Collections: Women

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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.
Barfield, Vivian M.

Vivian M. Barfield Papers

1972-1977
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 098
Depiction of Vivian Barfield
Vivian Barfield

Vivian Barfield was the first female Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dedicated to the advancement of women’s athletics, Barfield began her tenure at UMass in January 1975. Charged with upgrading the women’s’ athletic program and contributing to the decision-making process in men’s athletics, Barfield made strides to bring UMass into compliance with Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972. Barfield was ultimately unsuccessful in her efforts after a disagreement with Athletic Director Frank McInerney about her job description led to her resignation. After leaving UMass, Barfield became the Director of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (established 1975) at the University of Minnesota.

Although Barfield’s tenure at UMass was relatively brief, her papers are representative of a specific time in the country and at the University. With materials relating to Title IX, affirmative action, and perhaps most importantly, Barfield’s class action complaint against the University, the Barfield Papers speak to issues of second-wave feminism, women in sports, and discrimination at UMass in the mid-1970s.

Subjects

Sex discrimination in sports--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AthleticsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--WomenWomen physical education teachers

Contributors

Barfield, Vivian M
Burn, Barbara B.

Barbara B. Burn Papers

1966-2001
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: FS 112
Depiction of Barbara Burn, 1975
Barbara Burn, 1975

The founder of the the university’s International Program Office, Barbara Burn was widely recognized as an expert in international education. After attending the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, Burn received both her master’s degree and doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1955. She worked for several years on the faculty of the Foreign Service Institute and as a program specialist at the Asia Foundation before coming to UMass Amherst in 1968 to study the feasibility of developing an international programs office, after which she was appointed Director of International Programs and in 1988, Associate Provost. Under her leadership, the number of UMass undergraduates studying abroad increased ten fold. Burn died on Feb. 24, 2002, at the age of 76, leaving a son and a daughter.

The Burn Papers include detailed information regarding the establishment of the International Programs Office, including background information and sometimes extensive correspondence with universities around the world. Approximately three quarters of the collection consists of alphabetically arranged files on foreign universities and subjects pertaining to study abroad, with particularly interesting material in the 1970s and 1980s on exchanges with the People’s Republic of China.

Subjects

American students--Foreign countriesForeign studyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. International Programs Office

Contributors

Burn, Barbara B
Culley, Margo

Margo Culley Papers

1973-1985
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 103

A former Professor of English at UMass Amherst and contributor to the Program in Women’s Studies, Margaret (Margo) Culley was a specialist in women’s literature, particularly in women’s autobiography and diaries as a literary form. Her research drew variously upon work in literature, history, American studies, and religion, exploring gender and genre, language, subjectivity, memory, cultural diversity, and narrative. Between 1985 and 1994, she edited three volumes on American women’s autobiographical writing, and another on feminist teaching in the college classroom.

The Culley Papers offer a somewhat fragmentary glimpse into Culley’s academic career and her commitments to women’s literature. The collection includes selected notes for research and teaching, annotated bibliographies of women’s literature, a performance script for The Voices of Lost New England Women Writers, a federal grant proposal for The Black Studies/Women’s Studies Faculty Development Project (1981), and notes related to a study on minority women in the classroom. Letters collected by Culley’s students (late 18th and early 19th century) have been separated from the collection and designated as manuscript collections.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--WomenUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Women's Studies

Contributors

Culley, Margo
Dincauze, Dena Ferran

Dena Ferran Dincauze Papers

1974-1992
4 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: FS 027

Born in Boston on March 26, 1934, Dena Dincauze earned her doctorate in archaeology from Harvard University (1967) for research on cremation cemeteries in Eastern Massachusetts. Employed briefly as a Lecturer at Harvard, Dincauze joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1967, where she taught until her retirement. Dincauze has conducted field surveys and excavations in Illinois, South Dakota, and England, and for many years, she has specialized on the prehistoric archaeology of eastern and central New England. In 1989, Dincauze traveled to Russia as part of a research exchange to visit Upper Paleolithic sites, and four years later she toured the Pedra Furada sites in Sao Raimundo Nonato, Brazil. Dincauze was named Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Massachusetts in 1989, and in 1997 the Society for American Archaeology presented her with the Distinguished Service Award.

The Dincauze Papers include professional correspondence, slides from archaeological digs, travel journals and field notes, as well as notes for teaching and research. Among other items of interest in the collection are a travel journal with corresponding slides and notes documenting her somewhat controversial visit to Russia, and correspondence with a member of the UMass faculty questioning her ability to carry a full course load while simultaneously attending to the demands of motherhood.

Gift of Dena F. Dincauze, July 2007, Dec. 2016

Subjects

Archaeology--MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Anthropology

Contributors

Dincauze, Dena Ferran
Evans, Cheryl L.

Cheryl L. Evans Papers

1946-2019 Bulk: 1960-2015
3 boxes, 1 oversized folder 3 linear feet
Call no.: RG 050/6 E93

Cheryl Evans singing at Medford High School, ca. 1962

A lifelong activist, performer, and educator, Cheryl Lorraine Evans was born in 1946 in west Medford, MA, the eldest of five. As a high school student, Evans attended the march on Washington in 1963, and was then the first in her family to attend college, in 1964 joining the largest class at UMass Amherst to date. She graduated four years later as a pivotal organizer of African American students across campus, the Five Colleges, and in the region – during the period when Black student groups, the Black Cultural Center, and the Black Studies department all had their origins at UMass. Evans was the first elected president of an African American student organization at UMass, and remains an organizer to this day, particularly as a key connector for Black alumni and through her UMass Black Pioneers Project.

Evans went on to work at UMass as an assistant area coordinator of Orchard Hill, an area housing the majority of the students of color and CCEBS students on campus at the time, and then for the Urban University Program at Rutgers University. She worked for over a decade in early childhood education, mostly in New Jersey and New York City, then while working for the State of Massachusetts received her MA in Communication from Emerson College, partially to help her public radio show, “Black Family Experience.” Evans was the first African American woman to run for City Council in Medford, and was appointed to the Massachusetts Area Planning Council by Governor Dukakis. She taught for five years at Northshore Community College, received her PhD from Old Dominion University in 1997, and ended her career at Bloomfield College, where she was a professor for 18 years until her retirement in 2016. A prolific singer as a child and young adult, Evans was, and continues to be, a performance artist, with several theater pieces focused on Black history, all in addition to her outreach, organizing, and workshops, many focused on increasing the number of Black graduate and doctoral students.

The Cheryl Evans Papers document over 60 years of the life of the educator and activist, including childhood report cards and essays, clippings from the civil rights movement she followed and joined as a high school student, undergraduate records and ephemera, documentation of Black UMass alumni events, and records from her careers in public advocacy, education, and the theater. Evan’s time at UMass is especially well documented, including schoolwork, numerous photographs of student life on campus, social and political organization records, including contact lists of and correspondence with Black students, and the original protest demands from the 1970 Mills House protest and march to Whitmore.

Gift of Cheryl L. Evans, 2018

Subjects

African American college students--MassachusettsAfrican American women teachersUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AlumniUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Students

Types of material

Photographs
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
Hicks, Adeline

Adeline Hicks Papers

1917-1987
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 070

Professor of Physical Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst when it was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College who established the physical education program for women and helped to create the women’s gymnasium and athletic field. In her retirement she composed music that was performed by the University of Arizona orchestra.

Includes musical scores, lesson-plan photographs illustrating instruction in modern dance, correspondence, printed programs for performance of the musical compositions, text of an address, a history of physical education for women at Massachusetts State College by Mrs. Hicks, personnel records, and brief biographical items.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Physical Education

Contributors

Hicks, Adeline
Horrigan, Leonta G.

Leonta G. Horrigan Papers

ca.1936-1986
37 boxes 55.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 114

A member of the Massachusetts State College Class of 1936, Leonta Gertrude Horrigan was affiliated with UMass Amherst throughout her long career in academia. After receiving he MA from Smith College in 1942 for a thesis on DeQuincy and Milton, Horrigan taught creative writing, composition, among writing classes, to UMass undergraduates, and was frequently singled out as a favorite instructor on campus. In 1964, she was appointed Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and retired to emeritus status in 1986.

The Horrigan Papers contain nearly a half century record of instruction in writing education at UMass, with a wide array of other materials relating to Horrigan’s varied interest, events on campus, and to the evolution of the university in the post-war years.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English

Contributors

Horrigan, Leonta G
Jefferson, Lorian P.

Lorian P. Jefferson Papers

1913-1929
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 072
Depiction of Lorian Jefferson, photo by Frank Waugh
Lorian Jefferson, photo by Frank Waugh

An historian of economics specializing in American agriculture, Lorian Pamela Jefferson was one of the first women in the field and became an expert on New England agricultural industry. Born in 1871 near Necedah, Wisconsin, Jefferson earned her B.L. from Lawrence University in 1892 and her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1907, continuing on to study towards her PhD though she never finished her research. Jefferson began working at the University in 1912 as an expert in the Division of Rural Social Science and became a professor of Agricultural Economics in 1915. Known as “Miss J”, Jefferson was a dedicated teacher and published extensively on various aspects of agricultural industry and marketing, including the McIntosh apple market and the agricultural labor movement. Illness forced Jefferson’s retirement from the University in 1935 and she died shortly thereafter.

Industry reports, farm and community market assessments, and many of her published articles make up the majority of the collection. There is also a bound volume of correspondence and pamphlets by Jefferson from 1914 titled “Letters Relating to economic Entomology in the United States.” Among the published work is a copy of the magazine Farm and Garden from April, 1924.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Agricultural Economics

Contributors

Jefferson, Lorian P
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