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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
Susie D. Livers Papers, 1903-1907.
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.
- Massachusetts Agricultural College--Students
- Livers, Susie D
Types of material
Richard E. Lloyd Daybook, 1859-1862.
Call no.: MS 229 bd
Owner of a general store in Fair Haven, Vermont. Includes numbered accounts of customers (many with Welsh surnames), lists of items purchased, the price per measure, forms of payment (cash, goods, services, credit, making clothes), and the goods that were sold (such as fabrics, ready-made clothes, eggs and dairy products, fruits and nuts, garden seeds, cutlery and tinware, and jewelry).
- Barter--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
- Consumer goods--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--Prices--History--19th century
- Consumers--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
- Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Fair Haven (Vt. : Town)--History--19th century--Biography
- General stores--Vermont--Fair Haven
- Shopping--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
- Welsh Americans--Vermont--Fair Haven (Town)--History--19th century
- Lloyd, Richard E., b. 1834
Types of material
Local Rural Life Audiotape Collection, 1980s.
Call no.: MS 507
Audiotape recordings of interviews conducted with members of the Pioneer Valley community for a public radio program. Titles of the shows that aired include: “Portrait of a Farm Woman,” “Hadley: the Portrait of an Endangered Town,” Keeping Rural Businesses in Business,” and “Shepherds, Bumpkins and Farmers’ Daughters.”
- Hadley (Mass.)--History
- Massachusetts--Economic conditions
- Massachusetts--Social life and customs--20th century
Types of material
- Sound recordings
Samuel A. Locke Account Book, 1821-1829.
Call no.: MS 168
Businessman from West Cambridge, Massachusetts with additional dealings in Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.
The volume includes lists of personal and business purchases, services provided for his family, and business services such as whitewashing, carting coal, sawing wood, carrying letters, collecting debts, relaying a brick fireplace, and “work loading Sloop Rapid,” and barter and cash transactions. References made to Locke’s involvement with Universalism and members of the Tufts family of Cambridge and Middlesex County.
- Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Building materials industry--Massachusetts--Arlington
- Building trades--Massachusetts--Arlington
- Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Quincy (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Tufts family
- Tyngsboro (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
- Waltham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Locke, Samuel A
Types of material
- Account books
Fall River Loom-Fixers' Association Records, 1895-1917.
Call no.: MS 003
Members of the Fall River Loom Fixers Association included some of the most skilled workers in the New England textile industry. The association, on behalf of its members, sought to improve poor working conditions, to provide assistance for members affected by pay reductions or layoffs, and to intervene in conflicts between members and management. The union also served a social function, organizing parades, social gatherings, and excursions. In the 1910s it became affiliated with the United Textile Workers for America.
Records of the Loom Fixers Association include executive committee minutes (1900-1901 and 1911-1917), a treasurer’s book (1901-1905), and six dues books (1895-1907).
- Labor unions--Massachusetts
- Textile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
Loomis Communities Records, 1902-2009.
Call no.: MS 685
In 1902, a group of residents of Holyoke, Mass., secured a charter for the Holyoke Home for Aged People, wishing to do “something of permanent good for their city” and provide a “blessing to the homeless.” Opened in March 1911 on two acres of land donated by William Loomis, the Holyoke Home provided long-term care of the elderly, and grew slowly for its first half century. After changing its name to Loomis House in 1969, in honor of the benefactor, Loomis began slowly to expand, moving to its present location in 1981 upon construction of the first continuing care retirement community in the Commonwealth. In 1988, the Board acquired a 27-acre campus in South Hadley on which it established Loomis Village; in 1999, it became affiliated with the Applewood community in Amherst; and in 2009, it acquired Reeds Landing in Springfield.
The Loomis Communities Records offer more than a century perspective on elder care and the growth of retirement communities in western Massachusetts. The collection includes a nearly complete run of the minutes of the Board of Directors from 1902 to the present, an assortment administrative and financial records, and some documentation of the experience of the communities’ residents, with the bulk of materials dating from the 1980s to the present. An extensive series of oral histories with residents of Loomis Village was conducted in 2010.
- Holyoke (Mass.)--History
- Holyoke Home for Aged People
- Loomis Communities
- Loomis Village
- Older people--Care--Massachusetts
- Retirement communities--Massachusetts
Lyman Loomis Daybook, 1836-1857.
Call no.: MS 626 bd
Born on July 31, 1818, the fifth of eight children of Squire and Patience (Root) Loomis, Lyman Loomis spent his life as a farmer and agricultural worker in Westfield, Mass. Loomis married Elmina Hayes in March 1846, and died in May 1902.
A slender and rough hewn volume kept by a farm laborer, the Loomis account book contains sketchy records detailing work performed and crops tended, with occasional notes on commodities purchased.
- Agricultural laborers--Massachusetts--Westfield
- Westfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Loomis, Lyman, 1818-1902
Types of material
Allan I. Ludwig Collection, 1956-1966.
Call no.: PH 034
An historian and photographer, Allan I. Ludwig’s book Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815 (1966) played a critical role in the rise in interest in gravestone studies in the 1960s. Born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1933, Ludwig received his PhD in art history from Yale in 1964 and became involved with the Association for Gravestone Studies beginning with the initial Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife in 1976. He received the AGS Forbes Award in 1980 in recognition of his contributions to gravestone studies. He has been a professor of art history at Dickinson College, Bloomfield College, Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and Syracuse University. In addition to his books Reflections Out of Time: A Portfolio of Photographs (1981) and Repulsion: Aesthetics of the Grotesque (1986), Ludwig has curated numerous art exhibitions and exhibited his own photographs worldwide.
The Ludwig Collection consists of many hundreds of photographs of New England and English gravemarkers organized either by the deceased’s name or by the town, as well as copies of all photos used in Graven Images. Also included in the collection is a copy of Ludwig’s dissertation on gravestone iconography and offprints of several of his articles.
- Sepulchral monuments--New England
- Association for Gravestone Studies
- Ludwig, Allan I
Types of material
Lyman Family Papers, 1839-1942.
Call no.: MS 634
The descendants of Joseph Lyman (1767-1847) flourished in nineteenth century Northampton, Mass., achieving social prominence, financial success, and a degree of intellectual acclaim. Having settled in Northampton before 1654, just a generation removed from emigration, the Lymans featured prominently in the development of the Connecticut River Valley. A Yale-educated clerk of the Hampshire County courts, Joseph’s descendants included sons Joseph Lyman (an engineer and antislavery man) and Samuel Fowler Lyman (a jurist), and three Harvard-educated grandsons, Benjamin Smith Lyman (a geologist and traveler in Meiji-era Japan) and brothers Joseph and Frank Lyman (both trained in the natural sciences).
Consisting of the scattered correspondence and photographic record of three generations of an intellectually adventurous Northampton family, the Lyman collection explores the ebb and flow of family relations, collegiate education, and educational travel in Europe during the mid-nineteenth century, with important content on antislavery and the Free State movement in Kansas. Although the family’s tendency to reuse names (repeatedly) presents a challenge in distinguishing the various recipients, the focal points of the collection include the geologist Benjamin Smith Lyman, his uncle Joseph (1812-1871), cousins Joseph (1851-1883) and Frank, and Frank’s son Frank Lyman, Jr. Antislavery is a major theme in the letters of Samuel F. Lyman to his son Benjamin, and in the letterbook of the Kansas Land Trust, an affiliate of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, of which the elder Joseph was Treasurer.
- Antislavery movements--Massachusetts
- Germany--Description and travel--19th century
- Harvard University--Students
- Kansas Land Trust
- New England Emigrant Aid Company
- Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886
- Lyman, Benjamin Smith, 1835-1920
- Lyman, Joseph B, 1812-1871
Types of material