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August, Robert

Robert August Collection

1968-1981
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 473

This collection consists chiefly of published booklets and reports documenting land use and preservation in Massachusetts and across New England. As a member of the Rural Development Committee (RDC), Bob August was involved in improving the effectiveness of public and private rural development efforts. Correspondence, reports, and minutes for other groups, such as the Lower Pioneer Valley Reginal Planning Commission and the Committee on Development of Western Massachusetts, are also part of the collection.

Subjects

  • Land use--Massachusetts
  • Rural development--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • August, Robert
Avakian, Arlene Voski

Arlene Voski Avakian Papers

1974-2010
14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: FS 150
Image of Arlene Avakian
Arlene Avakian

Arlene Avakian arrived at UMass in 1972 as a graduate student working on the social history of American women, but quickly became a key figure in the creation of the university’s new program in Women’s Studies. As she completed her MA in History (1975) and EdD (1985), she helped in the early organization of the program, later joining the faculty as professor and program director. Through her research and teaching, she contributed to an engaging departmental culture in which the intersection of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality were placed at the center, building the program over the course of 35 years into the nationally-recognized Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Avakian has written and taught on topics ranging from the lives and experiences of Armenian American and African American women to culinary history and the construction of whiteness. She retired in May 2011.

Documenting the growth and development of Women’s Studies at UMass Amherst, the collection includes valuable material on the creation of the department (and Women’s Studies more generally), second- and third-wave feminism, and Avakian’s teaching and research. The collection includes a range of correspondence, memoranda, notes, and drafts of articles, along with several dozen oral historical interviews with Armenian American women. Also noteworthy is the extensive documentation of ABODES, the Amherst Based Organization to Develop Equitable Shelter, which established the Pomeroy Lane Cooperative Housing Community in South Amherst in 1994.

Subjects

  • ABODES
  • Armenian American women
  • Cornell University. Program in Female Studies
  • Feminism
  • Housing, Cooperative
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Zoryan Institute

Contributors

  • Avakian, Arlene Voski

Types of material

  • Audio recordings
Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Elwood Babbitt Papers

1974-2000
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 517
Image of Elwood Babbitt, 1970.  Photo by Gary Cohen
Elwood Babbitt, 1970. Photo by Gary Cohen

Clairvoyant from youth, Elwood Babbitt developed his psychic abilities at the Edgar Cayce Institute, and by the mid-1960s, was well known in Western Massachusetts through his readings and lectures, often opening his home to other seekers. Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene State College, worked closely with Babbitt studying the physical effects of the medium’s trance lectures, and by 1967, he began to take on the painstaking process of transcribing and copying them. With communications purporting to come from Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the Hindu god Vishnu, among others, these lectures formed the basis for several books by Hapgood and Babbitt, including Voices of Spirit (1975) and Talks with Christ (1981). Babbitt ultimately established a non-profit, alternative school, the Opie Mountain Citadel, which was essentially run out of Babbitt’s home in Northfield.

The collection consists of proofs of publications, lectures, some correspondence, film reels, and transcripts of spiritual communications for which Babbitt was the medium.

Language(s): German

Subjects

  • Channeling (Spiritualism)
  • Hapgood, Charles H
  • Mediums–Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
Barrett, G. A.

G. A. Barrett Ledgers

1871-1876
2 vols. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 489 bd

Lumbering was an important part of the economy in northern Franklin County, Massachusetts, during the late nineteenth century, particularly in the region abutting the border with New Hampshire.

These two volumes document a sawmill that appears to have operated in Franklin County, Mass., perhaps Northfield, in the latter half of the nineteenth century. One volume is a work record for employees at the mill (1871-1875), the second is a daybook with sales records (1874-1876) either from a company store or country store. Many of the transactions are with the mill’s employees. Most of the (relatively) high value exchanges recorded in the daybook are for lumber, shingles, or board, but there are numerous small cash records and the sale of miscellaneous goods such as tobacco (and tobacco boxes), bricks, hay, nails, rubber boots, meat and flour, corn, and even a watch. Although the precise location of the mill is uncertain, Northfield seems most likely. Several names recorded in the volume can be traced through the census to the vicinity of northern Franklin county, including Romanzo Hill, listed in the federal census for 1880 as living in Warwick, Mass., and “works in sawmill”; Jackson Doolittle of Hinsdale, N.H. (1870 and 1880); T. B. Stratton, who operated a country store in Millers Falls in 1872; and Roswell Stratton, a carpenter in Northfield (1880). We have been unable to identify G. A. Barrett beyond his name.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--Franklin County
  • Northfield (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Sawmills--Massachusetts--Franklin County

Types of material

  • Daybooks
Belchertown State School Friends Association

Belchertown State School Friends Association Records

1954-1986
30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 302

The Belchertown State School was formally opened in 1922 as an institution to train children with developmental disabilities and prepare them for integration into society. By the 1960s, conditions at the school had deteriorated to a degree detrimental to the residents, precipitating a string of lawsuits, beginning with Ricci v. Greenblatt in 1972, eventually leading to closure of the facility in 1992. The School’s Friends Association was established in 1954 to promote improved conditions at Belchertown State School and better treatment of “retarded” or “mentally challenged” citizens in Massachusetts more generally.

The bulk of the Belchertown State School collection consists of records of court appearances, briefs, the consent decree, and related materials, along with reports and correspondence relating to Massachusetts v. Russell W. Daniels, Ricci v. Greenblatt (later Ricci v. Okin), and other cases. Accompanying the legal files are clippings and photocopied newspaper articles; speeches; newsletters; draft of agreements; and scrapbooks.

The Massachusetts State Archives has a small amount of records related to Belchertown State School. They are housed under the Health and Human Services division in the archives.

Subjects

  • Persons with mental disabilities--Institutional care--Massachusetts
  • Ricci, Robert Simpson

Contributors

  • Belchertown State School
  • Ricci, Benjamin
Beron, Alex

Alex Beron Collection

ca.1985-1992
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 038

Alex Beron, Jr., was a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies and a photographer of New England gravestones.

The Beron collection consists of a many hundred color photographic prints of gravestones in Massachusetts and Connecticut, arranged town by town, and taken primarily in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Subjects

  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts

Types of material

  • Photographs
Borkowski, Edward A.

Edward A. Borkowski Autobiography

ca.1980
1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 124 bd

124-page handwritten autobiographical account written in Polish by 100 year-old Edward A. Borkowski of Turner Falls, Massachusetts.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Turners Falls
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--Social conditions

Contributors

  • Borkowski, Edward A

Types of material

  • Autobiographies
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