University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections and University Archives
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Labor, work, and industry

Picket line, New Bedford

Picket line, New Bedford, 195
“Teamsters crossed the Hathaway picket line”

Western Massachusetts was an early and important center of both industrialization and the development of organized labor, and in recent years, it has experienced many of traumatic effects of de-industrialization and economic transformation. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document the history of organized labor, the experience of work, and business and industry in New England.

At the heart of the SCUA holdings is a suite of collections documenting the organized labor movement in New England. The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, a large and important collection, is joined by records for trades ranging from clothing and textile workers to carpenters, electrical workers, and granite cutters.

Of particular note is the John W. Bennett Labor History Collection, a large assemblage of labor-related realia and ephemera, including hundreds of badges, pins, watch fobs, lighters, and other artifacts distributed to union members at annual conventions and other union events. The collection is a unique resource for study of the iconography of organized labor and includes items from representative unions and locals ranging from the Knights of Labor in the 1870s to the present. While centered on New England, the Bennett Collection extends nationally.

Notable collections

  • Organized Labor
    • From the records of the Massachusetts State AFL-CIO to the papers of union locals and labor leaders.
  • See all Business and industry
    • Manufacturing
      • The industrial heritage of New England is represented in collections ranging from the records of the Clement Co., Lamson and Goodnow, and the Northampton Cutlery Company (manufacturers of cutlery), the American Writing Paper Company, the Rodney Hunt Co. (a manufacturer of textile machinery and waterwheels), and Smith and Wesson. The most recent collection is the papers of Sidney Topol, CEO of Scientific-Atlanta, a corporation at the forefront of the growth of cable television in the United States.
    • Merchants and commerce
      • Account books and other business records for a number of New England merchants dating back to the eighteenth century, ranging from small scale traders to keepers of rural general stores to shipping merchants trading in the Atlantic economy.

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Lavallee, Winston

Winston Lavallee Collection, 1937-2005
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 796
Image of 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.

Subjects
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--New England--History
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--Photographs
  • New Deal, 1933-1939--New England--History
Contributors
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
  • Lavallee, Winston
Types of material
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs

Law and Society Association

Law and Society Association Records, ca.1964-2011
24 boxes (36 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 769

Founded in 1964, the Law and Society Association is an interdisciplinary organization bringing together scholars interested in the place of law in social, political, economic and cultural life. Founded by Harry Ball, then based in Madison, Wisc., the association began publishing the Law and Society Review in 1966 and has held its first national meeting in 1975. The executive offices were located at UMass Amherst from 1987 to 2012 under the aegis or Ronald Pipkin of the Program in Legal Studies.

The records of the Law and Society Association include materials relating to former editors of the Law and Society Review, as well as early conferences and summer institutes. Among the notable figures in the field of sociolegal studies represented in the collection are Marc Galanter and Jack Ladinsky.

Subjects
  • Law--Social aspects
Contributors
  • Galanter, Marc, 1931-
  • Ladinsky, Jack

Lederer, Karen

Karen Lederer Papers, 1986-2013
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 167
Image of Karen Lederer (r) with Arlene Akavian in 1997
Karen Lederer (r) with Arlene Akavian in 1997

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts’ Social Thought and Political Economy program in 1981, Karen Lederer has held many important roles in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies since she started in 1986, including, Undergraduate Advisor and Undergraduate Field Work Coordinator, and has taught courses women’s careers and life choices. In addition to her work at the University, Lederer has been an activist for peace, labor, and women’s movements.

This small collection consists of departmental administrative files, Lederer’s course materials, several issues of New Roots magazine and other publications, and memorabilia from the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Subjects
  • Feminism
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Staff
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Leff, David K.

David K. Leff Papers, ca.1975-2016
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 907
Image of David K. Leff
David K. Leff

A writer, poet, and environmental and historic preservation advocate, David K. Leff worked for many years as an agricultural and environmental policy adviser to the Connecticut legislature and as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. A graduate of UMass Amherst (BA 1975) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (1978), Leff began writing and lecturing from early in his career and in addition to publishing dozens of magazine articles and serving as a regular contributor to the Hartford Courant, he has written five works of non-fiction, The Last Undiscovered Place (2004), Deep Travel: In Thoreau’s Wake on the Concord and Merrimack (2009), Hidden in Plain Sight (2012), Maple Sugaring (2015), and Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash (2016); three books of poetry Price of Water (2008), Depth of Field (2010), and Tinker’s Damn (2013), and a novel in verse, Finding the Last Hungry Heart (2014). Leff has been active as a lecturer and instructor on various topics, ranging from the environment to local history and writing. In 2016, he was named the first Poet-in-Residence of the New England Trail.

In addition to containing a nearly comprehensive collection of the published writings of David Leff, the collection includes selected correspondence, unpublished poetry and short stories, a draft of an unpublished novel (Hungry Heart), talks, interviews, notes, newsclippings, over 400 pages of interviews with sugarmakers that Leff conducted for his book on maple sugaring, and selected materials relating to Leff’s work with the DEP in Connecticut and other endeavors. The collection also includes several thousand photographs (mostly digital) takenby Leff and used to illustrate his publications and lectures.

Gift of David K. Leff, 2016
Subjects
  • Maple sugar industry--Connecticut
  • Newspaper columnists--Connecticut
  • Poets--Connecticut
Contributors
  • Photographs

Lenn, Marjorie Peace

Marjorie Peace Lenn Papers, ca.1980-2010
40 boxes (60 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 838
Image of Marjorie Peace Lenn
Marjorie Peace Lenn

A leader in the global quality assurance movement in higher education, Marjorie Peace Lenn was founding president of the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education (CQAIE). Born in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1946, and educated at Transylvania University (BA, 1968), Yale (MAR, 1970), and UMass Amherst (MEd and EdD, 1978), Lenn began her career in education as as assistant area director of student life at UMass Amherst, rising over the course of twelve years (1970-1982) to become the Director of Residential Life. From UMass, Lenn went on to senior positions with the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (1982-1992) before founding the CQAIE in 1991. Throughout her career, Lenn was in high demand internationally as a consultant on quality assurance and accreditation systems. Working with dozens of governments, ministries of education, universities, and intergovernmental agencies such as the World Bank, UNESCO, OECD, Organization of American States, United Nations Development Program, and the Asia Development Bank, she also became an official advisor to the U.S. government on trade in education services as a member of the International Trade Advisory Commission, influencing the development of accreditation infrastructure in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. After a long battle with cancer, Lenn died at home in Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 16, 2010.

The Lenn Papers offer rich documentation of the international development of accreditation systems in higher education and the impact of Lenn’s ideas on quality assurance. The bulk of the records stem from Lenn’s work with the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education and Council on Postsecondary Accreditation, but also reflect her role as advisor to the US government and her varied consultancies.

Subjects
  • Center for Quality Assurance in International Education
  • Council on Postsecondary Accreditation
  • Education, Higher--Evaluation
  • Quality assurance

Lichtenstein, Bill

Bill Lichtenstein Collection, 1965-1976
2 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 790
Image of Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford
Bill Lichtenstein,1973. Photo by Don Sanford

In 1970, just fourteen years-old, Bill Lichtenstein began working as a volunteer on the listener line at WBCN-FM in Boston, moving up to become a newscaster and announcer and helping to pioneer the station’s innovative on-air sound with montages of actualities, music, and comedy. As his media career developed over the next forty years, Lichtenstein built a wide reputation as a journalist and documentary producer for ABC News, working as an investigative producer on shows such as 20/20, World News Tonight, and Nightline, and since 1990, he has operated as president of his own production company, Lichtenstein Creative Media. With LCMedia, Lichtenstein has received more than 60 major broadcast honors including a Peabody Award, U.N. Media Award, eight National Headliner Awards, the Cine Golden Eagle, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his documentary West 47th Street was selected as winner of the Atlanta Film Festival. A graduate of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Lichtenstein has served on the faculty of the New School University (1979-2005) and he writes regularly on media, politics, and health for publications ranging from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, the Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide.

The Lichtenstein Collection consists of a growing array of materials gathered in preparation of the documentary film, The American Revolution, which explores the cultural and political impact of WBCN. These include audio tapes of WBCN broadcasts, news reports and stories, photographs and ephemera of social change in Boston during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and two WBCN documentaries: Danny Schechter’s Jamaica: An Island in Crisis (1976) and What Is News (1973), produced by Schechter and Lichtenstein.

Subjects
  • Alternative radio broadcasting--Massachusetts
  • Boston (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Jamaica--History--1962-
  • WBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributors
  • Schechter, Danny
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Videotapes

Literature & the arts

MAC baseball team, 1878

MAC baseball team, 1878

Literature and the arts play a vital role in the culture and traditions of New England. Western Massachusetts in particular has had a rich history of fostering writers and poets, musicians, dancers, and actors. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives seeks to document not only the lives and work of writers and performers in our region, but the creative and artistic process; showing not just the inspiration, but the perspiration as well.

View all collections in Literature and the arts

Significant collections

  • Arts and arts management
    • Significant collections under the National Arts Policy Archive and Library include materials from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Arts Extension Service.
  • Poetry
    • SCUA houses significant collections for the poets Robert Francis, Madeleine de Frees, and Anne Halley, as well as small collections for William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The records of the Massachusetts Review are an important literary resource.
  • Prose writing
    • Collections of note include the papers of writers William J. Lederer (author of The Ugly American, Nation of Sheep, and Their Own Worst Enemy), William Manchester (The Death of a President and American Caesar), Jodi Picoult (many novels from Songs of the Humpback Whale in 1992 to The Storyteller in 2013), Mary Doyle Curran (The Parish and the Hill).
  • Journalism
    • Journalists and photojournalists associated with traditional print and new media, including an important collection for the Liberation News Service, a media service for the alternative press, and the Social Change Periodicals Collection, which includes alternative and radical small press publications. The papers of Sidney Topol provide insight into the technical development of cable television.
  • Literary criticism and linguistics
    • The papers of literary scholars associated with the University; records of the Massachusetts Review.
  • Performing arts
    • The vibrant performing arts community in western Massachusetts is well represented in SCUA through groups ranging from the Arcadia Players Baroque music ensemble to theater troupes such as Double Edge Theater, the Valley Light Opera, and the New World Theater. Among the most significant national collections are the Roberta Uno Asian Women Playwrights Collection and the papers of African American expatriate actor and director Gordon Heath, while the James Ellis Theatre Collection includes nearly 8,000 printed volumes on the English and American stage, 1750-1915, along with numerous broadsides, graphics, and some manuscript materials. Musical collections include the papers of Philip Bezanson and Charles Bestor, the score collection of Julian Olevsky, and the Katanka Fraser Political Music Collection.

Printed materials

Within its holdings, SCUA houses collections of the published works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Francis, Anne Halley, William J. Lederer, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, William Morris, Wallace Stevens, and William Butler Yeats, as well as the personal poetry libraries of Halley, Francis, and Stevens. The department also has an extensive collection of Science Fiction magazine fiction and Scottish literature.

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Livers, Susie D.

Susie D. Livers Papers, 1903-1907
1 flat box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 122

Susie D. Livers arrived at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1903 as a member of one of the college’s first co-ed classes. After graduating in 1907, Livers worked at Ginn & Company Publishers in Boston and then as a Detail Officer at the State School for Girls in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

Included in the scrapbook are handwritten personal correspondence in the form of letters, postcards, holiday cards, and telegrams; unidentified photographs; MAC report cards dated 1904 and 1907; class papers and a class notebook; and programs and tickets for sporting events, weddings, and campus socials. In the back of the scrapbook are 35 herbarium samples which include dried plants with notations of plant names as well as dates and locations indicating where the plants were found.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Students
Contributors
  • Livers, Susie D
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Herbaria
  • Scrapbooks

Mann, Eric

Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers, 1967-2007
22 boxes (11 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 657
Image of Eric Mann, Dec. 1969<br />Photo by Jeff Albertson
Eric Mann, Dec. 1969
Photo by Jeff Albertson

Revolutionary organizers, writers, and theorists, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann have been active in the struggle for civil rights for decades. The son of Jewish Socialist and labor organizer from New York, Mann came of age during the early phases of the Civil Rights movement and after graduating from Cornell (1964), he became field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality. Increasingly radicalized through exposure to Black revolutionary nationalists, Mann took part in the Newark Community Union Project and became a leader in anti-imperialist opposition to the war in Vietnam as a New England regional coordinator for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later with the Revolutionary Youth Movement I — the Weatherman above-ground tendency of SDS. Following a militant demonstration at the Harvard Center for International Affairs late in 1969, Mann was convicted of assault on the basis of perjured testimony and sentenced to two years in prison. An organizer of his fellow prisoners even behind bars, he was “shipped out” often in the middle of the night, from prison to prison, spending the last year at Concord State Prison. After being released early in July 1971, he continued his prison activism through the Red Prison Movement. At the same time, as a writer, he earned a national audience for his book Comrade George: an account of the life, politics, and assassination of Soledad Brother George Jackson. Feeling himself at a low point in his radical career, Mann met Lian Hurst while vacationing in Mexico during the summer 1974. Hurst, a leader in the Berkeley Oakland Women’s Union, architect, and a strong Socialist Feminist, soon became his partner in life and politics, and Mann left Massachusetts to join with her in Berkeley. Hurst lead a group of women from BOWU who formed a “Thursday night group” and left the organization with the polemic, “socialist feminism is bourgeois feminism” all of whom moved towards integrating women’s liberation and Marxism-Leninism. At her urging, the two took part in Marxist Leninist party building, becoming union organizers with the United Auto Workers, and eventually moving to Los Angeles. Hurst was elected shop steward by her fellow workers as a known revolutionary. There, Mann led a campaign to keep the Van Nuys assembly plant open (1982-1992) — captured in his book, Taking on General Motors. They joined the August 29th Movement and its successor, the League of Revolutionary Struggle. They left LRS in 1984. In 1989, Mann and veterans of the GM Van Nuys Campaign formed the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which has been a primary focal points for their work ever since, helping to build consciousness, leadership, and organization within communities of color. Hurst became editor of AhoraNow, an innovative bilingual left publication that featured articles by Black and Latino working class leaders and helped initiate the center’s National School for Strategic Organizing. In 2003 Hurst wrote, “Socialist Feminism: Thoughts After 30 Years” for AhoraNow, a critical re-engagement of those important debates from an historical perspective after a 30 year reunion of BOWU’s key leaders. Mann’s latest book is Playbook For Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Hurst and Mann continue to write and agitate in the cause of revolutionary change, particularly for oppressed communities of color.

The Mann-Hurst collection contains the records of two lives intertwined with one another with the cause of liberation of Black and Latino communities, women, and an internationalist pro-socialist anti-imperialism. Containing a nearly complete set of publications, the collection also contains early materials on Lian Hurst’s work with BOWU and the both Eric and Lian’s time as organizers for the UAW and their participation in the August 29th Movement and League of Revolutionary Struggle. Of particular interest are a series of letters home written by Eric during his imprisonment. The collection contains comparatively little on Hurst and Manns’ more recent work with the Labor/Strategy Strategy Center or Bus Riders Union

Subjects
  • August 29th Movement
  • Berkeley Oakland Women's Union
  • Communists--California
  • Feminism
  • International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
  • Labor unions--California
  • League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L)
  • Prisoners--Massachusetts
  • Red Prison Movements
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
Contributors
  • Mann, Lian Hurst
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