The Kim Stallwood Animal Rights Archive

Here I am in my office among the more than 2,000 books in my archive. Photo credit: Paul Knight

Here I am in my office among the more than 2,000 books in my archive. Photo credit: Paul Knight

From March 1, 2015, the Kim Stallwood Animal Rights Archive will be in a new location in Hastings, East Sussex in England. The archive is my private collection. I personally fund it. There are significant costs to maintaining the collection, including rent and insurance. I pay for these expenses from the income I generate as an author, independent scholar and consultant. My long-term goal is to sell the archive to a university which will use it as part of their Animal Studies academic program. Meanwhile, the archive is available to visit by appointment only. There is a fee of £500 per day to view the collection. Various conditions and restrictions are enforced with respect to accessing and using the material. Please contact Kim Stallwood for more information. 

Expressions of serious concern for animals are recorded throughout human history, including in spiritual, religious, secular, political, and cultural endeavors. Even though its origins go back thousands of years, the start of what we have to come recognize as the modern animal welfare/rights movement is generally credited with the publication of such key texts as The Rights of Animals by Brigid Brophy (1965); Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (1975); and The Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan (1983). As is often the case with social justice issues (e.g., feminism and women’s studies), the case for moral and legal rights for animals is increasingly recognized both as a popular political cause and legitimate academic study, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.

With increasing worldwide recognition of the animal rights movement and animal studies in the academy, the Kim Stallwood Animal Rights Archive is an opportunity for an institution, organization or individual to establish or add to an existing archive on the moral and legal status of animals. Begun in the mid-1970s, the Stallwood collection has subsequently grown organically into an organized archive unlike any other. The range of materials include books, newsletters, magazines, journals, ephemera, videos, reel-to-feel footage, and art. There are unique and rare individual pieces as well as collections, which reflect the range and extent of my personal commitment and professional involvement in the international animal rights movement from the 1970s to the present.

The following paragraph from my book, Growl, briefly describes how the Kim Stallwood Animal Rights Archive began:

An example of my [animal rights] practice is that I have, since I became a vegetarian in 1974, collected campaign materials, books, videos, photographs, and artifacts (e.g., buttons, posters, and display materials) about animal rights and related matters. The result after three decades is a large and, to my knowledge, unique archive with more than fifteen hundred books. The archive has come to represent in a tangible way my life in animal rights: not only as a repository of knowledge and insight from which I draw for my work and writing, but as a reminder to me that animal advocacy didn’t start when I informed my mother that I was no longer going to eat meat. (p.172)

Later in Growl, I describe how I had started another collection, The Animal Rights Network Collection, and how it became part of The Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive at North Carolina State University:

I had to resolve one outstanding matter before ARN and The Animals’ Agenda could end. When I’d taken on the magazine, I was disappointed to learn that my predecessors hadn’t established an archive of books, files, photographs, artwork, and so on that I could use. I immediately decided to rectify the situation by founding what became the ARN Collection. We made it our policy to gather, sort, and archive every animal-related publication we received—including leaflets, direct-mail appeals, posters, audiovisuals, magazines, newsletters, and books. I asked organisations to make sure we were on their mailing lists as I didn’t want to miss seeing anything they published. I pleaded with organisations not to throw anything away. All they had to do was to send me material they no longer wanted and I pledged to add it to our rapidly growing collection.

Several groups told me they’d thrown away valuable files and other materials when they moved because they didn’t know what to do with them. I heard from another group whose archives were destroyed when a garden shed they were stored in burned down. Fortunately, I began to acquire archives from groups such as the Animal Welfare Institute and Argus Archives, as well as a unique acquisition from Claire Necker, a retired author of books about cats, who generously donated her outstanding collection of more than one thousand books about cats as well as more cat-themed artefacts than you could imagine!

At this time, Tom Regan retired as a professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the university established an archive in his name in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Regan archive is the only animal-rights university-based archive I’m aware of. Tom and I had been working closely together on a series of conferences co-ordinated by the Animals and Society Institute and Tom and Nancy Regan’s Culture and Animals Foundation. This gave me an opportunity to visit Raleigh often and Tom kindly took me to NCSU to view the archive and to meet the archivists.

As much as I wanted to keep and build the ARN Collection, I reluctantly accepted that it had become an onerous responsibility to professionally maintain so large an archive. NCSU came to the rescue when we agreed to transfer ownership of the archive to the university as part of the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive. (p. 192-193)

NCSU Libraries letter thanking me for my 'pivotal role' in helping to establish the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive.

NCSU Libraries letter thanking me for my ‘pivotal role’ in helping to establish the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive.

In 2013 I received a letter from Greg Raschke, Associate Director for Collections and Scholarly Communication at NSCU Libraries, recognising my work in support of the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive at North Carolina State University.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all of the hard work you have put forth towards helping us build the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive here at the North Carolina State University Libraries. As you know, the animal rights archive at NCSU is one of the best venues for scholars and activists to conduct research on the history and development of the animal rights movement. We hope to continue growing the collection and to encourage even more frequent use of the materials.

Your pivotal role in helping NCSU obtain the records of the Animal Rights Network was a key part in generating the momentum we needed as we sought to expand our animal rights collections. We are equally grateful that you have brought other collections to our attention, such as the Animal Rights/Animal Welfare Pamphlet Collection that we recently acquired. In April we released a press release announcing this acquisition and soon thereafter received a larger number of inquiries from researchers wanting to access the materials. No successful archive is built in isolation, and we are grateful for the collaboration of leading scholars such as Dr. Regan and leaders in the field such as you. Your contributions in connecting us with materials for purchase that are appropriate for the archive are most appreciated. We would like to build on these successes as we continue to grow the Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive.