Browse Exhibits (26 total)

Amherst Neighborhoods


Explorations of the neighborhoods and houses of Amherst, including historical and current maps.

Amherst and the Muses


History and biographies, as well as examples of the works and influences of Amherst's many literary, intellectual, and artistic figures.

Amherst Architecture


Essays and images of Amherst's early and present-day enduring buildings.

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Amherst Before 1759


The era from Amherst's settlement to its designation as a district.

Amherst's Champions


Amherst's people, places, and events in the fields of sports and entertainment.

Amherst's Changing Physical Landscape


The vastness of Amherst's topography, roads, and population centers, displayed in images, maps, and essays.

Anna Johnson's Scrapbook

Part 1 (Pages 1-10).pdf

A scrapbook about Anna McQueston Johnson, wife of Hadley author, photographer and artist Clifton Johnson. This scrapbook includes letters, newspaper clippings and other ephemera relating to Hadley, the McQueston and Johnson families, Anna's work with UMass Amherst and various local civic organizations, and the world travels that gained Anna the nickname "the Traveling Grandmother".

Been Here and Gone: African Americans at the Turn of the Century


Been Here and Gone: African Americans at the turn of the Century was an exhibit of 50 photographs by Clifton Johnson displayed in the Burnett Gallery at the Jones Library. The photographs show the everyday lives of African Americans in the South. Cynthia Packard, a faculty member in the Afro-American Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst printed the photographs from the original 4"x6" glass plate negatives, taken by Johnson on his trips around 1901-1902. The negatives are located in the Special Collections Department at the Jones. Johnson used many of these photographs in his books including Highways and Byways of the South, Highways and Byways of Florida, and Highways and Byways of the Mississippi, as well as two articles in The Outlook Magazine. Where possible, captions represent the exhibit title. Otherwise, the titles are Johnson's own.

Business, Industry, and Transportation


The evolution of local commerce and the development of Amherst as an entrepreneurial and industrial center.

Celebrating Local Authors

Wally Swist with Tevis Kimball.jpg

Photographs of local authors by library assistant, Janice Doyama, taken during the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020.

Clifton Johnson

Explores the life and work of Clifton Johnson, including his writings, photography and other artwork.

Farming and Agriculture in Amherst


The land and the people of Amherst's vital farming community.

In the Catskills

Clifton Johnson and John Burroughs Online Exhibit Flyer.pdf

Almost a century ago local author, artist, and photographer Clifton Johnson traveled to visit his longtime friend, naturalist John Burroughs. Together they wandered the fields and farmland surrounding his home in New York’s Catskills. These excursions were documented through Johnson’s precise eye and delicate camerawork. Each photograph captures a moment foreign in time and yet familiar today. In his images of daily life one is met with a resounding presence, as if each moment captured in Johnson’s lens lives on.

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Love and Courtship by Mail

Love and Courtship online flyer.jpg

Writing a letter may seem outdated in the modern era since we can now communicate instantly via texting, email, and video calls but for most of human history snail mail was the dominant form of communication. Letters told the news from home, conducted business, or even proposed marriage. Many different aspects of love and courtship have taken place through the mail over the years. Love letters slipped into a classmate’s desk, flowery declarations of love, and epistles formally asking a father for permission to court his daughter are all included in this exhibit. Love and courtship does not always end happily ever after and the more painful side is seen in a letter rejecting a suitor.


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Northerner in a Southern Country


Learn more about Clifton Johnson's travels through the American South and his visits with Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver at the Tuskegee Institute.