at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library's Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA)

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library is the main library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship campus of the Commonwealth's university system. It is named in honor of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963), renowned civil rights activist, co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909) and the first African-American to earn a doctorate (Harvard). Du Bois also studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany from 1892-94.

The DEFA Film Library is collaborating with SCUA to develop research collections related to East German cinema and culture. In recent years, we have been honored with the donation of several important collections that showcase East German filmmaking and film culture, material culture and graphic design.

Film and Literature

  • The Hans Joachim Ring Collection of East German Cinema features film programs, fliers and other materials used to advertise films to East German audiences.
  • The Jay Rossellini East German Book Collection contains novels, poetry and drama from East German writers, primarily from the 1960s to 1989.
  • The Jörg Foth Papers were donated by the East German film director, actor and writer Jörg Foth, an exceptionally insightful analyst of German culture and film history.
  • The Siegfried Ebert Collection contains primary source material on the East German artist and DEFA animator Siegfried Ebert.
  • The Ulrich Plenzdorf Collection includes ephemera, posters, correspondence and reviews related to East German screenwriter and playewright Ulrich Plenzdorf, especially those pertaining to his internationally successful play, Die neuen Leiden des jungen W, which was adapted to film by DEFA filmmaker Egon Günther in 1976.


  • The East German Music Collection contains Vinyl LPs, cassettes and master tapes representing a range of educational, cultural and entertainment music production in East Germany, from children's music to the symphony.

Visual Culture

  • The Graphic Art of Anke Feuchtenberger is a comprehensive collection of early works—including film and theater posters and smaller-scale pieces—made by (East) German artist Anke Feuchtenberger, now better known for her cartoons and graphic novels.
  • The James H. and Sybille Fraser Collection is an extensive collection of imprints on art and design in Communist-era Eastern Europe, East Germany, 1960s radicalism, and other subjects.
  • The Broadside and Poster Collection includes broadsheets, broadsides, flyers and posters that emphasize political and social transformations in the 1980s-1990s Communist countries across the world, including East Germany.

Material Culture

History and Law

  • The Carlos Foth Papers document the work of the East German Prosecutor General Carlos Foth, a key player in the legal effort to investigate and punish Nazi war criminals.
  • The East German Book Collection contains ca. 300 books from East Germany, including reference works, cultural history and academic texts.


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