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Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Reference Center for Marxist Studies Pamphlet Collection PE.043

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 Adrien Hilton

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 30, 2018
Description is in English

Scope and Content Note

The Reference Center for Marxist Studies Pamphlet Collection contains over 10,000 pamphlets and nearly every pamphlet published by the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). It also includes pamphlets published by hundreds of organizations affiliated with or of interest to the CPUSA. The pamphlets range in date from the late 19th century through to 2004, with the bulk published between 1940-1975. Prominently featured are hundreds of pamphlets from International Publishers, New Century Publishers, New Outlook Publishers, and Workers Library Publishers, all affiliated with the CPUSA. There are a sizable number of pamphlets published by the Novosti Press Agency Publishing House (Moscow) as well as the Party's newspaper, the , Daily Worker, later titled the  Daily World, Party-associated cultural journal  Masses and Mainstream, and the Party's monthly journal  Political Affairs. Other publishers with pamphlets in the collection include Appeal to Reason, Charles H. Kerr and Company, New England Free Press, and Pioneer Publishers. Unions represented in the collection both as subjects, but also as publishers include, but are not limited to: the American Federation of Labor, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the International Fur and Leather Workers Union, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, the National Maritime Union, the United Automobile Workers, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). The pamphlets are arranged by subject, designated by the Reference Center. Topics include: academic freedom, African-Americans, anti-communism (including the Smith Act and the United States Internal Security Act of 1950, aka the McCarran Act), civil rights, communism, fascism, Jews (including Jews in the Soviet Union, and the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg), labor and labor unions, peace, the Spanish Civil War, the Vietnam War, women, World War I and World War II, and youth and youth organizations. There are files on countries from around the world, with pamphlets published by the Communist Parties of Canada, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, as well as on Chile, China, Cuba, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), North Korea, and Vietnam. Each file contains anywhere from one pamphlet up to thirty on a given topic. On certain topics, folders contain other printed ephemera such as fliers, brochures, papers, constitutions, and newspaper clippings.

The collection is a rich source of information about the CPUSA, their writers and leaders, as well as their affiliate organizations, including the various incarnations of the Young Communist League, the Civil Rights Congress, and the International Workers Order. Pamphlets are illustrative and highlight positions that the CPUSA took on most of the major events of the 20th century. The Collection contains pamphlets written by Herbert Aptheker, Earl Browder, Georgi Dimitrov, William Z. Foster, Gus Hall, James Jackson, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Robert Minor, George Morris, Pettis Perry, Paul Robeson, and Henry Winston, among countless others. There are pamphlets from the Jefferson School of Social Science (New York, N.Y.) and the Party's youth organization from 1970-1984, the Young Workers Liberation League. There are also pamphlets on and published by organizations such as the the Industrial Workers of the World and the League for Industrial Democracy. A majority of the pamphlets in the collection were published by presses or organizations based in New York, NY.

Each topic is listed as a series within the collection. Certain topics were selected by the processing archivist for further documentation. Pamphlets within these folders are listed and searchable by author, title, and publisher. Roughly half of the pamphlets within the collection are listed at the item level. However, the RCMS often put multiple copies of pamphlets within numerous folders. If possible to identify, the processing archivist did not repeat the pamphlet listing.


The Reference Center for Marxist Studies (RCMS) Pamphlet Collection consists of over 10,000 pamphlets that are arranged alphabetically by subject. Subject headings were designated by the RCMS and retained in the arrangement of the collection. Each subject heading is a Series. Within each Series, the author, title, and publisher of only selected pamphlets are listed. Please note that not every pamphlet within the collection is listed.