Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Politics & governance (49 collections)
SCUA

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Amherst (Mass.)

Amherst Town Records, ca.1750-1860.
3 reels (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 338 mf

Incorporated in 1775, Amherst was settled by Massachusetts Bay colonists who moved west, first to the Springfield area, then to Amherst. The microfilm records of the town consist of tax and valuation lists.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
Types of material
  • Microfilm

Amherst Growth Study Committee, Inc.

Amherst Growth Study Committee Records, 1971-1974.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 543

In May 1971 Otto Paparazzo Associates announced their plans to develop 640 acres of land in East Amherst upon which a proposed 2,200 residential units, a commercial center, and a golf course would be built. Concerned about unnatural growth of the community and about the effect such a development would have on the environment, a group of residents formed the Amherst Growth Study Committee within a few months of the announcement. Despite these concerns, the Zoning Board of Appeals issued a formal permit for construction in December 1971, which the AGSC immediately appealed. Even though the group was unable to overturn the zoning board’s decision, they did achieve their ends, in part, when state and town agencies prevented the project from moving forward due to an overloaded sewage system. More importantly, the group increased public awareness about growth and housing in the town of Amherst.

Records include notes from AGSC meetings, correspondence, and newspaper clippings documenting coverage of the story in local papers.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)--History
  • Amherst (Mass.)--Politics and government
Contributors
  • Amherst Growth Study Committee, Inc

Angelo, William J.

William J. Angelo Papers, 1973-1990.
5 boxes (2.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 441

As a staffer for Congressman Silvio Conte, Angelo researched numerous small business and economic development issues, both for constituents and for national legislation, prepared subcommittee and committee hearings, and wrote numerous articles and floor statements for Conte. The collection provides an overview of Conte’s work with and for small businesses, as well as Angelo’s contributions to the Small Business Act.

Subjects
  • Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Small business--Laws and Legislation
  • United States. Congress
Contributors
  • Angelo, William J
Types of material
  • Bills (legislative records)
  • Letters (Correspondence)

Argentina

Argentine Political Ephemera Collection, 1930-1974.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 359

Operating in the grey area between publicity and propaganda, political ephemera greatly influenced popular opinion. The Argentine Political Ephemera Collection contains numerous documents fairly evenly spread between 1930 and 1974, providing a unique overview into five decades of political development in the South American nation. In particular, the collection includes pamphlets, transcripts of speeches, posters, broadsides, news clippings, campaign literature, and memorabilia pertaining to Juan and Eva Peron and the Partido Justicialista.

Subjects
  • Argentina--Politics and government--20th century
Types of material
  • Broadsides
  • Ephemera
  • Posters

Bartels, Elmer C.

Elmer C. Bartels Papers, 1965-2010.
8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 817

As the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for thirty years, Elmer C. Bartels became a national leader on issues related to vocational rehabilitation and independent living for people with disabilities. While studying physics at Colby College in 1960, Bartels broke his neck in an inter-fraternity hockey game, but returned to complete his degree and then to earn an MS at Tufts. While working as a computer programmer at the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at MIT and later at Honeywell, he became involved in coordinating services and access that members of the community needed to survive. To address the range of issues relating to employment, housing, and architectural barriers for people with disabilities, he helped found three significant organizations: the Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs (1964), the Massachusetts Council of Organizations of the Handicapped (a cross-disability organization created in the late 1960s with Harold Remmes) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (1972). Bartels was a key figure in securing passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, considered the first civil-rights statute for persons with disabilities. In 1977, Bartels was appointed to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission by Gov. Michael Dukakis, serving under seven successive administrations, leaving an important mark on public policy. Since leaving the MRC, Bartels has remained active as a teacher and advocate for disability issues.

The Bartels Papers are an important resource for study of the early history of disability advocacy and public policy in Massachusetts. The collection includes a wealth of material on the formation and activity of the Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs, the National Paraplegia Foundation, and the Mass Rehabilitation Commission; correspondence with other leading figures in the disability rights movement; and publications relating to legislation on disability issues, vocational rehabilitation, and independent living.

Subjects
  • People with disabilities--Civil rights
  • People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
Contributors
  • Massaachusetts. Rehabilitation Commission
  • Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs

Brookfield (Mass.). Selectmen

Brookfield (Mass.) Records, 1736-1795.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 595

Settled in 1660 and incorporated in 1718, the town of Brookfield (Worcester County) straddles the Boston Post Road, one of the major arteries during the colonial period connecting Boston with the towns of the Connecticut River Valley and New York.

This assemblage of documents from the town of Brookfield consists primarily of warrants for town meetings, many with agendas, issued through the local constable. Concentrated in the 1770s, these warrants provide relatively detailed information on matters of local importance, including town finances, tax assessments, contributions to the poor house, roadways, and property disputes. During the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary years, however, issues of interest to the town were often wrapped up in regional or national political issues. Town freeholders, for example, were called to consider requests to “come into any Vote or Resolve Respecting the East India Company Tea,” the encouragement of manufacture of firearms, smallpox inoculation, and pay for the town’s Minute Men.

Subjects
  • Brookfield (Mass.)--History--18th century
  • Smallpox
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Contributors
  • Forster, Jedediah
Types of material
  • Warrants

Citizens for Participation in Political Action. Franklin and Hampshire Counties

CPPAX Franklin and Hampshire Chapter Records, 1991-1999.
2 boxes (2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 558

Founded in 1962, the mission of Citizens for Participation in Political Action (CPPAX) was to increase citizen involvement in politics and policy making, and to promote social and economic justice both within the U.S. and globally through U.S. foreign policy. The Franklin and Hampshire Counties chapter of CPPAX has been active in a number of issues of both local and national significance.

Minutes of meetings, subject files, and newsletters reveal issues of importance to the local chapter of CPPAX, issues that include clean elections, peace, nuclear abolition, and health care.

Subjects
  • Activists--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Citizens for Participation in Political Action. Franklin and Hampshire Counties

Clark, John G., d. 1972

John G. Clark Papers, 1960-1969.
3 boxes (3.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 499

John G. Clark and H. P. Hood milk truck
John G. Clark and H. P. Hood milk truck

With a life long interest in politics, John G. Clark of Easthampton, Massachusetts worked on a number of campaigns before running for office himself. He ran for state senator in 1958, but lost in the Democratic primary. Two years later he ran again, this time for state representative of the 3rd Hampshire District, and won. Clark served in the State House of Representative for eight years until he was appointed clerk of the district court in Northampton and chose not to run for reelection.

While this collection is small, it is packed with campaign materials, letters, position statements, speeches, and press releases that together offer a good sense of the political climate in Massachusetts during the 1960s, especially issues of local concern for Hampshire County. Four letters from a young neighbor written while serving in Vietnam provide a personal account of the war.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts--History
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Contributors
  • Clark, John G., d. 1972

Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Silvio O. Conte Papers, 1950-1991.
389 boxes (583.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 371

Silvio Conte, 1973
Silvio Conte, 1973

Massachusetts State Senator for the Berkshire District, 1950-1958, and representative for Massachusetts’s First District in the United States Congress for 17 terms, 1959-1991, where he made significant contributions in the areas of health and human services, the environment, education, energy, transportation, and small business.

Spanning four decades and eight presidents, the papers offer an extraordinary perspective on the major social, economic, and cultural changes experienced by the American people. Includes correspondence, speeches, press releases, bill files, his voting record, committee files, scrapbooks, travel files, audio-visual materials and over 5,000 photographs and slides.

Subjects
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
  • Massachusetts. Senate
  • United States--Politics and government--20th century
  • United States. Congress. House
Contributors
  • Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sound recordings

Council for Fair School Finance

Council for Fair School Finance Records, 1977-2005.
8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 784

The Council for Fair School Finance began its fight in 1978 when it filed a lawsuit (McDuffy v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Education) to require Massachusetts to meet its constitutional obligation to provide a quality education for all schoolchildren. The suit was quickly suspended due to recently enacted school reform legislation. Within five years, the Council took up the suit once more, and again further reform legislation was enacted that prevented the suit from going to trial. Finally in 1993, the case was heard and decided in favor of the plaintiffs; three days later the governor signed the Education Reform Act of 1993. By the end of the decade, the promise of the McDuffy decision had not yet been fully realized and the Council filed a second suit (Hancock v. Commissioner of Education). In April 2004, Superior Judge Margot Botsford issued a report that found the state’s efforts to fix the problems identified in the previous case were insufficient and that the plaintiffs were entitled to remedial relief. The Supreme Judicial Court, however, did not uphold the recommendation and the motion for relief was denied.

The collection consists of administrative records, including documents created early in the Council’s history, minutes of Council meetings, media reports, research materials, and financial records.

Subjects
  • Education--Finance--Massachusetts
  • Educational change--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Council for Fair School Finance

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