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In 1972, Consumers Union received federal funding to form the Center for the Study of the Consumer Movement, an archive of the records and papers of key figures and organizations in the history of of the consumer rights and cooperative movements.  The Center primarily collected materials from outside Consumers Union.  The list below represents a few of the collections acquired during that period. 


  • Esther Peterson Papers: Esther Peterson (1906-1997) was a leader in consumer, labor and women's movements who served as the first Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs. The Consumer Reports Esther Peterson papers include correspondence, clippings, photographs, texts of articles and speeches, reports, white papers, and other printed materials. The bulk of the collection documents Peterson's work after leaving government in 1981, especially with the International Organization of Consumer's Unions (IOCU) through the 1980s and early 1990s as well as her involvement with consumer and women's movements. Key correspondents include Peter Hansen, Joan Claybrook, Ralph Nader, and Gus Yatron. 
  • Helen Canoyer Papers: Helen Gertrude Canoyer was an author, home economist and educator who served as Dean of the Home Economics colleges at Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts. The Helen Canoyer papers include correspondence, clippings, news releases, lecture notes, texts to speeches and articles and other printed materials.  Much of the materials pertain to Canoyer's work with the Consumer Advisory Council, its administration and its efforts to advocate for consumer protection, consumer education and home economics.
  • William Nunn Papers: William L. Nunn was an economist active in labor issues, officer of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the first Director of University Relations at the University of Minnesota.  Collection consist of clippings and scrapbooks that document topics of interest to Nunn as well as occupational events in Nunn's life.  
  • William S. Taylor Papers: William Sentman Taylor was professor of psychology at Smith College and active in cooperative societies in the Northampton, Mass. area. The William S. Taylor papers include correspondence, clippings, pamphlets, business papers, committee reports and other printed materials that relate primarily to the operation and administrative activities of the Northampton Consumers Association and its relations with other regional consumer groups and cooperative societies. Topics include consumer education and protection, cooperative-run enterprises including book clubs and mail order.


  • Consumer Federation of America Records: The Consumer Federation of America is an association of state and local non-profit consumer organizations, founded in 1967 in Washington, D.C. The Consumer Federation of America records include bylaws, clippings, correspondence, meeting minutes and other materials, newsletters, reports and other printed materials that relate primarily to the administrative activity of the organization. The records also include files of the organizational leadership, including Carol Tucker Foreman, Erma Angevine, Kathleen O'Reilly, and Robert McKuen.
  • Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative Records: The Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative was a dairy cooperative serving the New York City area, established in 1937 and operated until 1971. The Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative records include clippings, correspondence, facility documents, financial and tax reports, meeting minutes, newsletters, pamphlets and flyers, photographs, sales and distribution records and other printed materials that document the operation of the cooperative and its relations with government agencies, labor unions, supplier dairies and creameries and other associated organizations. Topics discussed in the records include community health, consumer education and protection, government regulation, housing settlements, milk grading and pricing, and milk depots for supply and distribution. 
  • National Association of Consumers Records: The National Association of Consumers was a consumer advocacy and lobbying organization founded in 1946 and active until around 1957-1958. The National Association of Consumers records include correspondence, drafts and notes for articles and speeches, meeting minutes, membership lists, bylaws and other printed materials that primarily document the administrative life of the organization.
  • International Organization of Consumers Records: The International Organization of Consumers' Unions (IOCU) is a consumer protection and rights advocacy organization founded in the Hague in 1960; it renamed as Consumers International in 1995. Collection includes audiovisual materials; clippings; correspondence; financial reports; meeting minutes; membership applications; policy statements; press releases; proceedings and planning documents for conferences, seminars, and workshops; texts of speeches and articles; and other printed materials that document Consumers Union's membership and participation in the organization. Organizations and individuals represented in the collection include: Anwar Fazal; Charles Medawar; Florence Mason; Foo Gaik Sim; Health Action International; International Air Transport Association; International Baby Food Action Network; Lars Broch; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Pesticide Action Network; and the United Nations.