Brooklyn Public Library

Mobile AppDownload our Mobile App

eNewsletterSubscribe to BPL eNews


Ina Clausen & Protest in Brooklyn

Feb 27, 2017 9:42 AM | 0 comments

Ina Clausen (center), 1957, Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

With the inauguration of Donald Trump in January, it seems that we have entered a renewed moment in the public sphere, with each week defined by protests, community meetings, and urgent calls to contact your elected officials. This moment, however, is not so very brand new -- there is of course a long and varied history of protest movements and resistance both in the United States and abroad. Given the current political climate, I thought it would be appropriate to mine the Brooklyn Collection for some local precedent.

I turned to one of my favorite special collections, the Ina Clausen Collection, for inspiration. A bit about the collection’s namesake, Ina, according to our online finding aid: Ina Clausen was born February 21, 1943 to Einar Clausen and Linda Hansen Clausen in Brooklyn, NY. She attended the Prospect Heights High School, where she was on the art staff of her high school’s publication, the Cardinal. Clausen graduated in 1960. In the late 1960s Clausen co-founded a women’s collective print shop at 573 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn. The shop was called the Greenpoint Print Shop, and was supported by donations of equipment from David Dellinger, who published Liberation Magazine in New Jersey. At the print shop, Clausen designed and printed materials for several local activist groups, including the Southern Conference Educational Fund, the Southside Community of Greenpoint, the National Association for Irish Freedom, Yellow Pearl (an Asian-American organization based in Chinatown), Los Tintos Indios, a Red Hook-based Puerto Rican group, and several women’s liberation groups. Clausen served as president of the Greenpoint Print Shop until late 1972, when she and the other officers all resigned and turned the corporation over to another group. During this period and beyond, Clausen participated in local activist organizations, including the Flatbush Committee to End the War in Vietnam. She also designed and published informational packets to educate women about the Women’s Liberation Movement. Her work in this movement included contributions to the feminist journal Up from Under, which focused on working women.

Let’s take a look at some of the flyers, pamphlets and journals in this collection and hopefully walk away with some inspiration from ticked-off Brooklynites of the past.

Flyers from the Flatbush Committee to End the War in Vietnam.


Call for a Coney Island Boycott, 4 July 1968. "Don't risk being herded behind gates like dogs."


Cover of Feelings from Women’s Liberation magazine, which Ina helped to design and publish. This periodical focused on creative writing and poetry authored by women participating in the movement.


Poem entitled “I am a Sandwich” from Feelings magazine, written by prominent feminist Shulamith Firestone. Text reads:

"At midnight

Between covers

I turn into your sandwich

A fat one

Of pinklayered ham,

Of slicky kosher

Corned beef,

A squished mound

Of tuna,

But sometimes I can only make

A flat little hamburger

Needing too much ketchup,

Or a BLT on toast,

Too expensive,

And falling apart,

But well mayonnaised

For all that.

On rich days

For 10c extra,

I add the red dream

Of a libby tomato."

At the Greenpoint Print Shop, Ina published another more overtly political magazine entitled Up From Under. The Brooklyn Collection owns six editions of this periodical, which features long articles from different voices in the movement, as well as practical how-to’s for women and satirical cartoons or advertisements. Some selections from those editions:


Up From Under cover, Volume 1, No. 4, 1971.


"Somehow we survive."


"I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there, and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator." - Mother Jones, Labor organizer circa 1900


Activism for women in prisons.


Dissemination as a community effort.


Understanding history.


A practical how-to on changing a lightbulb. Others in this series include: fixing a flat tire, fixing a toilet, etc.

And this is only the beginning of the inspiration! The Ina Clausen collection is available upon request through the Brooklyn Collection.

Happy belated birthday, Ina!

Need Help With Your Holiday Shopping?

Dec 21, 2015 10:30 AM | 0 comments

Well, the Brooklyn Collection has got you covered. All you have to do is suit up in your best hoop dress and top hat and get yourself to downtown Brooklyn, and we promise all your holiday gift-giving woes will melt away. Okay, hang on to your bonnets, here we go!

First stop: Fulton Street! 

“Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 22 December 1860. 

You’ve just got to get back to W.H. Cornell for those fancy boxed prunes that were such a hit with Uncle Clarence last year. Everyone in your knitting circle surely needs a box!

Next, you’ve got to find the perfect gift for little Mary and little Ernest. But, DUH, you know what they want this year! Head down Fulton a little ways to Dayton & Carter to pick up the gift that anybody who is anybody is looking for this year: SKATES!


“Christmas is Coming.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 8 December 1862.

Just one quick stop at the druggist on the corner for a bottle of Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup to help ease baby Mabel’s teething pains, and the kids will be all set. So WHAT that its primary ingredients are morphine and alcohol! We don’t know about that yet, so shhhh!

“Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 6 February 1860.

Okay, now brace yourself to leave the calm of Fulton Street behind:

Brainard, George Bradford. “Fulton Street.” 1886. The Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn. 

Now you’re headed to that big noisy thoroughfare of Flatbush Avenue! But you just have to get to Dr. P. Daily’s because he has the best deals on horseshoes this side of the East River. Papa’s horse Lula is certainly due for a new set of shoes!

Letterhead Collection. The Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn Public Library. 31 August 1898.

Working up a Christmas sweat? Good! There’s work yet to be done, so hitch up your petticoat and get moving. The final stop on your whirlwind holiday shopping spree is quite a journey up the road, but we’ll take the scenic route past Fort Greene Park. It’s always cheerful to watch the children playing in the snow, isn’t it?

Brainard, George Bradford. “Boys in Fort Greene Park.” 1875. The Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn.

A mile and a half up the road, the wagon wheels are a-squeaking and you’ve made it to your last stop just in the time! Thank heavens for Dr. Williams and his carriage fixing team. A wheel adjustment is a gift to all in the family – bumpy rides to work no more!

Letterhead Collection. The Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn Public Library. 21 August 1883.

Huzzah! You’ve made it through another season of holiday shopping around Brooklyn. Now you’ve got to get thinking about killing that ox for the holiday feast…..Well, good luck!

“Now We Shall Have a Christmas Party.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 24 December 1899.