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Guide to the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group Records TAM.630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596
special.collections@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Megan O'Shea

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 07, 2021
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate artwork being sent to offsite art storage in September 2017 Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate collection description and processed materials Updated by Megan O'Shea to reflect housing of posters Updated by Megan O'Shea to reflect incorporation of posters found in repository Updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect January 2019 accretion Edited by Amy C. Vo to include item-level description of materials  , August 2017 , September 2017 , July 2018 , March 2019 , July 2019 , August 2021

Scope and Contents

The Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group Records document protests by the Occupy movement between 2011 and 2013, and the work of the Archives Working Group (AWG) to collect materials from these protests. The bulk of the collection documents the first Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest in the fall of 2011 in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, New York. Other documented events include climate change and racial justice protests in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Materials include posters, ephemera, artwork, correspondence, clippings, periodicals, diaries, a map, a compact disc, digital photographs, notebooks, organizational documents, and periodicals.

The bulk of the collection consists of material collected by members of the AWG in order to document the New York City Occupy protest in 2011. The majority of this material consists of posters and ephemera created by members of the movement in Zuccotti Park in 2011. In addition to the posters and ephemera, the AWG also collected letters of support, artwork, clippings, periodicals, diaries, notebooks, digital photographs, a map, and a compact disc. The posters and ephemera document the main issues of the movement, in particular income inequality, wealth distribution, and the influence of corporations on the government. The ephemera includes fliers, pamphlets, clippings, textiles, buttons, and stickers. The letters of support were sent by friends and family of the protestors, supporters from across the country, and one seventh grade social studies class in New Jersey. The clippings include articles from print and online news sources about the protest. The periodicals include the movement's publication, The Occupied Wall Street Journal and  Occupy!, which includes articles written by members of the movement and other activists and was published by the n + 1 foundation. The artwork includes small and large-scale plywood, masonite, drywall, metal, and fabric paintings, sculptures, and props created by members of the protest. These items include messages similar to the posters and ephemera. The diaries contain personal entries and meeting notes created by unidentified members of the Occupy movement. The notebooks were found in Zuccotti Park after a raid on the protesters by the New York Police Department in November 2011 and collected by members of the AWG. The map is of a route the protestors may have used in lower Manhattan, in the area surrounding Zucotti Park. The digital photographs depict protesters and police officers, and the compact disc contains the song "People's Park".

Material documenting the AWG is physically housed with the organizational documents and includes mission statements, draft budget proposals, meeting agenda, minutes, and notes. The bulk of the AWG records consist of notes taken by Amy Roberts at AWG meetings, with other material consisting of budget proposals presented to the OWS General Assembly and notes on collecting oral histories and archives best practices.

Material documenting the work of the General Assembly and other working groups are also physically housed with the organizational documents. These include a draft vision statements, a "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City", meeting agenda and notes, discussion documents, informational signs, and notes taken by Roberts at working group meetings. In addition to the AWG, the Music Working Group and other unspecified working groups are documented in the collection. The discussion documents consist of large, rolled sheets of paper with a general topic of discussion and related topics written on the paper.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged by type of document. The container list is arranged in alphabetical order.

Posters collected on specific dates are listed in chronological order by collection date, with descriptive information about each sign included in the inventory. Posters without a documented date of collection are not arranged, but are housed according to size and material type.

Discussion documents are arranged in alphabetical order by discussion topic. The remaining organizational documents are not arranged, but are housed according to size.