Public archives : America
- Introductory notes and survey
- Features about selected archives and their Trotskyana holdings:
- Houghton Library (Cambridge, Mass., USA)
- Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives (New York, NY, USA)
- Hoover Institution Archives (HIA) (Stanford, Cal., USA)
- State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division (SHSW) (Madison, Wis., USA)
- Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor & Urban Affairs (Detroit, Mich., USA)
- Yale University Library (New Haven, Conn., USA)
- Lilly Library, Manuscript Collections (Bloomington, Ind., USA)
- Minnesota Historical Society Library (MNHS) (St. Paul., Minn., USA)
- Labadie Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich., USA)
- Woodruff Library, Special Collections & Archives (Atlanta, Ga., USA)
- Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University (New York, NY, USA)
- Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives (New Brunswick, NJ, USA)
- Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (LoC) (Washington, DC, USA)
- University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
- William Ready Division of Archives & Research Collections, McMaster University Library (Hamilton, Ont., Canada)
- Index of collection creators
- Appendix: Selection of published Trotsky archives
Introductory notes and survey
Within this chapter of TrotskyanaNet we are dealing with a selection of public Trotsky archives, i.e. with a number of publicly accessible facilities preserving considerable quantities of relevant archival holdings with regard to Trotsky, Trotskyism and Trotskyists. Only U.S. and Canadian archives are dealt with here; for (Western) European archives see Public Archives : Europe.
Most of the material hosted by archival facilities is unique and thus not to be found elsewhere or — at best — as copies or microfilms. Typical examples for archival sources concerning the subjects of our website are letters, unpublished manuscripts, memoranda, minutes, notes, films, photographs, and audio tapes; most of the archives listed below are also containing Trotskyist internal bulletins (and related ephemeral serials) — material which as a rule is hardly to trace in libraries, because it is belonging to a species of documents which could be called semi-archival.
It goes without saying that scholarly historical research essentially depends on (archival) sources; as regards Trotsky, the possibilities of the research on sources can be considered as quite excellent insofar as a scholar dealing with certain aspects of Trotsky's life or work can consult a quite considerable number of archival collections benefiting from well arranged finding aids and other useful research tools, many of which in the meanwhile have been made machine-readable so that they can be consulted via Internet. It was Trotsky himself who always was most concerned about his papers and records, their preservation and security. When he was expelled first from Moscow and then from Soviet Russian soil he fortunately was allowed to take his archival documents with him. Thus he let them be transported to Prinkipo, later to France and eventually to Mexico. In 1935/36 and 1939, considerable parts of his archives were sold by himself or — on his behalf — by his son Leon Sedov, respectively, to the IISH (Amsterdam), other parts were purchased from Trotsky by Harvard University in 1940, shortly before his assassination. Certain parts of his archives which had remained with Leon Sedov at Paris were stolen by Stalinist agents or entrusted to Boris Nicolaevsky, respectively. The history of Trotsky's archives partly can be considered as a real mystery or adventure story, certain aspects of which are mentioned on this page as well as within the chapter Public Archives : Europe.
"The history of Trotsky's archives has been a contentious one. Some papers, such as his correspondence with Sedov, have resurfaced only lately. Others had to be purchased from persons who had denied having them. Several files were destroyed by Trotsky himself for reasons of security. Yet these collections, properly inventoried, retain a large degree of importance, particularly with regard to the history of the USSR, Germany and China. To say the least, it is most surprising that some scholars appear to have 'forgotten' to consult them". (P. Broué) *
We would like to emphasize once again that our featuring of Trotsky archives is not at all exhaustive but selective, i.e. without any claim for completeness. Mention is made of the three most relevant and renowned repositories of Trotsky's papers (Hoover Institution Archives, Houghton Library, International Institute of Social History) and of some dozen other archives housing considerable archival material relevant to Trotsky/Trotskyism research. It should be mentioned here, that you can find some (bibliographic) information about Trotsky archives in the Introduction and in chapter 1.3 of our Lubitz' Leon Trotsky Bibliography [ISSN 2190-0183].
*) Broué, Pierre: Les archives de Trotsky, in: Une histoire en révolution? : du bon usage des archives, de Moscou et d'ailleurs / sous la dir. de Serge Wolikow, Dijon, 1996, p. 297 [abstract].
(Cambridge, Mass., USA)
Houghton Library, located east of Widener Library in the Harvard Yard (click here for map search), is the repository of rare books and manuscripts belonging to the Harvard College Library, Cambridge, Mass. The Houghton collection is quite unparalleled in the Western hemisphere, containing numerous illuminated manuscripts from the pre-1600 period, the oldest American collection of the Shakespeare folios, the world's largest collection of Russian first printings prior to 1920, Harvard's charter of 1650 which established Harvard as the nation's oldest corporation, etc. The extraordinary rich Houghton collection of rare books and manuscripts can be consulted in the Houghton Reading Room which is open for research by scholars regardless of academic affiliation.
[For a short overview about Houghton Library's Slavic collections see also Slavic & East European Resources, 5.2004 (3/4), pp. 33-35.]
Among the highlights of Houghton Library's more modern manuscript holdings is its famous
Trotsky Archive (or, Trotsky Papers), a unique collection of original correspondence, manuscripts, writings, personal memoirs, diaries, papers of his secretaries, minutes of meetings, memoranda, notes, reviews, Dewey Commission exhibit papers and related ephemera, personal documents, passports, photographs, household papers, legal documents, contracts, royalty reports, miscellaneous receipts, etc.
Altogether, the Trotsky Archive consists of more than 50,000 items, thus representing the largest and most eminent Trotsky archival collection worldwide.
The material was acquired from various sources:
- the bulk of the Trotsky Papers were purchased by Harvard College Library (with funds provided by John Wood Blodgett, Jr.) from Trotsky himself and arrived at Cambridge at the time when exiled Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacán (Mexico) in August 1940;
- in 1946 and in the 1950s further portions of the Trotsky papers were purchased from Trotsky's widow Natalia Sedova;
- later additions to the Trotsky papers were donated by Harper Bros. [publishers] in 1961,
- by Alex Buchman (1911-2003) in 1982
- and by Jean Van Heijenoort (1912-1986), a longtime secretary and guard to Leon Trotsky and later a renowned professor of mathematics and philosophy. Van Heijenoort for many years acted as a special acquisition consultant on behalf of Harvard College Library negotiating the purchase of the Trotsky archives and from the 1950s to the 1980s functioned as a curator of that unique collection, taking care of re-arranging, identifying and cataloguing the documents.
According to a stipulation of both Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova, a considerable portion of the Trotsky Papers - known as the Exile Papers - had to be treated as 'closed section' not to be opened to the public until 1980; only Trotsky biographer Isaac Deutscher was allowed to consult this section already in the 1950s and 1960s.
On January 2, 1980 the hitherto closed section, containing some 17,500 items, was opened and Houghton Library's Reading Room in those days was filled with Trotsky scholars from Europe and America. There is hardly to find any serious historical work on Trotsky's post-1917 life, action and thought which doesn't refer to documents from the Houghton Trotsky Papers.
For administrative purposes the Trotsky Archive from the beginning was divided into 2 parts:
- the pre-exile papers (1904/1917-1928) - called Soviet papers
- the papers from the exile years (1929-1940) - called Exile papers
Most parts of the Trotsky archive have been microfilmed, thus for instance the "Exile papers" collection is available in Houghton Library's reading room on 38 microfilm reels, too. It should be kept in mind that these reels are reflecting the pre-catalogued state of the papers.
The history and fate of the Trotsky Papers has been narrated by various authors and persons involved, inter alia by such outstanding figures as by French historian and Trotsky biographer Pierre Broué and by Jean Van Heijenoort. The opening to the public of the hitherto 'closed section' in 1980 was reflected in some journal and newspaper articles; the contents, scope, structure and arrangement of this goldmine of primary source information has been described in a considerable number of journal contributions, too. A selection of those narratives and descriptions is listed below.
The hitherto "related collections" within the framework of the Soviet papers and related collections (MS Russ 13), i.e. its ex-series II (=Van Heijenoort papers, item nos. V 1 - V 201), series III (=Harper manuscripts, item nos. H 1 - H 28), and series IV (=Dewey Commission exhibits, item nos. D 1 - D 438) in the meanwhile have been renammed and are now forming separate parts of the archive with separate call phrases and separate guides/electronic finding aids. Thus, after the collection has undergone some restructuring, the Trotsky Archive at Houghton Library consists (as at Winter 2013/14) of the following collections (links to electronic guides/finding aids see below):
- Soviet papers (call phrase: MS Russ 13) (94 boxes, 28.5 linear ft.)
- Exile papers (call phrase: MS Russ 13.1) (197 boxes, 65 linear ft.)
- Additional papers [=Van Heijenoort papers] (call phrase: MS Russ 13.2) (4 boxes, 2 linear ft.)
- "Stalin": material concerning its English translation [=Harper manuscripts] (call phrase: MS Russ 13.3) (4 boxes, 2 linear ft.)
- Dewey Commission exibits (call phrase: MS Russ 13.4) (7 boxes, 3.5 linear ft.)
- Letters to Cass Canfield (call phrase: MS Russ 13.8) (1 box, 0.5 linear ft.)
- Letters to Sara Weber (call phrase: MS Russ 48) (1 v., 0.16 linear ft.)
Scholars and students looking for source material on the history of the Fourth International should pay attention to another considerable collection deposited at Houghton Library:
- The Sherry Mangan Papers (call phrase: MS Am 1816, 32 boxes, 16 linear ft.), containing the papers of Sherry Mangan (1904-1961), an American poet and journalist who played an important role in the leadership of the international Trotskyist movement for some 20 years. By the way, another archival collection related to Sherry Mangan, the (John Joseph) Sherry Mangan, Papers, 1925-61, chiefly containing his correspondence with George A. Palmer, is preserved at the Department of Special Collections and Archives of Kent State University Library (Kent, Ohio). See also our bio-bibliographical sketch [PDF format] about Sherry Mangan).
Photographs of Leon Trotsky and his entourage, taken in Mexico in 1939/40 by Alex Buchman are to be found in the following collection:
- Buchman, Alexander H., 1911-2003. Photographs of Leon Trotsky and others (call phrase: MS Russ 13.9 (2)), 1 box, 0.5 linear ft.) (See also our bio-bibliographical sketch [PDF format] about Alex Buchman)
With regard to the above-mentioned collections, the following printed finding aids and related research tools are available in the Houghton Library Reading Room reference collection:
- Fischer, George: Guide to the papers of Leon Trotsky and related collections in the Harvard College Library. 2. version. Vol. 1-2. Cambridge, Mass. : Houghton Library, 1959. VII, 709 pp. [Inventory of MS Russ 13]
- The exile papers of Lev Trotskii. [Processed by Patrick K. Miehe]. Vol. 1-3. Cambridge, Mass.: Houghton Library, 1975. - XIII, 787 pp. [Inventory of MS Russ 13.1]
- The Lev Trotskii papers master index of names. Cambridge, Mass. : Houghton Library, 1979. 125 pp. [Name index to the two before-mentioned finding aids]
With regard to the above-mentioned Trotsky relevant collections, exhaustive electronic inventories and related research tools are available online, too [for all Houghton/Harvard archival collections please consult its OASIS (Online Archival Search Information System)]:
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Soviet papers : guide (MS Russ 13)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Exile papers : guide (MS Russ 13.1)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Additional papers : guide (MS Russ 13.2)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. "Stalin": material concerning its English translation : guide (MS Russ 13.3)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Dewey Commission exhibits : guide (MS Russ 13.4)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Letters to Cass Canfield : guide (MS Russ 13.8)
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Letters to Sara Weber : guide (MS Russ 48)
- Trotsky papers cataloging records : guide (MS Russ 13.11)
Two additional cataloging records are:
The Trotsky papers. Concordance of numbers between the first guide (1957) and the second guide (1959) (MS Russ 13.5) [electronic version not found] and
Trotsky Archive cataloging worksheets (MS Russ 13.6) [electronic version not found] [see also below]
- Mangan, Sherry, 1904-. Papers : guide (MS Am 1816)
- Buchman, Alexander H., 1911-2003. Photographs of Leon Trotsky and others : guide (MS Russ 13.9 )
Some items about the history, the scope and the historical relevance of the Trotsky Papers at Houghton Library:
- [Anon.]: The Trotsky collection, in: Newsletter / The Harvard Graduate Society, 1980 (June), pp. 3-4.
- Broué, Pierre: Harvard University's Trotsky archives, in: The ideological legacy of L.D. Trotsky / ed. by M. Vogt-Downey, New York, NY, , pp. 175-176. [Also publ. in Russ. language in: Ideinoe nasledie L.D. Trotskogo, Moskva, 1996, pp. 174-176].
- Broué, Pierre: Les archives de Trotsky, in: Une histoire en révolution? : du bon usage des archives, de Moscou et d'ailleurs / sous la dir. de Serge Wolikow, Dijon, 1996, pp. 117-119.
- Joubert, Jean-Paul: Les archives de Trotsky, in: Pensiero e azione politica di Lev Trockij / a cura di F. Gori, 2, [Firenze], 1982, pp. 631-646.
- Rosberg, Gerald M.: Leon Trotsky's personal papers, in: The Harvard Crimson, 1967 (July 3)
- Saunders, George: What are the Trotsky archives?, in: Intercontinental Press, 18.1980 (21), p. 580. [Article signed G.S.]
- Shlaen, Boris: Garvardskii arkhiv Trotskogo, in: Znanie-narodu, 1989 (9), pp. 36-39
- [Van Heijenoort, Jean]: Trotsky Archive cataloging worksheets. Vol. 1-16. Cambridge, Mass. : Houghton Library, [s.d.] [Worksheets used in making preliminary plans for cataloging of the Leon Trotsky papers held by the Houghton Library. Worksheets were bound in 16 vols. Call no.: MS Russ 13.6. HOLLIS no.: 011583925]
- Van Heijenoort, Jean: The history of Trotsky' papers, in: Harvard Library Bulletin, 28.1980 (3), pp. 291-298. [Also publ. in Ital. language in: Il Ponte, 36.1980 (11/12), pp. 1493-1499.]
Some items dealing with the opening of the 'closed section' of the Trotsky Papers at Houghton Library in January 1980:
- [Anon.]; Après l'ouverture des papiers d'exil, in: Cahiers Léon Trotsky, 1980 (5), pp. [3-4].
- [Anon.]: La délégation de l'Institut [Léon Trotsky] à Harvard, in: Cahiers Léon Trotsky, 1979 (3), p. 65.
- [Anon.]: Flotte Feder, in: Der Spiegel, 34.1980 (13), pp. 238, 241.
- [Anon.]: Trotsky letters unsealed at Harvard, in: Wilson Library Bulletin, 54.1979/80 (6), p. 359
- Allen, Naomi: Opening of Trotsky files interests activists, publishers, press : 17,500 new items for revolutionary education, in: Intercontinental Press, 18.1980 (4), p. 97.
- Broué, Pierre: L'apertura degli archivi di Trotskij : intervista, in: Critica comunista, 2.1980 (8/9), pp. 127-132.
- Caretto, Ennio: Rivelati e segreti di Trotskij : l'università di Harvard rende publiche le lettere del capo rivoluzionario, in: Tuttolibri, 6.1980 (4), p. 3.
- Chitarin, Attilio: La minera del leone : dopo quarant'anni si sono aperti a Harvard gli archivi segreti di Trotskij, in: Storia e critica, 1980 (6), p. 51. [Originally publ. in: Il Messagero, 1980, March 12.]
- Kadar, Marlene: Trotsky at Harvard / Marlene Kadar and Greg Teal, in: Canadian Forum, 60.1980 (Aug.), pp. 14-16.
- McKibben, William E.: Houghton releases Trotsky Collection, in: The Harvard Crimson, 1980 (Jan. 3).
- Pave, Marvin: Trotsky files are unveiled, in: Boston Globe, 1980 (Jan.3), pp. 1-2.
- Saunders, George: New lessons for building revolutionary parties : what research team found in Trotsky archives, in: Intercontinental Press, 18.1980 (21), pp. 580-581.
- Smullyan, Deborah: Echoes from exile : opening Trotsky's correspondence, in: Harvard Magazine : university edition, 82.1980 (4), p. 70
Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
(New York, NY, USA)
The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives are forming a unique and internationally renowned centre for scholarly research on labour history, radicalism, socialism, communism and anarchism. Although the focus of the collections is the documentation and preservation of the United States' labour heritage and radicalism* since 1865, there is a quite considerable number of books and journals from non-American countries, too.
The Tamiment Library originally was founded in 1906 as the Meyer London Library of the Rand School of Social Sciences; the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives — named after a late U.S. Senator — was created in 1977 as a repository for the historically significant, non-current records of New York labour organizations; it is co-sponsored by the Tamiment Library and the New York City AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. As at 2010, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives are an independent part of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library which itself is a part of New York University Libraries System.
Tamiment Library holds more than 60,000 books, about 5,500 serials (of which 500 current) and some 1,000,000 pamphlets and ephemera (leaflets, broadsides, manifestoes, buttons, posters, etc.)
The Wagner Labor Archives holds more than 300 archival collections of important organizations and individuals, occupying some 5,000 cubic ft., including a considerable number of non-print items (photographic images, videotapes, etc.) as well as oral history collections.
Tamiment Library co-operates with the Center for Research Libraries and the California Digital Library to develop a strategy to archive political websites.
Library and archives are located at New York University's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 10th Floor, 70 Washington Square South, New York City, NY 10012, the opening hours are varying. The majority of the holdings is retrievable via Bobcat, Bobst Library's online catalogue.
Tamiment Library is hosting the editorial offices of Radical History Review and American Communist History, two renowned scholarly journals. The collections are open to the public and non-circulating. In September 2000, Tamiment Library sponsored an international conference devoted to Explorations in the history of U.S. Trotskyism which was attended by some 200 participants and guests.
The impressive website of the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives provides detailed and exhaustive information about their history, collections, staff, exhibitions, conferences, programmes, funding and sponsoring and other relevant subjects. It contains also an annotated list of relevant reference works and related research tools with Tamiment call numbers, and last not least hundreds of links to the available online finding aids.
Another online available source of information about Tamiment Library is Lee, Andrew H.: The Tamiment Library (in: London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter, no. 22, autumn 2004) [viewed Aug. 2005; note: URL seems to be defunct as at Aug. 2012]
Regarding research on Trotsky, Trotskyism and Trotskyists, the following archival collections are of special relevance:
- Max Shachtman Papers (TAM 103) (R-7203). 52 boxes (25 linear ft.) Max Shachtman (1904-1972) was one of the founders of American Trotskyism and one of its main leaders until 1940 when he split from the SWP launching the dissident Workers Party and moving towards reformism and social democracy during the following decades. He was a distinguished intellectual and renowned writer and editor. A guide to the rich Max Shachtman collection containing a biographical essay, a detailed container list and an index to names and subjects was published as no. 50 (April 1983) of the Bulletin of the Tamiment Institute/ Ben Josephson Library. A guide, container list and descriptive summary are also available online. Furthermore, a guide and container list to the Max Shachtman Photographs (PHOTOS 087) are available online.
Mention should be made, too, of Reminiscences of Max Shachtman : oral history, 1963, two tapereels (transcript: 522 leaves) of oral history interviews conducted by Stephen Chodes and Thomas F. Hogan in 1963. This collection is available at Office of Oral History Research, Butler Library, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
- George Breitman Papers (TAM 169). 63 boxes (30 linear ft.) George Breitman (1916-1986) was an outstanding intellectual, a longtime leading member and historian of the Trotskyist SWP and after his expulsion a co-founder of the Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT). He was author of many books and pamphlets, editor of the Pathfinder Press English language edition of Trotsky's works 1929-1940 and a biographer and popularizer of Malcolm X. His collection at Tamiment Library comprises papers from 1928-1986 (bulk 1945-1980) and is an eminent primary source for the study of American Trotskyism. A guide and container list are available online
- Frank Lovell Papers (TAM 204). 10 boxes (10 linear ft.) Frank Lovell (1913-1998) was a veteran member of the SWP and after his expulsion a co-founder and leader of the Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT). The collection comprises papers from 1953-1997 (bulk 1970-1997). A guide and container list are available online.
[By the way, the opening of the Breitman and Lovell Papers on April 18, 1999 at the Tamiment Library with P. Filardo, Dorothea Breitman, Paul Le Blanc, Tom Bias and Bryan Palmer as speakers was documented on a video film.]
- Bert Cochran Papers (TAM 205). 5 boxes (2.25 linear ft.) Bert Cochran (1913-1985) was an American Trotskyist author and union organizer. He held leading positions in the SWP until he was expelled in 1954 as leader of the 'Cochran-Clarke faction'. A guide and container list are available online.
- John and Constantine Poulos Papers (TAM 114). 19 boxes (11 linear ft.) John Poulos (1911-1980) was a Trotskyist writer and labour organizer serving on the National Committee of the SWP and later of Max Shachtman's Workers Party. His brother Constantine (1916-1986) was a liberal journalist. The collection comprises papers from ca. 1921-1978 (bulk 1940-1950). A guide and container list are available online.
Further relevant collections at Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives are:
- Peter Drucker Oral History Collection (OH 037). A guide and container list are available online.
- The Ernest Erber Papers (TAM 367). Descriptive summary is available online.
- Laura Gray Political Cartoons (GRAPHICS 013). A guide and container list are available online.
[Note: "Laura Gray" was the party name of Laura Slobe, 1909-1958]
- Sarah Lovell Papers (TAM 459). A descriptive summary is available online.
- Hugo Oehler factional documents and Spanish Civil War reports, correspondence and ephemera (TAM 066). A guide and container list are available online.
- Harold Robins Papers (WAG 175). A guide is available online.
- Nora Roberts Papers (TAM 198). A preliminary inventory is available online.
- Thomas Stamm Papers (TAM 081). A descriptive summary is available online.
- Chalmers K. Stewart Papers (TAM 177). A guide and container list are available online.
- Myra Tanner Weiss Papers (TAM 158). A guide and container list are available online.
- The Fourth Internationalist Tendency Records (TAM 156). A guide and container list are available online.
- Socialist Workers Party Printed Ephemera Collection (PE 027). A guide and container list are aavailable online.
- Workers Party Records (TAM 136). A guide and container list are available online.
- Tamiment Library Web Archive (Labor and the Left): Communism, Socialism, Trotskyism. "This web archive contains periodically archived websites of (principally) Marxian inspired entities, including political parties, that identify with or are inspired by Communist, Socialist, or Trotskyist perspectives. While the focus is on the U.S., with a particular focus on New York City, selected international sites, especially those documenting the history of these movements, are also archived". For more information click here.
Tamiment Library also hosts papers of:
- The American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky
- Raya Dunayevskaya
- Revolutionary Workers League of the United States. Records 1932-1938
Note: All existing online finding aids are retrievable via the Alphabetical list of finding aids, a sub-chapter of the Tamiment website.
*) "Radicalism is understood as those movements and world views fundamentally opposed (from a left, as opposed to a right or conservative perspective) to capitalism as a social system, i.e., private ownership of the means of production and a state that supports it, and a belief in the possibility of replacing capitalism with another (more egalitarian) social system. Within this shared framework exist divergent views on the shortcomings of capitalism, the nature of the desired alternative social system, and the means to achieve it." [Cited from the sub-chapter Specialized guides of Tamiment Library's website]
Hoover Institution Archives
(Stanford, Cal., USA)
Hoover Institution Archives forms a core component of the Hoover Institution which was established at Stanford University (Stanford, California) in 1919 by Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), mining engineer, organizer of relief work in Europe during and after WW I and eventually 31st President (Republican) of the United States from 1929 to 1933. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace today is a public policy research centre devoted to advanced study of politics, economics and international affairs. It is a conservative public policy think tank (Richard V. Allen, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Schultz were under those listed as Hoover Institution fellows), visited by several thousand scholars and students every year. Simultaneously, Hoover Institution has evolved into an internationally recognized, world-renowned library and archives housing (as at 2005) some 1.6 million books, uncountable pamphlets, journals and bulletins as well as about 60 million archival documents of all kinds relating to political, economic and social change.
In all there are (as at 2005) more than 5,000 separate collections in the Hoover Institution Archives, including millions of individual documents from the entire range of 20th century history and politics around the world. The material is stored in approximately 100,000 boxes and made available in the Hoover Institution Archives reading room.
Hoover Institution Library and Archives, housed in the famous Hoover Tower, are open to all without charge. Most of its holdings are listed in Stanford University Library's online catalogue, Socrates. However, material aquired before 1977 may be listed in Hoover's main card catalogue only, or in one of the separate card catalogues. Use of archival material is conditional upon adherence to certain rules and must be used in the reading room only, the number of photocopies of archival material is strictly limited.
Reference inquiries may be addressed to archivist Carol Leadenham, e-mail:
Hoover Institution is privately funded, chiefly from conservative and corporate interests.
For more information about Hoover Institution Library and Archives visit its official website
Source material for Trotsky/Trotskyism research at Hoover Institution Archives
Hoover Institution Archives must be considered a goldmine of primary source information regarding research on Trotskyism - both American and international. There are several dozen collections containing rich material for the study of the history and politics of the Trotskyist movement, for biographical studies of its leaders and activists and last not least of its founder, Leon Trotsky. Hoover Institution Archives has continually acquired the papers of outstanding individuals who had played a more or less prominent role in the Trotskyist movement as well as the archives of some (ex-)Trotskyist parties, groups and various institutions (e.g. Socialist Workers Party, Spartacist League). Additionally it should be mentioned that Hoover Institution is not only a top address for Trotskyist archivalia, but that there are also very considerable library holdings with regard to Trotskyist serials, pamphlets and other non-archival resources, even those issued by very tiny splinter groups or dissident sects.
Selective list of collections particularly relevant to Trotsky and Trotskyism research (linked, if possible, with electronic finding aids):
- The Trotsky-Sedov Papers [Trotskii-Sedov Papers], 1920-1940. 73 boxes. It was quite a sensation when in the mid-1980s the Trotsky-Sedov Papers were 'discovered' within the gigantic Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection which was sold to Hoover Institution in 1963 by Nicolaevsky (1887-1966), a former Menshevik and a vigorous collector of documents who in the mid-1930s was the manager of the Paris branch of the International Institute of Social History (IISH) (Amsterdam).
The existence of this valuable Trotsky-Sedov Papers was never made known - neither by Nicolaevsky himself nor by his widow Anna Bourgina who remained curator of the collection after Nicolaevsky's death. It remained quite mysterious how Nicolaevsky had got in possession of this archival treasure - as a matter of fact these documents for several decades were considered as missing (or stolen), meaning an unpleasant archival sources gap between the Trotsky holdings at Houghton Library in Cambridge, Mass. and those at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.
The Trotsky-Sedov Papers consist of personal papers of Leon Trotsky and his son Leon Sedov: correspondence between them and letters to and from dozens of third parties (primarily activists of the International Left Opposition), manuscripts, unpublished drafts and fragments of books, articles, speeches, office files of the Biulleten' oppozitsii, passports, legal documents, etc. - a very rich source with regard to in-depth research about the pre-history of the Fourth International and the internal life of the early Trotskyist movement.
The entire Nicolaevsky Collection - consisting of some 800 boxes and amounting to some 330 linear ft. - has been microfilmed and fully registered by University Microfilms International (UMI) (Ann Arnor, Mich.) on behalf of Hoover Institution; the Trotsky-Sedov Papers are forming series no. 231 within the Nicolaevsky Collection. The Trotsky/Sedov collection consists of 73 boxes (or, 41 microfilm reels, respectively), for which a finding aid is available online; this inventory can also be consulted as a PDF file (pp. 433-737).
For more details about this archival discovery and about the contents and meaning of this unique collection please consult the items listed under Some literature about the Hoover Trotskyana collections below. There are also listed two printed inventories of the Trotsky-Sedov papers.
- The Socialist Workers Party Records, 1928-1990. 103 boxes. Most of the collection is also available on microfilm (107 reels). In 1992 the SWP donated its exhaustive records collection to Hoover Institution Archives with the stipulation that the material should be microfilmed. This considerable archival acquisition was welcomed as a complement to the earlier acquired Library of Social History (LSH) collection [the Library of Social History, New York City, was an affiliate of the SWP]. Together, these two collections consist of more than 300 boxes and must be considered the most eminent primary source not only with regard to the history and internal life of the SWP - which, by the way, abandoned Trotskyism at the time of the forwarding of their archives to Hoover - but also with regard to many other Trotskyist parties around the world and to the theory and action of the Fourth International in which the SWP played an important role although it was not formally affiliated to it. Some parts contained in the SWP and LSH shipments were separated after arriving at Hoover Institution Archives, now constituting collections of their own; this applied to the papers of Leon Trotsky, Joseph Hansen, John G. Wright, Peng Shu-tse and Chen Pi-lan. A guide and container list are available online as a PDF file. For some more details please consult also the relevant items listed under Some literature about the Hoover Trotskyana collections below.
- Trotsky Collection, 1917-1980. 45 boxes. Writings and correspondence of Trotsky assembled from records of the SWP and from papers of John G. Wright et al. A guide and container list are available online as a PDF file.
- Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection, 1801-1982. Some 800 boxes. The Trotsky-Sedov Papers [a short description and links to finding aids see above] are part of this unique collection and are designated as series no. 231; the entire collection is also available on microfilm.
- Trotsky Colloquium Papers, 1987. 11 phonotape cassettes. Unpublished material from a Trotsky Colloquium held at Mexico City in 1987. A guide and container list are available online as a PDF file.
- Library of Social History Collection, 1894-2000. Some 275 boxes. LSH was an affiliate of the SWP (New York City). Part of the rich material in this collection is available on microfilm, too (102 reels). A guide and container list are available online as a PDF file.
- Spartacist League of the U.S. Records, 1964-2004. 20 boxes, 8 linear ft. A guide and container list are available online as a PDF file.
- Workers Party of the United States Miscellaneous Records, 1934-1935. 1 box. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- International Socialists Issuances, 1967-1976. 5 boxes. A preliminary inventory is available online as PDF file
- Pathfinder Press Publications, 1922-1997. 42 boxes, 3 phonotape cassettes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Pathfinder Press Photographic Collection, ca. 1870-1999. 31 boxes plus some oversize boxes, 14.4 linear ft. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- The Militant Photographic Collection, ca. 1900-2000. 48 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Mexican Subject Collection, 1918-1998. 39 boxes + 5 microfilm reels etc. Contains a considerable number of Mexican Trotskyist bulletins and related items. Gift of an anonymous donator. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Sidney Hook Papers, 1902-1996. 187 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- James Burnham Papers, 1928-1983. 12 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Alexander H. Buchman Papers, 1927-1989. 1 folder, 10 envelopes, 5 motion picture film reels, 2 videotape cassettes, 14 slides, 6 phonotape cassettes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about Alex Buchman.
- Joseph Hansen Papers, 1887-1980. 110 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about Joseph Hansen.
- Arne Swabeck Papers, 1913-1999. 21 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- C. Frank Glass Papers, 1913-1986. 3 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file. See also our bio-biographical sketch about C. Frank Glass.
- Albert Glotzer Papers, 1919-1994. 67 boxes, 6 envelopes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Wang Fan-Hsi Correspondence, 1962-1987. 1 folder. An inventory is available online as PDF file.
- Herbert Solow Papers, 1924-1976. 12 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Milton Genecin Papers, 1906-1987. 48 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Geoffrey White Papers, 1939-1965. 10 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- John G. Wright Papers, 1933-1977. 9 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about John G. Wright.
- Peng Shu-tse and Zhen Bilan Papers, 1924-1987. 5 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Pierre Lanneret Papers, 1902-1994. 18 boxes. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Charles Wesley Ervin Collection, 1929-1973. 3 ms. boxes, 1 microfilm box. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- Charles Curtiss Papers, 1938-1987. 1 box. An inventory is available online as PDF file. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about Charles Curtiss.
- Yulia Akselrod Papers, 1937-1992. 1 box. Writings, chiefly autobiographical, by Yulia Akselrod (b. 1936 as Juliia Sergeevna Rubinshtein), one of Trotsky's granddaughters (daughter of Trotsky's younger son, Sergei, and his second wife, Genrietta Rubinshtein). An overview is available online as PDF file.
- Sergei L'vovich Sedov letters to Genrietta Mikhailovna Rubenshtein, 1935. 1 box. Original letters (gift from Yulia Akselrod) addressed by S.L. Sedov (1908-1937), one of Trotsky's sons, to his wife when he was imprisoned in a Stalinist camp. An overview is available online as PDF file.
- Ivan C. F. Heisler motion picture film, 1938. 1 reel [original motion picture film footage of Trotsky in Mexico]. An overview is available as PDF file
- Edwin Eugene Herron drawings. 6 boxes. Herron, under his pen name Copain, was a long-time caricaturist of Intercontinental Press and a close friend of Joseph Hansen. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- According to a communication from Hoover Archives, the Jay Lovestone Papers, 1906-1989 (873 boxes) contain several folders of papers stolen by Lovestone (the former leader of the 'Right Opposition' within the CPUSA) from James P. Cannon in 1928. A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- The William E. Ratliff Papers (24 boxes) contain inter alia material related to international Trotskyism, to Trotskyist groups in Latin America and to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). A guide and container list are available online as PDF file.
- The Herbert Romerstein Collection 1883-2010 (more than 1,000 boxes as at 2015) contains a modest portion of Trotskyist pamphlets and serials as well as items about the Fourth International and some of its various affiliates and factions. Herbert ("Herb") Romerstein (1931-2013) was an American government employee and historian who made research work for Congressional Committees and who specialized in Anti-communism; he authored inter alia The Venona Secrets. According to a May 2015 communication from Hoover Institution Archives, hundreds more boxes to be added to this collection are expected. Processing of this considerable collection is continuing (as at 2015). A link to the downloadable PDF file of the (preliminary) container list (2014) is to be found at the end of this page
Some literature about the Hoover Trotskyana collections:
- Broué, Pierre: La correspondance Trotsky/Sedov aux archives Hoover à Stanford, in: Cahiers Léon Trotsky, 1997 (59), pp. 55-69.
- [Jakobson, Michael]: The papers of Lev Davydovich Trotskii and Lev L'vovich Sedov 1920-1940 : a guide to the microfilm collection. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 1991. XX, 91 pp. (The Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Archives of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ; unit 1, series no. 231)
- Jabobson, Michael: Lev Davydovich Trotskii, Lev L'vovich Sedov : a register of their papers in the Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Hoover Institution Archives. [Stanford, Cal.] : Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1987. 120 pp. [Description and container list; also publ. in: Bourgina, Anna M.: Guide to the Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford, Cal., 1989, pp. 224-350.]
- Reed, Dale: Trotsky papers at the Hoover Institution : one chapter of an archival mystery story / Dale Reed and Michael Jakobson, in: The American Historical Review, 92.1987 (2), pp. 363-375.
- Salles, Jean-Paul: Hoover Institution Archives, in: Dissidences : bulletin de liaison des études sur les mouvements révolutionnaires, 3.2000 (7), p. 18.
- Vogt-Downey, Marilyn: New Trotsky archives discovered, in: Bulletin in Defense of Marxism, 1987 (44), pp. 9-13.
- Workman, Bill: Hoover Institution gets Trotsky archives, in: In Defense of Marxism, 1992 (99), p. 40. [Reprinted from San Francisco Chronicle, 1990 (July 16).]
- [For a short overview about Hoover Institution's Slavic collections see also Slavic & East European Resources, 5.2004 (3/4), pp. 40-43.]
State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division
(Madison, Wis., USA)
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) is both a state agency and a private membership organization. Founded in 1846 it is the oldest American historical society to receive continuous public funding. By statute, it is charged with collecting, advancing, and disseminating knowledge of the State of Wisconsin and of the trans-Allegheny West. Its mission is to engage the public with the excitement of discovery, to inspire people with new perspectives on the past, and to illuminate the relevance of history in their lives today. SHSW co-operates with the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wis.
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin maintains an extensive website. One division of SHSW is called Library-Archives. SHSW Library-Archives preserves and provides access to millions of published and unpublished items about the history of North America in the broadest sense. Outside the Library of Congress, SHSW Library-Archives is the largest collection of documents about the history of North America including letters, diaries, organization records, state and local government records, maps, photographs, films, oral histories and many other kinds of unique materials documenting American history. On the website of SHSW Library-Archives you can find more detailed information about reference, access and information services, catalogues (e.g. about ArCat, the archives catalogue), indexes and finding aids, collections, programmes, acquisitions, contacts, fees, etc.
The address of SHSW Library-Archives is: Wisconsin State Historical Society, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706-1482. The Archives Reference and Public Services are to contact via phone 608-264-6460 or by e-Mail email@example.com. See also Library-Archives' information page.
Beginning some 120 years ago, SHSW became one of the first institutions in the country to actively collect historical relevant material related to labour and working class movements; thus today the Society's Library-Archives holds outstanding and almost unparalleled labour history resources, both published items such as newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and unpublished items such as the internal papers of political parties and movements of the working class and of trade unions.
Danky, James P.: Sources for study of the labor movement at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin / James P. Danky and Harold L. Miller, in: Labor History, 31.1990, pp. 176-184.
Collections particularly relevant to Trotskyism preserved at SHSW Library-Archives:
Within SHSW Library-Archives' extraordinarily rich archival holdings about U.S. labour history, there are more than a dozen collections containing valuable material with regard to the study of the history of Trotskyism, particularly of the history of the U.S. arm of the movement, the SWP and its forerunners, respectively. Please note that most of SHSW's archival collections are available on microfilm only, which, however, are available either for sale or for loan through the interlibrary loan network. Please note, too, that some of the materials less than twenty years old may be restricted. In case that for a collection listed below there is an electronic (online) finding aid, this is mentioned there. Collections for which there are not yet electronic finding aids, may be used by consulting the printed or mimeographed registers which are available in the Library-Archives reading room and which of course can be ordered from SHSW as photocopies.
- George Novack and Evelyn Reed Papers, 1933-1992. 11 reels of microfilm [collection is available only on microfilm]. Call no.: Micro 555. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of G. Novack, also known by his pseudonym William F. Warde, renowned Marxist philosopher and writer, longtime theoretician of the SWP, and his wife, Evelyn Reed, anthropologist and fellow Trotskyist. Papers include biographical material, correspondence (e.g. with A. Wald, I. Deutscher, J. Hansen, E. Mandel, C.W. Mills, H. Salisbury, M. Shachtman, P. Frank, A. Glotzer, N. Chomsky, S. Mangan, I. Howe, S. Hook, L. Trotsky), speeches, writings, drafts, notes, instructional courses, etc. Some papers also reflect Novack's role in the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky and in the American Civil Rights Defense Committee. See also our bio-bibliographical sketches about both George Novack and Evelyn Reed.
- James Patrick Cannon Papers, 1919-1975. 61 boxes (24 cubic ft.) Also available on microfilm (65 reels, 35mm). Call nos.: Mss 839 and Micro 2033. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of J.P. Cannon, the co-founder of American Trotskyism in 1928, longtime national chairman of the SWP and an important leader of the international Trotskyist movement. The papers include rich material reflecting Cannon's activities in the IWW, the CP of the USA, the CLA, the SWP (correspondence, minutes, speeches, leaflets, statements, drafts, etc.); the collection also includes personal and family letters, extensive letter exchanges with F. Dobbs, J.Burnham, B. Cochran, A.J. Muste, M. Pablo, M. Shachtman, N. Thomas, N. Sedova, L. Trotsky; extensive records concern the Fourth International, Trotskyist activities in Europe, the factional doctrines of Cochran, Pablo, Oehler et al. and disputes within the left movement over the coming WW II. SHSW Library and Archives hold a lot of associated materials, such as for example taperecorded versions of many of Cannon's speeches as part of the SWP tape collection. Presented by the SWP 1992. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about James P. Cannon.
- Farrell Dobbs Papers, 1928-1983. 17 boxes (7 cubic ft.) Also available on microfilm (16 reels, 35mm). Call nos.: Mss 848 and Micro 2034. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of F. Dobbs, longtime national secretary and presidential candidate of the SWP. The collection includes biographical material, Dobbs' FBI file, official and personal correspondence, speeches, writings, reports, statements, drafts; rich material relating to his 4-volume history of the Teamsters Union and to his involvement in the famous Minneapolis teamsters strikes of 1934. Also contained is a great variety of items relating to the history of the SWP, to the Fourth International and to Trotskyist factionalism in the 1950s and 1960s. Prominent correspondents include J.P. Cannon, G. Healy, H. Salisbury. The collection also contains a small amount of material relating to Dobbs' wife, Marvel Dobbs (b. Scholl). Presented by the SWP 1992.
- Vincent R. Dunne Papers, 1929-1970. 1 reel of microfilm (35mm) [collection is only available on microfilm]. Call no.: Micro 727. A finding aid is not (yet) online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of R.V. Dunne, a veteran of the American Trotskyist movement who rose to prominence during the Minneapolis teamsters strikes 1934. The small collection contains biographical clippings and obituaries as well as correspondence with SWP party leaders J.P. Cannon, M. Stein, F. Dobbs et al. The collection also contains some biographical items about R.V. Dunne's brother, William F. Dunne. Presented by the SWP 1992.
- Tom and Karolyn Kerry Papers, 1933-1983. 2 boxes (1 cubic ft.) Also available on microfilm (2 reels, 35mm). Call nos.: Mss 301 and Micro 2042. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Small collection of papers of T. and K. Kerry, both leaders of the SWP in the 1950s and 1960s, editors, organizers and party workers. Included are biographical items, speeches and writings, correspondence (with J.P. Cannon, F. Dobbs, G. Breitman, L. Sinclair, T. Wohlforth, N. Weinstein et al.), primarily about internal party matters and about articles for the party journals The Militant and International Socialist Review; personal correspondence is included, too, reflecting e.g. T. Kerry's experiences within the International Seaman's Union (1939-41). Presented by the SWP 1992. See also our bio-bibliographical sketch about Tom Kerry.
- Robert Chester Papers, ca. 1944-1976. 3 boxes (1 cubic ft.) Also available on microfilm (3 reels, 35mm). Call nos.: Mss 348 and Micro 2043. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of R. Chester, also known under the name of Robert Chertov, a SWP organizer and educator. The collection includes obituaries, clippings, speeches, writings, educational classes, and some subject files. The correspondence and subject files reflect Chester's activities in the Bay Area SWP branch from the 1940s to the 1970s. Also contained in the collection are folders of SWP songs and skits.
- Ray Sparrow Papers, 1915-1985. 2 boxes (1 cubic ft.) Also available on microfilm (2 reels, 35mm). Call nos.: Mss 300 and Micro 2040. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: Copyright is retained by the SWP. Short description: Papers of R. Sparrow, probably better known under his pen name Art Sharon, a SWP party leader (San Francisco/Bay Area branch). The collection includes chiefly material from 1958-1968, consisting almost entirely of correspondence exchanged with J.P. Cannon, F. Dobbs, E. Mandel, S.M. Lipset.
- Albert Goldman Papers, 1940-1959. 1 reel of microfilm (35mm). [Available only on microfilm.] Call no.: Micro 434. A finding aid is online available. Short description: Papers of A. Goldman (Albert Verblen), a labour lawyer of Chicago who was jailed under provisions of the Smith Act in 1944. The small collection consists chiefly of correspondence (some 300 items, e.g. M. Eastman, J.T. Farrell) and other documents relating to Goldman's career as member, successively, of the Communist Party, then the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the "Shachtmanite" Workers Party. It also contains many references to Leon Trotsky whom Goldman served as legal counsel in Mexico, to Goldman's trial for sedition and his fight to be reinstated to the bar. Some pamphlets by Goldman as well as clippings are forming part of the collection, too. Gift of Mrs. Sherry Abel, 1962.
- Jack Alan Robbins Papers, 1965-1977. 7 reels of microfilm (35mm) [only available on microfilm]. Call no.: Micro 872. A finding aid is online available. Restriction: J.A. Robbins retains all literary rights to his material in the collection. Short description: The collection of J.A. Robbins, a socialist historian, chiefly contains material (drafts, texts, notes) relating to his two dissertations, the first of which was titled American Trotskyism, 1928-1941 : birth of a revolutionary Marxist movement, which was ultimately rejected by Fordham University. Other material in the collection are annotated writings by Leon Trotsky, book reviews and an organizations file containing a great variety of documents regarding several socialist groups in which Robbins had been active. The restricted materials in the collection include an editorial project of Robbins, a collection of the literary essays of James T. Farrell and other fragmentary items. Presented by J.A. Robbins, microfilmed 1981.
- Fred Halstead Papers, 1956-1978. 10 boxes and 1 oversize folder (4.1 cubic ft.) Call nos.: Mss 511 and PH Mss 511 and Tape 464A. A finding aid is online available.
- Solidarity (Organization: Detroit, Mich.) Records, 1986-1997. 10 boxes (4 cubic ft.) plus unprocessed additions. Call no.: Mss 946 and M2004-024. A finding aid is online available. Access restrictions: some portions are closed to research until 2045 without the written permission of the Solidarity National Committee. Use restrictions: Literary rights are retained by Solidarity National Committee until 2045. Short description: Collection of papers of Solidarity, an organization which was founded in the mid-1980s primarily by expellees from the SWP, committed to a broad regrouping of the revolutionary socialist left. The collection consists of Solidarity's founding documents, minutes of the National Committee and of other committees, commissions and conventions; also contained are subject files and writings by Solidarity members.
- Socialist Workers Party Records, 1928-2002. 209 reels of microfilm (35mm) + 2 films + 155 tape recordings + 40 disc recordings, photographs. [The processed portion of the collection is available only as microfilm.] Call nos.: Micro 596; Micro 816; Micro 993; Micro 1078; Micro 2015; Micro 2050; Micro 2086; AC 588; CB 131; M74-109; M81-206; M85-006; M92-173; M93-249; M2005-027. A finding aid is online available. Access restrictions: access to some portions of the collection is partially restricted (see page I of the Register); use restrictions: the copyrights that reside with the SWP and related collections are held by the SWP National Secretary. Short description: Rich and extensive collection of documents relating to the Socialist Workers Party, one of the most prominent radical political groupings of the U.S., and its forerunners, an exhaustive documentation of the numerous social and political struggles with which the party was involved and of the political organizing as well as its internal policy and doctrinal disputes. The collection is arranged in various series including numerous documents of internal struggle (e.g. about the party controversy which eventually led to the 1939/40 Cannon-Shachtman split), a wide range of documents of the Political Committee and the National Committee (e.g. minutes of the PC meetings, national conventions and NC plena), thousands of internal bulletins, discussions bulletins and circulars, international information bulletins, branch circulars, bulletins of the Party builder type, disparate documents of the SWP and predecessor or related movements, and last not least a considerable number of documents of opposition Trotskyist movements, tendencies, and parties. The SWP Records also contain extensive correspondence with members of the various regional branches while other documents are related to the party's publication arm, Pathfinder press, to various schools, camps, and educational classes, campaign literature and files representing the many legal cases in which the SWP was involved concerning civil rights, freedom of information, etc. The material was loaned first for copying/microfilming by the Socialist Workers Party officials in 1970, additions were processed from 1975 to 2000.
- Socialist Workers Party (Detroit, Mich.) Records, 1959-1966. 1 reel of microfilm (35mm) [collection is available only on microfilm]. Call no.: Micro 789. No finding aid. Short description: A small collection of SWP Detroit Branch's minutes of Executive Committee and branch meetings as well as some internal newsletters and related material. Originals are preserved at Wayne State University.
- Socialist Records, 1935-1966. 3 reels of microfilm (35mm). Call no.: Micro 684. A finding aid is online available. Contents: Records of some socialist organizations associated with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) with special focus on the 1950s.
- Young Socialist Alliance (U.S.) Records, 1954-1992. 23 reels of microfilm (35mm) + 1 folder + 1 film. [Except for a very few items, the collection is available only on microfilm.] Call nos.: Micro 726; Micro 949; Micro 1079; SC 3018; FF 063. A finding aid is online available. Restrictions: see remarks under Socialist Workers Party Records, 1928-2000, above. This collection consists of records of the National Office of the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), a youth organization closely affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), formed in 1960 and dissolved into the SWP in 1992. The collection reflects YSA's role in the protest against the Vietnam war and in various struggles for social and minority rights from the 1960s to the 1980s: minutes of National Executive Committee meetings, mailings, financial reports, material produced for intra-party communication, narrative reports on local activities, subject files relating to the international student movement, correspondence with various organizations such as Prisoners United. Predating the YSA are bulletins and minutes of the National Action Committee of the Young Socialist League (YSL).
- Internationalist Tendency of the Socialist Workers Party Records, 1966-1979. 12 boxes. Call no.: M80-382. A finding aid is online available. Short description: Files, making up 12 cubic ft., pertaining to the Internationalist Tendency, a faction formed in 1973 which in 1974 was expelled from the SWP, continuing independently for approximately 2 more years. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, internal documents and some periodicals. Acquired in 1980 from John Barzman.
- Spartacist League Records, 1964-1974. 1 box (0.4 cubic ft.) Call no.: Mss 500. A finding aid is online available. Short description: Some records of Spartacist League, a dissident Trotskyist organization under the leadership of James Robertson resulting from a split in the SWP in 1962/63. The collection includes minutes of national and New York City chapter meetings, some position papers of its youth group, Revolutionary Communist Youth, and many printed flyers.
- International News for the Fourth International, 1934-1935. 1 box (0.2 cubic ft.) Call-no.: Mss 963. A finding aid is not (yet) online available. This very small collection chiefly consists of manuscripts and mimeographed copies of International News for the Fourth International, paper written chiefly by Hugo Oehler, a Trotskyist who in the 1930s dissented from the Trotskyist mainstream and for some years was the main inspirer of extremely tiny splinter groups. Presented by John Harrison, Denver, Colo.
Walter P. Reuther Library,
Archives of Labor & Urban Affairs
(Detroit, Mich., USA)
The Walter P. Reuther Library is home to the Archives of Labor & Urban Affairs (ALUA) and to the Wayne State University Archives. Its mission is collecting, preserving and making accessible the records of the American labour movement with special emphasis on industrial unionism and related social, economic and political reform movements in the U.S. ALUA's collections on urban Detroit, on student movements and on radical organizations are very strong, too. As at 2005, ALUA's resources include the papers and records of some 1,600 individuals and organizations. Altogether, the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs houses more than 75,000 linear ft. of historical records, including some 2 million photographs and 10,000 sound recordings. Reuther Library is situated at 5401 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 313-577-4024.
With regard to research on Trotsky/Trotskyism, the following archival collections should be of special interest:
- George Lavan Weissman Collection, 1935-1985. 3 boxes (3 linear ft.) Call no.: 1347. G.L. Weissman (1916-1985) was a Harvard student in the 1930s when he became a Marxist and successively joined the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) and the Socialist Party before becoming a co-founder of the SWP where he served as branch organizer, director and manager of Pathfinder Press, manager of Mountain Spring Camp, and editor and staff writer for the party's organ The Militant. After his expulsion from the SWP in 1983 he joined with other Trotskyist veterans and co-thinkers and launched the Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT) becoming a contributing editor of its Bulletin in Defense of Marxism. The collection consists of correspondence (T. Deutscher, R. Hansen, E. Mandel, C.L.R. James, E. Reed, J. Van Heijenoort et al.), manuscripts, numerous pamphlets of the SWP and of other organizations to which Weissman belonged.
- Helen Schiff Papers, 1940-1967. 1 box (0.5 linear ft., 16 folders). Call no.: 1172. Contains reports, correspondence, bulletins and other items relating to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and to the founding of the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA). Correspondents include M. Abern, F. Dobbs, A. Goldman, and L. Trotsky. The collection was deposited by Ms. Schiff in 1970 and is open for research.
- Frances D. & G. Lyman Paine Collection, 1953-1976 (predominantly 1953-1960). 2 boxes (2 linear ft.) Call no.: 11439. Contains papers of Frances D. and George Lyman Paine who met in 1934 and who were longtime members of the Johnson-Forest Tendency. The collection includes primarily letters (G.L. Boogs, M. Glaberman, C.L.R. James et al.), papers related to their radical interests and various material related to the newspaper Correspondence which was issued by the Johnson-Forest Tendency
- The John Dwyer Collection : From the origins of Bolshevism in America through the Trotskyist movement to Marxist Humanism, papers 1920-1987. 16 boxes (8 linear ft.) Call no.: 1039. John F. Dwyer was a socialist and unionist who was active in various left-wing parties. In 1938 he became a member of the SWP and was elected a member of its National Committee. In the 1950s he became a spokesman of Marxist-Humanism, a left-wing tendency founded and inspired by Raya Dunayevskaya (with whom he got married), and a regular contributor to News & Letters, the paper of the Marxists-Humanists, under his pen name Peter Mallory; other pen and party names used by him are John Fredericks and John O'Brien. The John Dwyer Papers are organized in two series: papers of John Dwyer and papers of Martin Abern. The collection includes chiefly correspondence (with M. Abern, J.P. Cannon, J. Burnham, M. Shachtman, A. Swabeck, N. Thomas, L. Trotsky et al.), documents, speeches, clippings, publications and reports relating to Dwyer's activities within the SWP. The papers are a donation of John Dwyer (1980 and 1984) and were opened for research in 1985. A printed guide with introductory note by John Dwyer was published with title: The John Dwyer Collection : from the origins to Bolshevism in America through the Trotskyist movement to Marxist Humanism ; papers, 1920-1987 [...] Chicago, Ill. : News & Letters, [ca.1987]. 41 pp.
- The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection : Marxist Humanism, its origins and development in America 1941-1969. 2.5 linear ft. (some 15,000 pages/leaves, material ranging from 1924-1986). Also available on microfilm (8 reels). Call no.: 363. The papers of Raya Dunayevskaya (b. Rae Spiegel, 1910-1987) were placed by her in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs in 1969 and were first opened for research in 1970. Under Dunayevskaya's direction, the material was arranged into 12 volumes. In the 1980s, supplements to the collection were acquired, arranged by the Raya Dunayevskaya Fund (e-mail: email@example.com) which was initiated by John Dwyer, Dunayevskaya's co-thinker and life partner.
Dunayevskaya (Spiegel), born in pre-revolutionary Russia, came to the U.S. with her parents in 1922. From 1937 she served as a secretary and translator to Leon Trotsky in his Mexican exile but broke with him in 1939 in disagreement about the evaluation of Stalin's policy in view of the Hitler-Stalin pact. During World War II, after having studied the Russian economy and Marx's early writings, she began to advocate a 'state capitalist' position with regard to the question of the character of the USSR and associated with a small group around C.L.R. James, a dissenting Trotskyist who held similar views. They launched the so-called Johnson-Forest Tendency within American Trotskyism (using the pseudonyms J.R. Johnson and Freddie Forest, respectively) and edited the journal Correspondence; in 1951 they finally broke with Trotskyism. In 1955, however, Raya Dunayevskaya and C.L.R. James split. Dunayevskaya became known as founder of the philosophy of Marxist-Humanism, a body of ideas which she developed from the 1950s to the 1980s. For more than 30 years she edited News & Letters as a mouthpiece of Marxist Humanism; she wrote several books on Marxism, Hegelian philosophy, Rosa Luxemburg and women's liberation, at the same time taking actively part in the Marxist workers' movement, the women's liberation movement and the black liberation movement. Dunayevskaya was a faculty member of Wayne State University and lectured in Western Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and elsewhere, too. The Dunayevskaya collection covers the full range of her thought and action. Wayne State University made available the entire collection on 8 microfilm reels (16mm). With regard to Trotsky research, appendix I to Part 1 (=vols. I-III) of the collection might be of special interest: it contains letters exchanged between Trotsky and Dunayevskaya, her translations of some of his writings and letters, photographs from her years in Mexico with Trotsky and his family, her correspondence with Natalia Sedova (which continued through the 1950s), very rare copies of the Biulleten' oppozitsii in miniaturized form in which it was published for underground transmission in Soviet Russia, etc.; some of these documents must be considered as unique. Various guides to the Raya Dunayaveskaya Collection are available in printed form, too (provided with the microfilm set which can be ordered from Wayne State University):
- Guide to the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection. [Guide to vols. I-XII.] Chicago, Ill. : News & Letters, . 84 pp.
- Guide to the supplement to the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection. [Guide to vols. XIII-XIV.] Chicago, Ill. : Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund, .
Links to some of Dunayevskaya's writings available online in the WWW are to be found on News & Letters Who is Raya Dunayevskaya?
Yale University Library
(New Haven, Conn., USA)
A considerable part of Yale University's holdings of especially valuable or rare items is housed at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 121 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 0651, e-mail: Beinecke.firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (203) 432-4047, phone (general information): (203) 432-2972. Yale University's finding aid database is available in the WWW.
The following archival collections are particularly relevant with regard to Trotsky research:
- Max Shachtman Correspondence with Leon Trotsky, 1930-1940. 2 boxes (0.8 linear ft). Call phrase: GEN MSS 297. A detailed guide and finding aid is online available. The collection is open for research, but restricted fragile papers (box 2) may only be used with permission of the curator. The collection is also available on microfilm from Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. It was donated by Mr. and Mrs. H.P. Kraus in 1981 and consists of 17 letters by Shachtman to Trotsky, 47 letters by Trotsky (mostly signed by pseudonym) to M. Shachtman, 17 letters by Trotsky to third parties (e.g. G. Rosenthal, A. Nin, A. Neurath, A. Swabeck, A. Glotzer, J.P. Cannon, J. Burnham), and a few letters by Joseph Hansen to Cannon and Shachtman. Most of the letters concern problems of the left opposition in the U.S. and internationally. Max Shachtman was a co-founder of the Trotskyist Communist League of America (CLA), a translator of some major writings of Trotsky and a leader of the American Trotskyists from 1928-1940 as well as an important figure of the International Left Opposition of the 1930s.
See also our bio-bibliographical sketch [PDF] about Max Shachtman.
About this collection see also:
Barghoorn, Frederick C.: Letters from and to Leon Trotsky, in: The Yale University Library gazette, 57.1982 (1/2), pp. 72-78.
- Victor Serge Papers, 1912-1994 (bulk 1936-1947). 27 boxes (16 linear ft.) Call phrase: GEN MSS 238. Victor Serge (Viktor Kibalchich, 1890-1947) was a famous Franco-Russian revolutionary and novelist. This collection includes Serge's correspondence with D. Guérin, J. Gorkin, L. Laurat, A. Gide, L. Trotsky, A. Breton et al. It was purchased from Serge's son Vlady Kibalchich in 1995. A detailed guide and finding aid is online available.
Other archival collections preserved at Yale University Library which contain some material related to Trotsky/Trotskyism are:
Lilly Library, Manuscript Collections
(Bloomington, Ind., USA)
The Lilly Library - the rare books, manuscripts, and special collections library of the Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington holds about 400,000 books and more than 6.5 million manuscripts, letters, autographs, etc. (as at 2005). Lilly Library's website contains detailed information about collections, information, using, hours, publications and online resources. Address: Lilly Library, 1200 E. Seventh St., Bloomington, IN 47405-5500, e-mail: email@example.com.
Collection level descriptions provide information about the contents of the manuscript collections and other details; selected descriptions include detailed inventories and guides. Online collection descriptions can be found by browsing the A-Z of collection names or the listing of subject guides to manuscript collections. For bibliographic descriptions and guides not yet online, a manuscripts index, a card catalogue and special card files, located in the Lilly Library reading room, can be consulted.
The following collections are particularly relevant to Trotsky/ism research:
- The Trotskii mss., 1900-1957. Call phrase: Trotskii MSS. An overview is online available. This small collection (201 items) consists primarily of letters exchanged between Leon Trotsky and Max Eastman in 1922-1923 and in 1929-1933 when Eastman was writing a biography of the young Trotsky, serving as translator of some of Trotsky's major writings as well as unofficially acting as Trotsky's literary agent, respectively. The collection includes also letters from or to N. Krupskaiia, M. Paz, A. Rosmer, S. Weber, M. Shachtman, B. Souvarine, J.G. Wright et al. It furthermore contains reviews of Eastman's translations and of his book about Trotsky as well as some miscellaneous material (e.g. notes and documents about Eastman's efforts to get a visa for Trotsky allowing him to visit the U.S.)
- The Eastman mss., 1892-1968. Some 4,100 items. Call phrase: Eastman MSS. A guide, inventory and finding aid are online available. This hugh collection primarily consists of the correspondence and writings of Max (Forrester) Eastman (1883-1969), a renowned American intellectual, poet, writer and editor (e.g. The Masses, The Liberator). In the 1920s Eastman became acquainted with Leon Trotsky, wrote a booklet about him (Leon Trotsky, portrait of a youth), translated some of his works and functioned as his literary agent in the U.S. For many years Eastman was (like Shachtman, Burnham and others) a member or close sympathizer of the American Trotskyist movement before at the time of the outbreak of World War II he broke with Trotskyism, later abandoned socialism and became a spokesman of American conservatism. The Eastman collection includes letters from and to many a hundred men and women of almost all nationalities, chiefly letters concerned with Eastman's writings and the response to them (correspondence with publishers, critics, scholars, authors, etc.) A few family letters, however, are included, too. Further, the collection comprises writings by other authors, clippings from printed material, notes arranged by subjects for the preparation of Eastman's books, reviews of his books, and lectures.
- The Browne mss., 1878-1949. Some 4,800 items. Call phrase: Browne MSS. A guide, inventory and finding aid are online available. Lewis Browne (1897-1949) was a prominent author, radio commentator, lecturer and world traveler who corresponded with hundreds of authors, journalists, educators, scholars, politicians, diplomats, actors, officers, businessmen, etc. Thus in the collection inventory are to be found the names of C. Chaplin, T. Mann, S. Lewis, E. Toller, B. Russell to mention only a very few from a not ending list. The collection also includes Browne's writings, articles, diaries, pencil sketches and ink drawings. Last but not least some miscellaneous material deals with Trotsky, including notes by Browne on him and about Natalia Sedova and two articles by Ludwig Lore on Trotsky's sojourn in New York 1917. The collection was purchased in 1969.
Minnesota Historical Society Library
(St. Paul, Minn., USA)
The Library of the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is situated at 345 Kelogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906, phone: 651 - 2966126. Minnesota Historical Society has rich collections of printed and archival material (incl. films, tape recordings, etc.) about the SWP, the Minneapolis teamster strikes and labour trials of the 1930s and 1940s. Most of these materials are searchable in the library's on-line catalogue
The following collections are particularly relevant to Trotsky/Trotskyism research:
- Grace Carlson Papers, 1929-1986. 1.75 cubic ft. (2 boxes + 1 unboxed item). Shelf location: 146.K.12.7B - 146.K.12.8F. An overview and finding aid are online available. Grace Carlson (1906-1992) was a professor of psychology at St. Mary's Junior College (Minneapolis). The collection not only documents Carlson's career as a college teacher (e.g. lecture notes) but also her activities and involvement in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the mainstream party of American Trotskyism, where she was one of the leading figures in the 1940s; in the early 1950s, however, she left the SWP. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence (e.g. with J.P. Cannon, F. Dobbs, J.T. Farrell, L. Trotsky, her family and friends), detailed information on prison life (Carlson was imprisoned like many other leading SWP members under sedition charges during World War II), speech transcripts, leaflets, clippings, material relating to the party's 1948 election campaign when Carlson ran as vice-presidential and Farrell Dobbs as presidential candidate on the SWP ticket. Also contained are FBI reports on Carlson.
- Bill Brust Papers, 1937-1993. 1.75 cubic ft. (4 boxes + 1 oversize folder). Call nos.: P2143 and +239. An overview and finding aid are online available. Bill Brust (1919-1991) was a longtime member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and later became a founding member and co-leader of the Workers League (WL), the American section of the Healyist International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), also known as the Northists (named after its main leader, David North). The papers in this collection are documenting Brust's political activism in the Minnesota labour movement, his involvement in Trotskyist politics, his writings for the party press and his work with European socialists as well as his career as a modern language scholar and associate professor of modern languages at Carleton College, Northfiled, Minn.
- Socialist Workers Party, Minnesota Section. 5 cubic ft. (11 boxes incl. 7 vols. and 2 microfilm reels). Call no.: 151.1.2. An overview and finding aid are online available. This collection includes campaign literature, scrapbooks, bulletins, pamphlets, newspapers and other material chiefly emanating from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) headquarters in New York; a small file was created by the SWP Minnesota branch. Information is especially full on the trial, conviction and appeals (1941-1944) of SWP leaders G. Carlson, V., G., and M. Dunne, C. Skoglund et al., who were accused of sedition. Most of the material has been microfilmed.
Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book & Manuscript Library,
Columbia University (New York, NY, USA)
The Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European Culture is the second largest depository of Russian émigré materials outside Russia, consisting primarily of letters, diaries, memoirs, tapes, photographs and other documentary currently containing about 1,700,000 items (as of 2004) in more than 1,200 collections. It was founded in 1951 receiving substantial part of its operating costs from the Humanities Fund which was established by Boris Alexandrovich Bakhmeteff (1880-1961), a professor at Columbia School of Engineering and intellectual of wide-ranging interests. Initial financing was obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation. Today, the Bakhmeteff Archive operates as part of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University. The archive is situated at Butler Library, 6th Fl. East, 535 West 114th St., New York, NY 10027, phone: (212) 8543986, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Bakhmeteff Archive see also: Slavic & East European Information Resources, 5.2004 (3/4), pp.10-11.
With regard to Trotsky research mention should be of the following repositories:
- Charles Malamuth Papers, ca. 1910-1965. 26 boxes (ca. 6,500 items). Call no.: BAR Ms Coll/Malamuth. A finding aid is online available. Charles Malamuth (1899-1965) was a renowned author, translator and publisher. His papers document his translation work and editorial matters including a considerable correspondence with authors of various countries. In view of Trotsky, a subject file reflecting Malamuth's involvement with the publication of Trotsky's Stalin is, of course, of special interest. The collection is a gift of Charles Malamuth's widow (1965).
- Trotskyism in the U.S., manuscripts, ca. 1935. An abstract is online available. Call no.: BAR Gen Ms Coll/Trotskyism in U.S. Two typescripts entitled Confidential memorandum on Trotskyite movement in U.S. (author not mentioned, 11 pp.), the second being a supplement to the first.
Labadie Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan
(Ann Arbor, Mich., USA)
The Joseph A. Labadie Collection (Labadie Collection of Social Protest Material) forms part of the Special Collections Library which is situated at 7th Floor, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1205. E-mail: email@example.com, phone: (313) 764-9377.
The Labadie Collection is one of the oldest collections of radical history in the U.S., excellently documenting a great variety of social protest movements and organizations, both American and abroad, of the 19th and 20th century. The collection comprises some 8,000 serials (of which some 600 are currently received), some 35,000 monographs and some 20,000 pamphlets (as at 2005) as well as manuscript holdings covering certain persons and subjects involved in radical movements. Of special relevance to researchers are also the numerous ephemera (leaflets, flyers, scrapbooks, posters, photographs, cartoons, etc.) within the collection, the nucleus of which was made up by Jo (Charles Joseph Antoine) Labadie's (1850-1933) private library and papers which in 1911 he donated to the University of Michigan. Labadie was a pioneer of the socialist labour and trade union movement in Michigan and an editor of labour papers before he became a dedicated supporter of individualist anarchism as promulgated for example by Benjamin Tucker; Labadie's byname was "the gentle anarchist". Under the curatorship (from 1924-1952) of Agnes Ann Inglis (1870-1952), an anarchist and follower of Emma Goldman, the collection grew considerably. Even if Labadie's archival collections are not very large, they are rich in correspondence and other writings. With regard to Trotskyism, the strength of Labadie Collection lies in the fact that there are preserved some very rare (or, 'ephemeral') serials and bulletins of Trotskyist origin hardly to find in other libraries or related facilities.
The Woodruff Library, Special Collections & Archives
(Atlanta, Ga., USA)
Robert W. Woodruff Library forms part of the Emory University Libraries system. It is situated at 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322-2870. It has a department of Special Collections & Archives which can be contacted via e-mail under firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodruff Library houses an archive in which can be found some material relevant to the study of the early history of American Trotskyism:
- Theodore Draper research files, 1919-1990. 103 boxes (58 linear ft.) Collection call no.: 579. A guide and finding aid are online available. This rich collection of Theodore Draper (1912-2006), a renowned historian whose research chiefly focuses on the history of American communism, includes papers of some prominent American Trotskyists like for example J.P. Cannon, R.V. Dunne. Besides papers, writings, about 1,000 pamphlets and uncountable radical periodicals issues, the collection includes some 120 microfilm reels and 13 sound recordings.
Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
(New Brunswick, NJ, USA)
The Special Collections and University Archives are housed at Archibald S. Alexander Library (address: 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163) which is a part of the Rutgers University Libraries system.
With regard to Trotskyism research, one of its collections is worth to be particularly emphasized:
- Papers of Robert Jackson Alexander, 1890(1945)-1999. 132 boxes (215 cubic ft.) Call no.: MC 974. An exhaustive guide and inventory (prep. by Fernanda Perrone, April 2000, including also a lot of material on Alexander's biography, career, and activities) are online available. Robert J. Alexander (1918-2010) was a distinguished professor of social democratic orientation who spent his whole career at Rutgers (from 1950 to 1989). He authored more than 30 books, innumerable articles and other contributions to collective works, scholarly journals and renowned newspapers; he also served on the editorial boards of various periodicals. He was chiefly involved in the study of Latin American economic, social and political affairs, making some dozen trips to Latin America. The bulk of his papers is made up by manuscripts and drafts of his numerous publications and by material which he collected with regard to his publication and research projects, inter alia transcripts of a considerable number of interviews which he conducted with many Latin and U.S. American Trotskyists and other (ex) activists (e.g. Breitman. Cochran, Shachtman, Geltman, Glotzer, Browder, Harrington, Howe, Lovell, Lovestone, Novack), correspondence with Trotskyist leaders and other activists from various parts of the world - material which he excessively made use of when he wrote his renowned books on Trotskyism in Latin America (1973) and on International Trotskyism 1929-1985, a documented analysis of the movement (1991). A microfilm edition of Alexander's interviews is available from IDC Publishers.
For some more details about this collection see also:
Devinatz, Victor G.: Robert J. Alexander's U.S. left wing interview collection and archaeology of dissident communism, in: Working USA, 15.2012 (2), pp. 153-175.
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
(Washington, DC, USA)
The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress - the biggest library in the world - holds some 50 mio. items in some 11,000 separate collections including some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture. Its manuscript reading room is located in the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, Washington DC 20540-4680. Among the highlights of Library of Congress' more modern manuscript holdings and of interest with regard to Trotsky research is the following collection:
- Papers of Dmitrii Antonovich Volkogonov, 1887-1995 (bulk 1917-1995). 30 containers (14 linear ft.), 20 microfilm reels, altogether some 10,170 items. A detailed guide and finding aid, prepared by Andrei Pliguzov et al. and last revised April 2010, is online available. D.A. Volkogonov (1928-1995) was a renowned Russian general, military historian, writer, member of the Russian parliament and advisor to the President of the Russian Federation. Shortly after the dissolution of the USSR Volkogonov published a hotly debated two-volume biography about Leon Trotsky (Trotskii : politicheskii portret, Moskva, 1992). The Volkogonov papers were acquired and processed in 1996; in 1998 some additions could be made to the collection thanks to a gift from Olga D. Volkogonova. The papers chiefly include copies from various Russian/Soviet archives: correspondence, memoranda, articles, protocols, resolutions, schedules, inventory of archival material, photographs as well as originals of some of Volkogonov's personal papers. The collection reflects his study of significant events and individuals of modern Russian/Soviet history from the 1870s to the perestroika of the 1980s. Individuals represented in this rich collection include Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bukharin, Beriia, Khrushchev, Kerenskii, Kennedy, Eltsin et al. In 1997 the Library of Congress produced a set of 20 microfilm reels (microfilm-no. 21,595) containing most parts of the Volkogonov collection (originals and photocopies), available for purchase from the Library's Photoduplication Service.
University of British Columbia Library,
Rare Books and Special Collections
(Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) houses numerous collections of Canadiana including rare books, archival research materials, historic maps and photographs. It is situated at Main Library, 1956 Main Mall, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1. Phone: (604) 8222521, e-mail: email@example.com.
Rich material on Canadian Trotskyism (e.g. about the League for Socialist Action, Revolutionary Workers League) is contained in the
- Bullock family fonds, 1940-1994 [Ruth and Reginald Bullock Collection]. 16,6 m of textual records, photographs, posters. Call no.: RBSC-ARC-1082. Both Reginald Bullock (1905-1979) and his wife Ruth (b. Fraser, 1909-1994) were longtime active socialists and Trotskyists. Ruth Bullock even became subject of a biography written by H. McLeod: Not another God-damned housewife : Ruth Bullock, the woman question and Canadian Trotskyism, M.A. thesis, Simon Fraser Univ., 1993. An overview of the Bullock family fonds is online available; an inventory [PDF] should also be online available, but could not be retrieved as at Febr. 28, 2014.
William Ready Division of Archives & Research Collections,
McMaster University Library
(Hamilton, Ont., Canada)
The William Ready Division of Archives & Research Collections is a part of the McMaster University Library, situated at 1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, phone: (905) 525-9140, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Some 120,000 book titles, some 4,800 periodical titles, 11,485 linear ft. of archival materials, and 12,650 microforms are held as of summer 2004.
Two archival collections are of special interest with regard to the source study of Canadian Trotskyism:
- League for Socialist Action, Revolutionary Workers League, Communist League of Canada, 1961-1983. 7 boxes (0.9 m), chiefly consisting of mimeographed or printed material (circulars, memoranda, leaflets, etc.) and a small amount of correspondence. The collection was acquired from Katherine Riddell Rouillard in 1993. A collection description as well as two finding aids (for the 1st accrual and the 2nd accrual) are online available.
- Revolutionary Marxist Group Fonds, 1947-1980 (1973-1978). 6 boxes (2 m). The collection is arranged in 2 series, the first including pamphlets and bulletins of the RMG and affiliated organizations, the second consisting of news clippings, leaflets, posters, etc.) The collection was obtained from a RMG member in 1987. A collection description as well as two finding aids (for the 1st accrual and the 2nd accrual) are online available.
Index of collection creators
Abern, Martin (1898-1947)
Akselrod, Yulia (Juliia Aksel'rod, b. Juliia Sergeevna Rubinshtein, b. 1936)
Alexander, Robert Jackson (1918-2010)
American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky (ACDLT)
Breitman, George (1916-1986)
Browne, Lewis (1897-1949)
Brust, Bill (1919-1991)
Bryant, Louise (1885-1936)
Buchman, Alex (1911-2003) : Hoover Institution Archives
Buchman, Alex (1911-2003) : Houghton Library
Bullock, Reginald (1905-1979)
Bullock, Ruth (1909-1994)
Burnham, James (1905-1987)
Canfield, Cass (1897-1986)
Cannon, James P. (1890-1974)
Carlson, Grace (1906-1992)
Chester, Robert (1912-1975)
Cochran, Bert (1913-1985)
Communist League of Canada (CLC)
Curtiss, Charles (1908-1993)
Dobbs, Farrell (1907-1983)
Dobbs, Marvel (b. Scholl) (1908-1984)
Draper, Theodore (1912-2006)
Drucker, Peter (b. 1958)
Dunayevskaya, Raya (1910-1987) : Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Dunayevskaya, Raya (1910-1987) : Walter P. Reuther Library
Dunne, Vincent R. (1889-1970)
Dunne, William F. (1887-1953)
Dwyer, John F. (1912-1989)
Eastman, Max Forrester (1883-1969)
Eisner, Dorothy (1906-1984)
Erber, Ernest (1913-2010)
Ervin, Charles Wesley (b. 1947)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Fourth Internationalist Tendency
Genecin, Milton (1908-1989)
Glass, C. Frank (1901-1988)
Glotzer, Albert (1908-1999)
Goldman, Albert (Verblen, Albert) (1897-1960)
Gray, Laura [ps. of Laura Slobe] (1909-1958)
Gul', Roman Borisovich (1896-1986)
Halstead, Fred (1927-1988)
Hansen, Joseph (1910-1979) : Hoover Institution Archives
Hansen, Joseph (1910-1979) : Yale University Library
Heisler, Ivan C.F.
Herron, Edwin Eugene (1907-1984)
Hook, Sidney (1902-1989)
International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)
International News for the Fourth International [Paper]
International Socialists (USA)
Internationalist Tendency of the Socialist Workers Party
Kerry, Karolyn (1910-1981)
Kerry, Tom (1901-1983)
Lanneret, Pierre (1921-1993)
League for Socialist Action (LSA) : McMaster University Library
League for Socialist Action (LSA) : University of British Columbia Library
Lerner, Max (1902-1992)
Library of Social History (LSH)
Lovell, Frank (1913-1998)
Lovell, Sarah (1922-1994)
Lovestone, Jay (1897-1990)
Macdonald, Dwight (1906-1982)
Malamuth, Charles (1899-1965)
Mangan, Sherry (1904-1961)
The Militant (paper of SWP)
Nicolaevsky, Boris I. (1887-1966)
Novack, George (1905-1992)
Oehler, Hugo (1903-1983): State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division
Oehler, Hugo (1903-1983): Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Paine, Frances D.
Paine, George Lyman
Pathfinder Press, Photographic Coll.
Peng Shu-Tse (1895-1983)
Poulos, Constantine (1916-1986)
Poulos, John (1911-1980)
Ratliff, Wiliam E. (1937-2014)
Reed, Evelyn (1905-1979)
Revolutionary Marxist Group (RMG) (Canada)
Revolutionary Workers League (RWL) (Canada) : McMaster University Library
Revolutionary Workers League (RWL) (Canada) : University of British Columbia Library
Revolutionary Workers League (RWL) (USA)
Robbins, Jack Alan (b. 1944)
Roberts, Nora Ruth (b. ca. 1941)
Robins, Harold (1908-1987)
Romerstein, Herbert (1931-2013)
Sedov, Leon [Lev L'vovich Sedov] (1906-1938)
Sedov, Sergei [Sergei L'vovich Sedov] (1908-1937)
Serge, Victor (1890-1947)
Shachtman, Max (1904-1972) : Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Shachtman, Max (1904-1972) : Yale University Library
Shub, David (1887-1973)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : Hoover Institution Archives
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : Minnesota Historical Society Library (Bill Brust Papers)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : Minnesota Historical Society Library (SWP Party Records)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Socialist Workers Party (SWP) : Walter P. Reuther Library
Solow, Herbert (1903-1964)
Sparrow, Ray (Sharon, Art) (1914-1985)
Spartacist League (SL) : Hoover Institution Archives
Spartacist League (SL) : State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division
Stamm, Thomas (?-?)
Stewart, Chalmers K. (1910-1995)
Swabeck, Arne (1890-1986)
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Hoover Institution Archives
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Hoover Institution Archives : Trotsky-Sedov Papers
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Hoover Institution [Trotsky Colloquium 1987]
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Houghton Library
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Lilly Library, Manuscript Collections
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Yale University Library
Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940) : Published archive
Van Heijenoort, Jean (1912-1986)
Volkogonov, Dmitrii Antonovich (1928-1995)
Wang Fanxi (1907-2002)
Weber, Sara (1900-1976)
Weiss, Myra Tanner (1917-1997)
Weissman, George Lavan (1916-1985)
Wilson, Edmund (1895-1972)
Wolfe, Bernard (1915-1985)
Workers League (WL)
Workers Party (WPUS) : Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Workers Party (WPUS) : Hoover Institution Archives
Wright, John G. [Vanzler] (1901-1956)
Young Socialist Alliance (YSA) : State Historical Society of Wisconsin Archives Division
Young Socialist Alliance (YSA) : Walter P. Reuther Library
Selection of published Trotsky archives
Some Trotsky archives have been published, i.e. they are available for purchase and/or can be used either in libraries possessing a copy or in the WWW; such published collections of primary source material are for example:
- Trotsky, Lev Davidovich. [Papers, 1898-ca.1927]. 1129 microfiches. This is a photographic reproduction on microfiche from originals preserved at the Russian Centre for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent History (RTsKhIDNI, Rossiiskii Tsentr Khraneniia i Izucheniia Dokumentov Noveishei Istorii)), until 1991 known as the Central Party Archive of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism (Moscow) which was under the direct control of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The filming of the documents (also known as the Cambridge project) was carried out by the renowned British publishing house Chadwyck-Healey in 1994 on behalf of both the State Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv) and the Hoover Institution; the collection was published as part 7 of Chadwyck-Healey's series Archives of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party : Series 1, Leaders of the Russian revolution. Other key figures of the Russian revolution and of the Soviet state represented in the Leaders series (partly on microfiches, partly on microfilms) are Akselrod, Kalinin, Kirov, Martov, Orzhonikidze, Molotov, Zasulich, and Zhdanov. The Trotsky papers collection contains private letters written by him between 1889 and 1922, reports by the Czarist secret police (Okhrana), a dossier on Trotsky compiled by the French Ministry of War 1915, copies of correspondence between Trotsky and various Menshevik leaders between 1912 and 1916, innumerable documents relating to Trotsky's activities as a member of the revolutionary Russian/Soviet government, drafts of many of his speeches, articles and books with autograph notes and corrections, notes and cuttings made by and for Trotsky, photographs, etc. The core of the Trotsky collection consists of material donated by Trotsky to ISTPART (the department of history of the party formed in 1918 by the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party) in 1922; later it was supplemented by material from other collections and sources; altogether there are over 500 files. The microfiche collection is available for purchase from UMI (300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346); some European and American libraries are in possession of the collection. A short description of the entire Leaders of the Russian revolution series is available online.
Some more information is provided in:
Howlett, Jana: Leaders of the Russian revolution : a guide to the microfilm collection. Cambridge, England : Chadwyck-Healey, 1994. 33 pp. (Archives of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party ; series 1)
- [The Trotskii-Sedov Papers, 1920-1940]. 41 Microfilm reels (35 mm). The originals of this microfilm edition form part of the gigantic Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection which is deposited at Hoover Institution Archives (Stanford, Cal.) The entire Nicolaevsky Collection - consisting of some 800 boxes and amounting to some 330 linear ft. - has been microfilmed, fully registered and published (796 reels) in 1991 by University Microfilms International (UMI) on behalf of the Hoover Institution. The Trotsky-Sedov Papers, designated as series no. 231 within the Nicolaevsky Collection, form unit 1 of the microfilm collection and consist of 41 reels (the originals are filling 73 boxes) which can be purchased from UMI (300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346); some European and American libraries are in possession of the collection. An online description of the (entire) Nicolaevsky microfilm collection is available in the WWW, for a description of series 231 (the Trotskii-Sedov papers) click here. Excellent guides (folder level descriptions) in printed form for each unit are available from UMI, thus for unit 1 (=the Trotsky-Sedov papers):
[Jakobson, Michael]: The papers of Lev Davydovich Trotskii and Lev L'vovich Sedov 1920-1940 : a guide to the microfilm collection. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 1991. XX, 91 pp. (The Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Archives of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ; unit 1, series no. 231).
- The Military Papers of Leon Trotsky, 1918-1924 = Voennye bumagi L.D. Trotskogo, 1918-1924. 6 boxes with 71 microfilm reels (35 mm). This is a collection of finding aids (opisi) and records documenting Trotsky's activities as a military leader and as People's Commissar of War. It is accompanied by a printed guide of the same title which is also available as a film copy on reel no. 1. The original documents of this collection are preserved in the Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Voennyi Arkhiv (RGVA, Russian State Military Archive). The material chiefly consists of orders of the Revolutionary Military Council and its chairman, records of speeches, articles, brochures, interviews etc. by Trotsky, his day-to-day correspondence, private letters of Trotsky and material related to his activities on his famous armoured war train. The microfilm collection was produced and published by Research Publications, Woodbridge, Conn. For pricing and more information e-mail to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. The microfilm collection is held by several American and European libraries, e.g. by University of Glasgow Library.
- [Leon Trotsky – FBI file]. Within the framework of FBI's website there has been published - under the banner title Freedom of Information Act and the heading Leon Trotsky - a collection of 909 pages of scanned documents [PDF] from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) files relating to Leon Trotsky's assassination in August 1940, arranged in 11 (later: 5) parts.
The entire Leon Trotsky FBI files collection can also be purchased as DVD-ROM (earlier as CD-ROM).
- The Trotsky Papers 1917-1922 / ed. and annotated by Jan. M. Meijer. Vol. 1-2. London [etc.] : Mouton, 1964-71. XV, 894 pp. (Russian series issued by the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis Amsterdam). This printed publication is based on parts of the archives which Leon Trotsky sold to the IISH (International Institute of Social History, Dutch name: Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis) in the mid-1930s; some further information is provided in the chapter on the IISH within TrotskyanaNet's section on Public Archives : Europe.