Quotes about the work of the Schumacher Center for New Economics:
WES JACKSON, founder of The Land Institute and co-editor of Rooted In the Land:
E. F. Schumacher…has increasing influence in the modern world partly because his ideas are intrinsically correct or compelling but also because such people as Susan Witt and Bob Swann of the Schumacher Center keep them before the public.
At this precise moment in our history with the first major failure of the industrial mind, the fall of the Soviet Union, we are forced to ask: What is in store for the remaining industrial societies? Clearly, what we see is that those most vulnerable are those whose scale is so large that a meta-industrial and small scale economy is hard to imagine. But even within those societies comes that influence of the likes of the Schumacher Center devoted to keeping the ideas alive and the promoters of small scale experiments encouraged. Technology with a human face is a beautiful notion and it seems to be a matter of ordinary prudence to keep this currently marginal idea going. Humanity will one day need all of the good examples of small scale it can find.
About the Schumacher Center Library:
WENDELL BERRY, Kentucky farmer, poet, and essayist:
I am making a donation of $2000 to the Schumacher Center for the purpose of renovating your library building. My wish to do this comes from my belief that your work in developing the means of local economic cooperation is sound and necessary. As a member of a dying rural community myself, I have found more hope in your work (because you have shown me things that can be done) than anywhere else.
JANE JACOBS, regional planner and author, writes about a proposal to catalogue and staff the library:
…The project is enormously worthwhile. Serious demand (in fact sheer need) for local, decentralist economic initiatives is on the rise, hence also need for a facility that both collects and disseminated pertinent information. The Schumacher Library’s definition of “pertinent”, including both practice and theory, and linking local economic initiatives with environmental, social and regional concerns, is excellent: vital to constructive, long-term results.
It is neither practical nor necessary for those participating in local initiatives to keep re-inventing the wheel—in fact, many wheels…the proposed project will enable the library to deepen and extend its services in such matters as appropriate legal instruments, comparisons of possibilities and experience, recognition of local resources, assets and opportunities all too often now ignored, together with solid grounding in principles.
The library and its resources are already making a considerable contribution in this field. The proposal is intended to enlarge and extend the contribution, and doubtless will do just that.
The people involved are enormously capable. I have followed the work of the Schumacher Center, as an interested outsider, and of Bob Swann and Susan Witt and their colleagues, since 1983, and my observations are that they are responsible, experienced, tenacious, and it would not be going too far to say brilliant. They are capable of bringing visions to reality and then carrying through…These people are about the least wasteful and most ingenious with practicalities of anybody I’ve encountered. I’ve repeatedly marveled at how they seem able to make one dollar do the work of two. And they are not wishful thinkers; they are realistic.
To sum up, in my opinion this project merits support. I have no doubt that every dollar it receives will be well and amply repaid in services and resources that make real and contraceptive differences to society.
PAUL GLOVER, community activist and creator of Ithaca HOURS:
These several days discussing and researching at the Schumacher Library have been extremely stimulating. You’ve expanded my understanding of the possibilities of scrip and of ecological economic development. The rare materials from your library are essential contributions to my forthcoming book about local currency.
The Ithaca HOUR was sparked by your creation of Deli Dollars and Berkshire Farm Preserve Notes. For this, the over 800 Ithacans who have benefited, by trading hundreds of thousands of HOURS so far, can thank your work. The several other local currencies that the HOUR has inspired can thank you as well.
LEW SOLOMON, professor of Law at George Washington University, author of Rethinking our Centralized Monetary System: The Case for Local Currencies:
I am presently researching a handbook on local currency. I recently visited the Schumacher Center to use its library and draw on the personal knowledge of Robert Swann and Susan Witt. Despite the library resources in the Washington DC area as well as the electronic information retrieval services available to me, the Schumacher library contains a unique collection of books, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings dealing with local currencies. The materials are carefully indexed and readily accessible for visitors. The library represents an invaluable resource for researchers in its specialized areas.
RICHARD DOUTHWAITE, author of The Growth Illusion, writes in Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies for Security in an Unstable World:
Run on a shoestring, it is the single most important US information source for anyone researching community economics.
MIRCEA RAIANU, Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland,
The Schumacher Center is a wonderful place to do research for scholars, educators, professionals, and anyone interested in sustainability, land, currency, energy and environmental issues, and the economic history of the twentieth century more broadly. It brings together people from across disciplines and walks of life, making possible fascinating conversations and exchanges of ideas. The library and archival collections are well organized and easily accessible, managed by an exceptionally generous and helpful staff. The materials I have found here will be invaluable for my future book project on transnational Gandhian economics and alternative forms of corporate organization.
ROBERT LEONARD, Economics Professor, Universite du Quebec a Montreal in Montreal, QC, currently working on his paper entitled, “Tools, Machines and Metaphysics: E. F. Schumacher and the Idea of Intermediate Technology, 1950 – 1977″:
I have worked in many libraries around the world, but the one at Great Barrington is without doubt amongst the most pleasant of them. It’s an absolutely lovely place, and a great credit to Susan Witt.
NICOLE SACKLEY, Associate Professor of History & American Studies, University of Richmond
I am writing a history of alternative visions of development in the 1950s-1980s. The letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs that I saw at the center will deepen the history I am writing. Historians have only in recent years begun to write archivally-grounded histories of the 1970s and 1980s. As they continue in this work, I can see the rich potential at C.N.E. for scholars examining the history of social movements, U.S. politics, and international development.
About Fritz Schumacher’s Collection:
VERENA SCHUMACHER, widow of Dr. Fritz Schumacher, upon sending the collection from England to Massachusetts writes,
…I hope that you are pleased with the books and that…they give a taste of what Fritz was about. I hope that the shipment has arrived safely. Thanks again for offering a good home to the books. Wishing the Center all success…
KIRKPATRICK SALE, bioregionalist and author of Human Scale, upon helping to unpack the collection at the Schumacher Center writes,
I hadn’t realized all the treasures we would be getting, and I was delighted in opening box after box to see that we got not only the books and essential papers but the essence of the man himself, in all his dimensions. I was especially pleased to see that we have all his book reviews and articles (published, and often with typescript, sometimes with manuscript) and loads of his speeches (manuscript and mimeographed),…some of which I think no one even knew about or remembered. Plus those notebooks—who knows what rich veins may be there.
This is a real challenge, to get the stuff sorted and read and catalogued…and I should think any number of people and institutions would be delighted to rise to it. Not only will this serve to anchor Fritz’s place in 20th century political thought and to provide a scholarly trove such as very few men of his stature get, but it will act as a beacon for other such materials from other quarters, raising the Center to the primary place I had hoped we would get to all along.
ROBERT H. SCOTT III, associate professor of economics at Monmouth University:
The purpose of my visit to the Schumacher library was to find correspondence between Schumacher and Keynes—specifically any articles that discuss Schumacher’s work on multilateral clearing. I was also curious about Schumacher’s internment and how this time in his life influenced his economic thinking. I found many valuable items and Amelia was exceptional both providing me information before my visit and guiding me through the archives while I was there. She scanned several documents that will prove useful to my research. I plan to use this information to write a paper for a peer review economics journal.
Now that I have a better idea of what is at the archives a return visit is inevitable.
HEIDI MOREFIELD, graduate student in history at Johns Hopkins University:
I wanted to thank you, profusely, not only for all your helpful guidance over the course of my research visit but also for your warm welcome and wonderful conversation. Of all the archives I’ve visited (and as a historian I’ve visited a lot!) yours was easily the most well-organized and efficient, with everyone going out of their way to be helpful. It’s all the more remarkable considering that yours is a small organization without a massive funding program—all the more evidence that small really is beautiful, I suppose!
PHILIP WIGHT, researcher, graduate student of Juliet Schor:
The library is incredible and I just want to live there for a year—reading all the wonderful knowledge on New Economics and combing through Schumacher’s writings and letters.
About the effort to make MANAS Journal available online:
DENNIS MEADOWS, author of Limits to Growth with Donella Meadows wrote,
I send my profound thanks to you for making all the MANAS materials available on the web. I subscribed to MANAS for many years until it ceased publication. I found it a lucid, thoughtful analysis of many important issues.
Geiger’s millions of words contain many that are still relevant today. I have stored the web link where I’ll find it whenever I am looking for a relevant quote or a thoughtful analysis that I can cite in a speech or paper.
RUSSELL LAW, CPA:
I want to say how grateful I am for having all the MANAS issues available on line. I use it fairly often, and find the search engine a very valuable tool. I have a complete set of bound volumes, but find the on-line version much easier to work with.
I worked on the MANAS staff (along with several others) for several years, from about 1971 until we sadly ended the effort at the end of 1988. Henry Geiger was a dear friend, perhaps the wisest person I’ve ever known.
I worked with Henry Geiger for 16-1/2 years and have deeply appreciated your carrying an archive of MANAS.
As the Center eventually became the home for MANAS—aside from the few bound volumes of journal spread around the world—its archival functions have been an effective (and the only) resource for access to it.
LANNY COTLER, former Professor of Classics at St. Johns College, now co-creator of the series of videos produced by ClassWarFilms:
I have decided at 76 years to reread the entire series [of the MANAS Reader]. Henry Geiger was a good friend of mine; his encouragement to me when I started teaching at St. Johns College in 1969 was an important inspiration.
I certainly remember the four or five visits I made to Latigo Canyon in Malibu where Henry lived. Coffee, Pall Malls, the Classics, and eclectic conversations—that’s what sustained us during my visits.
GRETEL GEIGER MILES in response to the news that the Schumacher Center now the stewards Henry Geiger’s book collection:
Just a quick note to express appreciation.
I am delighted that you are undertaking the hosting of my father’s literary legacy.