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Adeline Levine papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 22-3F-1289

Scope and Contents

The Adeline Levine papers include correspondence sent to and received by Adeline Levine during her career, essays, articles, professional papers, teaching materials, appointment and tenure documentation, and materials from the Pro-Choice Network of Western New York. Topics covered include the Love Canal, community response to environmental disaster, women and the labor force, and education.


  • 1943-2016
  • Majority of material found within 1968-1990


Terms of Access

The Adeline Levine papers, 1943-2008 (bulk 1968-1990), are open to researchers.


Access to portions of this collection is RESTRICTED until February 2067.

Special Viewing Instructions

Special viewing instructions: Access to digital material provided via the University Archives’ Digital Archives online repository.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Born in 1925 in Geneva, New York, Adeline "Addie" Gordon Levine, studied at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, where she became a registered nurse in 1948. Adeline met her husband, Murray Levine, while working in the tuberculosis/neuropsychiatry ward at the Veterans Hospital in Montrose, New Jersey.

As a mother of two young children Adeline returned to school and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Beaver College. She then earned her PhD in sociology from Yale University. Her dissertation was a comparative study of women preparing to enter traditional "men's" and "women's" professions in the 1960s. Levine was particularly interested in how women planned to balance their family and work lives.

Adeline Levine became a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo in 1968. In 1978 she visited the Love Canal days after it was declared a national disaster. After speaking with local residents and government officials, Levine was motivated to research the psychosocial impact of toxic waste dump site on the local community. Her published book, Love Canal: Science, Politics, and People (1982) examined the crisis at Love Canal by following the development of local community organizations and scrutinizing the government's response.

In 2007 Levine described how she became involved in researching the Love Canal environmental disaster.

"Motivated by curiosity I visited the Love Canal for the first time nine days after it was declared a health hazard... The situation was very chaotic at that time. On that first visit I saw people moving out of their well-kept homes, met a pregnant woman convinced she was carrying a monster; spoke to another woman afraid that her daughter would be unable to bear children; saw worried men and women lined up to get information from newly established government offices; talked to some of the government workers trying to bring some order out of the chaos; and met the young woman (Lois Gibbs) who was suddenly thrust into prominence as the leader of a brand new citizen's organization. After eight hours, I came home, determined to do research at Love Canal." 1

Because of her work on the Love Canal disaster, Levine became a leader in the field of environmental sociology and community responses to environmental disasters. She wrote, presented, and consulted nationally and internationally.

Levine also co-founded the Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, a network organized in response to aggressive anti-choice demonstrations at local abortion clinics. The PCN implemented a volunteer escort service to accompany patients through clinic parking lots. It also started a monthly newsletter to keep its members informed about pro-choice issues. As membership grew, committees were formed concerned with media, programs, politics, law and fundraising.

Adeline Levine retired from the University at Buffalo in 1990. She continued to write, speak, and volunteer in the community, especially for organizations that supported education.

For her professional contributions, Adeline Levine was named Professor Emeritus of the University at Buffalo. She was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including those from Beaver College, the American Sociological Association, and the National Organization for Women.

1 Levine, Adeline G. "The Love Canal: Social Science Research in a Community in Crisis." Research in Social Problems & Public Policy, 2007, Volume 14, pages 19-29


4 Linear Feet (4 cartons)

2.5 Gigabytes (Approximately 20 digital files)

Language of Materials



Papers related to the career of Dr. Adeline Levine (1925-2015), Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Buffalo. Includes correspondence, writings, teaching and research material, and documentation of professional involvement with the Pro-Choice Network of Western New York.


Collection is organized into eight series: I. Correspondence, 1972-1993; II. Education, 1943-2008; III. Honors and Awards, 1972-1993; IV. Talk and Presentations, 1969-2001; V. Teaching Materials, circa 1970s-2003; VI. Pro-Choice Network, 1989-2007; VII. University at Buffalo, 1970-1990; VIII. Writings, 1964-2006.

Born-digital materials are integrated into their corresponding series based on content. The original order of the files is retained.

Related Digital Material

Acquisition Information

The Adeline Levine papers were donated to the University Archives by Adeline Levine's husband, Murray Levine, in May 2016. The Love Canal Medical Fund, Inc. records were donated to the University Archives by Murray Levine, husband of Adeline Levine, in May 2016. These records were part of a larger donation that included Adeline Levine's Love Canal research materials and record of the Love Canal Medical Fund, Inc.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

22/3F/634 Adeline Levine Love Canal Research Materials (Part I), 1953-1981 (1978-1981 bulk) 22/3F/1113 Adeline Levine Love Canal research materials (Part II), 1980-1991 MS 86 Pro-Choice Network of Western New York Records, 1988-2004

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pinard, August 2016.

Finding aid encoded by Sarah Pinard, August 2016.

Digital files were normalized to preservation-standard formats according to the Library’s Digital Preservation guidelines. This collection was processed in accordance with the University Archives processing guidelines/policies.

Finding Aid for the Adeline Levine papers
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Pinard.
9 August 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)