Supporting Social Movements in NYC: A Public Conversation about Special Collections

Protest posters. Zines. Labor organizing pamphlets. New York City libraries and archives house much more than books. Join librarians, archivists, and organizers for a public conversation about three local collections focused on social movements, and the spectrum of accessibility to these collections. We will also explore how these collections tell the stories of the social movements they preserve, and how these materials might connect to future works.


Jenna Freedman, Barnard Zine Library
Maryam Gunja & Jen Hoyer, Interference Archive
Shannon O'Neill, Tamiment-Wagner Collections, NYU

Moderated by Clara Cabrera and co-organized by Melissa Morrone

Supporting Social Movements in NYC: A Public Conversation about Special Collections
Monday, April 20, 6:30-8pm
NYU Bobst Library

Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
70 Washington Square South

Lesbian Herstory Archives Internships

The Lesbian Herstory Archives (located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC) is looking for graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in library and/or archives with a demonstrated interest in Lesbian Studies, History and Activism.

Radical Reference Presents: Do It Yourself Archives

2009 NYC Anarchist Book Fair
Saturday, April 11, 11:15am-12:45pm
Tamiment Library
70 Washington Square South

Jillian's slides
Nicole and Nick's slides
Watch it on your computer

NEW 1/24/11
Cleaned up and posted by Dan Vea (thanks, Dan!)
Audio on Radio4All: one part, the other part, and on

Archivists Jillian Cuellar (Tamiment Library) and Nicole Martin (Democracy Now!) and IT Director Nick Gilla (Democracy Now!) will give instruction on archiving principles and techniques for physical and digital materials. This skillshare will be appropriate for individuals and groups interested in preserving their documents and media.

QUESTION: Digitization and archive funding for radicals

question / pregunta: 

I'm part of a collective that produces independent media about a radical movement. We're about to approach a labor library at a private university about accepting physical and electronic files into their collection. We'd like to see these items not only be available to scholars, however, but also to be digitized so we can link to them from our own site and allow remotely located activists access to this history. We understand that the archive will be more likely to accept our collection if we have some funding attached to it. So, I have a few questions:

1. Are there sources of funding for radical history archival?

2. What is the protocol for approaching the archive about digitization? Will they be weird about our desire to make the collection visible on our website?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

African Activist Archive

MSU's African Studies Center and MATRIX digital humanities center, with their colleague Richard Knight in New York, announce the launch of the new African Activist Archive Project website

Archives of dissent, food for thoughts!

(Note: cross-posted on Free Government Information) In September, I had the good fortune to attend a most interesting panel discussion held at UC Berkeley's

Documenting Struggle: Three Radical New York City Archives

Documenting Struggle: Three Radical New York City Archives

anarchist documents


I wanted to add a couple more libraries and other resources regarding The Blast and other anarchist materials held in the Bay:

California State University (East Bay) and the University of California (Santa Cruz) also have original editions of The Blast.

I haven't been to the Longhaul Infoshop in Berkeley in a good while, but they should have materials on anarchist history in the Bay Area. It may not go as far back as the 1910's, but i know they have a sort of library in there.

Freedom Archives is an audio archive with materials on all kinds of social movements in the Bay Area and beyond. Doing a search for "anarchism" gives you a number of results on the anarchist inspired Food Not Bombs project. (Searching for "anarchy" or "anarchists" brings some stuff up, but it's not Bay Area stuffs.)

The Labor Archives at San Francisco State University has one entry of materials relating to anarchism:
* JEAN PAULINE: (b. 1921) Retired from Modern Times Bookstore Collective in 1996 after
twenty-five years; discusses youth in Brooklyn, 1920s-1930s, early interest in cooperatives and
anarchism, coming to California, 1944; helping establish Peace and Freedom Party in San Diego,
1967; and Modern Times Bookstore Collective in San Francisco, 1971; describes assisting
victims of AIDS crisis, San Francisco, 1980s.
Interview conducted by Harvey Schwartz

The San Francisco Public Library has an entry for a 1992 anarchist newsletter called The Web. It's not clear what their holdings are. You might want to contact the archives of the San Francisco Public Library to see what they have as well.

Related Question



Adding to my RR colleagues here: on scholarships, and on the connection of Chicana/o studies to librarianship:

While not everyone who graduates with a BA in Chicana/o Studies is necessarily a person of color, I would like to point out the scholarship opportunities from the American Library Association directed to such folks. The Spectrum Scholarship has been around for a decade now and has helped a number of students-of-color with costs through library school. The American Library Association has a bunch of other scholarships that anyone interested in librarianship should seek out as well. I am a spectrum scholar and like to promote when i can!

As for the connection of Chicano Studies to librarianship:

I see that you're in Ventura, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. In Los Angeles, if you have time to get out there (and you can just email or call these folks, as well), there is the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research (SoCalLib)which broadly has materials on social movements in LA, there's UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center Library & Archives, and the County of Los Angeles Public Library's Chicano Resource Center.

In Santa Barbara there is the University of California's California Ethnic & Multicultural Archive (CEMA) which is another institution to contact about the connections between your degree and librarianship.

I did a cursory search of Ventura County's libraries, and didn't find a specific repository of Chicana/o materials, but you should contact that system as well to see what they have.

Related Question

Mary Schwab records


Google gets 7 hits (not including this question!) for the search: 1913 Portland free speech fight "Mary Schwab", including Portland Radical History Tour. This site says: "This is for you to take to the library or the Historical Society or to the City Archives and spend hours finding details...". The links specifically to Mary Schwab ( and the 1913 Free Speech Fight ( are broken, but their names, places and dates can give you hints for more searches. IWW portland "free speech fight" site:edu gets 36; IWW portland "free speech fight" 1913 gets 240, etc.

Pursuing those "Historical Society" and "City Archives" leads, the Oregon Historical Society gets no hits for: mary schwab in its catalog, and their links to other sources such as Northwest Digital Archives also get no hits for Mary Schwab as a phrase. The Portland City Archives may be a bit of a project to access - see Using the City of Portland’s Archives (Historical Collection) for some not very detailed information.

Related Question
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