Communist Party, USA Donates Archives to Tamiment

March 23, 2007

NEW YORK – Tens of thousands of books, countless photos, papers and notes, and unique audio, video and film documents are all part of the massive donation being made by the Communist Party, USA to the Tamiment Library at New York University (NYU). The collection covers the 88 years of the partys history, as well as earlier radical movements. It also includes records from the labor, community, student and peace movements the communists participated in and in many cases helped lead.

The donation encompass the entire collection of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies in New York City, which has been accessible to researchers, writers and the public for more than 20 years, as well as the archives of the party itself, the Young Communist League, and the Peoples Weekly World newspaper and its predecessor the Daily Worker. Some items are extremely rare or unique, and some have never before been available to the public.

The papers of many communist leaders present and past are already housed at Tamiment, including those of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (Joe Hills rebel girl, and Peter Cacchione (the communist city councilman from Brooklyn, New York).

This collection represents a major significant contribution to research on the Left, said Michael Nash, director of the Tamiment Library It will take us years to catalog it all.

The Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) is one of the most influential organizations on the American Left in the past century. Since its founding in 1919, the CPUSA has championed the struggles for democracy, labor rights, womens equality, racial justice and peace. During the mid-Twentieth Century the CPUSA became the largest organization on the Left, and a decisive aspect of American political and social life.

The CPUSA was the main target of the unconstitutional McCarthy hearings. It went on to be an early champion of peace in Vietnam and opponent to Apartheid in South Africa. With a membership largely comprised of working-class Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, Communist Party today remains an active and engaged political organization across the country. Its headquarters are located in Manhattan, where its archives were previously housed.

This donation will ensure that the history of the Communist Party and its impact on American politics will be preserved for future generations, said Sam Webb, National Chair of the Communist Party, USA. Tamiment library will make this history available to a wider audience.

Tamiment Library is the preeminent labor library in the United States, with a collection that documents the history of the American Left and the trade union movement.

The announcement of the donation will kick-off with a symposium sponsored by Tamiment Library and the Working Class History Association titled, The History of the Communist Party, USA and Progressive Politics Today: Relating the Past to the Present, Friday March 23, 4-8pm at the Librarys main space 70 Washington Square Park South, 10th Floor of Bobst Library.

Interviews available. Call Libero Della Piana at 646-437-5323.


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