Stiffening (And Sorting) Our Spines
This summer, PRA moved its extensive research library from its longtime home next door to the PRA offices inside our newly remodeled offices. This was part of PRA’s strategic assessment of its expenses; reducing its office footprint has helped to greatly reduce its lease for multiple years.
Over the summer, staff members, volunteer library systems analyst, Jesus MacLean, and assorted supporters helped to consolidate and move the library to its new home. As part of this process, PRA has established a partnership with Tufts University library and Archives, which now houses the PRA Archive, starting with a unique collection of right-wing serial publications. During 2011 we will add a PRA organizational archive to that collection.
PRA’s 5,000-volume library features an incomparable collection of primary-source materials and critical reviews on topics including the Religious Right; Creationism; Islam and Islamophobia; Gender and Sexuality; Extreme Right and Fascism; Race, Ethnicity and Nationality; and Rights and Liberties. Print materials cover subjects as diverse as religious fundamentalism, family values, sex education, the Ku Klux Klan, fascism in Italy, libertarianism, dissent, neo-conservatism, the John Birch Society, the Aryan racial myth, and government surveillance and privacy rights. It also features a large selection of videos produced by various segments of the Right.
A number of well-known writers have used the library, including Michelle Goldberg, who literally spent days in the stacks, as well as Thomas Frank and Laura Flanders, who were sent copies of obscure tidbits from the collection to answer specific historic questions.
The library is open by appointment weekdays during normal business hours. Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on some of the hidden treasures of the collection!
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