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Three Arrows Cooperative Society Records

Call Number



1937-2022, inclusive


Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. (Role: Donor)
Balgley, Halona W. (Role: Donor)
Heinrich, Amy Vladeck (Role: Donor)


15 Linear Feet
in 12 record cartons, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, and 3 oversize folders.


17.57 Gigabytes


2 websites
in 2 archived websites.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English


The Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. is the successor organization to the Barger Street Cooperative Society, chartered in 1937. Early members purchased 125 acres of farmland in Putnam Valley, NY and formed a cooperative summer colony which eventually grew to include 75 individual units. The colony, sometimes known as Camp Three Arrows, is modeled on socialist and communitarian values and offers residents a wide range of cultural, educational and leisure activities. Records include minutes of the Board of Directors and other governing bodies, financial and legal documents, correspondence, and printed material on the history of the Society. The collection also includes over three hundred and fifty photographs and eleven maps of the property and surrounding areas.

Historical Note

The cooperative colony managed by Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. originated with the purchase of Barger Farm, a hilly 125-acre property in Putnam Valley, NY in December 1936. The original organizers, among whom were Louis Hay, a psychologist, Joseph Glass, an attorney, and Jack Schaffer, a member of the Socialist Party familiar with the local area, obtained a state charter as the Barger Street Cooperative Society in 1937 and began to sell shares in the venture for $100, with a minimum purchase of two shares. By the end of the second season thirty families had purchased shares, and a number of tents had been erected on the property. Many of the first participants were affiliated with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, the Jewish Labor Bund, the Socialist Party, USA, or the Party's youth group, the Young People's Socialist League. Some had attended socialist summer camps as children. The colony later adopted the name Three Arrows Cooperative Society to honor a traditional symbol of the international socialist movement. An important influence on the early members was long-time Socialist Party leader, Norman Thomas, who visited Three Arrows every summer and spoke there during his several presidential campaigns. After his death in 1968, the colony's social hall was named for him.

The Society's land is held in common, but individual families own the residences they occupy, and a few units are available for rental. By 1947 the colony, sometimes known as Camp Three Arrows, consisted of fifty-three bungalows. The seventy-fifth, and final, unit was purchased in 1973. In the first few years residents dined communally, but later individual cabins had their own kitchens. Residences have been renovated and expanded to varying degrees and in different styles, with a number of families winterizing their properties for year-round use. Important community decisions at Three Arrows are made through a process of direct democracy. Management is in the hands of a Board of Directors, and a multitude of committees addresses specific areas of responsibility. Paid staff are the full-time caretaker and professional lifeguards, but community members often join in on maintenance projects. By the 1990s the community had become Putnam Valley's largest tax-payer. In the face of soaring land values and the tendency of children and grandchildren of society members to move away from New York and give up ownership of family properties, the community works hard to screen prospective buyers and maintain the cooperative values that motivated the founders.

The colony offers a lively schedule of summer cultural activity, including art classes, Friday-night lectures on political and social welfare topics, discussion sessions known as "schmoozes," concerts, amateur theatricals and dances. There are two clay tennis courts, a ball field and a marked trail for hiking. The community hosts a gala Fourth of July picnic, to which many non-residents are invited, and there is an annual Labor Day show. A waterfront swimming and boating area on fifty-acre Barger Pond, includes enclosed swimming "cribs" and a floating deck for lounging and socializing, and a number of supervised activities for children have been developed over the years.


Organized into 11 series:

Series I: Minutes, 1937-2002

Series II: General Files, 1937-2003

Series III: Unprocessed Materials, 1930s-2000s

Series IV: Addendum (2001)

Series V: Photographs, 1940-2006

Series VI: Maps and Plans, 1937-1981

Series VII. 2014 Addendum

Series VIII. Archived Websites

Series IX: 2015 Addendum

Series X. 2017 Addendum

Series XI. 2019 Addendum

Series XII. 2022 Addenda

Series I is arranged alphabetically by body or committee, and chronologically within each; Series II and IV through VI are arranged alphabetically by topic. Series III, IX, X, XI, and XII have not been arranged by an archivist.

Scope and Contents

This partially processed collection contains minutes and associated materials for meetings of the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Membership Committee, and several other committees. The collection also includes general files that document the Society's history and operations, including background material on the colony's history, such as anniversary journals, charters, by-laws, files on sales of property and other land transactions, insurance records, and other legal records. Among the financial records are officers' reports, statements and expense and income ledgers. Committee activity is well documented: brochures, flyers and over three hundred and fifty photographs illustrate a wide range of community events and pastimes. A complete run of the Three Arrows newsletter, "Voice of the Hill," 1945-2022, and examples of other, more short-lived, publications are also included. The collection contains eleven oversize maps and plans of the Three Arrows property and Putnam Valley.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by Three Arrows Cooperative Society were transferred to New York University in 2001 by Helona Balgley. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive. Please contact

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Three Arrows Cooperative Society Records; TAM 250; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; Three Arrows Cooperative Society Records; TAM 250; Wayback URL; Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Location of Materials

Materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact at least two business days prior to research visit.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Board of Director of the Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. sent a gift of papers and photographs related to the Three Arrows in Summer 2001. Further accretions have been donated in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Amy Vladek Heinrich sent a gift of materials used in an exhibit for the 70th Anniversary of Three Arrows Cooperative Society, including photographs or photocopies of photographs (approximately 130), text, printed materials and graphics, and loose captions in 2011. Heinrich also sent a gift of newsletters and governance documents in 2014. In 2015, Halona W. Balgley donated a further accretion to the collection. The accession number associated with these gifts are 2001.189, 2001.191, NPA.2003.092, NPA.2004.063, 2011.133, 2011.140, 2014.153, 2015.068, 2017.080, and 2019.072.

In 2017, was selected by curators and captured through the use of Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In 2020, was added. The accession number associated with this website is 2021.008.

In June 2022 an accretion of born digital materials was donated by Bradley Abrams; the accession number associated with this gift is 2022.059. In August 2022 an accretion was donated by Amy Heinrich; the accession number associated with this gift is 2023.014.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Advance notice is required for the use of computer records. Original physical digital media is restricted. Some born-digital materials have not been transferred and may not be available to researchers. Researchers may request access copies. To request that material be transferred, or if you are unsure if material has been transferred, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Take Down Policy

Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.

If you hold the rights to materials in our archived websites that are unattributed, please let us know so that we may maintain accurate information about these materials.

If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on this website for which you have not granted permission (or is not covered by a copyright exception under US copyright laws), you may request the removal of the material from our site by submitting a notice, with the elements described below, to the

Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.

Collection processed by

Angela Frattarola

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:02:46 -0500.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding Aid is written in English

Processing Information

Photographs separated from this collection during processing were established as a separate collection, the Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. Photographs (PHOTOS 121). In 2014, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Three Arrows Cooperative Society, Inc. Records (TAM 250).

In 2015, a folder list was created for the 2014 accession. The order found in the box was maintained by the archivist and the archived website was added as series VIII. In 2015, 2018, and 2019, further accretions were added as Series IX, X, and XI in accordance with previous arrangement decisions.

In 2021, additional website was added to the finding aid.

In 2022, the files on a newly donated flash drive with administrative documents were securely transferred to mounted storage, intellectually integrated into the existing arrangement structure as Series XII, and described on the series level. New York University Libraries follow professional standards and best practices when imaging, ingesting, and processing born-digital material in order to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the content.

In February 2023, an accretion donated in August 2022 was rehoused in archival folders and boxes and intellectually integrated into Series XII. 2022 Addenda.

Revisions to this Guide

December 2017: Record updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect November 2017 accretion
June 2019: Record updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect May 2019 accretion
January 2021: Record updated by Nicole Greenhouse to reflect additional administrative information and added archived websites
June 2022: Record updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect 2022 accretion

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Three Arrows Finding Aid.doc


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
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