Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Environment (36 collections)
SCUA

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EarthAction

EarthAction Records, 1992-2008.
26 boxes (39 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 562

Established by Lois Barber in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1992 with their first campaign at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, EarthAction has been organizing international campaigns ever since. As the world’s largest action network, the group’s campaigns address a variety of global issues from climate change and nuclear weapons to children’s rights and empowering women to protect the land. With a mission both to inform people about pressing problems facing the world and to move them to action, EarthAction creates and distributes information kits aimed at different audiences: individuals and groups, policymakers, and journalists.

The collection includes administrative files that illustrate the process of building a campaign, financial records, and publications, as well as action, legislative, and media kits created for many of the group’s international campaigns.

Subjects
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
  • Peace movements
  • Social action
  • Social justice

Forestry and Lumbering

Forestry and Lumbering Photograph Collection, 1924-1970.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 159

Foresty and lumbering have been substantial sectors of the Massachusetts economy for more than 300 years. This collection includes photographs of forests throughout New England and New York, lumbering and related occupations, tools of forestry, and distinguished foresters. Together these images capture the history and traditions of forestry and lumbering in Massachusetts from mill work to Christmas trees.

Subjects
  • Forests--Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Photographs

Green Mountain Post Films

Green Mountain Post Films Records, 1968-ca.1985.
10 boxes (13 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 516

Co-founded by Charles Light and Daniel Keller, Green Mountain Post Films has produced and distributed films for more than twenty-five years. Their first documentary film released in 1975, Lovejoy’s Nuclear War, was one of the first films to question the nuclear energy policy of the United States. Since then GMP Films has continued to produce movies that explore social issues, and their films have been used as educational and organizational tools for activists working on peace, veteran, nuclear, environmental and other related issues.

The collection contains very little that documents the activities of GMP Films, chiefly research files, correspondence, and proposals relating to film projects either produced or under consideration. The bulk of the collection consists of alternative press publications from the 1960s-1970s.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Nuclear energy--Law and legislation--New England
  • Social action--Massachusetts--History
Contributors
  • Green Mountain Post Films

Gyorgy, Anna

Anna Gyorgy Papers, 1974-1988..
6 boxes (6.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 631

As a member of the Montague Farm community, Anna Gyorgy became a leader in the movement against nuclear energy. In 1974, she helped organize the Alternative Energy Alliance in Montague, Mass., and two years later, she was part of the coalition that founded the Clamshell Alliance. An author, ecofeminist, and peace activist, she has lived In Ireland, West Africa, and Germany since 1985 and remains deeply involved in international movements for justice and peace.

Tightly focused on Anna Gyorgy’s activism from the mid-1970s through late 1980s, the collection contains important documentation on the early antinuclear movement in western Massachusetts with some material on the international movement in the 1980s. In addition to a small run of correspondence, the collection includes writings, news clippings, publications, and ephemera relating to antinuclear activism during the 1970s and 1980s and to other related causes, including the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson’s run for the presidency in 1984. The balance of the Gyorgy Papers are housed at Smith College.

Subjects
  • Alternative Energy Coalition
  • Antinuclear movement
  • Clamshell Alliance
Contributors
  • Gyorgy, Anna
Types of material
  • Photographs

Halpern, Paul

Paul Halpern Collection, ca.1975-1985.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 645

A theoretical physicist at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Paul Halpern is the author of a dozen popular books on science and dozens of scholarly articles. After spending his undergraduate years at Temple University, Halpern received a doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook, and has since written on complex and higher-dimensional solutions in general relativity theory and the nature of time as well as the history of the modern physical sciences. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

The hundreds of ephemeral publications, fliers, and handbills in the Halpern Collection provide a window into political and social activism in Philadelphia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The content ranges widely from publications produced by peace and disarmament groups to the literature of anti-imperialist (e.g. CISPES), antinuclear groups (SANE and post-Three Mile Island mobilization), radical political parties, and religious organizations including the Unification Church and the Church of Scientology.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--United States
  • El Salvador--History--1979-1992
  • Nicaragua--History--1979-1990
  • Peace movements
Contributors
  • Halpern, Paul

Jansen, Isabel

Isabel Jansen Papers, ca.1950-1985.
12.5 boxes (19 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 613

A Registered Nurse and surgical assistant at Marquette University Medical and Dental Schools, Isabel Jansen was a long-time opponent of fluoridation of drinking water. In 1949, her hometown of Antigo, Wisconsin, became one of the first in the state to put fluorides in its water supply. Jansen emerged as a prominent voice in opposition, arguing that fluorides had a cumulative toxic effect when ingested over a long period, and using public health data, she concluded that fluoridation was strongly correlated with an increase in mortality from heart disease and with a variety of other deleterious health effects. In 1960, she succeeded in ending fluoridation, however after a follow up survey showed a dramatic rise in tooth decay, Antigo residents voted five years later to reintroduce fluoride. Jansen has continued a vigorous resistance, publishing a series of articles on the public health impact and Fluoridation : A Modern Procrustean Practice (1990) and .

The Jansen Papers include a range of correspondence, newsclippings, articles, and notes regarding Isabel Jansen’s long struggle against the fluoridation of drinking water.

Subjects
  • Antifluoridation movement--Wisconsin
  • Fluorides–Environmental aspects
  • Fluorides–Toxicology
Contributors
  • Jansen, Isabel

King, Anita

Anita King Papers, 1989-2003.
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 727

A lifelong activist and organizer, King graduated from Smith College in 1937 and completed her master’s in social work at Columbia University. By the 1960s she was active with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and later went on to work as an administrator with the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1988, King returned to the Pioneer Valley and opened up a small family therapy practice from her home in Williamsburg. Soon after, she began her affiliation with the Sierra Club’s population program recruiting students as interns and volunteers from her alma mater. After volunteering as the chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club population committee for 19 years, Anita King retired at the age of 95 in 2011.

Part of the Global Population and Environmental Program of Sierra Club, the population program was headed by Anita King for nearly two decades. During that time she organized 20 lectures with speakers from a variety of organizations, such as Thoraya Obaid and Margaret Catley-Carlson. Her papers contain correspondence, speeches, administrative and subject files she kept on various issues through the early 2000s.

Subjects
  • Overpopulation
  • Sierra Club. Massachusetts Chapter
Contributors
  • King, Anita

Knowlton Brothers

Mill River Flood Stereographs, 1874.
19 items (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 019

Ruins of Stone Bridge, Leeds
Ruins of Stone Bridge, Leeds

The Mill River flood of 1874 was one of the great man-made disasters of late nineteenth century western Massachusetts. Following the collapse of an earthenwork dam on May 16 of that year, 600,000,000 gallons of water coursed through Williamsburgh, Skinnerville, and Leeds, destroying factories and homes, bridges and roads, and leaving 139 deaths in its wake.

The nineteen images in the Mill River Flood collection are a small sampling of a series of 110 stereographs taken by the Knowlton Brothers of Northampton to document the devastation caused by the flood of May 1874. The collection also includes one view taken by F. J. Moore of Westfield, who issued his own series of 21 stereographs, and one by an unidentified photographer.

Subjects
  • Floods--Massachusetts--Mill River Valley (Hampshire County)--Photographs
  • Haydenville (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Leeds (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Mill River Valley (Hampshire County, Mass.)--Photographs
  • Skinnerville (Mass.)--Photographs
  • Williamsburgh (Mass.)--Photographs
Contributors
  • Knowlton Brothers
  • Moore, F. J.
Types of material
  • Photographs
  • Stereographs

Lavallee, Winston

Winston Lavallee Collection, 1937-2005.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 796

A native New Englander, Winston Lavallee grew up in the Berkshires and attended UMass Amherst where he received his Ph.D. in entomology. He served as a professor for more than 35 years at Holyoke Community College and as a life-long advocate for the stewardship of natural resources and ecological sustainability. Lavallee is the author of several short stories and two novels: Tempest in the Wilderness and Dancing in the Dark, a novel about the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The collection consists of research notes, publications, photographs, and the recollections of men who Lavallee interviewed about their service in the Civilian Conservation Corps. These materials were first accumulated to record the conservation and plant pest control techniques employed in New England during the 1930s-1940s, but were later used during the preparation and writing of Dancing in the Dark. Altogether they offer rich historical background on the CCC and the men who were employed in the various jobs, such as road building, fire hazard reduction, and the development of recreational space, which constituted the program.

Subjects
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--New England--History
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--Photographs
  • New Deal, 1933-1939--New England--History
Contributors
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
  • Lavallee, Winston
Types of material
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs

Lerner, Steve, 1946-

Steve Lerner Papers, 1994-2011.
15 boxes (22.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 673

Diamond, La.
Diamond, La.

For decades, the writer Steve Lerner has been a significant contributor to public awareness of the issues surrounding environmental justice. Immersed in the environmental movement through his work as research director at Commonweal, a health and environment research institute founded with his brother Michael in 1976, Lerner earned wide recognition for his first book, Eco-Pioneers (1998), about “practical visionaries” who developed pragmatic solutions to environmental problems. In two subsequent books, Lerner turned to an examination of the impact of environmental toxins and industrial pollutants on low-income communities and people of color and the rise of grassroots opposition within those communities. In Diamond (2006), Lerner explored the impact of a Shell Chemical plant in Louisiana as a microcosm of the broader environmental-justice movement, and more recently, Sacrifice Zones (2010) traced the organization and resistance against industrial and chemical pollutants in a dozen communities in the eastern United States. In 2007, Lerner left his position at Commonweal, but continues his research and writing on environmental issues.

The research notes, interviews, photographs and other documentation comprising the Lerner collection form the basis for Lerner’s three major books.

Subjects
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
Types of material
  • Audiotapes
  • Photographs

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