Animal
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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
1 November 2000 Issue

Recording Animal Advocacy
by Jim Harris - jimbob@voicenet.com

Have you heard... of Rosa Parks ... Susan B. Anthony? Probably. How about Henry Spira or Cleveland Amory? You may have, if you're an animal activist, but do you think that anyone will know or care who either of them were fifty years from now? The roots of animal advocacy predate many of the better-known movements of today, yet, until now, no institutions of higher learning have had comprehensive, dedicated archives in this area.

Recording Animal Advocacy (RAA) was founded in 1998 to foster scholarly research and public education in the history of animal protection, advocacy, and the modern animal rights movement. We actively encourage and facilitate the collection, preservation, and study of relevant resources through several means; Our Oral History Project has begun to gather the life stories and memories of animal advocates, especially those with first hand experience over the last 30-40 years. These recordings and transcripts, produced in compliance with professional oral history guidelines, will be housed in a permanent collection at Columbia University and made widely available for research and educational purposes. Oral histories can be used in scholarly publications, popular writings, and school curricula. They can be utilized as audio excerpts, in websites, museums, and media presentations. They remain useful for generations.

RAA's Archive Initiative provides individuals and groups with information for making use of their historically significant records, specifically unpublished material such as correspondence, minutes of meetings, and photographs.

How Does All This Help Animals?
Original historical records are essential if a cause is to gain status in society and credibility in the eyes of legislators, journalists and business people. Those who exploit animals have long taken care to preserve their histories. We must ensure that the important work carried out by animal advocates in 1960 will not be forgotten in 2020, or survive only as distorted sound bytes and biased newspaper articles These records will serve as constructive replies to criticisms of sensationalism, and lack of sophistication within the animal advocacy community. Organizations can use them in campaigns and fundraising as evidence of their accomplishments and strength. Individuals may find them to be a source of inspiration as well as a guide to how problems have been tackled in the past.

Do you share our vision? Are you interested in our work? Do you know someone who can benefit from the information and assistance we offer? If so, contact us. No question is too big or too small.

If you were involved in the movement in the '70's or earlier, we'd love to hear some of your recollections. For example:
* Was there a specific incident or individual that got you involved?
* Did you join/ form a group, or act alone?
* How did friends and family react to your activism?
* What were the outstanding issues of the day?

You can Contact Us via
Our Website - www.recordinganimaladvocacy.org
Snailmail - P.O.Box 27022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118
Phone - 215-247-7753
E-mail - raateam@cswebmail.com

Together, we can use the past to build a better future for our movement and for the animals

Go on to Last Bastion of Morality by tapster@mindspring.com
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