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:
“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.
“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.
“Please send any inquiries about the collection to myself or the head of our department, Maija Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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.