Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Oral history (20 collections)
SCUA

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2

Archambault, Richard

Ashfield Oral History Collection, 1968-1969.
1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 042

Richard Archambault conducted interviews of various citizens of Ashfield, Massachusetts, under the direction of Joel Halpern of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Anthropology Department. Contains copies of typed notes from interviews, as well as names of the citizens who were interviewed.

Subjects
  • Ashfield (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Archambault, Richard
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Avakian, Arlene Voski

Arlene Voski Avakian Papers, 1974-2010.
14 boxes (21 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 150

Arlene Avakian
Arlene Avakian

Arlene Avakian arrived at UMass in 1972 as a graduate student working on the social history of American women, but quickly became a key figure in the creation of the university’s new program in Women’s Studies. As she completed her MA in History (1975) and EdD (1985), she helped in the early organization of the program, later joining the faculty as professor and program director. Through her research and teaching, she contributed to an engaging departmental culture in which the intersection of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality were placed at the center, building the program over the course of 35 years into the nationally-recognized Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Avakian has written and taught on topics ranging from the lives and experiences of Armenian American and African American women to culinary history and the construction of whiteness. She retired in May 2011.

Documenting the growth and development of Women’s Studies at UMass Amherst, the collection includes valuable material on the creation of the department (and Women’s Studies more generally), second- and third-wave feminism, and Avakian’s teaching and research. The collection includes a range of correspondence, memoranda, notes, and drafts of articles, along with several dozen oral historical interviews with Armenian American women. Also noteworthy is the extensive documentation of ABODES, the Amherst Based Organization to Develop Equitable Shelter, which established the Pomeroy Lane Cooperative Housing Community in South Amherst in 1994.

Subjects
  • ABODES
  • Armenian American women
  • Cornell University. Program in Female Studies
  • Feminism
  • Housing, Cooperative
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Zoryan Institute
Contributors
  • Avakian, Arlene Voski
Types of material
  • Audio recordings

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-

Bates Family

Marcia Grover Church Bates Family Papers, 1712-1999.
11 boxes (5.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 424

Generations of the Bates and Church families based in North Amherst and Ashfield, Massachusetts. Papers include deeds, a will, correspondence, account books (recording day-to-day expenditures on food, clothing, postage, housekeeping supplies, and laborer’s wages), diaries, an oral history, photographs, genealogical notes, and memorabilia related to the family.

Subjects
  • Ashfield (Mass.)--History
  • Bates family
  • Church family
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Hotelkeepers--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • Libraries--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnae
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--North Amherst
  • North Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Prescott (Mass.)--History
  • Public librarians--Massachusetts
  • Street-railroads--Massachusetts--Employees
  • Weather--Massachusetts--Ashfield
  • Women--Massachusetts--History
  • Worcester (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Bates, Marcia Church, 1908-2000
  • Church, Cornelia, 1906-1978
  • Church, Lucia Grover, 1877-1943
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Geneaologies
  • Photographs
  • Wills

Brown, Robert E.

Robert E. Brown Southbridge (Mass.) Collection, 1973-1977.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 029

During the mid-1970s, Robert Brown worked as a fifth grade teacher at the West Street School, Southbridge, Mass., while pursuing a graduate degree in anthropology at UMass Amherst under Joel Halpern. Part of Brown’s research involved conducting oral histories with Southbridge families identified as “ethnic,” including Albanian, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, and Puerto Rican, as well as the only African American family in town at the time. Brown published his work in local newspapers and ultimately in the book, The New New Englanders (Worcester, Mass.: Commonwealth Press, 1980).

The Brown collection includes copies of his newspaper articles, profiles of the families he studied, and apparently complete transcripts of two oral history interviews. Also included are copies of two papers by Brown on Southbridge, possibly for an anthropology class, analyzing the education of Puerto Rican students and the lives of Rumanian Americans.

Subjects
  • African Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
  • Greek Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts
  • Italian Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
  • Rumanian Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge
  • Southbridge (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Brown, Robert E
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Craig, Edward Gordon

Edward Gordon Craig Oral History Collection, Undated.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 344

Born in 1872, Edward Gordon Craig was the illegitimate son of architect Edward Godwin and actress Ellen Terry. Craig worked as an actor, producer, director, and scenic designer throughout Europe, and is known for his innovations in staging and lighting.

Reel to reel audio tapes of Edward Gordon Craig including his reminiscences of Ellen Terry, Isadora Duncan, the old school of acting, celebrities he met, and how he played Hamlet in Salford, Lancashire.

Subjects
  • Actors--Great Britain
  • Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927
  • Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928
Contributors
  • Craig, Edward Gordon
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Deary, Tom

Tom Deary Papers, ca. 1970-2006.
9 boxes (12.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 526

Tom Deary was an union organizer for the IUE, serving on the executive board of Local 201 at the GE Plant in Lynn, Massachusetts. Involved in the 1969-1970 strike, Deary joined the IUE staff in 1971 and served for 30 years as an organizer, negotiator, and strike leader in the northeast and southern states. Frequently at odds with union careerists, he built a small labor newspaper in the 1980s into one with a regional focus, New England Labor News and Commentary.

The Deary papers include organizer reports, correspondence, IUE election campaign literature, and oral histories and videotapes. Letters, financial records, and business plans document Deary’s establishment of a regional labor newspaper, the New England Labor News and Commentary.

Subjects
  • Labor unions--New England
  • Labor unions--Organizing--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--History--20th century
Contributors
  • Deary, Tom

Duckert, Audrey R.

Audrey R. Duckert Quabbin Valley Oral History Collection, 1966-1980.
53 items
Call no.: MS 756

The linguist Audrey R. Duckert was a pioneer in the study of American regional English. Born in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, Duckert studied dialect at the University of Wisconsin, and after completing her doctorate at Radcliffe College in 1959, she joined the faculty at UMass Amherst. During her forty year career at UMass, Duckert became a founding member of the Dictionary of American Regional English (1965) and she was the first UMass woman admitted to Phi Beta Kappa. In addition to her linguistic work, she developed an avid interest in local history and was involved with several local historical societies, including the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem.

The Duckert oral history collection consists of a series of 53 audiocassette recordings containing interviews with persons displaced when the Swift River Valley was flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir in 1939. The histories include rich recollections of life in the towns of Greenwich, Enfield, Dana, and Prescott, with village life, education, family, and the changes that accompanied the inundation of the region. The original audiocassettes are in the possession of the Swift River Valley Historical Society.

Subjects
  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Enfield (Mass.)--History
  • Greenwich (Mass.)--History
  • Prescott (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir (Mass.)
  • Swift River Valley (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Duckert, Audrey R.
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Franco-Americans in Massachusetts

Franco-American Oral History Collection, 1980-1984.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 123

With a population of nearly a million French Americans, Massachusetts bears witness to the largest continental migration experienced in the Northeast. Under a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy, 44 interviews of Franco Americans in the region were conducted from August 8, 1982 to January 18, 1983.

These interviews document the lives of those individuals, covering a period beginning in the late nineteenth century through 1984.

Subjects
  • French Americans--Massachusetts
Types of material
  • Oral histories

Inglis, David R.

David R. Inglis Papers, 1929-2003 (Bulk: 1946-1980).
12 boxes (5.75 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 033

David R. Inglis at Argonne N.L., ca.1953
David R. Inglis at Argonne N.L., ca.1953

David R. Inglis enjoyed a distinguished career in nuclear physics that ranged from theoretical work on the structure of the nucleus in the 1930s to the development of the atomic bomb in the 1940s and work on renewable energy in the 1960s and 1970s. A Professor of Physics at UMass from 1969-1975, Inglis was a founding member of the Federation of American Scientists and from the mid-1940s on, he dedicated himself to informing public policy on the dangers of nuclear technologies.

The Inglis Papers offer a perspective on the life and career of a theoretical physicist who grew from an early involvement in the Manhattan Project to becoming a committed critic of nuclear weaponry and nuclear power. Although the collection is relatively sparse in unpublished scientific work, it includes valuable correspondence relating to Inglis’s efforts with the Federation of American Scientists and other organizations to influence public policy on issues relating to disarmament and nuclear power.

Subjects
  • Allegiance--United States
  • Argonne National Laboratories
  • Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Nuclear disarmament
  • Nuclear energy
  • Nuclear warfare
  • Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
  • Physics--Massachusetts
  • United States--History--1945-1953
  • United States--History--1953-1961
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Physics
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Institute for Man and His Environment
  • World Association of World Federalists
  • World Federation of Scientific Workers
Contributors
  • Bohr, Aage
  • Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-
  • Teller, Edward, 1908-2003
  • Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995
Types of material
  • Laboratory notes
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs

Special Collections and University Archives logo