[Marxism] Dorothy Healey archives at CSU Long Beach

lshan lshan at bcn.net
Fri Nov 18 09:21:38 MST 2005

The Dorothy Healey Collection. (Political)
Healey served as a Spokesperson and Chairman of the Southern California 
District, C.P.U.S.A. from 1949-1972, and eight years in Imperial Valley 
and other agricultural areas organizing farm laborers. She was 
prominent in left-wing C.I.O. activities in the 40's, organizing 
cannery, mill and municipal workers. The collection was acquired in 
1971 and there have been subsequent additions donated by Healey. It 
contains over 10,000 items including books, pamphlets, broadsides 
(handbills and leaflets) letters, photographs, speeches, news 
clippings, etc. Particularly important are party programs, internal 
discussion guides and position papers reflecting Communist Party theory 
and practice from the 1940's to the 1960's. There are over 150 indexed 
boxes. The collection is enhanced by the Al Richmond Papers, also 
donated by Healey.

This description is not entirely accurate. Healey collected much more 
than internal external CP documents. It is a trove of general left 
material. The few Trotskyist items are included elsewhere, but that 
they are here at all should put one on notice that her outlook was not 
as narrow as one might suppose. She had a brother who either was a 
Trotskyist or who supported his ideas in general.

One of the most important items is the text of 50 hours of taped 
interviews, amounting to three typed volumes. Reading it as a book 
would be a delight. There is an index, but it is not as sensitive as I 
would have liked. You should think like a Googler if you want to use 

Each of these items has been given a thumbnail description—again I 
believe it to be 3 volumes, perhaps 4. There is a rough organization, 
but no cross-referencing. However, since cross-referencing is a huge 
task and the one doing the cross-referencing is making his or her own 
personal and political decisions, that's probably just as well. One 
should read the thumbnails.

There are strict rules regarding use. You should give notice ahead of 
time if you want to see one of the collections. All of the copying (at 
ten cents per page) is done by university personnel after you leave. 
You can't walk over to a copy machine and do it yourself. It is open 
M-F 9-12 and 1-5. Summer hours are 10-3. One can sit there and take 
notes in pencil. Although closed for lunch, a small campus eatery is 
just around the other side of the building. A larger one is not too far 
away. I got away with parking in a restricted lot, but there is public 
parking and a shuttle.

Here are some more of the holdings at CSULB that I cherry-picked from 
the site referenced above.

The Mary Hunter Austin Collection, 1868-1934. (Literary)
Austin was an author and pioneer in California Bohemian movement. 
Holdings include a significant collection of first editions.

The Dwight L. Dumond Collection. (American history)
The private collection of anti-slavery pamphlets and books which 
consists of over 274 items dated from 1760 to 1860. The collection is 
strongest for the decade of the 1830's because of quantity, as well as 
continuity and variety. Included are sermons, political speeches and 
broadsides of the abolition movement.

The Robert Cunninghame Graham Collection, 1852-1936. (Literary)
British author of travel books and biographies, who also helped 
organize the Scottish Labor Party. Holdings include several first 

The Huntington Collection. (American history)
The collection consists of primary resource material and contains 
approximately 375 titles which were published between 1629 and 1887 in 
England and America. Over one-third of these documents focus 
specifically on events relating to the American Revolution and 
occurring between 1755 and 1783.

The Radical Politics in California Collection. (Political)
The collection consists of materials relating to the Socialist, 
Communist and Peoples' Party. It also includes a collection by Ron 
Ridenour, freelance journalist and author, of scrapbooks depicting his 
political involvement in Nicaragua.

The Rosie the Riveter Collection: World War II Era. (Oral Histories)
The collection provides a firsthand account of American women's 
experiences as defense workers during WWII. CSULB oral historian, 
Sherna Berger Gluck, directed extensive interviews with over forty 
"Rosie the Riveters," focusing on the long-term effects of their 
wartime work experience.

The Howard Sherain Collection, --1981. (Law)
The collection was assembled by CSULB Professors Barry Steiner and 
William Leiter, Political Science Department, following the death of 
Dr. Sherain, also of the Political Science Department. It represents 
Sherain's involvement and writings specifically in the field of 
American constitutional law and affirmative action. There are 35 boxes 
of materials and a finder's guide.

The Upton Sinclair Collection: 1878-1968. (Literary)
Sinclair was an author and a political and social activist. The Upton 
Sinclair Collection consists of some first edition books, an almost 
complete holding of the publication Upton Sinclair's EPIC News, dated 
from May 28, 1934 to December 9, 1935, numerous articles and 
miscellaneous correspondence.

Brian Shannon

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