Scope and arrangement
The records (l936-2002) are arranged into sixteen series that contain correspondence (mainly) of the executive director, Ben Davidson; records of the publicity director; administrative records; the Trade Union Council of the Party; minutes of the New York County Liberal Party and of the State Committee of the American Labor Party; press releases; printed ephemera and scrapbooks of clippings and memorabilia.
The Liberal Party of New York State records are arranged in sixteen series:
The records (l942-75) consisting of correspondence and collateral papers are arranged alphabetically by year in name/subject files. Unsorted records for each year are filed at the end of each alphabetical sequence as are campaign papers (when they form a relatively large group). Beginning in l959 and following the unsorted papers there is a separate file of correspondence and papers arranged by county (other than New York City counties which are filed in the main alphabetical sequence).
The bulk of the correspondence is that of Ben Davidson as executive director with regional organizers, and other party officials, labor union officials, politicians, members of Congress and of the state legislature, community and civic leaders and others. The correspondence concerns matters relating to party organization in New York City and in the upstate counties, electoral campaigns, party platforms and legislative programs, state conventions and judicial district conventions, legislation pending in Congress and in the state legislature, fundraising events, dinners, luncheons, and conferences. Many of the files contain a relatively large proportion of printed and near-printed ephemera.
At the beginning of the series are miscellaneous records (1942-1943) of Alex Rose as executive secretary of the American Labor Party (l942-43); and his records (l944-45) as chairman of the administrative committee of the Liberal Party. There is also some correspondence (l945) of John L. Childs as state chairman of the Liberal Party.
Extensive correspondence is present with party organizers and regional directors (both in the name/subject files and in the counties files including Jules Aisoff, Angelo Cordaro, Eli Diamond, Clifford Dickinson, Raymond Greiner, and E. Joseph Peperone relative to campaign strategies, organizational matters and the efforts of the part to increase its enrollments and voting strength in upstate counties.
The counties files contain some enrollment lists. The records of the years 1969-1975 are fragmentary. Some of the records (2 lin. ft.) mainly for the year l947 and a few records for the years l957-58 have been damaged by mold and will require extensive physical treatment before they can be used (the damaged records are located in Containers 133-134).
The following is a list of names and subjects frequently repeated in this series: annual dinners; A.A. Berle, Jr.; Bronx Co.; Clubs (of LP); Committee at Large (of LP); Angelo Cordaro; Congressional correspondence; County committees; County directors; Ben Davidson-personal; Eli Diamond; Clifford Dickinson; David Dubinsky (mainly correspondence to him); Election campaigns; Raymond Greiner; Inquiries; Kings Co.; Law committee; Letters to legislators; Liberal News; Municipal Affairs Committee; National Legislative Committee; National Legislative Program; New York County; Officers joint correspondence; Platform committee; Policy committee; Joseph M. Pomarlen; Queens County; Radio speeches; Richmond County; Alex Rose (mainly correspondence to him); Spanish Speaking Division; Speaker's bureau; State convention; State executive committee; State law committee; State legislative committee; State legislative program; State organizers; State policy committee; Telegrams; Trade Union Council; Young Committee at Large; and Young Liberals. The files for l955 and l958 contain correspondence with the novelist James T. Farrell.
This series contains correspondence of three publicity directors: Michael Fooner, Warren Montross, Albert Margolies, and Gerald R. Coleman.
Fooner's file contains mainly memoranda, reports, drafts of statements and press releases, near-printed and printed ephemera. Margolies corresponded as director of research and legislation. Coleman corresponded as chairman of the municipal affairs committee and as executive secretary of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union. Also included is some correspondence of Ben Davidson.
The earlier material (ca. 1944-1975) is mostly literature from various national, state, and local campaigns and includes flyers, brochures, newsletters, solicitations and speeches. The later dated material (1980-2002) consists of files related to acceptances/declinations, authorizations, judicial district conventions, county conventions (mostly the five counties of NYC, but some from upstate), annual dinners and fundraising events, press releases, board of election results, lists of enrollees to the party, campaign literature (including positions on issues), mailings, nominations, resignations, and polling information. Of special note is material concerning the schism in the party during the 1980s (see boxes 152-154) in which Donald S. Harrington and Raymond B. Harding battled for leadership.
The Liberal News was a monthly or bimonthly periodical issued by the party to subscribers.
The Liberal Digest, a yearbook, was published on the occasion of annual dinners of the party. The yearbooks include a complete listing of the state and county officers of the party.
The records (1958-61) consist of correspondence of Albert Margolies as editor of the publications, drafts of articles and press releases and copies (l959-66) of the Liberal News and copies (l952, l957, l963-69) of the Liberal Digest. Included is some correspondence of Margolies as publicity director and as director of research and legislation.
The Trade Union Council, an integral part of the party was formed to strengthen the ties between the party and the trade union movement, and to serve as an agency for political education and publicity.
The records (l945-64) consist of a topical file of correspondence of Joseph M. Pomarlen, executive secretary and Charles S. Zimmerman, chairman, with labor union officials, state assemblymen, congressmen and others relative to legislation affecting the labor movement including the Taft-Hartley law, Communist infiltration of unions, councilmanic, congressional and union elections, the presidential campaigns of l960 and l964, meetings, luncheons and other matters.
Included are minutes of meetings and some correspondence of Alex Rose.
These records (l952-74) which are arranged chronologically consist of documents submitted by the party to boards of elections in compliance with the state election laws.
Included are statements of positions to be filled, designating petitions, acceptances of nominations, declinations, and minutes of judicial district conventions of the party.
The legislative bills consist of printed bills of the New York State Assembly and Senate. They are arranged in serial order by bill number through l957; the remainder by subject by year.
This series contains minutes (l936-43) of the American Labor Party; and minutes (l944-65 and undated) of the Liberal Party.
The ALP minutes consist mainly of meetings of the state committee, but include also minutes of the first meeting of the women's division; minutes of the credentials committee, the administrative committee; the proceedings (l938) of the Trade Union Conference. Of particular interest are the minutes (July l936) of the first meeting of the Labor's Non-Partisan League which was called to form a section of the league in New York State and which resulted instead in the formation of the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party minutes consist of meetings of the executive committee of the New York County Liberal Party including its first meeting (July l2, l944); its campaign policy committee, administrative committee and committee convention.
The photographs consist of unsorted 8xl0 prints, contact prints, and prints of varying sizes. Included are images of party officials, politicians, luncheon meetings, campaigns and other political events. Candidate portraits were used in campaign materials, while photographs of events document Liberal Party anniversary dinners, conventions, campaigns and other political rallies. The miscellaneous photos include images of buildings, cityscapes, cars, crowds, patriotic symbols and voting booths.
The printed ephemera consists of a chronological file (l942-78) followed by a subject file. Included are materials generated by the Liberal Party.
These records (ca. l948-70) consist of financial reports and statements; bills paid; miscellaneous records; account books; accounts (loose sheets); canceled checks and check stubs. The financial reports (l948-69) include weekly statements of receipts and disbursements, reports of county committees, receipts and expenses for dinners, and political campaigns including the Stevenson-Kefauver presidential campaign (l956) and citizens' committees.
There are also financial statements (l949-70) of the treasurer of the political committee consisting of copies of reports filed with the secretary of state and/or board of elections of New York City listing campaign receipts and expenditures. The bills paid (l954-67) which are arranged alphabetically by year consist of copies of bills and vouchers authorizing their payment. Included are expense statements of party organizers. The 'Western Union' folders in this sub-series contain copies of texts of outgoing telegrams.
The miscellaneous records (l947-62) include social security, withholding and payroll tax records; campaign budgets; correspondence between Ben Davidson and Alex Rose and between Davidson and county committees and labor union officials regarding contributions; and records of receipts from Liberal Digest advertisements.
The account books (l953-63) include a ledger, payroll books, receipt books for dinners, luncheons and cocktail parties (including the Carnegie Hall rally of l950), subscriptions to the Liberal News and Liberal Digest, and campaign receipts including the campaign for Stevenson-Kefauver (l956) and for John F. Kennedy (l960). Included also are loose sheets (some fragmentary) of various accounts including cash receipts, petty cash, disbursements, accounts payable, ledger and journal fragments.
Lastly are check stubs (ca. l958-68) and canceled checks (ca. l958-77).
- ca. 1947-1966
The unsorted records consist mainly of papers other than correspondence including fragments of reports and memoranda, printed and near-printed ephemera.
The papers damaged by mold and which cannot be used until treated consist of correspondence of the executive director for the year l947 and a few l957-58 files.
The oversized materials consist of two campaign posters filed in the charter case; a scrapbook (l966) of campaign schedules; and engravers plates for party cartoons filed in Container l27 (with the phonodisc).
The enrollments (ca. 1960-1971) consist of typescript and/or mimeographed copies of the names and addresses of enrolled Liberal Party voters arranged within the year by county, city, election district and ward. The lists were transcribed from official enrollment lists published by county boards of election. Many of the published lists are included in the records.
The scrapbooks (l936-63) which are arranged in chronological order contain extensive press documentation relative to the American Labor Party and to the Liberal Party.
The ALP scrapbooks contain in addition to clippings leaflets, flyers, press releases and memorabilia of the party.