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Boston & Maine Railroad. Fitchburg Division

Boston and Maine Railroad Fitchburg Division Records

1918-1958
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 475

Chartered in June 1835, the Boston and Maine Railroad was the dominant railroad of northern New England for nearly one hundred years. This collection consists of records from the Engineering Department of the Fitchburg Division relating to the maintenance of bridges in Massachusetts, including correspondence, accident reports, financial records and progress reports on work recommended by bridge inspectors.

Subjects

  • Railroad companies--United States--History--20th century

Contributors

  • Boston and Maine Railroad. Fitchburg Division
Bramlage, Georgene A.

Georgene A. Bramlage Leverett (Mass.) Collection

1966-1992
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 656

A free-lance garden and landscape writer, Georgene A. Bramlage has published widely on garden and food-related topics and has been a member of the Garden Writers Association since 1980. She is the wife of William A. Bramlage, a member of the faculty in Plant and Soil Sciences at UMass Amherst. Long-time residents of Leverett, Mass., the Bramlages relocated to Roanoke, Va., in 2009.

An avid local historian, Bramlage collected pamphlets and ephemeral publications relating to the history of her town. This small collection includes a few items relating to the town’s bicentennial in 1974, newspaper clippings, genealogical information, and articles on its residents, and items relating to civic affairs in town. Several cookbooks donated by Bramlage were transferred to the McIntosh Cookbook Collection.

Subjects

  • Leverett (Mass.)--History

Contributors

  • Bramlage, Georgene A
Bridgewater (Mass.)

Bridgewater (Mass.) Merchant's Daybook

1837
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 222 bd

Perched at the western boundary of Plymouth County, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, grew rapidly during the antebellum period, spurred by the growth of its industry. During the mid-nineteenth century, the town’s most valuable products revolved around the local iron industry, with large manufacturers like Lazell, Perkins, and Co. producing iron and heavy machinery as early as 1810.

The daybook of this unidentified trader and merchant in Bridgewater, Mass., reveals the quickening pace of economic activity connected to the burgeoning Plymouth County iron industry. While many of the transactions at the store are small purchases of consumable goods such as flour, fabric, sugar, tobacco, meats, and molasses, more substantial purchases ae interspersed throughout for bar iron, nails, metal plates, and other manufactured metal items.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

  • Bridgewater (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Bridgewater

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Brière, Eloise A.

Eloise A. Brière Franco-American Oral History Collection

1980-1984
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 123

In 1982, Eloise A. Brière received a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities to conduct a series of oral histories with French Americans in Massachusetts. A noted scholar of Francophone communities, Brière interviewed 44 first- and second-generation immigrants of varied background, ranging from parish priests and nuns to former textile workers, activists in language preservation, and the Mayor of Holyoke.

The interviews in this collection, conducted mostly in French between August 8, 1982, and Jan. 18, 1983, document the lives and experiences of forty-four Franco-American residents of Massachusetts, concentrated in the areas around Easthampton and Lowell.

Language(s): French

Subjects

  • Easthampton (Mass.)--History
  • Franco-Americans--Massachusetts
  • Lowell (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Audiocassettes
  • Oral histories
Bullard Family

Bullard Family Scrapbook

1898-1901
1 item 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 112

The Bullard family were among the early settlers of New Salem, Massachusetts, a small, rural town incorporated in the western part of the state in 1753.

Assembled by a member of the Bullard family at the turn of the twentieth century, this scrapbook contains an apparently complete set of clippings from a local newspaper column containing community news from the three villages of New Salem, North New Salem, and Millington. The entries cover the usual community news, such as the comings and goings of local residents and visitors to town, community events, and other local news, and a number of well-established New Salem families are represented, including the Ballards, Bullards, Cogswells, Haskells, Paiges, Pierces, and Stowells. The first three pages consist of announcements of births, deaths, and weddings. The original volume has been retained by the family.

Subjects

  • Millington (Mass.)--History
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • New Salem (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • North New Salem (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Scrapbooks
Bunton, Alice Bice

Alice Bice Bunton Collection

1979-1993
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 018
Image of Timothy Lindall, Salem, Mass., 1699
Timothy Lindall, Salem, Mass., 1699

A local historian from Bethany, Connecticut, Alice Bice Bunton (1924-2000) was a long-time member of the Association for Gravestone Studies. Author of a book on the historic houses of Bethany in 1972, she attended AGS conferences regularly beginning in the late 1970s. Bunton died on October 18, 2000, at the age of 75.

Many of Bunton’s photographs documenting cemeteries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey were taken during tours associated with the AGS annual conferences. Also included in the collection are AGS conference brochures and other printed material, newspaper clippings, grave rubbings, and a small amount of correspondence.

Subjects

  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--New Jersey
  • Stone carving--Connecticut
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Bunton Alice Bice

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Rubbings
Cambodian New Year

Cambodian New Year Celebration Collection

1986
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 114
Image of At home, photo by Cham Nan Koy, 1982
At home, photo by Cham Nan Koy, 1982

Organized by UMass anthropology professor Joel Halpern, the images in this collection were put on display during the Cambodian New Year celebration in 1986. As part of the celebration, members of the large community of Cambodian refugees who have resettled in Amherst were recognized.

The collection consists of photographs as well as programs, correspondence, and financial records pertaining to the Cambodian-Americans in Amherst New Year’s Day Celebration and Exhibit of 1986.

Subjects

  • Amherst (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Cambodian Americans
  • Political refugees--United States
  • Refugees--Cambodia

Contributors

  • Halpern, Joel M. (Joel Martin), 1929-

Types of material

  • Photographs
Chalfen family

Chalfen Family Papers

ca.1890-2011
51 boxes 76.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 770

Born into a Jewish family in Khotyn, Bessarabia (now Ukraine), in 1888, Benjamin Chalfen emigrated to United States as a young man, arriving in New York City in 1910 before making his way to Boston. Taking work as a clerk with the Roxbury Crossing Steamship Agency, he married a fellow Russian immigrant, Annie Berg in 1914 and, after their divorce a few years later, married a second time. Benjamin and Annie’s son, Melvin (1918-2007), studied Forestry at Massachusetts State College (BA 1940) and Yale (MF 1942) before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in Aug. 1942. Moved to active duty in 1943 as a communications specialist, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. After he returned home, Mel met and married a recent Smith College graduate, Judith Resnick (1925-2011), with whom he raised three sons. The couple settled into a comfortable life in the Boston suburbs, where Mel carved out a successful career as a home inspector and educator while Judith became well known as a supporter of the arts and as one of the founders of Action For Children’s Television (1968), an important force in promoting quality television programing for children.

A massive archive documenting three generations of a Jewish family from Boston, the Chalfen family papers contain a rich body of photographs and letters, centered largely on the lives of Melvin and Judith Chalfen. The Chalfens were prolific correspondents and the collection includes hundreds of letters written home while Mal and Judy were in college and while Mel was serving in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War — most of these in Yiddish. The thousands of photographs cover a broader span of family history, beginning prior to emigration from Bessarabia into the 1960s. Among many other items of note are rough drafts of a New Deal sociological study of juvenile delinquency and the impact of boys’ clubs in the late 1930s prepared by Abraham Resnick (a Socialist community organizer and Judith’s father); materials from the progressive Everyman’s Theater (early 1960s); and nearly three feet of material documenting Judy Chalfen’s work with Action for Children’s Television.

Gift of the Chalfen family, 2011.
Language(s): Yiddish

Subjects

  • Action for Children's Television
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts State College--Students
  • Smith College--Students
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Chalfen, Benjamin
  • Chalfen, Judith, 1925-2011
  • Chalfen, Melvin H. (Melvin Howard), 1918-2007

Types of material

  • Photographs
Citizens Awareness Network

Citizens Awareness Network Records

ca.1992-2005
58 boxes 87 linear feet
Call no.: MS 437

In 1992 after lightening struck the Yankee Rowe reactor in western Massachusetts, concerned citizens organized with the goal of educating themselves and their communities about the potential dangers of nuclear energy. Citizens Awareness Network (CAN) worked to reveal the hidden costs of nuclear power on the health and safety of communites surrounding a reactor, and as a result of their efforts Yankee Rowe was pressured into closing down in 1993. When CAN learned that much of the nuclear waste removed from the site was shipped to a town in South Carolina, the group was outraged that the waste which hurt their community would now be imposed on another community. Once again they were moved into action, this time transforming from a small local group into a regional group with multiple chapters. Today, with seven chapters in five states, CAN continues to uncover the hazards of nuclear energy, proposing instead the use of clean energy produced locally.

This large collection documents every facet of the group, and includes publications, financial records, research files, correspondence, and realia such as t-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons.

Subjects

  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Antinuclear movement--United States
  • Nuclear energy--Law and legislation--New England
  • Nuclear energy--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Citizens Awareness Network
Clapp, Lyman

Lyman Clapp Diary

1825 August 8-25
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 709 bd

When Lyman Clapp and Lucia Cowls agreed to marry in 1825, they took a celebratory tour of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. Over nine days, they traveled from Mt. Pleasant, Mass. (possibly in Worcester County) through Brimfield to Stafford, Tolland, Vernon, Hartford, and Litchfield, Connecticut, before returning home by way of Springfield and Northampton. The Clapp’s party consisted of the engaged couple chaperoned by Lucia’s parents, and they were joined by a relative, Edward, near Hartford.

Filled with interesting vignettes of travel in western New England during the 1820s, Clapp’s diary includes fine descriptions of the various taverns and inns they visited en route and the range of natural and cultural sites, from rolling hills to modern milling technology. Among other sights that caught Clapp’s eye were the the Charter Oak, a hermit living in the hills near Avon, the Walcott Factories at Torrington, Northampton, and the extraordinary view from the top of Mount Holyoke.

Acquired from Michael Brown, April 2011

Subjects

  • African Americans--Connecticut
  • Brookfield (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Connecticut--Description and travel--19th century
  • Ferries--Massachusetts
  • Hartford (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Hermits--Connecticut
  • Litchfield (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Massachusetts--Description and travel--19th century
  • Mount Holyoke (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Stafford (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century
  • Taverns (Inns)--Connecticut
  • Vernon (Conn.)--Description and travel--19th century

Contributors

  • Clapp, Lyman

Types of material

  • Diaries