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Levy (Joseph) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Content Description
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Joseph Levy papers
    source: Levy, Robley
    Creator: Levy, Joseph M. (Joseph Meyer), 1901-1965
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.275
    Physical Description: 13 Linear Feet 17 half cartons; 4 flats
    Date (inclusive): 1920-1971
    Container: 1-21

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit the UCSC Special Collections and Archives website.

    Preferred Citation

    Joseph Levy papers. MS 275. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Robley Levy, Joseph Levy's daughter-in-law.

    Biographical / Historical

    Joseph Meyer Levy (1901-1965) was an American citizen, due to his father’s citizenship, who was born, brought up and educated in Palestine. He was the New York Times correspondent for the Middle East, reporting from Jerusalem in Palestine, and Cairo, Egypt from 1928 to 1940, and from Ankara, Turkey from 1943 to 1944. Previously he had worked for the Civil Authorities of the British Mandate in Jerusalem. He was multilingual, speaking English, French, German, Hungarian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and a number of Arabic dialects. His Arabic was augmented by his experiences living with the Bedouin in the desert for six months. Following his work with the New York Times he worked for the American Jewish Committee in New York, and was a public relations representative for Congressman Emmanuel Cellar and the French government in the U.S., for Ambassadors Herve Alphand and Couve de Mourville.
    • 1920 - employed as a clerk for the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC)
    • 1928 - appointed New York Times correspondent
    • 1930's - reviews and reports on Middle East situations, including the administrative, political, psychological and social causes. Corresponds with British intelligence and armed forces, General Henry Maitland Wilson
    • 1936 - British forces commendation
    • 1943-1944 - reports on the plight of the Jewish people in the Balkans and Eastern Europe
    • 1945 - suffers ill health; denied accreditation and Egyptian visa
    • 1946 - retires from the New York Times
    • 1948-1950 - corresponds with Nessim Moreno and starts work for the American Jewish Committee
    • 1954-1959 - Public Relations Representative for Congressman Emmanuel Cellar and the French government in the U.S. with ambassadors Herve Alphand and Couve de Murville
    • 1960 - awarded Legion of Honor by French ambassador Herve Alphand
    • 1965 - Joseph Levy dies - obituary written by Ben Avi for Maariv
    Among the significant issues, though not a comprehensive list, on which these documents shed light are:
    • Actions of the British Civil and Military Authorities in Palestine in the 1920’s and 1930’s
    • Arab/Jewish relations in Palestine, both Arab and Jewish political factions, ambitions and actions, and the Arab Riots of 1929
    • The British Commission of Inquiry, 1929
    • Jewish and Zionist politics both in Palestine and internationally
    • Issues of Jewish immigration and its impact on Palestine and Palestinians
    • In the run up to World War II, potential Arab alliance with the Axis Powers
    • Events in Egypt from the death of King Fuad and the ascension of Farouk to onset of World War II, including reports of archaeological finds
    • The War in the Western Desert
    • The Axis threat to the Middle East
    • Jewish refugee crisis in the Balkans as the Germans moved east toward the the end of the war
    Biography written by Robley Levy, Joseph Levy's daughter-in-law.

    Content Description

    This collection contains daily dispatches from Jerusalem, Cairo, and Ankara between 1928 and 1945. In addition there is personal correspondence, research materials, financial papers, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera that document Levy's journalism career, and the events and politics of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
    Joseph Levy’s papers contain substantial raw historical information. Particularly rich are the voluminous near daily and sometimes several times a day dispatches from Jerusalem, Cairo and Ankara between 1928 and 1945. While Levy's work often appeared in the New York Times , these documents offer many that were not used for publication and which contain substantially greater detail and information than those that were printed.


    Collection is arranged chronologically by series. Original folder titles were retained when possible.

    Related Materials

    For more on Joseph M. Levy and his work, see:
    • The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
    • Israeli State Archive

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Many of the documents in this collection are in fragile condition.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Middle East
    Balkan Peninsula
    Levy, Joseph M.
    Levy, Robley