids, guides, digital collections, exhibits) based upon new or under-described collections, and they may assist in providing instruction for peers and classes

For Faculty

We will provide structured orientation for individuals and classes involving active learning, with an emphasis on:

  • Handling original materials (paleography, formats)
  • Interpreting historical content
  • Interpreting historically specific forms of information
  • Navigating the Department’s web resources
  • Translating research interests into usable queries

Events calendar

Double exposure of Steve Diamond

Double exposure of
Steve Diamond, ca.1985

To promote scholarship, raise public awareness of its collections, and encourage discussion of critical issues affecting American society, SCUA sponsors a number of events each year, including two annual colloquiua:

Throughout the year, the department sponsors other events, ranging from exhibit openings to lectures, book signings, and celebrations of donors and new donations. All SCUA events are free and open to the public. Please contact the department for additional information.

Learn more:

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Research Reports, 1959
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 066

Established in 1914 as one of a dozen federal reserve banks nationwide, the Boston Fed serves the six New England states. The collection consists of research reports issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1959 projecting economic conditions for New England in the year 1970 for manufacturing industries, banking, electronic industry, and population and labor force.

This small collection consists of an incomplete run of forecasts and research reviews of the New England economy in anticipation of the new decade, 1970.

Subjects
  • New England--Economic conditions
Contributors
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Fellowships & prizes

Close up of old book

To promote scholarship at UMass Amherst and encourage original research in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, the W.E.B. Du Bois Libraries sponsor two annual awards open to the University’s undergraduate and graduate student community.

Du Bois Research Fellowships

For one month’s support for a younger professional whose research is in the tradition of W.E.B. Du Bois

Ethir Fellowships in Digital Humanities

To support UMass Amherst graduate students in digital humanities projects using SCUA collections

Friends of the Library Undergraduate Research Award (FLURA)

Provides a scholarship for excellence in research and writing in the Humanities.

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