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

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 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 ArchivesSpace on July 24, 2019
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Heather Mulliner to include Jim West files from 2014 accession Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect incorporation of audio/visual and photographic materials Edited by Heather Mulliner to include 2018 accertion Edited by Rachel Searcy to reflect 2018 accretion  , February 2017 , October 2017 , May 2018 , April 2019

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open witout restriction with the exception of a small amount of material that is not described in the finding aid. This material is restricted until 2037.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Reference Center for Marxist Studies, and Longview Publishing company was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Communist Party of the United States of America; TAM 132; 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

See also the Communist Party of the USA Printed Ephemera Collection (PE 031)
Reference Center for Marxist Studies Pamphlet Collection (PE 043)
The Daily Worker and The Daily World Negatives Collection (PHOTOS 223.1)
The Daily Worker and The Daily World Photographs Collection (PHOTOS 223)
Communist Party of the United States of America Oral Histories (OH 065)
Jefferson School of Social Science Records and Indexes (TAM 005)
Files of the Communist Party of the USA in the Comintern Archives, 1919-1943 (Microfilm R-7548)
Central Control Commission records, CPUSA, ca.1929-1953 (Microfilm R-7821)
The  Daily Worker, 1924-1958 (Microfilm R-7083)
The  Daily World, 1972-1990 (Microfilm R-7084)

Researchers interested in the organizational files of the CPUSA should also consult the Daniel Rubin Papers (TAM 657). Rubin served as National Organizational Secretary of the Party, and his papers include additional Party administrative records not included in this collection.

See also the article by Michael Nash, Director of the Tamiment Library, Communist History at the Tamiment Library in  American Communist History, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2004, for additional information on the library's holdings.

Separated Materials

Serials found in this collection were removed and individually cataloged. They are accessible via NYU's online catalog, BobCat. Pamphlets found in this collection were removed and added to the Reference Center for Marxist Studies Pamphlet Collection (PE 043). They are arranged by topic.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

The majority of audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers. Materials that have not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Communist Party, USA Records were donated to the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives by the Communist Party, USA in the summer of 2006. The records were part of a larger donation that included the library of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies and the photo morgue of the Daily Worker and  Daily World. The collection was originally divided into multiple collections, which have since been reunited into the Communist Party, USA Records. The accession numbers associated with this collection include 2006.051, 2006.030, 2006.031, 2006.032, 2006.033, 2006.036, 2006.037, 2006.038, 2006.039, 2006.040, 2006.041, 2006.043, 2006.044, 2006.045, 2006.046, 2006.047, 2006.048, 2006.049, 2006.053, 2006.054, 2006.055, 2006.056, NPA.2006.105, 2007.014, and 2010.018.

Additional materials came in 2012 and 2013 from Roberta Wood. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 2012.073 and 2012.081. A gift of Lewis Moroze's papers came in 2009. The accession number associated with this gift is 2009.019. Gerald Meyer sent two internal documents in 2006. The accession number associated with this gift is 2014.033. Materials found in the repository were added to the collection in 2014. The accession numbers associated with these materials are 2014.009 and 2014.031. Roberta Wood donated two folders of Jim West's files on the Central Review Commission. The accession number associated with this gift is 2014.148. One box containing 50 audio cassette tapes largely related to James Jackson was found in repository in 2017. The accession number associated with these materials is 2017.061.

Recordings from the Communist Party of the United States Audio Collection (TAM 132.001) were incorporated into this collection in 2017. The accession numbers associated with these materials are 2014.029 and 2014.109. Communist Party Non-Print materials were also added to the collection in 2017. The accession number associated with these materials are 2006.017, 2006.011, NPA.2006.037, NPA.2006.047, NPA.2006.050, NPA.2006.078, and NPA.2006.088. Accession numbers related ot the Communist Party of the United States Posters and Broadsides Collection (GRAPHICS 024), which was incorporated into this collection in 2017, are NPA.2009.009, 2011.117, and 2014.177. Roberta Wood sent an additional donation of Illinois state district records in March 2018. The accession number associated with this gift is 2018.046. An accretion of 11 boxes of video recordings, Young Communist League Records, and Arnolod Becchetti office files were donated by the CPUSA in 2018. The accession number associated with this gift is 2018.056. An accretion of 1 box of notebooks from the Illinois district and a manuscript written by Josh Wishenky was donated in September 2018; the accession number associated with this gift is 2019.060.

Processing Information

Original folder titles were retained unless clarification was necessary or for the sake of consistency; however, the majority of these records were either loose or in unlabeled folders upon acquisition. Unless otherwise noted, arrangement of this collection was imposed by the archivist in the absence of original order.

The following collections were initially processed as discrete collections though they hold the same provenance as the rest of the Communist Party, USA records. They were integrated back into the collection according to the appropriate series or subseries. Their initial arrangement was retained.

Communist Party of the United States of America Poster and Broadside Collection (GRAPHICS.024)
Biographical Files on Communist Activists and Leaders (TAM 132.02)
W.E.B. Du Bois'  A Soliloquy on Viewing my Life from the Last Decade of its First Century and Publishing Correspondence (TAM 132.03)
James W. Ford Papers (TAM 132.06)
Robert Minor Papers (TAM 132.07)
Joseph North Papers (TAM 132.08)
Paul Robeson Clippings and Printed Ephemera (TAM 132.09)
Charles Emil Ruthenberg: Letters from Rachele Ragozin (TAM 132.10)
General Subject Files: Organizations, Individuals, Topics (TAM 132.11)
Progressive Activists and Organizations Subject Files (TAM 132.12)
Jim West:  70 Years of Communist Activism: Memoirs (TAM 132.13)
Henry Winston Prison Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers (TAM 132.14)
Lester Cole Correspondence (TAM 132.15)
Eugene Dennis Prison Letters (TAM 132.16)
Phil Bart Clippings Files (TAM 132.17)
 Daily World Clippings Files (TAM 132.18)
Rose Baron, Letters Received (TAM 132.19)
Middle East Clippings Files (TAM 132.20)
Chile Solidarity Collection (TAM 132.22)
Lithuanian American Activity and Organizations (TAM 132.23)
William L. Patterson Correspondence and Writings (TAM 132.24)
W.E.B. Du Bois Photographs Collection (PHOTOS 238)

In 2017 a donation of Jim West files on the Central Review Commission were added to Subseries III.E: Central Review Commission.

In 2017 the following collections were incorporated into the CPUSA Records (TAM 132): Communist Party of the United States of America Audio Collection (TAM 132.001), Communist Party of the United States of America Poster and Broadside Collection (GRAPHICS.024), and the Communist Party of the United States Non-Print Collection (TAM 132.003). Recordings in TAM 132.001 were previously arranged roughly by format. Many recordings from TAM 132.001 were incorporated into the existing arrangement of the CPUSA Records (TAM 132), while others were added to new series, Series XI: Broadcasts and Pubic Events and Series XIII: Collected Films and Audio Library. Posters in GRAPHICS.024 have been added to Series XII: Graphics and Artifacts as Subseries XII.B: Posters. Videos, photographs, films, and artifacts in the Communist Party Non-Print Collection (TAM 132.003), were previously unprocessed and had little discernable order. Select photographs and videos have been incorporated into existing series in the collection where it was possible to identify original function or creator, while the bulk have been arranged into new Series XI: Broadcasts and Public Events, Series XII: Graphics and Artifacts, and Series XIII: Film and Video Library.

Files related to the Central Review Commission were originally established as Series XI. These files have been integrated into Series III: Commissions and Departments as Subseries III.E to better reflect the department's function within the Party.

Film reels were assigned CP numbers and audio reels were assigned CPA numbers when the collection was initially inventoried in 2009. When films were processed in 2017, CP numbers were retained as the primary identifier for each item. Audio reels which were originally processed as part of TAM 132.001 in 2011 and were assigned new reel numbers. When the collection was incorporated in to TAM 132 in 2017, the new reel numbers were used to identify film reels at the item level, but CPA numbers were also retained to provide additional identifying indicators.

Audiovisual materials that have been selected for preservation inspection or digitization are identified by component unique identifier (cuid) numbers at the item level. Access copies of digitized recordings are listed at the item level.

In 2018 an accretion of records from the Illinois state district records were added to Subseries II.A: States and Districts.

An accretion of 11 boxes of video tapes, Young Communist League Files, and Arnold Becchetti office files were added to the collection in 2018 as boxes 475-485. Video tapes have been inventoried at the item level and incorporated into the arrangement of the collection. Young Communist League files are described in general categories and added to Subseries V.C: Youth Organizations as Young Communist League Accretion. Born-digital records included among these materials have been inventoried, but have not been forensically imaged. Arnold Becchetti files have been added to Subseries I.F: Staff Files. These materials are in the order in which they were received by the donor.

Appraisal

The Communist Party of the United States Audio Collection (TAM 132.001), which was incorporated into this collection in 2017, included 22 record cartons of original audiocassette and reel containers. Original containers held limited historical or contextual value and were deaccessioned. Information regarding the contents of recordings has been reproduced to the best degree possible in the finding aid.

One 3.5 inch floppy containing documents related to Bill Meyer's work for the People's Daily World and one 5.25 inch floppy labeled Gill Green.doc could not be preserved and were deaccessioned.

Additionally several VHS and Umatic video tapes containing off-air recordings of copyrighted television programs were deaccssioned.

Nomination petition from the 2018 accretion of Illinois state district records, which held limited research value, were sampled to provide examples of their content, but the bulk were deaccessioned.

Young Communist League financial records from a 2018 accretion were appraised out of the collection and destroyed. They included receipts, deposit slips, bank statements, dues records, invoices, and donation pledges dated 2004-2010. 9 video tapes containing copyrighted content and off-air recordings were also appraised out of the accretion and destroyed.

Bibliography

Bittelman, Alex. The Communist Party in Action. New York City: Workers Library Publishers, 1934.

Lovestone, Jay. The Party Organization. Chicago: Daily Worker Publishing Co., 1926.

Rubin, Daniel. How a Communist Club Functions. New York City: New Outlook Publishers, 1971.

The Constitution and By-laws of the Communist Party of the United States of America. New York City: Workers Library Publishers, 1938.

The Constitution of the Communist Party of the United States of America. New York City: The Communist Party, USA, 1957.

The Constitution of the Communist Party of the United States of America. New York City: The Communist Party, USA, 1983.

The Constitution of the Communist Party of the United States of America. New York City: The Communist Party, USA, 1987.

"Communist Party, USA." Encyclopedia of the American Left. Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle and Dan Georgakas. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

"Daily Worker (and Successors)." Encyclopedia of the American Left. Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle and Dan Georgakas. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992.