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Guide to the Robert Reed: Northwest Volunteers Research Project Photographs ALBA.PHOTO.005

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Gail Malmgreen

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 19, 2017

Historical/Biographical Note

Robert Reed (1914-2005) was an Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran, born in Rodney, Texas, who spent much of his later life in the Seattle area. He served in the U.S Army during World War II, and after the War was a Communist Party activist in Detroit. He eventually earned a Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Washington, following which he directed a service center for residents of a low-income housing community.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Reed decided, along with fellow veteran Oiva Halonen (1912-1981), to undertake a history of Spanish Civil War volunteers with some association to the Pacific Northwest (specifically from the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington). They wished to obtain biographical information on volunteers who either lived in the region before they went to Spain, or who settled there at a later point in their lives. Halonen died in 1981 but Reed continued with this project until its completion in 1994.

In the process of obtaining biographical, photographic, and other research material on these individual veterans, Reed was in regular contact with ALBA archivist Victor Berch at Brandeis University, and received research assistance from several others, particularly University of Washington historian Joan Ullman, student assistant Jeremy Egolf, and Linn Shapiro, who obtained important material from the National Archives. Ultimately, documentary material was collected on over 100 volunteers with a definite presence in the Pacific Northwest at some point in their lives, along with a list of 19 other volunteers whose connections were less clear. Reed completed his research at the beginning of 1994, and made a few additions and corrections in 1995, whereupon he deposited these materials in both the Abraham Lincoln Brigade archives and the University of Washington archives.

For additional information on many of the the Pacific Northwest volunteers pictured in this collection, see the biographical files in the Robert Reed Northwest Volunteers Research Project Records (ALBA 82).