Nina Keller Papers

  • 1964-2014
  • 3 boxes (3 linear ft.)
  • Call no.: MS 944

Currently residing in Wendell, Massachusetts, Nina Keller has had an active role in environmental and social activism in the Pioneer Valley and New England area for the better part of 40 years. Since the 1970s, Keller has played an active role in local and regional activism, from the antinuclear movement to hazardous waste disposal. She was an initial member of the Alternative Energy Coalition (AEC), was part of the Friends of the Earth (FOE) environmental organization, and most notably took part in efforts to close the nearby Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. At 62, Keller currently chairs the Wendell Board of Health, and has had a recent history of participation in local government.

The Nina Keller Collection is largely organized into five subject areas used by Keller to organize her files: Economics; Environmental Issues; Hazardous Materials; Nuclear Power; and Pesticides and Herbicides. Of note within these files are local, state, and federal reports and documents covering topics such as nuclear emergency evacuation plans, chemical sprays and their health effects, and hazardous waste regulation. Several items reflect Keller’s personal life, most notably two journals from Montague Farm, used communally for diary entries, drawings, clippings, photographs, and account keeping. The collection’s focus spans from the 1970s to the 1980s, as well as the early 2000s.

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Background on Nina Keller


An image of: Nina Keller holding baby wearing a No Nukes t-shirt, June 1978. From the Roy Finestone Photograph Collection.

Nina Keller holding baby wearing a No Nukes t-shirt, June 1978. From the Roy Finestone Photograph Collection.

Currently residing in Wendell, Massachusetts, Nina Keller has had an active role in environmental and social activism in the Pioneer Valley and New England area for the better part of 40 years. Born in 1954, Keller spent part of her young adult life living on the Johnson Pasture Commune in Guilford, Vermont. Part of the 1970s wave of experimentation in communal living, Keller lived there with other residents until 1970, when a fire destroyed the farm and killed four people. After leaving Johnson Pasture, Keller moved to Montague, Massachusetts, where she met her husband, Daniel Keller, and lived at Montague Farm. The couple married in 1980 and moved to Wendell, Massachusetts.

Since the 1970s, Keller has played an active role in local and regional activism, from the antinuclear movement to hazardous waste disposal. In the early 1970s, Keller was one of the first members of the Alternative Energy Coalition (AEC), an anti-nuclear activist organization. Their initial efforts involved blocking the construction of a nuclear power on the Montague Plains (today a Wildlife Management Area). Keller’s involvement in activism led her to be a part of other organizations such as the Friends of the Earth (FOE), an environmentalist organization, as well as the Clamshell Alliance, a 1980s outgrowth of the AEC. Keller’s more recent forays in activism include protesting a proposed uprate and license renewal of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant; the plant eventually ceased operations in 2014. In 2015, Keller also took part in protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline, planned to run through Western Massachusetts. In 2016, bowing to public pressure, Kinder Morgan withdrew their plans to construct the pipeline.

As well as being a vocal environmental activist, Keller has played a prominent role in local politics. For a time in the early 2000s, she was the Wendell Representative for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, a regional cooperative organization for the 26 towns of Franklin County. In 2006, Keller sponsored a town warrant to create the Wendell Nuclear Advisory Committee, whose goal would be to create an emergency response plan in the case of a nuclear accident. At 62, Keller currently chairs the Wendell Board of Health, and continues to maintain an organic garden on her Wendell farm with her husband.

Scope of collection

Since the 1970s, Keller’s active role in local and regional activism, as well as her later participation in local government, has resulted in a varied compilation of both research and personal interest documents. The Nina Keller Collection is largely organized into five subject areas used by Keller to organize her files, representing the key areas of interest evident in her work. Those subject areas are: Economics; Environmental Issues; Hazardous Materials; Nuclear Power; and Pesticides and Herbicides. The collection’s largest subject areas are Nuclear Power and Pesticides and Herbicides.

Within the Nuclear Power portion, documents range from anti-nuclear ephemera to newspaper clippings covering various topics pertaining to nuclear energy. Of note are several folders concerning the now-closed Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, located in Vernon, Vermont. Documents include official reports concerning the plant’s capacity and condition, as well as letters and local town statements in opposition to the plant. Other topics include radioactive waste and evacuation plans for local towns and other communities in the region.

Within the Pesticides and Herbicides subject area are several folders containing articles, reports, and other documents relating to chemical sprays such as dioxin, krenite, sevin-4, and temik. Also included are reports from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Accountability Office, and other federal and state agencies regarding pesticide use, their regulation, and their environmental and health effects.

Of note in the other subject areas are correspondences with the Friends of the Earth environmental organization and reports authored by the state and federal agencies on the subjects of transmission lines, hazardous waste regulation and disposal, and agricultural pest control.

Several items reflect Keller's and other's lives as participants in communal living arrangements, most notably two journals from Montague Farm, where Keller lived after leaving Johnson Pasture Commune in 1970. The "Farm Journal" and "Bathroom Journal" were used communally for diary entries, drawings, clippings, photographs, and account keeping, and highlight some of the people, activities, and interests on the farm. These journals are available in digital format only.

Inventory

Economics:

Energy Industry Labor Clippings and Materials
1970-1980
Box 1: 1
Materials from James Donaldson
ca.1977
Box 1: 2
Right-of-Way and Selective Bush Management Reports
1964-1979
Box 1: 3
Environmental Issues:

Bonneville Power Admin./Dept. of Energy Transmission Lines Report
1977 Jun
Box 1: 4
Budworm Spraying
1978-1979
Box 1: 5
Friends of the Earth
1979-1981
Box 1: 6
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
2000-2010
Box 1: 7
Gypsy Moth
1972-1982
Box 1: 8
Gypsy Moth: MA. Dept. of Environmental Management "Gypsy Moth Control" Report
1981 Mar
Box 1: 9
Minnesota Dept. of Health Transmission Lines Report
1977 Oct
Box 1: 10
Miscarriages
ca.1978
Box 1: 11
Contents:

Includes Oregon state report investigating miscarriages

Montague Plains Dump
ca.1966
Box 1: 12
Native American Tribes
ca.1976
Box 1: 13
News Articles
ca.1998-2010
Box 1: 14
Oil Pipelines in Massachusetts
ca.2014
Box 1: 15-16
Hazardous Materials:

Cooperative Extension Services
1983-1985
Box 1: 17
Definitions and Regulations
1981-1988
Box 1: 18-19
Department of Environmental Quality and Engineering
1981-1983
Box 1: 20
Local Businesses
1974-1987
Box 1: 21
MA. League of Women Voters,Hazardous Waste Management
1981
Box 1: 22
Model Town Ordinances
ca.1980
Box 1: 23
UMass Amherst,Hazardous Waste Disposal: A Question of Values
1983
Box 1: 24
Waste Disposal for Auto Body Shops
1986
Box 1: 25
Waste/Used Oil
1982-1988
Box 1: 26
Wendell Hazardous Waste Committee
1987-1989
Box 1: 27
Nuclear Power:

Anti-Nuke Materials
ca.1975
Box 1: 30
Bibliographies
ca.1975
Box 1: 31
Correspondence with Energy Facilities Siting Council
1977
Box 1: 32
Economics Materials
1970-1980
Box 1: 33-34
Evacuation Plans
2004-2013
Box 1: 35-38
Contents:

Documents concerning evacuation plans for Vermont Yankee and other regional nuclear power stations.

Green Mountain Post Films Bulletin
1978
Box 1: 39
Materials from Anti-Nuke Groups
ca.1980
Box 1: 40
NEC/CLAM Documents
1975-1977
Box 1: 41
Cancer Linked to Nuclear Plants
1978
Box 1: 42
News Articles:

Energy Cover-Ups
1974-1977
Box 1: 43
International Stories
1977-1979
Box 1: 44
Letters to the Editor
1974-1975
Box 1: 45
Local Anti-Nuke Activities
1970-1978
Box 1: 46
Nuclear Power Issues
1972-1980
Box 2: 1-2
Radiation
1974-1979
Box 2: 3
Radiation Threat to Agriculture
ca.1978
Box 2: 4
Three Mile Island Nuclear Facility
1979
Box 2: 5
Personal Notes
ca.1980
Box 2: 6
Protest Materials Against Vermont Yankee Power Plant
2005
Box 2: 7
Radioactive Waste
1983-1986
Box 2: 8-9
Contents:

Includes MA. state reports on radioactive waste

Religious Opposition
1975-1977
Box 2: 10
Utilities
1974-1975
Box 2: 11
Vermont Yankee Power Station Issues
2004-2012
Box 2: 12
Vermont Yankee Power Station Uprate
2004
Box 2: 13
Wendell Town Government Opposition to Vermont Yankee
2004-2006
Box 2: 14
Personal Materials

Montague Farm Journal: Need Name Journal
ca.1971-1973
Montague Farm Journal: Farm Journal
ca.1970-1973
Personal Ephemera
ca.1980
Box 1: 28
Personal Research Notebooks
ca.1980
Box 1: 29
Pesticides and Herbicides:

Aerial Spray
1979-1988
Box 2: 15
Alternatives to Spraying
1976-1989
Box 2: 16
Bibliographies
ca.1980
Box 2: 17
Bureaucracy
1979-1981
Box 2: 18
Co-Evolution Quarterly
1979
Box 2: 19
Correspondence
1979-1983
Box 2: 20
Dioxin
1967-1981
Box 2: 21-23
Effects on Wildlife
1974
Box 2: 24
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
1979-1986
Box 2: 25
Ethylene Dibromide
1983-1984
Box 2: 26
Federal Regulation
1979-1983
Box 2: 27
Government Accountability office (GAO) Pesticide Reports
1980-1981
Box 2: 28
Health Effects
1978-1980
Box 2: 29
Industrial Bio-Test (IBT) Laboratories
1981
Box 2: 30
Krenite
1972-1982
Box 2: 31
Legal Issues
1979-1981
Box 2: 32
Leverett, MA. Herbicide Report
1980
Box 2: 33
Leverett, MA. Herbicide Use
1984
Box 2: 34
Massachusetts Regulation
1980-1986
Box 2: 35
MA State Pesticide Board
1983-1986
Box 2: 36
News Articles: Incidents
1980-1985
Box 2: 37
News Articles: Local Stories
1981-1983
Box 2: 38
News Articles: Precedent
1979-1982
Box 2: 39
Other Chemicals
1978-1984
Box 2: 40
Other States' Regulations
1979
Box 2: 41
Picloram
1979-1983
Box 2: 42
Scientific Research
1975-1979
Box 2: 43
Sevin-4
1980-1981
Box 2: 44
Spray Drift
1979-1983
Box 2: 45
Spraying Along Railways
1981-1984
Box 2: 46
Spraying in California and Oregon
1979-1984
Box 3: 1
Temik
1984
Box 3: 2
Testimonials
ca.1977
Box 3: 3
Veterans' Exposure
1967-1981
Box 3: 4
Wendell, MA. Pesticide Use
1987
Box 3: 5
2, 4, 5-T
1979-1981
Box 3: 6

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Acquired from Nina Keller, 2016

Separated Material

A book written by the mother of Daniel Keller, about Plymouth, NH, has been removed from the collection and will be cataloged separately:

  • Halfmann, Eunice, K. Clothespins and Calendars: Recollections of the Past (Canaan, NH: Phoenix Publishing, 1985)

Processing Information

Processed by Devon King, 2017.

Among several other collections in SCUA relating to the Nina Keller Papers, see:

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Nina Keller Papers Papers (MS 944). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Environmentalism
  • Franklin County (Mass.)
  • Nuclear energy--Massachusetts
  • Political activists--Massachusetts
  • Renewable energy source
  • Social action

Names

  • Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

Genre terms

  • clippings files
  • journals (accounts)

Link to similar SCUA collections