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Register of the Library of Social History Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Scope and Content of the Incremental Materials

  • Title: Library of Social History collection
    Date (inclusive): 1894-2000
    Collection Number: 91004
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 304 manuscript boxes, 2 card file boxes, 1 oversize boxes (157.0 linear feet)
    Abstract: Serial issues, pamphlets, leaflets, internal bulletins, other internal documents, and electoral and convention material, issued by Trotskyist groups throughout the world, and especially in the United States, Latin America and Western Europe, and including some materials issued by non-Trotskyist left-wing groups; speeches and writings by Fidel Castro and other Cuban leaders, and printed matter relating to Cuba, with indexes thereto; speeches and writings by Nicaraguan Sandinista leaders; and public and internal issuances of the New Jewel Movement of Grenada and its leaders, and printed and other material relating to the movement and its overthrow. Collected by the Library of Social History (New York City), an affiliate of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States. Does not include issuances of the Socialist Workers Party.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Library of Social History (New York, N. Y.)


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Library of Social History collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information



    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    The Library of Social History Collection, as its name indicates, was originally brought together by the Library of Social History in New York City. An affiliate of the Socialist Workers Party, the Library of Social History gradually assembled and maintained the collection over a period of decades prior to its acquisition by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1991.

    Scope and Content Note

    Materials within the Library of Social History Collection fall naturally into four distinct series. By far the largest of these, constituting three-fourths of the entire collection, is the Fourth International Series. This consists of issuances of national sections of the Fourth International from all parts of the world and may well be the most comprehensive body of such material in existence. Issuances include internal bulletins, internal circulated documents, short serial runs (many serial titles existed for only a few issues or even a single issue), pamphlets, leaflets, and other ephemeral publications. Long serial runs have been transferred to the Hoover Institution Library. The series is arranged alphabetically by country of origin, and thereunder alphabetically by issuing organization. A multiplicity of issuing organizations will be noted in the cases of many countries. Simple name changes, reorganizations following upon splits or mergers, existence of organizations in different time periods, amicable coexistence of related organizations (e.g., adult and youth parties), and hostile coexistence of rival organizations, are all factors contributing to this proliferation of names. Materials are listed under the name of the issuing organization at the time of issuance. The complexity of organizational histories has prohibited any attempt at cross-referencing names of organizations. Researchers who require assistance in this regard may find Robert J. Alexander, International Trotskyism, 1929-1985: A Documented Analysis of the Movement (Durham, N.C., 1991), a useful resource. While the great bulk of material in the collection stems from organizations formally affiliated to the Fourth International or otherwise Trotskyist-derived, there is a certain amount of material issued by left-wing organizations outside the Trotskyist heritage, or, rarely, by organizations altogether outside left-wing or socialist movements. Any material that cannot be meaningfully assigned to an issuing organization has been placed at the end of the listings for the country in question. Material on the United States does not include issuances of the Socialist Workers Party, which was for decades the American fraternal party of the Fourth International, or of its predecessors or affiliates. (For this, see the separate Socialist Workers Party Records in the Hoover Institution Archives, and holdings of the Hoover Institution Library.) United States materials are nevertheless voluminous, including issuances of rival organizations, materials on the trade-union, unemployed and women's movements, and a large number of Communist Party pamphlets.
    The other three series of the Library of Social History Collection are thematically related. The Cuban Revolutionary Government Series is devoted to speeches and writings of leaders of the revolutionary government that came to power in Cuba in 1959 under the aegis of the Movimiento Revolucionario 26 de Julio. The Nicaraguan Revolutionary Government Series covers speeches and writings of leaders of the Frente Sandinista de Liberació n Nacional revolutionary government of 1979 to 1990 in Nicaragua. The Grenadian Revolutionary Government Series covers speeches and writings of leaders of the New Jewel Movement revolutionary government of 1979 to 1983 in Grenada. As might be expected in light of the durability of its subject, the Cuban Revolutionary Government Series is much the largest of these three. Speeches and writings of Fidel Castro through 1991 alone account for more than 30 manuscript boxes. Arrangement of all three series is parallel. Within each series materials are listed alphabetically by name of individual revolutionary leader and thereunder in chronological order. Materials are printed in most cases, but derived from such diverse sources as to render the aggregate unique and its duplication impracticable. At the end of each series are materials not attributable to a single leader. Wherever possible these are listed alphabetically by issuing agency. The Grenadian Revolutionary Government Series also includes a microfiche set of Grenadian documents captured by U.S. armed forces.
    All materials in the collection relating to Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada are concentrated in the last three series. Consequently there are no entries for these countries in the Fourth International Series. A modest amount of material on Fourth International affiliates in Cuba and Nicaragua may be found in the Cuban and Nicaraguan Revolutionary Government Series respectively.

    Scope and Content of the Incremental Materials

    The Hoover Institution Archives acquired holdings of the Library of Social History, New York City, in 1991. A Register to the Library of Social History Collection was prepared in 2000 and remains the principal overall description of and finding aid to the collection. Since its preparation additional shipments of material have been received, boxes 266-307.
    The most significant portion of the addendum is the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Government Series, which is a continuation of the series of the same name in the main body of the collection. It consists of issuances of and materials about the Frente Sandinista de Liberació n Nacional (FSLN) revolutionary government of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990. Most of this material is printed or near-print but is derived from such diverse sources as to make it a uniquely valuable documentary resource. It includes documentation on the origins and early factional struggles within the FSLN prior to the revolution of 1979; writings of and biographical materials about the FSLN founder Carlos Fonseca Amador; statutes, official reports and statistics documenting FSLN governmental programs; international assessments of the government's performance (mainly from academic journals and from left-wing theoretical journals); and documentation of the decline and fall of the FSLN government. It also includes many speeches, statements and interviews of FSLN government leaders, notably Daniel Ortega (president), Sergio Ramírez (vice president), Tomás Borge (minister of the interior), Humberto Ortega (minister of defense), Ernesto Cardenal (minister of culture), Henry Ruíz (minister of planning), Jaime Wheelock (minister of agriculture and agrarian reform), Luís Carrió n (deputy minister of the interior), Bayardo Arce, and Victor Tirado.
    Foldering of materials by the Library of Social History has been largely retained. Folders tended to fall into two categories-those whose contents were from the same narrow time frame and those whose contents had a common topical theme. The dual criteria of arrangement suggested division of the series into a Chronological Subseries and an Alphabetical (topical) Subseries. Most materials relating to the earliest period and to the latest period of FSLN history respectively will be found in the Chronological Subseries, while most materials relating to substantive activities of the FSLN while in government power during the intervening period will be found in the Alphabetical Subseries. Researchers will wish to consult both subseries, however.
    The General Subject File consists of material on a variety of topics relevant to international twentieth-century revolutionary movements. These include the Fourth International and its sections in various countries; Soviet anti-Trotskyism and political trials; social legislation in the Soviet Union; the Soviet-Yugoslav breach; the revolutionary governments of Cuba and Grenada; and revolutionary struggle in South Africa. The material consists mostly of pamphlets and other printed items, but there is also noteworthy unpublished material. This includes academic dissertations and other typescript studies; a multi-volume collection of writings by Ernesto Guevara, typeset but apparently unpublished; and a multi-volume documentary history of revolutionary movements in South Africa, likewise typeset but unpublished.
    A series of Monographs contains substantial printed volumes on similar subjects. Other books and serial runs have been incorporated into the holdings of the Hoover Institution Library.
    A small Audiovisual File includes miscellaneous items, notably a number of mounted photographs of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. There is also a small Oversize File.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Castro, Fidel, 1927-
    Fourth International.
    Frente Sandinista de Liberació n Nacional.
    Library of Social History (New York, N.Y.)
    New Jewel Movement.
    Communism--Latin America.
    Communism--United States.
    Cuba--Politics and government--1959-
    Grenada--Politics and government--1974-1983.
    Latin America.
    Nicaragua--Politics and government--1979-1990.
    Socialism--Latin America.
    Socialism--United States.
    United States--Politics and government.