Library Juice 4:31 - September 5, 2001


  1. Juice stats
  2. David Bollier's new paper
  3. Book ban hinders rehabilitation
  4. 1st IFLA/FAIFE World Report on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom
  5. ALA Seeks Postponement of Hearing on Leaks Provision
  6. (Growing) Booklist for Progressive Librarians
  7. Official complaint to SAA of ethical violations on the part of the LoC
  8. Sylvia Weinstein, 1926-2001

Quote for the week:

"There is only one kind of internet filter that works - conscience."

- Cuban Library Association President Marta Terry, quoted by Dale Vidmar in
his Cuba diary, available at

Personal Home Page of the Week: Kenley Neufeld


1.Juice stats

For those who are curious, here are some "stats" on Library Juice and the server.

The web version of Issue 4:29 was viewed on the web 7333 times in August,
because the "Jesus Bricks" story was popular and got some powerful links
(primarily memepool). Issue 4:28 was visited 707 times in August, which is
more than usual because it was the "current issue" for two weeks running.
Issue 4:27 had more typical traffic; it was visited on the web 546 times in

Library Juice presently has 1735 subscribers by email as of 8pm Pacific
Time, September 4th.

The server, which hosts the web sites for SRRT, SRRT/AIP,
SRRT/HHP, Progressive Librarian, The Progressive Librarians Guild,
Information for Social Change, The Cuban Libraries Support Group, my
personal pages, Frankentoons, and Library Juice, had 84,000 hits, 55,000
page views, and 21,000 user sessions in August. will soon also be the home of the Progressive Archivists, a
project devoted to Sanford Berman, and, with luck and love, a revived
"Progressive Librarians Around the World," the project abandonded by
Raimund Dehlow due to disagreement over Cuba and Robert Kent.

The numbers may seem like a lot or they may seem like a little. If you run
the ALA server, the numbers probably seem like a hell of a lot for a
one-man operation hosting sites for librarian fellow travellers. If you
are Chuck0 and you run the anarchist server, which hosts
"anarchist librarians," and has something like a million hits a month, you
may be having visions of world domination. "Quality, not quantity," I keep
telling myself...

Thanks for the pageviews....

2. David Bollier's new paper

Can the Information Commons Be Saved? How Intellectual Property Policies
are Eroding Democratic Culture & Some Strategies for Asserting the Public

By David Bollier
New America Foundation Fellow


3. Book ban hinders rehabilitation

"The shortsighted policy of barring juvenile offenders from reading in
their cells serves neither the juveniles nor the state. The shortsighted
policy of barring juvenile offenders from reading in their cells serves
neither the juveniles nor the state..."

4. 1st IFLA/FAIFE World Report on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom

"The President of IFLA, Mrs Christine Deschamps, said: 'Libraries have a
crucial role to play. They are an essential tool for the achievement of
democracy and social development. Libraries provide access to information,
ideas and work of imagination. They serve as gateways to knowledge.
Libraries must reflect the plurality and diversity of society, opposing all
forms of censorship without being influenced by any political, moral, or
religious opinions.'"

5. ALA Seeks Postponement of Hearing on Leaks Provision

ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 10, Number 63 August 31, 2001

ALA has joined with many other groups concerned about the "leaks"
provision to the Intelligence Authorization bill that is currently
under consideration by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
We are very concerned that the provision would diminish the public's
right-to-know and raise First Amendment implications by discouraging
dissent and disclosure of governmental misconduct and by
criminalizing disclosure of information that may be unmarked but

ALA, together with the American Association of Law Libraries(AALL)
and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), has written a letter
to Senator Bob Graham, Chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence,
requesting a postponement of the hearing on the provision, now
scheduled for September 5th. We also request that the provision be
subject to a public debate, preceded by deeper consideration and a
much more extensive discussion of the provision's far-reaching
implications. Because this bill has such far-reaching impacts, we
would like it to be proposed as a stand- alone bill, not as a
provision attached to a larger bill. (Full text of letter follows in
this email.

ALA is also part of a larger group effort to convince Senator Graham
to postpone this unwise course of action.

The ALA Washington Office is following this issue very closely and
will keep members informed as it develops. Stay tuned to ALAWON for
the latest news.

Text of Letter to Senator Graham: August 31, 2001

The Honorable Bob Graham Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence
211 Hart Office Building United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

Sent via messenger

Dear Senator Graham:
On behalf of the American Library Association (ALA), the American
Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Association of Research
Libraries (ARL), we write to you today to request that you not hold a
hearing on September 5th on a "leaks" criminalization provision under
consideration as part of the Intelligence Authorization bill
presently before your Committee. We further request that you not
include the "leaks" provision in the Chairman's mark or in any
legislation that moves to the Senate floor this session.

ALA, AALL and ARL are strongly committed to broad public access to
government information and the public's right-to-know. Together, we
represent over 80,000 librarians nationwide. Last year, we opposed a
similar provision that was added to the Intelligence Authorization
Act, legislation subsequently vetoed by President Clinton.

Having just recently learned of the scheduled hearing on the "leaks"
provision, we do not believe that there has been sufficient time or
adequate public notice to all stakeholders about this hearing.
Further, we believe that authorization legislation is not the
appropriate vehicle for the "leaks" proposal that raises very serious
First Amendment and balance of power implications. Participation in
this debate by all interested stakeholders, including researchers,
the library community and others, requires more time and opportunity
to prepare for a public hearing on what we believe should be separate
legislation rather than an add-on to an authorization bill.

We continue to believe that the "leaks" proposal is overly broad. We
are very concerned that the provision would diminish the public's
right-to-know and raise First Amendment implications by discouraging
dissent and disclosure of governmental misconduct and by
criminalizing disclosure of information that may be unmarked but

If the intent of Congress is to assign new powers to the executive
branch, then at a minimum there should be full public hearings and
debate before all appropriate congressional committees, including the
Senate Judiciary Committee, on a stand-alone bill. Lastly, it is our
understanding that President Bush is still considering policy issues
in this arena and the Administration has not requested such
legislation at this time. Based on these facts, we see no need to
expedite the "leaks" proposal without a full analysis and review,
including opportunities for public comment and participation.

Mr. Chairman, we therefore respectfully request that you postpone the
September 5th hearing and that you not include the "leaks" provision
in the Chairman's mark or in any legislation that moves to the Senate
floor this session. Thank you.

Emily Sheketoff Executive Director ALA Washington Office

Prudence Adler Associate Executive Director Association of Research Libraries

Mary Alice Baish Associate Washington Affairs Representative American
Association of Law Libraries

6. (Growing) Booklist for Progressive Librarians

Subject: Need input
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 13:17:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: [I didn't get permission to use the name]
To: Anarch librarians listserv <librarians[at]>
Reply to: librarians[at]

I'm starting MLS studies at Rutgers this fall, & I'm
hoping to put together a socially progressive reading
group. I'd appreciate suggestions on good books.
Anything that fits the criteria of librarian-related &
socially progressive (anarchist, radical, leftist,


.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Re: Need input
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 17:53:31 -0700
From: Rory Litwin <rlitwin[at]>
To: librarians[at]

Pardon any funny characters in this email - I am having a little problem
with my computer. (New linux install.)

Going back to the 80's, Sanford Berman and James Danky have been editing a
biannual (every two years - always a confusing word, "biannual" - or is it
"biennial"?) anthology of alternative articles on subjects within
librarianship, called _Alternative Library Literature, x1-x2_, where x1 and
x2 are years. The most recent edition is 1998-1999. It is currently
published by McFarland. It was originally published by Oryx Press and then
switched over at some point (someone here probably knows what year). It's
big and fat and has cool articles in it.

Berman's friend Charles Willett has two periodicals you might want to look
at. Counterpoise is primarily a review journal for the alternative press,
with reviews taken from various source. But it also has original articles.
It is a quarterly. Willett also publishes Libraries [at] Liberty, I think
also quarterly. It has articles that mainly come from a
civil-libertarian/anarchist perspective (my opinion). I pick them up at
conferences and have enjoyed each.

Progressive Librarian is a more academically oriented journal. I think it
is great. I should, because I am the review editor. Tables of contents
going back to the beginning, with links to some 40 articles that are
online, are available on the web site, at This is a
good one to ask your library to subscribe to.

A lesser known periodical here in the states is Information for Social
Change. It is less academic in nature but often has lengthy, serious
articles. The content is very mixed and unpredictable and it's usually
very interesting. I just received issue number 13 in the mail. I do the
web site and have posted the full text of each issue going back to number 9
(but not the new one yet). It's at

And now for some of my favorite books:

_Capitalism and the Information Age: The Political Economy of the Global
Communication Revolution_, edited by Robert McChesney, Ellen Meiksins Wood,
and John Bellamy Foster. (Monthly Review Press, 1998) This looks at the
information age from a socialist perspective. I love it - I think it's a
great collection. McChesney is the one of the three who writes mostly on
communication policy, media congolmeration, and subjects closest to
librarianship. He is currently a professor at UIUC and I think he teaches
a class in the library science program. You might want to look for other
books by hm as well.

Another author who has written a lot on the media and information
environment and media conglomeration is Herbert Schiller. There's a good
bibliography of his works at the Progressive Librarian website, published
just after his death and written by Mark Hudson. My favorite book of
Schiller's is a relatively recent one, a fairly thin one, called
_Information inequality: the deepening social crisis in America_.
(Routledge, 1996)

A semi-Luddite book that excited me when I was in library school (actually
it was a required text in my "information in society" class, but it
probably won't be in yours, so I will list it here) is _The Cult of
Information: A Neo-Luddite treatise on high-tech, artificial intelligence,
and the true art of thinking_ by Theodore Roszak (University of California
Press, 1986 & 1994). On the subject of luddites - the actual Luddites -
watch for a book by Iain Boal coming out from City Lights later this year
or sometime next year. It promises to be interesting. A history of their
movement and how it was intended (and failed) to prevent a closing off the
commons.... in some way that relates to the current attempts to close off
the information commons.... I am trying to remember his description of the
book and not doing a very good job. Anyway, I plan to read it.

For a real anarchist title, you shouldn't miss _Information Liberation_ by
Brian Martin (Freedom Press, 1998). It makes an absolutist,
anti-intellectual property argument. (Not a property argument that is
anti-intellectual, but an argument against intellectual property.) It has
some very interesting ideas and deserves a place in any survey of the
subject, like, in your classes.

A book that is very likely to be required in a class of yours but shouldn't
be overlooked for its value to Leftists is _Into the Future: The
Foundations of Library and Information Servics in the Post-Industrial Era_,
(Second Edition), by Michael Harris, Stan Hannah, and Pamela Harris (Ablex,
1998). It is a very good annotated bibliography of writings on the
theoretical issues that bear on librarianship in the information age. It
is a great resource on issues that people on the left in librarianship care
about: privatization, technocracy, commodification of information,
information policy, neutrality & objectivity, and labor issues.

_Information Ethics for Librarians_, by Mark Alfino and Linda Pierce
(McFarland, 1997) is a very interesting book that has mostly been
overlooked. It very quietly questions the dominance of the ethic of
intellectual freedom and introduces a separate set of guiding principles
which the authors believe are being brought into play more and more, these
being the principles of communitarianism as opposed to libertarianism.
This book is not really Left or Right, but could be used by either group to
broaden discussions, and what it says is worth thinking about and

_Alternative Literture: A Practical Guide for Librarians_, by Chris Atton
(Gower, 1996) is just what the title suggests, a how-to-do-it (and
why-to-do-it) guide to collecting from the alternative press.

_Alternative Materials in Libraries_, edited by James Danky and Elliott
Shore (Scarecrow, 1982) is hard to find but worth searching for. It has
interesting articles by various librarians who were writing on this at the

_Prejudices and Antipathies: A tract on LC subject heads concerning people_
by Sanford Berman (McFarland, 1971 & 1993) is a classic. Your group should
definitely read this. You should lobby to have it put on the syllabus in
your subject cataloging class. It has many of Berman's famous complaints
that show how out-of-touch and WRONG many of LC's subject headings were and
in many cases continue to be. It would be great if somebody with energy to
match his took up the mantle of pressuring LC to correct out-of-date and
inappropriate subject headings.

_Librarianship: The erosion of a woman's profession_, by Roma Harris
(Ablex, 1992). I have issues with this book but have to recommend it for
discussion in your group. You also might want to look for the
bibliographies that Scarecrow has published every few years on women's
issues in libraries (though they may originally have been ALA publications).
They've done about three of them. I sent mine to a
friend and can't remember what they are called. The Scarecrow web site
probably lists the most recent one, in the "librarianship" section. (Can
anyone help me there?)

_Poor People and Library Services_ edited by Karen Venturella (McFarland,
1998) is a good one for your group.

_Zoia! Memoirs of Zoia Horn, Battler for the People's Right to Know_
(McFarland, 1995) is a very good one for a library student to read, because
it really ignites that fire and instills what is sometimes called "the
library spirit." She is an inspiring person. (There's a picture of her
picketing the Marriott hotel in SF at this year's annual ALA conference on
the web at .)

_Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association's
Response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom, 1939-1969_, by Louise S.
Robbins (Greenwood, 1996). An interesting book with good background on the
famous "Berninghousen debate."

_Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship,
1967-1974_, by Toni Samek. (McFarland, 2001). A great history of the birth
and early shaping of SRRT. ALSO talks about the famous Berninghausen
debate. This book was Toni's doctoral dissertation in library science.
Now she is shaping radical librarians at the University of Alberta.

If you are into the "60's," you really get the flavor of it in _Revolting
Librarians_, by Celeste West, Elizabeth Katz & others. (Booklegger Press,
1972) I don't know what else to say about it. It has lots of groovy

A little outside librarianship but still a good little read for your group
is _Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show
Business_, by Neil Postman (Penguin, 1985 and reprinted numerous times).
Postman laments the death of print literacy - real print literacy and the
mentality that goes with it - due to the influence of television. Your
group might have a good debate about the privileged (or no longer
privileged) place of print in libraries after reading this book.

Other titles you might want to consider that I haven't read, or have only
read parts of, include:

Class Warfare in the Information Age, by Michael Perelman

Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries and Black Librarianship

Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry,
by Douglas Raber

Activism in American Librarianship, 1962-1973, Edited by Mary Lee Bundy and
Frederick J. Stielow (Greenwood, 1987)

In addition, a collection of people have gradually been putting stuff on
the web - articles from various sources and original pieces - that you and
your group will probably find if you look around, which I'm sure you will.

Other suggestions?

Rory Litwin
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Re: Need input
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 21:29:09 -0400
From: kmccook[at]
To: librarians[at], worker-librarians[at]
Reply to: librarians[at]

Here's another important title.
Marshall, Joan K.
On equal terms : a thesaurus for nonsexist indexing and
cataloging / compiled by Joan K. Marshall.
New York : Neal-Schuman, c1977.

Kathleen de la Pena McCook
Librarians & Community Building

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Note: Library Juice readers are invited to contribute their suggestions for
a bibliography that will reside on the Juice web site. rory[at]

7. Official complaint to SAA of ethical violations on the part of the LoC

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 14:49:40 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: rlitwin[at]
Cc: srrtac-l[at], plgnet-l[at]

The following is documentation of the official complaint just brought
before the Society of American Archivists 8/28/01 meeting in
Washington, D.C, .on the question of the CPUSA's papers expropriated by
the new archival authorities of th post-Soviet Russian Federation and
sold in their enirety, in a single microfilm copy, to the Library of
Congress with the notorious anti-communist archivist/historian John
Earl Haynes acting as LC's agent. Previous LJ's have documented this

The matter was not only to be entertained by the SAA "Ethics
Committee"" but was to be brought before the SAA Council for
consideration and possibly raised at the International Affairs
Roundtable, to which I had been invited to attend, but could not due to
sudden illness.

In light of this activity at the SAA Conference in Washington, DC this
past week, I feel I should make the following observation for people
following or just becoming interested in the case.

If the LC were so interested in freedom of information and access with
regards to the history of the CPUSA that it just had to take it upon
itself to make these CPUSA papers in Russia "available" to "American"
scholars (what about just ordinary citizens and people other than US
citizens, by the way?),regardless of legal or ethical constraints, or
the kind of reasonable stipulations routinely placed on a large parts
of scholarly archival material, why aren't they asking for, demanding,
the microfilm of the complete, unedited files of the FBI, the CIA and
other US government agencies, which are walking distance from LC, of
the intensive surveillance and documentation of the very organization,
the CPUSA whose "secret archives" they pretend to have discovered, and
of those even remotely suspected of being associated with it or in any
way, consciously or unconsciously contributing to what the government
considered to be its causes (which could be virtually any liberal

THIS closed, US government collection is the richest repository of
documents in the world (copies and originals) -- obtained through the
most extensive and prolonged covert infiltration. illegal copying,
theft, of all left-oppositional movements -- on the CPUSA, its various
mass organizations and campaigns, it branches, its leaders, its
rank-and file members activities (political and personal), and its
casual contacts, that exists. Yet IT remains difficult, right here in
Washington, DC, to access -- even through the FOIA -- by scholars or
anybody else, and when accessed, after a process that takes months if
it is successful and for which one is charged a more than nominal fee,
is so heavily "redacted" (censored) that it is sometimes virtually

It is ironic that the LC had to go to Russia for the microfilm of an
archive which was already "open" (if pirated) there when, within
walking distance from LC, is this comprehensive repository, perhaps not
co-extensive with the material in Russia, but surely overlapping and
containing, besides, much, much more of interest re the CPUSA, though
not reflecting particularly well on US government persecution (from
1919 to 1944 AND WELL BEYOND!!) of reform-minded people and their
activities and relations with Communists, real or imagined.

Mark Rosenzweig

Reference Center for Marxist Studies


Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 14:03:28 -0400
To: lynn.smith[at]
From: Mark Rosenzweig <<iskra[at]>
Subject: Official complaint of ethical violations on the part of the
Library of Congress

Lynn A. Smith, Chair
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library
210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358

Dear Ms. Smith

I am officially contacting your committee for help with a significant
archival privacy/intellectual property issue of an ethical nature which
has arisen in my capacity as the Director, librarian and archivist, of
the Reference Center for Marxist Studies, an institution which is the
stipulated custodian of the papers etc. of the National Office of the
Communist Party of the USA. It is a matter which has already attracted
considerable attention by the scholarly community and well-beyond

I hope your committee can [...] find some way to allow me to address
them briefly on this matter at your meeting in Washington next week.
The complaint. which I think is substantive and quite important in its
implications for the profession, is described and documented below,
supplemented with material which indicate specific ethical violations
on the part of the Library of Congress.

Following this is a more formal request for assistance required by the
incming chair of your committee. It emphasizes different points of
concern than featured elsewhere.

The main case is laid out in [...] a letter to James Billington,
Librarian of Congress, [which you have previouisly received and with a
reply to Winston Tabb responding on behalf of LC]. [I]ncluded below is
material supporting the claim that LC's behavior is a matter of public
controversy in the library world and archival field, which appears to
many to involve serious breaches of professional ethics, with ominous
political overtones[...]

Mark C. Rosenzweig
Chief Librraian/archivist
Reference Center for Marxist Studies
235 W 23rd St
NY NY 10011
212 924 2338



Dear Ms. Benedict*

I am writing to formally request the Society of American Archivists'
Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct to assist in resolving a
conflict which involves ethical as well as legal issues, a matter
which, hopefully, can benefit from mediation of the SAA initiated on
the recommendation of your Committee.

The parties to the dispute are the Reference Center for Marxist Studies
(RCMS) acting on behalf of the Communist party of the United States and
as the stipulated custodian of its papers, on the one hand, and the
Library of Congress (LC) along with the archival authorities of the
Russian federation on the other.

While the LC has been contacted by the RCMS' legal counsel in an effort
to arrange to meet and discuss this matter, there is, I must emphasize
NO litigation as yet in process, and I'm hoping that your good offices
may make a mediated settlement possible without legal action being
initiated. We, in turn, have been contacted by the legal department of
the LC and told there is no reason for us to meet and that we have
nothing to discuss. Perhaps an attempt to mediate the outstanding
issues by our professional association might be a more appealing and
fruitful option.

The LC has repeatedly stated that the CPUSA has no legitimate interest
in the disposition of a large and historically important cache
(so-called 'fond 515') of archival material; deposited by the CPUSA in
the Soviet Union, sub rosa and with no formal agreement, for the sole
purpose of keeping it intact and out of the hands of the US government
authorities. These materials, clearly generated by the organization now
known as the CPUSA, were appropriated by the new government of the
Russian Federation after the breakup of the Soviet Union, without any
attempt to contact the organization whose records they clearly were and
for which they, the Russians, had no title.

That organization, that American political party, acted out of
well-founded fear of confiscation, manipulation and destruction of its
records by the US police authorities and of intentional abuse of the
documentation in witch-hunt style prosecutions of individuals and
groups whose records they were or who were mentioned in those records.

These anti-Communist campaigns began with the Palmer Raids in 1919, the
invocation of so-called 'criminal syndicalism laws, the establishment
of HUAC, the Smith Act arrests, the Loyalty-Security program, the
blacklists, the Internal Security Act prosecutions, the SACB, and
continued through the shameful period known as the 'McCarthy era'
through the 1950s, not abating even in the 60s and 70s with the FBI's
COINTELPRO covert program aimed directly at the Communist Party and
other domestic political organizations and activists. Asked why these
papers were not requested by the CPUSA to be returned from the USSR to
the US one can only say that it was well and good that they were in
safe storage in the Soviet Union rather than serving as grist for the
mill of domestic political inquisitions. There was, to put it plainly,
no reason prior to 1989 to consider retrieving these papers from the
USSR only to put them into jeopardy here. After that time, the internal
sturm-und-drang in Russia made it unfeasible for the Americans to raise
the issue of their sequestered papers in any case, what with the
mammoth uncertainties and cataclysmic developments in the now former

The government of the Russian Federation and its new archival
establishment were the sole partners with whom the LC chose to deal in
obtaining a microfilm of the entire fond of the material belonging to
the CPUSA, and depositing that copy in Washington DC without so much as
a word being exchanged with the very much existent CPUSA and its
archival representatives. The claim of the LC is that they have a
contract or agreement (a copy of which I will fax you) based on the
Russians assertion that "under Russian law" the material was theirs to
control, to reformat, to sell, to reorganize, to publish and even to
make stipulations about its use in microfilm in the US. Despite the
obvious (and advertised) fact that these were the papers of the CPUSA
and the obvious domestic origin of this material, the LC looked no
further into the matter of ownership and authorized control. One should
note that we have been apprised that even the Soviet government didn't
consider the papers of fraternal parties deposited in the USSR for
safekeeping during dark times to be its property and returned them to
the parties when requested.

What we wish to establish through mediation is that the LC formally
recognize the CPUSA/RCMS' ownership of the material of which they have
purchased a copy; its rights, responsibilities and prerogatives flowing
from that, including decisions about re-formatting, sale, re-deposit,
publication, and terms of use; and its legitimate desire to itself be
credited with enabling access while legitimately and ethically setting
the terms under which the material is made available. There should be
some understanding that the organization of the material and
interpretative apparatus be something over which thee CPUSA itself has,
through its own auspices and the RCMS', some ultimate say. It is,
finally, highly unethical that this ill-gotten material, what's more,
is used to continue to attack and defame the Communist Party by a
Federal institution which should be committed to objective

One of the major ethical issues we wish to discuss is the violation of
privacy rights of persons, some still very much alive, whose personal
papers, and records are included in the fond of material photocopied
and not respected by the LC.

If it were possible, we would like to work with the Library of Congress
rather than have to fight it. We are open to many different
possibilities in terms of acceptable arrangements and outcomes.

Our presumption is that the CPUSA is a legitimate American political
party, with deep indigenous roots in American radical, labor and
progressive movements, fertilized by the efforts of hardworking
immigrants as well who helped build this country, and that their
records are entitled to the same treatment afforded other political
parties. The rights of people whose names appear in the files should
not on that account, whether members, or mere correspondents or persons
mentioned en passant, be in any way impugned by the framework and
protocols under which this material is being made available here.

Ultimately we aim at securing the return of the actual archives and not
just this simulacrum which the LC is passing off as a primary source,
and action is being organized by sympathetic parliamentarians in the
Russian Duma to secure the actual papers' return.

We hope, through mediation, we can get the acknowledgement of the LC
that the ultimate fate of this material cannot be ethically adjudicated
without recognizing the legitimacy of the entity whose reformatted
material they have purchased from people with no clear legal title

It is a distortion of history to pretend that the CPUSA does not exist,
while at the same time trumpeting the importance of holding a copy of a
large part of its archives. If nothing else, we wish, by asserting our
rights, to correct the highly ideological and negative framework within
which the LC announced its acquisition of this "secret archives", this
historically important material of great intrinsic value, a fact which
has already created and encouraged a prejudicial interpretative bias.

Mark C. Rosenzweig
Reference Center for Marxist Studies
235 West 23rd St
New York, NY 10011

[* Benedict is incoming chair of SAA Comm. on Ethics & Prof.Conduct]


Supplemental documents: some intersting letters of response


From: Gerd Callesen <gca[at]>
To: iskra[at]
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 13:01:14 +0100
Subject: cpusa
Organization: NET-Dialog (

Dear Mark Rosenzweig,

Our institution - The Labour Movement Library and Archive, Copenhagen
also has microfilms of the files of Danish CPs archive in Moscow. We
got these over ten years ago but only with the approbation of the
Danish CP which was (and probably is) the owner of the archive. The
Danish archives were deposited in Moscow sometime during the 1920s
and later for security reasons. These reasons proved to be valid in 1941
when the Danish CP was banned and the files and archives still in
Copenhagen were taken over first by the Danish police and later by
the Nazis. The files go back to the period before the CP was founded,
some of its predecessors material were also placed in this archive.
There is no doubt that the archives in Moscow are the property of the
various national organisations and that these organisations (the
Communist Parties in the various countries) had to consent if they were
to be used by scholars. Only in the 1980s a proces began where
microfilms were made of these files, but the CPs were still the owner
of the archives. I remember that the French Communist Party negotiated
with the Moscow archives if the archives should remain in Moscow or be
transferred to Paris. I can not remember the outcome but it is
probably useful for you to know, so you would have to contact the
French CP or its scholarly institution.

This shows clearly that everyone interested could know of these
archives, they were only secret in the sense that not everybody hat
access to them, and that access only could be granted with the consent
of the owners.

I do not know the Russian legal system, but I doubt that the Russian
authorities can confiscate foreign property without advising the owners
that they have done so.

I regret that I can not tell you more, but I hope for the benefit of
the scholarly community that you solve the problem with the Library of
Congress, and that the microfilms only can be used with the consent of
the owner, that is the CPUSA.


Gerd Callesen

P.S. If it is of use to you I can send you this letter on paper.



Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 10:57:41 -0500
From: "Paul Schultz" <SCHULTZP[at]>
To: librarians[at]
Subject: Re: I need your support (Pt. 1)


I quote:

"Archivists should be aware of problems of ownership and should not
accept gifts without being certain that the donors have the right to
make the transfer of ownership."

Article IV. Relations with Donors and Restrictions

Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics

Efforts by the Library of Congress to collect the papers of an
existing organization-- the CPUSA-- without the full cooperation of the
organization or its succeeding assigns or heirs is a clear violation of
the ethical standards of the archivists code of conduct. The full code can
be read at

Agreement with the principles of the organization one is collecting is
irrelevant. The issue is the ethics of accquistion, an issue that
distinguishes archivists from treasure hunters.

Paul Schultz
Rare Books and Special Collections
Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29201



Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 15:11:36 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
From: Richard Kirkwood <r.kirkwood[at]>
Subject: Re: Archives as "Cold War booty"
Sender: lxfzkirkwor[at]
To: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Cc: Dr David Turner <dst[at]>

Dear Mark,

I received your circular and, of course, I offer my support.
You might be interested to hear some anectdotal evidence
from friends/colleagues who have had occasion to research
in Moscow archives, including the Comintern. They have
encountered individuals and teams who seem to be using this
material primarily not to do research on politics or
activity but to build lists of names, many dead of course,
but some possibly still alive and/or still active.
Some people are trying to follow this up and identify
anyone engaged in this sort of thing in Britain so old
radicals can be warned. Might be worth a wider look
(British & German are the nationalities mentioned to me but
there may well be others).

Richard Kirkwood
Senior Lecturer in Social Science
University of North London



Date: Fri, 09 Mar 101 06:04:07
From: <R.Croucher[at]>
Subject: CPUSA papers
To: (Mark Rosenzweig)

Dear Mark,

I'm writing to you to express my concern at the fate of the CPUSA papers.
I am an historian of the Communist Party of Great Britain (my books
Engineers at War (London, 1982) and We Refuse to Starve in Silence.

A History of the NUWM (1987) both deal with the activities of the CPGB.
I am now Lecturer in Cranfield University's Centre for Strategic Trade
Union Management in the UK.

The fate of these papers and the disturbing reports about the Library of
Congress is a matter of great concern to me. CPUSA papers are relevant to
the history of the CPGB for obvious reasons. It appears to me that the
Librarian should at the very least involve the CPUSA in the acquisition
process if only for the simple professional reason of checking their
accuracy. It is well known that Russian agencies have forged documents for
sale in the west on numerous occasions.

With best wishes.

(Dr)Richard Croucher


8. Sylvia Weinstein, 1926-2001

The Holt Labor Library September Monthly Feature remembers a true
revolutionary and dear friend of the Holt Labor Library
Sylvia Weinstein, 1926 - 2001

Shannon Sheppard, MLIS
Holt Labor Library
50 Fell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
phone: (415) 241-1370
email: holtlabor[at]


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