Barbara Bach first worked as a Boston area schoolteacher and creator of television documentaries. After receiving a Master's degree in Education in 1969, she became an Ann Arbor, Mich. businesswoman, networking facilitator, fundraiser, and lifelong educator/mentor to individuals and organizations. The collection includes business records, association newsletters, campaign literature, photographs, and correspondence representing her multiple careers as an entrepreneur, legislative aide, community activist, and executive director in a policy environment promoting economic development in Michigan.
The Barbara Bach papers reflect a context of turbulent economic conditions and ground-breaking socio-political events. Some defining highlights of Bach's political efforts include her work with the Ann Arbor Public Schools Title IX Monitoring Committee for gender equality in sports, her nonpartisan campaign work for the county-wide Washtenaw County SAFE House proposal to assist victims of domestic violence, and her Democratic Party campaign work on behalf of Albert H. Wheeler, Ann Arbor's first African American mayor.
However, Bach's business experience and activities on behalf of economic development and job training in the State of Michigan, in connection with the Michigan Community Colleges Association (MCCA) and as Executive Director of the Inventors' Council of Michigan (INCOM), represent the bulk of the collection.
During the 1980s, community colleges were becoming a focal point for job-related training as a precursor to economic development. Organizations such as the Michigan Technology Council (MTC), with support from the University of Michigan, brought together leaders from business, industry, and government in an effort to facilitate technology transfer through commercial applications and new product development.
Economic recession had helped to heighten interest, at all levels of government, in the policy concept of economic development through entrepreneurial successes. Ideally, through teaching, research, and networking assistance, an entrepreneurial "supercenter" would encourage new product and business development, ultimately creating jobs throughout the economy.
Throughout much of her career in Michigan, Barbara Bach was known as Barbara Eldersveld. The collection also includes some materials from her early public service activities in Massachusetts as Barbara Damon.
The collection is organized into eight series: Personal/Biographical, Greater Boston Area, Teaching and Educational Settings, Political, Business and Entrepreneurial, State Government, Inventors' Council of Michigan (INCOM), and Ann Arbor Community Service.