University of Massachusetts Amherst
SCUA

Collections beginning with C (page 7 of 10)

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Coffin, George R. (George Richards)

George R. Coffin Diary
1854-1857
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 1000 bd

The son of a master mariner from Newburyport, Massachusetts, George Richards Coffin was born in Castine, Maine, on Feb. 12, 1832. Sent to Boston at the age of 19 to get his start in business as a clerk, Coffin became a wharfinger in 1854, just a year before he married Hannah Balch, the eldest daughter of a prominent Newburyport merchant. As his family grew to eight, Coffin thrived in his trade, becoming a long-time member of the Merchant’s Exchange in Boston and Inspector of Grain for the Commercial Exchange in the 1870s. By the 1880s, he relocated his family to the genteel western suburbs of the city and by the time of his death in 1894, he had earned a spot in the Boston Blue Book.

This beautifully written diary was kept by George Coffin as he was starting out in life. Kept regularly, though not daily, the entries are filled with details about his budding business and personal lives, providing a rich portrayal of an aspiring young man in antebellum Boston. Beginning during the last few months of his clerkship and courtship of Hannah Balch and continuing through their engagement and marriage to the birth of their first child, the diary is filled with descriptions of socializing at parties and lectures, religious attendance and recreational activities, and it includes his thoughts on marriage, family, and his career in business. Of particular note are Coffin’s accounts of a visit to the State Prison in Charlestown, his reactions to local resistance to the capture of Anthony Burns under the Fugitive Slave Act, and the steady growth of his relationship with Hannah.

Gift of Elizabeth Hartmann, Nov. 2017
Subjects
  • Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • Burns, Anthony, 1834-1862
  • Coffin, Hannah B.
  • Newburyport (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th century
  • United States. Fugitive Slave Law (1850)
  • Weddings--Massachusetts--Newburyport
Types of material
  • Diaries

Coffin, Robert L.

Robert L. Coffin Ornithological Journal
1912-1922
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 593 bd

Robert L. Coffin (1889-1976) began a long association with the Massachusetts Agricultural College when he arrived on campus in 1912 to begin work as an assistant photographer for the East Experiment Station. His skill as a technical photographer and his artistic eye, however, soon made him a valuable commodity on campus and within a few years of his arrival, Coffin had branched out to work for a wide range of departments across campus and, in the late 1920s, for the US Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well. An avid birder and naturalist, Coffin was particularly known for his nature photography, using a battery of different cameras to capture everything from scenic vistas to photomicrographs. Although he established a commercial photographic studio in Amherst in 1931, Coffin continued to accept a wide range of assignments at UMass, earning recognition as the unofficial campus photographer. He remained active almost to the time of his death in 1976 at the age of 86.

Containing the meticulously detailed records of an avid birder, the Coffin journal contains records of sightings and first and last occurrences of birds observed in the years 1912 and 1917-1922. The records in the journal reflect Coffin’s many birding trips in western Massachusetts, mostly in the Connecticut River Valley, however the journal also contains records from the Swift River Valley, the Harvard Forest, the Boston area, and the Connecticut coast. In a few cases, Coffin recorded the numbers of birds observed.

Subjects
  • Bird watching--Massachusetts
  • Birds--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
Contributors
  • Coffin, Robert L
Types of material
  • Field notes

Coggeshall, D. H.

D. H. Coggeshall Papers
1869-1912
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 600
Image of Langstroth
Langstroth

D. H. Coggeshall (1847-1912) made his living as an apiculturist in Tompkins County, N.Y., on the southeast edge of the Finger Lakes. Beginning by 1870, he sold honey or extracted honey, and occasionally bees, to customers and commission merchants as far away as the Midwest.

This small assemblage of business letters and accounts document an active apiculturist during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Of particular note are some scarce printed advertising broadsides and circulars from some of the best known apiculturists of the time, including L.L. Langstroth and Charles Dadant, as well as an early flier advertising the sale of newly arrived Italian bees. The sparse correspondence includes letters from clients and colleagues of Coggeshall, along with communications with commission merchants charged with selling his honey.

Subjects
  • Beehives
  • Bees
  • Dadant, Charles, 1817-1902
  • Honey trade--New York (State)
  • Langstroth, L. L. (Lorenzo Lorraine), 1810-1895
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)

Cohen, Alvin P.

Alvin P. Cohen Collection
1957-1968
2 boxes (1.6 linear feet)
Call no.: FS 145
Image of Free Speech Movement newsletter
Free Speech Movement newsletter

As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley in the late 1950s, Alvin P. Cohen planned on a career in engineering, but after earning his bachelors degree and working as a laboratory technician, he returned to undergraduate status and then to graduate school in Chinese. Cohen’s time at Berkeley coincided with the turbulence of the first wave of student revolt, the civil rights and antiwar movements, and the Free Speech Movement, however as a married man with children, he was more an observer than activist. After completing his dissertation, The Avenging Ghost: Moral Judgment in Chinese Historical Texts, in 1971, he joined the faculty at UMass Amherst, initially with a split appointment teaching Chinese and working as East Asian bibliographer in the library. Over the next three and a half decades, he helped build the Program in Asian Languages and Literature, becoming its Chair in the 1990s and President of the Warring States Project.

Consisting of newsclippings, fliers, and other ephemera collected as the Free Speech Movement was at its height, the Cohen collection provides a valuable window on 1960s activism and the cross-fertilization between the various student movements. The materials cover a range of issues from free speech on campus to the California legislature, civil rights, the war in Vietnam, and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Of particular interest is a letter received by Cohen from a friend Doug Wachter in 1960, shortly after Wachter had been called before HUAC.

Subjects
  • College students--United States--Political activity
  • Student movements--California
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Contributors
  • Cohen, Alvin P.

Colburn, Paul

Paul and Olive Colburn Collection
1894-2001
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 860
Image of Jonathan Dow marker, Eastern Cemetery, Portland, Me.
Jonathan Dow marker, Eastern Cemetery, Portland, Me.

Husband and wife Paul Francis and Olive (“Tommie” Fox) Colburn were active members of the Association for Gravestone Studies from the 1980s. Natives of Lowell, Mass., and long-time residents of Berwick, Me., the Colburns shared an interest in New England gravestones and marker symbolism, with Tommie enjoying a particular specialty in metal-based markers.

The Colburn collection represents a cross-section of the couple’s work documenting and lecturing about New England grave markers and marker symbolism as well as Victorian funerary practice. Of note are a small number of items reflecting Victorian mourning culture, including images of funeral wreaths and arrangements, three mourning handkerchiefs, and a funeral card.

Subjects
  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Gravestones--Maine
  • Gravestones--Massachusetts
  • Gravestones--New Hampshire
  • Gravestones--New York
  • Gravestones--Rhode Island
  • Gravestones--Vermont
Contributors
  • Colburn, Olive
Types of material
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Photographs

Collins, Phebe

Phebe Collins Collection
ca.1875-1969
10 boxes (15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 958
Image of Boy and his dog, 1931
Boy and his dog, 1931

The daughter of a Scottish immigrant and a 1923 graduate of Smith College, Phebe Hazel Ferris returned to her alma mater to pursue graduate work degree in Geology, but in 1928 she married her instructor, Robert Frank Collins. Settling in Williamsburg, Mass., the couple raised a family of three boys, Frank, Robert, and James. Robert, Sr., remained as a Professor of Geology and Geography at Smith, while Phebe eventually returned to graduate work, though in Physics, and thereafter worked for many years at Smith as a laboratory instructor. Phebe died in 1983, less than two months before her husband.

The Collins collection consists primarily of meticulously maintained scrapbooks assembled by Phebe Collins between the 1920s and the 1960s. The range of materials in these scrapbooks is remarkable, including not only photographs, postcards, and letters received, but children’s drawings, report cards, and the occasional surprise like a quarantine sign hung on the family door for a sick child. In aggregate, they are a rich record of the growth of an intellectually-inclined family across four decades. The collection also includes seventeen photograph albums and hundreds of Collins and Ferris family photographs, along with images taken by Robert during his geological work.

Gift of Cathy Englehardt, Jan. 2017
Subjects
  • Family--Massachusetts
  • Ferris family
  • Geologists--Massachusetts
  • Williamsburg (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Ephemera
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Colman, William, 1768-1820

William Colman Account Book
1802-1822
1 vol. (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 212 bd

Merchant and shoemaker from the Byfield Parish of Newbury, Massachusetts and Boscawen, New Hampshire.

Includes accounts of the prices paid for shoemaking and agricultural labor, accounts of the men and women who worked for his father’s shoe store and factory, notes of who lived in the younger Colman’s home, a page mentioning his move to New Hampshire, and accounts of agricultural produce sales and exchange of farm labor.

Subjects
  • Agricultural wages--New Hampshire--History--19th century
  • Boscawen (N.H.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Boscawen (N.H.)--Rural conditions--19th century
  • Households--Massachusetts--Newbury--History--19th century
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Newbury--History--19th century
  • Newbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Shoemakers--Massachusetts--Newbury--History--19th century
  • Shoes--Prices--Massachusetts--History--19th century
Contributors
  • Colman, William, 1768-1820
Types of material
  • Account books

Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)

Common Reader Bookshop Collection
1978-1997
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 472

Co-owned by Dorothy Johnson and Doris Abramson, the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem, Massachusetts, specialized in women’s studies materials, or in their words, “books by, for, and about women.” A couple for almost 40 years and married in 2004, Johnson and Abramson, a professor in the theater department at UMass, opened the store in 1977. After nearly twenty-five years in operation, the book shop closed its doors for business in 2000. Comprised mostly of photographs, the collection highlights not only the shop as a place, but also the community it fostered.

Subjects
  • Booksellers and Bookselling--Massachusetts
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Women--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Abramson, Doris
  • Common Reader Bookshop (New Salem, Mass.)
  • Johnson, Dorothy

Communist Party of Massachusetts

Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection
1932-1957
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 538

A branch of the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Communist Party of Massachusetts enjoyed strong popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, organizing the textile and other manufacturing industries.

This small collection is comprised of a miscellaneous assemblage of fliers, broadsides, and ephemera issued by the Communist Party of Massachusetts and its affiliates from the mid-1930s through the repression of the McCarthy era. Originating mostly from Boston, the items in the collection center on significant themes in Communist thought, including opposition to Fascism and militarism, labor solidarity against capital, and elections. A small number of items relate to Party-approved cultural productions, including plays and gatherings to celebrate Lenin or the Russian Revolution. Many items are associated with Otis A. Hood, a perpetual candidate for public office on the Communist Party ticket who became a target for McCarthy-era repression in the mid-1950s.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2008
Subjects
  • Antiwar movements--Massachusetts
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Elections--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Communist Party of Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Fliers

Comstock, Perry G.

Perry G. Comstock Account Book
1862-1880
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 480 bd

After witnessing the woolen mill he had built in West Stockbridge go up in flames, Peregrine Green Comstock (1808-1892) rebuilt his operation on the Williams River as a paper mill. For decades thereafter, he prospered as a paper manufacturer, raising a large family with his wife Elizabeth. Comstock died of gastroenteritis on Aug. 6, 1892 at the age of 84.

Comstock’s account book, 197pp., includes records of transactions of a Berkshire County paper manufacturer in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Among Comstocks’s clients are Monument Mills, M.S. Hovey and Co., Smith Paper Co., Berkshire Woolen Co., Owen Paper Co., and Kniffin and Bro., and the book includes records of labor, rents, cash, board, and the exchange of goods, along with entries for calendar rolls, paper, wrap, weaving yards, sacks, dyestuffs, and lumber.

Subjects
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--History--19th century
  • Paper industry--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
Types of material
  • Account books
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