John Tanton Papers: 1960-2007
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

The papers of Dr. John Tanton consist of materials documenting his work as a political and environmental activist from 1960 through the 2000s. The portion of the collection open without restriction is divided into the following series: Personal/Biographical; Population and Immigration Organizations and Issues; Conservation Organizations and Issues; Topical Files and Activities; Correspondence; Politics and Government; and Social Issues. The portion of the collection closed to research until 2035 includes the continuation of several series: Correspondence; Personal/Biographical; Population and Immigration Organizations and Issues; Conservation Organizations and Issues; and one new series, Public Interest Organizations and Issues.

The Personal/Biographical series contains general background material on Tanton and the various organizations in which he has been active. Included are an oral history transcript, newspaper articles, brochures, and Tanton's vita.

Population and Immigration Organizations and Issues is the series relating to Tanton's involvement with Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood, with Zero Population Growth, and with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The Conservation Organizations and Issues series brings together various conservation and environmental groups and causes. These include the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission, files relating to the preservation of Sturgeon Bay Dunes and Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tanton's association with the Michigan Natural Areas Council, the Wilderness and Natural Areas Advisory Board, and the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition, there are files pertaining to the Birchwood Suit and Monroe Creek Suit documenting Tanton's involvement with environmentally-related civil suits. Legal documents comprise the bulk of these last files, though there is also included here Tanton's correspondence with attorneys, other environmentalists, and the general public.

Photographs relating to the Monroe Creek wetlands area in Charlevoix County, Michigan, the Birchwood Farm Estates and Bear River in Emmet County, Michigan, and of the members of the Wilderness and Natural Areas Advisory Board.

The Topical Files and Activities series relates primarily to conservation organizations and issues in the period 1956-1983. Included is correspondence, published materials, and other documentation.

The Correspondence series dates from 1980 to 1994 and pertains to all of Tanton's organizational involvement.

The Public Interest Organizations and Issues series includes materials of organizations that combined social, political, immigration, environmental, and other causes on their agenda, as well as material on the subject of public interest. This series includes materials of a non-profit organization -- Bringing Out the Best in Ourselves, and materials related to the issues of gambling, programs for the partially sighted and individuals with low vision, charitable causes, the U.S. Constitution, and American politics and government.