Scope and arrangement
This collection primarily documents Abraham H. Raskin's time as a member of The New York Times editorial board from 1961 to 1977. Some files contain notes, writings, and speeches that date to the 1950s, but, according to The Times archivists, most of these items were labeled with the note "For speeches and reference," indicating that Raskin maintained these files to inform later projects.
The collection is divided into two series: I: People and II: Subjects. The People files consist of records pertaining to individuals, while the Subjects files contain items on specific topics. Items germane to two or more people or subjects are often cross-referenced in the finding aid; documents related to specific issues are generally located in subject files rather than the people folders of those involved.
Both series contain correspondence and memoranda with Times employees, as well as with union and corporate management officials. Raskin maintained close communications with John B. Oakes, the editor of the editorial page; they frequently discussed the editorial staff and promotions, internal and reader responses to editorials, and general departmental administration. Also present are Raskin's notes on interviews with sources, notes on various research subjects, writings, and copies of speeches. The bulk of these files reflect Raskin's work on the social, political, and economic impact of unions in the United States. Specific topics include automation's effect on productivity and wages, the finances of unions, collective bargaining, racketeering in the labor movement, migrant farm workers, and pension plans.
Also present are some files not directly related to the labor movement. These include files for the 1964 student protests at University of California, Berkeley, on which Raskin wrote several in-depth articles, and the correspondence and memoranda concerning The Times' position regarding public policy on smoking and the 1975 editorial announcement that all cigarette advertisements would carry health warnings. Also of note are the memoranda among the editorial board on a series of editorials concerning the financial difficulties facing New York City in 1975. The collection documents Raskin's roles as advisor and board member to several charitable institutions, including The Legal Aid Society, the James Gordon Bennett Foundation, the National Center for Citizens in Education, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. These files contain Raskin's communications with officials at these organizations, meeting minutes, and other records that document his role in aligning funders with grant recipients.
The New York Times Company records. Abraham H. Raskin papers are arranged in two series:
This series is made up of files that contain items to, from, or concerning various individuals, such as New York Times editors, labor and corporate management, and other newsmakers, such as governors and United States Presidents. Files for fellow Times editors typically contain discussions of specific articles or detail conflicts between departments related to editorial or staffing decisions. Memoranda from Editor John B. Oakes and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger are present in multiple files in this series and can also be found throughout the Subjects series. Of note is the George P. Shultz file that contains extensive notes used for Raskin’s story "Said Nixon to George Shultz," which ran on April 23, 1970.
Files are arranged alphabetically by name. Entries without box and folder numbers cross-reference related material in other files. These files do not necessarily collect every letter, memorandum, or document related to the individual; subject files should also be consulted.
This series is made up of alphabetical subject files that are organized (and titled) by topical keywords, events, geographic location, or company, organization, or institution. The bulk of the files consist of article drafts and research and interview notes related to Raskin's reporting on labor issues. Also present are letters and memoranda between Times editors, notably John B. Oakes, concerning editorials and stories related to labor and other social, political, and economic issues. This series includes many memoranda between Raskin and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger primarily discussing sensitive editorial issues and controversies. Company and union files typically hold research notes on the institution as well as communications with leadership concerning Raskin's stories or setting up interviews. Many of the files for universities and journalist associations contain copies of speeches and speech notes by Raskin.
Files are arranged alphabetically by file title. Entries without box and folder numbers cross-reference related material in other files.