Special Collections and University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries

Collections beginning with B (page 3 of 11)

Marcia Grover Church Bates Family Papers, 1712-1999

11 boxes (5.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 424

Generations of the Bates and Church families based in North Amherst and Ashfield, Massachusetts. Papers include deeds, a will, correspondence, account books (recording day-to-day expenditures on food, clothing, postage, housekeeping supplies, and laborer’s wages), diaries, an oral history, photographs, genealogical notes, and memorabilia related to the family.


  • Ashfield (Mass.)--History
  • Bates family
  • Church family
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Hotelkeepers--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • Libraries--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnae
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • North Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Prescott (Mass.)--History
  • Public librarians--Massachusetts
  • Street-railroads--Massachusetts--Employees
  • Weather--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Women--Massachusetts--History
  • Worcester (Mass.)--History


  • Bates, Marcia Church, 1908-2000
  • Church, Cornelia, 1906-1978
  • Church, Lucia Grover, 1877-1943

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Geneaologies
  • Photographs
  • Wills

Felice Beato Photograph Collection, ca.1863-1871

(1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 004
Kaisando temple
Kaisando temple

A pioneer in war and documentary photography, the Anglo-Greek photographer Felice Beato was an important chronicler of late-Edo and early-Meiji era Japan. Between 1863 and 1877, Beato took a stunning array of views, portraits, ethnographic images, and genre scenes and helped train the first generation of Japanese photographers.

The Beato Collection includes ten images taken by Felice Beato in Japan between 1863 and 1871, including his famous view of Daibutsu, the Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple, Kamakura; his view of one of the residences of the Shimabara clan; two very scarce views of a farmhouse and agricultural laborers, probably taken along the Tokaido Road; two views of Yokohama; and a fine view of a naval fleet at Nagasaki.


  • Japan--Photographs
  • Japan--Social life and customs
  • Nagasaki (Japan)--Photographs
  • Temples--Japan--Photographs
  • Yokohama (Japan)--Photographs


  • Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825

Types of material

  • Albumen prints
  • Photographs

Tom Behrendt Papers, 1978-2003

3 boxes (3.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 870

The attorney Tom Behrendt has worked for years in the cause of civil rights for people with mental disabilities. A past president and long-time member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, Behrendt served previously as Legal Director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project and he was a founding member of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service in New York. Behrendt’s involvements have included work with organizations such as Project Release, the Free Association, Advocacy Unlimited, and PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness).

The collection consists of a wide array of publications and documents relating the psychiatric survivors movement and Behrendt’s advocacy work. In addition to materials relating to NARPA conferences and a long run of NARPA’s newsletter, The Rights Tenet, the collection includes newsletters and other materials relating to the movement and issues such as electroconvulsive therapy.


  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Mental health laws
  • National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy


  • Project Release

J. William Belanger Papers, 1932-1986

3 boxes (3 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 117

A leader in organized labor, William Belanger began as an organizer for the AFL’s United Textile Workers in 1932, eventually becoming the New England Regional Director and International Vice President of the TWUA and in 1958, the first President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

The Belanger Papers provide insight into the long career in labor activism, and include correspondence, writings, subject files, and printed materials. Of particular interest is a series of four oversized scrapbooks that cover Belanger’s career from 1934 through his final position as Director of the Massachusetts Department of Employment Security. These are especially enlightening on labor’s political activities, the CIO’s success in thwarting anti-labor referenda in 1948, and the efforts to expel Communists from the labor movement.


  • Elections--Massachusetts--History--20th century
  • Labor leaders--New England--Biography
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950
  • New England--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Textile Workers Organizing Committee
  • Textile Workers Union of America
  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Textile workers--Labor unions--New England


  • Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Belcher Family Account Books, 1847-1858

2 vols. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 208 bd

Owners of a butcher shop in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Includes customer names, prices of meat, form of payment (principally cash), and Belcher family information.


  • Belcher family
  • Butchers--Massachusetts--Foxborough
  • Consumers--Massachusetts--Foxborough
  • Diet--Massachusetts--Foxborough
  • Foxborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Meat--Prices--Massachusetts--Foxborough
  • Shopping--Massachusetts--Foxborough


  • Belcher, Lewis T., b. 1798
  • Belcher, Lewis W., b. 1826

Types of material

  • Account books

Belchertown Sentinel Collection, 1915-2003

A weekly community newspaper from a small town in western Massachusetts, the Belchertown Sentinel began publication in 1915. Featuring a mix of news and features focusing on Belchertown and adjoining communities of Amherst and Granby, the Sentinel was edited and published by its founder, Lewis H. Blackmer, for fifty years. Since changing hands twice in the period 1965-1975, the Sentinel has been published by Turley Publications. In 2013, with the centennial of the paper drawing near, the publisher and the Belchertown Historical Society cooperated on a project to digitize 88 years of the Sentinel funded by a grant from the Community Preservation Committee.

The Sentinel collection consists of digital copies only of the newspaper from its founding through 2003.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Belchertown (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Granby (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • Newspapers--Massachusetts--Belchertown

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.


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


  • Belchertown State School
  • Ricci, Benjamin

Tom Benedek Collection, 1967-1973

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 073
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973
Passengers on a plane, ca.1973

A screenwriter and visual artist, Tom Benedek majored in film as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, earning the distinction of becoming the first graduate of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program in 1971. From early in his college career, Benedek worked as a photographer the newspaper, the Collegian, while studying with faculty such as Jerome Liebling (at Hampshire College) and Jerrold Maddox (at Amherst), and he spent his junior year in Paris studying at the Ecole du Louvre and l’Institut de Formation Cinematographique. In his career in Hollywood, he has written screenplays for the movies Cocoon, Zeus and Roxanne, and The Adventures of Pinocchio and worked with Robert Zemeckis, Lawrence Kasdan, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Richard Rush, and Harold Ramis, among many others. He is a member of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and teaches screenwriting at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

The hundreds of images in the Benedek Collection document the development of a talented photographer. While some of the images stem from his work for the Collegian, most were taken on his own around campus and beyond, including trips to Boston and New Orleans, and his year studying abroad in Paris following shortly after the events of 1968. The collection consists entirely of 35mm black and white negatives and color slides.


  • Amherst (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Boston (Mass.)--Photographs
  • New Orleans (La.)--Photographs
  • Paris (France)--Photographs
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Photographs

Types of material

  • Photographs

Peter Benes Collection, ca.1975-1986

1 box (1 linear feet)
Call no.: PH 017
Soule Fishwing
Soule Fishwing

Peter Benes might be called the father of the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS). In 1976, he organized a meeting in Dublin, New Hampshire, of people interested in colonial gravestones, naming the group the Dublin Seminar. Following a committee meeting in December 1976, the group met again in the summer 1977 to organize as the AGS. Benes served as Treasurer in 1977 and Archives Officer in 1978. He received the Forbes Award of the AGS in 1979 for his role in founding the organization and in recognition of the contributions made to gravestone studies by his first book, The Masks of Orthodoxy: Folk Gravestone Carving in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1689-1805 (1977). He is currently (2009) Director of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife at Boston University.

The Benes Collection contains 2,826 black and white photographic prints documenting a majority of the eighteenth century grave markers in southeastern Massachusetts, taken for his book The Masks of Orthodoxy. The images were taken in Plymouth and surrounding counties.


  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Stone carving--Massachusetts


  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Benes, Peter

Types of material

  • Photographs

John W. Bennett Labor Collection, ca. 1880-2000

Labor historian John W. Bennett has researched the history of the labor movement since his days as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts (Class of 1952). A born collector, he began accumulating memorabilia associated with unions, drawn to their potential as a visual record of labor iconography and self-representation.

Extending back to the 1880s, the Bennett Collection includes examples from around the country, but with a particularly strong representation of New England unions between the mid-1930s and mid-1970s.


  • Labor unions--Massachusetts


  • Bennett, John W

Types of material

  • Badges
  • Ephemera
  • Realia

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