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Allen, Theodore W., 1919-2005

Theodore W. Allen Papers

1946-2005
132 boxes 197.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1021
Part of: Jeffrey B. Perry Collection
Image of Theodore W. Allen
Theodore W. Allen

An anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual and activist, Theodore W. “Ted” Allen was one of the most important thinkers on race and class in the twentieth century. He developed his pioneering class struggle-based analysis of “white skin privilege” beginning in the mid-1960s; authored the seminal two-volume The Invention of the White Race in the 1990s; and consistently maintained that the struggle against white supremacy was central to efforts at radical social change in the United States. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Allen was raised in Kentucky and West Virginia, where he was “proletarianized” by the Great Depression. A member of the American Federation of Musicians and the United Mine Workers, and a member of the Communist Party, Allen moved to Brooklyn after injuring his back in the mines, and spent the last fifty years of his life at various jobs including factory work, teaching, the post office, and the Brooklyn Public Library. In the 1960s, having broken from the Communist Party, Allen set out on his own independent research course. Inspired by the work of W. E. B. Du Bois he wrote on the “white blindspot” and “white skin privilege” and began what became forty years of work focused on white supremacy as the principal retardant of class consciousness among European-American workers. Over his last thirty years, Allen wrote hundreds of published and unpublished articles and letters challenging white supremacy, capitalist rule, sexism, and U.S. Imperialism, as well as numerous poems.

The Theodore W. Allen Papers are a comprehensive assemblage of correspondence, published and unpublished writings, audio and video materials, and research by one of the major theorists on race and class of the twentieth century. The Papers offer important insights on the Old and New Left and their relation to the labor and Civil Rights/Black Liberation Movements and have much to offer students, scholars, researchers, and activists.

Gift of Jeffrey B. Perry, May 2018

Subjects

  • Communists--New York (State)
  • Historians--New York (State)
  • Labor movement
  • Race
  • Racism

Contributors

  • Ignatiev, Noel
  • Sojourner Truth Organization

Types of material

  • Photographs
Berkeley, Roy

Roy and Ellen Perry Berkeley Papers

ca.1954-2011
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 972

Born in New York City in 1935, Roy Berkeley’s eclectic creative career began while working his way through Columbia University (BA, 1956) as an editor for the New York Post and pseudonymous author of 14 pulp novels, and continued after graduation, working for two years at the height of the Cold War in U.S. intelligence. A self-taught guitarist, he became a stalwart of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, performing at the Gaslight regularly and at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and eventually recording three albums. In 1966, Berkeley married Ellen Perry, a writer and editor for Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum, and one of the few women architectural critics of the time. Their time in New York City ended in 1971, however, when Ellen’s job as an editor at an architectural magazine ended. Using Roy’s winnings from his appearance on the television show Jeopardy, the couple relocated to Shaftsbury, Vt., where they led a freelance life as writers, editors, teachers, and lecturers. Roy was eventually appointed deputy Sheriff in own and became a member of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. After a struggle with cancer, Roy Berkeley died in 2009 at the age of 73.

The bulk of the Perry Papers consists of Roy’s research files and drafts of a never-completed history of the folk music scene, along with some correspondence, notes, and ephemera that includes both editions of his Bosses Songbook, a satirical send-up of the People’s Songbook. The collection also contains a sampling of the exceptional range of Ellen’s writing on topics from architecture to cats, cookery, to grieving.

Gift of Ellen Perry Berkeley, April 2017

Subjects

  • Architecture
  • Folk music

Contributors

  • Berkeley, Ellen Perry
Bernhard, Michael H.

Michael H. Bernhard Solidarity Collection

ca.1975-1989
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 575

A member of the Department of Political Science at Penn State University, Michael Bernhard specializes in the comparative history of institutional change in East Central Europe and the political economy of democratic survival and breakdown. Since receiving his doctorate from Columbia University in 1988, Bernhard has written extensively on various aspects of the democratic transition in Poland and East Germany.

The Bernhard Collection contains photocopies and some original materials of underground publications by the Solidarity Movement in Poland, most of which were crudely published and illegally distributed. The collection also includes a series of posters for Solidarity candidates during the first post-Communist election.

Language(s): Polish

Subjects

  • NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization)
  • Poland--History--1945-
  • Underground press publications--Poland

Contributors

  • Bernhard, Michael H
Boschen, Allan C.

Allan C. Boschen Esperanto Collection

1852-2015
ca.750 items 18 linear feet
Call no.: RB 028
Image of Esperanto travel book, 1927
Esperanto travel book, 1927

A constructed language developed by a Polish physician, L.L. Zamenhof, and first published in 1887, Esperanto is the most widely spoken auxiliary language in the world. Fundamentally utopian in origin, Esperanto is a simplified and highly rationalized language derived from a pastiche of languages, primarily European. By creating a universal second language, Zamenhof hoped that Esperanto would help transcend national and cultural boundaries and thus promote peace and understanding in a fractious world. Allan Boschen, an engineer with General Electric in Pittsfield, was a student and teacher of Esperanto and longtime officer with the Esperanto Society of New England.

The Esperanto book collection includes instructional materials in the language from around the world along with a diversity of imprints ranging from novels and poetry to travel books, histories and biographies, political writings, materials on China and Vietnam, children’s literature, and even a cookbook. We expect to add to the collection in future.

Subjects

  • Esperanto
  • Ido
  • Languages, Artificial
Brinsfield, Mark

Mark Brinsfield Poster Collection

1979-1994
53 items 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 854
Image of Wer Kohl wählt, wählt Reagan
Wer Kohl wählt, wählt Reagan

Mark Taylor Brinsfield studied languages and law in Europe before receiving his MA in European Studies at the University of Exeter. His research has included work in the history of multiracial people in post-World War II Southeast Asia. Brinsfield currently lives in Northampton, Mass.

The posters in the Brinsfield Collection represent a cross-section of West German political campaigning during the decade leading up to reunification. Focused primarily on national, rather than regional elections, the collection includes representative work from the major left- and right-leaning political parties (CDU and RCDS, SDU, the Greens) as well as a few posters addressed at major political issues, including the antinuclear and antiwar movements.

Language(s): German

Subjects

  • Antinuclear movements--Germany
  • Antiwar movements--Germany
  • Christlich-Demokratische Union Deutschlands
  • Germany--History --1945-1990
  • Germany--Politics and government--1945-1990
  • Grünen (Political party)
  • Ring Christlich-Demokratischer Studenten
  • Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands

Contributors

  • Staeck, Klaus

Types of material

  • Posters
Chalfen family

Chalfen Family Papers

ca.1890-2011
51 boxes 76.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 770

Born into a Jewish family in Khotyn, Bessarabia (now Ukraine), in 1888, Benjamin Chalfen emigrated to United States as a young man, arriving in New York City in 1910 before making his way to Boston. Taking work as a clerk with the Roxbury Crossing Steamship Agency, he married a fellow Russian immigrant, Annie Berg in 1914 and, after their divorce a few years later, married a second time. Benjamin and Annie’s son, Melvin (1918-2007), studied Forestry at Massachusetts State College (BA 1940) and Yale (MF 1942) before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in Aug. 1942. Moved to active duty in 1943 as a communications specialist, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. After he returned home, Mel met and married a recent Smith College graduate, Judith Resnick (1925-2011), with whom he raised three sons. The couple settled into a comfortable life in the Boston suburbs, where Mel carved out a successful career as a home inspector and educator while Judith became well known as a supporter of the arts and as one of the founders of Action For Children’s Television (1968), an important force in promoting quality television programing for children.

A massive archive documenting three generations of a Jewish family from Boston, the Chalfen family papers contain a rich body of photographs and letters, centered largely on the lives of Melvin and Judith Chalfen. The Chalfens were prolific correspondents and the collection includes hundreds of letters written home while Mal and Judy were in college and while Mel was serving in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War — most of these in Yiddish. The thousands of photographs cover a broader span of family history, beginning prior to emigration from Bessarabia into the 1960s. Among many other items of note are rough drafts of a New Deal sociological study of juvenile delinquency and the impact of boys’ clubs in the late 1930s prepared by Abraham Resnick (a Socialist community organizer and Judith’s father); materials from the progressive Everyman’s Theater (early 1960s); and nearly three feet of material documenting Judy Chalfen’s work with Action for Children’s Television.

Gift of the Chalfen family, 2011.
Language(s): Yiddish

Subjects

  • Action for Children's Television
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Massachusetts State College--Students
  • Smith College--Students
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Chalfen, Benjamin
  • Chalfen, Judith, 1925-2011
  • Chalfen, Melvin H. (Melvin Howard), 1918-2007

Types of material

  • Photographs
Communist Party of Massachusetts

Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection

1932-1957
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 538

A branch of the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Communist Party of Massachusetts enjoyed strong popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, organizing the textile and other manufacturing industries.

This small collection is comprised of a miscellaneous assemblage of fliers, broadsides, and ephemera issued by the Communist Party of Massachusetts and its affiliates from the mid-1930s through the repression of the McCarthy era. Originating mostly from Boston, the items in the collection center on significant themes in Communist thought, including opposition to Fascism and militarism, labor solidarity against capital, and elections. A small number of items relate to Party-approved cultural productions, including plays and gatherings to celebrate Lenin or the Russian Revolution. Many items are associated with Otis A. Hood, a perpetual candidate for public office on the Communist Party ticket who became a target for McCarthy-era repression in the mid-1950s.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2008

Subjects

  • Antiwar movements--Massachusetts
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Elections--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Communist Party of Massachusetts

Types of material

  • Broadsides
  • Fliers
Democratic Socialist Conference

Democratic Socialist Conference Collection

1984-1991
2 boxes 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 325

Includes transcripts of papers delivered at conferences (1985-1990) on democratic socialism, and correspondence (1984-1991) between Stephen Siteman, former Executive Secretary of the Socialist Party of America, and Frank Zeidler, former Mayor of Milwaukee, Socialist Party candidate for President of the United States, and national chairperson of the Socialist Party USA.

Gift of Stephen Siteman, 1990, 1991

Subjects

  • Socialism--Africa
  • Socialist Party of the United States of America
  • United States--Politics and government--1981-1989
  • United States--Politics and government--1989-1993

Contributors

  • Siteman, Stephen
  • Zeidler, Frank P
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963

W.E.B. Du Bois Papers

1803-1984
328 boxes 168.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 312
Image of W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois

Scholar, writer, editor of The Crisis and other journals, co-founder of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan African Congresses, international spokesperson for peace and for the rights of oppressed minorities, W.E.B. Du Bois was a son of Massachusetts who articulated the strivings of African Americans and developed a trenchant analysis of the problem of the color line in the twentieth century.

The Du Bois Papers contain almost 165 linear feet of the personal and professional papers of a remarkable social activist and intellectual. Touching on all aspects of his long life from his childhood during Reconstruction through the end of his life in 1963, the collection reflects the extraordinary breadth of his social and academic commitments from research in sociology to poetry and plays, from organizing for social change to organizing for Black consciousness.

Acquired from Shirley Graham Du Bois, 1973

Subjects

  • African Americans--Civil rights
  • African Americans--History--1877-1964
  • Crisis (New York, N.Y.)
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on democracy
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Pan-Africanism
  • United States--Race relations

Contributors

  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963

Types of material

  • Photographs
East German Book Collection

East German Book Collection

1948-1993
ca.300 vols. 13 linear feet
Call no.: RB 021

From the official optimism of the post-war years in East Germany through the dynamic press of the 1970s to the end of the regime in 1989, the state and its critics developed a distinctive print culture that was reflected in its literary and artistic output and in its popular and academic works.

The DDR collection contains miscellaneous volumes printed in East Germany, including literature and drama, touristic books, popular history, works on the arts, and a variety of academic and reference works.

Subjects

  • Germany (East)--History

Types of material

  • Books