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Massachusetts Public Information Research Group Records

1971-1991
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 054

A non-profit, nonpartisan organization, the Massachusetts Public Information Research Group (MASSPIRG) is an advocate for the public interest in Massachusetts. Taking a stand on issues like public health, political corruption, consumer protection, and voting rights, MASSPIRG uses the combined power of research, the media, grassroots organizing, and advocacy in order to work toward changes that will improve the lives of the citizens of Massachusetts. The records of MASSPIRG include reports on topics of research and investigation, publications for the public, newsletter and news clippings, and documents relating to the establishment of the Western Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (WMPIRG) on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in 1972.

Background on MASSPIRG

“MASSPIRG is people—people taking hold of the future.” – MASSPIRG flier, 1981.

Established on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in 1972 as the Western Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, or WMPIRG, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) is an independent, citizen-funded, student-centered research and advocacy group which seeks to protect consumers and citizens in Massachusetts across a variety of subject areas, including health, safety, and security concerns. Founded largely as a result of then-consumer-advocate Ralph Nader’s desire for college students to form political groups, MASSPIRG is one of the largest state-level Public Interest Research Groups in the country, combining research and grassroots advocacy in order to better the lives of Bay Staters.

Since its founding in 1972, MASSPIRG has performed investigations and published reports on matters of public concern. From its first report on dangerous toys on store shelves in Western Massachusetts to its campaigns today advocating for safe energy and avoiding the overuse of pesticides, MASSPIRG has fought for consumer protection since its inception. The organization also published a series of booklets and pamphlets in the 1970s in order to assist consumers with issues such as “How to Sue in Small Courts” and a directory of health care professionals in Western Massachusetts. MASSPIRG continues to advocate for consumers in the Bay State today and is an excellent example of student political activism and local civic organizations in New England.

Scope of collection

The MASSPIRG Records are useful for researchers interested in public advocacy, grassroots civic organizations, and student political activity. Materials of note featured in the collection include numerous reports and investigations by MASSPIRG on a variety of subjects, ranging from dangerous toys on store shelves in Western Massachusetts to case overloads for district judges in New England. Other notable materials include publications by MASSPIRG to inform the public about various topic, such as proper banking practices, and documents related to the founding of MASSPIRG at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1972 as the Western Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (WMPIRG).

Also included in the collection are advertisements and fliers for MASSPIRG, newsletters published by the organization, news clippings and press releases related to MASSPIRG and its campaigns, as well as correspondence for recruiting UMass faculty and professors to join MASSPIRG or its campaigns.

Inventory

Advertisements: MASSPIRG
1981-1982, undated
Box 1: 1
Advertisements: MASSPIRG Intern Program
1983
Box 1: 2
Advertisements: Renewable Energy Campaign
1980-199?
Box 1: 3
Correspondence: MASSPIRG Public Service Internship Program
undated
Box 1: 4
Correspondence: University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty and Professors
1972-1987 Sep
Box 1: 5
MASSPIRG Newsletters
1973
Box 1: 6
MASSPIRG Newsletters
1974-1976 Feb
Box 1: 7
MASSPIRG Newsletters
1976 Sep-1981 Spring
Box 1: 8
MASSPIRG Newsletters
1981 Fall-1985 Apr
Box 1: 9
MASSPIRG Newsletters
1985 Sep-1991 Jan
Box 1: 10
News Clippings
1974 Mar-1980 Jun
Box 1: 11
News Clippings
1983 Sep-1985 Dec
Box 1: 12
News Clippings
1986 Feb-1992 Apr
Box 1: 13
News Clippings: Scrapbook
1971-1975
Box 1: 14
Press Releases
1972 Dec-1978 Mar
Box 1: 15
Proposal Drafts for Creation of WMPIRG
1972 Apr-May
Box 1: 16
Publications
1973
Box 1: 17
Publications
1975
Box 1: 18
Publications
1980
Box 1: 19
Publicity
1973-1991
Box 1: 20
Reports
1972
Box 1: 21
Reports
1973 Feb-Sep
Box 1: 22
Reports
1973
Box 2: 1
Reports
1974 Sep-Oct
Box 2: 2
Reports
1975 Mar
Box 2: 3
Reports
1975 Jun-Nov
Box 2: 4
Reports
1976 Apr-Sep
Box 2: 5
Reports
1977 Feb-Mar
Box 2: 6
Reports
undated
Box 2: 7
Summary of Testimony in Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
1979 Apr
Box 2: 8
University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Activity Summary
1972
Box 2: 9
University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
1972 May
Box 2: 10

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Massachusetts Public Information Research Group.

Processing Information

Processed by Joseph Liporace, March 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Massachusetts Public Information Research Group Records (MS 054 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Amherst (Mass.)
  • Massachusetts Public Information Research Group
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government
  • Students--Political activity
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

Contributors

  • Massachusetts Public Information Research Group [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Annual reports
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Fliers (printed matter)
  • Official reports
  • Periodicals