Culture & Animals Foundation



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By Tony Reevy, Library Development

The NCSU Libraries received funding from an anonymous donor to establish the Tom Regan Animal Rights Collections. The Library plans to use the funding to organize, preserve, and provide access to the Tom Regan Collection, which consists of Regan's personal papers and books documenting his role in the animal rights movement. The gift will be used to fund a library exhibit featuring the collection, at which Regan will be honored with a reception. As funds permit, the gift will also be used to expand the Tom Regan Animal Rights Collections to include materials from individuals and organizations related to the animal rights movement in this country. Regan will guide and assist the library in this crucial effort.

Any funds remaining after this will be used to expand the general library collection in the animal rights area.

NC State's College of Humanities and Social Sciences received a related grant from the same donor. This grant will fund Regan's research connected with establishment of the Tom Regan Animal Rights Collections. Regan's gift, coupled with support from the donation, marks the first attempt in the world [by a Research I university] to establish a single repository for rare and unique materials relating to the animal rights movement.

Focus, p. 12, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2001). The NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University.

Documenting the Animal Rights Movement

The Special Collections Department of NCSU Libraries has acquired the
personal papers of Tom Regan, professor of philosophy at NC State. The Tom Regan Collection, which runs to more than seventy-five linear feet, documents the career of an individual whose work provides much of the philosophical and ethical underpinnings for the contemporary animal rights movement in the United States. The collection consists of notes, letters, manuscripts and typescripts, books and pamphlets, and audiovisual materials that offer insight and context for the development of the idea of a scholar who has been involved in this field for more than twenty years . . .

Regan's THE CASE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS (1983) is regarded by many scholars and commentators as the seminal work in the field. He argues that animals have moral rights of the sort enjoyed by humans, especially the right to life. In his view, support for the rights of animals is no different than support for human rights. The development of these views and their presentation in scholarly and activist forums, has brought Regan to the forefront as the "philosophical father" of the animal rights movement and a By Bernie McTigue, Special Collections major figure in the rise of a socially and economically significant phenomenon. As the collection's appraiser noted in his comments on theintellectual and research value of these materials, "This collection is the foundation for this field of study {animal rights}, because the one who has assembled it is the intellectual genius who articulated philosophically the basis of the movement."

In recognition of the collection's significance, an anonymous donor has awarded the NCSU Libraries a substantial grant to facilitate processing of the collection. It will also provide funds for an exhibition and symposium.

The NCSU Libraries, to augment its collections documenting the national development of the animal rights movement, is exploring ways to enhance its holdings in this area by acquiring personal and organizational records that limn this contemporary movement. These collections, when acquired, will become part of the Tom Regan Animal Rights Collections, named to honor
leadership in this field.

Focus, p. 11, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2001). The NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University.


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