Collection Highlights Environmental Works
By John Spoor Broome Library Staff
On February 2, the John Spoor Broome Library celebrated the addition of a new collection. The Jean Harris Local Environmental Collection is a collection of materials from several local environmental activists. It is a growing collection of materials that highlight the work of individuals and groups in the Ventura County area who have worked on environmental and conservation issues. The collection began
with a donation of letters, papers, and plaques from Jean Harris. Among her many accomplishments and years of service to the community, she was awarded the National Wetlands Award for Volunteer Leadership (2000), the Oxnard Citizen of the Year (1979), served on the Oxnard Board of Trustees (1986-1995) and was a teacher for 25 years. Jean and her good friend Roma Harris were instrumental in the preservation of the Ormond Beach wetlands in south Oxnard. Since that donation Jean’s papers, other individuals have added their materials to the Lagamarsino Archives collections in Broome Library. Lupe Anguiano, Robert Chianese, and Roma Armbrust’s family have also donated some of their local environmental papers to add to the growing collection of materials on local environmental issues.
“Jean was an incredible force for the people and places of Ventura County,” explains Dr. Sean Anderson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Resource Management. “I can’t begin to describe my sadness when she passed away. My one condolence was that we took this opportunity to preserve her life and passions. More than just a remembrance, this archive is truly designed to keep the work of Jean and her fellow rabble rousers alive and relevant to future generations. I continue to draw strength from the passion preserved in this archive and hope my students and campus can live up to the potential she saw in us.”
Faculty and students in Environmental Science & Resource Management, Political Science, and Chicano/a Studies will find material in these collections that will be useful to their research and the study of local history, activism, and the natural environment in Ventura County. Family members of Jean Harris were in attendance at the official opening of the collection and were surprised and excited to hear that Jean’s papers would be of such interest and use to current students. Jean’s grandson Beau Lynott was one of the speakers for the opening celebration, telling tales about his grandmother as well as reading her poetry. In addition Oxnard City Council member Carmen Ramirez, Oxnard Mayor Thomas Holden, President Richard Rush and ESRM Assistant Professor Sean Anderson spoke at the event.
Steve Stratton, Head of Collections at the Broome Library, said, “Libraries are as good as their local collections. We at the Broome Library are working hard to increase access to our local collections so that students can use and learn from the materials available here from the immediate Ventura Country area. We strongly encourage people and organizations in the community to donate significant collections so that we can provide long term access to these important local materials.”