Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Harry Lopatin Papers TAM 274

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 Erika Gottfried, April 2013.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 10, 2018
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Harry Lopatin Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1904, circa 1920-1990 (bulk 1930-1959)
Dates [bulk]: 1930-1959
Abstract: Harry Lopatin (1911-1999) was a socialist, a journalist who wrote for and edited Socialist Party and labor union publications, a news photographer, and labor union staffer. Collection consists of biographical matter, business correspondence, documents from organizations for which Lopatin served as an officer or was employed by, leaflets, clippings, photographs, artifacts and ephemera, spanning the years between 1904 to 1990, but with most materials falling in the decades of the 1930s through the 1950s.
Quantity: 2.25 Linear Feet in 3 manuscript boxes, one oversized box, and one oversized folder.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM 274

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

Harry Lopatin (1911-1999) was a socialist, a journalist who wrote for and edited Socialist Party and labor union publications, a news photographer, and labor union staffer.

Lopatin was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to immigrant parents. According to his widow, Adele Slotnick Lopatin, Lopatin was "born to activism," as his mother was a former worker at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (she stopped work at the factory several months prior to the tragic fire), and his is father took part in revolutionary activities while still in Russia, in 1905. Lopatin himself joined the Socialist Party as a teenager and in the 1930s he ran for office--the New York City Board of Aldermen, and for the New York State Senate, respectively--on the Socialist Party ticket in Brooklyn, New York--and served as president of the Brownsville Labor Lyceum, an influential left-wing cultural and political institution in Brooklyn.

An active photo journalist who closely followed the technical evolution of the field, and had a large collection of cameras, Lopatin worked as a photographer for the Jewish Daily Forverts (aka  Jewish Daily Forward) from 4/27/1930 until 12/5/45. During the same period he also worked for the newspaper in several other capacities, including Assistant Labor Editor, Assistant Photo and Rotogravure Editor, reporter, and Acting Secretary of the Editorial Department. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he served as managing editor for the Workmen's Circle  Call, and in the early 1950s he briefly published his own newspaper,  The Community Courier, in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1956 he joined the staff of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in its Northeast Department, working as an administrative assistant responsible for organization, education, public relations, and contract control; from 1961 to 1974, he served the ILGWU's Cloak Out of Town Department and Cloak Joint Board in a similar capacity. In 1965 he ran for City Council (for Brooklyn's 15th District) on the Liberal Party ticket; in 1967 he was elected president of the board of the Rochdale Consumers Cooperative, in Queens, New York. He also served on the on the board of the liberal left anti-communist organization, the League for Industrial Democracy.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of biographical matter, business correspondence, documents from organizations for which Lopatin served as an officer or was employed by, leaflets, clippings, photographs, artifacts and ephemera, spanning the years between 1904 to 1990, but with most materials falling in the decades of the 1930s through the 1950s.

Arrangement

The files are grouped into three series; folders are arranged alphabetically by topic within each series.

Series I: Papers,

Series II: Photographs,

Series III. Artifacts and Ephemera

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Crosswaith, Frank Rudolph, 1892-1965

Document Type

  • Artifacts (object genre)
  • Buttons (information artifacts).
  • Textiles.
  • Black-and-white photographs.
  • Membership cards.

Subject Organizations

  • Young People's Socialist League
  • Socialist Party (U.S.)

Subject Topics

  • Socialists -- United States -v Portraits.
  • Socialists -- United States -x Recreation -v Pictorial works.
  • Socialist parties.
  • Socialist parties -- United States.
  • Youth movements -- United States.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1904 and circa 1920-1990, are expected to enter the public domain in 2110.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Harry Lopatin Papers; TAM 274; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; provenance is unknown. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 1950.080, 1950.228, NPA.1999.020, NPA.1999.034, and NPA.2000.196.

Processing Information

Photographs from this collection were established as a separate collection, Harry Lopatin Photographs (PHOTOS 090). In April 2013 this photographs collection was reincorporated into the Harry Lopatin Papers.

Return to Top »


Container List

Papers, Circa 1920-1999 (bulk 1930-1975) 1930-1975

Scope and Content Note

Biographical materials include a handwritten critique of public education (perhaps prepared to be delivered as a speech) written by Lopatin in his last semester of high school. Correspondence includes notes from Norman Thomas and Upton Sinclair. Leaflets include one published by the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee in 1927 and another advertising an anti-war rally sponsored by the Socialist Party in the 1935. Materials from the League for Industrial Democracy (LID) include a report on the tumultuous Chicago New Politics Convention of 1967, a confidential report on the June 1969 convention of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), proposed guidelines for school decentralization in New York City (in the wake of the 1968 New York City teachers' strike centered on the dispute of over community control in Ocean-Hill Brownsville schools), and statements by LID board members (including by Irving Howe) on the future role of the organization.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Biographical/Autobiographical
1928, 1935, 1999, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Clippings
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence
1929-1974
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Federation of Cooperatives, Inc. -- Minutes, Board of Directors
Feb, Apr, Sep 1969
Box: 1 Folder : 5 International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) - Northeast Department - "Worth Dreaming": Program, Songs, Cue Lines; "My Name is Mary Brown" lyrics
circa 1950, 1959
Box: 1 Folder : 6 International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) - Publications - Local 20 Record and Cloak Out-of-Town Dept News - and Clippings
1960, 1966-1967, 1973-1975, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Leaflets - Miscellaneous
1927, 1935, 1965, 1972, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 8 League for Industrial Democracy - Minutes, Reports, Publications
1965-1967
Box: 1 Folder : 9 League for Industrial Democracy - Minutes, Reports, Publications
1968-1969,1972, 1979
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Miscellaneous Publications (Newspapers) - The Contractor (Infants, Children's and Sportswear Association);  Jewish Daily Forward;  Justice
1932, 1935, 1947, 1966, 1972-1973, 1975
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Miscellaneous Publications (Newspapers) - New America;  New Leader;  Socialist Call, The Workmen's Circle  Call; (Young People's Socialist League)  The Challenge
1936, 1946, 1957, 1981, 1990
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Miscellaneous Publications - Pamphlets (including organizer and parliamentary rules handbooks, public relations for local unions) and Constitution for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
circa 1950 - circa 1969
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Miscellaneous Writings by Harry Lopatin (in manuscript, signed and unsigned)
1935, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Newspaper Articles and Columns by Harry Lopatin (from Trade Union Courier and unidentified publication)
1946, 1949, 1950
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Publications Edited by Harry Lopatin: The Community Courier
1950
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Publications Edited by Harry Lopatin: The Monthly Vista/New Vista (Young People's Socialist League of America (YPSL) publication)
1929-1930
Box: 2 Folder : data_value_missing_cf12e998159a87480e410589cd982477 Rochdale Consumers Cooperative Society, Inc. - Minutes, Reports, Annual Reports, Correspondence, (Blank) Rochdale Village Occupancy Agreement, Draft Leaflet, Leaflets, Publications
1967-1971, 1974-1975, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) - Convention Program
December 1929
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Young People's Socialist League of America (YPSL) - Publications (including Free Youth,  Young Socialist,  The Yipselite)
1921, 1924, 1931, 1932, undated

Return to Top »


Photographs, 1904,1920, 1929-1949, 1960 (bulk 1930-1939) 1930-1939

Scope and Content Note

About 100 images, including May Day parades in New York City that showing participation bhy the non-communist Left, Socialist Party rallies featuring anti-Mussolini/anti-Hitler picket signs, "Yipsels" (members of Young People's Socialist League) at the beach and at picnics as well as at meetings and rallies, City College of New York students protesting against the college's president, eviction of Brownsville (Brooklyn, NY) Labor Lyceum. Images from outside of the United States include photo postcards of the 1931 Workers Olympiade in Vienna (sporting events and spectators/visitors), and "Social Revolutionaries in Gomel Forest" in 1904. Individuals include Socialist Party activists and leaders (from both the national organization and New York City) such as Norman Thomas, Charles Solomon, James Maurer, Abraham Shiplacoff, Louis Sadoff, Winston Dancis, Samuel J. Friedman, Morris Hillquit, (Jewish Daily Forward editor) Abraham Cahan, and Frank Crosswaith (founder of the Negro Labor Committee).

Although Lopatin worked as a photographer for theJewish Daily Forward, none of the photographs in this collection have a credit stamp for him, so it's not possible to identify how which of these images,if any, he may have shot.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Banquets
circa 1930-1939, 1945
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Demonstrations, Parades, and Rallies
circa 1930-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Miscellaneous
circa 1930-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Portraits -- Group Portraits and Snapshots
1920, circa 1930-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 6 New York City Street Scenes
circa 1930-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Portraits - Individuals
circa 1930-1939, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Socialist Organizations in Europe
1904, 1931
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Socialist Party (USA)-Related - Miscellaneous
circa 1930-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Young People's Socialist League - Conventions and Reunion
1929-1933, 1960
Box: XOS003 Folder : 1 Young People's Socialist League - Undated
circa 1920-1939
Box: 3 Folder : 11

Return to Top »


Box
4
 

Artifacts and Ephmera, 1924-1990 (bulk 1940-1959) 1940-1959. 1 Linear Feet in one oversized box.

Scope and Content Note

Includes the following materials: Young Socialists and May Day armbands and patch, handerchiefs emblazoned with names of Socialist Party candidates, political ribbons, political buttons (pinbacks), badges (mainly for labor union conventions), Harry Lopatin membership cards, dues books, and enrollment card, graphics (reproduction of Art Young drawing of Eugene V. Debs), miscellaneous (event tickets, sticker, cap, mounted cut-out photograph of Eugene Debs in prison garb, rubber stamp, key chain, money clip, and medallion).

Return to Top »