This post is contributed by Lori Harris, Project Archivist, Animal Welfare and Animal Rights Collections.
What comes to mind when you combine the Mistress of the Dark (Elvira), a Hollywood media personality (Regis Philbin) and a renowned visual artist (Andy Warhol)? The short answer might not be animal rights activism. However, a more in-depth answer can be located within the Ron Scott Animal Rights Videotape Collection. Ron Scott was a retired Air Force pilot who also served in the New York State Air National Guard. During the 1980s and 1990s, Scott videotaped hundreds of hours of footage at conferences, demonstrations and protests related to animal rights. He also traveled extensively throughout both the United States and Europe videotaping and raising awareness regarding issues of cruelty toward animals and animal sanctuaries. Primarily consisting of moving images in a variety of formats such as VHS, Video 8, U-matics and open-reel tapes, the Ron Scott Animal Rights Videotape Collection provides both research and educational materials that highlight advocacy for the rights of a variety of animal species. Whether advocating for improved treatment of circus animals, or protesting against vivisection, the trajectory of this movement is highlighted through the support of known advocates such as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Regis Philbin and Andy Warhol. Organizations represented in the collection include the Argus Archives, the Animal Rights Network, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The collection is a rich resource of historical information captured through photographic and video imagery.
Photos by Vito Torelli