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Guide to the Harry Randall: Fifteenth International Brigade Films and Photographs ALBA.PHOTO.011

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 Elizabeth Compa, Evan Daniel, Laura Helton, Julie Kessler, Gail Malmgreen, Porsche Martin and Jessica Weglein

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 11, 2018
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content Note

The Harry Randall: 15th International Brigade Photograph Collection spans the period from August 1937 to September 1938 and contains 1,832 black and white images taken by members of the Photo Unit of the 15th International Brigade during their tour of duty in Spain. The collection is comprised of 3 reels, 1,534 original negatives (ranging in size from 1.1 x 1.5 to 3 x 4.25 inches), and 626 prints (ranging in size from 1.5 x 1 to 8 x 10 inches). Some of the prints came directly from the albums created by the Photo Unit; original numbers and notations are in Randall's hand and the black paper from the photo album still adheres to the back of the prints. The collection also includes 348 copy negatives of which 203 were acquired by ALBA in the 1990s from the International Brigade Archives, housed in the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, Moscow. A number of the images are available in more than one format. Consult the collection inventory for details.

The collection documents the activities of the battalions that made up the 15th International Brigade including the American Lincoln and Washington Battalions (commonly known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade); the British Battalion; the Canadian MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion; the Dimitroff Battalion (volunteers from Yugoslavia); and the 24th Spanish Battalion (volunteers from Cuba). The images capture the daily life of the volunteers in combat, in the camps, and in the towns, villages, and across the rugged terrain where the Brigade trained and participated in the fighting. In addition, the collection documents political assemblies, congresses, celebrations and the everyday activities of the Spanish populace. Also included are images of visiting dignitaries, journalists and observers including Earl Browder, American military attache Stephen Fuqua, Robert Minor, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Meyer Levin and Joseph North.


This collection is organized into six series based on format, with the photographs series representing the five original subseries (A-E) established by the Photographic Unit.

Within each subseries, images are arranged in roughly chronological order.

Missing Title

  1. Series A: Miscellaneous, August 1937 - May 1938
  2. Series B: Individual Portraits, September 1937 September 1938
  3. Series C: Group Portraits, September 1937 August 1938
  4. Series D: Miscellaneous, September 1937 June 1938; August 1938
  5. Series E: Miscellaneous, January 1938 September 1938
  6. Series F. Films

NOTE: Use ALBA PHOTO # for ordering and physical retrieval of prints and negatives. Negatives in this collection from the International Brigades Archives: Selected Images are housed in ALBA PHOTO #177.