20th-Century Collections Guide: Race, Ethnic, and Immigrant History

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20th-Century Collections Guide: Race, Ethnic, and Immigrant History

The 2002 merger of the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania strengthened HSP's already significant holdings relating to ethnic and immigrant history. These collections document the experiences of more than sixty ethnic groups, including African American, Chinese, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Native American, Polish, Puerto Rican, Slovak, and Ukrainian communities in the United States.

The Historical Society has also engaged in projects as part of the New Immigrants Initiative with the goal of expanding its documentation of Arab, African, Latino, Southeast Asian, and Korean immigrant communities in the greater Philadelphia area.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide to HSP's manuscript collections relating to 20th-century immigrant and ethnic history. It is meant to serve as a starting point to help users locate collections that may be of interest to them.

See the 20th-Century Collections Guide main page.

HSP staff is regularly adding finding aids to the website. Users should click on a collection's title to see whether a full online finding aid is available.


African Americans

Asian Americans

Central and Eastern Europeans

German Americans

Hispanic Americans

Irish Americans

Italian Americans

Jewish Americans


Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies
Balch Institute ethnic images in advertising collection, 1891-1999 (Collection 3238) 3 boxes (2 linear ft.)
This collection is an artificial one consisting of ethnic images in advertisements, ranging from the late 1890s to 1999.  The ethnic groups included are African-American, Arab, Anglo, Dutch, Eskimo, English, Chinese, general Asian, Native American, Italian, Irish, Hawaiian, German, Jewish, Japanese, Scottish, French, Greek, Russian, Swiss, Mexican, general Latin American, Pennsylvania German, and some multi-ethnic. Images are arranged alphabetically by name of ethnic group portrayed. The collection appears to have been intended for an exhibit.

Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies; Historical Society of Pennsylvania
New Immigrants Initiative collection, 1976-2004 (Collection 3442) 22 boxes (4 linear ft.)
This collection contains the records of the New Immigrants Initiative, a multi-year series of projects started by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies and completed by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, which explored the history and experience of non-European immigrant communities in the Philadelphia area.  The purpose of these projects was to document these communities for the historical record and to create interpretive exhibits, publications, and programs that educate about the recent immigrant experience.  Five communities were initially part of the project, with four being fully finished: Indian, Arab, African, Latino, and Korean (started but not completed).  Included in the collection are oral history transcripts, photographs, printed material, ephemera, and correspondence. There are also numerous audio cassette tapes and VHS tapes.

Ethnic Millions Political Action Committee (EMPAC!)
Ethnic Millions Political Action Committee (EMPAC!) records, circa 1969-1981s (Collection 3094) 16 boxes 1 volume (5.7 linear ft.)
The organization was incorporated in 1974 in New York City by Michael Novak and others as a national civil rights committee representing white ethnics.  Its goals included the establishment of a white ethnic political caucus and fair representation of white ethnics in education and the media.  The committee also supported better relations between black and white ethnics.  Its newsletter, A New America (changed to EMPAC! in 1976), was published by Novak and was an influential forum for the new ethnicity during the mid 1970s.  The collection consists of correspondence and editorial files, reference and research materials, membership records, and a dues book.

Philadelphia Fellowship Commission
Philadelphia Fellowship Commission records, 1945-1968 (Collection MSS155) 3 boxes (1 linear ft.)
The Philadelphia Fellowship Commission was formed in 1941 as a community service organization aimed at promoting better relations between diverse ethnic and religious groups.  The organization sponsored educational and job assistance programs and was active in the establishment of Philadelphia branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  These records include minutes, reports and printed materials, papers, and speeches.  The Philadelphia Fellowship Commission was a pioneering, well-connected, and extremely active early civil rights organization. The collection addresses many racial and ethnic-related conflicts and problems that Philadelphia faced in the two decades after World War II in areas such as employment, housing, community-police relations, discrimination in public accommodations and services, election practices, and education. The collection also touches on the Commission's media work.

Philadelphia Fellowship Commission
Philadelphia Fellowship Commission phonograph recordings collection, circa 1945-1953 (Collection 3572) 20 boxes (11 linear ft.)
The collection includes broadcast recordings for WFIL and WIP in Philadelphia. Programs include "Within Our Gates," "Philadelphia Award," "Valor Knows No Creed," "Lest We Forget These Great Americans," and others. Also included are commercial music recordings from RCA Victor, Columbia, Capitol, and other record companies. All recordings are on 16" phonograph disks, except for 10" and 12" disks in boxes 10 and 20. This collection is currently not available to researchers, but is in the process of being digitized.

African Americans

Ferguson, Ruth Johns
Ruth Johns Ferguson papers, 1901-1985 (Collection 3075) 4 boxes (1.7 linear ft.)
Ruth Johns Ferguson (1902-1989), born Ruth Elizabeth Booker Johns, was a beauty culture expert, co-proprietor of the Apex School of Beauty Culture franchise in Philadelphia, and member of the National Beauty Culturists’ League and its national sorority, Theta Nu Sigma.  She worked for the Apex Hair and News Company, the company that created the Apex beauty school, in the early part of the twentieth century.  Eventually, Ferguson chose to teach the younger generations about beauty culture.  Ferguson and her partner, Naomi T. Fassett (1908-1983), opened an Apex beauty school branch at 525 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, which they ran for about 35 years.  Classes at Apex consisted mostly of young African American women from Philadelphia and the surrounding region, who wished to become beauty culture experts.  Ruth Johns Ferguson stood out among her contemporaries as an African American woman running her own successful business in the mid- to late-twentieth century. The Ruth Johns Ferguson collection is small yet varied and includes her father’s personal diary, a 1956 Apex School of Beauty Culture yearbook, National Beauty Culturists’ League/Theta Nu Sigma booklets, newspaper articles, diplomas, certificates, and a dark blue vinyl document bag.  Photographic prints make up a majority of the collection.  Ferguson kept pictures of friends and family as well as formal photographs of Apex graduation classes and National Beauty Culturists’ League/Theta Nu Sigma-related gatherings and events.

Links, Inc. Eastern Area
Links Eastern Area archival collection, 1946-2003 (Collection 3055) 11 boxes 1 volume (5.5 linear ft.)
Founded in 1946 and incorporated as a national organization in 1951, the Links have continually developed and refined their means of effectively responding to the social, political, and financial challenges of the black community for over fifty years.  Established in Philadelphia by Sarah Strictland Scott and Margaret Roselle Hawkins as a small association dedicated to the changing needs of professional African-American women, the Links today rely on the efforts of nearly 10,000 women from 274 chapters in realizing its national and international initiatives.  In 1984, the Links, Inc. established an international headquarters in Washington, DC. Initially started as a time capsule project to commemorate the new millennium, the collection has grown substantially with its reconfiguration as an archival effort.  As the time capsule evolved into what is now the Eastern Area Archival Repository, designated archivists and historians from each chapter contributed a diverse range of materials to document the organization’s history and achievements.  While the specific materials vary from chapter to chapter, collectively they bring to light the Links’ success in finding new interpretations of and new solutions to challenges within the black community throughout the world.

McDaniel, Thelma
Thelma McDaniel collection, 1935-1989 (Collection 3063) 6 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
Thelma McDaniel was a collector of the radical literature of the civil rights, black power, and communist movements in the United States and African solidarity movements abroad. As a resident of Philadelphia, she collected a variety of documents from mostly local organizations, including flyers; pamphlets; and newspapers expressing the sentiments, attitude, philosophies, strategies, and tactics of these various movements and participating groups and organizations. Although there is little information on McDaniel’s life story or her participation in the activities of the civil rights and black power movements, her collection documents the socio-cultural and political dynamics of the African American and multiracial struggles throughout the country. This collection is rich in documenting the on-the-ground activities of the organizing that took place primarily Philadelphia, as well as other parts of the United States and Africa.

People's Voice (New York, N.Y.: 1942-1948)
People's Voice research and editorial files, 1865-1963 (Collection 3086) 1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
People's Voice was a leftist African American newspaper in New York, N.Y., founded by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.  It was published from 1942 to 1948. The collection includes correspondence, press releases, booklets, clippings, flyers, programs, printed materials, and photographs.

Rector, Justine J.
Justine J. Rector papers, 1870-2000 (Collection 3088) 14 boxes (5.5 linear ft.)
Justine J. Rector (b. 1927) has been an active and prolific journalist and teacher in Philadelphia and in Washington, D. C. since the late 1960s. She has involved herself in promoting civil rights, fostering high standards in journalism, and in documenting and improving race relations, particularly in Philadelphia. In addition to her academic career, which included jobs at Temple University, Howard University, and Columbia University, Rector has also worked as a freelance reporter throughout the Philadelphia and Washington D.C. areas. She founded the African American Male Resource Center, an organization designed to educate the public on the “plight of the Black male in America.”

The collection spans her career as a journalist for newspapers in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. The vast majority of the collection is made up of subject files collected by Rector in the course of her research on Black history, her professional activities as a Black journalist, and her participation in a variety of civic organizations and conferences. There is also a large group of newspaper clippings covering the period of the civil rights era in Philadelphia, through the 1980s debate of Ebonics in public schools. Of note is a large amount of material dating back to the origins of Black journalism in Pennsylvania in the 1870s, which includes a historical listing of Black journalists in Pennsylvania.

Shelton, Bernice Dutrieuille
Bernice Dutrieuille Shelton papers, 1913-1983 (Collection MSS131) 27 boxes (10.8 linear ft.)
Bernice Dutrieuille Shelton was born in Philadelphia.  She was among the earliest African-American graduates of Girls' High, and became a journalist in the early 1920s.  Shelton contributed regular features on social news and columns on other subjects to area African-American newspapers, including the Philadelphia Tribune and the Baltimore Afro-American, serving as both special correspondent and advertising representative for the Afro-American. She was active in a number of civic organizations including the YWCA, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs.  The collection contains personal and professional correspondence and related materials, drafts and clippings of many of Shelton's columns, drafts of a history of the Dutrieuille family written by Shelton, miscellaneous writings and printed materials, and uncataloged photographs.

Stemons, James Samuel
James Samuel Stemons papers, 1894-1922 (Collection MSS012) 4 boxes  (1.4 linear ft.)
James Samuel Stemons was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, and settled in Philadelphia ca. 1900.  A postal worker, journalist and writer, he served as the editor of two short-lived African-American newspapers: The Philadelphia Courant and the Pilot.  He was also active in several civic organizations.  An outspoken advocate for equal industrial opportunities for Blacks, he lectured and published extensively on race relations.  He served as Field Secretary of the Joint Organization of the Association for Equalizing Industrial Opportunities and the League of Civic and Political Reform.  The collection documents Stemons's personal and professional life, and includes correspondence, printed materials, writings, clippings, a photocopy of a marriage license to Arizona L. Cleaver, and the manuscript of his unpublished autobiographical novel.

Twigs, Inc. Philadelphia Chapter
Twigs, Inc. Philadelphia Chapter records, 1959-1998 (Collection MSS154) 13 boxes (5.8 linear ft.)
Twigs was founded in 1948 to promote strength, growth, and life among African-American families. The collection contains both chapter and national records, including constitutions and bylaws, minutes, correspondence, financial records, membership and alumni directories, scrapbooks, ephemera, and other items.

Asian Americans

American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee, Clothing Committee, Japanese American relocation center card files, 1943-1945 (Collection MSS065) 4 boxes (0.6 linear ft.)
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was established in 1917 and is a service agency related to the Society of Friends.  The Clothing Committee of AFSC sent gifts of clothing, toys, and other articles to Japanese Americans living in relocation centers during World War II.  This collection contains AFSC administrative files for their program with new mothers, consisting of individual index cards for each case.  The cards usually contain the name of the woman, where she resided, the sex and date of birth of the baby, and the date that a gift was ordered or sent.  Some cards contain additional information.  The cards are arranged alphabetically by the mother's surname.  In English.

Hoh, Yam Tong and Daisy Law
Yam Tong Hoh and Daisy Law papers, 1919-1977 (Collection 3020) 2 boxes (0.85 linear ft.)
The Papers of Rev. Yam Tong and Daisy Law Hoh span the years 1919 to 1977, and focus primarily on their lives while residing in the United States as emigrants from China. The collection reflects the work of Yam Tong as an educator and Reverend in both California and Philadelphia, as well as his untiring work for the True Light School of Hong Kong. The collection complements the Reverend Dr. Yam Tong Hoh Papers (MSS 126),  located at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, by providing biographical material on Yam Tong's first wife, Daisy Law Hoh, as well as Rev. Hoh.

Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic Church
Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic Church records, 1939-1975 (Collection MSS030) 1 box (0.4 linear ft.)
Holy Redeemer Chinese Roman Catholic Church was founded in Philadelphia's Chinatown in 1941 as a mission church of the parish of St. John the Evangelist. The collection consists of the unbound contents of two scrapbooks: programs, invitations, announcements, newspaper clippings, and personal correspondence from contributors to the scrapbooks.

Iwata, Shigezo and Sonoko
Shigezo and Sonoko Iwata papers, 1942-1987 (Collection MSS053) 2  boxes (0.6 linear ft.)
Shigezo Iwata was born in Japan and immigrated to the United States in 1924.  Sonoko U. Iwata was born in Los Angeles.  The couple made their home in Thermal, California where they farmed and Shigezo was secretary of the Thermal Farmers' Cooperative Association.  Separated in the initial part of World War II when Shigezo was arrested and detained by the FBI at the Lordsburg Internment Camp (New Mexico), the Iwatas were reunited in 1943 at the Colorado River Relocation Center near Poston, Arizona.  The collection contains letters between the Iwatas and their friends detailing life in the relocation center and the internment camp.  There are also personal documents and biographical materials.

Kobayashi, Sumiko
Kobayashi, Sumiko. Papers, 1941-1989 (Collection MSS073) 22 boxes (8.8 linear ft.)
Sumiko Kobayashi was born in Yamato, a Japanese agricultural community near Palm Beach, Florida, the daughter of Japanese immigrants.  Her family was relocated from San Leandro, California under Executive Order 9066 and interned in the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah.  Kobayashi was allowed to leave the camp in order to attend college through the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, and graduated from Brothers College, Drew University in Madison, New Jersey in 1946.  She has been active in many Japanese-American and Asian-American organizations and served as Redress Chair for Pennsylvania of the Japanese American Citizens' League's National Committee on Redress.  The collection includes personal correspondence, documents, and photographs relating to the family's time in the Topaz Relocation Center, as well as drawings made by Kobayashi at Topaz and the Tanforan Assembly Center, but it consists primarily of records of the organizations in which she has been active.  In English and Japanese.

For related materials see the Susumu Kobayashi Papers (MSS71) and the Sumiko Kobayashi papers (additions), 1942-2003 (MSS073A)

Quong, Rose
Rose Quong papers, 1923-1973 (Collection MSS132) 7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Rose Quong was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of Chinese parents.  She worked as an actress in Australia, England, and France before coming to the United States in the 1930s, where she settled in New York City.  She continued her acting career in America and became a successful lecturer.  The collection includes diaries, script, scrapbooks, and audiotapes of Quong reading and of songs translated by Quong.

Central and Eastern Europeans

Behuncik, Edward J.
Edward J. Behuncik papers, 1918-1993 (Collection MSS170) 16 boxes (7.4 linear ft.)
Edward J. Behuncik was a lawyer, founder of the Slovak World Congress and participant in other organizations related to Slovakia and the Democratic Party.  The papers reflect Behuncik's civic, community, political and religious activities. The papers include minutes, speeches, correspondence, reports, printed materials, clippings, directories, photos, diplomas, posters, artifacts and other materials.

Gondos family
Gondos family papers, 1895-circa 1978 (Collection 3082) 13 boxes 3 volumes (3.9 linear ft.)
Victor Gondos, a civil engineer, immigrated to the United States with his family in 1911, settling in Chicago. He married Irene Trautmann, and they had two sons, Zoltan (later Robert) and Victor Jr.  In the 1920s they moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, where Victor set up The Gondos Company, a general contracting firm.  In 1930, Gondos joined with his sons to form Gondos and Gondos, an architectural firm headquartered in Philadelphia that designed industrial buildings, schools, and hotels.  Both sons garnered engineering degrees, but Victor Jr. was also an historian and archivist, and he served on the staff of the National Archives for twenty-three years. This diverse collection, which spans almost one hundred years, chronicles a Hungarian family’s attempt to assimilate to the United States yet retain its heritage.  It also documents the family’s architectural and construction businesses from the mid 1920s though the Great Depression and World War II.  The vast majority of this collection is correspondence between family members in the United States and in Hungary.   There are also scrapbooks, audio materials, clippings, programs, pamphlets, journals, technical drawings, and photographs.

Hurban-Boor family
Hurban-Boor family papers and photographs, circa 1874-1993 (Collection MSS166) 9 boxes (4.8 linear ft.)
Flat file materials include a passport and other official documents, a photograph, printed materials, and genealogical notes.  The collections also contains eight photo albums and souvenir books relating to Vladimir Hurban's service as Czechoslovakian ambassador to Egypt in the 1920s.  Photographs depict various Egyptian landmarks and sites, and Vladimir and his wife Olga are shown in several photos. There is also a volume entitled "The Four Freedoms," which was given to Vladimir Hurban when he was the Czechoslovakian ambassador to the United States. Also included is one loose photo (reproduced from a daguerreotype) of Samuel Jurkovic. The photographs date from 1920 to 1943 and consist of one box.   Unprocessed additions to the collection are .2 linear feet and consist of images, a death notice, a paper on democracy in Czechoslovakia, and a book on Edvard Beneš’s 1943 visit to the United States and Canada.  The photographs depict Vladimir Hurban, Olga Boor Hurban, Jan Masaryk, Edvard Beneš, and George and Emilia Jurković.

For related material see the Vladimir Hurban papers (MSS034).

Kolankiewicz, Leon J.
Leon J. Kolankiewicz papers, 1888-1978 (Collection 3071) 6 boxes (2.9 linear ft.)
Leon J. Kolankiewicz (1892-1971) was a Pennsylvania state assemblyman, the first Polish-American councilman at large elected in Philadelphia, and a strong advocate for Polish wartime and peacetime relief.  A native Philadelphian, Kolankiewicz worked with various Polish-American associations to educate and inform citizens of efforts to help Poland and its people recover from recent wars.  As a councilman, he consistently worked with and among the Polish community to ensure their places in Philadelphia’s social, political, and economic schema.  He also worked with other civic leaders to ensure the observance of important Polish events and holidays within the city. Kolankiewicz’s papers are primarily related to his public personas as a city representative and as a Polish relief worker.  Included in this richly varied collection are incoming and outgoing correspondence from Kolankiewicz, Judge Robert and Anne von Moschzisker, and Ignace Jan and Helena Paderewski; assorted booklets and pamphlets on such subjects as Polish war relief, Poland-United States relations, and Polish tourism; and publicity photographs of Kolankiewicz.  A majority of the items in the collection are written or printed in Polish since Kolankiewicz often communicated with his Polish friends, colleagues, and constituents in their native tongue.

Lithuanian Music Hall Association
Lithuanian Music Hall Association records, 1873-1992 (Collection 3043) 8 boxes 38 volumes (6.5 linear ft.)
The Lithuanian Music Hall Association (LMHA) was established on March 3, 1907, from various Lithuanian clubs and organizations in the Philadelphia area. This association was created to support and preserve the ethnic and cultural heritage of Lithuanian Americans, to give financial aid in case of sickness, and to provide mortuary benefits to the organization’s members. The organization established a library and a reading room, also supporting classes for the study of the Lithuanian and English languages, as well as promoting art. The building at the corner of Allegheny and Tilton Streets in Philadelphia, in which the organization has been located since 1908, is known as the Lithuanian Music Hall, where the LMHA provides a place for concerts, theatrical performances, conventions, various meetings, and social amusements. In 1943, the American Lithuanian Citizens’ Beneficial Club, which was established in 1902, merged with LMHA. In 1975, the LMHA became a shareholder-owned organization.  As of 2004, the LMHA is still in existence. The LMHA is the Philadelphia chapter of the Lithuanian American Community organization.

The collection contains materials of the LMHA as well as the Gedeminas’ Lithuanian Club, the American Lithuanian Citizens’ Beneficial Club, the National Lithuanian Beneficial Club, the Petro Armino Society, the Lithuanian National Independent Club, the First Lithuanian Building and Loan Association, and the Lithuanian Real Estate Company. Some of these organizations were among the first Lithuanian organizations in Philadelphia, which slowly dwindled as members passed away. The bulk of the collection is a number of income and expense ledgers, mostly of the LMHA. A small amount of correspondence in the collection belongs to the LMHA. Other materials of the LMHA and the above-mentioned organizations and clubs are bylaws, agreements and certificates, a number of minute books, dues and membership data books, records of sick and death benefit claims, and programs and flyers of events. Materials are in Lithuanian and English.

Nagorski, Zygmunt, 1884-1973
Zygmunt Nagorski papers, 1920-1995 (Collection MSS025) 15 boxes (7.4 linear ft.)
Zygmunt Nagorski was Nagorski was a Polish immigrant who worked as a journalist and editor in the United States. Previous to his time in the U.S. he worked as an attorney in Warsaw, as a member of the Polish government in exile during WWII (head of "lecture division"), and worked as a correspondent for the Allies during the war. In the United States, Nagorski worked as the editor of the Foreign News Service, and as a journalist with the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Denver Post, the Money Manager (East-West Trade), and the Boston Post. He also authored a number of books, his articles appeared in numerous scholarly journals, and he additionally provided policy papers for Carter during his Presidential campaign. A leitmotif of his writings was the tyranny and consequences of enforced Communist regimes. The collection includes correspondence, writings and speeches, legal documents, notes, briefs, and organizational minutes relating to Nagorski's legal career and writings, post World War II political and economic interests, involvement in educational organizations and personal activities.  Most of the material is in Polish. There are four boxes of unprocessed additions.

Swiss Benevolent Society of New York
Swiss Benevolent Society of New York records, 1880-1982, undated (Collection MSS127) 87 boxes (46.8 linear ft.)
The Swiss Benevolent Society of New York is the oldest Swiss Benevolent Society in the United States, founded in 1832.  From its inception, the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York has sought to care for the poor among the Swiss population of New York.  The earliest records of the Society date from 1880 and include correspondence, board minutes, financial and administrative records, annual reports, newspaper clippings, blueprints and various printed materials.  The unprocessed additions to the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York Records consist of one box that contains brochures and invitations.

Swiss Benevolent Society of Philadelphia
Swiss Benevolent Society of Philadelphia records, 1860-1990 (Collection MSS013) 8 boxes (2.8 linear ft.)
The Swiss Benevolent Society was founded in 1860 to aid needy Swiss immigrants coming into Philadelphia or New York City. In 1940, it affiliated itself with the New Helvetic Society.  The collection includes bylaws, constitutions, correspondence, minutes, annual reports, legal documents, membership records, an organizational history, and uncataloged photographs. For related materials, see New Helvetic Society Records.

German Americans

Bergdoll family
Bergdoll family papers, 1910-1974 (Collection MSS021) 5 boxes (2.6 linear ft.)
The Bergdolls were a prominent Philadelphia German family who operated the Bergdoll and Sons Brewing Co. The bulk of the collection relates to Grover Cleveland Bergdoll (1893-1966), particularly his youthful experience as a race car driver, his trial and imprisonment for evading the draft during World War I, and the settlement of his estate. The papers include legal documents, financial papers, newspaper clippings, and other materials. Also present are miscellaneous documents relating to the brewery and Louis J. Bergdoll Motor Company, and an unpublished family history, "The Curse of the Bergdoll Gold."

National Carl Schurz Association
National Carl Schurz Association records, 1709-1995 (Collection MSS167) 225 boxes (112 linear ft.)
The National Carl Schurz Association, Inc. (NCSA) was established in 1930 as the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation (CSMF) to promote and improve the teaching of German language and culture, and to foster friendship between the United States and German-speaking countries. In 1962, the CSMF changed its name to the National Carl Schurz Association, Inc. The association focused on providing and stimulating interest in German studies, facilitating occasional student and teacher exchange, fostering international education, and providing audio-visual language teaching aids. The collection consists of records from the CSMF and NCSA, as well as several related organizations: the Oberlaender Trust, American Association of Teachers of German, American Council on German Studies, and Educational Services International, with the prevalence of the materials stemming from the NCSA. The majority of the records from each organization are correspondence and financial documents. Other records include organizational charts; bylaws; agreements between partners; convention and annual meeting minutes and reports; committee reports; bicentennial exhibit inventories and catalogs; bicentennial contests essays; membership and employment records; materials that illustrate the programs implemented and provided, and publications. Also present are some of Carl Schurz’s personal documents from unknown sources, including his speeches, certificates, correspondence, memorials, and family genealogy. The collection is completed by scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, slides, and artifacts belonging to each organization.

Old First Reformed Church
Old First Reformed Church records, 1741-1976 (Collection 3010) 104 boxes 246 volumes (42 linear ft.)
The Old First Reformed Church of Philadelphia was founded as the German Reformed Church of Philadelphia in 1727. Its records document over two hundred years of one of Philadelphia's oldest congregations. The collection includes administrative, financial, pastoral, membership, and Sunday school records. Also included are materials from other church organizations and projects, church services and events, higher church bodies and related congregations, and the congregation's documentation and interpretation of its’ own history.

Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company
Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company records, 1891-1954 (Collection 1816) 7 boxes 368 volumes (64 linear ft.)
This Philadelphia publishing firm was known first as The German Daily Gazette Publishing Company, 1891-1918, and then as The Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company, 1918-1954.  The firm published the principle German language newspapers of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Gazette-Demokrat; Philadelphia Sonntags-Gazette; Philadelphia Tageblatt, 1933-1944; and the Philadelphia Sonntagsblatt; also, it did a large scale printing business, including the printing for publishers of other Philadelphia area newspapers. Financial records make up the main body of the collection, and may be divided into general accounts, advertising accounts, branch accounts, carrier's accounts, subscriber's accounts, special accounts, and miscellaneous accounts.  Included are journals; ledgers: general ledgers, advertiser's ledgers, branch ledgers, carrier's ledgers, commission ledgers, subscriber's ledgers, miscellaneous ledgers; cashbooks: general cashbooks, advertiser's cashbooks, carrier's cashbooks, subscriber's cashbooks; subscriber's receipt books; indexes to the record books; special accounts: advertising contract records, payroll records, trial balances, voucher registers; and miscellaneous financial accounts. The collection also contains minutes, 1891, concerning the organization of the company; miscellaneous non-financial records; correspondence, financial records, and miscellany, 1923-1954, of the publishing company, and also, of the Mayer family, proprietors of the company.  Members of the Mayer family represented include Gustav Mayer, Theodore Mayer, and Louis Mayer.

United Singers of Philadelphia
United Singers of Philadelphia records, 1887-1929 (Collection 3524) 1 boxes (0.4 linear ft.)
United Singers of Philadelphia was an umbrella organization, which represented approximately 40 area singing groups.  The member societies were predominantly German but included some other ethnic groups as well.  The scrapbook contains programs and clippings from contemporary papers covering the activities of the organization, and related German-American-based activities opposing Prohibition, nativism, and US entry into World War I on the side of the Allies.  Also present are a Cirkut group portrait, Atlantic City, 1932, and a German-language songbook, 1929.

Hispanic Americans

Aspira Association
Aspira, Inc. (Pennsylvania) records, 1969 -1996 (Collection MSS148) 69 boxes (27.6 linear ft.)
Aspira, founded in 1961 in New York City by a group of Latino professionals, is a national organization based in Washington, D.C., where it lobbies for education and youth programs aimed at the Latino population.  The Pennsylvania branch of Aspira, located in Philadelphia, was founded in 1969.  It primarily serves the Puerto Rican community, but also other Latinos and some non-Latinos, promoting community service, education, and interest in Puerto Rican culture.  Activities include sponsorship of cultural events, school programs, and scholarship and student loan programs.  The collection contains administrative correspondence and related materials, financial records, and personnel and student files.

Concerned Citizens of North Camden
Concerned Citizens of North Camden records, 1980-1990 (Collection MSS130) 8 boxes (3.2 linear ft.)
Concerned Citizens of North Camden was founded in 1978 as a grassroots organization dedicated to revitalizing the North Camden neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey, and empowering its residents. CCNC's work focused above all on providing better housing through a combination of public advocacy and community initiative to rehabilitate abandoned housing stock. Other areas of concern included cleaner streets, employment and job training, legal aid, neighborhood safety, and overall community development. The collection includes correspondence, administrative records, newsletters, flyers, and other materials. Portions of the collection are restricted.  Addition added as part of the Wm Penn Balch Museum repatriation. This addition consists of one poster with the heading: “Together We Can Make a Difference” in English and in Spanish.

Diaz, Nelson A.
Nelson A. Diaz papers, 1967-2009 (Collection 3079) 177 boxes (69.2 linear ft.)
Nelson Diaz (1947- ) is a Philadelphia attorney who served on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (1981-1992) and as general counsel for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (1993-1996). In addition, he has been highly active in the Hispanic and overall Philadelphia community as an activist, businessman, and journalist. He has served on many boards and committees in the Philadelphia area, and his interests and involvement have ranged from youth groups to the Temple University Hospital to the William Penn Foundation. This extensive collection documents Diaz's activities relating to Hispanic issues, organizations, and events; his work with and for various boards and committees; his work as a judge and an attorney; and his numerous other activities. Materials include correspondence, memos, minutes, reports, transcripts, by-laws, mailing lists, financial data, petitions, clippings, personnel documents, photographs, and audio and video cassettes. There are also several boxes of unprocessed additions.

Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development
Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development records, 1973-1985 (Collection MSS116) 21 boxes (9.6 linear ft.)
The Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development was a non-profit organization serving Puerto Ricans and Latinos in Philadelphia.  Established in 1981, the organization mirrored the goals of its founder, attorney Luis P. Diaz, who perceived the need for an agency to serve as a middleman between the city's predominantly non-Hispanic banks, corporations, public agencies, and planning officials on the one hand and Philadelphia's growing - but socially and economically disadvantaged - population of Spanish-speaking inhabitants on the other.  The Federation helped make resources and services available to a network of organizational members and affiliate groups made up of community-based organizations in Latino neighborhoods, until it went bankrupt in 1985.  This collection is particularly rich in information that details the evolution of housing and community development programs involving Philadelphia-area Hispanics between 1981 and 1985.  Included are correspondence, grant applications, reports, memoranda, financial records, newspaper clippings, project files for the Housing Initiative Program and the Human Services Program, and maps and other data collected by Federation staff during a 1982 Vacant Properties Survey of North Philadelphia.  Portions of the collection are restricted.

Latino Project (Philadelphia)
Latino Project records, 1962-1985 (Collection MSS117) 29 boxes (11.2 linear ft.)
The Latino Project, headed by attorney Luis P. Diaz, was a non-profit legal assistance and public advocacy organization that provided representation to Spanish-speaking groups and interests in Greater Philadelphia area.  Until its demise in 1984, The Latino Project was particularly concerned with protecting and developing employment opportunities in the public and private sectors under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which forbade job discrimination on the basis of national origin) and providing legal representation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (which forbade the exclusion of Latinos from participating in any federally assisted program and required such programs to affirmatively benefit Puerto Ricans and other Spanish-speaking people).  This collection consists of the files of the Latino Project from the mid-1970s through 1982.   Included are correspondence, memoranda, minutes, grant applications, clippings, newsletters, and other items pertaining to the work of the project and its executive director, advisory board, and staff.  Of special interest are legal case files and court proceedings documenting a number of discrimination cases involving the employment of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in Philadelphia.  The files also reflect the organization's interest in bilingual education, expanding educational and employment opportunities for Hispanics, and in improving the delivery of general health care and mental health services for Spanish-speaking clients.

Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia
Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia records, 1970-1988 (Collection MSS114) 68 boxes   (171 linear ft.)
The Spanish Merchants Association was founded in 1970 by Puerto Rican businessmen in Philadelphia to distribute Minority Business Development Agency funds in the Latino community. Initially created to foster the growth of local Latino businesses, the association increasingly focused on housing, food, and other entitlement programs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The organization was dissolved in 1989. The collection includes financial and other administrative records, and records from affiliated and associated organizations. In English and Spanish. There are two boxes of unprocessed additions. 

Irish Americans

Cleary, James J. (James Joyce), 1888-1974
James J. Cleary papers, 1837-1988 (Collection 3076) 15 boxes  11 volumes (5.8 linear ft.)
James Joyce Cleary (1888-1974) was a published writer, an athlete, a worker, a socialist, and a father.  Born in Ireland, Cleary immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, living first in New York City and then in Philadelphia, where he settled and formed a small family.  He worked at several different kinds of jobs during his life, but eventually started his own grocery business, Golden Dawn.  He was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed attending local track and field events.  He believed in socialism as a system that could positively affect American politics and economics.  Cleary endured decades of war, depression, and prosperity, and found a suitable balance between his Irish roots and American ways of life. This collection is rich with materials that Cleary collected and created.  There are folders of his poems and prose writings, some of which were published in local newspapers.  There are also several folders of his personal financial, legal, and work-related documents.  Additionally, Cleary saved sports programs, family papers, and numerous clippings from newspapers and magazines.  From some of these clippings, Cleary made large, full scrapbooks that define eras in news and pictures.  Also in this collection is a sizable amount of pro-socialist and pro-Soviet literature, clippings from Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent, and several Irish newspapers.

Clark, Dennis
Dennis Clark papers, 1888-1982 (Collection MSS037) 8 boxes (7.3 linear ft.)
An historian and foundation administrator, Clark has written extensively on the Irish immigrant in urban society and Irish life in Philadelphia.  The collection consists primarily of research materials, including research papers, drafts of Clark's writings, articles and clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, book reviews, and cassettes.  Also present are materials relating to the Clan-na-Gael of Philadelphia.  Clark's diaries are available on microfilm.  In English.

See also Dennis Clark papers (additions), 1863-1994 (Collection MSS177).

Irish Edition (newspaper)
Irish Edition records, 1916-1991 (Collection 3049) 47 boxes (30 linear ft.)
The Irish Edition newspaper, founded in Philadelphia in 1981, is a regional monthly Irish-American newspaper with a focus on metropolitan Philadelphia, including south New Jersey and the Wilmington area of Delaware. While primarily concentrated on local concerns, the paper’s circulation is of a national scale and covers current events, politics, business, and the culture of Irish and Irish Americans both at home and abroad. The founders of the paper, Anthony R. Byrne and Jane M. Duffin, have served respectively as publisher and editor from the beginning of the paper to the current day. The paper is presently located in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania.

Loane, W. Paul
W. Paul Loane papers, 1960-2001 (Collection 3092) 6 boxes (2.1 linear ft.)
W. Paul Loane is an intriguing character to whom many labels apply: native Philadelphian, Ulsterman, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and sommelier. During the 1980s, he fervently supported Loyalist causes in Northern Ireland, formed ties with paramilitary, political, and cultural groups and became the North American Representative for the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP). By the late 1990s, however, he had become a proponent of reconciliation with the Republic of Ireland, visiting Nationalist shrines in Northern Ireland and, eventually, converting to Roman Catholicism. The collection documents many aspects of Loane’s life, from his political and cultural interests to his professional expertise in the field of wine and spirits. It consists of pamphlets, notices and publications from Ulster-related societies and organizations. There are newspaper clippings, articles written by Loane, ephemera and correspondence. In addition, there are photographs and fifteen audio tapes, as well as unprocessed additions. 

Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick
Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick records, 1771-1982, undated (Collection 1152) 4 boxes 11 volumes (3 linear ft.)
The Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick was founded in 1771 as a social organization for men of Irish heritage.  The original organization was dissolved by 1798.  In 1792, the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland was incorporated, with much of its membership overlapping with the Friendly Sons.  In 1898 the Hibernian Society changed its name to the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland. The initial accession consists of: Rules and minute book, 1771-1797; minute books, 1813-1910, 1935-1956, 1960-1982; record of fees for membership, dinners and scholarship fund, 1954-1960; annual toasts, 1853-1880; portraits of early members; constitution and by-laws, 1941, 1945, 1951, 1971; membership lists, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1971; addresses presented to the society; dinner programs, 1939-1980; and other ephemera.  The additions consist of programs from the society's 139th and 210th annual banquets, as well as a blank membership certificate.

See also Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick records circa 1850-2006, bulk 1940-2006 (Collection 3573).

Italian Americans

American Institute for Italian culture
American Institute for Italian culture records, 1957-1983 (Collection 3027) 10 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)
The American Institute for Italian Culture (AIIC) was a nonprofit corporation, organized for educational and charitable purposes. Its primary goal was to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the impact of Italian culture on the American way of life. From 1963 to 1982, the AIIC sponsored numerous programs and events in the Philadelphia area to present and celebrate the cultural contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans. Most events were open to the public and free of charge. Peter and Ida Rosa Pugliese led the AIIC from its inception, and the organizations’ achievements were a reflection of the Puglieses’ talents and dedication. The Puglieses had a major role in every AIIC activity. The collection includes bulletins and programs for the many AIIC events. In addition, there are administrative and financial records, correspondence, speeches, 380 photographs, and twenty-one audiotapes. The records show both public and private aspects of the AIIC’s twenty-year history.

Covello, Leonard 1887-1982
Leonard Covello papers, 1907-1974, undated (Collection MSS040) 132 boxes (54.5 linear ft.)
Covello was born in Avigliano, Basilicata, Italy, and immigrated to East Harlem, New York City, with his family in 1896. He was a teacher and administrator in the New York City public school system, author of The Social Background of the Italo-American School Child and other studies, and a leader in the intercultural education movement and in the Italian-American community. The papers document Covello's career as a teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School, principal of Benjamin Franklin High School, East Harlem, and educational consultant to the Migration Division of the Puerto Rican Department of Labor, as well as his research on Italian-American immigrants and Puerto Ricans, especially in East Harlem, and his activities in the Italian-American community. The collection includes correspondence, his files as an educator, extensive research and writing files, records from organizations, and printed materials. This collection documents many overlapping topics, such as the history of education and educational theory, immigrant children and youth, assimilation versus retaining immigrant heritage, demographic changes in East Harlem, progressive politics in New York City (especially for 1930s-1960s), Italian-American and Puerto Rican communities in New York City (and their interaction), the history of social science research, and other topics. There is correspondence with prominent figures such as Fiorella La Guardia and Vito Marcantonio, and letters concerning the formation of Columbia University's Casa Italiana. Covello was meticulous in saving materials from his educational work, research, and many organizational affiliations. The collection also includes two 16mm film reels, "A Better Tomorrow" and "Per Un Domani Migliore," as well as 12 open-reel audio tapes regarding Puerto Rico and other matters.

Fiorani Radio Productions and Fiorani-Florey Family
Fiorani Radio Productions records additions and Fiorani-Florey family papers, 1904-1998 (Collection MSS163) 42 boxes (19 linear ft.)
Angelo Fiorani was born in Tarquinia, Italy and came to America circa 1905.  Rose Florey Fiorani was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1902.  Beginning in 1933, the Fioranis worked as "time brokers" for radio programming targeting Italian Americans and broadcast Italian programs on Scranton-area radio stations, eventually owning and operating their own station, WPTS.  The collection documents the Fioranis' forty-two years in broadcasting.  It contains personal and business correspondence, advertisements and advertising account files, program schedules and scripts, financial records, uncatalogued photographs, fan mail, and souvenir programs of special events.  The collection includes unprocessed additions.  In English and Italian.  Register available. The 1992-074 additions include phonograph recordings of radio programs, court dramatizations, advertisements, and other segments used in the Fiorani radio broadcasts in the Scranton, Pa. area. Many of the recordings concern Italians or Italian-Americans.

See also Fiorani Radio Productions records, 1931-1975 (Collection MSS049).

Gurzau, Elba Farabegoli
Elba Farabegoli Gurzau papers, 1920-1985 (Collection MSS048) 39 boxes (13.8 linear ft.) Elba Farabegoli Gurzau was born in New York City, the only child of Italian immigrants.  Educated in Italy and in New York City, she has pursued simultaneous careers as a social service worker with immigrants in New York and after 1942 in Philadelphia, and a folk dance promoter.  The papers include personal papers and diaries; correspondence, organizational records and ephemera from folk dance and folk arts groups; professional files from her work with the New York YWCA's Italian Mothers' Club program in the 1930s, the Philadelphia International Institute (later the Nationalities Service Center), 1942-1981, and the Philadelphia Committee for Italian Relief in the late 1940s; and drafts and research files for her book Folk Dances, Costumes, and Customs of Italy.  Folk arts groups represented include Folk Festival Council of New York, Coro D'Italia and Esperia Dancers, all of New York City, and I Vivaci, Folk Dance Leaders Council, Folk Dance Demonstration Group, and I Ballerini, all of Philadelphia.  The papers also include extensive records of the Italian Folk Arts Federation of America, which Gurzau helped to found in the 1970s.  For related materials see records of Italian Folk Arts Federation of America.

Lapolla, Garibaldi M. (Garibaldi Marto) 1888-1954
Garibaldi M. Lapolla papers, 1930-1976 (Collection MSS064) 7 boxes (2.6 linear ft.)
Lapolla emigrated from the province of Potenza, Italy in 1890 with his family and settled in East Harlem, New York City. Lapolla was an educator in the New York City public school system and the author of several novels on Italian-American life in East Harlem. He also published two cookbooks. The collection contains correspondence, unpublished literary manuscripts including novels, short stories and poetry, and artwork.

Russoniello, Vincent, 1890-1980
Vincent Russoniello papers, 1907-1985 (Collection MSS047) 8 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Vincent Russoniello was born in St. Andrea de Conza, Avellino, Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1905.  His family settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he worked in a stone quarry and trained to be an architect.  Russoniello established his own firm in 1921 and practiced architecture in Scranton for over sixty years.  His largest commissions were for more than twenty churches.  Most of the churches were Roman Catholic nationality parishes or other immigrant congregations. The collection includes assignments from correspondence school courses, drawings, specifications, correspondence, brochures, and records from Russoniello's architectural firm.  The bulk of the collection is architectural drawings.

Jewish Americans

Beck, Joseph E.
Joseph E. Beck papers, 1902-1988 (Collection 3083) 3 boxes 1 volume (1.2 linear ft.)
Joseph E. Beck (1904-1981), a native of Racine, Wisconsin, was a social worker who helped Jewish refugees during World War II.  Having previously worked for various social agencies in Cleveland, Ohio, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, Beck became the executive director of the Jewish Family Society of Philadelphia in 1934.  He headed this organization until 1942 when he accepted the executive directorship of the National Refugee Service, in New York City.  He left this organization in 1950 and moved to California, where he continued social work and eventually retired. This small yet vivid collection includes correspondence, family records, photographs, clippings, and 16mm films.  The majority of the collection is comprised of Beck’s candid and personal writings on a variety of social, political, and cultural topics.  Many of these writings were used in Beck’s autobiography, a copy of which is also in this collection.

Bender, Rose I., 1869-1964
Rose I. Bender papers, 1929-1973 (Collection MSS020) 5 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Rose I. Bender was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Joseph and Rachel Magil, Lithuanian immigrants and pioneer Zionists.  She was active in Hadassah and a wide variety of other Jewish organizations at both the local and national level.  In 1945 she became Executive Director of the Philadelphia Zionist Organization of America.  The collection consists of correspondence, clippings, and miscellaneous items relating to Bender's activities in Hadassah, the Zionist Organization of America, Allied Jewish Appeal, and other organizations, including the National Jewish Hospital, American Palestine Music Association, and the Palestine Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.  Also included are notes and souvenirs from her work as a delegate at Zionist congresses in Geneva (1939) and Basel (1946).

Greenfield, Albert M., 1887-1967
Albert M. Greenfield papers, 1918-1969 (Collection 1959) 1,069 boxes, 85 volumes, 22 flat files (436.4 linear ft.)
Albert M. Greenfield was a real estate broker, banker, and philanthropist of Philadelphia.  He had many business interests among which were: Albert M. Greenfield & Co. (real estate), Bankers Securities Corporation, City Stores Co. (a chain of department stores), Bankers Bond & Mortgage Co., the Philadelphia Transportation Co., and its predecessor, the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company. Politically, Greenfield provided financial and other support to candidates for public office, including Edwin S. Vare of Philadelphia, Republican candidate for the United States Senate, 1926, and Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic candidate for the presidency, 1960 and 1964; he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, 1928; a delegate-at-large to the Democratic National Conventions, 1948-1964; and a presidential elector, 1960. The large array of organizations in which Greenfield held prominent positions includes: Sesqui-Centennial Exposition of 1926; the Pennsylvania Constitutional Commemoration Commission, 1938; Pennsylvania Commission of Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; World Affairs Council; Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Pennsylvania Water Resources Committee, 1951; Philadelphia National Shrines Park Commission, 1946-1956; and Fairmount Park Commission. He contributed to many institutions and organizations, including cultural and educational institutions such as Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, LaSalle College, and Lincoln University.  In addition he founded the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, a philanthropic institution created during his later years. Greenfield also supported a variety of Jewish institutions and organizations such as Federation of Jewish Charities, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Development Fund for American Judaism, American Jewish Tercentenary, 1954-1955, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

These papers constitute the selected office files of Albert M. Greenfield.  Incoming and outgoing correspondence make up the bulk of the collection, but there is also a great quantity of other material, including appointment books, photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, and reports.  The papers for 1921-1966 cover several categories: personal, business, political, civic, philanthropic, Jewish affairs, and miscellaneous. The personal papers include mainly family, social, and private correspondence.  They are interspersed throughout and constitute a small but important part of the collection. The collection contains, in addition, papers of Greenfield's two confidential secretaries, Donald Jenks, 1951-1954, and John O'Shea, 1954-1964, including correspondence, drafts of speeches, appointment books, and miscellaneous materials; and a few personal papers, 1922-1930, of Greenfield's first wife Edna Kraus Greenfield, including personal and social correspondence, financial records, and record book of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish Hospital-Emergency Fund, Philadelphia, 1922.

Solis-Cohen, Jacob, Jr., 1890-1968
Jacob Solis-Cohen Jr. papers, 1925-1960 (Collection MSS014) 4 boxes (1.6 linear ft.)
Jacob Solis-Cohen was a member of a prominent Philadelphia Sephardic Jewish family. He was a real estate appraiser with the real estate company Mastbaum Brothers and Fleisher, eventually serving as vice-president of the firm. He became president of Albert M. Greenfield and Company when that firm merged with Mastbaum Brothers and Fleisher in 1929. Solis-Cohen was also active in several Jewish organizations. He served as president of the Jewish Publication Society and of the Mikveh Israel Congregation and was a member of the boards of directors of the Foster Home for Hebrew Orphans and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the executive council of the American Jewish Historical Society. The collection consists primarily of correspondence relating to genealogical matters and to Solis-Cohen's activities with the Foster Home for Hebrew Orphans and other charitable organizations. Also present are writings, chiefly on historical topics, and scrapbooks documenting Solis-Cohen's personal and business life and the genealogy of the Silva-Solis family and related families.

Walinsky, Ossip
Ossip Walinsky papers, 1916-1973 (Collection MSS039) 9 boxes (4.7 linear ft.)
Ossip Walinsky was born Joseph Melechinsky in Grodno, Lithuania in a Orthodox Jewish family.  Following an arrest for anti-government activities in 1904, he escaped to Germany and then settled in London.  In 1912 he immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City, where he became active as a labor organizer.  In 1918 he became a manager of the Pocketbook Workers Union, New York, and remained with them until elected president of the International Leather Goods, Handbag, Belt, and Novelty Workers Union in 1951. Walinsky was also a prolific writer and was active in Jewish, Zionist and humanitarian organizations. The collection contains biographical material, correspondence and organizational records from the Pocketbook Workers Union and the International Leather Goods, Handbag, Belt, and Novelty Workers Union, and records from several Jewish organizations.  Also included are clippings related to Jewish organizations.