Special Collections and University Archives, Du Bois Library, UMass Amherst

Special Collections and University Archives, Du Bois Library, UMass Amherst Welcome to SCUA, the archive of social change.

Operating as usual

During Wintersession, SCUA's reading room will continue to be open to UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, by app...
12/09/2020

During Wintersession, SCUA's reading room will continue to be open to UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, by appointment, Tuesday through Friday. For appointments: https://libcal.library.umass.edu/reserve/scua

Please note that our reading room will close on December 24, and as of December 25, UMass Amherst will be closed, with SCUA staff taking time off, until we are back online on January 4.

Photograph, horses in the horse barn, undated, University Photograph Collection

Students really make UMass Amherst and the UMass Amherst Libraries what they are. Sometimes literally! Back in the 1980s...
12/04/2020

Students really make UMass Amherst and the UMass Amherst Libraries what they are. Sometimes literally! Back in the 1980s, the students in these photos were among the cohort who participated in Mass Transformation, a mass volunteer effort to renew the interior of the Tower Library (as it was then known).

We want to give a special shout-out to the many student workers who have helped with the on-site COVID-19 testing; SCUAns are impressed by and appreciate your efficiency and good cheer!

Photographs, ca. 1986-1987, University Photograph Collection

SCUA wishes the awesome students of UMass Amherst well on finals! Please enjoy a few pictures of students studying in Du...
12/02/2020

SCUA wishes the awesome students of UMass Amherst well on finals! Please enjoy a few pictures of students studying in Du Bois Library in the ca.1980s*-1990s. It has not been *that* long since we've seen you, but it sure feels like it.

*One or two may be from the 1970s; they are undated, and hair and fashion are not always obvious clues, even to those of us who lived through those decades.

All photos, University Photograph Collection.

SCUA wishes you a happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for our many friends, from researchers to donors, from our library...
11/25/2020

SCUA wishes you a happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for our many friends, from researchers to donors, from our library colleagues to our colleagues all across the UMass Amherst campus. Thank you for your interest in and support of SCUA and of archives.

Photograph, Thanksgiving celebration, ca. 1950, International Center for the Disabled Records.

SCUA's reading room will be *closed* this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, although some staff may be working remotel...
11/24/2020

SCUA's reading room will be *closed* this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, although some staff may be working remotely and available by email. We'll resume our current regular pandemic-informed schedule on Tuesday, December 1.

Photograph, the college store, in the basement of North College, June 1937. University Photograph Collection. Standing approximately where Thompson Hall is now, North College was one of the first campus buildings, and it served many different functions over the years--including as a men's dormitory, and later a classroom building. It was torn down in 1957.

SCUA and the Libraries announce the recent publication of Pen Pal: Prison Letters from a Free Spirit on Slow Death Row, ...
11/23/2020
UMass Amherst Libraries Share News of Publication: ‘Pen Pal: Prison Letters from a Free Spirit on Slow Death Row’ by Tiyo Attallah Salah-El

SCUA and the Libraries announce the recent publication of Pen Pal: Prison Letters from a Free Spirit on Slow Death Row, comprising letters of Tiyo Attallah Salah-El. Tiyo's papers are part of SCUA's collections thanks most especially to activist and advocate Lois Ahrens of the Real Cost of Prisons Project.

The press release includes links to the finding aid for Tiyo's papers and how to order a copy of the book.

It's the last day of classes of the fall 2020 semester, and what a semester it has been. What a year. We SCUAns have lea...
11/20/2020

It's the last day of classes of the fall 2020 semester, and what a semester it has been. What a year. We SCUAns have learned--not for the first time but it's a lesson that bears repeating--how important it is to support each other, so we can accomplish what we want to accomplish--or even just so we can keep our balance. We wish UMass Amherst's students especially, along with all of the extended SCUA family, good balance and safe activities during the upcoming Thanksgiving break.

Photograph, counselors and campers at Camp Enajerog, Wilmington, Vermont, 1926, University Photograph Collection. The camp was directed by Harold M. Gore, Professor of Physical Education at Massachusetts Agricultural College.

News of the Upton Bell Collection, which recently came to SCUA, and some of which is on display in our reading room! In-...
11/18/2020

News of the Upton Bell Collection, which recently came to SCUA, and some of which is on display in our reading room! In-person visits are still restricted, but anyone can enjoy the web exhibit created by SCUA's own sport innovation archivist, Kirstin Kay.

http://exhibits.library.umass.edu/scua/s/upton-bell/page/welcome

UMass Amherst Libraries and Special Collections and University Archives, Du Bois Library, UMass Amherst have just acquired historic sports artifacts from former NFL Exec Upton Bell, including a Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl Ring and early NFL items from his father Commissioner Bert Bell! 🏈 https://bit.ly/3kCTdJW

The fall 2020 semester is in its last weeks. For the foreseeable future, SCUA's reading room will continue to be open by...
11/12/2020

The fall 2020 semester is in its last weeks. For the foreseeable future, SCUA's reading room will continue to be open by appointment to UMass Amherst students, staff, and faculty only. If that does not describe you, you may still email us--the best way to reach us--and we will do our best to help you with your research needs. We and our library colleagues--and many of our colleagues across campus--are affected by mandated furloughs both short and long, a situation that brings practical challenges to doing our work and has an impact on morale and livelihoods. We appreciate your support and understanding.

Photograph, Dean of the School of Education Dwight W. Allen in a hot-air balloon, with a sign, "Quality Education or Bust!," ca. 1973, University Photograph Collection

SCUA and the UMass Amherst Libraries will be closed for Veterans' Day, on November 11, and SCUAns will be observing the ...
11/10/2020

SCUA and the UMass Amherst Libraries will be closed for Veterans' Day, on November 11, and SCUAns will be observing the holiday and not working, even from our remote outposts. We honor those who have served in the military and those who continue to serve.

Photo of Vietnam veterans, in Exeter, RI, 2006, Kathy Borchers Photojournalism Collection

After this most recent presidential election, SCUAns are looking to the future...but, of course, we're also looking back...
11/09/2020

After this most recent presidential election, SCUAns are looking to the future...but, of course, we're also looking back, at images we have of some of the past presidents of the United States. This bipartisan group comes from an assortment of SCUA's collections, noted in each image caption.

In October 1936, a new women's athletic field was dedicated, and the program included "The Pageant of Field Construction...
11/06/2020

In October 1936, a new women's athletic field was dedicated, and the program included "The Pageant of Field Construction," a modern-dance depiction of the project. Construction was made possible by state and federal government funding--which enabled other campus building projects of the 1930s including Goodell Library--so Uncle Sam made his (or her) appearance in the show.

Photograph, 1936, University Photograph Collection.

Information gathered from the Massachusetts Collegian, October 22, 1936, and the Trustee Minutes.

"They should especially vote for local officials and on local issues when they get a chance, and they should form politi...
11/03/2020
Young voters, ca. September 1932

"They should especially vote for local officials and on local issues when they get a chance, and they should form political organizations with the specific object of equalizing taxation, stopping discrimination in civil life and stopping discrimination in appropriations for streets, schools and parks; increasing efforts in sanitation, and getting rid of venal and prejudiced public officials."
From W. E. B. Du Bois's advice to young Black voters, ca. September 1932, W. E. B. Du Bois Papers #vote
https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/full/mums312-b211-i075

Typed draft of article published in the Crisis encouraging "young colored men" to vote and discussing the difficulties in voting as a "colored person."

Sharing this hopeful quote from Du Bois that we posted four years ago, about what we are voting for. #vote "The object o...
11/03/2020
The Negro voter [fragment], ca. 1956

Sharing this hopeful quote from Du Bois that we posted four years ago, about what we are voting for. #vote

"The object of voting is to make a better government.... Government has to do with life in every aspect: work, income, housing, health, recreation, crime; schools, travel, food, and clothes. Your vote if intelligently cast can influence each one of these matters in different ways...."
(W. E. B. Du Bois, 1956, from the James Aronson-W. E. B. Du Bois Collection)

SCUA wishes you a happy Halloween! We may not be going to any Halloween parties this year, unlike the revelers in these ...
10/30/2020

SCUA wishes you a happy Halloween! We may not be going to any Halloween parties this year, unlike the revelers in these photos, and we surely won't be toilet-papering anyone's trees (we'd never do that anyway!), but we hope to enjoy some treats nonetheless, and we hope you do, too. Boo!

All photos, Halloween party, October 28, 1955, International Center for the Disabled Records. Digitized as part of the Visibility for Disability project, sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

10/29/2020
UMass Amherst

For fans of Old Chapel and UMass history--and ICYMI--this short film from a few years ago tells the story of the building, and it features an array of photos and other materials from SCUA.

We are happy to present this exclusive new mini-documentary showcasing the past, present, and future of UMass Amherst's Old Chapel, featuring interviews with members of the UMass Amherst community and rarely seen material from the university archives. The video was produced by Elizabeth Wilda '93, assisted by Gustavo Rodriguez ’18.

For more about the history and recent renovation of Old Chapel, see "Something Old, Something New," in the Summer 2017 issue of UMass magazine, now online at http://www.umass.edu/magazine/summer-2017/something-old-something-new

This just in: Amherst Cinema is extending their virtual run of Bill Lichtenstein's film "WBCN and The American Revolutio...
10/28/2020
WBCN and the American Revolution | Amherst Cinema

This just in: Amherst Cinema is extending their virtual run of Bill Lichtenstein's film "WBCN and The American Revolution" to November 5! Go to the Amherst Cinema website to find out how to watch.

WBCN and the American Revolution Virtual Cinema 124 mins.Directed by Bill Lichtenstein2020 Playing through October 29. Platform: Amherst Cinema via Agile Ticketing Ticket details: $10.75 general admission, $7.50 Amherst Cinema Members // 30 days to start watching // three days to finish once start...

This just in: Amherst Cinema is extending their virtual run of Bill Lichtenstein's film "WBCN and The American Revolutio...
10/28/2020
WBCN and the American Revolution | Amherst Cinema

This just in: Amherst Cinema is extending their virtual run of Bill Lichtenstein's film "WBCN and The American Revolution" to November 5! Go to the Amherst Cinema website to find out how to watch.

WBCN and the American Revolution Virtual Cinema 124 mins.Directed by Bill Lichtenstein2020 Playing through October 29. Platform: Amherst Cinema via Agile Ticketing Ticket details: $10.75 general admission, $7.50 Amherst Cinema Members // 30 days to start watching // three days to finish once start...

UMass Amherst has been celebrating Homecoming 2020 @ Home all week! SCUA misses the joy and fervor of so many alumni and...
10/23/2020

UMass Amherst has been celebrating Homecoming 2020 @ Home all week! SCUA misses the joy and fervor of so many alumni and their families visiting campus and mingling with current students. We are mostly at home ourselves these days. But SCUAns continue to connect with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and researchers from all over, thanks to the virtual miracles of technology. Our website, our digital repository, Zoom, email--all of these help us bring our goods and services to you, no matter where you or we are. Go UMass! #UMassHomecoming

Crowd at Homecoming football game, 1960s, University Photograph Collection

A very happy birthday to alumnus Ken Feinberg '67! Our friend Ken is known for his tireless work mediating some of the m...
10/23/2020

A very happy birthday to alumnus Ken Feinberg '67! Our friend Ken is known for his tireless work mediating some of the most complex and heart-wrenching legal disputes of our time, often confronting fundamental questions of the value of human life. As a UMass student, he was among other things a history major, an actor, and--shown here, kneeling in the front row on the right--manager of the basketball team. #UMassHomecoming

Basketball team, 1964-1965, University Photograph Collection

Once upon a time, you could walk out of the library and into a football game or practice. Back then, 1894 or thereabouts...
10/22/2020

Once upon a time, you could walk out of the library and into a football game or practice. Back then, 1894 or thereabouts, the library was located in Old Chapel--not yet called "Old"--and "Homecoming" was not yet a tradition. Although football has been played at Mass Aggie since the 1870s, we believe the first Homecoming game was played in 1946. #UMassHomecoming

Photographs of football outside Old Chapel and South College, 1894, Newton Shultis Papers.

Tune in tonight at 7:30 for a live and lively conversation with "WBCN and The American Revolution" filmmaker Bill Lichte...
10/21/2020
WBCN and the American Revolution: Live Q&A with Producer Bill Lichenstein

Tune in tonight at 7:30 for a live and lively conversation with "WBCN and The American Revolution" filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein, WBCN original DJs Tommy Hadges and Norm Winer, and SCUA's own Aaron Rubinstein as your host. This event is part of #UMassHomecoming; register for Homecoming (on this website shown here) and select this event to attend.

The film will be available to stream through Amherst Cinema through October 29. Support your local, independent movie theaters and filmmakers!

WBCN and the American Revolution

10/20/2020
Amherst Cinema

Watch the trailer for "WBCN and The American Revolution" right here! Watch the film streaming via Amherst Cinema...and join the filmmaker, SCUA, and friends on Wednesday evening 10/21 for even more.

WBCN AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION presents the amazing, untold story of the radical underground radio station WBCN-FM, set against the dazzling and profound social, political, and cultural changes that took place in Boston and nationally during the late-1960s and early-70s. Watch it now in our Virtual Cinema, and then join the virtual panel discussion this Wednesday, October 21, presented by Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Watch the film and get more info on the panel here: https://amherstcinema.org/films-and-events/wbcn-and-american-revolution

It's #UMassHomecoming week, and SCUAns are feeling a little nostalgic (maybe even more than usual). We're taking a look ...
10/20/2020

It's #UMassHomecoming week, and SCUAns are feeling a little nostalgic (maybe even more than usual). We're taking a look back at some of the places Mass Aggie, Mass State, and UMass students have called home over the years: their dorm rooms.

The SCUA family salutes virtual visitors to UMass Amherst Family Weekend! We regret not being able to welcome you to our...
10/16/2020

The SCUA family salutes virtual visitors to UMass Amherst Family Weekend! We regret not being able to welcome you to our reading room this year, but we hope you will find connection and camaraderie nonetheless. SCUA has abundant resources on our website and in our online digital repository, Credo (https://credo.library.umass.edu/). Questions about UMass history? Email the archivists at [email protected]

Photo of Frank A. Waugh, influential professor (and founder of the department) of landscape architecture, and his extended family, ca. 1938-39, University Photograph Collection.

Today is National Dessert Day, or so we hear, so we give you this photograph from the 1930s of Dairy Industry students i...
10/14/2020

Today is National Dessert Day, or so we hear, so we give you this photograph from the 1930s of Dairy Industry students in Flint Laboratory doing the important work of making ice cream.

University Photograph Collection

On Monday, October 12, SCUA will be closed, and SCUA staff will be taking the day off for the holiday still widely obser...
10/09/2020
County Court, Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and Court of General Sessions of the Peace, Vol. 01, 1677–1728

On Monday, October 12, SCUA will be closed, and SCUA staff will be taking the day off for the holiday still widely observed as Columbus Day but increasingly as Indigenous Peoples Day. We’ll be back in our remote saddles on Tuesday, with the reading room operating on our current schedule.

How we tell history matters, and whose stories we tell matters. As in many archives, SCUA’s few records connected to local Native American populations contain the points of view of white settlers. The first volume of the Hampshire Council of Governments court records begins soon after the end of King Philip’s War, and its cases include rumors of sightings of “Indians” and of settlers selling liquor to them (people spreading such rumors—or lying—and selling liquor without a license were punished severely). We know the names and a little about the lives of many settlers who came before the court or who appear in other documentation, but there are so many other lives that we don’t have records of. History and the historic record matter and must be preserved, but records must be read and understood with context and care, with gaps acknowledged and—when possible—filled.

https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/full/mums704-i7728

W E B Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst
10/08/2020

W E B Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst

Our friends in the UMass Amherst AfroAm Department are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this month! Visit their website to learn more and register for their virtual symposium (October 22-24) https://blogs.umass.edu/afroam50th/

Are you UMass Amherst student, staff, or faculty? SCUA's reading room is currently open to you! Appointments are require...
10/01/2020

Are you UMass Amherst student, staff, or faculty? SCUA's reading room is currently open to you! Appointments are required (at least 24 hours in advance: https://libcal.library.umass.edu/reserve/scua), and we are operating with limited hours, capacity, and onsite staff, but SCUA staff are excited to get out from behind our computers and haul out our physical collections for you to explore in the socially-distanced comfort of our 25th-floor reading room. Questions? email us: [email protected].

Photograph, ca. 1900, University Photograph Collection

"...I can see no future for mankind until they are emancipated from the present power of concentrated wealth." Du Bois n...
09/28/2020
Letter from W. E. B. Du Bois to Henry Herrick Bond, December 29, 1932

"...I can see no future for mankind until they are emancipated from the present power of concentrated wealth." Du Bois noted the ability of wealthier tax-payers to hire lawyers to keep their tax burden down and called the Republican party "the great refuge of corporations and rich men."

Letter from December 29, 1932, W. E. B. Du Bois Papers

Written in response to Bond's letter (mums312-b190-i184), Du Bois argues that "we have a political system by which favorable laws and sympathetic administration of them depend upon corporation payments into the coffers of political parties; of course, most of the great taxpayers are Republicans, bec...

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General information

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the UMass Amherst Libraries is a center for research into the history and impact of social change and the history of New England. With substantial holdings in African American history and culture, social and racial justice, agriculture, the environment, and organized labor, the Department houses approximately 30,000 rare books, nationally significant manuscript collections, historic maps, and the official records of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SCUA supports the work of a wide range of researchers, from undergraduates to senior scholars, and from journalists to family historians. It is a growing collection used by an international audience of students, academics, and other members of the general public. SCUA collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value in three major categories: the history and experience of social change in America, the histories and cultures of New England, and the history of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Beyond these major collecting areas, SCUA has developed depth in areas as diverse as the Revolutionary-era France and Belgium (1789-1848), Scottish literature, the history of protistology, the American study of Japanese culture, East Germany and Cold War-era Poland, and the literature of American Socialism.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(413) 545-7282

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This video presentation on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” just passed 160,000 views. People are strongly encouraged to take time with it (the focus on Allen and his work runs from 9:30 to 1:24:23). You can stop it anywhere and come back later) and share it with others. PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS. See https://youtu.be/2Gq77rOuZck SPECIAL SALE –30% off paperback (with free ebook) from Verso Books of Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. 2 "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (expanded with new introductions and study guide) https://www.versobooks.com/books/1048-the-invention-of-the-white-race-volume-2 See also https://www.jeffreybperry.net/6__the_invention_of_the_br_white_race__b___font___font___i__br_volume_2__br__i_th_116387.htm For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at http://www.jeffreybperry.net (on Allen see pp. 1-5, 8-12, 30-115) See also https://www.jeffreybperry.net/4__theodore_w__allen_br___b___font___font___center__86151.htm Theodore W. Allen’s Papers have been placed at the UMass – Amherst Archives where they are currently being processed with much planned digitization and will stand along with the Papers of W.E.B. Du Bois and others. See the preliminary posting here -- http://scua.library.umass.edu/umarmot/allen-theodore-w-1919-2005/ For information on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (expanded with new introductions and study guide) See https://www.jeffreybperry.net/5__the_invention_of_the_br_white_race__b___font___font___i__br_volume_1__br__i_ra_116386.htm For information on the forthcoming Jeffrey B. Perry, “Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927” see https://cup.columbia.edu/book/hubert-harrison/9780231182638 where the book can be ordered from Columbia University Press at a 20% discount by using coupon code CUP20
~ No falcons?
Research for a minor short story led me to discover your page on the Civil War diaries of Alonzo Allen Peasley - my research on the Boston Cholera epidemic of 1849 started with his Mother Eliza Burgess Peasley who apparently died in birthing her third child (a daughter) in April 1849 - the "Vital Records of the Town of Dorchester (Boston) 1826-1849" lists the marriage of Harrison & Eliza in March of 1837, then the birth of Alonzo A. as July 6, 1839 - not March 30th as stated in your historical outline. Also, there were only three births registered to Harrison & Eliza (your information uses the phrase "at least four") - Alonzo Allen b.07/06/1839; Ellery Augustus b.05/23/1847, and Eliza Emeline approx b.04/10/1849 (Alonzo's Mother Eliza's death is registered as 04/02/1849, so there may have been a delay in registering the birth of the daughter Eliza, who subsequently died 10/03/1849) - I hope these details can be investigated for the benefit of accuracy in your information on Alonzo's Diaries