The Community Organizing Archive is comprised of archival and manuscript papers of activists and Brown alumni engaged in public service for the betterment of communal life in the United States through non-governmental organizations. The COA was organized in 2006 by Brown alumni Jim Dickson (1968) and Ken Galdston (1968) as a joint project of the University Library and the Swearer Center for Public Service.
The Brown University Archives and Manuscripts, housed in the John Hay Library, has a long history of collecting material from the University and its alumni, as well as various Rhode Island groups and organizations. Over the years, we have accumulated material regarding activists and community organizing, including the Rhode Island Feminist Theatre Archive (1973-1984), the records of the Rhode Island Women’s Health Collective (1975-1997), the records of ACT UP Rhode Island (1988-1995), and records of the Brown-Tougaloo Exchange. Since its inauguration on April 24, 2007, the Community Organizing Archive has grown to encompass several collections, including the papers of James C. Dickson (Brown class of 1968) and the American Association of People with Disabilities, the records of the Needmor Fund, and the papers of Bob Cohen (Brown class of 1968).
We are pleased at the prospect of expanding the Community Organizing Archive to document the activities of Brown alumni and others in the field of community organizing and social activism. All materials in the Community Organizing Archive are accessible at the John Hay Library to students, faculty, and researchers, both now and in the future.