Cambodian Crisis Committee Records, 1982-1990.
17 boxes (26 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 361
In 1979 the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia removing the Khmer Rouge from power and ending the four year reign of a regime responsible for the deaths of more than a million people. In the upheaval surrounding the invasion hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled to nearby Thailand. From camps along the border of Thailand and Cambodia 150,000 Cambodian refugees eventually resettled in the U.S.
The Cambodian Crisis Committee in Amherst, Massachusetts worked to educate Americans about the situation of the refugees, as well as help Cambodian families reunite. Elaine Kenseth Abel, a member of the Family Reunification Advocacy Project, received numerous letters from Cambodian refugees in the U.S. seeking assistance in getting their family members out of Thailand. The collection consists of case files, correspondence, and photographs documenting Cambodian refugees and their American advocates reunite families. The collection also includes newsletters and correspondence from other advocacy groups like the Cambodian Crisis Committee throughout the U.S.
- Political refugees--United States
- Cambodian Crisis Committee
- Kenseth-Abel, Elaine
Cambridge Central Labor Union Minute book, 1926-1932.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 482 bd
The Central Labor Union was active in the Boston and Cambridge area as early as the 1870s, and by the turn of the twentieth century, the Cambridge Central Labor Union was a thriving organization. Active in many of the significant labor campaigns of the day, including the struggle for an eight hour day, the regulation of child labor, and the fight for collective bargaining, the Cambridge Central Labor Union was said in the late 1930s to represent nearly 30,000 workers in the city.
The minutes of the Cambridge Central Labor Union document the day to day operations of a union representing a cross-section of trades in the city of Cambridge, its relations to other organized labor groups, and the impact of the Depression of 1929 on working people in Massachusetts.
- Cambridge (Mass.)--History--20th century
- Labor unions--Massachusetts--Cambridge
Types of material
Cannabis Reform Coalition Records, 1993-2013.
2 boxes (2 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 045/80 C3
The Cannabis Reform Coalition at UMass Amherst was founded in 1991 and is considered the oldest student-run organization devoted to ending the prohibition on cannabis both locally and nationally and advocating for its industrial, medicinal, and recreational use for moral, environmental, and economic reasons. The CRC is one of the more active student organizations on campus and among other events, it sponsors the annual Extravaganja in April, which has attracted as many as 10,000 participants.
The CRC collection contains an assortment of fliers, posters, ephemera, and photographs, documenting the organization’s activities and activism, along with a small number of published and unpublished essays on the utility of hemp and cannbis products.
- Marijuana--Law and legislation
- Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Social aspects
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Students
Types of material
- Fliers (Printed matter)
Robert J. Carton Papers, 1935-2002 (Bulk: 1983-2002).
(3 boxes linear feet).
Call no.: MS 643
The environmental scientist Robert J. Carton emerged in the mid-1980s as one of the leading scientific critics of fluoridation of the water supply. After receiving his doctorate in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, Carton accepted a position in 1972 with the Office of Toxic Substances in the Environmental Protection Agency, assessing the risks associated with a range of toxic substances from asbestos to arsenic and hexachlorobenzene. By 1985, Carton became concerned about EPA standards for fluoride in drinking water, taking a public stance against undue political influence in framing those standards and insisting that there was no scientific evidence that fluorides prevented tooth decay and that any level of fluoride exposure presented a significant health hazard. In 1992, Carton left the EPA to work for as Chief of Environmental Compliance for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Consisting primarily of research, notes, and some correspondence relating to the health effects of fluoridation of drinking water, the collection documents Robert Carton’s nearly two decade long struggle against the EPA and federal government. Also included are transcripts of filings relating to various legal challenges against fluoridation during the mid-1980s.
- Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
- Fluorides--Physiological effect
- United States. Environmental Protection Agency
Center for Popular Economics Records, 1978-1986.
21 boxes (12.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 109
Established in 1978 by a group of radical economists at UMass Amherst and local community and labor activists, the Center for Popular Economics. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums.
The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics
- Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)
Judi Chamberlin Papers, ca.1970-2010.
23 boxes (34.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 768
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.
- Ex-mental patients
- People with disabilities--Civil rights
- People with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.
- Mental Patients Liberation Front
- Mental Patients Liberation Project
- National Empowerment Center
Types of material
Irene A. Chapin Diaries, 1926-1935.
4 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 585
In March 1926, Irene A. Chapin (1901-1987) left La Crescenta, Calif., having lost her job in the office of Certain-Teed Corp., and returned home to Chicopee, Mass. Resuming work at the Fisk Tire Co., where she had begun at age 18, Chapin led an active social life, playing bridge and tennis, going to the theatre, and dining with friends. In 1927, she and a fellow stenographer at Fisk, Marion E. Warner (1904-1989), developed an intense friendship that blossomed into a same sex relationship.
Irene Chapin’s pocket-sized diaries include a brief, but densely written record of daily life, from the weather to work and the ebb and flow of a young woman’s social relations. Concerned about her ability to make a success of her job and personal life, Chapin remained sociable and possessed of a wide circle of friends, mostly women. Her diary records a long succession of bridge parties, hikes in the hills, vacations, hockey games, and Chapin alludes frequently to her increasingly intimate intimacy with Marion. Several passages written in shorthand provide additional details on the developing relationship. A photograph laid into the diary for 1927 depicts three women standing in front of a house, one of whom is presumably Chapin.
- Chicopee (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Chapin, Irene A
- Warner, Marion E
Types of material
Stanley Charren Papers, 1973 (Bulk: 2000).
3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 900
Called “the Howard Hughes of the wind business,” Stanley Charren played a crucial role in the development of the modern wind power industry. A native of Providence, R.I., and an engineering graduate of Brown University (BS 1945) and Harvard (MS 1946). After marrying Peggy Walzer in 1951, who later became famous as founder of Action for Children’s Television, Charren embarked on a career that merged a penchant for innovation with an entrepreneurial streak, working with Pratt and Whitney, Fairchild, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton before becoming CEO of Pandel-Bradford (later Compo). Although he successfully developed products such as the swim spa and carpet squares, Charren is best remembered for his role in commercializing wind power. Taking an interest in wind during the Nixon-era energy crisis, he and his partner Russell Wolfe founded US Windpower in 1974, working on the idea of linking arrays of intermediate-sized windmills into a single power plant tied to the grid. US Wind built the world’s first wind farm in 1978, consisting of 20 units at Crotched Mountain, N.H., and after relocating to northern California in 1980 and changing name to Kenetech in 1988, the company emerged as the largest wind energy firm in the world. However the collapse of oil prices in the 1980s and federal regulatory hostility to alternative energy seriously impinged upon the company’s growth, ultimately contributing to its bankruptcy in May 1996. Charren retired from Kenetech in 1995.
The Charren Papers include scattered but valuable materials on the founding and operations of US Windpower and Kenetech, including early business plans, correspondence, technical reports, and informational brochures, along with materials documenting some of the legal challenges they faced in the 1980s and 1990s. The collection also contains ephemera relating to some of Charren’s work outside of the windpower industry.
- U.S. Windpower
- Windpower industry
Elaine Marie Chesley Papers, 1975-2002.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 717
A resident of Brainerd, Minn., Elaine Chesley (1927-2011) was a woman of strong convictions and an activist in several causes, particularly the antifluoridation movement. As a member of Minnesotans Opposed to Forced Fluoridation in the mid-1970s, Chesley and the more strident Irene Johnson successfully prevented fluoridation of the water supply in Brainerd, and she remained active in the movement as a researcher and activist. She was also involved in several civic, environmental, and peace groups, including the League of Women Voters, the Green Party, Women Against Military Madness, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Brainerd Coalition for Peace, and Save Our Northland. Chesley died at the age of 84 on May 25, 2011.
The Chesley Papers consist of materials collected in relation to antifluoridation activism. In addition to copies of a handful of historic documents on fluoride toxicity, the collection includes selective publications and correspondence.
- Antifluoridation movement--Minnesota
- Minnesotans Opposed to Forced Fluoridation
CIA on Trial Project Records, 1985-1989.
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 508
In 1986 demonstrations against CIA recruitment on the University’s campus led by activists Abbie Hoffman and Amy Carter, daughter of former President Jimmy Carter, resulted in the takeover of two school buildings and more than sixty arrests. The CIA on Trial Project was a group established in Amherst to support the individuals arrested as well as to raise funds for their legal defense.
News clippings covering the protests, fliers, memos from the University’s administration, and correspondence with Chancellor Duffey capture the mood on campus during and after the protests.
- CIA on Trial Project (Amherst, Mass.)
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--History