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Guide to the People's Educational Camp Society and Camp Tamiment Photographs PHOTOS.155

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.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Erika Gottfried

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 25, 2018
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: People's Educational Camp Society
Creator: Tamiment Library
Source - dnr: Nimberger, Carol
Source - dnr: Tishler, Anne
Title: People's Educational Camp Society and Camp Tamiment Photographs
Dates [inclusive]: 1920s-1960s , (Bulk 1940s-1950s)
Dates [bulk]: 1940-1960
Abstract: Camp Tamiment, a summer resort for socialists and their families, in near Bushkill, Pennsylvania, opened in 1921. Its purpose was to serve as a summer retreat for faculty, students, and friends of the Rand School of Social Science (a school for workers in New York City that was closely allied with the Socialist Party) and to provide a reliable source of revenue for the School. The Camp was also home to the Tamiment Playhouse, which became a major creative outlet for theater, dance, film, and television in the United States, nurturing major entertainment figures such as Danny Kaye. The Camp was a financial success from its outset, and had served as a major source of support for the Rand School for more than twenty years, when the Internal Revenue Service revoked the Camp's tax-exempt status in 1963. This action contributed directly to the Camp's demise; it closed in 1965 and was sold to commercial interests. The collection documents Camp buildings, facilities, and layout, and includes numerous portraits of Camp management, staff, and prominent guests. A significant number of the photographs are black and white postcards shot by two photographers Lewis "Snappy" Goren and Seymour Fischer for Camp guests and for the Camp itself.
Quantity: 1.75 Linear Feet
Quantity: (ca. 2,300 items); 8 x 10 , 5 x 7, and 2 x 3 black and white photographs; black and white negatives.
Call Phrase: PHOTOS.155

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Historical/Biographical Note

Camp Tamiment, a summer resort for socialists and their families, near Bushkill, Pennsylvania, on Lake Tamiment, in the Pocono Mountains, opened in the summer of 1921. Bordering the grounds of Unity House (the resort run by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, which had opened the previous year), the Camp was the brainchild of Mrs. Bertha Mailly, Executive Secretary of the Rand School of Social Science (a school for workers in New York City that was closely allied with the Socialist Party). It was founded for two purposes: to serve as a summer retreat--with educational and cultural offerings as well as recreation--for faculty, students, and friends of the School, and to provide a reliable source of revenue for the School. It was owned and operated by The People's Educational Camp Society (PECS), a corporation created by the School for the sole purpose of administering the Camp.

By the late1920s the Camp, which was intended for adults, came to include a bungalow colony, "Sandyville," on the same grounds, that housed families. It also was home to a theater, the Tamiment Playhouse, which became a major creative outlet for theater, dance, film, and television of the mid-twentieth century--in particular comedy. Actors such as Danny Kaye, Dick Shawn, Bea Arthur, Imogene Coca, and Carol Burnett, director and producer Max L. Liebman, choreographers and dancers such as Jerome Robbins and Anita Alvarez, and writers Woody Allen and Neil Simon are a small sample of the major entertainment figures nurtured at Camp Tamiment.

When it opened, the Camp was heralded as the "largest summer school and camp for workers in the world." But though summer classes were held at the Camp through the 1930s, they steadily lost their popularity as an attraction. Increasingly the Camp drew a more middle-class clientele and came to resemble a mainstream resort.

From its beginning Camp Tamiment was a successful--and profitable--enterprise. Indeed, it was able to provide the majority of the Rand School's financial support between 1937 and 1956. But Tamiment's success may have also been its downfall, for it attracted the attention of the Internal Revenue Service, which revoked the Camp's tax exempt status in 1963. This action contributed directly to the Camp's demise; two years afterwards it closed its doors and was sold to commercial interests. The Rand School, deprived of its major source of income, also folded soon thereafter.

Sources:

  • Martha LoMonoco. Every Week a Broadway Review, The Tamiment Playhouse, 1921-1960 (1992: Greenwood Press).
  • Squeri, Lawrence. Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania's Vacationland (2002, Pennsylvania University Press).

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Scope and Content Note

The collection documents in considerable detail the Camp buildings (interiors and exteriors) , facilities, and its layout (including aerial shots).

A significant number of the photographs in this collection are black and white postcards shot by two "official" Camp Tamiment photographersCLewis "Snappy" Goren and Seymour Fischer. Their names appear on the postcards along with the year the photograps were shot. Some of these postcards appear to have been produced "on demand" for a fee, for guests at the Camp, to take home as souvenirs, while others seem to have been shot to record Camp life, Camp events (including performances at the Tamiment Playhouse), Camp directors and management (among them Bertha Mailly and Ben Josephson), staff (kitchen and athletic) and prominent guests. At least one of these photographers Lewis Goren was in residence at the Camp every summer, for more than a decade. Goren and Seymour Fischer (who, as far as is known, did not work together) also shot promotional photographs of the Camp that were used in its advertising and brochures; this work is also represented in the collection. Other photographers' work in the collection includes that of Ezra Stoller.

Arrangement

Chronological series is arranged by year and decade; topical series is arranged alphabetically.

Organized into 2 series:

Missing Title

  1. I, Chronological
  2. II, Topical

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Josephson, Ben, 1895-1980 -- |v Portraits
  • Mailly, Bertha -- |v Portraits
  • Stoller, Ezra.
  • Fischer, Seymour.
  • Goren, Lewis M.
  • Nimberger, Carol
  • Tishler, Anne

Document Type

  • Transparencies.
  • Color photographs.
  • Black-and-white negatives.
  • Black-and-white photographs.

Subject Organizations

  • Camp Tamiment (Pa.)
  • People's Educational Camp Society

Subject Topics

  • Summer resorts -- Pennsylvania -v Pictorial works.
  • Socialists -- United States -x Recreation -v Pictorial works.

Subject Places

  • Lake Tamiment (Pa.).
  • Pocono Mountains (Pa.).
  • Bushkill (Pa.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Because of the assembled nature of this collection, copyright status varies across the collection. Copyright is assumed to be held by the original creator of individual items in the collection; these items are expected to pass into the public domain 120 years after their creation. Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from this collection.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Tamiment Playhouse Photographs (Photographs 041)

People's Educational Camp Society Records (Tamiment 007.4)

Rand School of Social Science Records (Tamiment 007)

Ben Josephson Papers (Tamiment 084)

Tamiment Playhouse Records (Tamiment 107)

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu, (212) 998-2630 with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in this collection have been compiled by the Tamiment Library. These photographs were separated from related manuscript collections in the in Tamiment Library and gathered together to form an artificial collection. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 1963.001, NPA.2005.031, and NPA.2001.104.

Photographs were donated by Carol Nimberger, daughter of Arthur Rosenberg, in 2008. Films and video were donated by Anne Tishler in 2000. The accession number associated with these gifts is 2018.017.

Processing Information

Photographs, films, and one VHS tape were integrated with Series II: Topics February 2018.

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Container List

Series I: Chronological

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 1920s
1920s
Box: 1 Folder : 2 1920s[?]
ca.1920s
Box: 1 Folder : 3 1933
1933
Box: 1 Folder : 4 1934
1934
Box: 1 Folder : 5 1935
1935
Box: 1 Folder : 6 1936
1936
Box: 1 Folder : 7 1937
1937
Box: 1 Folder : 8 1938
1938
Box: 1 Folder : 9 1939
1939
Box: 1 Folder : 10 1930s?
ca.1930s
Box: 1 Folder : 11 1940s
1940s
Box: 1 Folder : 12 1940s?
ca.1940s
Box: 1 Folder : 13 1940
1940
Box: 1 Folder : 14 1941
1941
Box: 1 Folder : 15 1942
1942
Box: 1 Folder : 16 1946
1946
Box: 1 Folder : 17 1947
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 18 1948
1948
Box: 1 Folder : 19 1949
1949
Box: 2 Folder : 20 1950s
1950s
Box: 2 Folder : 21 1950s?
ca.1950s
Box: 2 Folder : 22 1950
1950
Box: 2 Folder : 23 1952
1952
Box: 2 Folder : 24 1953
1953
Box: 2 Folder : 25 1955
1955
Box: 2 Folder : 26 1956
1956
Box: 2 Folder : 27 CIO and AFL Luncheon at Clubhouse
Aug 8, 1956
Box: 2 Folder : 28 1957
1957
Box: 2 Folder : 29 1958
1958
Box: 2 Folder : 30 Eighth Annual Danny Kaye Golf Tournament
1959
Box: 2 Folder : 31 1959
1959
Box: 2 Folder : 32 1960
1960
Box: 2 Folder : 33 1961
1961
Box: 2 Folder : 34 1962
1962
Box: 2 Folder : 35 1963
1963
Box: 2 Folder : 36 1964
1964
Box: 2 Folder : 37 1960s?
ca. 1960s
Box: 2 Folder : 38 Camp Tamiment Picture Postcards and Illustrated Brochures
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 39 Negatives: 1940s?; 1948
ca.1940s
Box: 2 Folder : 40 Negatives: 1930s? 1940s?
ca.1930s- 1940s

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Series II: Topics

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 41 Aerial Shots
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 42 Ben Josephson Award
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 43 Buildings and Grounds
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 44 Buildings and Grounds—Clubhouse
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 45 Buildings and Grounds—Construction of
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 46 Buildings and Grounds—Construction of –General
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 47 Buildings and Grounds—Construction of—Golf Course—Hole #14
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 48 Buildings and Grounds—Lake Views
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 49 Buildings and Grounds—Laundry Room
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 50 Buildings and Grounds—Prints, Drawings and Architectural Renderings
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 51 Buildings—Interiors
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 52 Bus Stop
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 53 Conference, 1949
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 54 Hillquit Memorial
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 55 Performances
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 56 Portraits
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 57 Portraits—including Bertha Mailly and Ben Josephson
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 58 Promotional Materials
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 59 Recreation and Activities
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 60 Recreation and Activities--Golfers
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 61 Scenic Views with Campers
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 62 Staff
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 63 Tamiment Forum
1955
Box: 5 Folder : 64 Tamiment Forum
1961
Box: 5 Folder : 65 Tamiment Meetings and Lectures at Camp Tamiment (dated)
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 66 Tamiment Meetings and Lectures at Camp Tamiment (undated)
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 67 Tamiment Social and Economic Institute—Book Award
1950
Box: 5 Folder : 68 Unidentified
undated
Box: 6 Folder : 1-6 Camp Tamiment photographs by Arthur Rosenberg, group photos, postcards, brochure
1925-1950
Box: 7 Camp Tamiment audiovisual materials

Conditions Governing Access

Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact Tamiment Library with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

1940-1952

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Unprocessed

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 Glass negatives

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