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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste Incinceration Collection

1990-1996
5 boxes 7.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 702

Since it was first proposed in 1977, controversy surrounded Waste Technologies Industries’ plans to operate a hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. Particularly after construction on the plant began in 1990, grassroots opposition swelled citing concerns over pollution from cement kiln dust, dioxins, and other environmental toxins. With the support of organizations such as Work on Waste and Greenpeace, local activists waged a years-long campaign against the incinerator, ultimately losing out to the industry’s greater political power.

A small and somewhat heterogenous assemblage, this collection documents public opposition to hazardous waste incineration centered on the Waste Technologies Industries plant in Ohio and sites in Calvert City, Ky., and Illinois. In addition to selected legal filings and technical information, the collection documents public responses and support from Greenpeace America and Work on Waste.

Gift of Paul Connett, Dec. 2010
Subjects
Hazardous waste sites
Hazardous wastes
Incinerators--Environmental aspects
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.

Gift of Richard M. Bevis, Jan. 2010
Subjects
Antifluoridation movement--Wisconsin
Fluorides–Environmental aspects
Fluorides–Toxicology
Contributors
Jansen, Isabel
Keller, Nina

Nina Keller Papers

1964-2014
3 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 944

Nina Keller riding in the back of a hay truck, Wendell, 1980.

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.

Gift of Nina Keller, 2017
Subjects
Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
Communal living--Massachusetts
Environmentalism
Franklin County (Mass.)
Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
Nuclear energy--Massachusetts
Political activists--Massachusetts
Social action
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station
Contributors
Keller, Nina
Types of material
clippings files
journals (accounts)
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.

Gift of Anita King, Dec. 2011
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
Depiction of 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.

Gift, 1994
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
Depiction of CCC camp
CCC camp

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
Leff, David K.

David K. Leff Papers

ca.1975-2016
6 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 907
Depiction of David K. Leff
David K. Leff

A writer, poet, and environmental and historic preservation advocate, David K. Leff worked for many years as an agricultural and environmental policy adviser to the Connecticut legislature and as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. A graduate of UMass Amherst (BA 1975) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (1978), Leff began writing and lecturing from early in his career and in addition to publishing dozens of magazine articles and serving as a regular contributor to the Hartford Courant, he has written five works of non-fiction, The Last Undiscovered Place (2004), Deep Travel: In Thoreau’s Wake on the Concord and Merrimack (2009), Hidden in Plain Sight (2012), Maple Sugaring (2015), and Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash (2016); three books of poetry Price of Water (2008), Depth of Field (2010), and Tinker’s Damn (2013), and a novel in verse, Finding the Last Hungry Heart (2014). Leff has been active as a lecturer and instructor on various topics, ranging from the environment to local history and writing. In 2016, he was named the first Poet-in-Residence of the New England Trail.

In addition to containing a nearly comprehensive collection of the published writings of David Leff, the collection includes selected correspondence, unpublished poetry and short stories, a draft of an unpublished novel (Hungry Heart), talks, interviews, notes, newsclippings, over 400 pages of interviews with sugarmakers that Leff conducted for his book on maple sugaring, and selected materials relating to Leff’s work with the DEP in Connecticut and other endeavors. The collection also includes several thousand photographs (mostly digital) takenby Leff and used to illustrate his publications and lectures.

Gift of David K. Leff, 2016
Subjects
Maple sugar industry--Connecticut
Newspaper columnists--Connecticut
Poets--Connecticut
Types of material
Photographs
Lerner, Steve, 1946-

Steve Lerner Papers

1994-2011
22 boxes 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 673
Depiction of 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
Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene

Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene Collection

2017 May
10 videos
Call no.: MS 1010

In May 2017, a group of archivists and librarians convened at the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for a two-day colloquium on the impact of environmental change on historical memory institutions. The speakers in the Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene colloquium explored the profound implications of cataclysmic climate change on the missions and practices of cultural heritage institutions, the challenges confronting them, and the opportunities for future efforts and investigations.

This digital collection consists of video recordings of each of the sessions held at the Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene colloquium. Following the keynote address by Roy Scranton, each day of the colloquium consisted of two or three panels of twenty-minute talks, a round of five-minute lightning talks, and a concluding plenary and discussion.

Gift of Madeleine Charney, 2017
Subjects
Archives
Climate change
Libraries
Types of material
Video recordings (Physical artifacts)
Mainstream Media Project

Mainstream Media Project Records

1995-2012
11 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 976

A World of Possibilities logo, ca. 1998

Founded in 1995, by founder and former executive director Mark Sommer, the Mainstream Media Project (MMP) was a nonprofit public education organization focused on print and broadcast media about creative approaches in achieving peace, security, and sustainability in an interdependent global community. Until its closing in early 2014, it was particularly involved with placing top policy analysts, social innovators, and on-the-ground organizers on radio and television stations across the country and globe. One such project, A World of Possibilities radio show, founded in 2001, was an award-winning one hour weekly show hosted by Sommer. A program “of spirited global conversations,” featuring interviews searching for understanding of, and solutions to, longstanding global public affairs challenges, A World of Possibilities was nationally and internationally syndicated until it ceased broadcasting in 2011.

The MMP Records contain over ten linear feet of CD and DVD masters of uncut interviews and produced radio shows. Shows, including Heart of the Matter and A World of Possibilities, explore promising new thinking and experimentation in fields ranging from energy, food, water, and wilderness to human rights, global security, and public health, and include interviews with leading experts and innovators, such as Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger, Laurie Garrett, Wangari Maathai, Frances Moore Lappe, Howard Gardner, Lily Yeh, Robert Reich, Majora Carter, Van Jones and many more. The collection also contains MMP business files, consisting of correspondence, reports, articles, grant information, and organizational materials.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017
Subjects
Activists
Environmentalism
Globalization
Green movement
Peaceful change
Politics and culture
Reconciliation
Science--Social aspects
Sustainable living
Technology--Social aspects
Types of material
Interviews
Radio programs