M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
PAPERS, 1977-1999

(APAP-100)

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Rosann Santos
August 2000







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 3.0 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History at the University at Albany, in April 2000.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Administrative History

Scope and content note

Series descriptions

Box and folder list:


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Administrative History

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The Wittner Collection are a personal and organizational history of the Albany Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the United University Professions (UUP) Solidarity Committee, and various other organizations in the Capital Region.

The DSOC was established in Albany in December 1980 under the auspices of Dr. Lawrence Wittner and others. The DSOC is a national political organization dedicated to the creation of a democratic socialist society. The national organization was founded in the mid-seventies. The Albany chapter was founded "to begin to advance democratic socialist solutions to national and local problems."[1] In January 1982, DSOC formally merged with the New American Movement (NAM) and formed the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in April 1982.[2}

The UUP Solidarity Committee supported local labor activities throughout the 1980s. The collection includes Dr. Wittner's participation in these activities in addition to activism in local political campaigns, including the 1984 and 1986 Ed Bloch campaigns, the 1989 and 1993 Leon Van Dyke campaigns, and the 1988 Dukakis campaign for President.

Professor Lawrence Wittner has been with the University at Albany since 1974 and in that time has held various positions on the boards of the DSA and UUP Solidarity Committee. From 1980 to the present has been a member of the UUP Executive Committee and served as Vice-President of Academic for the Albany Chapter from 1983-87 and chair from 1986-87. Dr. Wittner was one of the founders of the Albany DSA and since then has held various leadership positions in the group. From 1981-84  he was Secretary of the Albany Chapter DSOC/DSA, serving at a DSA National Board Delegate in 1983.[3] While fully active in both these organizations, Dr. Wittner also co-chaired the Capital District Labor-Religion Coalition from 1982-84.
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Notes

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1. See Series 1, Box 1, Folder 2.
2. See Series 1, Box 1, Folder 5.
3. It is possible that he served longer, however, these dates were obvious from looking at the records. Information on elections and positions held are incomplete or not obvious.


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Scope & Content Note

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Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History at the University at Albany, donated 3 boxes of papers to the M.E. Grenander Special Collections and Archives at the University at Albany Library in April 2000. The Wittner Collection are a personal and organizational history of the Albany Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the United University Professions (UUP) Solidarity Committee, and various other organizations in the Capital Region.

The Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner Papers are characterized by Dr Wittner's long history of activism in the Capital District, especially Albany, New York. Though he was involved in the operations of various groups, the most documented in the collection are the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) records (1980-87) and the United University Professions (UUP) Solidarity Committee (1986-99). The collection is primarily made up of minutes of meetings, agendas, plans of action, flyers, financial statements, correspondence, photographs and other documents that provide information about the inner workings of these organizations. Though the entire collection spans Dr. Wittner's activism from the late seventies to the late nineties, his activism in the UUP Solidarity Committee and DSA is heavily focused in the 1980s.

The records that deal with the Albany DSA are all located in Series 1. The series includes meeting minutes, agendas, financial statements, flyers and correspondence referring to various projects in the capital district. There are also some subject files. In addition, the series includes issues of The Albany Anvil, the DSA's monthly newsletter, from May 1981 to December 1986. The series is arranged chronologically. The UUP Solidarity Committee's records make up Series 2. The series consists of administrative documents and paperwork such as agendas, minutes, correspondence and financial statements. The series documents UUP's support of labor struggles in the Capital District from 1986 to 1999. It is arranged chronologically, followed by alphabetical subject files. Series 3 consists of general activity, locally, nationally and internationally. There is some information on Dr. Wittner's participation in other area groups such as the Labor-Religion Coalition and the Anti-Nuclear Alliance. Work on the Leon Van Dyke, Ed Bloch and Nancy Burton political campaigns in the 1980s are prominent in the records. This series chronicles Wittner's activism from 1977 to 1997 and is arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 4 is made up of twelve photographs of Dr. Wittner and some members of the DSA spanning from 1980-1985. Included are also photos of demonstrations that have taken place under the auspices of these various groups and photos of an annual Eugene V. Debs Awards Dinner. See page 10 of the Box and Folder list for detailed captions of each photograph.

This collection is an important supplement to the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District records also found at the University at Albany Special Collections.


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Democratic Socialists of America/Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSA/DSOC), December 1980 to January 1987. 1.33 cubic feet (4 boxes) Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by subject.

The series is arranged chronologically and includes meeting minutes, agendas, financial statements, flyers and correspondence referring to various projects in the Capital District. There are also some DSA subject files. In addition, the series includes issues of The Albany Anvil, the monthly newsletter of the organization. The newsletter was a project of the Social Justice Center that started almost immediately after the group formed in 1981. May 1981 to May 1996, December 1996 and May-June 1987 are available.

Series 2: United University Professions (UUP) Solidarity Committee (Statewide). 1986 to 1999. .66 cubic feet (2 boxes) arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by subject.

Folders 1 through 12 in Box 1 are arranged chronologically. They consist of administrative documents and paperwork such as agendas, minutes, correspondence and financial statements dating back to 1986 and going up to 1999. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. They consist of correspondence, clippings and general information about various issues being tackled by the group. This part of the collection is an important supplement to the Solidarity Committee Collection also found at the University at Albany Special Collections. The subject files include: Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union, Brooklyn Union Gas Lockout, Cargill Salt Miners' Strike, Coors Boycott, CWA, Grape Boycott, Independent Federation of Flight Attendants, Labor Councils and other AFL-CIO Affiliations, Mexican Workers, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, New Labor Struggles, NYS Labor-Religion Coalition, NYS Nurses' Association, Nicaragua Labor Support, Onondaga Community College Federation of Teachers, Portec Strike, Publicity for Manny Fields' plays, Social Agenda, Solidarnosc, South Africa Fund, South Africa Labor Support, Support for Overseas Unions, Tugboat and Barge Workers, United Paperworkers International Union, and the Zinc Miners' Strike.

Series 3: Other Activism, 1977-1997. .66 cubic feet (2 boxes). Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Dr. Wittner's activism included other organizations such as the Americans against Nuclear War, Capital District Anti-Nuclear Alliance, Capital District Labor-Religion Coalition and the World Federalist Association. In addition, this series includes Dr. Wittner's involvement in a few local political campaigns throughout the 1980s including Ed Bloch, Nancy Burton and Leon Van Dyke. His activism in these organizations and campaigns began at the end of the 1970s and spanned the 1980s and 1990s.

Series 4: Photographs, 1980-1985. 12 photographs.

Dr. Wittner lent 12 photographs to the collection so that duplicates could be made and remain within the collection. The photos are of Dr. Wittner and other advocates at meetings, social events and demonstrations. See the box and folder list for detailed descriptions of each photograph


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Democratic Socialist of America/Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSA/DSOC), December 1980-January 1987.

Box 1
Folder

1. DSOC - December 1980 to June 1981
2. DSOC - June to December 1981
3. DSOC/DSA - January to May 1982
4. DSA - June to August 1982
5. DSA - September to December 1982

Box 2
Folder

1. Michael Harrington Visit, 1982
2. Mohasco Demonstration, 1982
3. John Dow Campaign, 1982
4. DSA - January to May 1983
5. DSA - June to December 1983
6. Gregg Bell Campaign, 1983
7. DSA National Convention, 1983
8. DSA - January to June 1984
9. DSA - July to December 1984
10. Barbara Ehrenreich Visit, 1984

Box 3
Folder

1. Ads in Democratic Left, 1984
2. DSA - January to June 1985
3. DSA - July to December 1985
4. Nancy Burton Campaign, 1985
5. Jeremy Karapatkin Visit, Student DSA, 1985
6. DSA - January to October 1986
7. Democratic Alternatives Conference, 1987
8. DSA Constitution, By-Laws, Governance, 1980-83
9. Debs Dinner, Invitations and Programs, 1982-1985, 1987
10. Democratic Committee, 1984 and 1986 races
11. In These Times Promotion, 1981-1983
12. DSA Mailing Lists

Box 4
Folder

1. Membership Survey
2. Miscellaneous - Leaflets and Articles
3. DSA National Board, 1981-1983
4. New York State DSA, 1983-1987
5. The Albany Anvil, May 1981 to December 1983
6. The Albany Anvil, January 1984 to December 1986


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Box and Folder List

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Series 2: United University Professions (UUP) Solidarity Committee, 1986-1999

Box 1
Folder
1. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1986-1987
2. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1987-1988
3. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1987-1988
4. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1988-1989
5. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1989-1991
6. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1991-1992
7. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1992-1993
8. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1994-1995
9. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1995-1996
10. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1996-1997
11. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1997-1998
12. Minutes, Agendas, Correspondence, Financial Records, 1998-1999
13. ACTWU, Local 1712, 1987-88 (Gloversville Strike)
14. ACTWU, Local 791, 1987 (Hudson Strike)
15. Brooklyn Union Gas Lockout, TWU, 1986
16. Cargill Salt Miners' Strike, 1986-87 (IAM; Lansing, MI)
17. Coors Boycott, 1987
18. CWA Local 1168, 1987 (Buffalo)
19. Grape Boycott, UFW, 1987-88
20. Independent Federation of Flight Attendants, 1987
21. Labor Councils and other AFL-CIO Affiliations, 1988
22. Mexican Unions, 1995

Box 2
Folder

1. National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, Local 21, 1987 (Schenectady NABET)
2. New Labor Struggles, 1986-1987
3. New York State Labor-Religion Coalition, 1988
4. New York State Nurses Association, 1988 (Malone, NY)
5. Nicaragua Labor Support, 1988
6. Onondaga Community College Federation of Teachers, 1987
7. Portec Strike, 1986
8. Publicity for Manny Fried's Plays, 1988
9. Social Agenda, 1987-1988
10. Solidarnosc, 1988
11. South Africa Fund, 1988-1995
12. South Africa Labor Support, 1987-1992
13. Support for Overseas Unions, 1987-1988
14. Tugboat and Barge Workers, 1988 (ILA, 333)
15. United Paperworkers International Union, 1988 (Local 14)
16. Zinc Miners' Strike, 1987 (Gouverneur, NY)


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Other Activism, 1977-1997

Box 1
Folder

1. Albany Public School Teachers, 1987-1988
2. Albany UUP Chapter, 1978-1994
3. Americans Against Nuclear War, 1985
4. Anti-Apartheid Demonstration, 1984-1985
5. Art Rodriguez Tour, April 5-6, 1989 (UFW)
6. Capital District Anti-Nuclear Alliance, 1979-1982
7. Capital District Labor-Religion Coalition, 1985
8. Cesar Chavez Appearance, April 2, 1987
9. Dukakis Campaign, 1988
10. El Salvador Ad, March 28, 1982 (National Labor Committee)
11. Ed Bloch Campaign, 1984 and 1986
12. Ed Bloch Campaign, 1984 and 1986

Box 2
Folder

1. Greyhound Strike, 1983
2. In These Times Group, 1977-78
3. James Bay Project, 1991
4. Leon Van Dyke Campaigns, 1989 and 1993
5. Moral Majority, November 1980
6. New York State Coalition, 1985 (Nancy Burton Campaign)
7. Nicaragua Ad, 1986 (NYS United Teachers)
8. NL Industries, 1979
9. Tax the Rich Program, 1989
10. Teach-In, October 1997
11. UUP Contract Battle, 1985-1986
12. World Federalist Association, 1988-1997 (Capital District Chapter)


Lawrence S. Wittner Social Activism Collection
Box and Folder List

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Series 4: Photographs, 1980-1985

Box 1
Albany DSA Eugene V. Debs Dinner, 1983?
1. Co-Chair Reverend Gary Dorrien chats with Pat Beetle of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign
2. Bob Belanger (Thruway House Bartender) with Dr. Wittner (Albany DSA Secretary)
3. Left to Right: Tim Reilly (President of Albany UUP and award recipient), Bob Redlo (ACTWU), and Gary Dorrien (Co-Chair of Albany DSA)

Demonstrations
4. Lorbrook Demonstration. Under UUP Banner, left to right: Larry Wittner (Albany), John Hain (New Paltz), ?, Gerry Zahavi (Albany), Bill Towne (ACTWU)
5. Free South Africa Demonstration, Albany, January 1985. John Funiciello's arrest
6. Free South Africa Demonstration, Albany, January 1985. In the Police van, left to right: John Funiciello, Reverend Alan Delamater, and Larry Wittner
7. "Solidarity Forever" on the steps of the New York State Capitol, left to right: Melanie Pores, Doug Manley, Bob Andrews, Peg Wilson, ?, ?, Larry Wittner, Paul Cole (Secretary-Treasurer, NYS AFL-CIO)

DSA Luncheon with Michael Harrington, October 1982
8. Left to right: Henry Madej (New Democratic Coalition), Robert Redlo (ACTWU), Michael Harrington (standing, DSA), Larry Wittner (Albany DSA)

Albany DSA New Year's Eve Party, 1981
9. Dorothy Tristman (Co-Chair, Albany DSA)
10. Left to right: Peter Pollak, Larry Wittner (with guitar)
11. Larry Wittner about to perform in the midnight musical comedy
12. Arrival of Adele Geringer with balloons (Albany DSA) and Jim Driscoll (Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign)


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Last updated March 4, 2003