Albert W. Burgstahler Papers, ca.1956-2007.
75 boxes (120 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 798
The chemist and ardent opponent of fluoridation of drinking water, Albert W. Burgstahler was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1928. After receiving degrees from Notre Dame (BS 1949) and Harvard (PhD 1953), he embarked on a productive career of over forty years at the University of Kansas. His research in the synthesis and chemistry of natural products and the biological properties of fluorinated amino acids, led Burgstahler to a keen interest in environmental pollutants, particularly fluorides, and from the mid-1960s on, he enjoyed a reputation as one of the most prominent and prolific scientific voices opposing fluoridation. His efforts and long service as editor and chief of the International Society for Fluoride Research’s quarterly journal, Fluoride, was formally recognized by the Fluoride Action Network in 2006, which awarded him its Scientific Integrity Award. Burgstahler retired from KU in 1998 and died on Oct. 12, 2013.
A large and diverse assemblage, the Burgstahler collection reflects the career of a stalwart in the anti-fluoridation movement. Spanning nearly five decades, the correspondence, publications, and research offer a perspective on Burgstahler’s activism in science and public policy and documents his association with other anti-fluoridation activists, including George Waldbott and Paul Connett.
- Antifluoridation movement
- Drinking water--Law and legislation--United States
- Fluorides--Physiological effect
- Waldbott, George L., 1898-
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
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
Citizens Awareness Network Records, ca.1992-2005.
58 boxes (87 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 437
In 1992 after lightening struck the Yankee Rowe reactor in western Massachusetts, concerned citizens organized with the goal of educating themselves and their communities about the potential dangers of nuclear energy. Citizens Awareness Network (CAN) worked to reveal the hidden costs of nuclear power on the health and safety of communites surrounding a reactor, and as a result of their efforts Yankee Rowe was pressured into closing down in 1993. When CAN learned that much of the nuclear waste removed from the site was shipped to a town in South Carolina, the group was outraged that the waste which hurt their community would now be imposed on another community. Once again they were moved into action, this time transforming from a small local group into a regional group with multiple chapters. Today, with seven chapters in five states, CAN continues to uncover the hazards of nuclear energy, proposing instead the use of clean energy produced locally.
This large collection documents every facet of the group, and includes publications, financial records, research files, correspondence, and realia such as t-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons.
- Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
- Antinuclear movement--United States
- Nuclear energy--Law and legislation--New England
- Nuclear energy--Massachusetts
- Citizens Awareness Network
Gloria Xifaras Clark Papers, 1943-2015.
20 boxes (9.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 865
Gloria Xifaras Clark was working as an elementary school teacher in her home town of New Bedford in 1964 when she answered the call to enlist in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. A recent graduate of Wheelock College, she was assigned to teach in the Benton County Freedom School in Holly Springs for several months, and stayed on to help organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and to teach literacy and Negro history in Benton, Tippah, and Union Counties. She continued on the activist path after returning to Massachusetts, devoting her energies to economic justice initiatives and work with the Friends of SNCC and the NAACP, and diving headlong into the antiwar movement as head of the Greater New Bedford Draft Information Center. After spending three years in England with her family in 1972-1975, she resumed her civic and educational work in New Bedford, eventually earning appointment as head of the Commonwealth’s Office for Children under Michael Dukakis in 1983. With a keen awareness of the historical importance of the civil rights struggle, Clark became a key organizer of an oral history project during the 1990s that included her fellow veterans of the civil rights movement in northern Mississippi. The results are available digitally through the University of Southern Mississippi.
Documenting the evolution of one activist’s career, the Clark Papers offer valuable information on the Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in northern Mississippi, particularly in Tippah and Benton Counties, and civil rights activism more generally. The collection includes communiques among civil rights workers in the region, a variety of correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, and ephemera, plus a small, but noteworthy collection of photographs. Of particular significance among the later materials is a thick body of material from the Draft Information Center in New Bedford (1967-1968), the Vietnam Summer project (1967), and relating to Clark’s role in the Harvard Strike of 1969.
- American Friends Service Committee
- Civil Rights movements--Mississippi
- Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)
- Draft resisters--Massachusetts
- Harvard University--Student strike, 1969
- Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
- Mississippi Freedom Project
- Peace movements--Masachusetts
- Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
- Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts
Types of material
Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection, 1942-1954.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 538
Documenting Communist Party activities in Massachusetts during the 1940s-1950s, this small collection consists of pamphlets, broadsides, and election materials, which cover issues such as housing, freedom of speech, McCarthyism, and the war in Korea.
- Communism--United States--History
- Communist Party of Massachusetts
Construyamos Juntos Collection, 1986.
1 box (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: PH 052
In May 1985, a group of activists in Western Massachusetts opposed to the interventionist U.S. foreign policy of the Reagan era formed a construction brigade to assist with basic human needs and express solidarity with the people of Central America. Modeled on the Venceremos Brigade, Construyamos Juntos, Building Peace of Nicaragua, raised over $20,000 for construction supplies in addition to funds for individual travel. Between January and March 1986, the 17 activists joined a smaller brigade from West Virginia in constructing the Carlos Armin Gonzales elementary school in San Pedro de Lovago. During their first month in Nicaragua, they witnessed a Contra assault on the town that left one assailant dead and two residents of the town wounded.
This exhibit includes 55 mounted images and 99 35mm slides taken during the brigade’s time in Nicaragua, documenting the brigade’s construction work and providing a valuable visual record of life in Nicaragua during the Contra war. Used in public talks about Contruyamos Juntos, the collection includes exhibit labels that explain the purpose and activity of the brigade, the history of Nicaragua, and the Contra attack in January 1986.
Types of material
Council for Fair School Finance Records, 1977-2005.
8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 784
The Council for Fair School Finance began its fight in 1978 when it filed a lawsuit (McDuffy v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Education) to require Massachusetts to meet its constitutional obligation to provide a quality education for all schoolchildren. The suit was quickly suspended due to recently enacted school reform legislation. Within five years, the Council took up the suit once more, and again further reform legislation was enacted that prevented the suit from going to trial. Finally in 1993, the case was heard and decided in favor of the plaintiffs; three days later the governor signed the Education Reform Act of 1993. By the end of the decade, the promise of the McDuffy decision had not yet been fully realized and the Council filed a second suit (Hancock v. Commissioner of Education). In April 2004, Superior Judge Margot Botsford issued a report that found the state’s efforts to fix the problems identified in the previous case were insufficient and that the plaintiffs were entitled to remedial relief. The Supreme Judicial Court, however, did not uphold the recommendation and the motion for relief was denied.
The collection consists of administrative records, including documents created early in the Council’s history, minutes of Council meetings, media reports, research materials, and financial records.
- Educational change--Massachusetts
- Council for Fair School Finance
Peter d'Errico Papers, ca.1990-2010.
7 boxes (10.5 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 154
With a law degree from Yale in hand in 1968, Peter d’Errico began work as a staff attorney with Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe Navajo Legal Services in Shiprock, Arizona, representing American Indian interests in the US courts. Stemming from his frustrations with a stilted legal system, however, he evolved into an “anti-lawyer,” and in 1970 returned to academia. Joining the faculty at UMass, d’Errico focused his research and writing on the legal issues affecting indigenous peoples and he regularly taught courses on Indian law and the role of the law in imposing state systems on non-state societies. His impact was instrumental in establishing the Department of Legal Studies. Both before and after his retirment in 2002, d’Errico also remained active as a practitioner in Indian law.
The d’Errico collection contains a significant record of d’Errico’s high profile legal work in Indian law, including his work with Western Shoshone land rights and on the case Randall Trapp, et al. v. Commissioner DuBois, et al. In Trapp, a long-running, but ultimately successful First Amendement case, he and Robert Doyle represented prisoners in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections seeking to establish a sweat lodge.
- Freedom of religion
- Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Legal Studies
Steve Diamond Papers, 1968-2005.
13 boxes (6 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 542
An author and activist, Steve Diamond worked for the newly formed Liberation News Service in 1968 covering stories like the student strike at Columbia University. After more than a year of internal strife resulting from ideological differences, the alternative news service split into two factions, with Marshall Bloom and Raymond Mungo leading a new division of LNS in rural New England. Diamond, among those who left for New England, settled into life in a commune on old Ripley Farm in Montague, Massachusetts. His experiences during the first year on the farm are recorded in his book, What the Trees Said. Diamond later worked as a writer and consultant for Green Mountain Post Films, editor of the Valley Advocate and Boston Phoenix, and as a contributor for The Atlantic Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Village Voice.
This collection consists chiefly of Diamond’s correspondence and writing, including drafts of his stories and articles, research notes, and diary entries. The collection also contains printed articles by and about Diamond, digital images, and audio recordings.
- Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
- Communal living--Massachusetts
- Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)
- Liberation News Service (New York, N.Y.)
- Mungo, Raymond, 1946-