Collections: UMass faculty

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Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers

ca.1930-2007
25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 127
Depiction of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008

Subjects

African-American theaterPoets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

Abramson, Doris E.
Allen, Dwight William, 1931-

Dwight William Allen Papers

1967-1975
7 boxes 8.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 165
Depiction of Dwight Allen in classroom
Dwight Allen in classroom

A influential and flamboyant educational reformer, Dwight W. Allen served as Director of Teacher Education at his alma mater Stanford from 1959 until accepting a position as Dean of the School of Education at UMass Amherst in 1967. A proponent of integrating technology into teaching and co-developer of the technique of microteaching, Allen cemented his reputation as an innovator during his time at UMass (1968-1975), a time that coincided with the rapid expansion of the university. Allen helped recruit students of color to the graduate program in significant numbers, opened admissions to students with unconvential credentials, allowed students a voice in directing and governing the program, and abolished grading, among other initiatives, but while supporters lauded the creativity and excitement of the period, his radical ideas elicited considerable opposition as well. He resigned in 1975, in part due to the increasing demands his international consulting, later accepting a position at Old Dominion University, where he remained until his retirement in 2008. Allen is author of nine books, including American Schools: The $100 Billion Challenge, written with his former graduate student Bill Cosby.

The Allen papers contain a wealth of materials pertaining to the tumultuous years at UMass, including Allen’s curricular and teaching reforms, special projects, and his efforts to recruit African American students and address institutional racism. The correspondence, memos, and private reports that Allen maintained are particularly valuable for understanding the period as are the various surveys, studies, and reports on the state of the School of Education. The collection also includes material relating to some of Allen’s academic interests in education, including microteaching, alternative schools, and certification.

Gift of Dwight Allen, Aug. 2013

Subjects

Alternative educationEducational changeRacism in educationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Education
Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Philip Bezanson Papers

1946-1980
9 boxes
Call no.: FS 040

An influential educator and composer, Philip Bezanson helped guide the Department of Music at UMass Amherst through its period of rapid expansion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After graduate study (PhD 1954) and appointment to the faculty at the University of Iowa, Bezanson was brought to UMass in 1964 to become Head of the Music Department and helped to expand and reorient the program, recruiting an increasingly accomplished faculty, including his former student Frederick Tillis.

The Bezanson papers include materials relating to the development, performance, and publication of much of Bezanson’s musical work, including scores and parts for 46 of his 47 instrumental and vocal compositions. The collection also includes a sampling of correspondence, programs and posters for performances, papers relating to the development of the opera Golden Child and his collaboration with Paul, the score of the opera Stranger in Eden (libretto by William A. Reardon), and one sound recording.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975
d’Errico, Peter

Peter d'Errico Papers

1976-2011
8 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: FS 154

With a law degree from Yale in hand in 1968, Peter d’Errico began work as a staff attorney with Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe Navajo Legal Services in Shiprock, Arizona, representing indigenous People’s interests in the US courts. Stemming from his frustrations with a stilted legal system, however, he evolved into an “anti-lawyer,” and in 1970 returned to academia. Joining the faculty at UMass Amherst, d’Errico focused his research and writing on the legal issues affecting indigenous Peoples, and he regularly taught courses on indigenous People’s law and the role of the law in imposing state systems on non-state societies. His impact was instrumental in establishing the Department of Legal Studies. Both before and after his retirment in 2002, d’Errico also remained active as a practitioner in indigenous People’s law.

The d’Errico collection contains a significant record of d’Errico’s high profile legal work in indigenous People’s law, including his work with Western Shoshone land rights and on the case Randall Trapp, et al. v. Commissioner DuBois, et al. In Trapp, a long-running, but ultimately successful First Amendment case, he and Robert Doyle represented prisoners in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections seeking to establish a sweat lodge.

Gift of Peter d'Errico, Feb. 2012

Subjects

Freedom of religionIndians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Legal Studies

Contributors

d'Errico, Peter
Davis, Chester

Chester Davis Papers

ca. 1945-2016
24 boxes 36 linear feet
Call no.: FS 201

Chester Davis was a scholar of African American education and media, one of the first core faculty members of the Afro-American Studies Department at UMass Amherst and a major architect of that department’s development, and an avid photographer. Davis was born in Gary, Indiana and attended Roosevelt High School. He was among the first African American graduates of the University of Chicago, where he earned his BA and MA, and then earned his PhD from Syracuse University. After several positions in academia, Davis joined the African American think tank Institute of the Black World, right after its establishment by Coretta Scott King in 1969. His work there influenced the growth of Black Studies programs across the US and he was soon recruited by the University of Massachusetts to help build its newly founded Afro-Am. department. Davis retired from the University in 1992 and moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where he passed away in 2016.

The Chester Davis Papers reflect his research, teaching, and administrative work as a member of the Afro-American Studies Dept. at UMass. In addition to UMass-related lecture notes, correspondence, and research materials, the collection documents his post-retirement activities in Tallahassee and a longstanding research project on Roosevelt High School, which includes a rich cache of historical materials. There is also a significant collection of Davis’s photographs, including prints, negatives, and slides. Davis was an avid amateur with an artistic eye and his topics range from family photographs to concerts, demonstrations, and other activities at the University.

Gift of Penny Ralston, 2019

Subjects

African Americans--Study and teachingJazz musicians--PhotographsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst . FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst . W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies

Types of material

Photographs
Du Bois, David Graham

David Graham Du Bois Papers

1972-1996
7 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 034
Depiction of David Graham Du Bois talking with James Baldwin, Nov. 1985. Photo by Irma McClaurin
David Graham Du Bois talking with James Baldwin, Nov. 1985. Photo by Irma McClaurin

David Graham Du Bois was a visiting lecturer in the Journalism and African-American Studies Departments from 1983 until his retirement in 2001. Du Bois was the son of activist and artist Shirley Graham Du Bois, who married W.E.B Du Bois in 1961. Du Bois earned his B.A. at Hunter College in 1950 and a Masters in American Civilization from New York University in 1956. After studying at Beijing University, he traveled to Cairo, Egypt, fell in love with the city, and settled there in 1961, working as a foreign correspondent for the Pacific News Service, Variety, and as an assistant editor for several Egyptian news publications. An activist, like his step-father and mother, Du Bois became the spokesperson for the Black Panther Party, and agitated for racial liberation throughout his life. After his mother’s death in 1977, he became the custodian of W.E.B Du Bois’ legacy and founded the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation to continue working toward his step-father’s goals. While at the University, Du Bois played an essential role in naming the University Library after his step-father. Du Bois died on January 28, 2005.

The David Graham Du Bois Papers document his later life and his managing of W.E.B. Du Bois’ estate. The papers include a selection of David Du Bois’ correspondence, speech manuscripts, clippings describing his step-father, as well as seleced personal financial records from his time in Amherst, Massachusetts. Additional Du Bois materials remain with the family.

Transferred by the Department of Journalism, 2007

Subjects

Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of JournalismW.E.B. Du Bois Foundation
Gordon, Ann

Ann Gordon Papers

1986-1989
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 016

Ann Gordon served as the editor of the Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers as a member of African American Studies department from 1982 until the project’s conclusion in 1989. While at the University, Gordon, along with John Bracey, Joyce Berkman, and Arlene Avakian planned a conference discussing the history of African American Women voting from the Cady Stanton’s meeting at Seneca Falls to the Voting Rights Act. The conference, called the African American Women and the Vote Conference, was held in 1988.

The collection is comprised of proposals, reports, meeting transcripts, and correspondence from Gordon’s work planning the 1988 African American Women and the Vote Conference. Also included is preliminary work by Gordon to organize the papers given at the conference into book form.

Subjects

African American womenUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies

Contributors

Gordon, Ann
Hayward, Fred M.

Fred M. Hayward Papers

1955-2015
4 boxes 4.75 linear feet
Call no.: FS 186

A specialist in higher education and comparative politics in the developing world, Fred Hayward earned a doctorate in Politics at Princeton in 1968 for his research on political organizations in West Africa. Following a 24 year career at the University of Wisconsin (1967-1991), where he became Dean of International Studies and Programs, Hayward has worked as a Senior Associate to the American Council on Education, a consultant to the World Bank, and since 2009, as a Senior Higher Education Consultant with UMass Amherst. Having worked in fifteen countries with ministries, universities, and NGOs, his scholarship runs the gamut from African politics to higher education in Afghanistan.

The papers document some of Fred Hayward’s activities, centered in Africa and Afghanistan. The bulk of the collection stems from his work in Sierra Leone during the 1960s through 1980s, in Ethiopia (2003), and it includes noteworthy material on a World Bank-funded project to support strategic planning for six Afghan Universities as well as a feasibility study on private section involvement in Afghan higher education.

Gift of Fred M. Hayward, Oct. 2017

Subjects

Afghanistan--Education, HigherEthiopia--Education, HigherSierra Leone--Education, Higher

Contributors

Center for International Education (University of Massachusetts Amherst)University of Massachusetts Amherst. School of Education
Kaplan, Sidney, 1913-

Sidney and Emma Nogrady Kaplan Papers

ca.1937-1993
58 boxes 85 linear feet
Call no.: FS 149
Depiction of Sidney Kaplan, May 1972
Sidney Kaplan, May 1972

An eminent scholar of African American history and activist, Sidney Kaplan was raised in New York City and graduated from City College in 1942. After wartime service as a Lieutenant in the Army, Kaplan returned to his education, completing an MA in history from Boston University (1948) and PhD at Harvard (1960), taking up the study of African American history at a time when few white scholars showed interest. Joining the English Department at UMass in 1946, Kaplan’s influence was widely felt at UMass Amherst and in the local community: he was among the founders of the Department of Afro-American Studies, a founder of the UMass Press, a founder and editor of the Massachusetts Review, and he was the editor of Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. Over more than thirty years at UMass, he worked on diverse projects in history, literature, and the arts, often in partnership with his wife Emma Nogrady, a librarian at Smith College whom he married in 1933, ranging from studies of Poe and Melville to a biographical dictionary of African Americans and a study of Shays’ Rebellion. In 1973, they were co-authors of the first comprehensive study of depictions of African Americans in the visual arts, The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution (based on an exhibition planned for the National Portrait Gallery), and in 1991, the UMass Press published a collection of Sidney’s essays, American Studies in Black and White. A Fulbright lecturer in Greece and Yugoslavia and exchange Professor at the University of Kent, Kaplan was the recipient of the Bancroft Award from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History for best article of the year in the Journal of Negro History, and he was awarded the UMass Amherst Chancellor’s Medal in 1979, one year after his retirement. Sidney Kaplan died in 1993 at age 80 and was followed by Emma in 2010.

The Kaplan Papers document a long career devoted to the study of African American history and life. The extensive correspondence, research notes, and drafts of articles and other materials offer important insight into the growth of African American studies from the 1950s through 1970s as well as the growth of UMass Amherst into a major research university.

Gift of Paul Kaplan, May 2011

Subjects

African Americans--HistoryMassachusetts ReviewUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts Press

Contributors

Kaplan, Emma Nogrady, 1911-Kaplan, Sidney, 1913-
Mainzer, Lewis C. (Lewis Casper), 1928-

Lewis C. Mainzer Papers

1953-2000 Bulk: 1965-1985
4 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: FS 160

Since his arrival at UMass in 1953, Lewis Mainzer has been an affable, influential, and well-respected member of the university community. He joined the faculty of four that at the time made up the department of government, later the department of political science. A dedicated educator, he was instrumental in the expansion of that department and demonstrated a profound commitment to education reform and social engagement against the backdrop of campus upheaval during the 1960s and 1970s. Mainzer retired in 1997 and is now a professor emeritus and author of several books of poetry.

The Lewis C. Mainzer papers consist of personal notes, correspondence, meeting minutes, memoranda, and other materials documenting Mainzer’s activities as a member of numerous Faculty Senate and other committees, and the administrative responses to such events as the Vietnam War protests, the civil rights movement, the expansion of the UMass system, and higher education reform in Massachusetts. There are also materials relating to his interests as a poet, his professional work as an educator, and documents relating to various campus events of the late twentieth century.

Subjects

Educational Change--United StatesPoets--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Political Science
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