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20th Century Organizational Files, 1912-1980s
MSS 077  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Collection History
  • Scope and Content
  • Separated Material
  • Related Material at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: 20th Century Organizational Files,
    Date (inclusive): 1912-1980s
    Collection number: MSS 077
    Creator: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
    Extent: 49 legal archival document boxes; 16 linear feet
    Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
    Los Angeles, CA 90044
    Abstract: An assembled collection of 20th century papers and ephemera from nearly 800 social action organizations, primarily based and/or active in Los Angeles and Southern California.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], 20th Century Organizational Files, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles, California.


    Assembled by Library founder Emil Freed.

    Collection History

    The materials in the collection were assembled by Library founder Emil Freed. He gathered the papers and ephemera of organizations dedicated to human rights, social justice, peace and working people to preserve a record of 20th century social activism.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains documents from 795 organizations. There is a broad spectrum of material types including: fliers, programs, pamphlets, newsletters, newspapers, fact sheets, circular letters, speeches, and reports. While the document dates span most of the 20th century, the majority date from the 1950s through the 1970s. Many of the organizations are Los Angeles or Southern California based. In the case of national organizations, the materials derive predominantly from local or regional offices in the Los Angeles area. The amount of material varies for each organization. In general these documents do not reflect administrative activities, but are the instruments the organizations used to raise public awareness of issues and actions to be taken in the interest of promoting social justice.


    There are no series in the collection.


    The files are arranged alphabetically by organization name.

    Separated Material

    Organizational newsletters or newspapers found in the collection were placed in the Library's Periodicals Collections, in instances when the Library already had significant runs of these publications.

    Related Material at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

    Title: Periodicals Collection
    Physical Description: 20,000+ titles, 700+ Los Angeles related
    Title: Pamphlet Collection
    Physical Description: 25,000+ items
    Title: Union Files Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1920s - 1980s
    Physical Description: 10 linear feet
    Title: Contemporary Heritage Files,
    Date (inclusive): 1990 - and collecting
    Physical Description: vertical file