Take a peek at our new Finding Aids site at findingaids.lib.umich.edu! To share feedback about this preview, email us.

Joseph L. Sax papers: 1943-2013
full text File Size: 190 K bytes | how to request materials


The collection is arranged in nine series: Correspondence; House Bill 3055; House Bill 5054; Environmental Protection Legislation; Michigan Environmental Protection Act Case Files; Case Files; Teaching Materials; Travels and Lectures; and Publications and Research.

Organization and Classification of Papers in the Collection

There are several ways of classifying the material in the MEPA collection. We decided on a format that would minimize the amount of interpretation we imposed upon the collection. This may be desirable from the point of view of scholars who will work with these materials in the future. From a practical point of view it was necessary as well. Further classification would require considerable subjective judgment. For example, to catalogue according to amount of support of or opposition to the MEPA would involve separating the author's desired political effect of a statement from literal wording. Many documents which begin with praise of the general principle of the legislation seemed to be clearly aimed at weakening the law to the point of effectively defeating it.

Our coding scheme for primary commentary on MEPA thus is quite simple:

  1. Individual or Corporate Actor (from which we decided to separate out the papers of Joseph Sax)
  2. Interest groups
  3. Governmental Entities
  4. Elected officials

We also have distinguished among materials by using the following symbols in the file summaries (explained below).

  1. T - testimony
  2. Ba - bill analysis
  3. P - policy paper

A few additional comments on the collection are in order:

  1. We have included our working data (file) summaries in the first folder of each category. These may be of sonic, value to the researcher who needs to investigate a particular point or issue. We do not consider these a complete index to the materials, but rather offer them as a preliminary summary of the data. They can assist in finding classes of materials (such as analyses by state agencies) and particular documents (such as testimony by individuals).
  2. In the collection materials are generally filed according to the code of the initiator of the document. Thus a letter from Mrs. Wolfe representing the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (interest group) to Representative Thomas Anderson (elected official) is found in the interest group folder. However the Sax folders contain correspondence to and from Professor Sax in order to allow for easier access to what some will consider very significant correspondence in the history of' the Act.