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Barton, Thomas

Thomas Barton Papers

1947-1977 Bulk: 1960-1974
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 539
Depiction of YPSL logo
YPSL logo

In the early 1960s, Tom Barton (b. 1935) emerged as a leader in the Left-wing of the Young People’s Socialist League, the national youth affiliate of the Socialist Party. Deeply committed to the civil rights and antiwar struggles and to revolutionary organizing, Barton operated in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York and was a delegate and National Secretary at the 1964 convention in which tensions within YPSL led to its dissolution.

A small, but rich collection, the Barton Papers provide a glimpse into the career of a long-time Socialist and activist. From Barton’s entry into the Young People’s Socialist League in the latest 1950s through his work with the Wildcat group in the early 1970s, the collection contains outstanding content on the civil rights and antiwar movements and the strategies for radical organizing. The collection is particularly rich on two periods of Barton’s career — his time in the YPSL and Student Peace Union (1960-1964) and in the Wildcat group (1968-1971) — and particularly for the events surrounding the dissolution of YPSL in 1964, following a heated debate over whether to support Lyndon Johnson for president. The collection includes correspondence with other young radicals such as Martin Oppenheimer, Lyndon Henry, Juan McIver, and Joe Weiner.

Subjects

Antiwar movementsCivil rights movementsCommunistsRevolutionariesSocialist Party of the United States of AmericaSocialists--United StatesStudent Peace UnionStudents for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWildcatYoung People's Socialist League

Contributors

Barton, ThomasGilbert, CarlHenry, LyndonMacFadyen, GavinMcIver, JuanOppenheimer, MartinShatkin, JoanShatkin, NormVerret, JoeWeiner, Joe
Broadside

Broadside and Poster Collection

1798-2012
5 folders, tube 1 linear feet
Call no.: RB 034
Depiction of Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850
Advertisement for E. S. Hayden's daguerreotypes, ca.1850

Printers and bibliographers use a bevy of terms to refer to works printed on one side (or sometimes both sides) of a single sheet, classified primarily by size. From large to small, posters, broadsides, and fliers refer to works used to convey a more or less focused message to an audience, often using illustrations or inventive typography to grab the attention.

Posters from Communist world, with an emphasis on the political and cultural transformations of the late 1980s through mid-1990s. The majority of posters originated in the Soviet Union, although there are examples from East Germany, China, and elsewhere.

Gift of various donors
Language(s): RussianYiddish

Subjects

Antiwar movements--PostersCommunism--PostersSoviet Union--History--1985-1991Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Posters

Types of material

Broadsheets (Formats)Broadsides (Notices)Fliers (Printed matter)Posters
Cooley, Bertha Strong

Bertha Strong Cooley Collection

1901-1949
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 506

An educator, farmer’s wife, and resident of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, Bertha Strong Cooley was an ardent Socialist who published regularly in local newspapers on topics ranging from anti-imperialism, democracy, capitalism, Communism, Russia, World War II, and civil rights.

The Cooley scrapbooks reflect the views of a teacher and farmer’s wife who used the newspapers to express her passion for social justice. Cooley ranged widely in responding to the news of the day, espousing Socialism and opposing racial injustice, war, imperialism, economic oppression, and Capitalism. One scrapbook contains writings by Cooley, the other clippings of articles dealing with topics of interest.

Subjects

African Americans--Civil rightsPacifists--MassachusettsRace relations--United StatesSocial justice--MassachusettsSocialists--MassachusettsWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Cooley, Bertha Strong

Types of material

Letters to the editorScrapbooks
Hood, Otis A. (Otis Archer)

Otis A. Hood Papers

1941-1957
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1056
Depiction of Otis Hood for Boston School Board, 1949
Otis Hood for Boston School Board, 1949

A long-time leader in the Communist Party in Massachusetts, Otis A. Hood (1900-1983) was a frequent candidate for public office between the late 1930s and early 1950s. At a time of increasing repression, he stood openly for Communist principles, speaking regularly on the radio and at public forums. In 1954, he was one of several activists arrested for violating the state ban on the Communist Party, winning acquittal, and he was acquitted again after a second indictment in 1956 on charges of inciting the overthrow of the federal government.

The Hood papers are a slender reflection of Communist politics during the height of McCarthy-era repression. The collection centers around Otis Hood’s public espousal of Communist ideals as a candidate for public office in Boston, and particularly his runs for the city School Board in 1943 through 1949, but it includes fliers, handbills, and other materials relating to Communist-led campaigns relating to the war, housing, public transportation, and education, but most importantly, transcripts of radio broadcasts made by Hood during his political campaigns and relating to a variety of social issues.

Gift of Bruce Rubenstein via Eugene Povirk, Oct. 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--History--20th centuryCommunists--MassachusettsRacism--MassachusettsSchools--Massachusetts--BostonWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Hood, Frances A.Lipshires, SidneyMassachusetts. Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities and Related Matters in the Commonwealthommunist Party of the United States of America (Mass.)

Types of material

Fliers (Printed matter)Printed ephemeraRadio scripts
Katanka, Michael

Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection

1885-1975
10 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 552

The author, publisher, and radical bookseller Michael Katanka (1922-1983) was a staunch Socialist and historian of British labor. Beginning with his 1868: Year of Unions in 1968, Katanka wrote or edited a series of books and articles on Fabianism, satirical caricature, and trade unionism.

The Katanka-Fraser Political Music Collection consists of audio recordings, sheet music, and songbooks of politically-inspired music in a variety of languages. The works range from the English and German Socialist press of the 1880s to the antiwar movement of the 1960s and 1970s, touching upon labor agitation, proletarian songs, student protest, the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles, the Spanish Civil War, and Communism and Socialism. The collection also includes a few books and sound recordings from the extreme right in Nazi Germany.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, June 2007

Subjects

Communists--MusicInternational Workers of the World--MusicPolitical ballads and songsProtest songsRadicalism--Songs and musicSocialists--MusicWorking class--Music

Contributors

Fraser, JamesKatanka, Michael
Lillydahl, Sandy

Sandy Lillydahl Venceremos Brigade Photograph Collection

1970-2005 Bulk: 1970
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: PH 056

A 1969 graduate of Smith College and member of Students for a Democratic Society, Sandy Lillydahl took part in the second contingent of the Venceremos Brigade. Between February and April 1970, Lillydahl and traveled to Cuba as an expression of solidarity with the Cuban people and to assist in the sugarcane harvest.

The 35 color snapshots that comprise the Lillydahl collection document the New England contingent of the second Venceremos Brigade as they worked the sugarcane fields in Aguacate, Cuba, and toured the country. Each image is accompanied by a caption supplied by Lillydahl in 2005, describing the scene and reflecting on her experiences; and the collection also includes copies of the file kept by the FBI on Lillydahl, obtained by her through the Freedom of Information Act in 1975.

Subjects

Cuba--PhotographsStudents for a Democratic Society (U.S.)--PhotographsSugarcane--Harvesting--Cuba--PhotographsVenceremos Brigade--Photographs

Types of material

Photographs
Lipshires, Sidney

Sidney Lipshires Papers

1932-2012
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 730
Depiction of Sidney Lipshires
Sidney Lipshires

Born on April 15, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Minnie Lipshires, Sidney was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts where his father owned two shoe stores, David Boot Shop and The Bootery. He attended the Massachusetts State College for one year before transferring to the University of Chicago and was awarded a BA in economics in 1940. His years at the University of Chicago were transformative, Lipshires became politically active there and joined the Communist Party in 1939. Following graduation in 1941, he married Shirley Dvorin, a student in early childhood education; together they had two sons, Ellis and Bernard. Lipshires returned to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1940s, working as a labor organizer. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 working as a clerk and interpreter with a medical battalion in France for over a year. Returning home, he ran for city alderman in Springfield on the Communist Party ticket in 1947. Lipshires married his second wife, Joann Breen Klein, in 1951 and on May 29, 1956, the same day his daughter Lisa was born, he was arrested under the Smith Act for his Communist Party activities. Before his case was brought to trial, the Smith Act was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the Communist Party, he severed his ties with it in 1957, but continued to remain active in organized labor for the rest of his life. Earning his masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1971, Lipshires taught history at Manchester Community College in Connecticut for thirty years. During that time he worked with other campus leaders to establish a statewide union for teachers and other community college professionals, an experience he wrote about in his book, Giving Them Hell: How a College Professor Organized and Led a Successful Statewide Union. Sidney Lipshires died on January 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Ranging from an autobiographical account that outlines his development as an activist (prepared in anticipation of a trial for conspiracy charges under the Smith Act) to drafts and notes relating to his book Giving Them Hell, the Sidney Lipshires Papers offers an overview of his role in the Communist Party and as a labor organizer. The collection also contains his testimony in a 1955 public hearing before the Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities, photographs, and biographical materials.

Subjects

Communism--United States--HistoryCommunists--MassachusettsJews--Massachusetts--Northampton--HistoryJews--Political activity--United States--History--20th centuryLabor movement--United States--History--20th centuryLabor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography

Contributors

Lipshires, David MLipshires, Joann BLipshires, Sidney

Types of material

AutobiographiesPhotographsTestimonies
Nash, Herman B., Jr.

Herman B. Nash Papers

ca.1918-2016
26 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 895
Depiction of Civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March 1965
Civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March 1965

In 1944, eighteen-year old Herman B. “Keek” Nash enlisted in the Army, and after intensive Japanese language training, was assigned for duty as an intelligence officer in American-occupied Osaka, Japan. Settling in northern New Jersey after his discharge from the service in 1947, Nash held a succession of jobs, including brakeman on the Pennsylvania Railroad, before deciding to try his hand at teaching, earning a master’s degree in education at Columbia Teachers College. A solid leftist politically and a strong supporter of social justice causes and civil rights, he marched with Martin Luther King at Selma and Washington, though his ardor and political convictions came at a cost. Investigated by the FBI for alleged Communist sympathies in the late 1950s, Nash was fired from his position teaching high school science in Teaneck, N.J., in 1969, after leading a sit-in protest against school tracking. He subsequently returned to work on the railroad, where he was active with the union and took part in efforts to increase participation by African Americans and women. Yoneko Nash, Nash’s wife of 43 years, died in 2004, with Keek following in 2010.

A rich assemblage, the papers of Herman Nash offer a glimpse into the life experiences of a socially conscious veteran of the Second World War. Nearly a quarter of the collection stems from Nash’s time in the military service, including while he was learning Japanese at the University of Chicago (1944-1945) and while he was stationed in occupied Japan from spring 1946 through the following winter. Among other noteworthy items are a thick series of intelligence reports on the reaction of the local population to the occupation, noting episodes of civil unrest, crime, and other forms of social instability. The collection also contains a significant body of correspondence with family and friends, including serval whom he met in Japan. The balance of the collection relates to Nash’s interests in social justice causes, highlighted by a significant series of photographs taken during a massive civil rights demonstration in Montgomery, Ala.

Gift of Alice Nash, 2015, 2017
Language(s): Japanese

Subjects

Civil rights movementsEducational changeJapan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952Socialists--United States

Types of material

Photographs
Roche, John P.

John P. Roche Collection

1886-1965
324 items
Call no.: RB 008

A political scientist, writer, and government consultant, John P. Roche was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 7, 1923, the son of a salesman. A liberal Social Democrat and fervent anti-Communist, Roche spent his academic career at Haverford College and Brandeis and Tufts Universities, writing extensively on American foreign policy, constitutional law, and the history of political thought in America, and maintaining a strong interest in the history of the American left. During the 1960s and early 1970s, he served as an adviser to the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

The Roche Collection consists of over 300 publications pertaining to the political left in the United States, with a smaller number of works from the radical right and from European Socialists and Communists. Concentrated in the years spanning the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the McCarthy hearings, many of the works were produced by formal political parties in response to particular political campaigns, current events, or social issues, with other works geared primarily toward consciousness raising and general political education on trade unionism, fascism, war and peace, American foreign policy, and freedom of speech and the press.

Gift of John P. Roche, 1964

Subjects

CommunismFascismPacifismSocialismUnited States--Foreign policy--20th centuryWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Coughlin, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1891-1979Roche, John P.
Restrictions: Collection currently unavailable due to renovation in SCUA
Soler, José A.

José A. Soler Papers

1972-2014
20 boxes 26.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 864
Depiction of José Soler (center) at District 65 rally
José Soler (center) at District 65 rally

A scholar of labor studies and activist, José Soler was born in New York City to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father and has been an activist in the cause of Puerto Rican independence and human rights since the 1970s. While a student at the University of New Mexico (BA 1972), Soler emerged as a leader in the Chicano rights organization, the Brown Berets, and while living in Puerto Rico in the late 1970s, he joined the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Soler has subsequently worked in the labor movement as a shop steward, union organizer with UAW District 65, and labor journalist. As a committed Marxist and prolific writer and editor, he has taken part in causes ranging from anti-imperialist work in the Caribbean and Central America to the anti-apartheid struggle, and he has served on the Executive Board of the US Peace Council. From 1993 until his retirement in 2015, Soler worked as Director of the Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center at UMass Dartmouth where he has continued to work on behalf of public education and human rights and national self-determination.

The Soler Papers chronicle over forty years of a life-long activist’s interests and participation in left-wing political, labor, and social justice movements. There is a particular focus on topics relating to socialism and the pro-independence movement in Puerto Rico, anti-imperialist movements in South and Central America and Africa, and issues affecting Puerto Rican and Hispanic workers in the United States, New England, and the New York City area. Published and promotional materials such as periodicals, magazines, newsletters, and pamphlets make up the bulk of the collection, with extensive coverage of the concerns of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP), the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), as well as New Jersey chapters of the unions Communications Workers of America (CWA) and District 65, which eventually joined the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). An additional seven boxes were added to the collection in June 2016, which remain unprocessed. The new materials offer additional documentation from the Dubin Labor Education Center and Soler’s work and interests in education (testing, privatization, and unions), labor, Marxist-Leninism, and various events in the United States and Latin America.

Gift of Jose Soler, 2015, 2016

Subjects

Communications Workers of AmericaLabor unions--New York (State)--New YorkPartido Socialista PuertorriqueñoUnited Automobile, Aircraft, and Vehicle Workers of America. District 65

Types of material

Photographs
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