Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

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 June 18, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content Note

This collection provides a broad view of Howard Zinn's many activities and interests. Among his personal papers are school and military records, datebooks, biographical articles and interviews. Correspondence with a wide variety of individuals forms a large part of the collection. There are also published and unpublished writings; drafts, fragments and corrected typescripts; datebooks and notebooks; research materials and lecture notes; posters, photographs and transparencies; annotated books, publications of many kinds, and audio and video materials documenting lectures, interviews, discussions, readings and other public events in which Zinn took part.

Correspondence is found in almost every series. The correspondence included in "Series II: Correspondence" is the most varied, containing letters, emails, postcards and related materials that Zinn had consolidated and arranged by year. Letters in "Series I: Personal and Biographical Material" involve family and close friends, and are personal in nature, while within "Series III: Writings", much of the correspondence reflects communication with publishers, editors, actors and others involved in his various projects. Zinn associated the remaining correspondence with specific topics, individuals, events or issues being addressed and that arrangement has been maintained.

Howard Zinn's extensive travels outside the United States are reflected in many parts of the collection. In addition to material in "Series VII: Vietnam War" describing his visits to Vietnam, Paris and Japan, there are a number of folders in "Series VIII: Subject Files" containing publications, clippings and notes from his 1982 visit to South Africa as well as a copy of the speech he gave in Cape Town in "Series III: Writings." He made a number of trips to Paris (1974, 1978, 1984) where he was a visiting professor at the University of Paris (Vincennes and Institut Charles Civiq) and to Italy as a Fulbright Distinguished Professor at the University of Bologna (1995). Personal correspondence and memorabilia from these and other European travels, as well as from his South African visit and several trips to Cuba, may be found in "Series I: Personal and Biographical Material."

There are many articles and newspaper clippings throughout the collection. It should be noted that he often clipped only the portions of articles that interested him, sometimes saving an initial section and not the continuation. The name of the publication and date of the article were not always saved.


The Howard Zinn Papers are arranged into ten series, three of which are further arranged into subseries. Folders within each series and subseries are arranged alphabetically with several exceptions: appearances/speaking engagements are in chronological order as are audio-visual materials within each format and correspondence within specific sections.

The series arrangement of the collection is as follows:

Series I: Personal and Biographical Material, 1944-2010

 Series II: Correspondence, 1962-2010

 Series III: Writings, 1901-2009

 Series IV: Appearances / Speaking Engagements. 1964-2008

 Series V: Boston University, 1960-2003
Subseries VA: Teaching and Student Material
Subseries VB: Boston University Controversy

 Series VI: Race and Civil Rights, 1932-2008

 Series VII: Vietnam War, 1944-2001
Subseries VIIA: Vietnam War Material
Subseries VIIB:  The Pentagon Papers

 Series VIII: Subject Files, 1933-2010

 Series IX: Books with Zinn Annotations, 1929-1997

 Series X: Audio-Visual Material, 1957-2009
Subseries XA: Audio Cassettes
Subseries XB: Audio Compact Disks
Subseries XC: Audio Reel-to-Reel
Subseries XD: Video DVDs
Subseries XE: Video VHS
Subseries XF: Video, Other Formats