Skip to main content

NYU Libraries logo

Tamiment Library Research & Tools: Left History

Research guides and tools for the Tamiment Library's collections.

The Tamiment Library holds rich collections relating to labor and social history, the history of the Left, the place of workers in American society, and the evolution of labor law.  It also holds significant collections relating to women's history, immigrant history, and other topics.   

Tamiment preserves the history of the left nationally with a focus on New York City.   From its beginnings as the library of a worker's education school at the Rand School to its major accession of the Communist Party of the USA Records to collections on women's rights, the struggles of the incarcerated, the Civil Rights Movement, and much more, the Tamiment's collecting on the left is broad and ever-evolving.  The topics on this page are not an exhaustive representation of all topics in the Tamiment collections - search our finding aids for collections on your research topic.

 

This information represents a fraction of the resources we have on any of these topics.  Search our archival collections or take a look at our other online guides for more on any category!

Communism

Communist Party of the United States of America Records (TAM.132): The records of the Communist Party, USA provide vivid documentation of the organization’s trajectory from its birth in 1919 to the early 2000s. The collection includes a diverse mix of correspondence, convention and conference materials, essays and manuscripts, internal discussion documents, reports, speech transcripts, research files, printed ephemera, clippings, legal documents, and a wealth of personal papers. 

The Daily Worker online: The library's microfilm copy of The Daily Worker and its following publications was recently digitized; NYU login required.  
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Communist Historical Newspaper Collection

The Daily Worker and the Daily World Photographs Collection (PHOTOS.223): The official organ of the Communist Party, USA, the Daily Worker's editorial positions reflected the policies of the Communist Party. Related collection: The Daily Worker and the Daily World Negatives Collection (PHOTOS.223.001).

The Communist Party of the United States of America Oral History Collection (OH.065): This collection contains interviews with 41 Communist Party leaders and activists, including several founding members. Many of these interviews can be found online here.

Anarchism

Emma Goldman Collection (TAM 012) Emma Goldman was an anarchist, feminist, writer, publisher of Mother Earth, companion of Alexander Berkman, author of Anarchism and Other Essays,  Living My Life, and  My Disillusionment in Russia, and was deported from the U.S. in 1919. 

Murray Bookchin Papers (TAM 160) Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921-July 30, 2006) was a libertarian socialist, political philosopher, speaker and writer. The founder of the social ecology movement within libertarian socialist and ecological thought, Bookchin is noted for his synthesis of the anarchist tradition with modern ecological awareness. 

Max Nomad Papers (TAM 017) Max Nomad (1881-1973) philosophic anarchist, author and educator, who also wrote under the pseudonym Max Norton was born in 1881 in Buczacz, Poland.

Socialism

Democratic Socialists of America Records (TAM.105) The collection contains administrative records, including convention materials, minutes, correspondence, photographs, state and local chapter files, including local publications, membership files, and more.

Michael Harrington Papers (TAM.209) Michael Harrington (1928-1989) was a U.S. socialist, editor, writer, founder and leader of Democratic Socialists of America (U.S. affiliate to the Socialist International), and political leader .

Eugene V. Debs Papers (TAM.020) Eugene V. Debs was president of the American Railway Union, an advocate of industrial unionism and a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and a five-time candidate for president of the United States on the Socialist Party ticket. 

Rand School of Social Science Records (TAM.007) The Rand School of Social Science (1906-1956), a school for workers and socialists which was associated with the Socialist Party, and after 1936 with the Social Democratic Federation, offered a variety of courses on contemporary topics, traditional subjects and socialist theory taught by intellectual leaders of the socialist movement, distinguished academicians and trade union leaders. 

Cold War

Head over to the Cold War Center guide for more information!

Jay and Si-Lan Chen Leyda Papers (TAM 083) Jay Leyda was a leading film historian, filmmaker, photographer, archivist, translator, teacher, and noted scholar.  His wife, Si Lan Chen Leyda, was a modern dancer who pioneered the use of Chinese dance elements. Si-Lan Chen attended the Bolshoi Ballet School and Vera Maya's school in Moscow where she met and married Leyda.

The Church League of America Collection of the Research Files of Counterattack, the Wackenhut Corporation, and Karl Baarslag (TAM 148) The Church League of America, a right wing anti-communist research and advocacy group, collected these research files from other creators with a similar political outlook and professional activities.

National Lawyers Guild Records (TAM 191) The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in 1937 as an association of progressive lawyers and jurists who believed that lawyers had a major role to play in reconstructing legal values by emphasizing human rights over property rights.

Civil Rights Movement

James E. Jackson and Esther Cooper Jackson Papers (TAM.347) James E. Jackson (1914-2007) and Esther Cooper Jackson (1917- ) are African American communists and civil rights activists, best known for their role in founding and leading the Southern Negro Youth Congress (1937-48). 

Sally Belfrage Papers (TAM.189) Sally Mary Caroline Belfrage (1936-1994) was an independent leftist, world-traveling journalist, and writer.  In 1963 Belfrage traveled to Georgia and North Carolina to research the civil rights movement, and was inspired to participate in the SNCC-sponsored Freedom Summer organizing drive of 1964. 

Center for Constitutional Rights Records (TAM.589) The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization based in New York City. The Center was initially established to provide legal services and financial support to lawyers representing civil rights movement activists in Mississippi, but has since broaded its focus to civil liberties and human rights activism and litigation more generally. 

Women's, Gender, and Queer History

National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records (TAM 106) Betty Friedan founded the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C. in 1966 to "bring women into the mainstream of American society." Not long after, the national organization was formed and the New York Chapter was founded in 1967. 

WHAM! (Women's Health Action and Mobilization) Records (TAM 162) The Women’s Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!) Records contain organizing records, videos, photographs, and ephemera related to WHAM!’s support of women’s health and access to abortion. 

Miriam Frank Oral History Collection for Out in the Union: Gays and Lesbians in the Labor Movement (OH 039) In preparation for her 2014 book Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America, historian Miriam Frank conducted several oral history interviews with gay labor activists across the United States from 1994-2009. 

Pauline Park Papers (TAM 663) This collection contains material concerning the advocacy, activism, and writing of Pauline Park, a transgender activist and educator. Park helped co-found the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) and the Queens Pride House (QPH).