Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive logo

Guide to the Marilyn Albert Communist Party of the United States of America Papers TAM.579

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Peter Filardo

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 04, 2016
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated administrative information  , Mar 2015

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Albert, Marilyn
Title: Marilyn Albert Communist Party of the United States of America Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1947-1992
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1989-1992
Abstract: Marilyn Albert was a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) activist in New York City during the 1970s-1980s, and was part of the "Initiative" group, a network of reformist Party members, active ca. 1989-1991, most of whom left the Party after their political defeat at the Party's 25th national convention in early 1991, and went on, with a large minority of Party members, to form the Committees of Correspondence (now the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism). A registered nurse, Albert also was, from 1974-2003, a member, shop steward, and staff organizer in Local 1199, which represents hospital and health care workers in New York City. This bulk of this unprocessed collection relates to the internal struggle within the CPUSA. The bulk of this material was generated by the "Initiative" group or those associated with it, natonally, and in the New York and California Party organizations. There is also a file of documents generated by the CPUSA leadership. There is also a folder of a few materials from the 1970s concerning the Party's positions and program on women's equality, and a file of materials ("Defense Lawyers Committee") related to the Smith Act trials in California in the late 1940s-early 1950s.
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of Materials note: Materials are in English
Mixed materials [Box]: 1
Call Phrase: TAM.579

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

Marilyn Albert was a Communist Party USA activist in New York City during the 1970s-1980s, and was part of the "Initiative" group, a network of reformist Party members, active ca. 1989-1990, who constituted a large minority of Party members, most of whom left the Party after their political defeat at the Party's 25th national convention in early 1991, and went on to form the Committees of Correspondence (now the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism). A registered nurse, Albert also was, from 1974-2003, a member, shop steward, and staff organizer in Local 1199, which represents hospital and health care workers in New York City. She was an active participant in the Save Our Union Movement in Local 1199 during the 1980s that challenged the administration of president Doris Turner. (In 1983, she was fired from her nursing job, allegedly in retaliation for her union activism.) The Save Our Union movement was composed of progressive union activists, including Communists, who held that the Turner administration had abandoned the radical politics, militant stance on labor issues, and inter-racial/ethnic solidarity that many felt had often been in evidence under the leadership of Local 1199's founding president, Leon Davis, and that Turner's administration had also stifled dissent within the union. After the 1989 election of Dennis Rivera as president of Local 1199, Albert became a staff organizer. In the years after the 1989 election, Local 1199 first became the National Union of Hospital and Nursing Home Employees, Local 1199 Drug & Hospital Union (New York, N.Y.), and in 1998, Service Employees International Union. Local 1199 (New York, N.Y.). Albert has also worked with the South African National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union in 1996 and 1997 and was a founder of an anti-war caucus following the September 11th attacks, called 1199ers for Peace and Justice, which later joined US Labor Against War. Presently (2010) she works as a National Organizer for National Nurses United.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content Note

This collection mostly relates to the period of 1990-1992 in the Communist Pparty USA, during which the split was developing which led to one-third to one-half of the CPUSA membership leaving the Party and forming the Committees of Correspondence. There is one file of documents generated by the CPUSA leadership, and several files of documents generated by the reform forces within the Party, sometimes referred to as the "Initiative" group, including speeches and letters and articles written by Angela Davis at the time of the 1991 national convention, Herbert Apthetker during the 1991 convention, Charlene Mitchell, Danny Rubin, and other well known names who left the CPUSA at this time. There is material from the New York State Committee, of which Albert was a member, and whose majority was in the "Initiative" group. There is a position paper delivered to the New York State Convention from the majority of members of the NY State Committee, which was written by Albert, with a team of others. There is also a folder of a few materials from the 1970s concerning the Party's positions and program on women's equality, including papers written by Albert, and by her mother the late Margie Albert, who was a Party member, a well-known union organizer and women's movement activist. The paper criticizes the Party's position at the time in opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. There is also a file of materials ("Defense Lawyers Committee") related to the Smith Act trials in California in the late 1940s-early 1950s.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Albert, Marilyn
  • Aptheker, Herbert, 1915-2003.
  • Davis, Angela Y. (Angela Yvonne), 1944-
  • Mitchell, Charlene, 1930-

Subject Organizations

  • Committees of Correspondence (U.S.).
  • Communist Party of the United States of America (Calif.).
  • Communist Party of the United States of America (New York).
  • Communist Party of the United States of America. Convention (25th : 1991 : Cleveland).
  • Communist Party of the United States of America.

Subject Topics

  • Communism -- United States -y 20th century.
  • Women and communism -- United States -x History -y 20th century.
  • Women communists -- United States.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by Marilyn Albert, the creator of this collection, were transferred to New York University in 2010. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Marilyn Albert Communist Party of the United States of America Papers; TAM 579; 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

Marilyn Albert Local 1199 Papers (TAM 558)

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Marilyn Albert in 2010. The accession number 2011.052 is associated with this collection.

Return to Top »


Return to Top »