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Environmental, Anti-Nuclear & Animal Rights Activists

Selected Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection and College Archives

Personal Papers

Rebecca Adamson (1949 - )
Collection dates: 1978-2007 (ongoing)
Papers: 30.25 linear ft. (54 boxes)
Economist. Founder of First Nations Development Institute. Native American rights advocate. Adamson has served on the President's Council on Sustainable Development/Sustainable Communities Task Force, The Natural Step, and Earth Day Network 2000. She also served as an advisor to the United Nations on Rural Development, the U.S. delegate to the United Nations' International Labor Organization for International Indigenous Rights, and as a consultant for the OECD to Australia on Aboriginal development.
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Charon Asetoyer (1951 - )
Papers, 1985-2008 (ongoing)
3.75 linear ft. (8 boxes)
Abortion rights advocate, women's health activist, indigenous rights activist. Asetoyer co-founded the Native American Community Board (NACB) on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota in 1985, which in 1988 evolved into the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center. Asetoyer is Executive Director of the Resource Center and has served on the boards of the American Indian Center, the National Women's Health Network, and the Indigenous Women's Network. The bulk of the papers focus on Asetoyer's activism in indigenous rights, women's health, and reproductive justice issues; major topics include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, HIV/AIDS and Native Americans, health care for rural and underserved populations, and indigenous women's activism and leadership. See also the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project and the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center Records.
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Helen Tufts Bailie (1874 – 1962)
Collection dates: 1864-1959
Papers: 3 linear ft. (7 boxes)
Social reformer. Radical. Boston-born Helen Tufts Bailie’s journals document her evolving political consciousness. In the 1890s she became interested in radicalism, anarchism, vegetarianism, bicycles, dress reform, free love, and Walt Whitman. She ran a cooperative vegetarian restaurant and kept active in numerous social causes, including labor reform, peace, anti-imperialism, and birth control.
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Batya Bauman (1929 - )
Collection dates: 1947-2005 (ongoing)
Papers: 5.75 linear ft. (8 boxes)
Animal welfare advocate. Ecofeminist. Feminist. Lesbian activist. Editor. Writer. Bauman served for fifteen years as president of Feminists for Animal Rights and Editor-in-Chief of FAR's International Newsletter. Batya is a longtime animal advocate and activist and an ecofeminist ethical vegan. Her papers include organizational materials from Feminists for Animal Rights, Jews for Animal Rights, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as well as her writings on animal issues, and correspondence with other animal rights activists.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
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Joan E. Biren, or JEB (1944 - )
Collection dates: 1947-2011 (ongoing)
Papers: circa 70 linear ft. (circa 145 boxes)
Filmmaker. Photographer. Lesbian activist. Biren joined the women’s liberation movement in Washington D.C. in 1969. In 1971 she participated in the formation of the short-lived but influential lesbian-separatist living and publishing collective, the Furies. An avid collector of lesbian and social justice materials, her papers include materials on anti-nuclear activism, ecofeminism, and feminist veganism and vegetarianism.
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Helen Caldicott (1938 - )
Collection dates: 1961-1996 (ongoing)
Papers: 47.5 linear ft. (38 boxes)
Pediatrician. Anti-nuclear activist. Founder, Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament. Co-founder, Women's Party for Survival. In her native Australia, Helen Caldicott led successful campaigns to ban French atmospheric nuclear testing and uranium mining. In the U.S., she revived Physicians for Social Responsibility while an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a fellow at Children's Hospital Medical Center. She helped found the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear War, and the Women's Party for Survival, later called the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), then Women's Action for New Directions. Her papers document a lifetime of activism through correspondence; writings; speeches; publicity; research material and manuscripts for her books Missile Envy, Nuclear Madness, and A Desperate Passion; as well as subject files; audiovisual materials; publications; and organizational records of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use.
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See also: Sayre Sheldon Papers and Women’s Action for New Directions Records

Jan Clausen (1950 - )
Collection dates: 1907-2007 (ongoing)
Papers: 26.75 linear ft. (24 boxes)
Poet. Novelist. Social reform advocate. Professor. Writer. Feminist. Materials document Clausen's career as a feminist poet, novelist, and writer of nonfiction, as well as her participation in feminist, anti-nuclear, prison reform, and gay rights activism.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use

Katsi Cook (1952 - )
Papers, 1977-2008 (ongoing)
4.75 linear ft. (10 boxes)
A member of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk tribe, Katsi (pronounced Gudgee) Cook was born on the St. Regis Reservation in northern New York State, delivered by her midwife grandmother. Cook took up midwifery herself in 1977. When concerns arose among women on the Akwesasne reservation about the safety of breastfeeding, Cook started the Mother's Milk Monitoring Project in 1984 to monitor polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels in breast milk, linked to neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption, and to address the environmental impact of industrial development of the St. Lawrence Seaway Project (begun in the 1950s). Her materials extensively document her participation in this and other environmental advocacy campaigns, particularly as they relate to human health and Indigenous sovereignty. See also the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project.
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Frances Crowe (1919 - )
Collection dates: 1960-2008 (ongoing)
Papers: 74.25 linear ft. (61 boxes)
Pacifist. Political activist. Materials document her activities with the Nuclear Freeze campaign, the Society of Friends and the American Friends' Service Committee, particularly the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. Other organizations she took active part in include the Northampton chapter of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Sane Nuclear Policy Committee, and the Valley Peace Center in Amherst, MA. A peace activist since the bombing of Hiroshima, Crowe’s papers document her participation in numerous protests which led to arrests, trials, and imprisonment.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use
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Diana Davies (1938 - )
Collection dates: 1960s-1996 (ongoing)
Papers: 17 linear ft. (57 boxes)
Musician. Photographer. Artist. Theater worker. Papers consist primarily of Davies' photographs of individuals and groups, musicians, artists, political activists at civil rights, peace, anti-nuclear, anti-poverty, and feminist events (marches, demonstrations, conferences, etc.).
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Dian Fossey (1932 - 1985)
Collection dates: 1964-1990
Papers: .5 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Occupational therapist. Primate researcher. Fossey studied animal husbandry at the University of California at Davis for two years and graduated from San Jose State in 1955 with a degree in occupational therapy. In 1963, she went to Africa, and by 1966, she lived there permanently. She became Louis Leakey's "gorilla girl," and eventually attained sponsorship from the National Geographic Society, setting up camp in Zaire (then the Congo), and later Rwanda. She fought poachers in and around her base camp, Karisohe. Amidst increasingly tense relations between Fossey and the local residents regarding mountain gorillas, she was found murdered on Christmas Eve of 1985. The case was never solved. Materials include press coverage of Fossey’s work with gorillas, as well as correspondence, legal and medical records.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use

Garrison Family Papers
Collection dates: 1694-2003
118.25 linear ft. (302 boxes)
The social justice commitments of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, his family, and his friends extended to anti-vivisection activism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Relevant materials include publications from New England’s and New York’s Anti-Vivisection Societies.
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Elizabeth Dodson Gray (1929 - ), Smith alumna, class of 1951
Collection dates: 1970s-2008 (ongoing)
Papers: 4.5 linear ft. (5 boxes)
Theologian. Writer. In the early 1970s, Gray "worked out for herself a feminist critique of our male-dominated culture," including a spiritual interpretation of ecofeminism. From 1978 until her 2010 retirement, she served as director of the Theological Opportunities Program at Harvard Divinity School, which sponsors Thursday morning lectures on a variety of topics having to do with patriarchy, ecofeminism, and women’s interpretations of religious matters.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite--researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
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See also: Theological Opportunities Program Records

Jane Harman (1945 - ), Smith alumna, class of 1966
Collection dates: 1960-1998 (ongoing)
Papers: 111 linear ft. (271 boxes)
Legislative aide. White House attorney. Lawyer. Legislator. The Jane Harman Papers document the functions and activities of a Congressional office while incorporating facets of Harman’s life before she became a member of Congress. Major topics found in her political and legislative papers include energy and environment policy.
Access restrictions: collection is stored offsite--researchers must give 48 hours advance notice; partially restricted access.
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Valerie Harms (1940 - ), Smith alumna, class of 1962
Collection dates: 1958-2009 (ongoing)
Papers: 15.25 linear ft. (15 boxes)
Publisher, Magic Circle Press. Editor. Consultant. Instructor. Therapist. In 1987 Harms began work for the National Audubon Society, editing its journal, whereupon she “came to see how humans are inextricably woven into the web of nature and how essential it is to heal this relationship.” She also wrote the National Audubon Society’s Almanac of the Environment/Ecology of Everyday Life (1994). Materials include writings and publicity materials for her works.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use.
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Isabel Holden (1913 – 2007)
Collection dates: 1913-2005
Papers: 2 linear ft. (5 boxes)
Volunteer. Hospital volunteer. Animal welfare advocate. Isabel Anderson Holden, also known to her friends as Matthew, was an equestrienne, animal lover, local historian, and active participant in the civic and intellectual life of Northampton, as well as the SPCA. Her correspondence and diaries document her activities. Additionally, among the many diaries in her collection, one is kept from the point of view of her dog Bluebell.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use.
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Margaret Goddard Holt (1911 – 2004)
Collection dates: 1814-2004
Papers: 55.25 linear ft. (123 boxes)
Pacifist. Member, Gray Panthers. Artist. After the World War II bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the beginnings of the Cold War decades, Margaret Holt began her lifetime of work in peace and justice activism, organizing with some of the major social movements of the 1960s. Papers document her involvement in various anti-nuclear and disarmament campaigns, and her correspondence with other activists. She moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1977 and in 1979 she helped establish the Amherst Vigil for a Nuclear Free World. From that time forward, regardless of weather, she attended weekly noon Sunday vigils on the Amherst Town Common.
Access restrictions: Partially restricted access. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection for more information.
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Dori Jacobson
Collection dates: 1977-1986
Papers: 25 linear ft. (1 box) Feminist photographer. This collection includes photographs of women’s anti-nuclear demonstrations and events in Illinois.
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Mary Metlay Kaufman (1912-1995)
Collection dates: 1917-1994 (bulk 1946-1986)
Papers: 49 linear ft. (102 boxes)
Lawyer. Professor. Political Activist. Active in the peace and nuclear disarmament movements and in the late 1960s, she developed her theory of the "Nuremberg defense" for those arrested in civil disobedience actions. Papers document her work as legal advisor and expert witness in several trials of anti-nuclear weapons protestors and her participation in international tribunals investigating U.S. war crimes including the use of atomic weapons against Japan.
Access restrictions: Partially restricted access. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection for more information.
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Diann L. Neu (1948 - )
Collection dates: 1977-2005 (ongoing)
Papers: 7.5 linear ft. (7 boxes)
Theologian. Ecofeminist. Psychotherapist. Trained in liturgy and spirituality, papers include Neu’s writings, lectures, and notes on the workshops she conducts throughout the United States, in Latin America and Europe. She has published numerous books of rituals and articles on the subject of feminist approaches to liturgy, spirituality, and therapy, receiving many awards for her work. Her books Women’s Rites: Feminist Liturgies for Life’s Journey (2002) and Return Blessings: Ecofeminist Liturgies Renewing the Earth (2003) are included in the collection.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite-- researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
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Rosalind Petchesky (1942 - ), Smith alumna, class of 1964
Collection dates: 1959-2006 (ongoing)
Papers: 30.25 linear ft. (25 boxes)
Reproductive rights advocate. Professor of Women's Studies. Professor of political science. Petchesky’s advocacy work spans the globe and several decades. Among her many projects, files document her time with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, which “promotes and protects human rights, gender equality, and the integrity of the environment.”
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite-- researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.

Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911)
Collection dates: 1882-1910
Papers: .75 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Chemist. Professor. As a female chemist in the nineteenth century, Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards holds the distinction of many firsts in her illustrious career. As a professor she taught analysis of water, sewerage, and air, and devised the first water purity tests. She conducted her "Great Sanitary Survey" in 1890, pioneering the field of sanitary engineering and leading to a modernization of sewage treatment practices. Richards’ materials include writings and photographs related to water testing and pollution of Boston’s Jamaica Pond between 1900 and 1907. Her professional work also encompassed food sanitation and quality.
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Sayre Sheldon (1926 - )
Collection dates: 1981-2007 (ongoing)
Papers: 3 linear ft. (4 boxes)
Peace activist. Professor of literature. Anti-nuclear activist. A long-time political and social activist, Sheldon co-founded Women's Action for New Directions (originally Women's Party for Survival, then Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament) with Dr. Helen Caldicott, and Sheldon represents WAND as an NGO at the United Nations. Papers relate to her involvement with WAND and work with Helen Caldicott.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite-- researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
See also: Helen Caldicott Papers and Women’s Action for New Directions Records

Marian Storm (1892-1975), Smith alumna, class of 1913
Collection dates: 1857-1972
Papers: 6 linear ft. (17 boxes)
Journalist. Author. Poet. Animal rights advocate. Conservationist. In the mid-1930s, Marian Storm moved to Mexico where she spent the rest of her life, writing about Mexican plant life, animal life, and the human poverty she saw around her. She authored several books and articles, both fiction and nonfiction, including Rights of Animals (1951). A conservationist, she single-handedly saved a Mexican flowering shrub, the Ayuque, from extinction. The Sociedad de Mexico recognized her efforts with honorary membership. Papers include her writings, research, books, and correspondence.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use.
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Gladys Swackhamer (1893-1988), Smith alumna, class of 1917
Collection dates: 1881-1988
Papers: 1.5 linear ft. (4 boxes)
Pacifist. Psychiatric social worker. Political activist. A committed pacifist and environmental activist, Swackhamer initiated, in 1986, under the aegis of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the international Austin H. and Florence A. Swackhamer Memorial Prizes, granting awards for best essays by high school seniors on how to promote world peace in the nuclear age. Papers include material from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
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Anne Burlak Timpson (1911-2002)
Collection dates: 1886-2003
Papers: 23 linear ft. (57 boxes)
Communist Party official. Labor organizer. Retired in 1981, she spent the last decades of her life continuing her activism, including peace and anti-nuclear work. Papers include materials from the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, Mobilization for Survival, and other assorted campaigns and protests against nuclear weapons.
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Martha Voegeli
Collection dates: 1946-1965
Papers: .5 linear ft. (1 box)
Birth control advocate. Pacifist. Animal welfare advocate. Physician. Born in Switzerland, Voegeli’s medical practice spanned several continents. Her papers include a small amount of correspondence with the Humane Society of the United States and others on the topic of animal welfare.
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Alice Morgan Wright (1881-1975), Smith alumna, class of 1904
Collection dates: 1873-1994
Papers: 4 linear ft. (11 boxes)
Sculptor. Suffragist. Animal welfare advocate. Her lifelong love of animals increasingly drew her to the cause of animal protection. Although she had been heralded as one of the leading young American sculptors, art increasingly took a back seat and by 1945 she was devoting all her time to animal welfare, founding the National Humane Education Association and working with various other animal protection organizations, correspondence and records from which appear among her papers, as well as drawings and photographs of animals.
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Organizational Records

Miscellaneous Organizations Collection (1824-2000, ongoing)
14.75 linear ft. (32 boxes)
Includes folders of materials from England’s Animal Defense Society, Beauty Without Cruelty, Ferne Animal Sanctuary, and possibly other animal-related organizations.
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Arise for Social Justice (1956-2010, ongoing)
30.25 linear ft. (32 boxes)
Arise for Social Justice is a Springfield, Massachusetts-based low-income rights organization founded by a small group of women on public assistance in 1985. It is a low-income led membership organization that believes that “we as poor people have a right to speak for ourselves, and that as we do, we learn how to build political power for ourselves.” Campaigns include food justice and environmental toxicity.
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Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center (1986-2006, ongoing)
15 linear ft. (31 boxes)
Many of NAWHERC’s endeavors to improve health and wellbeing among Indigenous women relate to environmental issues, particularly the impact of environmental toxicity on reproductive health. Included in this collection are materials relating to their Environmental Awareness and Action Project.
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See also: Charon Asetoyer and Katsi Cook Papers; and their oral histories in Voices of Feminism

Theological Opportunities Program (1973-2011, ongoing)
11.25 linear ft. (15 boxes)
The Theological Opportunities Program (TOP) began in 1973 as a lecture series by Harvard Divinity School faculty. The women planning and attending became increasingly feminist and ecofeminist, and so did the topics for the lectures and the format of the meetings. In the early 1980s, TOP invited faculty from other Harvard Schools to speak, as well as environmentalists and other speakers from the Greater Boston area. Records include programs, recordings, and transcripts of sessions. The organization disengaged from Harvard and continues functioning as the WomenExplore Lecture and Discussion Forum.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use.
See also: Elizabeth Dodson Gray

Women and Life on Earth (1979-2009, ongoing)
11.25 linear ft. (12 boxes)
Pacifist organization. Anti-nuclear organization. International feminist organization. Ecofeminist network. After Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in 1979, twelve women from the northeastern U.S. formed Women and Life on Earth. They took advantage of the momentum generated by their 1980 kick-off conference and organized the Women's Pentagon Action, wherein 2,000 women encircled the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. In 1999 WLOE launched the Women and Life on Earth Internet project "to connect women internationally, share information and support changes necessary to ensure life and peace with justice in the new millennium." Materials include pamphlets, brochures, correspondence, newsletters, press releases, and press coverage.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite-- researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
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Women's Action for New Directions (1973-2008, ongoing)
72.75 linear ft. (63 boxes)
Anti-nuclear organization, Grassroots organization, Pacifist organization. Dr. Helen Caldicott founded the Women's Action for New Directions (formerly Women's Party for Survival, then Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament) in 1980 as a Washington, DC lobbying group comprised largely of mothers concerned about the proliferation of nuclear arms. Its purpose was "to educate people to use their voting, purchasing, lobbying and other halt and reverse the nuclear arms race, and seek peaceful solutions to domestic and international problems...." This was to be accomplished through political action on the national level, and grassroots organizing and education through local "affiliates." The organization has chapters throughout the U.S. as well as in several other countries.
Access restrictions: collection has not been fully processed and may be difficult to use; stored offsite-- researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
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See also: Helen Caldicott and Sayre Sheldon Papers

Oral Histories

An Activist Life: Student Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who have dedicated their lives to social and political activism. Narrators Joan M. Ballas and Annie Cheatham speak of their experiences in anti-nuclear and environmental activism.
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The Voices of Feminism Oral History Project documents the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. Narrators include environmental activists Charon Asetoyer, Katsi Cook, and Peggy Saika (founder and leader of Asian Pacific Environmental Network and other environmentalist organizations); and anti-nuclear activist Linda Stout.


Country Women, 1973-1979
Full Moon, 1972
Maine Freewoman’s Herald, 1975-1976
Maize: a Lesbian Country Magazine, 1984-1991
W.E.B. (Wimmin of the Earth Bonding), 1982-1983
Women and Environments International Newsletter, 1978-1986
WEDO: Women’s Environment and Development Organization Newsletter, 1992-1993

Smith College Archives

Bad Seeds – 1991-2006
A student group of self-proclaimed “plant junkies” dedicated to bringing education, appreciation, and awareness of plant life to Smith College. While propagating plants and seeds among their fellow students, the Bad Seeds promoted a strengthening of local food networks and embraced an intersectional view of environmental justice inclusive of race, gender, and class issues. Records include master copies of some issues of The Seedling, their biannual zine-style newsletter, as well as meeting minutes, flyers, and correspondence between group members.
Student Clubs Files

Bicycle Kitchen – (2005 – ongoing)
Founded in 2005 as a campus resource, the Bicycle Kitchen offers bike repair and maintenance instruction at regular hours. In addition to “bike love,” the Kitchen emphasizes sustainability, self-sufficiency, and human power as necessary alternatives amid energy crises. The College Archives holds three editions of the group’s zine, or pamphlet, The Bicycle Kitchen Cookbook: A Guide to Cycling in Northampton and the Pioneer Valley, which are rich with resources on cycling as well as local environmental and bike activism. The Kitchen itself maintains a zine library as part of its offerings.
Student Clubs Files

Community Garden – (2008 – ongoing)
Begun in 2008, Smith’s Community Garden strives toward sustainable food production and food security. They aspire to feed the college and reduce Smith’s impact on the climate. The College Archives holds printouts of internal emails from 2008-2010.
Student Clubs Files

MassPIRG – (1970s – 1990s)
Records date from the 70s through the 90s, documenting the formation of a student chapter of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group at Smith, as well as reports on some of its campaigns. Smith’s MassPIRG work combined anti-poverty work with campaigns about local water quality and contamination in the 1970s, and Smith students in the 90s advocated for the National Bottle Bill, or container deposit legislation, while ticketing fuel-inefficient cars. The group sponsored Earth Day events, introduced neighboring schoolchildren to the “Reduce Reuse Recycle” framework, and participated in spring cleanings of local waterways and the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.
Student Clubs Files

Smith Environmental Organization – (1979)
Founding documents from the student group’s genesis in 1979, revealing a local, as well as national focus, and an intention to conduct their work within the existing political system.
Student Club Files

(Note: The SSC is actively collecting the papers and oral histories of women and the records of their organizations. Please see the complete list of collections or contact us for updated information on our holdings.)

This subject guide was created by UMASS-Boston graduate intern Adrienne Naylor.