RESIST--AN OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

 
 

 

Archives of Resist, the draft resistance support organization begun in 1967, later to become a foundation, were given to the Watkinson Library by Paul Lauter in July 1997. Lauter, the Allen K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature at Trinity College, a founding member of Resist, is also a former National Director of Resist and currently an active board member and a member of several committees. The twenty-three cartons of materials given by him to the Watkinson Library date from 1967 to 1987 and include applications to Resist for funding as well as files relating to the various activities of the organization. Also included are newspapers sent to Resist by organizations seeking assistance or wishing to keep Resist informed of their activities.

The Resist collection was processed in the summer of 1998 by Rebecca J. Skarbeck, student assistant in the Watkinson Library during that period. With the exception of newspapers found with the collection, most of the inventories and other finding aids relating to this archive were created by her. The processed collection comprises 26 archival boxes of Resist materials and 65 flat boxes of newspapers. (A guide to the many inventories and other finding aids for Resist precedes this overview of the collection.)

When using this collection, it will be helpful for readers to understand the box numbering and file labeling system used.

First, box numbers. The boxes which house the Resist collection (newspapers excepted-- see the newspapers inventory) are labeled with two numbers divided by a backslash, and then a title explaining the contents; some boxes are labeled with dates, as well. Box numbers appear on the labels as follows: 2/1, 2/2, 3/1, 3/2, etc. When the collection was given to the library, the materials were removed from their original storage boxes, divided in half, and placed in acid-free archival boxes. The two numbers are a result of this division of materials. For example, in box 2/1, the first number (2) signifies the number of the original box of materials, and the second number (1) signifies that these materials were taken from the first half of the original box. Therefore the materials housed in box 2/1 were originally taken from the first half of box number 2. Materials date from 1968 through the late 1980s. As a result of preserving the order in which materials were transferred from the original boxes to archival boxes, however, box numbering does not reflect chronological sequence.

Second, file labels. The individual files are labeled in some detail to make finding specific items easier. An example of a label for an application for funding and how it is to be read follows:

Resist Applications date applied title of group approved/denied date grant number grant amount

Box 2/1.

This file contains an application for funding by Resist. The file label includes the date the group applied and the title of the group. It also includes the decision made on the grant, the date of the decision, the grant number, and the amount granted. Files for other kinds of materials are labelled as specifically as possible.

Readers of the Resist collection, especially those with no or little knowledge of the organization, will find it useful to begin by reviewing several documents prepared by the processor, Rebecca Skarbeck. These are: Introduction; Interview with Paul Lauter; and Notes on Resist. In addition, copies of materials by or about Resist found in the file labeled "Resist--Background" are recommended for perusal. All such documents and materials, including guides and inventories, can be found in the three-ring notebook that serves as a comprehensive finding aid to the Resist collection.

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Prepared for electronic publication by Michael J. Breen '99, July 1999.