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Shearer, James

James Shearer Daybook

1836-1838
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 418 bd

During the late 1830s, James Shearer operated a general store near Palmer, Massachusetts, trading in the gamut of dry goods and commodities that made up the country trade in Massachusetts, from dried fish, butter, rum, and brandy, to soap, nails, chalk, cloth, sugar, molasses, spices, coffee, and tea. Although some customers paid their accounts in cash, most appear bartered goods (e.g, with butter) or services (carting).

The Shearer daybook contains detailed records the transactions of a general store located in or near Palmer, Mass., during the years surrounding the financial panic of 1837. The volume is attributed to Shearer based on a single signature on the last page of the volume, closing out a lengthy account with J. Sedgwick. Although Shearer cannot be identified with certainty, it appears likely that he was a member of the prolific Shearer family of Palmer in Hampden County.

Subjects

General stores--Massachusetts--PalmerPalmer (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Shearer, James

Types of material

Daybooks
Shreve and Earl

Shreve and Earl Account Book

1807-1809
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 625 bd

In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the firm of Shreve and Earl operated in Burlington County, New Jersey, trading in a range of sundries from molasses, sugar, and butter to fabrics and spices. They also sold large quantities of liquor, suggesting that they may have operated as wholesalers of whiskey and spirits.

Kept in standard double column format, the Shreve and Earl account book documents two years of a fairly extensive retail operation, probably located in Burlington County, N.J. The principals in the business are possibly Alexander Shreve (1769-1854), husband of Mary H. Earl, and his son Joshua, along with Alexander’s brothers-in-law Thomas and Caleb Earl. Several accounts are notable for the relatively large quantities of alcohol recorded: of 33 entries for Reuben Gauntt, for example, 29 are for either whiskey or spirits and one for molasses and coffee.

Subjects

General stores--New JerseyLiquor industry--New JerseyNew Hanover (N.J.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

Shreve and EarlShreve, Alexander, 1769-1854

Types of material

Account books
Shultis, Newton

Newton Shultis Papers

ca.1880-1938 Bulk: 1893-1896
10 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: RG 050/6 1896 S58
Depiction of Football game by Old Chapel, ca.1894
Football game by Old Chapel, ca.1894

Born on New Year’s Day 1876 to Mark and Katie Shultis, Newton Shultis became a member of the Massachusetts Agricultural College Class of 1896. A resident of Medford, Mass., at the start of his college career, Shultis was described by his classmates in the yearbook as “the only man in the class who has not an enemy in college.” An avid fan of the baseball and football teams, the former of which he was manger, Shultis was also a member of the Washington Irving Literary Society, DGK fraternity, and the YMCA, and he was known to have brought a Hawkeye camera with him to campus. After graduation, Shultis joined his father in the family grain shipping business in Boston where for many years he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Shultis died in Hopkinton, N.H. in 1956.

The Shultis papers include a selection of correspondence from Shultis to his parents during his college years, along with a remarkable array of ephemera, including his cadet’s uniform with hat, belt, and bayonet scabbard; his graduation robes; a three-volume herbarium; three volumes of class notes and essays; 16 dry plate glass negatives; a Class of 1896 photograph album; and miscellaneous photographs, school books, and ephemera.

Gift of Sally Harris, June 2018

Subjects

Massachusetts Agricultural College--AlumniMassachusetts Agricultural College--Students

Types of material

HerbariaMilitary uniformsPhotographs
Shutesbury (Mass.)

Shutesbury (Mass.) 250th Anniversary Collection

1961-2014
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 957

The town of Shutesbury was founded as “Roadtown” in 1735 and was incorporated as a town in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1761. The town celebrated its 250th Anniversary in 2011 and planned a year’s worth of events, lectures, and celebrations.

This collection comprises the flyers and notes for several of these events and includes commemorative albums and town histories. A perfect example of a small New England town, these materials are a snapshot of the history of Shutesbury and a celebration of the town’s legacy.

Subjects

Shutesbury (Mass.)--History.Shutesbury 250th Anniversary Steering Committee.

Types of material

Correspondence.Flyers.
Siggins, Betsy, 1939-

Betsy Siggins Papers

1958-2018
6 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1022
Part of: Folk New England Collection
Depiction of Betsy Siggins, ca.1959. Photo by Alan Klein
Betsy Siggins, ca.1959. Photo by Alan Klein

A key figure in the New England folk revival of the 1960s, Betsy Siggins (nee Minot) entered Boston University in the fall 1958 just at the music was taking off. Along with her college friend Joan Baez, she soon left school for the lure of the bohemian musical scene in Cambridge. At the age of 20, Betsy married the banjo player for the Charles River Valley Boys, Bob Siggins, who was also a founding member of Club 47, the most important venue for folk music in the region. For musicians from Baez and Bob Dylan to Jim Kweskin, Eric Von Schmidt, and Jim Rooney Club 47 was a career launching pad and despite the segregation of the era, it was a place where white northern audiences first encountered African American and blues musicians. Siggins worked full time at Club 47, filling a variety of jobs from office work to waitress to art gallery manager, eventually becoming program officer, arranging the schedules for musicians booked by Rooney or Byron Linardos. After Club 47 closed in 1968, Siggins went on to work for a succession of not for profit organizations, including the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and for programs for the homeless and poor.

The Siggins Collection contains important materials on Club 47 and its successor, Club Passim, including business records, ephemera, clippings, and some remarkable scrapbooks featuring performers such Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Richard Farina. The collection contains dozens of photographs (many taken by Charlie Frizzell), showing Siggins, her friends, and musicians at home, at Club 47, and at folk festivals in Newport, Brandeis, and Monterey. Of particular note in the collection is a remarkable series of 27 reel to reel tapes of performances at Club 47 featuring John Hammond, Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Eric Von Schmidt, Jim Rooney, Jeff and Maria Muldaur, Jackie Washington, the Charles River Valley Boys, Joan Baez, and others. Additional material on Siggins and the Minot family was retained by the Cambridge Historical Society.

Transferred from Cambridge Historical Society, April 2018

Subjects

Club 47 (Cambridge, Mass.)Dylan, Bob, 1941-Folk music--New England
Simon, Peter, 1947-2018

Peter Simon Collection

ca. 1945-2016
10 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: PH 009
Depiction of Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968
Peter Simon in mirror photographing Jennie Blackton at the Bitter End Cafe, 1968

Peter Simon’s life and work as a photojournalist follows the quintessential arc of the counterculture, baby boom generation. The son of Richard Simon, founder of Simon and Schuster, Peter grew up in the New York City suburb of Riverdale and attended Boston University, graduating in 1969. While a student at BU, he began documenting the political turmoil in the US when he became photo editor for the radical student newspaper, the BU News, and later as a press photographer for the Cambridge Phoenix. In 1970, Simon left Boston to form Tree Frog Farm, a back-to-the-land commune in Guilford, Vermont, and after leaving there in 1972, he immersed himself in the New Age, forming a close relationship with spiritual leader Ram Dass. Among the most constant threads connecting his work throughout these changes was music. Simon’s sisters, Carly, Lucy, and Joanna have all been involved in music, and through a partnership with longtime friend Stephen Davis and his association with Rolling Stone magazine, Simon enjoyed unique access to many of the most important musicians of his generation. He spent time on the road with the Grateful Dead; went backstage and at home with Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and many others. His early forays into the world of reggae with Bob Marley and other Jamaican recording artists resulted in one of his nine books, Reggae Bloodlines. Simon’s other photographic interests are as wide-ranging as his background. A visitor to Martha’s Vineyard since the 1950s and a resident since 1974, his work reflects the changes and cultural richness of that island; his family’s friendship with Jackie Robinson has driven his lifelong documentation of baseball, and he is in high demand for portraits, weddings, and other work for hire.

The Peter Simon Collection houses the original negatives for Simon’s complete body of work as a photo journalist and also includes many photographs taken by his father Richard, an avid amateur photographer, which documents the Simon family and life in Riverdale and Stamford, Connecticut, where the family had a summer home.

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--PhotographsCommunal living--VermontCounterculture--United States--20th centuryMartha's Vineyard (Mass.)--PhotographsMusicians--PhotographsSimon, Carly--PhotographsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Contributors

Simon, Richard L. (Richard Leo), 1899-1960

Types of material

Photographs
Sirius Community

Sirius Community Collection

1979-2003
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 835

Founded in September 1978, Sirius is an intentional community in Shutesbury, Mass., built on four foundational pillars: spiritual, ecological, communitarian, and educational. Established by former members of the Scottish Findhorn Community, Sirius is rooted in a non-sectarian spirituality and practices consensus in the community governance process and in their shared vision of an ecologically sustainable future.

The Sirius collection contains a nearly complete run of the commune newsletter along with a selection of fliers and brochures about the community, and a small number of newsclippings and photographs.

Subjects

Communal living--MassachusettsSustainability

Types of material

Newsletters
Sisson, Charles

Charles Sisson Diary

1864 Feb.-1865 June
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1083

At the time of the American Civil War, Charles Sisson attended the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. An active member of the Society of Friends, Sisson was apparently a dedicated student and avid member of the literary society. After graduation, he pursued an enormously successful career in the textile industry, becoming a founder of the Hope Webbing Company in 1883, one of the nation’s largest narrow-fabric manufacturers.

Kept by teenaged Charles Sisson, this diary includes regular entries describing a student’s daily life at the Friends Boarding School in Providence R.I. In addition to occasional details on coursework, Sisson describes his social activities in some depth, and often with some humor. With rare exceptions, the larger currents of the Civil War served as little more than a backdrop, although the future of liberated slaves appeared as a topic for debate at the Lyceum, and marching was taken up as an activity by the students.

Gift of I. Eliot Wentworth, June 2019

Subjects

High school students--Rhode Island--ProvidenceMoses Brown SchoolProvidence (R.I.)--History--19th centuryQuakers--Rhode Island

Types of material

Diaries
Siteman, Stephen

Stephen Siteman Papers

1942-1998
9 boxes 4.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 503

A member of the Post War World Council, an ardent pacifist, and anti-imperialist, Stephen Siteman was a long-time member of the Socialist Party of America, serving for seventeen years as secretary to the party’s leader Norman Thomas. In his late teens, Siteman was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during World War II. Although he was later pardoned, his time as a prisoner led him into active involvement in prison reform and the peace movement.

During his long involvement in the Socialist Party, Siteman collected a large quantity of material relating to important socialist issues, including Socialist Reform, the peace movement, conscientious objection, and prison reform. The collection also includes a small selection of Siteman’s personal correspondence with Frank Zeidler, former Socialist mayor of Milwaukee, and the novelist Mark Harris.

Subjects

Conscientious objectorsDemocratic Socialists of AmericaPacifists--United StatesPeace movements--United StatesPrison reformersPrisons--United StatesSocialists--United StatesThomas, Norman, 1884-1968War Resisters League of AmericaWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Harris, Mark, 1922-2007Siteman, StephenZeidler, Frank P
Skinner, Kenneth G.

Kenneth G. Skinner Collection

ca.1908-1928
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1027
Depiction of Spiritualist Church and Lucy Parker's house, ca.1908
Spiritualist Church and Lucy Parker's house, ca.1908

Granted in 1737 and incorporated in 1754, Greenwich, Mass., was the first town in the Swift River Valley settled by Europeans. Sitting astride the East and Middle branches of the Swift River and forming the eastern boundary of Hampshire County, Greenwich was primarily an agricultural town with light manufacturing and, beginning in the later nineteenth century, an active tourist trade. The town’s population peaked at over 1,100 early in the nineteenth century, declining slowly thereafter.

The photographic postcards in this collection all relate to the Quabbin town of Greenwich and were originally housed in an album of uncertain provenance. Primarily “real photo” postcards and dating between approximately 1908 and 1928, they were labeled by a knowledgeable, but unknown person at a later date to identify the houses, roads, stores, and views. Unlike many of the commercial postcards of the day, they present a very down-to-earth view of the town, its rocky fields, mills, houses and stores, and its summer hotels.

Subjects

Dwellings--Massachusetts--Greenwich--PhotographsGeneral stores--Massachusetts--Greenwich--PhotographsGreenwich (Mass.)--PhotographsQuabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--PhotographsSwift River Valley (Mass.)--Photographs

Types of material

Photographic postcardsPhotographs