30 boxes (45 linear ft.)View all digital
A pioneer in the psychiatric survivors' movement, Judi Chamberlin spent four decades as an activist for the civil rights of mental patients. Following horrific experiences as a patient in the mental health system, Chamberlin was galvanized to take action on patients' rights, helping to found the Mental Patients' Liberation Front in 1971. Taking cues from the struggle for civil rights, she helped build a movement that privileged the patient's perspective and that demanded choice in treatment. Through her writing, organizing, and international advocacy, she contributed to a number of disability rights organizations that have had a profound influence on public policy. Her tireless efforts have been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities in 1992 and many other honors. Chamberlin died of pulmonary disease at home in Arlington, Mass., in January 2010.
An important record of the development of the psychiatric survivors' movement from its earliest days, the Chamberlin Papers include rich correspondence between Chamberlin, fellow activists, survivors, and medical professionals; records of her work with the MPLF and other rights organizations, conferences and meetings, and her efforts to build the movement internationally.
Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries