Selected Special Collections
Radical Pamphlet Collection
American communist, socialist, and anarchist literature of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, broadsides, posters, cartoons, sheet music, and prints relating primarily to American communism, socialism, and anarchism from 1870 through 1980, with the bulk of the material published between 1930 and 1949. The largest component deals with the operations of the Communist Party of the United States of America, its members, and various front organizations. Many pamphlets relate to the presidential campaigns of Earl Browder and William Z. Foster. Includes campaign literature for state and local contests in New York and California, and material concerning Afro-American communists and communist youth and student groups. Most items relating to socialism are found under the Socialist Party of the United States of America, its members, and affiliates. Included are state and local campaign materials, and pamphlets by Norman Thomas. The anarchist component of the collection includes materials published in the United States by leading European anarchists such as Johann Most, Rudolf Rocker, Alexander Berkman, Petr Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Carlo Tresca, and Emile Armand, with many works by Emma Goldman. Also includes pamphlets by American anarchists Benjamin Tucker and William B. Greene, and materials published by the Industrial Workers of the World.
Most of the pamphlets, circulars, brochures, and broadsides in the collection were printed in New York City and Buffalo on the East Coast and Los Angeles on the West Coast and were published by Workers Library, New Century Publishers, or as part of the International Pamphlet series. Some booklets passed through many hands and were, so to speak, front-line troops in the war for the hearts and minds of Americans. A copy of Eugene Varlin's The Negro and the U.S. Army bears both the library marks of the Harlem branch of the Socialst Workers Daily and the Militant Bookshop and Socialist Workers Office in Milwaukee.
Though there are in the collection well-known names and a few pieces known to students in the field, the great strengths are the little-known materials. With a few exceptions the pamphlets have not been republished. The lack of bibliographic information and the paucity of the collections have inhibited scholarly activity. We invite investigation and inquiries.