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Yankee Publishing Inc. Donates Records to UMass Amherst Libraries

Yankee Publishing Inc. Donates Records to UMass Amherst Libraries
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AMHERST, MA (April 11, 2012) —Yankee Publishing Incorporated (YPI) of Dublin, N.H., has donated its corporate records to UMass Amherst Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. The materials offer insight into the early years and growth of the corporation and its remarkable survival in an age of media conglomeration, as well as its flagship publications Yankee Magazine and The Old Farmer’s Almanac. YPI is one of the few surviving independent family-owned publishing companies of its size, celebrating its 77th year in business. The Yankee Publishing Incorporated
collection adds rich context to Special Collections’ extensive historic New England holdings, providing students, scholars and researchers a wide window into New England social life and customs.

The gift also deepens the relationship between Yankee and the campus. Numerous students and alumni have worked at the publishing company as interns and employees over the years and Yankee Magazine’ s editor, Mel Allen, has taught magazine writing in the Journalism Department for more than a decade.

“Yankee Publishing’s archives will serve as a valuable resource for anyone studying New England’s culture,” says Jamie Trowbridge, CEO and grandson of the company’s founder. “We’re pleased to donate the collection to UMass Amherst Libraries where it will be properly preserved and accessible to future generations of scholars and the public.”

Trowbridge and his wife, Laura, Class of 1980, will be guests of honor at the Libraries’ 10th annual Dinner with Friends, Saturday, April 14, 2012. This year’s signature philanthropy event raises funds for research fellowships focused on New England, in Yankee Publishing’s name. During a feast of New England fare, Yankee Publishing’s editor-in-chief Judson Hale will share stories about New England’s past and present.

“As common materials become increasingly shared across libraries and the Internet, research libraries are focusing on collecting, preserving, and sharing valuable and unique collections like the archives of Yankee Publishing,” says Jay Schafer, director of Libraries. “This generous gift complements our New England holdings, is a welcome show of support for our mission, and recognizes UMass Amherst Libraries’ skilled stewardship of such collections.”

In the first issue of Yankee Magazine, founder Robb Sagendorph described the condition of the Yankee persona: “. . . on the edge of a civilization which demands mass production, mass distribution, mass advertising, and mass almost-everything-you-can-think-of. He sees individuality, initiative, natural ingenuity. . . about to be sold, to be ‘swallered inter’ a sea of chain stores, national releases and nation-wide hookups.” The collection includes materials relating to Sagendorph, as well as extensive correspondence, reports, memos, and other materials relating to Yankee Magazine and The Old Farmer’s Almanac through 1999. It also includes a variety of materials accumulated by Yankee’s owners over the years, including several hundred glass plate negatives depicting New England and its characters.

“Yankee Publishing is a New England icon,” says Rob Cox, head of Special Collections, “and the company’s archives will be a great draw for researchers interested in New England life and culture, literature, publishing and business history, or just to ‘foreigners’ like me who are simply fascinated by the region in which we live.”

For a gallery of images, visit: Gallery.

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