Finding Aid for the Gilbert A. Harrison Papers, 1901-1966 (bulk 1934-1936)

Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Winter 2008; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2008
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Gilbert A. Harrison Papers
Date (inclusive): 1901-1966 (bulk 1934-1936)
Collection number: 1810
Creator: Harrison, Gilbert A.
Extent: 1 document box (.25 linear foot) 1 oversize box
Abstract: The Gilbert A. Harrison Papers contain correspondence, typescripts, publications, and newspapers collected by Gilbert Harrison, an alumnus of UCLA. The majority of the materials pertain to two controversies at UCLA - the suspension of five student leaders for suspected "radical" activity and contention over Harrison's role as editor of the California Daily Bruin. The collection also contains materials from former UC faculty such as George Cox, Kate Gordon, Ernest Moore, and Robert Sproul.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gilbert Harrison, 2004.

Processing Note

Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Winter 2008.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Gilbert A. Harrison Papers (Collection 1810). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6019205 


Gilbert Avery Harrison (1915-2008) was an alumnus of UCLA, former editor of the California Daily Bruin, former editor and publisher of the Washington-based publication, The New Republic, author of A Timeless Affair: The Life of Anita McCormick Blaine (1979) and The Enthusiast: A Life of Thornton Wilder (1983), and editor of Gertrude Stein's America (1965) and The Critic as Artist (1972).
Born on May 18, 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, he was one of three children to Samuel and Mabel Wolfe Harrison. He studied Psychology at UCLA and served as editor of the campus newspaper, the California Daily Bruin. While working at the California Daily Bruin, he cultivated a number of friendships with faculty members, such as Professor Kate Gordon (former acting head of the Psychology department), Professor Carolyn Fisher (Psychology Department), and Provost Ernest Moore, who later married Kate Gordon. During his time at UCLA, he began corresponding with Gertrude Stein with whom he maintained in contact until her death in 1947. (His collection of Stein materials are also housed at UCLA and can be seen in Collection 2108.) Harrison graduated with his B.A. in 1937.
After graduating, Harrison joined the University Religious Conference, which promoted inter-religious tolerance. In 1941, he met Eleanor Roosevelt who enlisted him as chairman of the youth division of the Office of Civilian Defense in Washington. After a year in Washington, he joined the Army during World War Two.
After the war, he joined the American Veterans Committee and became national chairman in 1948. On a fundraising mission for his organization in 1950, he traveled to Chicago to meet with the descendants of Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the horse-drawn reaper and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. During this trip, he met Anne Blaine, the great-great-granddaughter of McCormick, whom he married a year later. In 1953, the couple bought The New Republic, an intellectual and liberal political journal that was initially founded in 1914 as part of Woodrow Wilson's world peace initiative.
In 1963, Harrison received a George Polk award for his revitalization of The New Republic. Under his aegis from 1953 through 1974, The New Republic was an influential publication and a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. Although it initially supported the Vietnam War, it later became a staunch opponent of it and repeatedly criticized the policies of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. The New Republic featured the work of prominent journalists such as Walter Pincus, Stanley Karnow, John Osborne, Richard Strout, Doris Grumbach, Stanley Kauffman and James Ridgeway. At its peak under Harrison, the publication's circulation reached 100,000. In 1974, he sold The New Republic to Martin Peretz, a lecturer at Harvard. During the same year, he sold Liveright Publishing which he had acquired in 1969.
Harrison and his wife Anne had two sons, David and Joel, and a daughter Eleanor. In 1977, Mrs. Anne Harrison passed away. In 1979 and 1983, Harrison published her biography as well as that of her grandmother, respectively.
On January 3, 2008, Harrison passed away of congestive heart failure in Arizona at the age of 92.

Scope and Content

The Gilbert A. Harrison Papers contains correspondence, typescripts, publications, newspapers, and newspapers collected by Gilbert A. Harrison. The materials' date span is from 1901 through 1966. However, the majority of the materials are from 1934 to 1936, Harrison's time as editor at the California Daily Bruin at UCLA.
The newspapers California Daily Bruin (UCLA) and The Californian (UC Berkeley) pertain to the Provost Ernest Moore's suspension of John Burnside, Sidney Zsagri, Thomas F. Lambert, Medel Lieberman, four UCLA student leaders who were suspected "radical" and "Communist" activity (these charges were later dropped and the students were reinstated). Celeste Strack, who was not a student leader, was also suspended with this group of four students on the same grounds; she was reinstated at the same time, but was considered a separate case. Harrison was friends with this group of students and planned and participated in their campaigns for student leadership positions. The collection also contains a telegram regarding the suspensions from UC Berkeley President Robert Sproul to Chandler Harris, assistant editor of the California Daily Bruin.
The remainder of the newspaper articles from the California Daily Bruin and Herald Express (Los Angeles) and some of the correspondence relate to the controversy started by Thomas Lambert, student body president, around the reappointment, subsequent firing and eventual reinstatement of Harrison as editor. The remainder of the correspondence was received by Harrison during his post-graduate life; the majority is from former UC Berkeley President, Robert Sproul, with whom he became good friends upon becoming editor of the California Daily Bruin.
The collection also contains writing by Harrison, including an unpublished paper on Gertrude Stein written for a philosophy class at UCLA. He also collected two book publications by ex-Provost Ernest Moore, professor of Education at UCLA. One of the books contained a letter and sketch by George Cox, professor emeritus of fine arts at UCLA.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into a general chronological order, beginning with materials relating to the suspension of the five UCLA students in 1934. The second folder contains published and unpublished materials by Harrison from 1935 onward as well as a flyer for one of his lectures in 1966. The correspondence file is arranged chronologically. The materials found in the Moore book are contained in a separate folder and are arranged in chronological order. The last folder contains publications by Ernest Moore and Eugene Lytle.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Harrison, Gilbert A. --Archives.
Publishers and publishing --United States --Archival resources.

Related Material

Harrison, Gilbert A. Liberal perspectives oral history transcript, interviewed by Joel Gardner. [Los Angeles] : Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, c1982. 300/173
Gilbert A. Harrison Collection of Material by and Relating to Gertrude Stein (Collection 2108)  . Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

Suspension of five UCLA student leaders 1934 November

Scope and Content Note

Four page Western Union telegram from Robert Sproul to Chandler Harrison, assistant editor of California Daily Bruin, regarding five suspended UCLA students (November 13, 1934); clipping from Time magazine on five suspended UCLA students (November 19, 1934)
Box 1, Folder 2

Typescripts, publication, flyer 1935-1966

Scope and Content Note

Three typescripts titled "A Gift," "Chapter 11" (1935), and "Gertrude Stein" (paper for Philosophy 146, June 1, 1935), published article "A Hollywood Story," and flyer for "The Bay of Pigs: Self-Censorship and the National Interest" lecture at UCLA (November 15, 1966)
Box 1, Folder 3

Received correspondence 1935-1964

Scope and Content Note

Seven pieces of correspondence from Carolyn Fisher, Kate Gordon, Robert Sproul
Box 1, Folder 4

Typescript, pencil sketch, correspondence 1936-1962

Scope and Content Note

Materials found in "Fifty Years of American Education: A Sketch of the Progress of Education in the United States from 1967 to 1917." Typescript (April 1936) unsigned, but presumably by Harrison. Sketch unsigned, but presumably accompanies the letter by George Cox (January 1941). Correspondence from Kate Gordon Moore (December 28, 1962).
Box 1, Folder 5

Publications by other authors 1901-1936

Scope and Content Note

"Santos-Dumont Circling the Eiffel Tower in an Air Ship" (booklet) by Eugene P. Lytle (1901), "Fifty Years of American Education: A Sketch of the Progress of Education in the United States from 1967 to 1917" (book, signed by author) by Ernest Carroll Moore (1917), "The Story of Instruction: The Beginnings" (book, signed by author) by Ernest Carrol Moore (1936)
Box 2, Folder 1

California Daily Bruin, Banquet Edition and clipping from New York Times. 1935-1955

Scope and Content Note

California Daily Bruin, Banquet Edition (January 22, 1935) and obituary for Dr. Ernest Moore in the New York Times (Janury 25, 1955)
Box 2, Folder 2

California Daily Bruin, volume 13 number 34 1934 October 30

Box 2, Folder 3

California Daily Bruin, volume 13 number 38 1934 November 5

Box 2, Folder 4

California Daily Bruin, volume 13 number 39 1934 November 6

Box 2, Folder 5

California Daily Bruin, volume 13 number 44 1934 November 14

Box 2, Folder 6

California Daily Bruin, volume 14 number 32 1935 May 16

Box 2, Folder 7

Daily Californian, volume 98 number 51 1936 March 27

Box 2, Folder 8

Herald Express, volume 65 number 254 1936 January 16