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Collecting area: Esperanto

Boschen, Allan C.

Allan C. Boschen Esperanto Collection

1852-2015
ca.750 items 18 linear feet
Call no.: RB 028
Depiction 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

EsperantoIdoLanguages, Artificial
Esperanto Information Center

Esperanto Information Center Records

1933-2016 Bulk: 1960-1974
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1076
Depiction of Esperanta leciono per bildoj, ca.1968
Esperanta leciono per bildoj, ca.1968

Labor educator Mark Starr first became interested in the potential of the constructed language, Esperanto, for promoting peace and international understanding while serving time in prison for conscientious objection during the First World War. A career in labor led him to immigrate to the United States in 1928, where he taught at a labor college in New York before becoming the educational director for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Long active in the Esperanto movement, he joined the Esperanto Information Center when it was founded by Bernard Stollman in 1962 and served as its chair from 1965 to 1972. As the New York Office of the Esperanto League of North America, the EIC played a key role in promoting the movement in the United States and sharing information among supporters and aspiring learners.

Meticulously maintained by Starr during his tenure as chair, the EIC records include a rich correspondence with local and regional Esperanto organizations and national and international affiliates, and particularly its parent body, the Esperanto League for North America. While much of the content consists of routine communications about membership, queries from learners, and organizational wrangling about meetings, conferences, and publications, the collection provides insight into the grassroots organizing and lobbying for the language and its roots in internationalism, peace, and social justice concerns. Written in both Esperanto and English, the collection includes letters (retained copies as well as received) and articles by Starr and other noted Esperantists, including Allan Boschen, Francis Hellmuth, and Humphrey Tonkin.

Gift of Humphrey Tonkin, Apr. 2019
Language(s): Esperanto

Subjects

Esperanto--Study and teachingEsperanto--United States

Contributors

Starr, Mark, 1894-1985Tonkin, Humphrey, 1939-

Types of material

NewslettersPhotographsPrinted ephemera
Esperanto League for North America

Esperanto League for North America Collection

ca.1920-2015
18 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1035

The Esperanto League for North America was founded in Emeryville, Calif., in 1952 as an affiliate of the Universal Esperanto Association. Operating primarily within the United Sates, the League serves as a point of connection and education for speakers of Esperanto, an international constructed language, and holds annual congresses for speakers at all levels of fluency. The League adopted the informal name Esperanto-USA in 2007, though officially retaining Esperanto League for North America.

The records of the Esperanto League for North America (Esperanto USA) are an important resource for documenting the growth and development of the Esperanto movement in the United States from the end of the First World War to the present. Varied in both scope and content, the collection includes a significant body of correspondence from ELNA officers, documentation of world and natioanl congresses, and a range of publications promoting the League and language. Of particular note, the collection includes several hurdred audiocassette tapes distributed by ELNA, including tapes for Esperanto learners, recordings of Esperanto conversations, music, recoridngs of Esperanto congresses, and Esperanto radio broadcasts from Switzerland, Poland, and China.

Gift of Esperanto-USA, June 2018

Subjects

Esperanto--CongressesEsperanto--Study and teaching

Contributors

Esperanto USA

Types of material

AudiocassettesPhotographs