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Allen Cooper Papers

Identifier: MSS-925-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains posters and other ephemeral materials related to Allen Cooper's work as a civil rights activist, peace protestor, and supporter of the American Indian Movement from around 1970-2010. Many posters relate to local New Mexico issues and actions including environmental issues, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), uranium mining, nuclear waste disposal, and the peace movement. A large portion of the posters relate to Wounded Knee, the American Indian Movement, and freeing Leonard Peltier. The collection also contains posters related to political and civil rights, struggles in Latin America (including several posters of Che Guevara), Cuba, and the Vietnam War. Most posters are in English; some are in Spanish. One poster is in Vietnamese, two contain French and Arabic, and a few are in Navajo.


  • 1960-2013


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

Allen F. Cooper has been a lifelong activist in movements for justice and freedom. Cooper was born (1938) and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He joined the U.S. Navy at age 19 and was shipped abroad. When Cooper returned to America he became involved in the civil rights movement. He participated in civil rights rallies from Mississippi to Oakland and worked for the Black Panther Party from 1966-1968. He was active in protests against the Vietnam War in New Mexico, worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Students for a Democratic Society, and participated in the occupation of the University of New Mexico Student Union Building in 1970. Cooper traveled to Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973 to support the followers of the American Indian Movement. Cooper also supported civil rights campaigns in Latin America and was part of a construction brigade that traveled to Nicaragua after the Sandinista Revolution. Cooper campaigned against the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for nuclear waste in New Mexico where he spent over twenty years as a teacher.


117 posters (3 oversize folders, plus unfoldered posters)


Collection contains materials related to grassroots activism in New Mexico, the American Indian Movement, as well as national and international civil rights campaigns. The collection includes posters, flyers, articles, underground newspapers, reports, pamphlets, and clippings.

Posters Available Online

Posters have all been digitized and are available via New Mexico’s Digital Collections.

Processing Information

Only posters have been processed. Inquire with reference staff for access to unprocessed material, 3 boxes, B3-13A.
Finding aid of the Allen Cooper Papers, 1960-2013
Kristen Ferris
© 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131