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Pratt, Grace O’Neill

Grace O'Neill Pratt Scrapbooks

1935-2008
4 boxes, 7 vols.
Call no.: MS 821
Depiction of

Grace Eleanor (O’Neill) Pratt was born in Ware, Mass., in 1924. By the early 1940s, her father’s work brought his family to Greenfield, Mass., where Grace continues to reside.

The Pratt Scrapbook Collection represents several decades of intense interest in unusual news-makers. Pratt’s primary interests included “unusual” marriages and loves, but centered on multiple births, sparked by her youthful fascination with the Dionne Quintuplets. Pratt also clipped accounts of the U.S. space program in its early years, stories on U.S. presidents and British royalty, and accounts of local Catholic church leaders. Clipped from newspapers, tabloids, and magazines, this collection captures Pratt’s fascination with popular culture and “other” lives as entertainment. Most of the items are clipped and tucked between scrapbook pages.

Gift of Ruth Allis, Apr. 2014
Subjects
Dionne Quintuplets
Multiple birth
Types of material
Scrapbooks
Prescott (Mass.)

Prescott (Mass.) Collection

1822-1952
8 vols. (digital)
Call no.: MS 021

Rural and sparsely populated, Prescott, Massachusetts, was founded in 1822 along the ridge separating the West and Middle branches of the Swift River. Its three villages (North Prescott, Atkinson Hollow, and Prescott Hill) never amounted to more than a few houses each, and the town’s total population never exceeded 500. Prescott became the first of four towns to vacate after the Swift River Valley was ordered cleared and dammed to create the Quabbin Reservoir, ceding its administration to the state in 1928 before formally disincorporating in 1938.

The records of Prescott, Mass., document the history of the smallest of the four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Held by the Swift River Valley Historical Society, the materials in this collection consist of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1822-1938, as well as sparser records of the School Committee, the Treasurer, and Overseers of the Poor.

Subjects
Education--Massachusetts--Prescott--History
Poor--Massachusetts--Prescott--History
Prescott (Mass.)--Appropriations and expenditures
Prescott (Mass.)--History
Prescott (Mass.)--Politics and governmen
Prescott (Mass.)--Social conditions
Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Contributors
Prescott (Mass. : Town)
Prescott (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor
Types of material
Account books
School records
Primus, Pearl

Pearl Primus Collection

1995-2006
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 912

A pioneer of African dance in the United States and a vital scholarly voice, Pearl Primus burst onto the scene in the early 1940s as a choreographer, performer, composer, and teacher. Born in Trinidad in 1919 and raised in New York City, Primus was introduced to performance through the National Youth Administration and the New Dance Group. Her interest in the dance cultures of Africa and the African diaspora formed the conceptual center of her work throughout her career, drawing upon her deep scholarly research. In addition to her creative work, Primus earned a doctorate in anthropology from NYU and taught at a number of universities, including the Five Colleges. She died in New Rochelle, N.Y., in October 1994.

Conducted with Pearl Primus’ fellow dancers, musicians, friends, and collaborators between 1995 and 2005, the interviews comprising this collection were recorded by Peggy and Murray Schwartz for use in their book, The Dance Claimed Me: A Biography of Pearl Primus (New Haven, 2011). The oral histories provide insights into Primus’s sometimes controversial life career, her performances, teaching, and legacy.

Gift of Peggy and Murray Schwartz, Dec. 2013
Subjects
Choreographers
Dance--Africa
Dancers
Contributors
Nash, Joe, 1919-2005
Washington, Donald
Types of material
Audiocassettes
Betacam-SP
Videotapes
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.)

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) Records

1972-1981
12 boxes 17 linear feet
Call no.: MS 479
Depiction of PATCO representatives
PATCO representatives

Established in 1968, PATCO was certified as the exclusive representative for all FAA air traffic controllers. A little more than a decade later, union members went on strike demanding better working conditions despite the fact that doing so was in violation of a law banning strikes by government unions. In response to the strike, the Reagan administration fired the strikers, more than 11,000, and decertified the union. Over time the union was eventually reformed, first in 1996 as an affiliate with the Federation of Physicians and Dentists union, and later as an independent, national union in 2004.

Correspondence, financial records, notes and memos documenting the activities of the Boston area branch of PATCO. Letters, announcements, and planning documents leading up to the 1981 strike shed light on the union’s position.

Subjects
Air traffic controlers--Labor unions
Collective bargaining--Aeronautics--United States
Labor unions--Massachusetts
Contributors
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.)
Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade

Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade Minute Book

1789-1827
1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 935

Founded in 1789, the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade was an early antislavery organization forged in the unique political and social climate of post-Revolutionary Rhode Island. An interdenominational organization with a membership comprised largely of Quakers, the Society served as a self-appointed watchdog for violations of the act abolishing the slave trade and they provided funds to prosecute violators and to support African Americans fighting for their rights in state courts. The Society lay essentially dormant from 1793 to 1824 , when it was revived as an all-purpose antislavery organization, and it appears to have ceased operations in 1827.

The minute book of the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade are an essentially complete record of the organization’s formal meetings. The volume begins by laying out the organization’s constitution and includes listings of officers and members and summary records of their activities.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016
Subjects
African Americans--Rhode Island
Antislavery movements--Rhode Island
Providence (R.I.)--History
Quakers--Rhode Island
Contributors
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
Howell, David, 1747-1824
Types of material
Minute books
Putnam, William

William Putnam Papers

1840-1886
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 014

For several decades in the mid-nineteenth century, William Putnam (1792-1877) and his family operated a general store in Wendell Depot, Massachusetts, situated strategically between the canal and the highway leading to Warwick. Serving an area that remains rural to the present day, Putnam dealt in a range of essential merchandise, trading in lumber and shingles, palm leaf, molasses and sugar, tea, tobacco, quills, dishes, cloth and ribbon, dried fish, crackers, and candy. At various times, he was authorized by the town Selectmen to sell “intoxicating liquors” (brandy, whiskey, and rum) for “Medicinal, chemical and mechanical purposes only,” and for a period, he served as postmaster for Wendell Depot.

The daybooks and correspondence of William Putnam record the daily transactions of an antebellum storekeeper in rural Wendell, Massachusetts. Offering a dense record of transactions from 1840-1847, the daybooks provide a chronological accounting of all sales and credits in the store, including barter with local residents of the community and with contractors for the new Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. The last in the series of daybooks lists a surprisingly high percentage of Wendell’s residents (by name, in alphabetical order) who owed him money as of October 1846. The correspondence associated with the collection continues into the 1880s and provides relatively slender documentation of Putnam’s litigiousness, his financial difficulties after the Civil War, and the efforts of his son John William to continue the business.

Gift of Donald W. Howe, 1957; Robert Lucas, 1987 (correspondence); and Dan Casavant, 2001
Subjects
Barter--Massachusetts--Wendell
Consumer goods--Massachusetts--Wendell
Consumers--Massachusetts--Wendell
General stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
Liquor stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
Panama hat industry--Massachusetts--Wendell
Schools--Massachusetts--Wendell
Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad
Wendell (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Wendell (Mass.)--History--19th century
Contributors
Putnam, William
Types of material
Daybooks
Pyle, Christopher H.

Christopher Pyle Papers

ca.1970-1985
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 545

As an army captain teaching constitutional law at the U.S. Army Intelligence School in Fort Holabird, Maryland during the late 1960s, Christopher Pyle learned about the army’s domestic spying operation that targeted antiwar and civil rights protesters. Disclosing his knowledge about that surveillance in 1970 in two award-winning articles, Pyle led the fight to end the military’s domestic spying program by testifying before three Congressional committees. Currently a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College, Pyle continues to write about civil liberties and rights to privacy focusing his attention now on the Patriot Act and the detention of aliens and citizens without trial.

Documenting Pyle’s investigation into the military domestic spying operation, the collection consists of court transcripts, telephone logs, surveillance binders, correspondence, research notes, and news clippings.

Subjects
Civil rights--United States
Military intelligence
Military surveillance--United States