ArchiveUM
University LibrariesDigital CollectionsHomeCatalogResearch PortAsk us!Archives UM HomeSpecial CollectionsSearchAbout Archives UMHelpHow Do I...?Site Index A-ZSearch

Maryland Food Collective Archives

Abstract

Title:
Maryland Food Collective Archives
Author/Creator:
Maryland Food Collective
Collection number:
2006-101
Size:
4 linear feet and 64 photographs
Bulk dates:
1980-2005
Inclusive dates:
1972-2009
Collection Area:
University of Maryland
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

In August 1975, Matt Mayer, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, submitted a proposal to the Student Government Association (SGA) for the formation of the Maryland Food Collective, which is today also known as the "Maryland Food Co-operative" or the "Co-op." The Maryland Food Collective Archives cover the years 1972 to 2005, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1980s and 2000s. The collection focuses primarily on preserving the culture of the Co-op and the voices of the workers and volunteers. Document types include correspondence, in the form of postcards and letters; collected artwork; awards won by the Co-op; photographs; newspaper clippings and other writings about the Co-op; and flyers from outside institutions placed in the Co-op to appeal to Co-op customers, workers and volunteers. Also included are examples of product signage and recipes. Business records include phone lists, IOU sheets, ledgers, meeting and work procedures, and price lists.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

There is one restricted file in this collection, in series II.

Preferred citation:

Maryland Food Collective Archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1631
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

In August 1975, Matt Mayer, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, submitted a proposal to the Student Government Association (SGA) for the formation of the Maryland Food Collective, which is today also known as the "Maryland Food Co-operative" or the "Co-op." Agitation for the formation of a campus-based food cooperative began in 1972 as the university began to consider mandatory board for all students. Diamondback Editor-in-Chief Chad Neighbor wrote in an editorial on March 2, 1972, that students wanted "viable alternatives to the starch, paper plates, lines, heat, and tired menus the food service offers." In the spring of 1974, a member of the SGA Executive Committee approached John Goecker, the Director of the Department of Food Services, for advice on setting up a food co-op. By the fall, the Department of Food Services decided that inflation made a grocery store untenable, so the SGA planned a record store co-op instead. At a mid-September meeting with Goecker, students living in the residence halls expressed their displeasure with the food quality, sanitation standards, and customer service they experienced while patronizing food service. The following week, news broke that the food facilities within the Stamp Student Union were in danger of being closed down for not meeting Prince George's County sanitation standards. In October 1974, the Rainbow Food Co-op, located in Riverdale, Maryland, considered relocating to College Park with funding help from the SGA, though the plan ultimately failed. In August 1975, Matt Mayer submitted an official proposal for a food co-op was to the SGA. It is believed that the precursor to this official proposal was a "Guerrilla sandwich line" that formed in 1975, prior to the offical sanctioning of the Co-op by the SGA, as a protest to the monopoly of the University Dining Services. It supposedly consisted of people making sandwiches at home and selling them out of baskets in the Student Union.

Today, the Co-op continues to operate on the University of Maryland camp, independent of the university and the Department of Dining Services. It is a member of NASCO, the National Association of Student Collectives. Every weekday, a vegan hot lunch is prepared with available fresh vegetables. Cooking, whether of hot lunch or of meals for packaging in glass-display refrigerators, and baking are also important parts of the Co-op's day-to-day activity. There is a deli-style sandwich line with over fifty available spreads, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and condiments. In addition, the Co-op sells grocery items and produce, both of which are mostly organic. During the 2004-2005 academic year, the Co-op experienced sales of $3,000-$4,500 a day during the regular semester and $2,000-$3,000 a day during the summer and winter sessions.

The Co-op is staffed by both paid workers and volunteersThe volunteer program allows anyone to work in exchange for credit that can be used within the store. As a worker's collective, all decisions are made by the workers, through equal voting. Meetings are held weekly and they are open to anyone. The chair of the meeting and the minutes taker rotates every meeting between all paid workers. Anyone attending the meeting can introduce a motion, which is then voted on by paid workers. Menus are decided upon by each shift. They can prepare whatever they want for hot specials or for the case. Sandwich line recipes have followed an oral tradition, with workers adding their own flair. Since the nature of a collective is to give an equal voice to all who work there, workers often use the Co-op as a platform for politics and creative expression. This creates what many workers, customers, and volunteers see as a unique work atmosphere.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Maryland Food Collective Archives cover the years 1972 to 2005, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1980s and 2000s. The collection focuses primarily on preserving the culture of the Co-op and the voices of the workers and volunteers. Document types include correspondence, in the form of postcards and letters; collected artwork; awards won by the Co-op; photographs; newspaper clippings and other writings about the Co-op; and flyers from outside institutions placed in the Co-op to appeal to Co-op customers, workers and volunteers. Also included are examples of product signage and recipes. Business records include phone lists, IOU sheets, ledgers, meeting and work procedures, and price lists.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The records of the Maryland Food Collective were kept within the Collective and in storage at Cole Field House until fall 2005, at which time they were transferred to the University of Maryland Libraries.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Vakil Smallen, December 2006, Revised by Ally Raines, March 2011

Processing note:

Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with acid-free paper covered with plastic clips. All of the newspaper clippings, except the ones on blue paper, were photocopied onto acid-free paper as a result of the fragile, deteriorated condition of the originals. The newspaper clippings on blue paper are original photocopies. Some of the newsletters were originally taped onto highly-acidic scrap paper. Those were also photocopied.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine.

Arrangement of Collection

The Maryland Food Collective Archives is divided into five series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1980-1999 and undated (4 folders)

This series consists of postcards and letters. Most of these were sent to the Co-op from former and current workers and volunteers while traveling. Among these, there is a postcard from Marion Clignet, Olympic silver-medalist in cycling and five-time gold-medalist at the UCI World Championships. Clignet volunteered at the Maryland Food Collective in the 1980s.

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type and chronological under each grouping.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence, undated series 1box 1folder 1
Correspondence, 1985-1997, 2007 series 1box 1folder 2
Postcards, 1980-1987 series 1box 1folder 3
Postcards, 1987-1999 series 1box 1folder 4

Series 2: Working Files, 1972-2005 and undated (3.50 linear feet)

This series consists of materials that document the day-to-day operations of the Maryland Food Collective. Included are administrative files, minutes of meetings, ledgers, legal claims, recipes, advertisements, signage, newspaper clippings, a pre-made sandwich board, awards, hiring applications, IOU sheets, price lists, and a transcript of the Co-op's history from its student-group website: http://www.studentorg.umd.edu/ffc/. One page in the folder labeled General Ledger, August 1997-January 1999 is restricted because it includes an account number.

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type and chronological under each grouping.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Administrative Files, 1998-2001, 2009 and undated series 2box 1folder 5
Advertisements, 1983-2004 and undated series 2box 1folder 6
Awards, 2002-2003 series 2box 1folder 7
Claim; Embezzlement, Check Fraud and Theft: David M. Szuch, 1992 series 2box 1folder 8
Clippings (Includes Oversize), 1972-1995 and undated series 2box 1folder 9
Committee Meeting Minutes, December 1987-February 1989 series 2box 1folder 10
Co-op Philosophy, 2009 and undated series 2box 2folder 1
Expansion Journal, 1980 series 2box 2folder 2
Expansion Journal, 1980 series 2box 2folder 3
Flyers Left On the Free Table, Fall 2005 series 2box 2folder 4
General Ledger, July 1984-August 1986 series 2box 2folder 5
General Ledger, September 1986-February 1991 series 2box 2folder 6
General Ledger, March 1991-April 1992 series 2box 2folder 7
General Ledger, May 1992-April 1995 series 2box 2folder 8
General Ledger, August 1997-January 1999 [Restricted] series 2box 2folder 9
Hiring Application, Spring 2002-Fall 2005 series 2box 3folder 1
IOU sheets, Undated series 2box 3folder 2
Minutes, Jan. 1978-October 1980 series 2box 3folder 3
Minutes, November 1980-March 1982 series 2box 3folder 4
Minutes, June 1982-August 1983 series 2box 3folder 5
Minutes, September 1983-April 1984 series 2box 3folder 6
Minutes, Summer 1984 series 2box 3folder 7
Minutes, Summer 1986 series 2box 3folder 8
Minutes, September 1986-November 1987 series 2box 3folder 9
Minutes, November 1987-September 1989 series 2box 4folder 1
Minutes, October 1989-October 1990 series 2box 4folder 2
Minutes, June 1991-March 1993 series 2box 4folder 3
Minutes, May 1993-February 1995 series 2box 4folder 4
Minutes, November 1996-December 1997 series 2box 4folder 5
Minutes, February 1996-November 1996 [Restricted] series 2box 5folder 1
Minutes, December 1997-March 1999 series 2box 5folder 2
Minutes (Oversize), April 1999-November 1999 series 2box 5folder 3
Minutes (Oversize), November 1999-November 2000 series 2box 5folder 4
Minutes (Oversize), November 2000-November 2001 series 2box 5folder 5
Minutes (Oversize), November 2001-September 2002 series 2box 5folder 6
Minutes, September 2002-August 2003 series 2box 5folder 7
Minutes, September 2003-August 2004 series 2box 5folder 8
Minutes (loose pages from various volumes), 1984-1998 series 2box 5folder 9
Minutes, August 2004-May 2005 series 2box 6folder 1
Newsletters Printed By Maryland Food Collective, circa 1978-1979 series 2box 6folder 2
Other Co-op Documents, 1981-1999, 2007 series 2box 6folder 3
Payroll Ledger, May 1985-August 1989 series 2box 6folder 4
Payroll Ledger, September 1989-May 1992 series 2box 6folder 5
Phone Lists, 2002-2003 series 2box 6folder 6
Price Lists, 1998-2001 and undated series 2box 6folder 7
Rape Awareness Week Survey, 1988 series 2box 6folder 8
Recipes, undated series 2box 6folder 9
Recipes, undated series 2box 6folder 10
Shepherd's Table Donated Food Record Book, undated series 2box 6folder 11
Shepherd's Table Donated Food Record Book (loose pages), undated series 2box 6folder 12
Sick Leave Journal, 1991-1992 series 2box 7folder 1
Signage For Products To Sell (Includes Oversize), undated series 2box 7folder 2
Stamp Student Union Renovation-Proposed Co-op Site, Sep. 1997 series 2box 7folder 3
Templates For Advertisements and Coupons, undated series 2box 7folder 4
Vermont-Nicaragua Sister Co-ops Project, 1990 series 2box 7folder 5

Series 3: History, 1995-2005 and undated (4 folders)

This series consists of transcripts of interviews with former workers and volunteers, papers written about the Maryland Food Collective for class project, and a letter of gratitude commemmorating the twentieth anniversary of the Maryland Food Collective.

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type and chronological under each grouping.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Course Papers, 2002-2003 and undated series 3box 7folder 6
Gratitude and Appreciation To The Maryland Food Co-op, 1995 series 3box 7folder 7
Interviews With Former Workers and Volunteers, Fall 2005 series 3box 7folder 8
Transcript of History Taken From Maryland Food Collective Website, undated series 3box 7folder 9

Series 4: Art, undated (1 folder)

This series consists of pencil, pen, crayon, and marker drawings by former Maryland Food Collective employees, although they do not appear to be connected to work at the collective. There is also a flyer for the annual film festival sponsored by the Friends of the Maryland Food Collective, a university-funded student group that acts as the Maryland Food Collective's representative on campus.

Arrangement is by medium.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Collected Art, undated series 4box 7folder 10

Series 5: Photographs, undated (64 items)

This series consists of black and white and color photographs, ranging from 9" x 7" to 3" x 3," that have been kept in the Maryland Food Collective, either taped to the wall or in storage. Most of these pictures depict the store interior and show workers and volunteers completing day-to-day tasks. A few photographs illustrate Co-op workers and volunteers around the campus. The remaining photographs are unrelated to the Co-op. These appear to be vacation photographs or photographs taken during outdoor events such as rallies and concerts.

Arrangement is by image size.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Photographs, undated series 5box 8folder 1

Related Material

The University of Maryland Archives, University Publications Collection, includes a box titled "Food Co-op." The box contains the original charter for the Maryland Food Collective and a collection of newsletters, ranging in date from 1975 to 1978. In addition, The Diamondback published a number of articles from the spring of 1974 through the fall of 1974, documenting the atmosphere of frustration among the student population and the attempt to form an on-campus food co-op in response.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.