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Rhea Cohen papers

 Collection 0286-MDHC

The Rhea Cohen papers consist of environmental materials related to Maryland and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. A water quality expert, Cohen worked as a paid lobbyist for the Sierra Club from 1973 to 1980, focusing on water pollution. As leader of Save our Community Committee (in Greenbelt, Maryland), she addressed concerns of environmental activists in Prince George's County. She represented the citizens of Greenbelt, Maryland, as a member of the city council. The collection is unprocessed, but preliminary inventories of additional accessions are available.


  • 1965-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1974-1979

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.


9.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Rhea Cohen papers consists of collected reports, maps, news clippings, draft plans, published legal matter, and policy statements. They reflect her work leading the opposition to the construction of the Greenbriar sewage treatment plant, though that plant was eventually built in Greenbelt, just east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Other projects heavily represented in the collection are the Potomac River clean-up and Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) surplus land. Additional materials pertain specifically to Greenbelt, Maryland, notably maps, master plans, and legal cases.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Rhea Cohen papers were donated to the University of Maryland in two accessions in 2005 and 2006. The first (2006-8) was transferred from the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley on July 21, 2005. The second (2006-117) was donated by Rhea Cohen on March 14, 2006.

Guide to the Rhea Cohen papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742