MC 00322 Guide to The Esther Mechler Papers, 1974-2004

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This series contains two subseries: one consisting of Esther Mechler's letters to and from a few Major Correspondents and one of her more General Correspondence.
General Correspondence, 1974-1995
This subseries includes individual letters and notes written to and from Esther Mechler, as well as several in which she is neither correspondent. The majority are about animal-related issues and written to publications, political figures, fellow activists, or friends. This subseries is arranged chronologically with undated letters at the end. The undated letters are further divided between outgoing and incoming correspondence, and then arranged alphabetically.
[Box 1, Folder 1] General Correspondence, 1974-1980
[Box 1, Folder 2] General Correspondence, 1981
[Box 1, Folder 3] General Correspondence, 1982
[Box 1, Folder 4] General Correspondence, 1983
[Box 1, Folder 5] General Correspondence, 1984-1995
[Box 1, Folder 6] Undated General Correspondence
Major Correspondents, 1979-1990
This subseries contains correspondence written between Esther Mechler and several individuals involved in the animal rights movement. This includes letters and notes, as well as clippings, more substantial writings and the drafts of to-be-published works which accompanied them. It is organized alphabetically by sender and then chronologically.
[Box 1, Folder 7] Dommer, Luke, 1982-1990
[Box 1, Folder 9] Grant, Maria, 1980-1990
[Box 1, Folder 8] Grant, Maria, 1979
This series is divided into 5 subseries: Individuals, Organizations, Periodicals, Clippings, and Collected Works.
The Individuals subseries consists of animal-related writings authored by individual people which may or may not have been published. They are arranged alphabetically by the name of the author.
[Box 1, Folder 10] Cole, Susan and Dommer, Luke
[Box 1, Folder 11] Giannelli, Michael and Robbins, John
[Box 1, Folder 12] Unti, Bernard Oreste
The Organizations subseries contains written materials related to animals, animal protection, or animal rights which were published by or for various organizations. Pamphlets and brochures are included, as well as more substantial writings. They are organized alphabetically by name of the organization.
[Box 1, Folder 13] American Anti-Vivisection Society
[Box 1, Folder 14] American Medical Association, 1988
[Box 1, Folder 15] American Medical Association, 1989
[Box 1, Folder 16] Animal Rights Network (ARN)
[Box 1, Folder 17] Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting (CASH)
[Box 1, Folder 18] Focus on Animals (1 of 2)
[Box 1, Folder 19] Focus on Animals (2 of 2)
[Box 2, Folder 1] Friends of Animals-General (1 of 2)
[Box 2, Folder 2] Friends of Animals-General (2 of 2)
[Box 2, Folder 3] Friends of Animals “Branch Organizers’ Manual"
[Box 2, Folder 4] Friends of Animals “School Kit”
[Box 2, Folder 5] Other Groups H through Z, and unknown
[Map Folder 15] SPAY/USA
Periodicals, 1975-2004
The Periodicals subseries consists of various periodical magazines and newsletters related to animals and animal rights. Many are the publications of animal rights organizations, but some are more general publications. Accompanying some of the publications are Mechler's handwritten notes about the content. These materials are arranged alphabetically by periodical title and then chronologically within each title category, with notes following the title to which they pertain.
[Box 2, Folder 6] 7 Days, 1989 Oct. 4
[Box 2, Folder 7] Agenda, Sept./Oct. 1984
[Box 2, Folder 8] Animal People, 1994 Sept., Nov., Dec.
[Box 2, Folder 9] Animal People, 1996 June, July, Nov.
[Box 2, Folder 10] Animal People, 1996 Dec.; 1997 Jan./Feb., April
[Box 2, Folder 11] Animal People, 1997 May, June, July/Aug.
[Box 2, Folder 12] Animal People, 1997 Sept., Oct., Dec.
[Box 2, Folder 13] Animal People, 1998 Jan./Feb., May, June
[Box 2, Folder 14] Animal People, 1998 July/Aug., Sept., Oct.
[Box 3, Folder 1] Animal People, 1998 Nov., Dec.; 1999 Jan./Feb.
[Box 3, Folder 2] Animal People, 1999 March, April, May
[Box 3, Folder 3] Animal People, 1999 June, July/Aug., Sept.
[Box 3, Folder 4] Animal People, 1999 Oct., Nov.; 2000 Jan./Feb.
[Box 3, Folder 5] Animal People, 2000 June, July/Aug., Sept.
[Box 3, Folder 6] Animal People, 2000 Nov., Dec.; 2001 Jan./Feb.
[Box 3, Folder 7] Animal People, 2001 March, April, May
[Box 3, Folder 8] Animal People, 2001 July/Aug., Sept., Oct.
[Box 3, Folder 9] Animal People, 2001 Nov., Dec.; Jan./Feb., 2002
[Box 3, Folder 10] Animal People, 2002 April, May, June
[Box 4, Folder 1] Animal People, 2003 April, May, Sept.
[Box 4, Folder 2] Animal People, 2003 Nov., Dec.; 2004 Jan./Feb.
[Box 4, Folder 3] Animal People, 2004 June, Dec.
[Box 4, Folder 4] Animal Rights Network News, 1979-1981
[Box 4, Folder 5] Animals, 1986 Sept./Oct.
[Box 4, Folder 6] Animals' Agenda, 1987 July/Aug.; 1989 April, July/Aug.
[Box 4, Folder 7] Animals' Agenda, 1998 May/June; 1999 Jan./Feb.; 2001 July/Aug.
[Box 4, Folder 8] Animals' Agenda, 2001 Sept./Oct.; 2002 Jan./Feb., March/April
[Box 4, Folder 9] The Animals' Voice, Premiere Issue; 1988 Sept./Oct.
[Box 4, Folder 10] The Animals' Voice, 1989 Feb., April
[Box 4, Folder 11] The Animals' Voice, 1989 June, Aug.
[Box 4, Folder 12] The Animals' Voice, Vol. 2 Nos. 5 and 6
[Box 5, Folder 1] The Animals' Voice, Vol. 3 No. 1; 1990 Aug.
[Box 5, Folder 2] The Animals' Voice, 1990 Oct., Dec.
[Box 5, Folder 3] The Animals' Voice, 1991 Feb/March, April/May
[Box 5, Folder 4] The Animals' Voice, 1992 Jan./Feb./March, April/May/June
[Box 5, Folder 5] The Animals' Voice: The California Connection, 1987 Sept.; 1988 Feb.
[Box 5, Folder 6] ASPCA Quarterly Report, Winter 1988/Spring 1989
[Box 5, Folder 7] AV Magazine, 1984 March, April; 1985 July, Nov., Dec.; 1986 May, June
[Box 5, Folder 8] AV Magazine, 1988 July; 1989 Feb.; 1998 Spring, Winter
[Box 5, Folder 9] The Beast, 1980 Spring, Summer
[Box 5, Folder 10] The Beast, 1980 Autumn; 1980-1981 Winter
[Box 5, Folder 11] The Beast, 1981 Spring, Summer
[Box 5, Folder 12] Biotechnology, 1988 Oct.
[Box 5, Folder 13] Children and Animals, 1988 Feb./March; The Connecticut Scholar, No. 3
[Box 6, Folder 1] Discover, 1981 Feb.
[Box 6, Folder 2] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1990 Jan./Feb., March/April
[Box 6, Folder 3] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1990 May/June, July/Aug.
[Box 6, Folder 4] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1990 Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec.
[Box 6, Folder 5] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1992 Jan./Feb., March/April
[Box 6, Folder 6] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1992 Sept./Oct.; 1993 March/April
[Box 6, Folder 7] E: The Environmental Magazine, 1993 Sept./Oct.
[Box 6, Folder 8] Fund For Animals, Vol. 19 No. 1; Vol. 22 No.2
[Box 6, Folder 9] Good Medicine, 2000 Spring/Summer; 2002 Winter; 2003 Winter
[Box 6, Folder 10] The Greenpeace Examiner, 1983 Winter; Human Dimensions in Wildlife Newsletter, 1989 Fall
[Box 6, Folder 11] Humane Education, 1977 Fall; 1979 June, Sept.
[Box 6, Folder 12] Humane Education, 1980 June, Sept.
[Box 6, Folder 13] Humane Society Close-Up Report, 1977 Feb. 10, June; 1979 Sept.; 1980 Aug.
[Box 6, Folder 14] Humane Society News, 1976 Summer/Fall; 1977 Fall; 1978 Winter, Spring
[Box 6, Folder 15] Humane Society News, 1979 Winter, Spring, Fall; 1980 Winter
[Box 7, Folder 1] Humane Society News, 1980 Summer; 1981 Spring; 1982 Fall
[Box 7, Folder 2] Humane Society News, 1984 Spring, Fall; 1985 Winter
[Box 7, Folder 3] IPPL News, 2003 April; Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing Newsletter, 1994 Summer, Fall; KIND 1976 Dec.
[Box 7, Folder 4] Lab Animal, 1988 March, Sept., Oct.
[Box 7, Folder 5] Mainstream, 1979 Fall; 1985 Spring; 1989 Fall
[Box 7, Folder 6] Modern Maturity, 1988 June/July; The Nature Conservancy News, 1985 May/June
[Box 7, Folder 7] NAVS, 1987 no. 1; New Age Journal, 1989 March/April; Newsweek, 1975 Feb. 24
[Box 7, Folder 8] NOAA News, 1978 Sept. 8; Paws to Think, 2003 Spring
[Box 7, Folder 9] PETA's Animal Times, 1995 March/April, May/June
[Box 7, Folder 10] PETA's Animal Times, 2001 Winter, Summer, Fall
[Box 7, Folder 11] PETA's Animal Times, 2002 Spring, Fall, Winter, Holiday
[Box 7, Folder 12] PETA News, no. 4; 1988 Spring, July/Aug., Nov./Dec.
[Box 7, Folder 13] PETA News, 1989 Jan./Feb., March/April, May/June, July/Aug.
[Box 8, Folder 1] PETA News, 1989 Sep./Oct., Nov./Dec.; 1990 March/April
[Box 8, Folder 2] Report to Humanitarians, 1975 June, Sept., Dec.; 1976 March, Dec.
[Box 8, Folder 3] Report to Humanitarians, 1977 March, June, Sept., Dec.; 1978 March, June, Sept.
[Box 8, Folder 4] Report to Humanitarians, 1979-1980 Winter; 1981-1982 Winter, with handwritten notes and other information from Humane Society
[Box 8, Folder 5] Reverence for Life, 1977 Jan.-April, June
[Box 8, Folder 6] Reverence for Life, 1977 Sept.; 1978 Feb.; 1987 Jan./Feb., Sept/Oct.; 1988 March/April
[Box 8, Folder 7] Sangre de Cristo, 1988 Fall; The Science Teacher, 1986 Dec.
[Box 8, Folder 8] Social Research, 1995 Fall
[Half Box 8A, Folder 1] Unicorn, November 1980-December 1982
[Box 8, Folder 9] Unicorn, 1983 Jan.-June/July
[Half Box 8A, Folder 2] Unicorn, January 1983-February/March 1984
[Box 8, Folder 10] Unicorn, 1983 Aug., Sept./Oct., Dec.; 1984 Jan.-April
[Box 8, Folder 11] Unicorn, 1984 May-Oct./Nov. and undated inserts
[Box 8, Folder 12] University of Bridgeport Weekly Bulletin and Calendar, 1984 Aug. 27; U.S. News and World Report, 1989 March 20; Wraparound, 1976 March
[Box 8, Folder 13] Vegetarian Times, Nov 1988
[Map Folder 15] The New York Times Magazine, 1978 Dec. 31
Clippings, 1977?-1991?
The Clippings subseries includes clipped and copied articles and columns collected by Esther Mechler. They are divided into general subject categories and these larger subjects are then arranged alphabetically. Clippings of articles by or about Mechler are included.
[Box 9, Folder 1] Mechler, Esther, 1978-1986
[Box 9, Folder 2] Animals and Animal Welfare (1 of 3)
[Box 9, Folder 3] Animals and Animal Welfare (2 of 3)
[Box 9, Folder 4] Animals and Animal Welfare (3 of 3)
[Box 9, Folder 5] Children and Families
[Box 9, Folder 6] Food and Health
[Box 9, Folder 7] Trutt, Fran
[Box 9, Folder 8] Other Topics
Collected Works, 1978-1996
This subseries contains books about animal rights collected by Esther Mechler. The volumes have been integrated into the library's collection. Please check the NCSU library catalog for call number and availability.
Fadali, Moneim A.
Great Britain: The Labour Party, 1978.
National Institutes of Health, Division of Research Grants, Statistics and Analysis Branch.
Rupke, Nicolaas A., ed.
Ryder, Richard D.
Vyvyan, John.
Whittall, J.D.
Esther Mechler's two projects represented in the collection are the "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Film Strip and the 1986-1987 Wildlife Calendars. Each subseries contains background information, correspondence, and drafting related to its respective project, as well as examples of the final product.
"Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Filmstrip, 1980-1985
This subseries contains papers documenting the process of creating the filmstrip "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement." This includes background information, drafts of the script and teacher's guide, correspondence about obtaining slides and reviewing/editing drafts, artwork (including artwork created by the filmstrip's artist not used in this project), financial records, and the final product-a filmstrip with an audio-cassette and teacher's guide-in several different packagings. (Due to space and size constraints, the filmstrip from the third set is has been separated and is located in Box 14.) Also included in this subseries are correspondence and legal paperwork connected to Esther Mechler's copyright dispute with The Animal Rights Network (ARN) about the filmstrip.
[Box 9, Folder 9] Visuals
[Box 9, Folder 10] Script (1 of 5)
[Box 9, Folder 11] Script (2 of 5)
[Box 9, Folder 12] Script (3 of 5)
[Box 9, Folder 13] Script (4 of 5)
[Box 9, Folder 14] Script (5 of 5)
[Box 10, Folder 1] Teacher’s Guide (1 of 2)
[Box 10, Folder 2] Teacher’s Guide (2 of 2)
[Box 10, Folder 3] Copyright/ARN Dispute (1 of 2)
[Box 10, Folder 4] Copyright/ARN Dispute (2 of 2)
[Box 10, Folder 5] Copyright/ARN Dispute-Copy of packet sent to Alan Neigher with correspondence
[Box 10, Folder 6] Artwork by Andrew Dagilis (not created for this project)
[Box 10, Folder 7] Other Filmstrip Documents
[Box 11, Item 1] "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Boxed Filmstrip set (filmstrips, cassette tape, teachers' guide, notes)
[Box 11, Item 2] "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Boxed Filmstrip set (filmstrip, cassette tape, teachers' guide)
[Box 11, Folder 1] "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Filmstrip set (filmstrip, cassette tape, teachers' guide)
[Box 14, Folder 2] "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Filmstrip
[Box 14, Folder 3] "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Filmstrip (2 copies)
Wildlife Calendar, 1985-1987
This subseries consists of documents concerning the production of Wildlife Calendars for 1986 and 1987. Coordinated by Esther Mechler, this project was a collaborative effort between Esther Mechler's Animal Rights Associates and Luke Dommer's Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting (CASH) in 1986, and an Animal Rights Associates project in 1987. Included are chronologically arranged correspondence, some of which contains drafts of text or artwork, as well as a variety of other materials, including other text and art drafts, contracts, and the final 1986 calendar.
[Box 10, Folder 8] Art and Print Drafts, Contracts, etc.
[Box 10, Folder 9] Correspondence, 1985
[Box 10, Folder 10] Correspondence, 1986
[Box 10, Folder 11] Calendar, 1986
This series consists of a number of audio-visual items related to animals and animal protection. It is arranged according to format. This includes slides grouped in their original order, some of which were used in the production of the filmstrip "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement," as well as color photographs. A few of these depict people and events, but the majority portray deer hunting and are accompanied by the protest flyers in which they were originally wrapped. A cassette tape and two 16 mm films are also in this series.
[Box 10, Folder 12] Photographs General
[Box 10, Folder 13] Photographs "Hunt Sabotage” with flyers
[Box 10, Folder 14] Slides “Additional zoo slides (see other box for 1st choices)”
[Box 10, Folder 15] Slides “Dups Returned”
[Box 10, Folder 16] Slides “Duplicates of D. Bell”
[Box 10, Folder 17] Slides “Keith Krueger endangered species, dolphins, denuded forests, birds”
[Box 10, Folder 18] Slides “Working with chimps”
[Box 10, Folder 19] Slides Unlabeled (1 of 3)
[Box 10, Folder 20] Slides Unlabeled (2 of 3)
[Box 10, Folder 21] Slides Unlabeled (3 of 3)
[Box 14, Folder 1] Cassette Tape
[Box 14, Folder 4] 16 mm film Friends of Animals 90 sec. P.S.A./ "Skins" (2 copies)
The Memorabilia series includes animal rights related memorabilia in a variety of forms, including buttons, t-shirts, bumper-stickers/labels, artwork, postcards, programs, and posters from various animal rights/animal welfare groups and events. It is arranged according to the items' formats.
[Box 12, Folder 1] Artwork and poster
[Box 12, Folder 2] Postcards
[Box 12, Folder 3] Programs/Event Packets
[Box 12, Folder 4] Stickers and Labels
[Box 12, Item 1] T-Shirt, Albert Schweitzer “Until he extends the circle of his compassion…”
[Box 12, Item 2] T-Shirt, “Save the Whaling Wail”
[Box 12, Item 3] T-Shirt, Animal Rights Network, Inc.
[Box 12, Item 4] T-Shirt, Stand up for Animals “Support a Cruelty Free Lifestyle”
[Box 13, Item 1] T-Shirt, Save the Whales Hawaii and Greenpeace “Let Them Live”
[Box 13, Item 2] T-Shirt, Mahatma Gandhi “The greatness of and nation and its moral progress…”
[Box 13, Item 3] T-Shirt, Hunt Saboteurs Association
[Box 13, Item 4] T-Shirt, Fund for Animals “Animals have rights too!”
[Box 14, Folder 5] Buttons


Mechler, Esther


7.27 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

14 archival boxes, 1 halfbox, and 1 oversized folder


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Received in a series of donations from Esther Mechler in June 2002, November 2003, February 2004, and April 2005; June 2011 (Accession 2011.0122)


Processed by: Jennifer McElroy;machine-readable finding aid created by: Jennifer McElroy; Updated by Judy Allen Dodson


June 2011,

Scope and Content Note

The Esther Mechler Papers contains papers, audio-visual materials, and artifacts documenting Mechler's interest and participation in the animal rights movement. The Writings include published volumes, periodical publications, and writings by organizations and individuals on animal rights related topics, as well as article clippings on a variety of subjects. The Correspondence series consists of letters and notes to and from publications, political figures, fellow activists, or friends. The majority are about animal or animal-rights related issues. Two of Mechler's projects, "Animal Rights: The Issues, the Movement" Film Strip and the 1986-1987 Wildlife Calendars, are the subjects of the Projects series. The Audio-Visual Materials include photographs, slides, films, and a cassette tape. The Memorabilia series contains an assortment of artifacts from various animal rights/animal welfare groups and events. The Unprocessed Material include 1980-1984 issues of the "Unicorn" from the animal rights newspaper.

The collection includes materials dating from 1974 to 2004, but the bulk of the collection dates from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. For this reason, the collection contains very few materials concerning Mechler's more recent work or the SPAY/USA organization.

Biographical Note

Esther Rosenthal Mechler attended Bates College, where she spent her junior year abroad in Geneva studying with psychologist Jean Piaget. She received her Bachelor's Degree in 1964 and her Master's and Sixth Year degrees in education from The University of Rochester. She began her career in education, but has been involved with the animal rights/animal welfare movement since the 1970s. She started the Marian Rosenthal Koch fund with her parents. Named for Mechler's sister, the goal of the fund was to provide money for animal rights projects. Mechler was an instrumental figure in several organizations. Among her distinctions are serving as co-founder of Animal Rights Hawaii in the late 1970s and helping establish Animal Advocates in Massachusetts. A founding member of the Fairfield County, Connecticut branch of Friends of the Animals, she left that group and became a founding member of the Animal Rights Network in 1979. She served as an officer in that organization until her resignation in 1982. In the 1980s, Mechler worked to create newsletters for teachers and filmstrips for students. She started Focus on Animals to create, collect, and disseminate animal protection related audio-visual materials. Since this time, she has also co-produced two animal welfare videos.

Mechler has been particularly active in the prevention of pet overpopulation. In 1990 she founded SPAY/USA, a national referral service for low-cost spay/neutering. Originally a program of the Marion Rosenthal Koch Fund, SPAY/USA began with one vet. In 1993 the program was transferred to the direction of the North Shore Animal League International, now known as The Pet Savers Foundation. As of 2005, it is considered to be the largest spay/neuter advocacy and referral program in the world, with spay/neuter programs and clinics in 1000 locations nationwide and about 8,000 veterinarians in the network. Mechler also worked to spread her message on an international level. Several international organizations have been started based on her SPAY/USA model, including Spay/Israel, Spay/Costa Rica, and Spay/Panama, as well as various programs in Europe and Asia. For her work, Mechler won the first Geraldine R. Dodge Award for Humane Ethics in Action in 1995.

Esther Mechler is currently the co-editor of Paws to Think, the magazine of The Pet Savers Foundation. She regularly speaks at seminars and conferences around the world, and hosts a yearly SPAY/USA conference.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

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Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Esther Mechler Papers, MC 322, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

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