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Guide to the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers TAM.118

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Martha Foley, 1985

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 14, 2021
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited to reflect incorporation of material found in repository and updated administrative information, edited by Jasmine Sykes-Kunk for compliance with DACS and ACM Required Elements for Archival Description Edited by Laura Juliano to reflect the rehousing of materials.  Edited by Rachel Mahre to revise laudatory language in the Biographical Note.  , June 2014 , May 2019 , March 2020 , May 2021

Scope and Content Note

The Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, Microfilm Edition, contains correspondence, biographical sketches, autobiographical notes, telegrams, published and unpublished articles, speeches and poems, diaries, itineraries, clippings, programs, invitations, course materials, documents pertaining to legal proceedings and files produced by various government agencies. Printed materials are also included, among them election campaign literature, broadsides, handbills and posters, annotated books, pamphlets and articles, clippings, galley proofs for The Alderson Story, and several copies of sheet music for "The Rebel Girl" by Joe Hill, including a copy in Russian.

Throughout her life Flynn kept scrapbooks. The earliest contain newspaper accounts of her speeches. Later ones include her traveling schedules and more detailed evidence of her activities including handbills, invitations and programs to events at which she was a featured speaker, or which she attended on behalf of the CPUSA.

From time to time Flynn made autobiographical notes with the intention of organizing a second volume to follow The Rebel Girl, which covers her life story only up to 1926. These autobiographical notes, summarizing important phases of her life history, have been placed chronologically throughout the collection as she wrote them.

Notable correspondents in represented in the collection include: John Abt, Herbert Aptheker, Roger Baldwin, Ella Reeve Bloor, Benjamin Davis, Eugene V. Debs, Eugene Dennis, Marguerite DeSilver, Mary Dreier, Joseph Ettor, Marie Equi, William Z. Foster, Arturo Giovanitti, Mike Gold, Emma Goldman, Alice Hamilton, William D. Haywood, John Haynes Holmes, Claudia Jones, Helen Keller, Vito Marcantonio, Robert Minor, Tom Moody, and Art Young.


The collection is organized into nine series (series 1-8 and part of series 9 have been microfilmed):

I. Family and Early Life, 1896-1907

II. The Rebel Girl and the Industrial Workers of the World, 1907-1917

III. Defense Activities, 1917-1927; IV. Sojourn in the West, 1927-1936

V. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn's "Second Life," 1937-1952

VI. Smith Act Defense, 1951-1955

VII. Alderson Penitentiary, 1955-1957

VIII. Final Years, 1957-1964

IX. Files by Obtained Rosalyn Baxandall and Helen Camp under the Freedom of Information Act.

X. Addendum.