Environmental Defense Fund Archive
Manuscript Collection 232

Scope and Content Note

The archives of the Environmental Defense Fund document the administrative, legal, scientific and education efforts of the organization. The records measure 843 linear ft spanning 1967 to 2004, with the highest concentration found between the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.


The archives are divided into five record groups. Each record group is divided into sub-groups by administrative function or environmental program. Each sub-group is further divided by activity type (litigation, project, writings, etc.), and then arranged by record type into series. Types of files found in the archives include:

•  litigation papers/administrative hearings: includes case files, correspondence, transcripts and research.
•  project files: related to preparation of comments and testimony, committee work by EDF staff and other projects non-legal in nature.
•  publications and public statements: reports, testimony, articles and comments on proposed projects and other writings.
•  administrative files: fundraising, membership, board minutes, memoranda.

Content Description

Monographs and Serials

Monographs and newsletters have been removed from the archives and cataloged in compliance with the department's collection policy. They can be found by accessing the university's catalog system, STARS. The Charles F. Wurster Papers contain a number of program reports that have been not been removed and can be found in Record Group 1.4, Series 6-Environmental Defense Fund Programs.


Record Group 1: Founders' Papers [36 linear ft]

Arrangement: Divided into 4 sub-groups by founder; papers arranged by function
Date range: 1967-2006
The record group contains collections of several founders of EDF who worked on Long Island. In addition to EDF records, featured in the collections are clippings and reprints on DDT, minutes of the Nassau Suffolk Regional Planning Board pertaining to environmental issues on Long Island and subject files.

Record Group 2: New York Office [262 linear ft]

Arrangement: Divided into 11 sub-groups; records arranged by department or program of origin
Date range: 1966-2004
The New York office contains documentation of the origin of EDF, its administrative activities, as well as litigation records focused on land and water quality control; DDT; and New York-centered energy conservation cases. There is also a collection of environmental impact statements on an array of nationwide projects from power plants to navigation projects. Recent accessions contain records from Administration, the Climate Program and records on the formation of the Heinz Center.

Record Group 3: Washington DC Office [390 linear ft before processing]

Arrangement: Divided into 6 sub-groups; records arranged by department or program of origin
Date range: 1970-1992
Established in 1970, the Washington DC office contains documentation of hearings on the cancellation / suspension of several pesticides during the early 1970s: DDT, aldrin dieldrin, heptachlor/chlordane. Also present are hearing records pertaining to 2,4,5-T suspension; Marine Mammal Protection Act amendments; the Trans Alaska Pipeline System; the protection of Antarctica; drinking water standards; supersonic transport, and hazardous waste.

Record Group 4: California Office [83 linear ft]

Arrangement: Divided into 5 sub-groups; records arranged by department or program of origin
Date range: 1970-1984
Established in 1971, the California office contains records on the integrated pest management program in California , Allen Warner Valley power system, energy conservation and nuclear power plants, Pacific Gas and Electric rate design cases, and the Auburn Folsom Dam.

Record Group 5: Colorado Office [55.2 linear ft]

Arrangement: Divided into 5 sub-groups; records arranged by department or program of origin
Date range: 1974-1984
Established in 1974, the Colorado office focused on mining and reclamation, oil shale leasing in the west with an emphasis on air and water quality, the Colorado River storage project, Tennessee Valley Authority Duck River project, and Industrial Water marketing.

Record Group 6: Boston Office [17 linear ft]

Arrangement: Divided into 8 series:
The Alliance for Environmental Innovation Advisory Council
Corporate Partnerships Program-Company Profiles
Article Archives
Corporate Partnerships-Miscellaneous Projects & Research
Corporate Partnerships-McDonalds Project
Corporate Partnerships-Dell Corporation Project
Corporate Partnership Company-Starbucks Coffee Company Project
Climate Program-Diesel Pollution Reduction Project

Date range: 1995-2005
Access: Open with the permission of EDF and participating corporate partnership company;
Article Archives (Series 3), is unrestricted

The Boston Office emerged as a project of Environmental Defense Fund and the Pew Charitable Trusts and contains records of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program, as well as the Diesel Pollution Reduction Project.

Research Use

These records might be of use to researchers interested in environmental law and policy; environmental history on a national and local scale; the evolution of the environmental movement; and public education efforts to protect the quality of the environment.