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Tamiment Library Research & Tools

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

Overview

Black and white drawing of a man's face next to the red flag of the Soviet Union on a white background.

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, LGBTQ+ 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 orcontact special.collections@nyu.edu to speak with reference staff for a consultation.

Communism

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 generall

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).