Collecting area: Environment

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 sitesHazardous wastesIncinerators--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--WisconsinFluorides–Environmental aspectsFluorides–Toxicology

Contributors

Jansen, Isabel
Jaquith, Wayne T.

Wayne T. Jaquith Papers

ca.1975-2015
20 boxes 13 linear feet
Call no.: MS 999

An attorney and activist, Wayne Jaquith has been a prominent figure in the environmental and peace movements since the 1980s. A graduate of Cornell University and the Northeastern University School of Law (1977), Jaquith served as an officer in a remarkable series of organizations, including as executive director of the Nantucket Land Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Lawyers Alliance for Nuclear Arms Control, and the Ploughshares Fund. He was also a co-founder of Professionals Coalition for Nuclear Arms Control, the Coalition for the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, and the Arms Transfer Working Group.

Reflecting Jacquith’s diverse interests, this collection includes important materials relating to the peace, environmental, and antinuclear movements, including the Nuclear Freeze movement of the early 1980s. The collection has a rich assortment of newsletters and communications between activist organizations, along with background information, research, and writing.

Gift of Wayne Jaquith, Oct. 2017.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--United StatesPeace movements--Massachusetts
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--MassachusettsCommunal living--MassachusettsEnvironmentalismFranklin County (Mass.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Nuclear energy--MassachusettsPolitical activists--MassachusettsSocial actionVermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

Contributors

Keller, Nina

Types of material

clippings filesjournals (accounts)
Kennedy, David

David Kennedy Papers

ca.1975-2016
5 boxes 7.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1094

The son and grandson of dentists, David Kennedy earned degrees from the University of Kansas (BS 1967) and University of Missouri at Kansas City Dental School (DDS 1971) before establishing a practice in preventive dentistry in San Diego, Calif. During a successful career in which he served as President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Kennedy emerged as a prominent critic of fluoridation and the use of mercury amalgams, and was a consistent scientific voice of opposition to civic fluoridation of the water supply. He retired in 2000 to devote his efforts fully to improving the dental profession and to improve public understanding of oral health.

Along with the papers of his long-time associate Jeff Green, the Kennedy papers are a major resource for study of the anti-fluoridation movement in California and grassroot efforts there to repeal water fluoridation. The collection contains a thorough record of legal efforts to prevent water fluoridation, files relating to his activism, and audio recordings from professional meetings and other forums.

Gift of David Kennedy, Aug. 2019.

Subjects

Antifluoridation movement--CaliforniaDrinking water--Law and legislation--CaliforniaFluorides--Physiologial effect

Contributors

Green, Jeffrey L.
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

OverpopulationSierra 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)--PhotographsHaydenville (Mass.)--PhotographsLeeds (Mass.)--PhotographsMill River Valley (Hampshire County, Mass.)--PhotographsSkinnerville (Mass.)--PhotographsWilliamsburgh (Mass.)--Photographs

Contributors

Knowlton BrothersMoore, F. J.

Types of material

PhotographsStereographs
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--HistoryCivilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)--PhotographsNew Deal, 1933-1939--New England--History

Contributors

Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)Lavallee, Winston

Types of material

Oral historiesPhotographs
Leff, David K.

David K. Leff Papers

1955-2018 Bulk: 1980-2018
9 boxes 8 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--ConnecticutNewspaper columnists--ConnecticutPoets--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 justiceEnvironmentalism

Types of material

AudiotapesPhotographs