Browse: Collections Creators Subjects Repositories Digital Collections
Log In | Contact Us | View List (0)

Susan B. Nelson Collection

Overview

Abstract

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Park and Seashore

Project and Research Files

Publications

Personal Files



Contact us about this collection

Susan B. Nelson Collection, 1892-2003 | Special Collections & Archives

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Susan B. Nelson Collection, 1892-2003Save to your list.

Predominant Dates:1964-2001

ID: URB/SBN

Primary Creator: Nelson, Susan B.

Extent: 77.88 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement:

Series I: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains' Parks and Seashore, 1962-2001

Series II: Project and Research Files, 1892-1911, 1928-2003

Series III: Publications, 1957-2002

Series IV: Personal Files, 1905, 1940-2003

Date Acquired: 06/01/2004

Forms of Material: Audio recordings, Electronic records, Ephemera, Maps, Paper records, Photographic material, Publications, Video recordings

Languages: English

Abstract

The Susan B. Nelson Collection documents the professional and personal life of Susan Louise Barr Nelson, an environmental and community planner, and social and political activist. Nelson played a fundamental role in the establishment of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which became the largest urban national park in the United States. The collection also details Nelson’s work with numerous groups and organizations to preserve open space and parklands for recreational use and includes materials pertaining to a number of social welfare issues with which she was involved. Additionally, the collection contains Nelson’s personal writings and materials related to her family, home life, and education.

Biographical Note

Susan Louise Barr was born in Syracuse, New York on April 13, 1927 to Mr. and Mrs. Winston Barr. The family moved to California in 1930, first settling in a bungalow in Hollywood before moving to the Carthay District Center, which today is known as Carthay Circle, Los Angeles. With 1930’s Los Angeles significantly less affected by urban sprawl, Susan spent her childhood playing in the area’s parks and the Ballona-Playa del Rey Lagoon’s marsh, which resulted in a life-long love of the outdoors and its natural resources.

In 1944, Susan graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. The following Fall, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1948. That same year Susan married Earl Calvin Nelson Jr., a graduate of the University of Southern California. The couple settled in Mandeville Canyon and had four children: Bradley, Sara, Catherine, and Peter, before the marriage ended in divorce in 1983. Susan returned to UCLA to earn a Master of Public Administration in 1969. During the 1970s, she gained employment at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, UCLA, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Santa Monica Community College where she lectured on environmental planning and urban design. She also held memberships with the American Institute of Planners and the American Federation of Teachers.

Susan Nelson’s distinguished career as an environmental and community planner, writer, and social and political activist began in the 1960s with her publication of the Mandeville Rose Newsletter, which served the residents of that community. In 1963, Nelson co-founded the Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains’ Parks and Seashore (FSMMPS) and its subsequent funding foundation, the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation (SMMSF) in 1972. In conjunction with the FSMMPS, Nelson worked at the local, state, and federal level to provide testimony, conduct studies, develop conferences and workshops, and contribute to legislation that led to the creation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) in 1978 – the first urban national park of its kind. Following the establishment of the SMMNRA, Nelson served on the park’s advisory commission for ten years where she worked to protect the park from budget cuts and urban development, as well as expand the SMMNRA through land acquisitions. She also served as a member and advisor to a number of environmental groups, including the Save Malibu Canyon, Temescal Canyon, and Point Mugu Citizen’s Advisory Committees, and the National Park and Conservation Association, where she worked to secure Topanga, Point Mugu, and Malibu Creek State Parks as recreational areas. Nelson also lent her organizing talents to the preservation of California’s beaches by opposing offshore drilling and advocating for marine sanctuaries.

In addition to her work with National and State Parks, Nelson was also engaged in city planning and social projects. During the 1970s, Nelson organized a number of environmental groups and homeowner’s associations to oppose the development of the Malibu Canyon Freeway, Pacific Coast Freeway, Mulholland Highway, and the Reseda Boulevard Extension. She also worked with the art community of the Renaissance Faire to stop the Paramount Ranch Development in Agoura; aided in the development of numerous community plans; and developed housing and open space elements for a number of Southern California communities. In the 1980s, Nelson focused her attention on the City of Los Angeles’ General Plan, proposing alternatives and working with the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associates to file a lawsuit against the city over zoning issues. She also organized "Save Hollywood Our Town" in opposition to the city’s plan to revitalize Hollywood and opposed numerous plans for urban development in the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Angeles Basin. A member of the bioregional movement and advocate of the Green Party, Nelson was a proponent of recycling programs and safeguarding the public and environment from hazardous pollutants, which led to the 1987 defeat of the LANCER Project that proposed the construction of a trash incineration facility in South Central Los Angeles. Nelson also worked to address a number of social issues including the desegregation of public schools and the advancement of women. In 1974, she founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in California to support the election and appointment of women to public office.

During a career that spanned four decades, Nelson played an integral role in the preservation of open space and parklands. Her work to establish the SMMNRA earned her the moniker "Mother of the Santa Monica Mountains," recognizing her contributions which helped to shape Southern California’s landscape. Nelson continued to devote her life to environmental and social causes until her untimely passing on May 4, 2003.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Susan B. Nelson Collection documents Nelson’s professional and personal life, most notably, the fundamental role she played in the creation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in 1978. The collection details the work of the Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains’ Parks and Seashore (FSMMPS) and the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation (SMMSF), which Nelson utilized to realize the dream of an urban park for residents of the greater Los Angeles area. Materials include governing documents, meeting minutes, leadership and membership rosters, financial information, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, publications, reports and studies, testimony, legislative information, conference and workshop materials, project notebooks, photographic material, audio and visual recordings, and a large number of oversized maps, plans, and posters. In addition, the collection contains of records generated by a number of organizations and groups affiliated with Nelson’s work regarding environmental conservation and social and political causes. The collection is arranged into four series: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains’ Parks and Seashore (1962-2001), Project and Research Files (1892-1911, 1928-2003), Publications (1957-2002), and Personal Files (1905, 1940-2003).

Series I, Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains’ Parks and Seashore, contains the organization’s working papers, as well as the administrative papers of its funding partner, the SMMSF. The series includes administrative notebooks, financial records, and meeting minutes that document the organization’s operations and administrative practices; SMMSF By-laws, Articles of Incorporation, and establishing documentation, which detail the foundation’s origin, governing structure, and procedures for selecting individuals to its supervisory boards; and contact lists and rosters that identify organizational officers and members for specific years. Materials also include a brochure designed to inform the public of the organization’s purpose, as well as audio recordings, flyers, newsletters, and press releases that highlight the FSMMPS’s activities within the community. It also consists of interoffice and general correspondence that documents the FSMMPS and the SMMSF’s interactions with colleagues; environmental agencies such as the National Park Service and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; and local, state, and federal politicians including California Governor Jerry Brown and President Jimmy Carter. In several instances, correspondence contains materials of both a professional and personal nature. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series II, Project and Research Files, makes up the bulk of the collection and documents the social, political, and environmental projects that comprised Nelson’s life work. Materials include legislative information, testimony, conference and workshop documentation, natural and cultural resource studies, petitions, newspaper articles, and correspondence pertaining to the creation of the SMMNRA. The series also details the role that FSMMPS, SMMNRA Advisory Commission, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the National Park Service played in the development and management of the new Urban National Park. It also consists of information regarding the preservation of open space for recreational use and establishment of California State Parks, as well as the preservation of its beaches and coastline.

Additionally, the series contains information regarding grassroots and political organizations, homeowner’s associations, and community and conservation groups that lent their efforts to a variety of environmental and social issues, as well as organizational flyers, pamphlets, brochures, meeting announcements, newspaper articles, and newsletters highlighting public outreach events and specific issues of concern. Areas of focus include the City of Los Angeles General Plan; urban development; city oil pipeline projects and offshore drilling; solid waste management; Green Party politics; the bioregional movement; hazardous toxins and radioactive landfills; and air and water quality. Materials also consist of information on public education, including the “Integration Project” designed to ensure equal and integrated education, as well as files on women’s issues, health care, housing, and community building. Files on peace depict Nelson’s domestic and international concerns regarding terrorism, nuclear weaponry, war in the Middle East and Yugoslavia, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and election practices in Latin America. The series includes photographic material; audio and visual recordings; and oversized maps and plans related to the series’ projects. There are also a large number of project notebooks that contain material of both a professional and personal nature. The series in arranged alphabetically.

Series III, Publications, contains reports, studies, informational literature, and management and community plans pertaining to the environmental and public issues. The publications in the series are the work of various government, environmental, and private agencies such as the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State of California Department of Water Resources, and the Mulholland Citizen’s Advisory Committee. The materials in Series III serve as supplemental and supportive information for the projects and research files contained in Series II. Topics in the series include the establishment of the Mulholland Scenic Corridor; Los Angeles’ growth, infrastructure, and transportation; municipal waste management; environmental pollutants; California coastal and water plans; and resource management plans for Southern California’s mountains, canyons, and deserts. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, Personal Files, documents Susan Nelson’s life as an educator, writer, and member of the environmental planning community, as well as provides insight into her personal relationships with colleagues, family, and friends. The series includes academic materials pertaining to Nelson’s education; biographical information and resumés that chronicle the evolution of her career; and calendars, daily planners, address books and lists that detail her personal and professional activities and contacts. Materials also include travel documentation and photographic material regarding vacations and work related trips; financial documents, hand drawn sketches, and professional plans related to the remodeling of Nelson’s home; family records that reveal the Barr family’s origins; and photographic materials that depict family and home life. In addition, Series IV consists of certificates that document Nelson’s academic achievements and organizational memberships; teaching materials pertaining to her role as a college instructor; and personal writings, journals, poems, and notebooks that contain Nelson’s reflections regarding her early life, family, dealings with colleagues, and professional pursuits. Correspondence includes letters, holiday greeting cards, postcards, and invitations and announcements of both a personal and professional nature. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 157.79 GB

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Earl Bradley Nelson

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Processing Information: Jennifer Shelly, 2018


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Park and Seashore, 1962-2001]
[Series II: Project and Research Files, 1892-1911, 1928-2003]
[Series III: Publications, 1957-2002]
[Series IV: Personal Files, 1905, 1940-2003],
[All]

Series I: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Park and Seashore, 1962-2001Save to your list.
Box 1Save to your list.
Folder 1: Administrative NotebookSave to your list.
Folder 2: Administrative Notes, 1965-1984Save to your list.
Folder 3: Administrative NotesSave to your list.
Folder 4: Advisory Board Meeting Announcements, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 5: Advisory Board Roster, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 6: Background Information: Santa Monica Mountains/Channel Islands FoundationSave to your list.
Folder 7: Contact ListsSave to your list.
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1962-1966Save to your list.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1967-1970Save to your list.
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1971-1973Save to your list.
Folder 11: Correspondence, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 12: Correspondence, 1974Save to your list.
Folder 13: Correspondence, 1975Save to your list.
Folder 14: Correspondence, 1976Save to your list.
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1977Save to your list.
Folder 16: Correspondence, 1978-1979Save to your list.
Folder 17: Correspondence, 1979-1981Save to your list.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1982-1983Save to your list.
Folder 19: Correspondence, 1984Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1985-1986Save to your list.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1987-1989Save to your list.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1989-1992Save to your list.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1993-1994Save to your list.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1995-1996Save to your list.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1997Save to your list.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1998-2001Save to your list.
Folder 8: CorrespondenceSave to your list.
Folder 9: CorrespondenceSave to your list.
Folder 10: Correspondence, California Assembly, 1979-1983Save to your list.
Folder 11: Correspondence, California State Governor's Office, 1979-1982Save to your list.
Folder 12: Correspondence, California State Senators, 1979Save to your list.
Folder 13: Correspondence, Email, 1995-2001Save to your list.
Folder 14: Correspondence, United States House of Representatives, 1977-1983Save to your list.
Folder 15: Correspondence, United States Senate, 1978-1983Save to your list.
Folder 16: Correspondence, White House Cabinet, 1978-1980Save to your list.
Folder 17: Daily Planner, 1977-1978Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Folder 1: Database Information, 1970-1972Save to your list.
Folder 2: Database Information, 1972-1974Save to your list.
Folder 3: Database Information, 1974-1980, 1987-1992Save to your list.
Folder 4: Database Information, 1979-1986Save to your list.
Folder 5: Database Information, 1981-1987Save to your list.
Folder 6: Database Information, 1984-1988Save to your list.
Folder 7: Database Information, 1987-1991Save to your list.
Folder 8: Fact Sheets, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 9: Federal Assistance Application, 1974 February 28Save to your list.
Folder 10: Financial Documentation, 1966-1974Save to your list.
Folder 11: Financial Documents and Expenditures, 1968-1970Save to your list.
Folder 12: Financial Documents and Expenditures, 1970-1986Save to your list.
Folder 13: Flyers and Pamphlets, 1983-1993Save to your list.
Folder 14: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Agendas and Announcements, 1964-1975, 1984Save to your list.
Folder 15: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore Board of Directors and Planning Committee RosterSave to your list.
Folder 16: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes and Agenda, 1973Save to your list.
Box 4Save to your list.
Folder 1: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore Brochure, Correspondence, Drafts and Notes, 1972-1981Save to your list.
Folder 2: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore Directors and Officers Roster, 1969-1970Save to your list.
Folder 3: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore, Executive Board Roster, 1973-1980Save to your list.
Folder 4: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore, Executive Committee Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1965-1966, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 5: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore, Meeting Minutes, Attendance Sheets and Agendas, 1964-1979Save to your list.
Folder 6: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Parks and Seashore, Proposed Budget, 1967Save to your list.
Folder 7: Inhouse Communication, SB 1368, The Berman Bill, 1972 June 1Save to your list.
Folder 8: Media Advisory, 1989Save to your list.
Folder 9: Member Information, Contributions, and Dues, 1968-1979Save to your list.
Folder 10: Membership ApplicationsSave to your list.
Folder 11: Membership Meeting Agendas and Announcements, 1964, 1974-1977Save to your list.
Folder 12: Memos, 1972-1976Save to your list.
Folder 13: Nelson, Susan B., Responsibilities ListSave to your list.
Folder 14: Newsletter Committee Minutes, Agenda and Roster, 1984Save to your list.
Folder 15: Newsletter and Fact Sheet Draft, 1981Save to your list.
Folder 16: Newsletters and Newsletter Drafts, 1964, 1971-1987Save to your list.
Folder 17: Newsletters and Newsletter Drafts, 1965-1979Save to your list.
Folder 18: Newsletters and Newsletter Drafts, 1983Save to your list.
Folder 19: Nominating Committee Meeting Announcement and Report, 1966Save to your list.
Folder 20: Organizing QuestionnaireSave to your list.
Folder 21: Petitions, 1974Save to your list.
Folder 22: Postal Permit, 1976, 1983-1984Save to your list.
Folder 23: Press Releases, 1964-1991Save to your list.
Folder 24: Public Information Sheet, Draft, 1975Save to your list.
Folder 25: Publicity, 1976-1981Save to your list.
Folder 26: "Reorganization of Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains", by Macklin FlemingSave to your list.
Folder 27: Reports Pertaining to Santa Monica Mountain Parks and Seashore, 1970-1971Save to your list.
Folder 28: Resume, Popper, Daniel M, 1978Save to your list.
Folder 29: Santa Monica Mountains Public Trust Organization, Formation Documentation, 1973Save to your list.
Folder 30: Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation Articles of Incorporation, 1974-1976Save to your list.
Folder 31: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Amendment, 1975Save to your list.
Folder 32: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Board of Directors RosterSave to your list.
Box 5Save to your list.
Folder 1: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Board of Trustees Meeting Agendas, Memorandums and Minutes, 1973-1981Save to your list.
Folder 2: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation Brochure Correspondence, Draft and Notes, 1972-1974Save to your list.
Folder 3: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation Budget, 1982-1984Save to your list.
Folder 4: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation By-Laws, 1975-1976Save to your list.
Folder 5: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Certificate of Dissolution, 1985 July 31Save to your list.
Folder 6: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Establishing Documentation, 1973-1977Save to your list.
Folder 7: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Establishing Documentation, 1974-1985Save to your list.
Folder 8: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Meeting Agendas, Announcements and Minutes, 1966, 1974-1981Save to your list.
Folder 9: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Meeting Agendas, Announcements and Minutes, 1984-1989, 2000Save to your list.
Folder 10: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Title Change Document and Correspondence, 1974, 1985Save to your list.
Folder 11: Santa Monica Mountains Seashore Foundation, Trustees and Officers RosterSave to your list.
Folder 12: State of California, Franchise Tax Board, Tax Exemption Documents, 1976Save to your list.
Folder 13: StationerySave to your list.
Folder 14: Steering Committee Meeting Agenda and Minutes, 1972 July 7Save to your list.
Folder 15: Telephone Communications, 1983Save to your list.
Folder 16: Telephone Communications, 1988Save to your list.
Folder 17: Women's Committee, 1964, 1978Save to your list.
Box 155Save to your list.
Folder 1: Women's CommitteeSave to your list.
Box 157Save to your list.
Item 1: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains’ Park and Seashore Publicity MapSave to your list.
Box 159Save to your list.
Folder 1: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains and Parks Brochure, Photographic PrintsSave to your list.
Folder 2: Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation, Establishing Documents, Photographic PrintSave to your list.
Digital Box 165Save to your list.
Folder 1: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains' Parks and SeashoreSave to your list.
Item 1: Friends Meeting, Side A (audio)Save to your list.
Item 2: Friends Meeting, Side B (audio)Save to your list.
Item 3: Inside L.A., Santa Monica Mountains (audio)Save to your list.
Item 4: Tape 1, Sunday Planning Workshop (audio)Save to your list.
Item 5: Tape 2, Sunday Planning Meeting (audio)Save to your list.
Folder 2: Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore FoundationSave to your list.
Item 1: Foundation Meeting (audio)Save to your list.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains Park and Seashore, 1962-2001]
[Series II: Project and Research Files, 1892-1911, 1928-2003]
[Series III: Publications, 1957-2002]
[Series IV: Personal Files, 1905, 1940-2003],
[All]


Log In
Page Generated in: 1.022 seconds (using 222 queries).
Using 7.01MB of memory. (Peak of 7.14MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21
Copyright ©2011 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign