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Guide to the Records of the American Defense Society
(bulk 1918-1920; 1935-1939)
  MS 14

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Melissa Haley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 19, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the views, aims, and internal workings of the American Defense Society, an early twentieth-century nationalist organization, based in New York City. The material dates from 1915 to 1942, and concerns many of the political, ideological, religious, and social debates and events of the time period. Popular topics of discussion include the first world war, preparedness, sedition and disloyalty, labor, immigration restriction, the Soviet Union and Bolshevism, socialism, civil liberties, the New Deal, FDR, and Judaism.

Nearly half of the American Defense Society Records consists of correspondenceâ??incoming and copies of outgoing letters, as well as internal communications among board members, officers, and members. In addition, the collection contains much printed material, especially pamphlets, periodicals, circulars, and newsletters, some of which were published by the society. Also included is material that documents the society's internal organization, such as meeting minutes, resolutions, committee lists, and financial records. Newspaper clippings collected by ADS concern topics of interest to the society and detail some of its activities.

Please take care when using this collection. Much of the material, such as outgoing copies of correspondence, is on brittle newsprint paper.


Within each series, material is arranged, for the most part, in chronological order.

The American Defense Society Records are arranged into the following four series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence, 1916-1942
  2. Series II. Organizational Material, 1917-1941
  3. Series III. Printed Material, 1915-1942
  4. Series IV. Newspaper Clippings, 1917-1938, undated