Collections: W

Western New England Poetry Collection

Western New England Poetry Collection

1977-2008
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 561
Depiction of Silkworm, 2007
Silkworm, 2007

Since 2004, the Florence Poets Society has been a hub of the poetry communities in Western Massachusetts, promoting the sharing, reading, and publication of works by its members. The group has sponsored outdoor poetry festivals, poetry slams, and readings and it has encouraged publication of poetry through its annual review, The Silkworm, and through chapbooks of its members

Established in partnership with Rich Puchalsky and the Florence Poets Society, the Western New England Poetry Collection constitutes an effort to document the vibrant poetry communities in Western New England. The collection includes all forms of poetry, from the written to the spoken word, in all formats, but with a particular emphasis upon locally produced and often difficult to find chapbooks, small press books, unpublished works, and limited run periodicals. The collection is not limited to members of the Florence Poets Society, and additions from poets in Western New England are eagerly welcomed.

Subjects

Poetry--New England

Contributors

Florence Poets SocietyPuchalsky, Rich
Westhampton (Mass. : Town)

Westhampton Town Records

1779-1900
10 boxes, 1 vol. 5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 799
Depiction of Close-up of records from 1779
Close-up of records from 1779

Originally settled by Europeans in 1762, the town of Westhampton, Massachusetts, was separated from adjacent Northampton and incorporated in September 1778. Situated in the western reaches of Hampshire County, it was principally an agricultural town until the later twentieth century, producing apples, other fruit, and maple sugar, with only minor industry. The town still retains its rural character: a century after incorporation, the population had grown to just over 500, and nearly 1,500 by 2000.

The Westhampton collection provides an extensive record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after the date of incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Subjects

Churches--Massachusetts--WesthamptonPoor--Massachusetts--WesthamptonRoads--Massachusetts--WesthamptonTown meetings--Massachusetts--Westhampton
Westhampton Congregational Church (Westhampton, Mass.)

Westhampton Congregational Church Records

1817-1970
17 vols. 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 806

The Congregational Church in Westhampton, Mass., was formally organized on Sept. 1, 1779, with the installation of a young graduate of Yale, Enoch Hale, brother of the patriot Nathan Hale. At the end of Hale’s fifty years in the Westhampton pulpit, the church experienced a crisis that resulted in the separation of a portion of the membership as the Union Church, led by the charismatic evangelical preacher John Truair. The churches were reunited in 1850.

The records of the Westhampton Congregational Church document nearly two hundreds of religious life in a rural western Massachusetts community. Beginning with the founding of the church in 1779, the collection include a nearly unbroken record of church activities including thorough records of membership, transfers, marriages, baptisms, deaths, and church discipline, and for the latter century, a complete record of church finances. Of particular note is a volume recording the activities of the secessionist Union Church, 1829-1849.

Subjects

Congregational churches--Massachusetts--WesthamptonHale, Enoch, 1753-1837Revivals--Massachusetts--WesthamptonSecond Great AwakeningTruair, John, 1780-1845Westhampton (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

Union Church (Westhampton, Mass.)

Types of material

Account books
Westport Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Westport Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1766-2004
18 vols., 1 box 2.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W4787

In 1699, Quaker meeting for worship began in Acoaxet, Mass., a coastal village within the boundaries of what would become the town of Westport. The worship group was set off from Dartmouth Monthly as a monthly meeting of its own in 1766, and became affiliated with Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting. Gradually between 1803 and 1812 Acoaxet became known as Westport Monthly Meeting.

Westport Monthly Meeting of Friends is well documented, with nearly continuous minutes of business meetings stretching from 1766 to 1989, a collection of vital statistics from the establishment of the meeting through 1887, and over fifty years of newsletters (1961-2004).

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWestport (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)NewslettersVital records (Document genre)
Westport Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite: 1845-1851)

Westport Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1845-1850
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 W4787

A product of the Wilburite separation of 1845, the Westport Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) was short lived, gathering only until it was laid down in 1850. Members of the meeting continued for another year as a preparative meeting under the aegis of Dartmouth Monthly Meeting (Wilburite).

The records of this ephemeral Wilburite monthly include complete minutes of both the men’s and women’s meetings.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, Apr. 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWestport (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Wetherbee, David Kenneth

David Kenneth Wetherbee Collection of New Salem

1980
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 305

David Kenneth Wetherbee was a naturalist and local historian who lived for many years in the small town of New Salem, Mass. Receiving a doctorate in ornithology from the University of Connecticut in 1959, Wetherbee worked as an adjunct instructor in Wildlife Biology at UMass Amherst and pursued his eclectic research agenda that ran from butterflies in the Caribbean to the history of his adopted New Salem. He died in 1997 at the age of 70.

This unusual collection is the result of David K. Wetherbee’s concerted effort to collocate data on the early settlement of New Salem, Mass., and his attempt to “reconstruct” the record book of the town’s Proprietors that had succumbed to fire in 1856. In addition to a scarce copy of his eccentric summary of his findings, Heare Lies Salim New Grant, the collection includes notes on the original divisions of land among the early settlers, arranged by division; and information on each of the early settlers and their landholdings, arranged alphabetically by name.

Gift of David K. Wetherbee

Subjects

Birds--Massachusetts--New SalemGeology--Massachusetts--New SalemNew Salem (Mass.)--History
WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

WFCR Radio Broadcast Collection

1954-1987 Bulk: 1964-1987
308 boxes 462 linear feet
Call no.: MS 741
Depiction of WFCR studio
WFCR studio

The first public radio station in western New England, WFCR Five College Radio has provided a mix of high quality, locally-produced and nationally syndicated programming since May 1961. In 2012, the station reached over 175,000 listeners per week, with a mix of classical and jazz music, news, and entertainment.

The WFCR Collection contains nearly 4,500 reel to reel recordings of locally-produced radio programs, reflecting over fifty years of the cultural and intellectual life of western Massachusetts. Drawing upon the talents of the faculty and students of the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and UMass Amherst), the collection offers a remarkable breadth of content, ranging from public affairs to community and national news, cultural programming, children’s programming, news and current events, scholarly lectures, classical music, and jazz.

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)Pioneer Valley (Mass.)Radio stations--Massachusetts

Contributors

WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

Sound recordings
WGBY

WGBY Photograph Collection

1981-1996
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 032

Television station WGBY began broadcasting in Springfield, Massachusetts, in May 1955, as the public television station for the residents of the Pioneer Valley and western Massachusetts. Owned by Boston’s WGBH, the station produces its own original content and maintains its own web presence.

The WGBY collection consists entirely of photographic stills sent to the station for use in promoting its broadcasts. Featured artists include a number of actors and musicians popular during the 1980s and 1990s, including Judy Collins, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, the Three Tenors, and Oprah Winfrey. Most of the shows represented were produced or distributed by PBS.

Subjects

Public television

Types of material

Photographs
Whately (Mass.)

Whately Town Records

1717-1900
4 reels 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 408 mf

The Connecticut River Valley town of Whately, Mass., was first settled by Europeans in about 1672, separating from the northern section of Hatfield and displacing the Norwottucks, or Fresh Water Indians. Officially incorporating in 1771, the town’s economy has been based primarily in agriculture, including the production of tobacco, potatoes, and dairy.

The four reels of microfilm that comprise this collection contain records of the town of Whately, Mass., from settlement in the middle of the nineteenth century, including records of the Congregational Church, deeds, and vital records (births, baptisms, marriages, deaths).

Subjects

Whately (Mass.)--History

Types of material

Microfilm
Wheeler, C. H.

C. H. Wheeler Scrapbook

1935-1937
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 598 bd

A resident of Haydenville, Mass., during the 1930s, C. H. Wheeler was evidently captivated with the profound political changes sweeping the nation during the years of the Great Depression.

Containing hundreds of political cartoons clipped from local newspapers and national media, C. H. Wheeler’s scrapbook documents media reactions to the Great Depression and New Deal, the presidential election of 1936, Alf Landon and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and national and international political currents.

Subjects

Depressions--1929Landon, Alfred M. (Alfred Mossman), 1887-1987Massachusetts--Politics and government--1933-1945New Deal, 1933-1939Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945United States--Politics and government--1933-1945

Types of material

Political cartoonsScrapbooks