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Guide to the John Lowenthal Papers TAM.190

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 Evan Daniel

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 18, 2018
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of materials gathered for Lowenthal's film, "The Trials of Alger Hiss" (Los Angeles, California: Direct Cinema, Ltd.). Included are transcripts of the interviews conducted for the film with Alger Hiss, Donald Hiss and his wife, Mike, Pat and Raymond Catlett, Ramos Feehan, Gussie Feinstein, Vincent Shaw, Margaret Halsey, Harold Rosenwald, Edward Murtagh, Malcolm Cowley, Isaac Don Levine, Nathan Witt, Ralph de Toledano, Robert Stripling, Sam Krieger, Harold Shapero, Ordman Clubb, John Francis Cronin, and David Zalodowski, among others, and a campaign speech on the Hiss Case by President Richard Nixon. Also included is correspondence between Lowenthal and the Hiss family -- Alger, Anna, Donald, Isabel, Priscilla, and Tony - as well as Alger Hiss biographical information, interviews, notices of lectures and seminars, a typescript on the New Deal, letters of support and materials relating to Hiss's reinstatement to the Massachusetts State Bar. Materials directly pertaining to the Hiss Case include the Baltimore Exhibits and evaluation by Edward H. Fearon, FBI interviews, government exhibits, trial notes and samples from five Woodstock typewriters, and three original letters from Whittaker Chambers to Mark Van Doren. Materials pertaining to Russian Archives, Soviet Intelligence and the Venona Documents include files on Georgi Abratov, Boris Bykov, Alexander Vassiliev, Vitali Pavlov and Dmitri Volkogonov.

This collection also included research and background materials gathered during the making of the film, "The Trials of Alger Hiss." Included are copies of court records from the first Hiss trial and legal files concerning Hiss's appeal; correspondence between John Lowenthal and Bruce Craig, Agnese Nelms Haury, Victor Navasky, and others; comments and criticism regarding Lowenthal's writings; materials documenting discussions with potential funding sources and distributors of the film; reviews of the film and publicity material. Other materials include John's father Max Lowenthal's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) file, a typescript of William A. Reuben's unpublished study of the Hiss Case; and Hugh Whitemore's typescripts for various television productions on Whittaker Chambers and Hiss. Materials pertaining to Soviet/Russian archives, Soviet Intelligence and the Venona Documents include files on Boris Bykov and Alexander Vassiliev.

Approximately six hundred photographs, two hundred reference photocopies of photographs, over one hundred negatives and fifteen contact sheets are included in the Production Files for "The Trails of Alger Hiss" film. The materials capture moments from Alger Hiss' life and trials, and also include family photographs.

Finally, there is a small processed addendum that contains correspondence of John Lowenthal, including letters to his family from a trip to Paris in the summer of 1949, as well as correspondence relating to Alger Hiss. There also a file on the Agnese Helms Naury trust, several letters by Anne Lowenthal, an article on Whittaker Chambers' employment by, and dismissal from, the New York Public Library, a brochure for the film "The Trials of Alger Hiss," and a 1992 newspaper clipping, "Vindication for Alger Hiss."


Folders arranged alphabetically by topic in Series I through Series IV. Series V has not been arranged by an archivist.

The files are grouped into five series:

Series I: Alger Hiss Research Files, 1934-2003

Series II: Subject Files, 1942-2003

Series III: Alger Hiss Production Files, 1938-1991

Series IV: Addendum, 1949-1993

Series V: Unprocessed Materials, Undated

Folders arranged alphabetically by topic in series I and II.

The files are grouped into three series:

Missing Title

  1. I, Alger Hiss Research Files, 1934-2004
  2. II, Subject Files, 1942-2004
  3. III, Addendum