Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Arts & literature (116 collections)
SCUA

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Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers, ca.1930-2007.
(25 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 127

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.

Subjects
  • African-American theater
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater
Contributors
  • Abramson, Doris E.

Aczel, Tamas

Tamas Aczel Papers, ca.1950-1994.
18 boxes (26 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 031

Born on Dec. 1, 1921, to a middle class family, Tamas Aczel became affiliated with leftist politics in Hungary prior to the Second World War, joining the Party after. With degrees in literature from Peter Pazmany University (BA 1948) and Eotvos Lorent University (MA 1950), Aczel quickly established a reputation as a literary talent, publishing seven novels and winning the Kossuth Prize (1949) and Stalin Prize for Literature (1952). During this period, he became disenchanted with the Communist government and during the short-lived rebellion in 1956, he served as press secretary for Prime Minister Imre Nagy. When Nagy was deposed, Aczel escaped through Yugoslavia to Austria and then England. In 1966, he was invited to teach modern European literature at UMass, where he became Director of the MFA program (1978-1982). Aczel died in 1994, leaving his wife Olga A. Gyarmati (an Olympic gold medalist in the long jump, 1948) and son Thomas.

The Aczel collection consists primarily of numerous drafts of several novels, including The Hunt (1990), Illuminations (1981), and Ice Age (1965), along with other writing, translations, some student essays, and autobiographical material. Some material is in Hungarian.

Subjects
  • Authors--Massachusetts
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Aczel, Tamas

Agha, Shahid Ali, 1949-

Shahid Ali Agha Collection, 1972-1979.
2 vols. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 636

A poet and translator of Kashmiri descent, Agha Shahid was raised in a household where poetry was recited in Persian, Urdu, Hindi, and English. Born in New Delhi on February 4, 1949, he was educated at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar, and University of Delhi, earning earned a doctorate in English from Pennsylvania State University in 1984 and an MFA from the University of Arizona in 1985. The author of nine volumes of poetry, and widely anthologized, Ali was on faculty in the MFA Program at University of Massachusetts Amherst, when he died of brain cancer in December, 2001.

This small collection contains copies of Ali’s first two books, Bone-Sculpture (1972) and In Memory of Begum Akhtar (1979), a self-produced chapbook, and a rough manuscript of poems. All are inscribed to his colleague and friend Zabelle Stodola.

Subjects
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Agha, Shahid Ali, 1949-

Allman, Timothy

Timothy Allman Papers, 1976-1983.
5 boxes (2.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 060

Journalist, news editor, and author of Unmanifest Destiny: Mayhem and Illusion in American Foreign Policy — From the Monroe Doctrine to Reagan’s War in El Salvador (1984).

Includes notes on observations and interviews, background material including press releases, reports, transcripts of speeches and congressional committee hearings testimony, and articles and pamphlets that concern El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, and Panama, and focus on the Church, guerrillas, dissent, terrorism, and foreign policies of presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Subjects
  • Central America--Foreign relations--United States
  • El Salvador--History--1979-1992
  • Guatemala--History--1945-1982
  • Honduras--History--1982-
  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990
  • United States--Foreign relations--Central America
Contributors
  • Allman, Timothy

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Russell K. Alspach Papers, 1950-1978.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 025

Russel K. Alspach earned his PhD in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught English from 1924-1942. After four years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent eighteen years as head of the Department of English at West Point Military Academy before retiring in 1965 with the rank of Brigadier General. A specialist in Irish literature with wide ranging interests running from William Butler Yeats to Percy Blythe Shelley and William Faulkner, Alspach published prolifically throughout his career. He took a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, but hardly retired, eventually becoming Head of the Department of English, and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

The Alspach Papers consist of professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Russell K. Alspach. The small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
  • Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939
Contributors
  • Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records, 1989-2005.
18 boxes (27 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects
  • Music--17th century
  • Music--18th century
  • Musicians--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Arcadia Players

Barnard, Ellsworth, 1907-

Ellsworth Barnard Papers, 1924-2004.
(12.25 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 002

Ellsworth “Dutchy” Barnard attended Massachusetts Agricultural College, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1928. Barnard began teaching college English in 1930 at Massachusetts State College. In the fall of 1957 he took a position at Northern Michigan University (NMU). As chairman of the English department, Barnard presided over a selection committee which brought the first African-American faculty member to NMU. During the 1967-1968 academic year, he led the faculty and student body in protesting the dismissal of Bob McClellan, a history professor. Although the effort to reappoint McClellan was successful, Barnard had already tendered his resignation at NMU and returned to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the 1968-1969 academic year. He ended his career at UMass as the Ombudsperson, the first to fill that office. Barnard retired in 1973 and lived in Amherst until his death in December 2003.

Barnard’s papers document his distinguished career as an English professor and author, as well as his social activism, particularly on behalf of the environment. They consist of course materials, personal and professional correspondence, drafts of essays, lectures and chapters, published works, a collection of political mailings, a number of artifacts both from the University of Massachusetts and other educational institutions and organizations, and a number of poems by Barnard and others.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
Contributors
  • Barnard, Ellsworth., 1907-

Bergman, Borah

Borah Bergman Papers, ca. 1970-2012.
30 boxes (20 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 806

Born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Borah Bergman emerged late in life as a renown free jazz pianist and technical innovator. While teaching math and English in the New York public school system, Bergman developed an ambidextrous technique, or as he described it, “ambi-ideation.” This technique allowed Bergman to express ideas with equal intensity using both his right and left hands and provided the framework for an evolving and truly unique musical philosophy and body of work. Since his first recording, released in 1975 at the age of 49, Bergman appeared on 28 albums, both solo and with some of the most important figures in avant-garde jazz, and was active until his death in 2012.

The Borah Bergman Papers include hundreds of hours of Bergman’s personal recordings on reel-to-reel tapes. According to Bergman, these recordings comprise his greatest achievement and demonstrate the development of his technique and musical ideas. In addition to the personal recordings are a wide variety of Bergman’s performances in studio and with other musicians. Bergman’s work is also documented in notebooks, scores, fiction manuscripts, and an unpublished textbook on his ambi-ideation technique.

Subjects
  • Free Jazz--United States
  • Jazz musicians--United States
Types of material
  • Scores
  • Sound recordings

Bestor, Charles

Charles Bestor Papers, 1971-2002.
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 035

Composer and presently the Professor of Composition and Director of the Electronic and Computer Music Studios of the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has taught at Juilliard School of Music and numerous other universities, won international awards for his music, and collaborated with contemporary installation artists. Includes scores and sound recordings for two of his compositions, Suite for Alto Saxophone and Percussion and In the Shell of the Ear, as well as correspondence, concert programs, and reviews all relating to the publication and performance of the works.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance
Contributors
  • Bestor, Charles

Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

Philip Bezanson Papers, 1946-1980.
9 boxes
Call no.: FS 040

Composer and professor of music, University of Iowa and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Correspondence, scores and parts for instrumental and vocal compositions, sound recordings, programs and posters for performances of Bezanson’s works (1951-1980), sound recordings and other papers relating to development, performance, and publication of Bezanson’s compositions. Includes papers related to the development of the opera Golden Child, broadcast on national television and written in collaboration with Paul Engle; and score of the opera Stranger in Eden, with libretto by William R. Reardon.

Subjects
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance
Contributors
  • Bezanson, Philip, 1916-1975

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