I am pleased to report that this past summer, I delivered the first set of archived materials for Psychologists for Social Responsibility to the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP) at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Martha Mednick, who served as PsySR’s newsletter editor for several years, and I have spent the last 2 ½ years reviewing and sorting most of the some 150 boxes of records that cover the years 1982-2006. There are still about 30 boxes left to sort, and our plans are to submit the rest of the materials by the end of this year.
This project was actually begun in 1984, when I became PsySR’s Coordinator. I saved everything that came through the PsySR office, so it has been a fascinating process to refine the materials down to only 16 boxes of significant materials that tell the story of what PsySR has been doing since its birth in 1982.
There are letters to and from Presidents of the United States, Senators and Congressmen, many background discussion papers on various topics that PsySR members provided to help develop the positions that PsySR took, minutes of leadership meetings, and examples of work with a wide range of coalitions. Since the time period also includes the technology shifts our world has experienced, it was interesting to see how things changed from sending multiple copies by mail, to faxes, to email.
The AHAP was established in 1965 to promote research on the history of psychology and collects papers from psychologists, organizations, publications, instruments and materials in many different media. To date, it holds the papers of more that 740 psychologists, among many other records. I was very happy to get a tour of the facility, to see samples of the many historical documents and other media, including the impressive aisle with stacked records on neat shelves from organizations. Now the work of PsySR has been preserved for future researchers to study, and this aspect of socially responsible psychology has been documented. There is much information about their holdings on their website. For more: www3.uakron.edu/ahap.
PsySR’s archived materials are organized into categories that include: Newsletters, Position Statements, Awards, Letters to the Organization, Administrative Correspondence, Steering Committee and Operations Committee meeting minutes, Special Events, Coalitions, Pertinent Publications, International Peace Practitioners Network and International Work, Action Committees and Task Forces, and Local Groups. If there are questions about the materials and how they have been organized, please contact me at email@example.com.
Now that the basic structure for the PsySR Archives has been established, AHAP will be working to develop a finding aid that will eventually be posted on the AHAP website. People who have materials that could be included in the PsySR Archives may send them to the AHAP. If researchers wish to view the archives, they can visit AHAP in Akron. Please contact Rhonda Rinehart, MLIS, Senior Archives Associate, Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Polsky Building LL 10-A, Akron, OH 44325-4302; Telephone: 330-972-6474, email: Rhonda6@uakron.edu.
PsySR member Anne Anderson, LICSW, is a social worker in private practice with the Washington Therapy Guild in Washington, DC. She served as PsySR’s Coordinator from 1984-2006. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.