Nasty Secretary Liberation Front (Processed World)

One of the things that I find most interesting about this collection are the connections within the materials. For example, this week’s post was to highlight a flyer titled, “Nasty Secretary Liberation Front,” which appeared to be an organization. However, when conducting research to find more background information about the organization, I found that the Nasty Secretary mock leaflet was actually the work of a group called the, “Union of Concerned Commies,” more widely known today as Processed World magazine.

Processed World, as described in the history section of its website, was officially founded in 1981 by a group of dissidents in their early twenties from San Francisco’s Financial District, who were wholly unsatisfied with the notion of climbing the corporate ladder. Choosing to work as temp’s to avoid “business/yuppie professionalism” allowed the group to pursue their own innovative agenda. The group’s mission is best described verbatim from its website: “Thus, from the start, the project’s expressed purpose was twofold: to serve as a contact point and forum for malcontent office workers (and wage-workers in general) and to provide a creative outlet for people whose talents were blocked by what they were doing for money.” [1]

Going further down the research rabbit hole, I discovered that Processed World actually stems from another previously formed group, the Union of Concerned Commies. The UCC was founded in 1979, as a “left-libertarian intervention into the anti-nuclear movement.”[2]  The group utilized attention-grabbing tactics, such as cartoons, clever t-shirt slogans, and clever flyers. The UCC eventually took on more of a “theatrical” protesting-style, satirical in nature. For example, the group would re-word lyrics to patriotic and armed forces songs, and would attend anti-war and anti-nuke rallies performing in an egregious manner.

An example of Union of Concerned Commies proopganda

An example of Union of Concerned Commies propaganda [3]

The UCC’s aim and mission became lost for some members, and many of its constituents left the group or went in a different direction. A few of the former UCC populace already had a vision for continuing the spirit of the UCC. Chris Carlsson and Caitlin Manning (two former members of UCC) produced the satirical leaflet Nasty Secretary Liberation Front. One side was titled “Inner-Voice,” (an obvious play on an “invoice”) and on the other, “Rebellion Behind the Typewriter,” an essay exhibiting the lack of collective action in the secretarial field.

Innervoice #1


Nasty Secretary Liberation Front  was an example of what was to follow in the magazine Processed World (PW), founded in 1981. [4] PW’s aim was to act as a community publication, uniting like-minded individuals against the monotony of professional society and to encourage critical thinking and artistic exploration.


The last known issue was printed in 2005. Please feel free to peruse their website here: Processed World . I wasn’t disappointed, and I don’t think the reader will be either.







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Summer 2015 Recap

Summer is quickly nearing its end, and with it another chapter of Hall-Hoag work. This summer, with the help of a great team of student workers, the last of the letter boxes were put in continuous alphabetical order. The students, in small teams, worked on some of the largest groups of letters (A, C, and N) and some of the smallest (Q, W, Y, and Z). During this work, the students were able to consolidate the “A” boxes down from 106 to 95, the “C” boxes down from 168 to 153, and the “N” boxes down from 111 to 105. Through this continuous alphabetizing the collection was further condensed by 30 boxes creating more organization within the collection and less unnecessary boxing.

If you have been an avid Hall-Hoag follower, then you are aware what continuous alphabetical order is and how hard the students worked to achieve it. To bring anyone new to the blog and project up to date, continuous alphabetical order requires alphabetizing all of the folders containing organizations of one letter. The C’s, for example, contained over 24,000 folders in 168 boxes. These folders were alphabetized within each individual box, but not across the entirety of the “C” boxes. The students had to first go through all 168 boxes, and organize the folders in small groups creating perfect, continuous alphabetical order from box 1 to box 168. They then had to re-box the newly alphabetized folders, and lastly go through and update the database with the new (and final) box number.

The work may sound monotonous, but it is work vital to systemizing the collection in the best way possible for researchers and the like. Arranging in continuous alphabetical order and updating the database to reflect the location of each folder  makes research much more efficient. When a researcher visits the Hall-Hoag website (coming Winter 2015), they will be able to click on an organization, see all of the folders in that organization, as well as which box they reside in, making re-calling the boxes from offsite storage much easier.

The inside one of the perfectly alphabetized, correctly filled "C" boxes.

The inside one of the perfectly alphabetized, correctly filled “C” boxes.

"C" boxes numbered, alphabetized, and ready to be shipped back to the Annex.

“C” boxes numbered, alphabetized, and ready to be shipped back to the Annex.


The work that was completed this summer allows us to move forward with the next and final projects of the Hall-Hoag Collection. With a team of student workers we will focus on researching the roughly 30,000 organizations found in the Hall-Hoag collection. This research will include finding any background information on the organizations, as well as searching for its VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) as well as its Library of Congress linked data authorities or other vocabularies. The information supplied from our student workers will be imported into the FileMaker Pro database, which will eventually be exported and updated on the website.

I think that should be all for now. Looking ahead we have some great organizations to be highlighted in the coming weeks, so stay connected for more Hall-Hoag!

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Sam Patriot

When one of our student workers first alerted me to a poem titled, “My Country, I’ll Obey” by someone known as “Sam Patriot,” my first inclination was that it was written by everybody’s favorite patriotic Muppet, Sam Eagle:



Coincidence? Possibly. However, the below poem and its corresponding letter written directly to Gordon Hall aptly exhibits the aim of this collection as a whole. The letter represents a single entity in the collection, and contains no additional information either about its author, or the poem’s real meaning.


Is “Mr. Patriot’s” poem a cheeky retort of blatant disgruntlement of United States involvement in the Vietnam War, or does he truly bleed red, white and blue? Being that the Hall-Hoag Collection contains materials that represent both ends (and all those in between) of the extremism spectrum, we will most likely never know how Sam Patriot wanted his poem to be understood. I think I will choose to picture it as a passionate plea of the overtly patriotic eagle of my childhood, but leave personal interpretation up to the individual reader.


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Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

To begin my tenure as the Hall-Hoag Project Archivist, this week’s blog post will be starting off with a “bang,” highlighting “Cat Lovers Against the Bomb.” The name itself represents a faction of the group “Nebraskans for Peace,” which was founded in 1970 as opposition to the Vietnam War.[1] The organization can be better described with a small snippet pulled from some correspondence:

“Even though we are a relatively small group, we have persistence! We have been around since the Vietnam War and are one of the few “peace” groups who has not gone by the wayside and given up. Our newspaper, quite often referred to by other newspapers as the alternative press, is considered to be one of the finest type extolling peace with justice issues.” – Correspondence, March 21, 20000261_001

Cat Lovers Against the Bomb, or CLAB as they refer to themselves, is described as “an informal network of cat-loving peace activists and their companions”.[2] To date, they have distributed 32 calendars aimed to unite those of like mind – – cat lovers and peace lovers. The below newsletter highlights information about the 2000 calendar, as well as comments from fan mail, other items available for purchase, and the chance for your cat to be featured in the 2001 CLAB calendar.





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New Hall-Hoag Project Archivist

Hello to all of the Hall-Hoag loyal followers, and to those of you who may be joining us for the first time! I wanted to introduce myself as the new Project Archivist for the the Gordon Hall and Grace Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda. I’m Jordan, and I’ll be monitoring and working on the project for the duration of the CLIR grant.  This post will give you a little information about me as well as a long-awaited update on the project progress.

I come to Brown and the John Hay Library as a recent graduate of the Simmons College dual-degree program in Archives Management and History, and have had previous archives experience at Simmons College, Tufts University, Bunker Hill Community College, Antioch College, Oberlin College and the Chicago History Museum. I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this impressive, engaging, and extensive collection, and am looking forward to learning much more about extremism during my tenure at Brown.

The project is now well into Stage 3, which has involved arranging the folders containing the collection materials into perfect alphabetical order, and then transferring the folders (in perfect alphabetical order) back into their respective letter boxes. This may seem like a simple and quick feat, but when you have over 100 large boxes per letter with materials that need alphabetizing (perfectly!) and rehousing this process is neither fast nor easy.

Luckily we have had a group of hard-working and diligent student workers assisting in this task for the summer.

Student workers arranging and filing the materials

Student workers arranging and filing the materials

The letters of the organizations that the students are currently working on are the letters that contain the largest numbers of organizations. To help put this in perspective, here is a range of just barely over half of the organizations that begin with “N.”

image1 (1)

Be on the look out for a new post in the beginning of August. I will be continuing Daniel’s trend of highlighting some of the really interesting organizations in the collection.

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