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Guide to the Communist Party of the United States of America Records TAM.132

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Jillian Cuellar, Peter Filardo, Stephanie Bennett, Margaret Fraser, Nancy Ng Tam, Hester Goodwin Stanley, Maggie Schreiner, Daniel Reisner, Michelle Dean, and Hanan Ohayon (March 2012). Edited to include accessioned materials, May 2014

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 04, 2014
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated administrative information  , July 2014

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Communist Party of the United States of America.
Title: Communist Party of the United States of America Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1892-2009
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1950-1990
Abstract: The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is a Marxist-Leninist political organization that was founded in Chicago in 1919. The CPUSA played a pivotal role in many significant political and social movements of the 20th century. Its Party platform focused largely on working class issues such as fair wages and unemployment, civil rights for racial and ethnic minorities, civil liberties for politically persecuted communities, economic justice for the poor, the unemployed and for immigrants, and international peace efforts. The Party’s work left an indelible mark in the arena of progressive politics and made it an influential force in the labor movement, particularly from the 1920s to the 1940s. Its varied political, social, and cultural initiatives attracted the support of a number of prominent artists, intellectuals, and activists, including Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Angela Davis. Though the CPUSA’s strength and size declined sharply following World War II and the advent of the Cold War and McCarthyism, it remains committed to socialism, peace, economic and social justice, and civil rights and liberties. The records of the Communist Party, USA provide vivid documentation of the organization’s trajectory from its birth in 1919 to the early 2000s. The collection includes a diverse mix of correspondence, convention and conference materials, essays and manuscripts, internal discussion documents, reports, speech transcripts, research files, printed ephemera, clippings, legal documents, and a wealth of personal papers. Though materials from as early as 1892 can be found in the collection, the bulk of the records were created between 1950 and 1990. A more comprehensive record of the CPUSA’s early 20th century activity can be found in the Files of the Communist Party of the USA in the Comintern Archives, 1919-1943 (Microfilm R-7548).
Quantity: 303.0 linear feet in 298 boxes.
Call Phrase: TAM.132
Sponsor: Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Council on Library and Information Services via the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.