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Guide to the Jefferson School of Social Science (New York, N.Y.) Records and Indexes TAM.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.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Peter Filardo

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 06, 2018
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jefferson School of Social Science (New York, N.Y.)
Source: Rand School of Social Science
Title: Jefferson School of Social Science Records and Indexes
Dates [inclusive]: 1931-1958
Dates [bulk]: 1944-1955
Abstract: The Jefferson School of Social Science (1943-1956) was a Marxist adult education institute in New York City associated with the Communist Party, USA. Among the faculty were a number of leftist academics dismissed from the City University of New York, including the school's director, Howard Selsam. It had as many as 5000 students enrolled per term, but the Subversive Activities Control Board forced its closing in 1956. The school published course-related pamphlets and its Librarian, Henry Black, accumulated a 30,000 volume library. The collection consists of Jefferson School materials, course outlines and related readings, bibliographies, pamphlets published by the school, unpublished typescripts, and material from the Workers School and from the Communist Party. It also includes the original indexes to the Jefferson School Library's periodical and pamphlet holdings.
Quantity: 8 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 11 card trays)
Location: Card trays are located in the card catalog outside the conference room.
Call Phrase: TAM.005

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Historical/Biographical Note

The Jefferson School of Social Science (1943-1956) was a Marxist adult education institute in New York City. Like its predecessor, the Workers School (1923-1943), it was associated with the Communist Party, USA. The school occupied a nine story building at 575 Sixth Avenue, offered hundreds of courses to as many as 5000 students each term, and published course-related pamphlets. Librarian Henry Black accumulated a 30,000 volume library, and compiled course-related bibliographies. Among the faculty were a number of leftist academics dismissed from the City University of New York, including the school's director, Howard Selsam. The courses ranged from the year-long Institute of Marxist Studies to cultural and self-improvement offerings. The Subversive Activities Control Board's designation of the school as a Communist-controlled organization, led to the closing of the school in the fall of 1956.

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    Scope and Content Note

    Series I principally consists of Jefferson School materials, but also contains some material from the Workers School and from the Communist Party, and includes course outlines and related readings, bibliographies, pamphlets published by the school, unpublished typescripts, correspondence and unpublished writings of Henry Black, speeches by William Z. Foster, including several given along with William F. Dunne in 1931 at the Workers School's National Training School (for Communist Party cadre), student scrapbooks (steel strike, 1949), pamphlets and briefs concerning the Subversive Activities Control Board's decision to list the school as a Communist-front organization, and a file of Communist Party Farm Commission minutes and other documents from 1946. The authored pamphlets include works by Herbert Aptheker, Howard Selsam and Doxey A. Wilkerson. Unpublished writings include Henry Black's book-length Fundamentals of Subject Cataloging, A Guide to Marxist Studies (a bibliographical introduction) by the editorial board of Science & Society, and The Seattle General Strike of 1919, an apparently contemporaneous participants' account. There is also an incomplete set of the Library Service to Labor Newsletter (ALA), 1949-1954.

    Series II contains the following seven indexes (on 3x5 card files) to the Jefferson School Library's periodical and pamphlet holdings (with the bulk of the entries covering the years 1944-1955): Earl Browder Articles, 1922-1944; Pamphlets; Periodicals; Poems; Portraits (Photographs); Reviews (Drama, Motion Pictures); Short Stories.

    Arrangement

    Organized into two series, each arranged alphabetically: I. Records; II. Indexes to Jefferson School Library Periodicals and Pamphlets.

    Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject/author heading within each series.

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    Access Points

    Subject Names

    • Aptheker, Herbert, 1915-2003.
    • Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964
    • Black, Henry. Fundamentals of subject cataloging.
    • Selsam, Howard, 1903-
    • Wilkerson, Doxey Alphonso, 1905-1993.
    • Foster, William Z., 1881-1961.
    • Dunne, William Francis, 1887-1953.

    Document Type

    • Correspondence.
    • Pamphlets.
    • Scrapbooks.
    • Typescripts.

    Subject Organizations

    • Communist Party of the United States of America. Farm Commission
    • United States. Subversive Activities Control Board
    • Jefferson School of Social Science (New York, N.Y.)
    • Rand School of Social Science

    Subject Topics

    • Communism -- United States.
    • General Strike, Seattle, Wash., 1919.
    • Right and left (Political science)
    • Subject cataloging -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
    • Adult education -- New York (State) -- New York.

    Subject Places

    • New York (N.Y.)

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    Administrative Information

    Custodial History

    Collection was part of the Rand School Archives, and may have been donated by Henry Black, the Jefferson School's librarian. In 1963 the collection was transferred to the Tamiment Library by members of the People's Education Camp Society, Inc. The accession number associated with this collection is 1963.010

    Conditions Governing Access

    Materials are open without restrictions.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Tamiment Library has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1931 to 1958, are expected to enter the public domain in 2079.

    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

    The William Francis Dunne Papers (Tamiment 145)

    The Francis Franklin Marxist Historical-Philosophical Manuscripts (Tamiment 182)

    * Jefferson School of Social Science. Records, 1942-1956. One reel of microfilm. (* at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Archives Division).

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Transfer from the Rand School Archives, 1963. Probably donated thereto by Henry Black, the Jefferson School librarian. The accession number associated with this collection is 1963.010

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    Container List

    Series I. Records

    Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
    Box: 1 Folder : 1 AFL-CIO Merger Convention, Excerpts from Resolutions; March 1, 1956
    1956
    Box: 1 Folder : 2 All-School Self-Critical Conference, Report; February 21, 1953
    1953
    Box: 1 Folder : 3 American History Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 4 Ancient Mediterranean World Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 5 Annual Reports
    1945-1947
    Box: 1 Folder : 6 Aptheker, Herbert: American Imperialism and White Chauvinism
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 7 Aptheker, Herbert: The Constitution of the United States
    ca.1954
    Box: 1 Folder : 8 Aptheker, Herbert: The Declaration of Independence
    ca.1954
    Box: 1 Folder : 9 Associated Farmers, Inc.: A Brief Summary (California anti-labor group); July 6, 1938
    1938
    Box: 1 Folder : 10 Balamuth, Louis: Atomic Power: Its History and Future
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 11 Black, Henry: Articles (unpublished ts): Agricultural Policy; Documentation; Indexing Costs
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 12 Black, Henry: Bibliographies, Readers Advisory
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 13 Black, Henry: Correspondence
    1944-1958
    Box: 1 Folder : 14 Black, Henry: Education Articles (unpublished ts)
    undated , 1957-1958
    Box: 1 Folder : 15 Black, Henry: Fundamentals of Subject Cataloging (unpublished, book-length typescript); May 4, 1905
    1951
    Box: 1 Folder : 16 Black, Henry: Fundamentals of Subject Cataloging - Outline, Research Notes
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 17 Black, Henry: Miscellaneous Notes & Unpublished Writings
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 18 Board of Trustees: Statement (announcing closing of the J.S.); November 27, 1956
    1956
    Box: 1 Folder : 19 Capitalism and the Class Struggle, Course Outline
    1949
    Box: 1 Folder : 20 Children: Conference on Ideological Needs of
    1951
    Box: 1 Folder : 21 China: Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 22 Coalition Politics and Electoral Problems, Selected Readings: Excerpts from U.S. Marxist Writings on Developments Between 1936 and 1950; October 1, 1954
    1954
    Box: 1 Folder : 23 Communist Manifesto, 100th Anniversary (Forum, Manhattan Center, NY). Includes speeches of William Z. Foster, J.S. Faculty; December 8, 1947
    1947
    Box: 1 Folder : 24 Communist Party and the Struggle for Peace, Democracy, Socialism: Curriculum
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 25 Communist Party USA, Cooperative Research Project on the Theory and Practice of (". . . to assemble. . .information and...analyses. . .for the legal defense of the several CP members facing deportation. . ."]
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 26 Course Descriptions (brief)
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 27 Cultural Departments at the Jefferson School: Some Critical Comments. . .; May 31, 1950
    1950
    Box: 1 Folder : 28 Davis, Benjamin J. Jr.: On the Struggle for Peace and Freedom
    ca.1956
    Box: 1 Folder : 29 Dunne, William F.: National Training School Lectures (labor topics); May 1, 1931
    1931
    Box: 1 Folder : 30 Economics: Course Outlines, Readings
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 31 Egypt, Modern: Preliminary Report to Dr. DuBois Seminar; March 2, 1953
    1953
    Box: 1 Folder : 32 Epstein, Irene: A Bibliography on the Negro Woman in the United States
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 33 Epstein, Irene and Doxey A. Wilkerson: Questions and Answers on the Woman Question; May 6, 1905
    1953
    Box: 1 Folder : 34 European History Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 35 Farm Commission, CPUSA: Internal Documents; September 1, 1946
    1946
    Box: 1 Folder : 36 Foster, William Z.: Guide for Study Groups and Self-Study on History of the Communist Party of the United States, Parts I & II
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 37 Foster, William Z.: National Training School Speeches (labor topics); Apr-May 1931
    1931
    Box: 1 Folder : 38 Human History Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 39 Imperialism, Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 40 Imperialism: Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 41 India and the Middle East: Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 42 Intelligence Theory and Practice as a Weapon Against the Negro People
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 43 Jackson, Jim: Forces of Progress in the South; February 1, 1955
    1955
    Box: 1 Folder : 44 Jews: Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 45 Jones, Claudia: An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman! [12 pp.]
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 46 Karlson, William: Discussion Manuscript on Child Development (book-length ts, unpublished); Notes on a ms on Child Development. . . by M.O. [critique]
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 47 Korea and United States Imperialism: A Selected List of Recent References; July 1, 1950
    1950
    Box: 1 Folder : 48 Labor Press: Significant Articles
    1936 , 1944-1946
    Box: 1 Folder : 49 Labor Research Association: Outlines for a History of American Workers
    1934
    Box: 1 Folder : 50 Labor Research, Reference Guides for (by Francis Gates - Univ of California, Berkeley Library); May 1, 1957
    1957
    Box: 1 Folder : 51 Latin America & Puerto Rico: Course Outlines, Study Materials
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 52 Lawson, Elizabeth: The American Standard of Living
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 52A Leaders of Their People: The Careers of Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Moranda Smith
    1953
    Box: 1 Folder : 53 Lenin's Imperialism, Study Guide for
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 54 Library Service to Labor Groups Case Studies 1 & 2 (Newark & Boston Public Libraries
    1948-1949
    Box: 1 Folder : 55 Library Service to Labor Newsletter (ALA) - incomplete
    1949-1954
    Box: 1 Folder : 56 Makarenko in the Soviet Press, Discussion On, 1950-1951 (issued by the Jefferson School Bookshop)
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 57 Marxism: Course Outlines and Related Readings
    undated
    Box: 1 Folder : 58 Marxism I: Science of Society - Course Outline; Fall 1949
    1949
    Box: 1 Folder : 59 Marxism II: Elements of Political Economy - Course Outline; Fall 1949
    1949
    Box: 1 Folder : 60 Marxism Leninism I; April 1, 1943
    1943
    Box: 2 Folder : 1 Marxist Studies, A Guide to ("Bibliographical Introduction" - a book-length typescript, unpublished) - written by the Editorial Board of Science & Society
    ca.1937
    Box: 2 Folder : 2 Marxist Studies, Institute of: Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 3 Mason, Chick: Sources of Our Dilemma: A Rejection of the Right-Opportunist, Left-Sectarian Explanation by Our Leadership [28 pp]; July 1, 1956
    1956
    Box: 2 Folder : 4 Mathematics and Science: Course Outlines & Related Readings
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 5 Medical Student Seminar: A Critique of the Bourgeois Concepts of Race and Constitution in Classical Medicine [81 pp.]. Presented at the J.S. Conference on Science & the Scientist in the Fight for Peace & Socialism; 23-25 Jun 1950
    1950
    Box: 2 Folder : 6 Miscellaneous
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 7 Miscellaneous Course Related & Other Mimeographed Reading Material
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 8 Negro Labor Since 1867, a Fact Sheet on; May 5, 1905
    1952
    Box: 2 Folder : 9 Negro People, 1619-1918, History of...Study Outline; April 22, 1905
    1939
    Box: 2 Folder : 10 The Negro Press; A Vital Democratic Heritage [7 pp.]
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 11 Negroes: Course Outlines and Related Readings
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 12 Paxton, Max T. On Comrade Jackson's Report: A Dissent; March 3, 1958
    1958
    Box: 2 Folder : 13 Philosophy Course Outlines & Related Readings
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 14 Philosophy, What Is?: Selectee Readings [48 pp]
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 15 Political Economy I; April 1, 1943
    1943
    Box: 2 Folder : 16 Political Economy I: Wages, Prices & Profits - Course Outline; May 2, 1905
    1949
    Box: 2 Folder : 17 Political Economy II; April 1, 1943
    1943
    Box: 2 Folder : 18 Political Economy Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 19 Political Economy Lessons 8 & 9 (Abridged) - Economic Crises
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 20 Political Science: Course Outlines, Glossary
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 21 Prago, Albert & George Siskind: Productive & Non-Productive Labor Under Capitalism
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 22 Psychology: Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 23 Railroad Strikes of 1877, 1886 (two typescripts)
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 24 Rozenberg, D.: Outline of Marx's Capital Volumes II & III
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 25 Russian, Reading
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 26 San Francisco and After (J.S. Forum, Town Hall, NY); May 25, 1945
    1945
    Box: 2 Folder : 27 Science Department: Toward an Understanding of the Human Brain
    ca.1953
    Box: 2 Folder : 28 The Science of Society: An Introduction to Marxism - Course Outline; May 2, 1905
    1949
    Box: 2 Folder : 29 Science of Society - Queens-Nassau Annexes of the J.S.
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 30 Seattle General Strike: An Account...Issued by the History Committee of the General Strike Committee [unpublished ts, 37 pp] Note: this appears to be a contemporary account.
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 31 Selsam, Howard: The Negro People in the United States: Facts for All Americans; May 6, 1905
    1953
    Box: 2 Folder : 32 Social Democracy, Bibliography on; May 1, 1951
    1951
    Box: 2 Folder : 33 Soviet Biology: From the Discussion of the Lysenko Report [49 pp]
    ca.1948
    Box: 2 Folder : 34 Soviet Union: Course Outlines and Related Reading
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 35 Spanish, Courses Taught in - Outlines
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 36 Stalin, Joseph: Study Guide for Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 37 Stalin on Capitalist Crisis and International Affairs, 1930-1939
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 38 Stalin's Economic Problems: Course Outline
    undated
    Box: 2 Folder : 39 Steel Strike (1949) - Student Scrapbooks, Bound; May 2, 1905
    1949
    Box: 2 Folder : 40 Steel Strike (1949) - Student Scrapbooks, Loose; May 2, 1905
    1949
    Box: 3 Folder : 1 Subversive Activities Control Board Case: Defense Briefs and Campaign Material
    1948-1955
    Box: 3 Folder : 2 Subversive Activities Control Board Case: Recommended Decision; December 29, 1954
    1954
    Box: 3 Folder : 3 Titoism: Course Outline; CPUSA Discussion Outline
    undated , 1949
    Box: 3 Folder : 4 Vila, William: Notes on the Puerto Rican Question; May 6, 1905
    1953
    Box: 3 Folder : 5 Vilner, Meir: The Cold War and the Question of the Yiddish Language in the USSR - Speech at the 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Israel; May 9, 1905
    1956
    Box: 3 Folder : 6 Vilner, Meir: Marxism, Humanism and Hyman Levy; May 1, 1958
    1958
    Box: 3 Folder : 7 Wallace, Henry: Debate on; May 1, 1905
    1948
    Box: 3 Folder : 8 Wieden, Peter: The Working Class and the Nation
    ca.1939
    Box: 3 Folder : 9 Wilkerson, Doxey A.: Class Forces in the Development of Free Public Education in the U.S.; December 1, 1955
    1955
    Box: 3 Folder : 10 Wilkerson, Doxey A.: The Historic Fight to Abolish School Segregation in the United States; May 7, 1905
    1954
    Box: 3 Folder : 11 Woman Question / Women: Course Outlines
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : 12 Zhadanov, A.: The International Situation
    undated

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    Series II. Indexes to Jefferson School Library Periodicals and Pamphlets

    Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 1 Browder, Earl: Articles, 1922-1944 (arranged chronologically)
    1922-1944
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 2 Pamphlets (by author)
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 3-7 Periodicals: Author Index
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 8 Poems (by author)
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 9 Portraits, Individuals (photographs)
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 10 Reviews: a. Drama; b. Motion Pictures (by title)
    undated
    Box: 3 Folder : Drawer 11 Short Stories (by author)
    undated

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