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Militant photographic collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: The Militant photographic collection
    Date (inclusive): circa 1900-2000
    Collection Number: 2004C51
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 48 manuscript boxes (19.2 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Photographs, drawings, and printed reproductions of illustrations depicting activities of anti-war, civil rights, labor, racial justice, women's rights, and other protest movements in the United States and other countries, mainly from the 1960s through the 1990s. Includes many photographs from Cuba and Nicaragua. Also includes photographs depicting activities of the Socialist Workers Party in the United States and of related organizations in the United States and abroad. Collected by the New York newspaper The Militant for use in illustrating its issues.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2004.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], The Militant photographic collection, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Historical Note

    The Militant began publication in New York City in 1928 as the weekly newspaper of the Communist League of America, whose leaders had just been expelled from the Communist Party, U.S.A. The Communist League of America was a part of the International Left Opposition of the communist movement led by Leon Trotsky. The Militant has continued publication in close association with the Socialist Workers Party, successor to the Communist League of America. The Anchor Foundation donated the collection to the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2004.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Militant photographic collection consists of pictorial material created or collected by the staff of The Militant for possible publication in the newspaper. The material varies considerably in composition, including original photographic prints and contact sheets made by The Militant staff members during the course of reporting trips, stock photographic prints received from other sources, and some printed illustrations from published media sources. There are also a few original cartoons. While there is some older material, most of it dates from the period of the 1960s to the 1990s. Aside from a small series of cartoons, the collection is arranged in two large series, corresponding to domestic (United States) and international (non-U.S.) subjects, respectively.
    Domestic subjects that are especially well represented include the anti-war movement from the Vietnam War on, labor strikes and union organization efforts, the civil rights movement and efforts to secure racial justice and equality, and the women's rights movement, including abortion rights advocacy. Photographs of mass demonstrations and other protests are especially notable. Other domestic photographs portray leaders and activities of the Socialist Workers Party and its youth group and of the affiliated Pathfinder Press and The Militant.
    The international series includes photographs from almost every country in the world. They depict world leaders, political and military events, mass demonstrations, and social and economic conditions. Particularly voluminous and notable are photographs resulting from The Militant reporting trips to Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada, post-1990 South Africa, and post-1975 Vietnam.
    Users of The Militant photographic collection should be aware of the closely related Pathfinder Press photographic collection also in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. The Militant photographic collection includes only a small number of negatives, but, in many cases, negatives corresponding to photographic prints in it may be found in the Pathfinder Press photographic collection. The Pathfinder Press photographic collection includes a large series of negatives arranged in numerical order. Negatives corresponding to prints in both collections are interfiled in this series and may be located by consulting negative numbers written on the backs of prints.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Pictorial works
    Civil rights -- United States
    Labor movement -- United States
    United States -- Race relations
    Women's rights -- United States
    Cuba -- Pictorial works
    Protest movements -- Pictorial works
    Peace movements -- Pictorial works
    Civil rights -- Pictorial works
    Labor movement -- Pictorial works
    Race relations -- Pictorial works
    Women's rights -- Pictorial works
    Protest movements -- United States
    Peace movements -- United States
    Socialism -- Pictorial works
    Communism -- Pictorial works
    Nicaragua -- Pictorial works
    Fourth International
    Socialist Workers Party