The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Steve Strimer

Steve Strimer graduated from Amherst College in 1973. In 1977 he co-founded the worker cooperative Aldebaran Press which became Common Wealth Printing in 1982. He organized the Progressive Printers Network which held its first National Conference in Cleveland in 1988. In 1990, Steve was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as the worker cooperative representative on the Employee Involvement and Ownership advisory board. In 1997 he left Common Wealth Printing to join Collective Copies in Amherst. He worked on the committee that established the successful Florence branch where he continues to work. He has spearheaded the establishment of Collective Copies' publishing wing, Levellers Press which produced Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts by Robert H. Romer as its inaugural edition in 2009. In 1997, guided by the research of Paul Gaffney and Christopher Clark he began to study the nineteenth-century “utopian” community, the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, a commune of abolitionists and social reformers that preceded the founding of the village of Florence. In 2007 he co-founded The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History and Underground Railroad Studies and worked with the Northampton Historical Commission to preserve a former mill workers house that had been slated for demolition.

Grants Support New Plaques on Abolitionist History in Northampton

New historic markers at Northampton sites related to the abolitionist history of the city have been erected in three sites, made possible in part by a grant from Mass Humanities.The fruition of this project follows on the heels of an extensive research process, which began witha 2011 Mass Humanities Scholar in Residence Grant that brought historian Bruce Laurie to Historic Northampton to glean from its collection and other local resources the largely ignored story of abolitionism in downtown Northampton.