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Bartels, Elmer C.

Elmer C. Bartels Papers

1965-2010
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 817

As the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for thirty years, Elmer C. Bartels became a national leader on issues related to vocational rehabilitation and independent living for people with disabilities. While studying physics at Colby College in 1960, Bartels broke his neck in an inter-fraternity hockey game, but returned to complete his degree and then to earn an MS at Tufts. While working as a computer programmer at the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at MIT and later at Honeywell, he became involved in coordinating services and access that members of the community needed to survive. To address the range of issues relating to employment, housing, and architectural barriers for people with disabilities, he helped found three significant organizations: the Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs (1964), the Massachusetts Council of Organizations of the Handicapped (a cross-disability organization created in the late 1960s with Harold Remmes) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (1972). Bartels was a key figure in securing passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, considered the first civil-rights statute for persons with disabilities. In 1977, Bartels was appointed to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission by Gov. Michael Dukakis, serving under seven successive administrations, leaving an important mark on public policy. Since leaving the MRC, Bartels has remained active as a teacher and advocate for disability issues.

The Bartels Papers are an important resource for study of the early history of disability advocacy and public policy in Massachusetts. The collection includes a wealth of material on the formation and activity of the Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs, the National Paraplegia Foundation, and the Mass Rehabilitation Commission; correspondence with other leading figures in the disability rights movement; and publications relating to legislation on disability issues, vocational rehabilitation, and independent living.

Subjects
People with disabilities--Civil rights
People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
Contributors
Massachusetts Association of Paraplegiacs
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Behrendt, Tom

Tom Behrendt Papers

1978-2003
3 boxes 3.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 870
Depiction of Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.
Backpage of Madness Network News, Spring 1978, Vol. 4: No. 6. Photo by Kelso Walker.

The attorney Tom Behrendt has worked for years in the cause of civil rights for people with mental disabilities. A past president and long-time member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy, Behrendt served previously as Legal Director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project and he was a founding member of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service in New York. Behrendt’s involvements have included work with organizations such as Project Release, the Free Association, Advocacy Unlimited, and PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness).

The collection consists of a wide array of publications and documents relating the psychiatric survivors movement and Behrendt’s advocacy work. In addition to materials relating to NARPA conferences and a long run of NARPA’s newsletter, The Rights Tenet, the collection includes newsletters and other materials relating to the movement and issues such as electroconvulsive therapy.

Subjects
Electroconvulsive therapy
Mental health laws
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Psychiatric survivors movement
Contributors
Project Release
Belchertown State School Friends Association

Belchertown State School Friends Association Records

1954-1986
30 boxes 20 linear feet
Call no.: MS 302

The Belchertown State School was formally opened in 1922 as an institution to train children with developmental disabilities and prepare them for integration into society. By the 1960s, conditions at the school had deteriorated to a degree detrimental to the residents, precipitating a string of lawsuits, beginning with Ricci v. Greenblatt in 1972, eventually leading to closure of the facility in 1992. The School’s Friends Association was established in 1954 to promote improved conditions at Belchertown State School and better treatment of “retarded” or “mentally challenged” citizens in Massachusetts more generally.

The bulk of the Belchertown State School collection consists of records of court appearances, briefs, the consent decree, and related materials, along with reports and correspondence relating to Massachusetts v. Russell W. Daniels, Ricci v. Greenblatt (later Ricci v. Okin), and other cases. Accompanying the legal files are clippings and photocopied newspaper articles; speeches; newsletters; draft of agreements; and scrapbooks.

The Massachusetts State Archives has a small amount of records related to Belchertown State School. They are housed under the Health and Human Services division in the archives.

Subjects
Persons with mental disabilities--Institutional care--Massachusetts
Ricci, Robert Simpson
Contributors
Belchertown State School
Ricci, Benjamin
Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010

Judi Chamberlin Papers

ca.1970-2010
38 boxes 57 linear feet
Call no.: MS 768
Depiction of Judi Chamberlin, 2000
Judi Chamberlin, 2000

A pioneer in the psychiatric survivors’ movement, Judi Chamberlin spent four decades as an activist for the civil rights of mental patients. After several voluntary hospitalizations for depression as a young woman, Chamberlin was involuntarily committed for the only time in 1971, having been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her experiences in the mental health system galvanized her to take action on patients’ rights, and after attending a meeting of the newly formed Mental Patients’ Liberation Project in New York, she helped found the Mental Patients’ Liberation Front in Cambridge, Mass. Explicitly modeled on civil rights organizations of the time, she became a tireless advocate for the patient’s perspective and for choice in treatment. Her book, On Our Own: Patient Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System (1978), is considered a key text in the intellectual development of the movement. Working internationally, she became an important figure in several other organizations, including the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilition at Boston University, the Ruby Rogers Advocacy Center, the National Disability Rights Network, and the National Empowerment Center. In recognition of her advocacy, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities in 1992, the David J. Vail National Advocacy Award, and the 1995 Pike Prize, which honors those who have given outstanding service to people with disabilities. Chamberlin died of pulmonary disease at home in Arlington, Mass., in January 2010.

An important record of the development of the psychiatric survivors’ movement from its earliest days, the Chamberlin Papers include rich correspondence between Chamberlin, fellow activists, survivors, and medical professionals; records of her work with the MPLF and other rights organizations, conferences and meetings, and her efforts to build the movement internationally.

Gift of National Empowerment Center, 2012
Subjects
Antipsychiatry
Ex-mental patients
People with disabilities--Civil rights
People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
Psychiatric survivors movement
Contributors
Mental Patients Liberation Front
Mental Patients Liberation Project
National Empowerment Center
Types of material
Videotapes
Clarke School for the Deaf

Clarke School for the Deaf Records

ca.1867-2010
130 boxes 195 linear feet
Call no.: MS 742

With a $50,000 grant from the philanthropist John Clarke, Gardiner Green Hubbard founded the Clarke Institution for Deaf Mutes in 1867, a school predicated on the importance of acquiring oral skills for children with hearing loss. Opened in Northampton, Mass., under the direction of Harriet B. Rogers, Clarke differed philosophically from schools such as the American School for the Deaf where sign language was used for instruction, stressing speech-reading and speech as the primary methods of communication. With notable supporters such as Alexander Graham Bell, Clarence W. Barron, and Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace (a former teacher), the school became a pioneer in training teachers in auditory and oral methods and in recognizing the importance of early intervention and mainstreaming children into neighborhood schools. Working in partnership with Smith College, Clarke began offering a master’s degree in Education of the Deaf in 1962. Known as the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech since 2010, the school has opened additional campuses in Boston (1995), Jacksonville (1996), New York (1999), and Philadelphia (2001).

The records of the Clarke School offer rich documentation of the history of oral deaf education in the United States and insight into the experience of deafness in America. The collection includes extensive correspondence of school administrators and teachers, organizational materials, records of the school’s programs, and an essentially complete run of the school’s annual reports and other publications.

Subjects
Deaf--Education
Deafness--Genetic aspects
Teachers of the deaf
Contributors
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922
Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957
Types of material
Minutes (Administrative records)
Photographs
Restrictions: Student records, medical records, and genealogical and genetic records generated by the research staff at the school are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Silvio O. Conte Papers

1950-1991
389 boxes 583.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 371
Depiction of Silvio Conte, 1973
Silvio Conte, 1973

Massachusetts State Senator for the Berkshire District, 1950-1958, and representative for Massachusetts’s First District in the United States Congress for 17 terms, 1959-1991, where he made significant contributions in the areas of health and human services, the environment, education, energy, transportation, and small business.

Spanning four decades and eight presidents, the papers offer an extraordinary perspective on the major social, economic, and cultural changes experienced by the American people. Includes correspondence, speeches, press releases, bill files, his voting record, committee files, scrapbooks, travel files, audio-visual materials and over 5,000 photographs and slides.

Subjects
Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-
Massachusetts. Senate
United States--Politics and government--20th century
United States. Congress. House
Contributors
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991
Types of material
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Ebert, George

George Ebert Papers

1972-2018
90 boxes 135 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1049

Since the early 1970s, George Ebert has been a significant national figure in the anti-psychiatry and psychiatric survivors’ movements. Radicalized by three periods of involuntary incarceration, Ebert founded the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance in 1978 as a self-help, mutual support, human rights, and advocacy organization, and he has spoken out consistently against all forms of coercive psychiatry, including electroconvulsive therapy and forced drugging. While serving as director of the Mental Patients Alliance of Central New York, Ebert has also been active in Activists for Alternatives and the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry.

A significant collection for study of the psychiatric survivors’ movement, Ebert’s papers contain a wealth of correspondence from activists throughout the United States and abroad, along with notable runs of newsletters and periodicals from many early ex-patient groups that are now defunct, photographs of demonstrations, and organizational materials relating to the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance.

Gift of George Ebert, Aug. 2018
Subjects
Antipsychiatry
Ex-mental patients
People with disabilities--Civil rights
People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
Psychiatric survivors movement
Contributors
Mental Patients Liberation Alliance
Types of material
Photographs
Gwin, Lucy

Lucy Gwin Papers

1982-2005
8 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 822

Born in Indiana, the writer Lucy Gwin (1943-2014) lived “a lot of lives,” in her own words, working in advertising, as a dairy farmer, civil rights activist, and deckhand on ships servicing oil rigs, all before the age of 40. While living in Rochester, N.Y., in 1989, however, her life took a sudden turn. After a head-on collision with a drunk driver left her with traumatic brain injury, Gwin was remanded for care to the New Medico Brain Rehabilitation Center, where she witnessed a world of isolation, patient abuse, and powerlessness. Never one to shrink from a challenge, she escaped from the Center and used her skills as an organizer and writer to expose conditions at New Medico and shut the facility down. Through her experiences, Gwin emerged as a powerful, often acerbic voice in all-disability rights advocacy, becoming the founder, designer, and editor of the influential Mouth Magazine in 1990.

Lucy Gwin’s papers document the advocacy of an important figure in the disability rights movement. The rich documentation for Mouth Magazine includes comprehensive editorial files arranged issue by issue, some correspondence with authors and supporters, and copies of the published issue. The balance of the collection contains Gwin’s other work as a writer, personal correspondence, and materials relating to her experiences with and campaign against New Medico.

Subjects
Disabled--Civil rights
Mouth Magazine
Hudson Family

Hudson family Papers

1780-1955 Bulk: 1825-1848
6 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 332
Depiction of Three generations: including Erasmus Darwin Hudson Sr. and Jr.
Three generations: including Erasmus Darwin Hudson Sr. and Jr.

Born in Torringford, Connecticut in 1806, and educated at the Torringford Academy and Berkshire Medical College (MD 1827), Erasmus Darwin Hudson became well known as a radical reformer. While establishing his medical practice in Bloomfield, Conn., and later in Springfield, Mass., and New York City, Hudson emerged as a force in the antislavery struggle, hewing to the non-resistant line. Touring the northeastern states as a lecturing agent for the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society and general agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he regularly contributing articles to an antislavery periodicals and befriended many of the movement’s leaders. In his professional life as an orthopedic surgeon, Hudson earned acclaim for his contributions to the development of modern prosthetics. During the carnage of the Civil War, he introduced remarkable improvements in artificial limb technology and innovations in the treatment of amputations and battle trauma, winning awards for his contributions at international expositions in Paris (1867) and Philadelphia (1876). Hudson died of pneumonia on Dec. 31, 1880.

Spanning five generations of a family of physicians and social reformers, the Hudson Family Papers include particularly significant content for Erasmus Darwin Hudson documenting his activities with the Connecticut and American Anti-Slavery societies. Hudson’s journals and writings are accompanied by a rich run of correspondence with antislavery figures such as Abby Kelley, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Isaac Hopper, and Samuel May and a unique antislavery campaign map of New York state and surrounding areas (1841). Hudson’s medical career and that of his son Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr. (1843-1887), a thoracic physician, is equally well documented through correspondence, medical notes, and handwritten drafts of lectures, with other material ranging from family records and writings of and other family members to genealogies of the Hudson, Shaw, Clarke, Fowler, and Cooke families, and printed material, memorabilia, clipping and photographs.

Subjects
Abolitionists
African Americans--History
American Anti-slavery Society
Antislavery movements--Massachusetts
Connecticut Anti-slavery Society
Connecticut--History--19th century
Massachusetts--History--19th century
Physicians--New York
United States--History--1783–1865
Contributors
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895
Foster, Abby Kelley, 1810-1887
Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879
Gay, Sydney Howard, 1814-1888
Hopper, Isaac T. (Isaac Tatem), 1771-1852
Hudson Family
Hudson, Daniel Coe, 1774–1840
Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1806–1880
Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1843–1887
Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884
Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874
Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893
Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895
Wright, Henry Clarke, 1797-1870
Types of material
Diaries
Letters (Correspondence)
International Center for the Disabled

International Center for the Disabled Records

1917-2012
73 boxes 108 linear feet
Call no.: MS 792
Depiction of New York Yankees hosting ICD, ca.1925
New York Yankees hosting ICD, ca.1925

Founded in 1917, the International Center for the Disabled was the nation’s first outpatient rehabilitiation center. With the support of benefactor Jeremiah Millbank, the ICD was dedicated to helping disabled veterans reintegrate into all aspects of American life. Over the years, it has assumed a leading role in development of the profession of physical medicine, training physicians and nurses for the Veterans Administration, creating rehabilitation programs for the Army and VA, manufacturing prosthetics, and providing vocational rehabilitation for disabled veterans and others. The ICD remains a leading international advocate for the needs of people with disabilities and was instrumental in passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, remaining true to their mission of training people with barriers to employment as they enter the workforce.

The ICD collection includes a rich array of official minutes, correspondence, and publications documenting the development of rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities, and a remarkable record of the success of a philanthropic enterprise. Of particular note are are the large holdings of photographs documenting ICD’s work from its early days through the dawn of the 21st century.

Gift of ICD, Aug. 2013
Subjects
Disabled veterans
People with disabilities--Rehabilitation
Veterans--Rehabilitation
Contributors
Milbank, Jeremiah, 1887-1972
Types of material
Photographs
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