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from the Seeley G Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University

The American Civil Liberties Union and International Affairs

The Roger Nash Baldwin Papers document the life and career of Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. He served as its Executive Director for thirty years from 1920 to his retirement in 1950 and as an advisor after that date. However, Baldwin cast his net much wider than just the ACLU. During the 1920s and 1930s, he was involved with various left-wing political organisations, including the Industrial Workers of the World. Following the end of World War II, he served as an advisor to the US Army and the United Nations in Germany, Austria, Japan, and Korea, guiding the establishment of democracy in those countries, and he was for many years chair of the International League for the Rights of Man. He spoke and wrote widely, most often on issues of civil liberties and human rights, and also taught periodically throughout his life. These papers, which include correspondence, subject files, memoranda, writings, speeches, notes and photographs, document all aspects of his public life, as well as many aspects of his personal life.

In particular, there is strong material in this collection on:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union, 1920-1981.
  • Baldwin’s travels to the Soviet Union, Japan, Korea and Germany.
  • Civil Rights issues in the United States, Japan, Germany and in Puerto Rico.
  • Communist and Radical political organisations in the United States,
  • International affairs, US foreign policy and foreign relations.
  • The Scopes Trial and the Sacco-Vanzetti Case.
  • Correspondence with Emma Goldman.
  • the Soviet Union
  • Puerto Rico.
  • the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
  • the First World War, 1914-1918.
  • Conscientious Objectors in the United States.
  • Communism and Baldwin’s break with Communism and other Radicals in 1939.
  • the League against War and Fascism.
  • the Robert Marshall Civil Liberties Trust Fund.
  • the National Civil Liberties Bureau.
  • the Japan Civil Liberties Union.
  • the International League against Imperialism.
  • Human Rights issues.
  • the International League for the Rights of Man.

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