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Powell (Elwin H.) Papers, 1960-2001

Collections Number:

22/3F/1088 Abstract:

In 1996, Powell deliberately organized one box of his own materials to be donated to the University Archives. He included class hand-outs and copies of an autobiographical work in progress. He also included a table of contents and a cover letter to explain the documents (the original letter and table of contents sent to the University Archivist is located in the accession folder). The folders from Powell's original donation were incorporated into the larger collection; however they are differentiated by an asterisk (*) in the finding aid. He arranged them into five parts and describes them in his cover letter as follows:

Part I. Choosing Peace/Making Trouble: A Project in Participatory Sociology, 1960-1990 is a still uncompleted manuscript (about 200 pages) dealing mainly with my antiwar activity on this campus. Most of this material was previously printed in the Buffalo Alternative Press and in Catalyst.

Part II. Catalyst, 1985, an issue mainly of the autobiographical writings of UB students in a Soc. 101 class. 211 pages.

Part III. Lecturing by Letter: Teaching 410 people to write a book and alter their consciousness, with a 30 page correspondence with a suicide attempter. 200 pages.

Part IV. Self as Project: On Choice, Consciousness and Conduct... Class Handouts, 1987-1996... approximately 1000 to 2000 pages. Includes here is a table of contents, circa 40 pages. This collection I am now rewriting as a book. I think the handouts give a glimpse of UB life over the past decade.

Part V. Proactive Evolution... toward a Paleosociology includes published papers, handouts, and notes on the role of consciousness in human evolution.

After his death in 2001, an additional 62 boxes of materials were donated to the University Archives. Organization of this post-humus installment of papers was significantly less deliberate. Files were generally grouped as activism, research, coursework and correspondence.

Because Powell was an avid photocopier and owner of a photocopy machine, there were many duplicate copies of class handouts, letters, flyers, and leaflets. Most duplicates were discarded. A selection of the discarded documents was used in an exhibit/installation, Epicircle: The Ed Powell Project. Reviews and an announcement of the event are available in the accession folder.


Topics: Campus Unrest, UB People
Terms of Access:

Some or all of these records may be restricted. Contact University Archives at 716-645-2991 or for more information.