The Library recently acquired the complete digital archive of the historical periodicals held by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS). The collection exists as a series of five databases created from 6500 American periodicals published between 1691 and 1876. The collection also contains titles in more than two dozen languages including French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, and more. The series can be searched together or individually.
The Library of Congress has announced that the papers of President Theodore Roosevelt have been digitized and are online at https://www.loc.gov/collections/theodore-roosevelt-papers/. The collection includes over 276,000 documents, many of which were previously reproduced on microfilm. It includes “personal, family, and official correspondence, diaries, book drafts, articles, speeches, and scrapbooks, dating from 1759 to 1993 with the bulk of material from the period between 1878 and 1919.”
What would it be like to fly halfway around the world on a non-stop flight from Newport, Oregon to Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland aboard a C-17 Air Force transport plane with a small crew of environmentalists, veterinarians, and an internationally famous 21-foot long, 10,000 lb. orca “killer whale”?
Detailed answers to that question and much, much more can be found in the Earth Island Institute records, a newly processed collection now open to researchers at The Bancroft Library.
Earth Island Institute is a Berkeley based non-profit conservation group founded in 1982 by David Brower that acts as an incubator to support a global network of ecological and social justice projects working to conserve, protect and restore the environment. Born in 1912, Brower entered the University of California at Berkeley at age 16 with a plan to study entomology, but due to financial pressures had to leave school by his sophomore year.
Located in the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, you may have walked by or visited the LEED Platinum rated building, read the Earth Island Journal publication, or be familiar with Earth Island’s work going back to the late 1980s on the dolphin-safe tuna campaigns. Those campaigns helped to heighten awareness of dolphin by-catch mortality levels during purse seine net and drift net fishing practices for tuna fish, reform marine mammal protection laws and establish the dolphin-safe tuna labels.
One of Earth Island’s other major projects began in 1994 after the film Free Willy was released by Warner Bros. and brought worldwide attention to the plight of captive marine mammals everywhere, although especially for the orca “killer whale” known as Keiko who starred as Willy. First captured off Iceland in 1979, Keiko was owned by Reino Adventura, a theme park in Mexico City, Mexico during the film’s production. After Earth Island Institute, numerous animal welfare groups, environmentalists and children from around the world rallied to free Keiko, Reino Adventura agreed to donate him to the newly formed “Free Willy Keiko Foundation” for a program of rehabilitation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for eventual release back to the wild.
What happened to Keiko from then on is now in the historical record and up for research and debate. Although Keiko was released back into the wild, first into the Iceland sea pens in September 1998 and then into Iceland’s open waters, he died off the coast of Norway in December 2003 from pneumonia and possibly hunger, having lost the ability to fish for himself after being held captive so many decades. Since 1961, hundreds of killer whales, or orcas (actually a type of dolphin) have been captured and used in theme parks to entertain, and some would argue to educate, the public on the beauty and wonder of these magnificent beings.
As of 2018, there are approximately 60 captive orcas and countless dolphins and other marine mammals being held and used for entertainment at theme parks primarily in China, France, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States. And yet, captive orcas are certainly not the only killer whales in harm’s way. As evidenced in a number of recent studies, films and news stories – orca populations in the wild are dwindling at rapid rates as declining fish stocks, marine pollution and other factors like increased shipping traffic have caused them to be at extreme risk for extinction. The time to learn about orcas, marine mammals, the greater ecosystem of our world environment and how we can improve life for all creatures of the land, air and sea is now!
The processing of the Earth Island Institute records is part of a two-year NHPRC-funded project to process a range of archival collections relating to environmental movements in the West. A leading repository in documenting U.S. environmental movements, The Bancroft Library is home to the records of many significant environmental organizations and the papers of a range of environmental activists.
Environmentalists make terrible neighbors, but great ancestors. – David Brower
It would be difficult not to notice a common thread of diligent, dogged persistence across the broad spectrum of environmental justice activism. This tenacity, coupled with a long view of the world and a whole lot of hard work, is what makes for some of the most successful environmental justice campaigns.
While success cannot be measured in one brief moment or win where environmental issues are concerned, each victory adds to the larger picture of global environmental awareness and health of the planet. Multiple stories of such environmental justice grit can be found in the collections at The Bancroft Library and one collection in particular is the newly opened records of Arizona Toxics Information.
Focused primarily on environmental concerns in the Arizona/Mexico border region during the 1970s through 1990s, Arizona Toxics Information was founded by conservationist Michael Gregory in 1990. The collection also includes materials collected by Gregory before Arizona Toxics Information was established when he worked with the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter and grassroots environmental groups. Gregory had been employed by the United States Forest Service in the early 1970s and had witnessed the spraying of herbicide 2,4,5-T in national forests while he was stationed at fire outlook towers. 2,4,5-T is one of the main components of Agent Orange, which had already been banned for use in Vietnam due to its known harmful health effects and birth defects. From there, Gregory set about to research, collect information, write articles and lobby to end the practice of herbicide, pesticide and insecticide spraying in national forests and range lands.
In addition to the fight for pesticide use awareness and regulations, Arizona Toxics also ran several successful campaigns to shut down the Phelps-Dodge Corporation’s Douglas Reduction Works (copper smelter), the ENSCO hazardous waste management facility (PCB incinerator), and to improve the overall air and water quality of Arizona. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Environmental Plan for the U.S.-Mexico Border Area and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were being drafted in the early 1990s, Arizona Toxics Information lobbied and organized grassroots groups on both sides of the border to share information and rally for a multitude of environmental commitments in the agreements. These commitments included providing the public the “right-to-know” about pollutants being released from factories on both sides of the United States-Mexico border, regulating maquiladoras (factories in Mexico that are generally owned and operated by foreign companies which assemble products often to be exported back to the country of that company), and developing emergency disaster plans to respond to hazardous waste accidents.
The current status of NAFTA casts some doubt on the future of these agreements. The opening of the records of Arizona Toxics Information provides timely documentation of hard-won environmental justice victories on the US-Mexico border.
The processing of the Arizona Toxics Information records is part of a two-year NHPRC-funded project to process a range of archival collections relating to environmental movements in the West. A leading repository in documenting U.S. environmental movements, The Bancroft Library is home to the records of many significant environmental organizations and the papers of a range of environmental activists.
Description from the California Digital Library: “This resource provides online access to a historical journal Fūzoku Gahō which was originally published in Tokyo between February 1889 and March 1916 in 518 issues with over 38,000 articles. It is said that Fūzoku Gahō was the first graphic magazine produced in Japan. The articles published on the journal cover a wide range of subjects, including social and cultural trends and conditions in the Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods, customs, history, literature, things/objects and affairs, geography, war and disasters.”
For more information about this resource, please check at: https://japanknowledge.com/ en/contents/fuzokugaho/index.html.
Here’s a description from the California Digital Library: “The Oriental Economist Digital Archive is an online version of the print journal Oriental Economist originally published monthly between 1934 and 1985 and weekly between January 1946 and August 1952 in Japan (in 874 volumes in 44,000 pages). It is one of the very few commercial journals in English with a focus on the Asian economy that lasted over 50 years from the pre-war period. While the Oriental Economist included some translations of articles published in the Japanese journal Tōyō Keizai Shinpō (1895-1960) /Shūkan Tōyō Keizai (1960-present), it also published its original contents.”
For more information about this resource, please check at: https://japanknowledge.com/en/ contents/orientaleconomist/index.html.
As a charter participant in the World Newspaper Archive program conducted by the Center for Research Libraries, we have access to the newly released module African Newspapers, Series 2, 1835-1925. This resource contains 340,000 pages of content from African newspapers published between 1835 and 1925, offering unique coverage of nearly a century of African history. The collection features nearly 40 titles from Algeria, Angola, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. Titles were selected from CRL and member collections to complement and extend the range of material available in African Newspapers, Series 1. Included are such notable publications as:
• Africa’s Luminary (Monrovia, Liberia)
• Cape Daily Telegraph (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
• Cape Times (Cape Town, South Africa)
• O Moçambique (Mozambique)
• Munno (Kampala, Uganda)
• Nigerian Times (Lagos, Nigeria)
A collaboration between the National Archives and Gov.uk, the UK Government Web Archive gathers every publicly available website hosted by the British government since 1996. The contents are browsable and searchable and include Twitter posts, YouTube videos, and over a billion documents.
The Library has recently acquired online access to these government documents:
Panama: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1950-1963
Documents in this collection trace U.S.-Panamanian relations during the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations. Issues relating to shipping and the significance of the Panama Canal during the Cold War include: “Panama Stymies Use of Her Flag in Vietminh Trade … A parallel situation exists in the trade with Red China” (September 1955); and “Ships Enroute to U.S. from Soviet or Satellite Ports” (October 1957). A letter to U.S. Ambassador Julian F. Harrington details “the possibility that the Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1960 would result in a general acceptance by the United States of a six-mile breadth of territorial sea” (April 1960). Other documents chart day-to-day aspects of the economy: a report on sugar production with tables on sugar production and consumption (June 1950); and an announcement by the Panamá Canal Company of a contract award for native lumber (August 1952).
Brazil: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1960-1963
This archive focuses on Brazil in the early 1960s. Sample documents include a report from Recife on the cultivation and export of pineapples, “especially in the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba,” as “an increasing source of foreign exchange for the Northeast.” A November 1962 memorandum details the issuance of 40 billion cruzeiros in new currency “to meet runs on commercial banks during the political crisis, gradually flowing back to the Bank of Brazil following the return of normal conditions.” The collection covers the period following the resignation from the presidency of Janio Quadros in 1961 and the succession of Vice President Joao Goulart, whose years in office were marked by high inflation, economic stagnation, and the increasing influence of radical political elements. The armed forces, alarmed by these developments, staged a coup on March 31, 1964, during the administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Until June 30, 2018, the Library has access to the newspaper Pittsburgh Courier in its various iterations: The Pittsburgh Courier (1911-1950), Courier (1950-1954), Pittsburgh Courier (1955-1966), and the New Pittsburgh Courier (1996-2002).
This important African-American press title was founded in 1910 by Robert Lee Vann. At first the paper focused on local interests, but later addressed the social concerns that arose due to the influx of African Americans to Pittsburgh during the Great Migration. Vann used the paper as a platform to encourage prominent African Americans to serve their community; to promote education; and to counter the “negative coverage in the mainstream press by emphasizing African American achievement.”
Muhammad, Baiyina W. “Black Press: Newspapers in Major Cities.” In Encyclopedia of African American Business, edited by Jessie Carney Smith, Millicent Lownes-Jackson, and Linda T. Wynn, 1:79–88. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006.