Collections: mss

Behrendt, Tom

Tom Behrendt Papers

1978-2003
3 boxes 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 870
Depiction of Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.
Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.

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.

Subjects

Electroconvulsive therapyMental health lawsNational Association for Rights Protection and AdvocacyPsychiatric survivors movement

Contributors

Project Release
Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

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.

Subjects

Elections--Massachusetts--History--20th centuryLabor leaders--New England--BiographyLabor unions--MassachusettsMassachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950New England--Economic conditions--20th centuryTextile Workers Organizing CommitteeTextile Workers Union of AmericaTextile industry--MassachusettsTextile workers--Labor unions--New England

Contributors

Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooks
Belcher Family

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.

Subjects

Belcher familyButchers--Massachusetts--FoxboroughConsumers--Massachusetts--FoxboroughDiet--Massachusetts--FoxboroughFoxborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryMeat--Prices--Massachusetts--FoxboroughShopping--Massachusetts--Foxborough

Contributors

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

Types of material

Account books
Belchertown Sentinel

Belchertown Sentinel Collection

1915-2003
1283 digital items
Call no.: MS 845

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.

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--History--20th centuryBelchertown (Mass.)--History--20th centuryGranby (Mass.)--History--20th centuryNewspapers--Massachusetts--Belchertown
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 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 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 bulk of the School’s Friends Association 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--MassachusettsRicci, Robert Simpson

Contributors

Belchertown State SchoolRicci, Benjamin
Belfast Area Friends Meeting

Belfast Area Friends Meeting Records

1990-1994
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B454

The Belfast (Maine) Area Friends Meeting began as an independent worship group under the care of Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting in 1982. Two years after being set off as a monthly meeting in 1988, it changed its name slightly to the current Belfast Area Friends Meeting.

The Belfast Area Friends Meetings is sparsely documented, with only three state of the society reports from the early 1990s and an address listing of members.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Belfast (Me.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MaineSociety of Friends--Maine

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Bennett, John W., collector

John W. Bennett Labor Collection

ca. 1880-2000
118 boxes
Call no.: MS 443
Depiction of

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.

Subjects

Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

Bennett, John W

Types of material

BadgesButtons (Information artifacts)EphemeraRealia
Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends

Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1958-2004
4 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B466

Beginning as an independent worship group in Arlington, Vermont, in 1949, the Bennington Monthly Meeting settled in Bennington in about 1959. It has been affiliated with the Northwest Quarterly Meeting in 1962, and two monthly meetings have been set off from it since: Putney (1969) and Wilderness (1978). Bennington has also cared for worship groups in Pawlet (1988-1989), Putney (1964-1968), and Williamstown, Mass. (1989-1992), as well as the Wilderness Preparative Meeting in Plymouth, Vt. (1977-1978).

Although lacking the earliest years of the meeting minutes, the records of the Bennington Friends Meeting contain consistent coverage between 1970 and 2004, along with a handful of state of the society reports and a disbound scrapbook that includes some details on the early years.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Bennington (Vt.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--VermontSociety of Friends--Vermont

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954

Arthur Cleveland Bent Collection

1880-1942
8 boxes 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 413
Depiction of A.C. Bent, 1929
A.C. Bent, 1929

An avid birder and eminent ornithologist, Arthur Cleveland Bent was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on November 25, 1866. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard in 1889, bent was employed as an agent for the Safety Pocket Company and from 1900 to 1914, he was General Manager of Mason Machine Works. His passion, however, was birds. An associate in Ornithology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, Bent became a collaborator at the Smithsonian and president (1935-1937) of the American Ornithologists’ Union. The culmination of his research was the massive, 26 volume Life Histories of North American Birds (1919-1968).

The Bent collection is a glimpse into the birding life of a remarkable amateur ornithologist. It contains the field notebooks of his collaborator, Owen Durfee (1880-1909), his own journals (1887-1942), photographs and negatives (1896-1930), correspondence concerning the photographs (1925-1946), and mimeographed and printed material. Bent’s records cover nest observations, egg measurements, bird sightings, and notes on specimens provided to organizations such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Bristol County Agricultural School, and the United States National Museum.

Subjects

American Ornithologists' UnionBent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954. Life Histories of North American BirdsBirdsBirds--EggsBirds--Eggs--PhotographsBirds--NestsBirds--Nests--PhotographsBirds--PhotographsBristol County Agricultural School (Bristol County, Mass.)Massachusetts Audubon SocietyOrnithologists--MassachusettsUnited States National Museum

Contributors

Bent, Arthur Cleveland, 1866-1954Durfee, Owen

Types of material

Field notesPhotographs
Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers

ca. 1970-2012
30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 806
Depiction of

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects

Free Jazz--United StatesJazz musicians--United States

Types of material

ScoresSound recordings