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Beverly Brown papers

Identifier: Coll 318

Scope and Contents

The Beverly Brown papers include textual, audio, video, and photographic materials. The collection is organized into nine series and includes oral interviews (in text and audio formats), published and unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and the personal papers of Beverly Brown.

A strength of this collection is the numerous oral and text interviews. They can be found under Series IV: Professional Experience, Subseries E. Interviews in Subseries F are restricted until future dates per interviewee request. Researchers can find audio interviews under Series VII: Electronic Media, Subseries B and C, and video interviews under Subseries A. Some of these interviews are restricted until future dates as well. Initial restrictions end in 2030, 2049, and 2050. Final restrictions end in 2099.

Series III: Correspondence offers personal insight into life and relationships among women living in female-only intentional communities in New York and Oregon. More details can also be found under Series I: Personal, Subseries F: Journal and Personal notes where Beverly Brown recorded her thoughts about intentional women only/lesbian communities, her personal relationships and also her varied research interests.

Series III: Correspondence also closely documents Ms. Brown’s life between years 2003-2005 during her battle with cancer, as well as her partner, Tee Corinne’s battle with the same disease. Correspondence within these years reveal the relationships among her large network of friends and how determined Beverly Brown was that she would die her own way, assisted and surrounded by the things and people she loved. The correspondence series as well as Series VIII: Photographs depicts the core group of helpers who worked as a self-described “Death Brigade” for Beverly Brown during her battle with cancer.

Series V: Manuscripts reveals Ms. Brown's research interests and includes manuscript drafts, publisher reviews, and conference papers about rural people and forest workers, gay and lesbian relationships, social justice, commercial irrigation of foods, mining and other natural resource issues. More detailed research of Oregon’s mining issues can be found under Series IV: Professional Experience, Subseries C: Josephine’s Environment Matters! (JEM). This Subseries details rural Oregonians fight against strip mining proposals in Josephine County, Oregon in the later 1970s and early 1980s.


  • 1951-2005


Includes Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Access to interview transcripts and recordings in boxes 15, 23, 24, and 25 is closed due to donor and interviewee restrictions. Initial restrictions lift in 2030, 2049, and 2050. Final restrictions lift in 2099.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Beverly Anne Brown was born on February 21, 1951 in Fresno, California to Ann L. Brown and Elton John Brown. Her parents were Lithuanian immigrants who later settled in Redding, California where Ms. Brown attended local public schools. In Redding, Brown learned first-hand about rural blue-collar life and her first foray into intellectualism came from the local chapter of the conservative John Birch Society. She later attended Reed College from 1969-1971 majoring in Philosophy and Theology. In 1972 Brown began what was to become a lifelong career of advocating for social justice. She began in Providence, Rhode Island where she helped organize the unionization of library workers at Brown University and worked with women's consciousness raising groups. It was in Providence where Brown decided to ‘come out’ officially as a lesbian. From 1974-1975 she lived in Utah and worked as a women’s health education organizer.

By 1978 Beverly Brown came back to Oregon where she worked various jobs that allowed her to combine her interests in women and lesbian issues, commercial food preparation, and resource management. She became a member of the group Josephine’s Environment Matters!, which was advocating against strip mining in Josephine County, Oregon. She also lived at a women’s intentional community in southern Oregon called WomenShare. After these experiences Brown began to think seriously about the necessity for civic involvement and capacity building among communities in rural areas. These questions would later inform how and why she would begin the Jefferson Center for Education and Research.

In 1986 Brown began an internship at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee, where she encountered an education process called popular education and learned how important infrastructure is to the success of any advocacy group. She took these lessons home with her when she returned to Oregon in 1987. Ms. Brown continued her research by conducting numerous interviews with rural Oregonians which would later form the basis of her book, In Timber Country, Working People’s Stories of Environmental Conflict and Urban Flight (1995). She spent time in the early 1990’s building up a board of directors for her new non-profit idea. It was during this time that she met the woman who would become her future partner, the artist and lesbian advocate Tee Corinne. Brown and Corinne lived together at their home they named Poppyseed, located in Sunny Valley, Oregon from the early 1990’s until 2004.

In 2004 when finalizing the start-up of Jefferson Center, Brown called upon her varied and interrelated interests and asked, "what issues would be important to investigate across lines of culture, class, race and language?” She decided that the Center should concentrate its efforts on issues that were important to rural and other blue collar workers who worked in the non-timber forest product and natural resource arena and who often have no recourse but to work as contingent laborers. Brown wanted the Jefferson Center to help facilitate more civic involvement and engagement among and between these groups. Brown saw that these workers were “invisible” to the elite environmental movement while at the same time being completely dependent on the timber and natural resource industry. The Jefferson Center operated from 1994-2007 and is now dormant following the death of Beverly Brown from cancer on October 27, 2005.


25.5 linear feet (39 containers ) : 18 manuscript boxes, 1 half-manuscript box, 20 flat boxes

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Beverly Anne Brown (1951-2005) was an activist for social justice on behalf of rural workers, contingent laborers and other blue-collar workers, and gay and lesbian issues (with an emphasis on rural lesbian life). Brown was the founder and director of The Jefferson Center for Research and Education in Oregon from 1994–2004. This collection includes documents from Brown's early work as well as materials from her later years as the director of The Jefferson Center. Materials include: manuscripts, correspondence, journals, oral interviews, research materials, publications, audio and video, and photographs.


The collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Personal Subseries A: Childhood and Early School Years Subseries B: Family Genealogy Subseries C: Personal Information and Effects Subseries D: Financial Subseries E: Beverly and Tee Corrine Subseries F: Journal and Personal Notes Subseries G: Contacts Subseries H: Beverly Brown Memorial

Series II: Education Subseries A: Antioch Masters Degree Program Subseries B: Rural Development Leadership Network Subseries C: Syllabi and Class Papers Subseries D: Book Lists and Research Notes

Series III: Correspondence Subseries A: Incoming Subseries B: Outgoing Subseries C: Ann L. Clark Subseries D: Tee Corrine Subseries E: Billie Potts Subseries F: Paul DeLeon Subseries G: Kate Otter, Beverly Brown and Billie Potts

Series IV: Professional Experience Subseries A: Resume and Recommendation Letters Subseries B: Internships and Career Subseries C: Josephine’s Environment Matters! (JEM) Subseries D: Meetings and Workshops Subseries E: Interviews (Current Access) Subseries F: Interviews (Restricted Access)

Series V: Manuscripts Subseries A: Drafts for Classes, Workshops and Publication Subseries B: Published Work Subseries C: In Timber Country Subseries D: Conference Papers Subseries E: Miscellaneous Writings

Series VI: Miscellaneous Articles, Publications Artwork, etc. (A-Z)

Series VII: Electronic Media Subseries A: Video Subseries B: Audio Cassette Tape Interviews (Current and Restricted Access) Subseries C: Other Audio

Series VIII: Photographs Subseries A: Photograph Presentations Books and Portraits Subseries B: Photograph Album Subseries C: Prints and negatives

Series IX: Ephemera/Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Beverly Brown in 2004.

Related Materials

Materials related to Beverly Brown can also be found at Special Collections and University Archives in: Jefferson Center For Education and Research Records, Coll 317 Tee A. Corinne Papers, Coll 263

Processing Information

Collection processed by Tanya Parlet and Lisa Chinn, Manuscripts Processors, June 2009. Additional processing was completed by Mahala Ruddell in February 2023.

Guide to the Beverly Brown Papers
Complete Description
University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team, Tanya Parlet and Lisa Chinn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA