MFI and David W. Oaks Get an Archive

Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Peer Support | 8 comments

Amanda with archives.

Amanda from the MFI office delivers the archives to OHSU.

I have good news to report: The big medical school in Portland, Oregon Health Sciences University, has taken the material from MindFreedom while I was director for twenty-five years. For many years I have encouraged archives for our movement, but there are very few.

We have compiled posters, newsletters, journals, letters, photos, etc. I would like to give a lot of credit to my mother Violet Oaks, who volunteered eight years in the office often three days a week. Mom must have gone through almost every piece of paper in the office applying her seventy-plus years of office experience and changing our messy office to one that had a very good filing system, thank you Mom! Mom is now 96 years old so she is working from home by doing thank you notes for gifts to my trust fund.

We have some photos here of the MFI team delivering the archives to OHSU. Thank you much to Heather, Amanda, Lisa, Bob Nikkel, and others who helped make this archive a reality.

Here is a note from OHSU archivist to me about this delivery:

From Karen Peterson:

At the Historical Collections Building With Staff “Thank you, David.

 “We are thrilled to have the collection/records of MFI. It is an honor to be considered the repository of such materials.

“We have only rehoused the materials and have not yet inventoried. It would be difficult for me to comment on them until I get an intellectual handle on them. I can say though that we collect on health care and education in all it’s aspects, which  includes collections such as yours that advocate for the rights of patients, no matter what the ailment, real or perceived by the patient or healthcare worker. As an example, our archive also contains therecords of Physicians for Social Responsibility. They have for decades advocated for world peace, and against nuclear power and its destructive attributes in war and in peace, and supports many other people and agencies that care about our planet and its inhabitants.

In Car “To be fair, we also collect infamous materials; these also  insure a holistic approach to telling history, which we both know includes people, events and agencies that have done great harm out of intent or ignorance. It is our duty to be unbiased in our collection policy.

 “Once we have organized and inventoried the MFI Records, we will have what we call a Guide to the Collection. We  will not only insure the preservation of the materials, but we will provide access so that researchers world-wide will have the opportunity to know and understand the work that you, and those that have worked for and with you, have provided to patients that otherwise would not have the advocacy needed.

In Office “Please send any inquiries about the collection to myself or the head of our department, Maija Anderson (andermai@ohsu.edu) or 503-418-2287. I have copied Maija on this email. My contact information is in my signature block and includes our physical address, mailing address and other contact information.

“I am very sorry about your accident and do hope that you are on the mend and will one day be back to health.

 “With my very best wishes , Karen”

Karen Lea Anderson Peterson, MA

Archivist – Assistant Professor

OHSU Historical Collections & Archives

 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road

 Mail Code: LIB

 Portland, Oregon 97239-3098

 503-494-3239

www.ohsu.edu/library/hom

There are three other archives that I know of:

(1) Psychiatric Survivors Archives of Toronto is the only independent archive for our movement. We have donated serveral boxes of general historic material to them. We donated non MFI material that is about the rest of our movement. If you have such material contact them. You may look them up here: http://www.psychiatricsurvivorarchives.com/

(2) Judi Chamberlin archives. She was a good friend of mine and leader in our movement. When she died the kind folks at National Empowerment Center saved about twenty big tubs of her archives. I am pleased to announce that the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has taken on her collection. You may read about their archives here: http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/umarmot/chamberlin-judi-1944-2010/

(3) Darby Penney writes to say that there is a third archive:  The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance and the Consumer/Survior/eX-patient movement Oral History Project.

The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive#comments
The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive#comments
The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive/comment-page-1#comment-1280
The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive/comment-page-1#comment-1280
The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive/comment-page-1#comment-1280
The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project. – See more at: http://www.davidwoaks.com/mfi-oaks-archive/comment-page-1#comment-1280
I have asked the MindFreedom Academic Alliance to comment about the importance of archiving this movement. Patricia Deegan PhD made the following statement: “We are a movement among other movements for human rights and social justice, both in the United States and around the world. The story of our cause and our efforts compliments and at times overlaps those of the women’s movement, the anti-war movement, the disability rights movement, the civil rights movement, gay and lesbian rights movement, etc.  We need only remember that a woman who held religious beliefs that differed from her husband could be diagnosed with insanity and institutionalized against her will (Elizabeth Packard).  Attempts to escape slavery were considered a form of mental illness (drapetomania). Blacks who rioted in the 1970’s were deemed to have “protest psychosis” and some were thought to need brain surgery.  Alan Turing was chemically castrated for being homosexual and later took his own life.  It wasn’t until 1973 that homosexuality was taken off the list of mental disorders.  I could go on and on. But my point is clear: the movements for human rights, civil rights, and social justice are an intricate fabric. Each thread is critically important to the whole story and to the strength of fabric.  Our causes are intertwined and that’s what make us strong.”

 

 

8 Comments

  1. This Academic Alliance is such a massive victory for change. As a researcher I am very interested in supporting this. The potential implications are exciting. Thank you for all you and the others have done to make this possible.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

    • Thanks. Academics such as Professors may want to join MindFreedom’s Academic Alliance. Ask piers. His email is in this discussion.

  2. Hi David,

    I’ve been following your blog, and it’s a great news!

    I’m a UMass history student who processed Judi Chamberlin’s paper over the summer. Her papers are open to the public now. As a graduate student who is writing a thesis about the history of the psychiatric survivors movement, processing her paper was the best experience. I’m glad your papers are going to be accessible to everyone.

    If you’re interested in the Judi’s collection, please let me know. Anyone can email to: stamao@history.umass.edu or visit my blog post: http://reversedview.blogspot.com/2013/07/judi-chamberlins-pin-badge-collection.html

    Thanks,
    Shuko

    • Thank You Shuko. Your work is much appreciated. In my 25 years as Director of MFI, it felt like there was some kind of barrier between the academic world and our movement. Please use your favorite search engine to look up “MindFreedom Academic Alliance” and you will see that we pulled together some key professors and others to address that chasm. The person in touch has a new email which is : piers.gooding@monash.edu

  3. I just wanted to add another archive to the list David mentioned above. The New York State Archives has the documents of the Mental Patients Liberaion Alliance and the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Oral History Project.

    • The Alliance is in the process of sorting our over 35 years of movement stuff. We hope to have it arranged enough for “exhibit” next summer.

    • Thanks. I have added this archive to my blog post.

  4. This is wonderful news for David, Mindfreedom, and our moevement! As a librarian and oral histroian, I can’t stress enough how important it is for each of the many organizations in our movement to find universities or other organizations who have the capabilities to preserve the documents that our our history.