The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Traprock Peace Center

Traprock Peace Center Records

ca.50 boxes 75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 080

Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA to request materials from this collection.

The Traprock Peace Center is a grassroots organization based in Deerfield, Massachusetts, that trains and educates people locally and globally in matters relating to disarmament and nonviolence. In 1980, the Center organized the first successful attempt in the United States to get a nuclear weapons moratorium referendum on the ballot, and the Center has served as a focal point for organizing on a wide array of issues in peace and social and environmental justice.

The records of Traprock Peace Center include correspondence, campaign materials (resolutions, organizing committee records, legislative packets), program reports, newsletters, newsclippings, and posters relating to the nuclear freeze campaign and many subsequent initiatives. Recent additions to the collection document the group’s work to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; these later additions are open for research, but are not processed.

Biographical Note

A grassroots organization based in Deerield, Mass., the Traprock Peace Center has waged a long campaign to educate the public regionally and globally about peace and non-violence. The Center was founded in 1979 after the closure of the alternative Woolman Hill School on Woolman Hill, a retreat and (since 1982) conference center run by the Society of Friends. After considering various alternatives for what to do with the buildings, the school board reached consensus on establishing a center for education and training in non-violence, an effort to be coordinated by a long-time member of the War Resisters League, Beverly Woodward.

Beginning in 1979, a core group of peace activists began to meet to form what would become Traprock, including Randy Kehler, Frances Crowe, Gordon Faison, Pauline Bassett, and later, Meg Gage. To sharpen their focus, the core group turned their attention to the nuclear arms race, which they regarded as the “ultimate manifestation of violence” and the primary threat to peace in the world. During the early part of 1980, the Reagan era about to dawn, organization against the nuclear arms race began to coalesce, and Traprock helped lead the effort to place a referendum on a nuclear weapons moratorium on the ballot. That fall, even as Ronald Reagan swept into office, the nuclear freeze passed in all four districts in Western Massachusetts. Kehler and Crowe were significant national figures in the nuclear freeze movement in the 1980s, and many others at Traprock were vital supporters.

Even with the intense focus on the freeze, activists associated with Traprock soon began to tackle a wide range of issues in peace and social justice. Among the dozens of projects the Center has taken on over the years, it has been active in promoting public awareness of issues relating to nuclear power and nuclear energy, depleted uranium, the economic sanctions against Iraq and the Iraq wars, the “Star Wars” missile defense system, American intervention in Central America, and the growth of militarism in the United States.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Traprock Peace Center document the Center’s efforts since its founding to train and educate people locally and globally in matters relating to disarmament and nonviolence. The records include full documentation of the Center’s activities relating to the nuclear freeze referendum in 1980, including correspondence, campaign materials (resolutions, organizing committee records, legislative packets), program reports, newsletters, newsclippings, and posters.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Traprock Peace Center Records (MS 80). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from: Judith Ann Scheckel, 1985.


Accretions expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman, January 1986.

Additional Information
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
Series 1: Newsletter
Newsletter: “The Traprock Report”
Box 1:1-6

Series 2: Correspondence
Box 2:7-12

Series 3: Campaigns and Projects
Referendum Organizing Committee records:
Minutes, schedules, notes
1980 April-Nov.
Box 3:13a
Referendum Organizing Committee records:
Box 3:13b
Referendum Organizing Committee records:
Mailings and press releases
Box 3:13c
Referendum packet originals
Box 3:14
Referendum newsclippings
Box 3:15
Post-referendum materials
1980 Nov.-1981 April
Box 3:16
1982 Referendum
Box 3:17
Box 4:18
Resolution packet originals
Box 4:19
Resolution Hearing/Testimonial
1981 March
Box 4:20
Hawley Tower
Box 4:21
Religious Task Force records
Box 4:22
YES Campaign records
Box 4:23
Endorsement packet and originals
Box 4:24
Legislative packetlistings
Box 4:25
Box 4:26

Series 4: Conferences and Summer
Box 5:27
Summer Internship Program
Box 5:28
Traprock Summer
Box 5:29
International Workcamp
Box 5:30

Series 5: Clippings and Publicity
Box 5:31-33
Posters and publicity
Box 5:34


Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsDeerfield (Mass.)--Social conditions--SourcesNonviolence--Massachusetts--History--SourcesNuclear disarmament--History--SourcesPacifists--MassachusettsPolitical activists--Massachusetts


Traprock Peace Center
Restrictions: unprocessed materials in this collection have been temporarily moved offsite; these boxes are closed to research. Contact SCUA for more information.