Guide to the Paul Relis journals SBHC Mss 110

Finding aid prepared by Kovin Sherrod and Beaudry Rae Allen, 2016; revised by Zachary Liebhaber, 2019.
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara 93106-9010
special@library.ucsb.edu
2016; 2019


Title: Paul Relis journals
Identifier/Call Number: SBHC Mss 110
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.92 linear feet (7 document boxes)
Creator: Relis, Paul
Date (inclusive): 1971-2015
Date (bulk): 1980-2015
Abstract: This collection consists primarily of personal journals, as well as manuscripts, booklets, correspondence, and articles documenting the environmental community outreach activities and personal reflections of author and environmentalist Paul Relis of Santa Barbara, California.
Physical Location: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Paul Relis journals, SBHC Mss 110. Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Paul Relis, 2016.

Biographical Note

Paul Relis got his start in the environmental movement in the wake of the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, while an undergraduate in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In the aftermath of the spill, public interest and activism spurred the founding of several groups whose purpose was solely to protect the environment. Relis became the first executive director of one of these groups, the Community Environmental Council (CEC), when he was 23, working closely with Marc McGinnes, who would also become an important figure in the West Coast environmentalist movement. The CEC focused on ideas to help the environment, establishing several public gardens experimenting in organic horticulture, as well as solar power, large scale composting, and biogas. Relis spearheaded grassroots efforts to start recycling programs, Santa Barbara Earth Day, and community gardens in the early 1970s. Relis is currently Senior Vice President of CR & R Incorporated, an environmental services company focusing on providing recycling and waste services. Relis has also served as a lecturer at UCSB.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Environmentalism and Series II. Journals.

Scope and Content

This collection primarily consists of Paul Relis's personal journals. The journals span from 1971 to 2014, and not only recount his activities in the environmental movement, but also his personal reflections on politics, poetry, and life. The collection contains original copies of The Santa Barbara Survival Times from the 1970s, as well as clippings, notes and correspondence to and from Relis, documenting the response to projects undertaken by the Community Environmental Council, especially community gardens activities. Additionally, there is a manuscript of his book, Tracks: a Personal Journey on the Environmental Frontier, eventually retitled as Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier.

Separated Material

Published literature listed below has been separated out from the collection for cataloging, and will be accessible through the UCSB Library Catalog.
Merrill, Richard, ed. Radical Agriculture. New York: New York University Press, 1976.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Environmentalism -- California -- Santa Barbara
Environmentalists -- California -- Santa Barbara
Articles
Booklets
Correspondence
Journals (accounts)
Manuscripts (documents)
Relis, Paul -- Archives
McGinnes, J. Marc, 1941-
Community Environmental Council

 

Series I.  Environmentalism 1976-2005

Scope and Content

This series consists of correspondence, notes, manuscripts, and research materials relating to Relis's environmental activism. Additionally, there is a manuscript of his book, Tracks: a personal Journey on the Environmental Frontier, eventually retitled Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier.
Box-folder 1:1

Swedish Environmental Community Project 2008

Box-folder 1:2

Santa Barbara Survival Times undated

Box-folder 1:3

Environmental informational pamphlets 1972, 2014-2015

Box-folder 1:4

Community Environmental Council photographs and documents, family photographs 2002,2008

Box-folder 1:5

"Tracks: A personal Journey on the environmental Frontier," manuscript 1999 January

Box-folder 1:6-7

Environmental news articles 1995-1999

Box-folder 1:8

Environmental notes and letters 1995

Box-folder 1:9

Political articles 2009, 2015

Box-folder 2:1

Recycling Markets: California and the Pacific Rim 1998

Box-folder 2:2

"Agriculture in the City" 1976

Scope and Content

Booklet about growing crops in an urban environment.
Box-folder 2:3

"A New Energy Direction: Bold Local Solutions to a Global Problem" 2007 September 14

Box-folder 2:4

The Mesa Project, Phase I undated

Scope and Content

Plans for building an environmentally friendly community.
Box-folder 2:5

"Santa Barbara: the Impacts of Growth, vol. 2" 1974

Box-folder 2:6

Environmental policy paper, certificates of recognition, and Earth Day articles 1996, 1997, 2009, 2013

 

Series II. Journals 1971-2014

Scope and Content

This series consists of fifty-five journals written by Relis over a span of fory years. Journals include Relis's descriptions of environmental advocacy, local and federal environmental and general politics, as well as his career. Additionally, the journals provide insight into Relis's personal life, philosophy, and poetry. The journals are arranged in rough chronological order.
Box 3

1971

Scope and Content

Includes reflections on turning twenty-five, youth, and the direction of Relis's life.
Box 3

August 1973 - April 1975

Scope and Content

Desriptions of settling into the Bay Area, his new home, musings on the historical nature of cities, and his place in life.
Box 3

March 1978 - December 1978

Scope and Content

A brief summary of the last three years, descriptions of house and family life, more philosophy, and anger at the government (Jarvis - Gauer initiative).
Box 3

December 1978 - August 1979

Box 3

May 1980 - November 1980

Box 3

August 1979 - April 1980

Box 3

November 1980 - June 1981

Box 3

July 1981

Box 3

October 1981 - April 1982

Box 3

April 1982 - July 1983

Box 3

August 1983 - February 1994

Box 3

November 1985 - September 1986

Box 3

November 1986 - October 1987

Box 4

November 1984 - September 1996

Box 4

November 1987 - August 1988

Box 4

March 1988 - December 1988

Box 4

March 1989 - November 1989

Box 4

April - August 1990

Box 4

July 1990 - May 1991

Box 4

May 1991 - December 1991

Box 4

December 1991 - May 1992

Box 4

1992

Box 4

December 1992 - June 1993

Box 4

June 1993 - December 1993

Box 4

December 1993 - July 1993

Box 5

1994

Scope and Content

Entries questioning who holds systemic power in the United States, foreseeing a strong conservative political movement and its threat environmentalism.
Box 5

March 1995 - December 1995

Scope and Content

Includes decription of advocating composting as a viable way to produce more crops and solar energy as a replacement for coal. A trip to New England, much about attacks on September 11 2001); the aftermath; the legislation passed in its wake.
Box 5

September 1995 - May 1996

Box 5

May 1996 - December 1996

Box 5

December 1996 - June 1997

Box 5

July 1997 - February 1998

Box 5

1998

Box 5

February - December 1999

Box 5

October 1999 - May 2000

Box 5

2000

Box 6

June - November 2001

Scope and Content

Includes description of a trip to New England, but the majority of the journal reflects on 9/11 (September 11, 2001 terrorist attack), the aftermath, and the legislation passed in its wake.
Box 6

2002

Box 6

May - June 2002

Box 6

December - July 2004

Box 6

August 2004 - April 2005

Scope and Content

Questioning of life and existence (health and illness).
Box 6

April 2005 - January 2006

Box 6

February 2006 - October 2006

Box 6

2006 - 2007

Box 6

2007

Box 6

2008

Box 7

November 2009 - September 2009

Box 7, Box 7

February 2010 - October 2010

Box 7

May- December 2011

Box 7

October - June 2012

Box 7

January - May 2012

Box 7

2012-2014

Scope and Content

Five journals on world history, philosophy of "civilized" man, environment, and economy( parallels to 2008 recession). Also includes description of finishing up a manuscript about environmentalism from 1970 forwards.