The Thomas Brooks Collection/Colston E. Warne Biography reflects the efforts of Brooks to write a biography on consumer leader, Colston Warne. A professor of Family Economics at Amherst College for 40 years, Warne played an important part in organizing professionals in the consumer affairs field. He was known for his many roles in the consumer movement, including: president of Consumers Union, development of the international consumer movement, serving on numerous governmental committees and advisory boards, and helping to introduce the consumers point of view into economic and political public policy decisions.
The Administrative Files are related to Brooks' management of the biography project, and they are arranged in four subseries. The first subseries from this file contains correspondence between Brooks and other individuals. This includes letters between Brooks and people such as; Warne, individuals who knew Warne, and publishers. The second subseries is financial documents and includes budget statements and store requisitions for the project. The third subseries is miscellaneous files of articles and papers written by Warne. The fourth subseries is the Warne biography research proposal written by Brooks and submitted to the College of Human Resources, Southern Illinois University.
The Research Files series, organized into seven subseries, contains research material on Warne collected by Brooks. The first subseries is Amherst College, 1931-1960. Because Warne spent most of his career at Amherst, this subseries, contains pertinent information about Warne and his profession. The second subseries is articles on Colston E. Warne. These are specific articles written by others about Warne and they include: "Colston Estey Warne: Mr. Consumer", "Dr. Warne is Honored by Unitarian Society", "Advertising: Study Stirs Debate on Values", "Consumer Groups Going International". The third subseries contains biographical notes taken by Brooks while researching Warne. The fourth subseries is organizations. They include: The American Association of University Women, The American Council on Consumer Interests, and Consumers' Union. The fifth subseries contains information about people. Included are: Ralph Nader, Celia Warne, and Colston Warne. The sixth subseries is subjects and includes files on advertising, consumers in the market, cooperatives, labor, the loyalty check, and speeches/statements. The final subseries is the Warne family tree.
In the third series are Warne's personal files consisting of four subseries. The first subseries is activities and associations. They include: Consumer Advisory Committee, Council of Economic Advisors to the President of the U.S., 1947-1951; Consumers Research, Advisory Board, 1929-1935; Consumers' Union, President and member, Board of Directors, 1936-1979; People's Lobby (Washington D.C.), President, 1934-1936, Honorary Vice President, 1941, Board of Directors, 1936-1950. The second subseries is Warne's diary. This is Warne's personal diary for the years 1911-1918. The third subseries is personal papers of Warne's. Included are his address books, a pamphlet written by him, and correspondence. The fourth subseries is organizations and includes: consumer cooperatives, the consumer movement, Consumers Research, People's Lobby, and other miscellaneous organizations. Two dissertations comprise, Literary Works. The first one is titled, "An Historical Analysis of the Growth of the National Consumer Movement in the United States from 1947 to 1967", by Jeanine Gilmartin. The second is titled, "The Consumer Movement in the Sixties", by David R. Case.
The fourth series contains oral interviews Brooks conducted with Warne, and other persons related to his life. There are typed transcripts for the majority of the interviews recorded on cassette audio tapes. The tapes have been separated from the collection and stored in the Consumer Movement Archives Oral History Collection. Among the thirty-two people interviewed were: Senator Paul Douglas, Leland Gordon, Florence Mason, Margaret Warne Nelson, Barbara Warne Newell, Esther Peterson, Celia Warne Tower, Clint Warne, Colston Warne, and Francis Warne.
The fifthth series contains printed material relating to the consumer movement. The majority of the printed material is either written by Warne or written about Warne. Approximately one hundred photographs were removed from the papers and filed in the University Archives Photograph Collection. The photographs are organized in three groups: Ithaca High School year book of 1916; Warne's career involving consumer movement events; and photographs of Warne at Amherst College. Included among the second group are photographs of the Consumer Advisory Council of 1948 and of 1962, Warne's visit to Japan with the Consumer's Association in 1961, Warne's visit to India in 1969, President Kennedy, Frances Warne, Walter Wilcox, and Richard Morse.