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Guide to the Intercollegiate Socialist Society Records TAM.048

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
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tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment Library Staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 26, 2019
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated to include materials found in repository, and updated by Amy C. Vo to reflect container list changes due to rehousing, 2014 , March 2019

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Intercollegiate Socialist Society (U.S.)
Title: Intercollegiate Socialist Society Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1900-1921
Abstract: The Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS), an on-campus student and faculty organization, was established in New York in 1905. The ISS established numerous study and reading groups, sponsored rallies and lecture engagements for prominent socialists, published book lists and pamphlets relating to a variety of socialist issues and held occasional national meetings and annual conventions. In 1921, the ISS changed its name to the League for Industrial Democracy so as to reflect its then older constituency and broader objectives. Harry W. Laidler was the organizing secretary of the ISS from 1910 to 1921 and the executive director of the League for Industrial Democracy from 1921 to 1956. The collection includes: correspondence, financial and membership records, executive committee minutes, organizing secretary reports, pamphlets, booklets, office materials, Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1908-1912, and newspaper clippings.
Quantity: 4.5 Linear Feet in 9 manuscript boxes.
Location: Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.
Language: Materials are in English.
Call Phrase: TAM.048

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Historical Note

The Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS) was established by a prominent group of socialists in New York in 1905. Among the founding members of the ISS were James Graham Phelps Stokes, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William English Walling, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Leonard D. Abbott, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, B. O. Flowers, Clarence Darrow, and Oscar Lovell Triggs. The ISS was organized for the purpose of promoting the study and advocacy of socialism among college students and faculty members. During its most productive years, the ISS had active chapters on many campuses across the country, particularly in the eastern and Midwestern states. As a socialist educational organization, the ISS established numerous study and reading groups, sponsored rallies and lecture engagements for prominent socialists, published book lists and pamphlets relating to a variety of socialist issues, and held occasional national meetings and annual conventions. In 1921, the ISS changed its name to the League for Industrial Democracy so as to reflect its then older constituency and broader objectives.

Sources:

  • The Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1905-1921: Origins of the Modern American Student Movement/ Max Horn. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1979. 259 p.

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Scope and Contents

The Intercollegiate Socialist Society Records, 1900-1921, originate from the papers of Harry W. Laidler. (Laidler was the organizing secretary of the ISS from 1910 to 1921 and the executive director of the League for Industrial Democracy from 1921 to 1956.) The collection consists five series, divided into 29 subject files (some contain more than one folder of material), including correspondence; financial and membership records; Executive Committee minutes; Organizing Secretary reports; printed, mimeographed, and office materials; and newspaper clippings.

The contents of each subject file have been arranged chronologically, with all undated items placed at the end of the file. Each subject file has been assigned a frame number and has been cited in the complete reel list which follows this description of the arrangement of the collection. In the representative frame number, XII:1, the number "1" stands for the first subject file, while the roman numeral "XII" indicates that the ISS Records are the 12th of the 19 collections in the microfilm set Socialist Collections in the Tamiment Library, 1872-1956.

The second largest quantity of records in this collection is the correspondence (XII:1). Most of the correspondence covers the period, 1904 1910, although there are several items for 1912 and 1918. The correspondence contains information about the establishment of the ISS, activities of various ISS chapters, and routine organizational matters, such as sponsoring fund raising drives and scheduling speaking events and special conferences. Among the most prominent correspondents in this file are Harry W. Laidler, Upton Sinclair, William English Walling, James Graham Phelps Stokes, M. R. Holbrook, William Feigenbaum, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, W. J. Ghent, and John Spargo.

Two important, though not sizable, files in this collection are the Executive Committee minutes and the organizing Secretary reports. The Executive Committee minutes (XII:7) contain informative reports on ISS activities and proposed policy resolutions. This is undoubtedly the most complete set of Executive Committee minutes in existence, although some minutes are missing. The organizing Secretary reports (XII:8) document many of the activities which occurred in the ISS chapters throughout the country. These reports, which were written by Harry W. Laidler, also contain information about membership, new chapters, special events relating to the ISS, and financial matters. It should be emphasized that these reports are incomplete for the period covered in this file.

The printed, mimeographed, and office material (XII:9 XII:27) constitute the largest group of records in this collection. These papers are actually the contents of several ISS scrapbooks, which were compiled by Harry W. Laidler. The materials consist of memoranda, pamphlets, form letters, annual convention reports, lecture announcements, press releases, statements, and miscellaneous printed matter. These items have been arranged chronologically by year, month, and day, with undated items placed at the end of each year. The pamphlets and leaflets in these files have been bibliographically cited in the complete reel list under the particular file in which they are located.

This collection also contains most issues of the Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1908-1912, and a large number of newspaper clippings pertaining to the ISS. Serving as the major serial publication of the ISS during its formative period, the  Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society(XII:28) offers information about major policy developments and activities of the organization. The newspaper clippings (XII:29) were taken from a variety of socialist and non-socialist newspapers during the period, 1906 1918. These clippings contain information about the ISS's response to World War I, the ISS's idealistic visions of a socialist millennium, Rose Pastor Stokes and the controversy over distributing birth control information, the ISS's position regarding the 1912 and 1916 Presidential campaigns, and the important developments occurring at ISS meetings and quest lectures.

Arrangement

Folders are generally arranged chronologically with the exception of Series II which is arranged topically. Arranged into six series:

Series I. Correspondence

Series II. Executive Committee & Administrative Materials

Series III. Printed, Mimeographed, and Office Materials

Series IV. Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society

Series V. Newspaper Clippings

Series VI. Photographs

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Laidler, Harry W. (Harry Wellington), 1884-1970
  • Ghent, William J. (William James), 1866-1942
  • Holbrook, M. R.
  • Feigenbaum, William M., 1886-1949
  • Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911
  • Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
  • Walling, William English, 1877-1936
  • Stokes, James Graham Phelps, 1872-1960
  • Spargo, John, 1876-1966

Document Type

  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Press releases.
  • Periodicals.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)

Subject Organizations

  • Intercollegiate Socialist Society (U.S.)
  • League for Industrial Democracy

Subject Topics

  • Socialism -- United States.
  • Student movements.

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Administrative Information

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 1900-1921, are expected to enter the public domain in 2042.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Intercollegiate Socialist Society Records; TAM 048; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

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

Harry Laidler Papers (TAM 047)

Harry Laidler Photographs (PHOTOS 009)

Film R-7124, in the Tamiment Library, 1872-1956 (Film R-7124)

Film R-7124, in the Tamiment Library, 1872-1956: a Guide to the Microfilm Edition.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Due to the fragile nature of the original materials, researchers must use the microfilmed version; microfilm call number is Film R-7124, Reels 27-28. Series VI: Photographs is not available on microfilm.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Possibly donated by Harry Laidler in 1970. The accession number associated with this collection is 1970.003.

Original correspondence, bulletins and pamphlets found in repository in May 2014 were added to this collection. The accession number associated with this material is 2014.089.

Processing Information

Decisions regarding arrangement, description, and physical interventions for this collection prior to 2019 are unknown. In 2019, materials were rehoused in new acid-free folders and boxes in preparation for offsite storage.

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Container List

Series I. Correspondence

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

1904
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Jan 1905-Jun 1905
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Jul 1905-Aug 1905
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Sep 1905-Nov 1905
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Dec 1905
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Jan 1906-Jun 1906
Box: 2 Folder : 1-2 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

Jul 1906-Dec 1906
Box: 2 Folder : 3-4 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

1907
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

1908
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

1909
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Correspondence

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:1

1910
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Correspondence
1912
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Correspondence
1918

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Series II. Executive Committee & Administrative Materials

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Financial Papers

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:2

1905-1917
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Account Books

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:3

1910-1912
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Membership, Members of the Executive Committee

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:4

1905-1921
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Membership, Number of Chapters and Members

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:5

1910-1917
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Membership, Socialists on University Faculties

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:6

1900-1920
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

Sep 12, 1905-Dec 1906
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

Apr 23, 1907-May 27, 1910
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

Sep 23, 1910-Nov 21, 1910
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

Jan 6, 1911-Apr 29, 1912
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

May 6, 1912-Dec 23, 1912
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Executive Committee Minutes

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:7

Jan 6, 1912-Apr 20, 1914
Box: 4 Folder : 4-5 Reports of Organizing Secretary (Incomplete)

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:8

1906-1921, undated

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Series III. Printed, Mimeographed, and Office Materials

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Contains:
- Books on Socialism. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 4pp.: 1905.
- Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 4pp.: [1905].
- Weeks, Rufus. The Most Interesting Phenomenon of the Twentieth Century. Danville, Illinois: Christian Socialist Printing Company, 8pp. Reprint from Newark Evening News.: 1905.
- Ford, E. B. You Must Do It. [Faribault, Minnesota]. 1p.: 1905
- Ford, Professor C. What Is Socialism? Who is a Socialist? np, 1p: [1905].

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:9

1905
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Contains:
- Patterson, Joseph Medill. Confessions of a Drone. Girard, Kansas: Appeal to Reason, [1906]. 14pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:10

1906
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Contains:
- Ross, E. A. Political Decay. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, [1907]. 4pp.
- Sinclair, Upton. What Life Means To Me. Girard, Kansas: Appeal to Reason, (1907]. l2pp.
- Intercollegiate Socialist Society. General Outline for a Course in the Study of Socialism, Suggested for Study Chapters of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1907. 4pp. (2 copies)

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:11

1907
Box: 4 Folder : 9 Contains:
- [Constitution of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society]. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1908. 8pp.
- A Few Socialists. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, [1908]. 4pp.
- [Leaflet on the New York chapter of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society]. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, New York Chapter, [1908]. 7pp.
- Spargo, John. Socialism and the Student. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, [1908]. 6pp.
- Studies in Socialism. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, New York Chapter, [1908]. 3pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 27, Frame XII:12

1908
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Contains:
- Kirkpatrick, George R. For the Educated Proletariat. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, (1909). 20pp.
- [Report by W. J. Ghent on the Intercollegiate Socialist Society]. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, October 1909. 8pp.
- Lee, Algernon. What Socialists Stand For. New York:
- Intercollegiate Socialist Society, (1909). 1pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:13

1909
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Contains:
- [Report by Algernon Lee on the Intercollegiate Socialist Society]. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1910. 8pp.
- [Report on the New York chapter of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society]. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1910. 7pp.
- Socialism and the Student. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1910. 7pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:14

1910
Box: 5 Folder : 3-4 Contains:
- Books on Socialism and Allied Subjects. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, May 1911. 11pp.
- Annual Statement of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1911. 16pp.
- Socialism and the Student. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, December 1911. 11pp.
- Study Chapters. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, December 1911. 8pp.
- Socialism and the Student. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, [1911]. 7pp.
- Ghent, W. J. To Skeptics and Doubters. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 1911. 32pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:15

1911
Box: 5 Folder : 5-6 Contains:
- Members of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, January 1912. 24pp.
- Courses in Socialism. General outline for Courses in the Study of Socialism Suggested for Study Chapters of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1912. 15pp.
- Annual Statement of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1912. 19pp.
- Books on Socialism and Allied Subjects. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, December 1912. 11pp.
- Study Chapters. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, March 1912. 8pp.
- Socialism and Present Day Politics. Cambridge: Harvard Socialist Club, October 1912. Harvard Socialist Tracts No. 2. 8pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:16

1912
Box: 5 Folder : 1-2
Box: 6 Folder : 3-4 Scrapbooks

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:17

Jan 1913-May 1919
Box: 6 Folder : 5-6 Scrapbooks:
- Annual Statement of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1913. 19pp.
- [Leaflet of worker songs]. np, (1913). 5pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:17

Jun 1913-Dec 1919
Box: 6 Folder : 7-8 Contains: Study Chapters. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, February 1914. 8pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:18

Jan 1914-Oct 1914
Box: 7 Folder : 1 Contains:
- Books on Socialism and Allied Subjects. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, September 1914. 12pp.
- Socialism and Social Reform. Study Course. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, New York Chapter, [1914]. 4pp.
- Laidler, Harry W. The European War and Socialism. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, New York Chapter, November 1914. 12pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:18

Nov 1914-Dec 1914
Box: 7 Folder : 2-3 Contains: Books on Socialism and Allied Subjects. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, December 1915. 4pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:19

1915
Box: 7 Folder : 4-5 Contains:
- Schoonmaker, Edwin Davies. The Greatest Lesson of War. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 20pp. July 1916.
- Why Study Socialism? New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 20 pp., 1916.
- Study Course on Socialism. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 16 pp., 1916.
- Perky, Cheves West. Cooperation in the United States. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 31pp. [1916].
- Clark, Evans. Municipal Ownership in the United States. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 30pp. [1916].

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:20

1916
Box: 8 Folder : 1-3 Contains:
- How to Organize. Suggestions to Members of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 4 pp., September 1917.
- Membership List 1917 1918. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 20 pp., [1917].

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:21

1917
Box: 8 Folder : 4 Printed, Mimeographed, and Office Materials.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:22

1918
Box: 8 Folder : 5 Contains:
- Books on Socialism and Allied Subjects. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 16 pp., February 1919
- Laidler, Harry W. Study Courses in Socialism. New York: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 32 pp., February 1919

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:23

1919
Box: 8 Folder : 6 Printed, Mimeographed, and Office Materials

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:24

1920
Box: 8 Folder : 7 Printed, Mimeographed, and Office Materials

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:25

1921
Box: 8 Folder : 8 Contains:
London, Jack. What Life Means To Me. Princeton: Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 15 pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:26

undated
Box: 8 Folder : 9 Anti-Socialist Literature, contains:
- Clum, Woodworth. Making Socialists Out of College Students. A Story of Professors and other Collegians Who Hobnob With Radicals. Los Angeles: Better American Federation of California, 23 pp.

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:27

1920
Box: 9 Folder : 7 Intercollegiate Socialist Society Event Poster
undated

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Series IV: Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 9 Folder : 1 Bulletin of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, contains:
Dec 1, 1908;
Mar-May, Oct-Nov 1909;
Jan-Apr, Oct-Nov 1910;
Dec 1910, Jan-May, Oct-Nov 1911;
Dec 1911-Dec 1912

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:28

1908-1912

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Series V. Newspaper Clippings

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 9 Folder : 2 Newspaper Clippings

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:29

Sep 1906-Dec 1910
Box: 9 Folder : 3 Newspaper Clippings

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:29

Jan 1911-Dec 1912
Box: 9 Folder : 4 Newspaper Clippings

General note

Film R-7124, Reel 28, Frame XII:29

Jan 1911-Dec 1916
Box: 9 Folder : 5 Newspaper Clippings
Sep 1913-Dec 1916
Box: 9 Folder : 6 Newspaper Clippings
Dec 1916-Sep 1918, undated

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Series VI. Photographs, Sep 1916

Container 1     Title Date
Flat-File-Folder: 2, Tray 2 Oversize

Scope and Content Note

Not microfilmed.

Sep 1916

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