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Guide to the Howard Zinn Papers TAM.542

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 Jan Hilley, with the assistance of Maggie Schreiner and Walker Gunning

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 04, 2017
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by Howard Zinn are held by the Howard Zinn Revocable Trust. Permission to publish or reproduce materials to which the Trust holds copyright must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Tamiment Library for assistance with contacting the Howard Zinn Revocable Trust. No publishing for other than non-commercial purposes of the collection shall be permitted without written consent of the Trustee and the repository.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Howard Zinn Papers; TAM 542; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Archival Material

Howard Zinn Papers, 1956-1970

The Wisconsin Historical Society holds a small manuscript collection acquired from Howard Zinn (1966, 1980) focusing primarily on Zinn's research on the civil rights movement and his personal involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the 1960s. The Wisconsin Historical Society finding aid may be accessed at

Separated Materials

A number of books from Howard Zinn's personal library were acquired with his papers and many of them were transferred to the Tamiment Library.(The more heavily annotated books were retained with the papers - see Series IX.)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Researchers interested in using audiovisual materials in this collection (films, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, et cetera) must use a digitized copy, which we refer to as an access copy. Researchers may view an item’s original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that already have already been digitized are noted in the collection’s finding aid and can be requested in our reading room; materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. These requests are free of charge and can be made in anticipation of your visit. The process typically takes four to six weeks. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A librarian will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Howard Zinn Papers were acquired from his children, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jeff Zinn, in 2010 and 2011. The accession numbers 2010.050 and 2011.035 are associated with this gift.

Processing Information Note

No original order was apparent in the collection upon receipt. Ten linear feet of manuscript material had been in the possession of Boston University (BU) and items had been placed in new folders, many titled "Professional Material: Research Files" with, in some cases, what appear to have been the original folder titles appended. Four linear feet of audio/visual material had also been held by BU and was inventoried but not arranged in any order. One additional box contained editor's proofs of several of Zinn's books. The rest of the material came from the family in three deliveries. Within a few of the boxes, there appears to have been a somewhat alphabetic arrangement but folders with the same or similar titles were found across the entire collection. Not all of the material was contained within folders.

A series arrangement was imposed by the archivist based on aggregation of materials with similar titles and content while keeping in mind the activities and interests of Howard Zinn (e.g. teaching, writing, speaking engagements) and the various types of material (e.g. books, audio/visual items) within the collection. Description was based on original folder titles to the extent possible. Because Zinn made many notes and annotations, his original folders were often photocopied and included within the new ones.

In 2014, the archived website was add as Series XI.


Robert Cohen, “When Assessing Zinn, Listen to the Voices of Teachers and Students,” in History News Network (George Mason University, January 17, 2013) is based on correspondence housed in the Howard Zinn Papers. (@