Humboldt Area Peoples Archive (HAPA)
Fifty years of officially shunned archival treasures helped win $6 million in grants for Humboldt and Mendocino counties.(1)
Humboldt Area Peoples Archive (HAPA) was founded in 2016 by retired HSU archivist Edith Butler, artist Scott Holmquist and Southern Humboldt community leader, Douglas Fir, to rescue the region’s orphaned records and histories.
Some grant money from the State Economic Development Fund have been earmarked, “…To help tell the story of the impacts of cannabis criminalization,” according to one grant writer Dominic Corva,(2) who joined the HAPA board 2017.
HAPA is addressing official neglect of this story.
"The region has changed radically since the 1970s. A new history was made here by people and groups whose records found no home with traditional keepers of local archives. In part this has been because of budget cutting. But we have to admit, there has long been political resistance in traditional institutions to difficult subjects like marijuana growing, and more radical forms of environmental activism,” said Edith Butler.
“HAPA’s restoration of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project’s website provided useful and otherwise unavailable references that have supported our applications to the state,” said Dr. Dominic Corva, who is also co-director of HSU’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research and executive Director of the Cannabis and Social Policy Center.
In Humboldt, outlaw growers and midwives, naked flower children, co-op food organizers, forest defenders and tree huggers, herbicide protesters and Sumerians ave made history. They modeled and nurtured revolutions in everything from grocery store design to health care access, theater and public art to trash recycling. Ultimately they even changed the way we treat our human waste.
“This pandemic may be a really good time for people who have been involved in making our history to sort their boxes of photos and other records and contact us,” said co-founder Edith Butler. “Once pandemic health restrictions are lifted, Bug Press has agreed to receive documents, photos and other materials at their Arcata office. But please always tell us what you have, first!”
For archive donations contact:
Edith Butler – HSU archivist emeritus