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Bernhard, Michael H.

Michael H. Bernhard Solidarity Collection, ca.1975-1989
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 575

A member of the Department of Political Science at Penn State University, Michael Bernhard specializes in the comparative history of institutional change in East Central Europe and the political economy of democratic survival and breakdown. Since receiving his doctorate from Columbia University in 1988, Bernhard has written extensively on various aspects of the democratic transition in Poland and East Germany.

The Bernhard Collection contains photocopies and some original materials of underground publications by the Solidarity Movement in Poland, most of which were crudely published and illegally distributed. The collection also includes a series of posters for Solidarity candidates during the first post-Communist election.

Subjects
  • NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization)
  • Poland--History--1945-
  • Underground press publications--Poland
Contributors
  • Bernhard, Michael H

Bevis, Martha

Martha Bevis Papers, ca.1960-2007
100 boxes (150 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 737
Martha Bevis Papers image
Martha Bevis

An important figure in building a network of antifluoridation activists, Martha Bevis was born in North Carolina in 1927 and lived most of her adult life in Houston, Texas. She worked on the staff of Senator Lyndon Johnson beginning in the early 1950s, remaining with him through his period as Vice President. Always energetic, she was involved in a number of political and civic organizations, including those promoting natural childbirth and breastfeeding, but from the mid-1970s, she was especially associated with the antifluoridation movement. A founder of the Safe Water Foundation of Texas, she became a key litigant in a case seeking to block fluoridation of the water supply in Houston, and although the court ruled in 1980 that fluoride was harmful, it permitted the city council to proceed with fluoridation. From that point forward, she played a key role regionally and nationally as an organizer, researcher, propagandist, and funding source for the antifluoridation movement. Bevis died in Houston on April 22, 2007.

This massive archive stems from Martha Bevis’s role as a connector and mediator of information for the antifluoridation movement. Beginning in the 1970s, Bevis gathered, copied, and distributed huge quantities of information on the health effects of fluoride, legal strategies and cases opposing fluoridation of public water supplies, and the antifluoridation movement generally. Bevis maintained a regular correspondence with other activists and antifluoride organizations and played an important role in gathering and preserving the papers of other activists.

Subjects
  • Antifluoridation movement
  • Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
  • Fluorides--Physiological effect

Black Mass Communications Project

Black Mass Communications Project Collection, ca.1970-1985
10 boxes (15 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 045/30 B4

The Black Mass Communications Project was founded as an educational and informational outlet for Black students at UMass Amherst in 1968 and authorized in the following year as a Registered Student Organization. Over the years, BCMP played varied roles on campus, hosting cultural events, lectures, workshops, and social gatherings as to help keep black music alive. Many of its early members were also affiliated with the student radio station WMUA, and throughout the 1970s, the organization played a prominent role in providing programming to the station, offering programming highlighting African American music and current affairs.

The BCMP collection consists of many dozens of reel to reel audiotapes of radio broadcasts aired over WMUA during the 1970s and early 1980s by and for the university’s African American community. Included is a range of locally-produced public affairs, cultural, and music programming, with some content licensed from around the country. A few of the tapes are associated with the Five College’s National Public Radio affiliate, WFCR.

Subjects
  • African American college students
  • African American music
  • College radio stations--Massachusetts
  • WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)
  • WMUA (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)
Types of material
  • Sound recordings

Brotherhood of the Spirit

Brotherhood of the Spirit Documentary, ca.1973
15.24 minutes
Call no.: Video

Beginning in a treehouse in Leyden, Mass., during the summer of 1968, the Brotherhood of the Spirit (later the Renaissance Community) grew to become the largest commune in the eastern United States. Founded by Michael Metelica and six friends, and infused with the spiritual teachings of Elwood Babbitt, the commune relocated several times during its first half decade, setting down at different points in Heath, Charlemont, Warwick, Turners Falls, and Gill, Mass., as well as Guilford, Vt.

Produced at UMass Amherst, this video (digitized from a 16mm motion picture original) provides a largely laudatory glimpse of commune life during the boom years of the Brotherhood of the Spirit, probably around 1973. Sound quality in the video is highly uneven, often poor, particularly in the first two minutes.

Subjects
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Metelica, Michael
Types of material
  • Motion pictures (Visual works)

Business (misc.)

Business Collection, 1915-1989
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 329

Publications and reports from miscellaneous businesses including Northeast Utilities and Turners Falls Power and Electric Company as well as from the Employers’ Association of Western Massachusetts and the Industrial Accident Board.

Contributors
  • Employers' Association of Western Massachusetts
  • Northeast Utilities Company
  • Turners Falls Power and Electric Company

Cambodian New Year

Cambodian New Year Celebration Collection, 1986
1 box (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 114
Cambodian New Year Celebration Collection image
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

Cannabis Reform Coalition

Cannabis Reform Coalition Records, 1993-2013
2 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: RG 045/80 C3
Cannabis Reform Coalition Records image
Extravaganja poster

The Cannabis Reform Coalition at UMass Amherst was founded in 1991 and is considered the oldest student-run organization devoted to ending the prohibition on cannabis both locally and nationally and advocating for its industrial, medicinal, and recreational use for moral, environmental, and economic reasons. The CRC is one of the more active student organizations on campus and among other events, it sponsors the annual Extravaganja in April, which has attracted as many as 10,000 participants.

The CRC collection contains an assortment of fliers, posters, ephemera, and photographs, documenting the organization’s activities and activism, along with a small number of published and unpublished essays on the utility of hemp and cannbis products.

Subjects
  • Marijuana--Law and legislation
  • Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Social aspects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Types of material
  • Fliers (Printed matter)
  • Photographs

Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)

Center for Popular Economics Records, 1978-1986
21 boxes (12.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 109

Established in 1978 by a group of radical economists at UMass Amherst and local community and labor activists, the Center for Popular Economics. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums.

The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.

Subjects
  • Economics
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics
Contributors
  • Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)

Chapin, Samuel, 1841-1883, and William R. Sessions

Samuel Chapin and William R. Sessions Civil War Diaries, 1862-1863
2 volumes (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 157 bd

Transcripts of Civil War diaries of Samuel Chapin and William R. Sessions both of South Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Chapin was twenty-one and Sessions twenty-seven when they enlisted in the Union Army with 25 other Wilbraham men on August 29, 1862. They were assigned to the 46th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers for nine months service.

Subjects
  • Soldiers--Massachusetts--Diaries
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 46th (1861-1865)
  • Wilbraham (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Chapin, Samuel, 1841-1883
  • Sessions, William R
Types of material
  • Diaries

Charren, Stanley

Stanley Charren Papers, 1973-2000
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 900

Called “the Howard Hughes of the wind business,” Stanley Charren played a crucial role in the development of the modern wind power industry. A native of Providence, R.I., and an engineering graduate of Brown University (BS 1945) and Harvard (MS 1946). After marrying Peggy Walzer in 1951, who later became famous as founder of Action for Children’s Television, Charren embarked on a career that merged a penchant for innovation with an entrepreneurial streak, working with Pratt and Whitney, Fairchild, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton before becoming CEO of Pandel-Bradford (later Compo). Although he successfully developed products such as the swim spa and carpet squares, Charren is best remembered for his role in commercializing wind power. Taking an interest in wind during the Nixon-era energy crisis, he and his partner Russell Wolfe founded US Windpower in 1974, working on the idea of linking arrays of intermediate-sized windmills into a single power plant tied to the grid. US Wind built the world’s first wind farm in 1978, consisting of 20 units at Crotched Mountain, N.H., and after relocating to northern California in 1980 and changing name to Kenetech in 1988, the company emerged as the largest wind energy firm in the world. However the collapse of oil prices in the 1980s and federal regulatory hostility to alternative energy seriously impinged upon the company’s growth, ultimately contributing to its bankruptcy in May 1996. Charren retired from Kenetech in 1995.

The Charren Papers include scattered but valuable materials on the founding and operations of US Windpower and Kenetech, including early business plans, correspondence, technical reports, and informational brochures, along with materials documenting some of the legal challenges they faced in the 1980s and 1990s. The collection also contains ephemera relating to some of Charren’s work outside of the windpower industry.

Subjects
  • Kenetech
  • U.S. Windpower
  • Windpower industry
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