In the spring of 1998, I began work on a history of air pollution control policy, focusing on new mechanisms of local control that more actively included representatives of the public. In Pittsburgh, these new possibilities for local activism had contributed to the rise of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) in 1969. When I went looking for archival documents that could explain the history, demographics, rhetoric, and strategy of this environmental advocacy group three decades later, I found only strangely scattered pieces. By the late 1990s the leadership of GASP did not know if any material had ever been donated to any local archive; they were several generations removed from the original activists, many of whom had passed on, left the cause, or moved to Florida. Over the next twelve years, I attempted to chase down the records of individuals and the group. I swooped in to claim...

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