Animal Rights Network Records 1903-2003 (bulk 1970-2002)

Creator
Animal Rights Network
Size
228 linear feet (355 letter sized boxes, 42 legal sized boxes, 3 video boxes, 4 notecard boxes, 7 oversize flat boxes, 1 flat folder drawer, 5 tubes)
Location

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

Call number
MC 00351

The Animal Rights Network Records contains correspondence, office files, reports, clippings, publications, mailings, and audiovisual resources documenting the activities of the Animal Rights Network in advocating for the ethical and humane treatment of animals. Issues addressed by the organization include live animal experimentation, exploitation of animals for sport and entertainment, intensive breeding and slaughter of domestic animals for food, and irresponsible pet ownership. The Animal Rights Network (ARN) published a bimonthly magazine, The Animals' Agenda, which contained original content and also served to assist smaller animal rights organizations network with members of the animal rights community, as well as maintained a library and archives component. ARN encouraged its members to collect and maintain their own collections documenting the animal rights and animal welfare movements, and many members donated their collections to ARN. The bulk of the material dates from the 1950s to 1990s.

In 1979, several Connecticut-based animal rights activists withdrew from Friends of Animals, Inc., to found the Animal Rights Network (ARN). ARN joined forces with the animal rights magazine Agenda, and together they worked to unite local, national, and international animal rights groups to achieve common goals. ARN's main objectives incorporated the central issues confronting the animal rights movement. These objectives included live animal experimentation, exploitation of animals for sport and entertainment, intensive breeding and slaughter of domestic animals for food, and irresponsible pet ownership. The group used its financial resources to develop advertising campaigns and publications in order to educate the public about animal rights issues.

In 2001, the board of directors determined that the role of ARN as a movement building and networking tool was no longer necessary, and formed a new organization called the Institute for Animals and Society (IAS) to advance animal advocacy issues in public policy development by conducting scholarly research and analysis, providing education and training, and fostering cooperation with other social justice movements and interests. IAS merged with Society and Animals Forum to create the Animals and Society Institute in 2005.

Biographical/historical note

In 1979, several Connecticut-based animal rights activists withdrew from Friends of Animals, Inc., to found the Animal Rights Network (ARN). These founders included Esther Mechler, Doug Moss, Sunshine Beyer, and Patricia Valentino. Shortly thereafter, ARN joined forces with the animal rights magazine Agenda, whose staff consisted of Jim Mason, Peter Singer, and Kim W. Stallwood. Together, ARN and Agenda worked to unite local, national, and international animal rights groups to achieve common goals. The organization was set up as a democratic institution with executive officers and a board of directors accountable to the ARN General Assembly. Branches functioned as autonomous units, deciding for themselves on which local and national issues to focus on.

ARN's main objectives incorporated the central issues confronting the animal rights movement. These objectives included live animal experimentation, exploitation of animals for sport and entertainment, intensive breeding and slaughter of domestic animals for food, and irresponsible pet ownership. The group used its financial resources to develop advertising campaigns and publications in order to educate the public about animal rights issues.

ARN has a history of producing animal rights publications. In 1980, the group produced two publications, Agenda, a journal of animal liberation, and Animal Rights Network News, a newsletter that published news and events related to the animal rights movement. A year later, the publications merged under the title Agenda. In 1985, the publication's title changed to The Animals' Agenda. In 1997, the magazine merged with The Animals' Voice, but retained the name The Animals' Agenda.

In 1993, Kim W. Stallwood was appointed editor-in-chief of The Animals' Agenda, and became executive director of ARN later in the year. In conjunction with the board of directors, Stallwood revised ARN's mission to advance the protection of animals and defend their rights by working as a news organization to disseminate information about animal cruelty and exploitation, organizing public education programs, and leading efforts in the animal advocacy community.

In 2001, the board of directors determined that the role of ARN as a movement building and networking tool was no longer necessary, and formed a new organization called the Institute for Animals and Society (IAS) to advance animal advocacy issues in public policy development by conducting scholarly research and analysis, providing education and training, and fostering cooperation with other social justice movements and interests. In 2002, the board of directors ceased publication of The Animals' Agenda in order to focus on the establishment of the institute.

IAS merged with Society and Animals Forum to create the Animals and Society Institute in 2005.

Scope/content

The Animal Rights Network Records contains correspondence, office files, reports, clippings, publications, mailings, and audiovisual resources documenting the activities of the Animal Rights Network in advocating for the ethical and humane treatment of animals. Issues addressed by the organization include live animal experimentation, exploitation of animals for sport and entertainment, intensive breeding and slaughter of domestic animals for food, and irresponsible pet ownership. The Animal Rights Network (ARN) published a bimonthly magazine, The Animals' Agenda, which contained original content and also served to assist smaller animal rights organizations network with members of the animal rights community, as well as maintained a library and archives component. ARN encouraged its members to collect and maintain their own collections documenting the animal rights and animal welfare movements, and many members donated their collections to ARN. The bulk of the material comes from the 1950s to 1990s.

A significant portion of the collection is files from publishing The Animals’ Agenda each month. These are arranged chronologically by issue. Many members of the Animal Rights Network donated their collections about the animal rights and animal welfare movements to Animal Rights Network archives. Some of these members were individuals, but other donations were from organizations, such as the Fund for Animals, National Humane Education Society, and Farm Animal Reform Movement. Individuals include Ruth Gelhert, Susan Wiedman, Betty Eilers, and June McMahon. The series have multiple formats including correspondence, mailings, publications, pamphlets, and clippings. Items that were not donated by an identifiable person or organization were sorted into organizations and periodicals and newsletters.

Arrangement

The Animal Rights Network Records are arranged in twelve series as follows:

  • Series 1. Animals' Agenda
  • Series 2. Betty Eilers Files
  • Series 3. Ruth Gehlert Files
  • Series 4. June McMahon Files
  • Series 5. Robin Moler Files
  • Series 6. Susan Wiedman Files
  • Series 7. Farm Animal Reform Movement Records
  • Series 8. Fund for Animals (FARM) Files
  • Series 9. National Humane Education Society Files
  • Series 10. Subject Files and Clippings
  • Series 11. Organization Files
  • Series 12. Periodicals and Newsletters

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Animal Rights Network Records, MC 00351, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Books acquired by donative purchase from Animal Rights Network, 2003. Manuscript materials purchased for the NCSU Libraries by various anonymous donors, 2003.

Sponsor

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Animal Rights Network Records, MC 00351, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.