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Guide to the Nelson Frank Papers TAM.060

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 Tamiment staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 27, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

The papers include correspondence, scrapbooks, clippings, manuscripts, biographical materials, printed materials, photographs, research notes and subject files. There are materials on the Rosenberg trial and the grand jury indictment against Jack and Myra Sobel. Writings include an unpublished article, "The Red Spy Network in America," and articles for the New York World-Telegram,  Life and  Fortune. Correspondents include Solon De Leon, Granville Hicks, and Frederick Woltmann. Research files deal with labor unions, especially communist influence therein, communism, "communist front" organizations, communist espionage activities and the development of U.S. leftist parties. See the container list for box level descriptions, noting that where names and subjects are listed without further description, they may refer either clippings, NF notes and writings, printed ephemera, internal documents, sometimes correspondence, or any combination therof.

Correspondence from the 1930s is mostly related to Frank's ownership of bookstore[s?], along with correspondence with author Granville Hicks (1932-1940), while his 1940s correspondence principally relates to his work as a labor columnist and contains comments on hist articles from union officials. In later years, his correspondence principally consists of letters from publishers commenting on his ideas for articles, including a few letter from historian Arthur Schlesinger. There is also a file of correspondence from Frederick Woltman, recipient of a Pulitzer prize and also a writer for the World-Telegram, some of whose files on labor and communism seem to be a part of Frank's papers, as Woldman had a major stroke about 1950, and retired to Florida, leaving most of hist files at the newspaper. Files relating to espionage include Elizabeth Bently, the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers and Klaus Fuchs. There is also a separate file on entertainer Harry Belafonte. There are also files on the development and structure of the CPUSA and the Socialist Labor Party, including minutes from SLP meetings in the 1920s and from the CPUSA's 1945 convention, a 1937 CPUSA membership book and lists of Party members. There are also a few routine letters by Solon De Leon, son of SLP founder Daniel De Leon.

Note: Additional scope and contents information is contained in an eleven page (double-spaced) preliminary inventory conducted around the time the collection was received, which is available at the Library.


The collection has been arranged into two series. The collection has not been arranged by an archivist on the box level.