Labor and the Legacy Libraries

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Labor and the Legacy Libraries

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gen. 6, 2009, 2:47pm

I was looking at the Legacy Libraries and noticed that there are no libraries of labor notables listed or even proposed. I think that is a terrible oversight. The biggest hurdle to adding one (besides the time involved) is finding a list of the books they owned. Does anybody know of an appropriate person with a list available?

In Death at the Haymarket I read that the FBI supposedly seized Lucy Parson’s library. I have a customer who is an FBI agent and the next time he is in I will ask him how I would go about requesting an inventory of her belongings, if there is still such a thing.

I will contact the Eugene Debs Foundation and ask if they know of a list.

Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Editat: gen. 14, 2009, 10:26am

I had heard that the police destroyed Lucy Parsons' library. It would be great to have it.

The Illinois Labor History Society would be a good place to ask, as would the Labadie Collection at U Mich -- I have a friend there & will ask her.

I listed in the suggested list (proposed libraries - real) a few folks -- Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman. Emma in particular would be great because of her wide range of interests.

gen. 14, 2009, 12:33pm

I don't think it's an "oversight". It's a question of someone having access to the information and taking the time to enter it.

I second the suggestion of the ILHS, and the Labadie Collection (some of my grandfather's papers are there).

gen. 14, 2009, 4:21pm

Deb’s papers and library went, eventually, to Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library. They are in a special collection but it has been expanded acquisitions related, but not possessed by Debs.

IIRC, Lucy Parsons was trying to get her library back from the FBI, that implies lawyers and paperwork and the paperwork might still exist. Maybe. I have my fingers crossed.

Any oversight would have been mine for not starting on this sooner. I read Death in the Haymarket last year and thought of the Legacy Library at that time. There are just so many interesting possibilities and only so many people working on the project. I did not mean to sound critical; I just wanted to bring the subject up in case someone else was also interested. Now that school is back in session I won’t have much time to work on it but when I can spare some time I will keep looking for an appropriate list.

gen. 14, 2009, 5:04pm

... it would indeed be really interesting to work on this. my colleague @ UMich / Labadie says catalogs of personal libraries of labor leaders / activists do not exist, to her knowledge, except possibly as informal lists of materials donated / given away / etc.

feb. 6, 2009, 11:27pm

Marquette University seems to have a Dorothy Day/Catholic Worker archive: