Re-housed and listed by:
Scope and Contents note
Title: Arlene Blum papers,
Identifier/Call Number: M1558
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material:
61.5 Linear feet
(73 boxes, 10 cartons, 11 flat boxes, 1 map folder)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1960-1986
Date (inclusive): 1920-2009 inclusive; 1960-1986 bulk
The Arlene Blum papers include photographs, writings, diaries, articles about the Annapurna expedition in 1978, a year-long
trek across the Himalayas, and various other climbs. Also inlcuded are drafts of articles and books by Arlene Blum, photographs
albums and writings of her father Ludwig Blum, school work, letters, etc.
Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36-48 hours in advance. For more
information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/spc.
Re-housed and listed by:
Liam O'Hanlon, Christy Smith, and Griselda Mercado. This work was completed in part with funds from Arlene Blum.
Arlene Blum (born March 1, 1945) is an American mountaineer, writer, and environmental health scientist. She is best known
for leading an all-woman ascent of Annapurna, a climb that was also the first successful American ascent. In the early 1960s,
she attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Blum graduated from Reed and attended MIT and UC Berkeley, where she earned
a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry in 1971.
Blum was part of the first all-woman team to ascend Alaska's Mount McKinley in 1970. She participated in a 1976 expedition
up Mount Everest as part of the American Bicentennial Everest Expedition, but did not reach the summit. In 1978, she organized
a team of thirteen women to climb Annapurna in Nepal which, until then, had been climbed by only eight people (all men). The
first summit team, comprising Vera Komarkova and Irene Miller and Sherpas Mingma Tsering and Chewang Ringjing, reached the
top at 3:30 p.m. on October 15, 1978. The second summit team, Alison Chadwick-Onyszkiewicz and Vera Watson, died during this
climb. After the event, Blum wrote a book about her experience on Annapurna, called
Annapurna: A Woman's Place.
She led the first expedition to climb Bhrigupanth in the Indian Himalayas, leading a team of Indian and American women. She
then attempted what she called the "Great Himalayan Traverse," a two-thousand-mile journey across the treacherous but beautiful
peaks of the Himalayas from Bhutan to India.
As a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1970s, Blum's research contributed to the regulation
of two cancer-causing chemicals used as flame retardants on children's sleepwear. After a long hiatus, Blum returned to science
and policy work in 2006—when her daughter started college—and her memoir Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life was published. She
discovered that the same Tris her research had helped remove from children's pajamas was back in California couches and baby
products. In 2007 Blum co-founded the Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) with the goal of bringing scientific research results
into policy decisions to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals. As executive director of the Green
Science Policy Institute, Blum and her team have led several successful national and international campaigns against the use
of toxic chemicals. Blum has published articles about science policy in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington
Post, and Science magazine.[Wikipedia]
[identification of item], Arlene Blum papers (M1558). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University
Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted
to a digital use copy.
This collection was given by Arlene Blum to Stanford University, Special Collections in three accessions from 2007 to 2010.
Scope and Contents note
Material in the Arlene Blum papers is arranged by accession and is divided into 4 series: Series 1. 2007 accession; Series
2. Accession 2010-099; Series 3. Accession 2010-021; and Series 4. Slides from the 2010-021 accession.
Series 1. 2007 accession contains materials relating to the
American Women's Himalayan Expedition. Team member diaries are closed until 2028.
Series 2. Accession 2010-099 consists of two subseries: Arlene Blum materials and Ludwig Blum materials. Arlene's subseries
contains school materials, letters, diaries, articles on climbs, etc. Ludwig Blum was Arlene's father and this subseries contains
photographs and draft writings.
Series 3. Accession 2010-021 includes materials relating to the Annapurna expedition, Arlene's trek across the Himalayas,
Annapurna: A Women's Place, drafts of "Women in High Places: A History of Women in Mountaineering" (unpublished), diaries, articles, etc.
Series 4. Slides (from accession 2010-021) consists primarily of images of climbs and treks. They are arranged alphabetically.
Materials are open to research, except that diaries of individual climbers (Box 3) are closed until 1/1/2028 unless permission
is granted by that individual.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
American Women's Himalayan Expedition, Inc..
Annapurna Expedition, (1978).
Beardsley, Irene A.
Blum, Arlene, 1945-
Everest, Mount (China and Nepal).
Women mountaineers--United States