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Finding aid to the Radical Elders Oral History Project records, 1947-1995
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Collection Overview
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The Radical Elders Oral History Project Records consist of audio recordings in cassette and reel-to-reel format, transcripts and project files documenting early twentieth century activists in the Communist Party as well as labor and other social justice movements. Interviewees include Sam Krieger, Emmy Lou Packard, Eluard Luchell McDaniel, Irving Fromer, Nori Ikeda Lafferty, Alice Quaytman, Carl Sullivan, Jack Wagner, Malvina Reynolds, William (Billy) Allan, Elaine Johnson, Frank Rowe, Stanley Koppel, Morris Sharnoff, Vaughn Love, and Ray Thompson. The bulk of the material dates from 1977-1987, and includes oral history recordings and transcripts, REOHP administrative documents, correspondence, budgets, progress reports, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and promotional materials, minutes and agendas, and other materials which document the activities of the REOHP and those who participated in the project, including interviewers, interviewees, and board members. Oher audio recordings in both reel-to-reel and cassette format are also present in the collection, some unidentified. These recordings appear to document lectures, radio broadcasts, conference presentations, social gatherings, and some miscellaneous music selections.
The Radical Elders Oral History Project (REOHP) was first organized in the mid-1970s by Bruce Kaiper and Lou Laub, owner of the Ark Bookshop in Berkeley; and Fred Cody of Cody's Books. The project sought to record the memories of elderly (defined as 65 or older) West Coast radicals and labor activists who were active in the social movements of the 1920s and 1930s, and to use their oral histories for educational purposes. Their goals were four-fold: to develop research archives, make interviews available to mass audiences through media and other educational forums, hold oral history training workshops for the public, and sponsor public events to celebrate this radical heritage. By offering younger radicals the opportunity to interview elders, organizers hoped the project would encourage intergenerational contact and solidarity. Interviewees included former Communist Party members, prominent labor organizers, anti-war activists, professors, journalists, writers, artists, and army veterans. Alongside the recording and transcribing of interviews, many of which could run ten hours or longer, REOHP organized oral history workshops, radio programs, slide shows, documentary films, a speaker series in schools and at union programs, and other educational forums. Between 1978-1981, the organization also conducted annual retreats at Camp Cazadero in Sonoma County, where participants could socialize and attend symposiums on social, political, and labor issues.
6.79 Cubic Feet (5 cartons and 2 manuscript boxes)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.