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Special Collections: Environmental History

A guide to resources related to environmental history that are housed in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library.

Environmental Pollution & Protection

United Steelworkers of America, Legislative Department records

The Legislative Department of the United Steelworkers of America was created in 1943, providing the steelworkers' union with its own means of influencing federal legislation. This collection documents efforts of the United Steelworkers of America to monitor and inform the United States Congress with regard to legislation pertaining to steel and related industries. The topical scope of the Legislative Department records is vast, touching upon labor law, trade and economic policy, monetary policy, energy policy, education and job training, social welfare policy, civil rights, housing, child care, environmental concerns, and occupational safety and health.


United Mine Workers of America, Research Department records

The United Mine Workers of America formed in 1890. The Research and Marketing Department was founded in 1957 and became the Research Department in 1973. This collection consists mainly of reference files and a reference library on topics of interest to the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) in determining goals and directions for the future. A smaller segment of the collection derives from UMW research coordinator Maier B. Fox, in the course of his writing a centennial history of the union.


United Steelworkers of America, President's Office Records, 1916-1980

This collection of USW records was created as a result of the activities of the International President's Office. The series of records related to its correspondence with various USW districts are particularly helpful for air and water pollution research.


Susquehanna River Basin compact papers

 In 1961, the Susquehanna Inter-League Council of the League of Women Voters was formed to coordinate the burgeoning interest in the Susquehanna River and to affect decisions concerning the Basin's water resources. The collection consists of correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, an early action prospectus, transcribed testimony before the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Senate subcommittees, the newsletter "Susquehanna Currents" (June 1962-July 1964), Inter-League Council Addresses (1962-1964), booklets, newspaper clippings, a published report Susquehanna River Basin: Nature Resources and the Future about the water quality of the river and copies of legislation on the Susquehanna River Basin compact.


Pennsylvania State University, Center for Air Environment Studies reports

The Center for Air Environment Studies, established in 1963, directed research and training on matters of air pollution until 1986. The collection consists of the Center's annual reports (1968-1979), two indexes (1967, 1968), one guide to air pollution research (1972), and 17 volumes of research publications sponsored by the Center.


Albert L. Myerson papers

 Dr. Albert L. Myerson (1919-2004) was a physical chemist who received his bachelor's degree from Penn State in 1941. He worked on the Manhattan Project (to develop the first atomic bomb) for the U.S. government, intercontinental ballistic missile research for General Electric, and air pollution research for Exxon. This collection includes technical reports, articles, presentations, correspondence, notes, and photographs documenting Dr. Albert L. Myerson's career in physical chemistry research at The Pennsylvania State University.


Pennsylvania State University, Institute for Research on Land and Water Resources records

The Institute for Research on Land and Water Resources was founded in 1963 as an intercollege research program in natural resource use and conservation disposal. It merged with the Center for Air Environment Studies in 1986 to form the Environmental Resources Research Institute. This collection documents the Institute's research endeavors. Materials include its technical reports (1960s-1990s) as well as plans and public information packets on natural resource concerns.


Percy M. Othus collection on Chinese hydrology

Percy M. Othus (1892-1965) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was executive engineer of the Yellow River Consulting Board in 1947. The collection documents engineering efforts to control Chinese rivers.

Citizens Urge Rescue of Environment (C.U.R.E.) records

Mary Minor founded Citizens Urge Protection of the Environment (C.U.R.E.) in 1983 as a result of area residents discovering four Superfund landfill sites within Adams County, Pennsylvania. C.U.R.E. became a grassroots leadership organization with a mission to bring all people closer to the reality of a cleaner environment and precious natural resources. This collection contains correspondence, reports, meeting summaries, newspaper clippings, notes and hearings with State and Federal legislators and environmental agencies relating chiefly to Keystone Landfill.


Tina Daly collection on the Pennsylvania Environmental Network

This collection documents the activities, primarily, of the Pennsylvania Environmental Network (PEN), a now defunct environmental advocacy organization active in southeast Pennsylvania in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Materials capture the efforts of the Pennsylvania Environmental Network, the committees Tina Daly served on, and other advocacy efforts of organizations with the network, which helped bring together dozens of local and regional environmental advocacy groups. The main research value of the collection can be found in about half a linear foot of PEN newsletters.