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The collection is divided into forty-one series containing printed materials and artifacts donated by George Meyers and other contributors to the collection. Following is a description of each series. All series are fully processed unless otherwise indicated.
Series 1. George A. Meyers Personal Papers, 1912—1999. (1.8 ft.) The bulk of this series consists of correspondence sent by and received by George Meyers and his family. Correspondence with Frostburg State University regarding the development of this collection is also included. Materials of particular interest in this series are those related to the Baltimore Smith Act Trial of Mr. Meyers and five other defendants in 1951—1952.
Additionally, there are materials related to the Self-Defense Committee, Baltimore Smith Act Defendants, an organization created to raise money for the defendants and to increase public knowledge of the trial. There is a relatively small, yet informative, amount of material covering Mr. Meyers’ candidacy for the U.S. Senate as a write-in candidate for the CPUSA during the 1952 elections. This material includes original press releases and correspondence with various radio stations to secure free air time for broadcasting campaign information.
Also of interest in this series is the file of obituary and memorial service announcements for a number of prominent Communist Party and labor figures including Art Shields (journalist), Spanish poet Pablo Neruda, and Don West, noted poet and activist in Appalachia.
Series 2. Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), 1943—1999. (2.3 ft.) The largest component of this series is the manu- scripts (.8 ft.) written by Mr. Meyers as notes for speeches and ad- dresses and for publication in various Communist Party and labor peri- odicals. Mr. Meyers’ writing reflects his deep roots in organized labor and the Marxist-Leninist theories surrounding the “class struggle” to im- prove the conditions of the common working man. He was a strong advo- cate for the empowerment of women and minorities in organized labor and society, echoing the views held by the CPUSA.
Also included in this series are copies of Russian language articles written by Mr. Meyers for various Soviet publications (primarily TRUD) from 1975—1989, and material (texts of speeches and published material) of Mr. Gus Hall (1910—2000), past National Chairman, and former General Secretary of the CPUSA. Other CPUSA materials of interest are official CPUSA resolutions and reports including those relating to the split of factional groups from the Party in the early 1990s.
Series 3. Communism (General), 1921—1999. (1.04 ft.) The largest component of this series is found in the theses and research papers which cover Marxist-Leninist theory and other aspects of Communism and labor. The material on state CPUSA organizations primarily focuses on Maryland, with a smaller amount of material on New York.
There are also a number of posters included in this series. The relatively small amount of material in this series is attributed to the fact that other parts of the George A. Meyers Collection focus on this area, primarily the book and pamphlet portions of the collection.
Series 4. Labor and Union Organizations, 1918—1999. (1.7 ft.) The bulk of the material in this series is found in the theses and research papers covering the history of organized labor and trade unionism.
Of particular interest is a copy of the official FBI investigation covering the organization of the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) union from the 1930s—1950s. Also of interest in this series are the 1993 resolutions of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) which demonstrate the increased activism of women in organized labor.
Series 5. Political Organizations, 1914—1999. (1.2 ft.) Of interest in this series is the information on the proposed federal legislation (The Mitchell Transfer Amendment) in 1978 to transfer funding from defense spending to the creation of jobs programs.
Series 6. Alice Katherine Meyers Personal Papers, 1950—1968. (.7 ft.) Alice K. Meyers was a strong supporter of her husband’s activities in labor and in the CPUSA, and was actively involved in union activities herself. The FBI and the IRS investigations of Alice K. Meyers comprise a large portion of this series and also reflect Mr. Meyers’ activities during the same time period.
A large portion of this series contains the correspon- dence from George A. Meyers to his wife during his federal prison term. The letters, written on prison-provided stationery, have the required length limit of only one page, and have a prison date stamp indicating review by prison officials before mailing.
Series 7. Legal Documents, Court Cases, and Litigation, 1930—1993. (.6 ft.) The documents in this series do not provide complete trial records for any of the cases indicated. The files contain only selected briefs, position papers, final court decisions and/or motions made by attorneys. The cases reflect a wide spectrum of the CPUSA leadership with Earl Russell Browder, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Eugene Dennis, and George Meyers being listed as defendants.
Of particular interest is a true court copy of the 1963 Report of the Subversive Activities Control Board requiring Mr. Meyers to register as a Communist pursuant to the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950.
Series 8. Personal Memorabilia, 1938—1999. (1.2 ft.) This series contains a variety of interesting and unique items. The badges and medals, particularly the metal and ribbon CIO convention delegate badges from the 1930s and 1940s are in exceptionally good condition.
The membership and “Press” cards demonstrate the broad spectrum of activities and organizations in which Mr. Meyers has participated. The convention delegate badges are helpful in dating many of the other activi- ties referenced in the other series.
Series 9. Leah Shiffman (Julia Barnes) Collection, 1938(?)—1997. (3.08 ft.) Leah Shiffman (1905—1997) was a social worker who joined the CPUSA in 1933. Following her retirement in 1970 she was a columnist for the People’s Daily World, and the current People’s Weekly World.
Her articles concerned health and senior citizen issues and were written under the pen name of Julia Barnes. She also wrote for the bulletin of the Retired Members Division of Local 1199, Hospital and Health Care Workers Employees Union. (Container listed)
Series 10. Genne Kuhn Collection, 1969(?)—1977(?). (.7 ft.) Genne Kuhn, the daughter of a coal miner, is very actively involved in coal workers’ rights and the improvement of working conditions in Appalachia, particularly West Virginia. (container listed)
Series 11. Individuals Associated With Materials in the George A. Meyers Collection, 1920(?)—1997. (.9 ft.) This series contains articles by or about people associated with the George Meyers Collection. Folders are arranged alphabetically by name. An index to this series is available.
Series 12. Incomplete Periodical Runs, 1915—1998. (2.08 ft.) Periodicals in this alphabetically arranged series are titles with limited numbers of issues. Subject coverage includes a wide variety of progressive, socialist, Communist, and labor issues. Geographical coverage focuses on the United States, Latin America, and Asia. An index is available.
Series 13. Gairdner B. Moment Collection, 1935(?)—1969(?). (.3 ft.) Professor Moment was a former biology professor at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and a former neighbor of George Meyers. In August 1935 he attended the 15th International Physiology Congress held in the Soviet Union.
This series contains professional papers, manuscripts, and souvenirs of his trip abroad. Also of interest are his letters to his family written during this time detailing shipboard experiences and personal observations of the countries he visited. Of note are two Nazi postcards from 1935 which are in excellent condition.
Series 14. Women’s Movement Materials, dates undetermined. (1.4 ft.) This series contains incomplete periodical runs and unprocessed papers concerning the feminist movement during the 1960s and 1970s. Donated by Norma Lesser. (container listed)
Series 15. SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and RYM (Revolutionary Youth Movement), dates undetermined. (1.04 ft.) This series is made up of incomplete periodical runs, clippings, and unprocessed papers covering radical university student organizations of the 1960s and 1970s. Donated by Norma Lesser. (container listed)
Series 16. Video and Audio Tapes, 1973—1999. (17 video tapes, 110 audio tapes) This series consists of video and audio tapes, both professional and personal. A number of audio tapes are interviews with George Meyers and other notable persons as well as speeches by such dignitaries as Gus Hall. An index to both sections of the series is available.
Series 17. Photographic Materials, 1930—1998. (2.4 ft.) Three boxes and one large three-ring binder make up this series. A special feature is the large album of professionally done photographs from the Congress held in the Soviet Union in 1961.
Photographs are both in color and black and white, and both privately and professionally taken. Personal family photos are included as well as photos of political and labor events. The binder contains color slides primarily from George Meyers’ visit to Mongolia in 1969. An index to both formats is available.
Series 18. Souvenirs, 1960(?)—1980(?). (5 boxes) This series contains souvenirs of George Meyers’ travels abroad. Countries visited include Mongolia, the Soviet Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.
Of note is a piece of Kubla Khan’s castle obtained in Mongolia, Mongolian dishes fashioned from gourds, an Australian boomerang, an embroidered jacket pin commemorating the 1980 Olympics held in the USSR, a pen set commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and a number of souvenir picture packets.
Series 19. Labor and Union Memorabilia, 1943—1997. (16 pieces) A framed statement to George Meyers from the Celanese Local 1874, dated 1943, and a John L. Lewis silver medal in a blue velvet case are the outstanding features of this series. An index is available.
Series 20. Banners and Pennants, undated. (15 pieces) Banners and pennants from a number of foreign countries, labor unions, and Communist parties make up this series. An index is available.
Series 21. Artwork by Fred Gaboury, undated. (2 pieces) Fred Gaboury is Labor Editor of the People’s Weekly World. Both pieces are metal wall hangings. .
Series 22. Bimba Portraits, 1944, and undated. (two 22” x 27 ½ “ portraits) This series contains a portrait of Anthony Bimba, author of the Molly Maguires, painted by his wife, Ilse, and a portrait of Ilse, painted by George Sapp.
Series 23. Thomas Kapantais Collection, 1997—2000. (1.1ft.) Thomas Kapantais was a public defender who practiced in both West Virginia and Maine during the 1960s and 70s. From his personal collection of over 10,000 book titles, Mr. Kapantais gave over 3,000 titles to the Meyers collection. Many of the donated titles include progressive and socialist topics.
Series 24. George and Edie Fishman Collection – The collection centers on the working class movement, equal rights and the CPUSA in Connecticut.
Also of interest is a copy of Edie’s World War II Experiences of a Woman Worker, 1942-1946, which is housed in the Rosie the Riveter National Museum, and a copy of George’s compilation For a Better World, A Miscellany: Writings 1952-2000 on the African American Freedom/Equality Struggle in New Jersey History.
Series 25. Buford Posey Collection – Included in this series are roughly 100-150 pages released from the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission dealing with civil rights in the state.
Also, there are taped interviews concerning the murder of civil rights activists in Mississippi during the 1950’s. Mr. Busy, a Mississippi farmer, was under surveillance by the SSC and accused the local sheriff of lynching the three men. A copy of The Washington Post Magazine article of May 9, 1999 entitled “Unsealing Mississippi’s Past” by Paul Hendrickson is also included.
Series 26. John Davis Collection – This series consists of 13 items of Nazi memorabilia including a Nazi dagger with scabbard, pennants, flag, swastikas, a stopwatch and pictures of Hitler. Also included are numerous pins and epaulets. These items are stored in the first floor vault.
Series 27. Jim West Manuscript – This is a 154-page manuscript of a memoir by Jim West of his eventful career as a Communist organizer. He was a close personal friend of George A. Meyers.
Series 28. S. M. Arnoni Collection – Mr. Arnoni was a philosopher, writer, political activist and professor of political science. He was a Jew who had been imprisoned in various concentration camps during World War II. He published several books and was editor of The Minority of One and In Search. Included in this collection are 55 monthly issues of The Minority of One.
Series 29. Sally Morillas Collection – Sally Morillas was a steelworker organizer in Cleveland, OH and lifelong activist in labor, civil rights, peace and other progressive movements. Of note are three pamphlets and transcripts for use in hearing of the Un-American Activities Commission, letters to editors and materials pertaining to the 1937 Little Steel Strike in Youngstown, OH which involved Sally and Gus Hall.
Series 30. Roy Hudson Wells and Ruth Wells Private Collection – Hudson and Ruth were union organizers. Items in this collection include a collection of U.S. political buttons, and peace, civil rights and women’s organizations in the U.S. Several LP albums from the GDR of political song groups and two albums commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution (these are perhaps the only copies in the U.S.) are also included.
Among the items is a study of the Paris Commune (1871) which Ruth researched, but never submitted it for publication and copies of l’Humanite’ from 1904-1968.
Series 31. Samuel G. Neff Collection – Mr. Neff was a labor leader and later State Senator from Pennsylvania. His collection includes legislative journals from 1951, history of Senate bills, two Pennsylvania Senate amendments regarding beverage licensing laws, and a 1951 index of Pennsylvania Senate Bills.
Series 32. Virginia Brodine Collection – In the 1940’s Virginia was the Hollywood columnist for the Daily People’s World, which later merged with the People’s Weekly World. She was married to Russell Brodine, a bass fiddler with the St. Louis Symphony. This extensive collection consists of 29 boxes and 859 folders.
Of note are the manuscripts of her book Seed of the Fire, which chronicles the Ohio canal builders story and Russell’s manuscript of Fiddle and Fight: A Memoir about his 24 years in the symphony. Virginia and Russell’s extensive collection of monographs on West Coast environmental issues are catalogues into the general library collection. Virginia was one of the earlier environmentalists.
Series 33. Ann Chess Campbell Collection – This collection consists of 180 folders dealing primarily with the Vietnam War era. The majority of the materials include newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to the war.
Series 34. Allegany County Chapter of N.O.W. Collection – This collection consists of 113 folders dealing with various women’s issues, t-shirts, banners, pamphlets, buttons, pamphlets, etc. from the area’s women’s organization. The items were donated by Naomi Dagen-Bloom.
Series 35. Transcripts of Communist Trials – Included in this series are 184 folders of transcripts of the communist trials of William Schneiderman, Joseph Kuzma, and Eugene Dennis.
Series 36. William Moody Collection – Mr. Moody’s productive trade unionist career began as a publicist for the 1941 strike resulting in a 40-hour work week for New York City department store workers.
In 1955-56 he helped solidify the Philadelphia area support for the legendary United Electrical Workers Local 107 strike against Westinghouse. Housed in this series are 69 folders regarding these two strikes as well as other trade union issues. Also included are labor union memorabilia.
Series 37. Political and Cause Button Collection – This extensive series includes political, civil rights, women’s rights, labor, international and communist buttons from various contributors, 708 total.
Series 38. Poster Collection – There are 141 posters in the Meyers Collection and 159 in the Victor and Ellen Perlo Collection dealing with communism, international issues, civil and women’s rights, labor and union matters.
Series 39. Al Feldstein Posters - Of note in this collection is Al’s Buttons of the Cause poster in addition to 49 others dealing with various political and civil rights issues.
Series 40. Bernard Coleman Collection – Mr. Coleman worked as a mechanical designer in a number of fields. He co-patented a U.S. and French design for a Multiple Switching Mechanism with Rowan Controller, Inc. His passion was his activism in the labor, progressive, civil rights, equal rights, peace and anti-nuclear weapons movements.
This series consists of 11 folders covering various topics including one on the National Committee to Reopen the Rosenburg Case in 1953 and 1989, the Morton Sobell Case of 1956, the Jefferson School of Social Science and artwork by Gropper and Charles White of W.E.B. DuBois.
Series 41. Barbara A. Meyers Collection – Barbara is the daughter of George A. Meyers and her donation consists of 138 artifacts from many countries, many of which were brought back by her parents in their travels. Also, there are 47 fine art items, predominantly artwork from various artists. These items are stored in the first floor vault of the Ort Library