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Research Guide


Lear/Carson Collection. The collection consists of Linda Lear's archive of materials used for her biography, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, and for the anthology, Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson , as well as personal papers given to Lear by Carson's colleagues and friends. Open to Students and Scholars. Contact: Benjamin Panciera, Director of Special Collections & Archives 860-439-2654.

The Rachel Carson Papers, given by the estate of Rachel Carson in 1965, are included in The Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, PO Box 208240, New Haven CT 06520, 203-432-2962.

The custodian of the Dorothy Freeman Collection, letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman. Special Collections, Ladd Library, Bates College, Lewiston ME 04240, 207-786-6272.

The Ferdinand Hamburger Archives, Milton Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University

A collection of manuscripts related to Carson's graduate studies in zoology at the university during the early 1930's. Archivist James Stimpert, Archivist, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21218, 410-516-8323.

This virtual exhibition presents the global reception and impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as well as the book’s legacy in popular culture, music, literature, and the arts. Read chronologically starting with the overview, or go directly to a specific chapter that interests you by clicking on the navigation slider below.


The majority of images featuring Rachel Carson are subject to copyright restrictions. To ensure you are using photos legally, it is advisable to utilize sources that can provide or verify the copyright(s) associated with the images. We have provided links below, which may be updated periodically, to assist you in finding appropriate sources for Rachel Carson images in accordance with copyright regulations.


It is challenging to encompass all the articles related to Rachel Carson's environmental teachings on a single webpage. Therefore, we recommend utilizing resources such as Worldcat and Google Scholar to initiate your exploration. Nonetheless, we have curated a selection of intriguing articles for your perusal.

Internet Search

By Patricia M. DeMarco Dec 21, 2018
"Our beautiful, fragile, resilient Living Earth provides everything we need to survive and thrive. All the living things on the planet have co-evolved forming an interconnected web of life with a life support system that provides oxygen-rich air, fresh water, and fertile ground."

By Sam Knight April 27, 2018
"The hills of Cumbria, in northern England, are known as fells. They are among the wettest, coldest, and windiest places where sheep are farmed outdoors year-round. "

“It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.”
Those are the closing words of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 work, Silent Spring, about the dangers of pesticides. Silent Spring has been credited with launching the modern environmental movement. It might never have made it into bookstores if it weren't for the efforts of a venerable Boston publisher.

by Linda Lear
Although Rachel Carson is best known for her seminal work "Silent Spring," this year marks the 75th anniversary of her remarkable literary debut, "Under the Sea-Wind," published on the eve of World War II in November 1941.

by Linda Lear
Nature 520, 30–32 (02 April 2015) doi:10.1038/520030a Published online 01 April 2015

Other Sources

Written for Ada Lovelace Day by Jim Stimpert, Sheriden Library, Johns Hopkins University.

Focus on Rachel Carson’s connection to Pennsylvania and the impact her work has had on PA environmental and conservation policy. Inspired by a supportive mother, her natural surroundings and the Allegheny River, it was her formative years in Springdale that would shape her passionate environmental ethic.

Aired May 28, 2019

When Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962, the book became a phenomenon. A passionate and eloquent warning about the long-term dangers of pesticides, the book unleashed an extraordinary national debate and was greeted by vigorous attacks from the chemical industry. But it would also inspire President John F. Kennedy to launch the first-ever investigation into the public health effects of pesticides — an investigation that would eventually result in new laws governing the regulation of these deadly agents.

Mark Stoll
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring: A Book that Changed the World This virtual exhibition presents the global reception and impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as well as the book’s legacy in popular culture, music, literature, and the arts.

Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, PhD., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic documentary film.

This poetic film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. After a routine cancer screening, Sandra receives some worrying results and is thrust into a period of medical uncertainty. Thus, we begin two journeys with Sandra: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention.

But Sandra is not the only one who is on a journey—the chemicals against which she is fighting are also on the move. We follow these invisible toxins as they migrate to some of the most beautiful places in North America. We see how these chemicals enter our bodies and how, once inside, scientists believe they may be working to cause cancer.

Several experts in the fields of toxicology and cancer research make important cameo appearances in the film, highlighting their own findings on two pervasive chemicals: atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, and the industrial compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Their work further illuminates the significant connection between a healthy environment and human health.

At once Sandra’s personal journey and her scientific exploration, Living Downstream is a powerful reminder of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our air, land, and water.


The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson is a groundbreaking documentary examining the life of Rachel Carson and the profound implications of her environmental work. Perfect for classrooms and community events, this 51-minute film features interviews with Rachel Carson’s adopted son, Roger Christie, her biographer, Linda Lear, and other notable writers, scientists and advocates. By highlighting the power of Carson’s voice, we hope to inspire others to add their voices to this essential conversation.

If you would like to contribute to our collection of research resources, kindly submit your suggestions through our contact form, and we will evaluate them for potential inclusion on our website, dedicated to the environmental teachings of Rachel Carson.
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