R-MC 011

Guide to the Paul Robeson Collection, 1916-2006

By Erika Gorder, Anthony Fatovic, and Jaclyn Fanelli

July 2006

Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Finding aid encoded in EAD version 2002 by Susie Toftie, November 2006, with revisions by Caryn Radick, August 2008.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976
Title: Paul Robeson Collection
Dates: 1916-2006
Quantity: 9 manuscript boxes, 3 phonograph record boxes, 1 cassette box
Abstract: Paul Robeson was an American actor, athlete, bass-baritone concert singer, writer, and civil rights activist. This collection comprises of material gathered together to document the career of one of Rutgers most famous and influential alumnus. It spans the years 1916 to 1998 and includes newspaper clippings, published articles, books, sound recordings, correspondence, photographs and negatives, bibliographies, and writings.
Collection No.: R-MC 011
Language: English
Repository: Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives

Biographical Sketch of Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey, the youngest son of the Rev. William D. Robeson, who was born a slave. Robeson's mother was a teacher and died when he was five. Robeson entered Rutgers University on a scholarship in 1915 earned with high grades from Somerville High School. The third black student at Rutgers and the first black football player at the school, Robeson became a 12-letter athlete (including Baseball, Basketball, Track, and Football) and a collegiate football All-American. Also earning academic and oratorical honors at Rutgers, Robeson was named a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and graduated with honors in the class of 1919, where he delivered one of the graduation speeches at commencement. He participated in singing at local events while at Rutgers, and he expressed concern for his race and called for cooperation between whites and blacks during this same period. In addition to his athletic activities, Robeson was also active in student clubs such as the Glee Club, Philoclean Society, and Cap and Skull.

Robeson studied law at Columbia Law School and received his LL.B. in 1923. During this time he was married, introduced to the theater, and made his first New York stage appearance (1922). Choosing acting over the practice of law, he starred in Eugene O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings in 1924, creating the role. The racial subject matter of the play spurred controversy and protest. The same year he starred in O'Neill's Emperor Jones on Broadway and appeared in his first film, Body and Soul, by the independent black filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux.

Writing in 1929 about his accomplishments, Robeson noted that he was the "first Negro to give program(s) of all-Negro music on (the) regular concert stage. First concert (was in) New York, 1925, and since (have) sung concerts in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Germany, Paris, Holland, London, and all of England with enormous success." Robeson viewed his singing as enabling America to see African Americans in a new light, and he felt that hearing the Negro spirituals would promote racial understanding (Box 1, scrapbook 1). He became interested in the folk music of many countries.

Robeson succeeded on the stage, in film, and in concert halls, but experienced prejudice and racism. After finding a tolerant atmosphere in the Soviet Union, he became friendly with American communists and became an activist for blacks' rights. He was named by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947, and the State Department denied him a passport until 1958 as a result. These events reflected the political climate and caused the end of his performing career in the U.S. After residing in England for five years, he returned to the United States where he lived out his last years in privacy, declining to attend belated public tributes. Paul Robeson died at age 77 in Philadelphia.

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Scope and Content Note

The Paul Robeson Collection consists of documents ranging in date from 1916 to 2006 . It is housed in 9 letter sized manuscript boxes, 3 phonograph record boxes, and a cassette box.

There is a broad representation of formats in the collection including newspaper clippings, published articles, books, sound recordings, letters, photographic prints and negatives, biographical material, pamphlets and programs, press releases, bibliographies, and other writings and printed ephemera. The collection documents a broad spectrum of Robeson's life and career, however it is by no means complete or comprehensive nor does it represent his personal papers. Several areas of the collection are quite strong particularly those series that deal with news reporting and academic writing on Robeson. The newspaper clippings, Series I, offer a comprehensive chronological documentation of Robeson's life, beginning with his years as an undegraduate at Rutgers College running through his prolific performances and his political activism and exile. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the collection is the material related to Paul Robeson and Rutgers University. This documentation is dispersed throughout the collection, to be sure, but it is also focused most strongly in the Series II/Subseries B (Targum clippings), the Photograph Series IV, and Series VI: Tributes/Memorials/Exhibitions. Finally, Robeson's career on stage and screen is very well documented in the Photograph series and Series V. Plays and Performances which include photographs, programs, and reviews.

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Arrangement Note

The Paul Robeson Collection is arranged into the following nine series:

I. Newspaper Clippings, 1916-2004
II. Writings by and about Robeson, 1917-2006
III. Correspondence
IV. Photographs
V. Plays and Performances
VI. Tributes/Memorials/Exhibitions
VII. Books and Journals
VIII. Sound Recordings
IX. State Department Documents
X. Rutgers Related

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Name and Subject Terms

Personal Names:

Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976.
Robeson, Paul,--1898-1976 --Bibliography.

Subject Headings:

African American motion picture actors and actresses.
African American singers -- Biography.
African Americans -- Biography.
African Americans -- Civil rights.

Document Types:

Newspaper Clippings

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Paul Robeson Collection (R-MC 011), Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.

Provenance Note

The Paul Robeson Collection is an artificial research collection culled from the larger University Archives collections, donations and gifts, purchases, and the products of research by the University Archives staff. The University Archives considers this an ongoing/open collection—additions are made regularly.

Of particular note are the documents that form the State Department Series. Formerly Ac. 2707, the State Department series (Series V) comprises "documents relating to the communist-oriented activities of Paul Robeson '19. Washington, D.C. etc., 1946-62" and are copies of the Paul Robeson files that were compiled by the U.S. Department of State.

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Detailed Description of the Papers/Container List

This section provides descriptions of the materials found within each series. Each series description is followed by a container list, which gives the titles of the "containers" (for example, folders, volumes, or cassettes) and their locations in the numbered boxes that comprise the collection. The availability of any digital items from a container is indicated with a hyperlink.

I. Newspaper Clippings, 1916-2004
Arrangement: Chronological
Summary: Originally housed in five scrapbooks the newsclippings span the years from 1916 to 2004 (bulk, 1916-1979) and are collected from newspapers across the nation. Magazine clippings, press releases, and ephemera also appear. Subjects are broken down into the following sections but are not comprehensive or exhaustive.
News clippings, June 1916-1931--Subjects include: oratorical, athletic, and academic honors at Rutgers; boxing career rumors; controversy concerning Robeson's role in All God's Chillun Got Wings 1924; performance in Emperor Jones 1924; dispute at Dutch Treat Club; recitals, concerts; speaks on racial understanding; performance in Showboat 1927; performance in Black Boy1926; London performances; performance in Porgy 1928; performance in Berlin; sculpted figurine of Robeson barred from Philadelphia exhibition (illus.), 1930; wife publishes Robeson biography. Books reviews by Langston Hughes and others named to British Who's Who, 1931.
News clippings, 1931-1939-- Subjects include: performances in plays: Hairy Ape, 1931>; Showboat, 1932; Emperor Jones, 1933; Basalik, 1935; Toussaint L' Overture 1936; John Henry 1939; acting in films: Emperor Jones1933; Sanders of the River, 1933; Showboat, 1935; King Solomon's Mine, 1937; concerts, recitals in U.S. and England; interest in Africa, Russia; honorary degree at Rutgers, 1932; reason for singing spirituals; plan to visit Russia; assorted biographical feature articles; places son in Soviet school.
News clippings, 1940-1948--Subjects include: speaking out on fascism; honorary degree from Hamilton college; performance in "Proud Valley" (London); Carnegie Hall performance; "Robeson Technique" announced by Acoustical Society; sues San Francisco restaurant for racial discrimination; D.A.R. bars Robeson from using Constitution Hall for a concert; acting in film: "Proud Valley"; interrupts Kansas concert to protest segregation; quits theater for two years to fight discrimination; named by House Committee on Un-American Activities; Violence threatened in Illinois, 1947; possible running mate for Henry A. Wallace, 1948; W. Virginia library bans Robeson biography
News clippings, 1949-1971--Subjects include: leading protest for accused African Americans from Trenton; commenting on discrimination in sports; public sentiment of Robeson's politics; O. Hammerstein's response to Robeson's changing lyrics of song; identified as member of communist party; Peekskill riot, 1949; Robeson testifies for communists; American Legion asks for ban; "Press Club Weekly" articles; Football Hall of Fame nomination is vetoed; enters hospital at age 71; Home News editorial calls upon Rutgers president to nominate Robeson for inclusion in Who's Who Rutgers, Newark, calls for renaming of student center for Robeson
News clippings, 1972-2004--Subjects include: decision to rename Newark student center; tributes to Robeson; biographical summaries; dedication ceremony of renamed student center; dedication speech by President Bloustein; honorary doctorate degree by Rutgers; Carnegie Hall celebrates Robeson's 75th birthday; on naming Robeson to National Football Foundation Hall of Fame; Robeson dies at 77; funeral services in Harlem; NJ State Assembly honors Robeson by passing resolution to declare Feb. 6 Black History Week; inducted into Black Athletes Hall of Fame; Robeson, Jr. declares government harassed his father (wiretapping, house bugging, mail interception, car sabotage, and fabricated news reports).
Box Folder
1 1 Newspaper Clippings, 1916-1924
2 Newspaper Clippings, 1925-1928
3 Newspaper Clippings, 1929-1931
4 Newspaper Clippings, 1932-1934
5 Newspaper Clippings, 1935-1939
Box Folder
2 1 Newspaper Clippings, 1940-1943
2 Newspaper Clippings, 1944-1949
3 Newspaper Clippings, 1954-1973
Box Folder
3 1 Newspaper Clippings, 1974-2004
2 Newspaper Clippings, undated
unfoldered Rutgers Alumni Magazine Issues Spring 1974; Winter 1974; April 1975; February 1976; April 1976 (3 copies)
II. Writings by and about Robeson, 1917-2006, 1917-2006
Arrangement: This series is divided into five subseries and roughly chronological within each subseries. The subseries are: A: Writings about Paul Robeson; B: Targum Articles; C: Writings by Paul Robeson (including senior thesis); D: "Birthdays"; and E: Biographical/Sources
Summary: Paul Robeson was the subject of much interest during his lifetime. This series contains newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles about his theatrical performances and his political and civil rights activities. The Targum articles document Robeson's achievements at Rutgers University as an All-American football player, member of the prestigious "Cap and Skull" honorary fraternity, his debating skills, and Rutgers' view of him as he became a controversial political figure. A significant item by Robeson is his senior thesis on the Fourteenth Amendement. While "Writings" series is not comprehensive, it does include important articles on Robeson and his life.
A. Writings about Paul Robeson
Box Folder
3 3 Copies of Spalding's Official Football Guide, 1915-1917
4 Scarlet Letter copies
5 Various articles concerning Robeson's life and career, 1919-1974
6 "Paul Robeson Gets Purse . . . " Home News, 1919
7 Sergeant, Elizabeth Sheply, "The Man With His Home in a Rock: Paul Robeson," The New Republic, Vol. XLVL (46), Feb.-May 1926
8 Gilmon, Mildred, "Profiles, King of Harlem," The New Yorker, Vol. 4, Sept. 29, 1928
9 Dorn, Julia, "I Breath Freely," New Theater, Interviewing Paul Robeson, July 1935
10 "Bravos" Radio Broadcast, "The Pursuit of Happiness," Time, Nov. 20, 1939
11 Dorn, Julia, "Paul Robeson Told Me," Theater Arts Committee, Vol. 1, #12, p. 23, July-Aug 1939
12 Current Biography: 1941 Paul Robeson, 1941
13 Bessie, Alvah, "For I am Black," New Masses, , September 8, 1942
14 Strakosch, Avery, "Born Lucky," Look, 1942
15 Beatty, Jerome, "America's No. 1 Negro," American Magazine, May 1944
16 Hutchens, John K., "Paul Robeson," Theater Arts, p. 579, October 1944
17 Littlewort, Dorothy, "Paul Robeson (Poem)," Opportunity, Vol. 24, p. 81., June 1946
18 O'Neil, J.M., "Concert in Albany (A Letter Concerning the Denial of the Use of . . .)," The Commonwealth, Vol. 46, #6, p. 141 May 23, 1947
19 Hedden, Worth Tuttle, "Four Critical Eyes on U.S.A.," Saturday Review of Literature, Vol. 32, #6, p. 13 Feb. 5, 1949
20 DuBois, W.E.B. and Walter White, "Paul Robeson: Right or Wrong," Negro Digest, Vol. 8, #5, p. 8-18 Mar 1950
21 Miers, Earl S., "Paul Robeson: Made in America," Nation, p. 523 May 27, 1950
22 Rorty, James; Raushenbush, Winifred, "The Lessons of the Peekskill Riots," Commentary, Vol. 10, pp. 309-323 Oct 1950
23 "They Didn't rally Round," 1950
24 Brown, Loyde. "Lift Every Voice," 1951
25 Moos, Elizabeth, "Free Paul Robeson!" Masses and Mainstream, Vol. 4, #10, pp. 8-10, Oct 1950
26 Hamburg, Alice S., "Berkley's Example," Nation, Vol. 174, p. 536, June 7, 1952
27 "Double Play: Chaplin to Robeson to Malenkov. Saturday Evening Post, Vol. 227, pp. 10, 12, September 4, 1954
28 "My Brother, Paul Robeson - An Appraisal," 1954
29 "No Borders for Art (Robeson's Passport Denial)," Masses and Mainstream, Vol. 7, #6, pp. 4-5. June 1954
30 "Case of Paul Robeson: Why Some Americans Can't Get Passports," U.S. News and World Report, Vol. 39. August 26, 1955
31 Miers, Earl S., "The World Well Lost," The New Statesman and Nation, Vol. 50, #1281, pp. 359-360. Sept. 24, 1955
32 BBC, Info on Interview with in 1957
33 Hentoff, Nat, "Paul Robeson makes a New Album," The Reporter: The Magazine of Facts and Ideas, Vol. 18, #8, pp. 34-35. April 17, 1958
34 "Negro Reply to Communism," America, Nov. 2, 1957
35 Kolodin, Irving, "Paul Robeson in Carnegie Hall," Saturday Review, Vol. 41, May 24, 1958
36 Phillip, P. Ooman, "India Honors for Paul Robeson," The Christian Century, Vol. 75, pp. 676-677, June 4, 1958
37 Eccles, Peter, "An Afternoon in Kiev," The New Republic, April 6, 1959
38 Haffner, Sabastian, "Who has Berlin has Germany," Berliner Illustrit.
39 "A Salute to Robeson," Freedomways, Vol. 5, p. 363. Summer 1965
40 "Who's Who in American Theatre," 1966
41 Codella, Anthony F., "Paul Robeson: A Skeleton in Rutgers' Closet," Press Club Weekly, Vol.1, #10, March 31, 1967
42 Pittman, John, "Mount Paul," New World Review, pp. 24-28. Feb. 1967
43 Patterson, W., "Paul Robeson: A Giant Among Men," Political Affairs, Vol. 47, #5, pp. 18-21. May 1968
44 Fishman, George, "Paul Robeson's Student Days and the Fight Against Racism at Rutgers," Freedomways, Vol. 9, #3 (3rd Quarter), 1969
45 Lewis, Claude, "Racism Scorched Soul of Brilliant Paul Robeson," 1969
46 Patterson, W., "In Honor of Paul Robeson," Political Affairs, Vol. 48, #5, pp. 17-22. May 1969
47 Cripps, Thomas, "Paul Robeson and Black Identity in American Movies," The Mass Review, Vol. 11, #3, pp. 468-485, Summer 1970
48 James, C.L.R., "Paul Robeson: Black Star a Friend's Recollection," Black World, Vol. 20, #1, pp. 106-115. Nov. 1970
49 Karp, Leonard, "Ahead of His Time: Paul Robeson," The Churchman, p.10-14. June-July 1970
50 Freedomways Magazine, First Quarter, 1971
Box Folder
4 1 Morris, M.D., "Cornell has a Paul Robeson, Too!" Rutgers Athletic News, Oct. 2, 1971
2 Articles on Paul Robeson appearing in Rutgers Alumni Monthly Magazine, 1971-1976
3 Dept. of African and Afro-American Studies Rutgers Spring 1972 Syllabus from class devoted to Robeson. Material covers various publications written by and about Robeson. Prof. Weaver. Spring 1972
4 Robinson, Gene, "A Rap on Robeson," New World Review , pp. 24-28. Feb. 1967
5 Yeakey; Glassman, "Friendship has a History," Freedom Ways, note: Poor copy; photos in article are not viewable. 1965
6 Article from Journal of Sports History, Vol. 6 #2 "The Paul Robeson-Jackie Robinson Saga and a Political Collision." By: Ronald Smith, Summer 1979
7 Keyes, "Paul Robeson: His Life," Black Voice, Wed. Dec. 2, 1981
8 People's Weekly World, "The Tallest Tree in Our Forest," 1998
9 Rutgers Magazine, Cover Story, Spring 1998
10 The Ballad of Paul Robeson, 1998
11 The Red and the Black, 1998
12 Writing Robeson, 1999
13 Paul Robeson's Living Legacy, 1998
14 Internet Article re: Robeson from Coalfield Web Materials, printed June 2006
15 Pamphlet re: Robeson (nothing inside), undated
16 Biographical entry from Wikipedia.com printed from the Internet, ca. 2006
Writings—Targum Articles
Box Folder
4 17 "Paul Robeson (Left End)," 1917
18 "The 1917 Season"
19 Camp, Walter. "Camp, Thorp, Daily, Rice, Daniels and Perry Sent Letters in Praise of Coach Sanford." Vol. 49, #11, pp. 278-279, Dec. 19, 1917
20 Camp, Walter, "Walter Camp's Summary of the Football Season, Vol. 49, #11, Dec. 19, 1917
21 Targum vol. 49, #11 pp. 282-283. "Our All-American" Discusses the rise of Rutgers football and Robeson. Photo "Roby." Dec. 19, 1917
22 "Robeson Wins Extemporaneous Speaking Contest," 1919
23 "Baseball Also Successful," Vol. 50, #30 pp. 574-575. Note: Photo of young Robeson, June 1919
24 Lyons, "Prophesy of the Class of 1919," Vol. 50, #30, p. 563, June 1919,
25 "The New Idealism" V50, #30 pp. 570-571. Graduation Address. June 1919,
26 "Paul Leroy Robeson: Graduated Rutgers Class of 1919; Praised as Athlete and Student. #30 p 566. June 1919
27 "A Review of the 1919 Track Team," "Scarlet Track Team Gains Victory Over Swarthmore" Vol. 50 #30 pp. 572-573, June 1919
28 The Targum Commencement, June 1919
29 Targum, 1920-1959
30 Targum 1967-1971
31 Targum, 1971-1976
Many of these articles concern Robeson's stroke (12/28/76), death (1/23/76), funeral and honor statements.
C. Writings by Paul Robeson
Box Folder
4 1 Thesis Outline
32 Thesis: "The 14th Amendment: The Sleeping Giant of the American Constitution." 23 pages (3 copies), May 29, 1919
33 Additional copy of thesis
34 "The Culture of the Negro," The Spectator, Vol. 152, pp. 916-917. January-June 1934
35 "Primitives," The New Statesman and Nation, Aug. 8, 1936
36 Original, Handwritten and Typed Drafts for the foreword to Favorite Songs of the Red Army and Navy
37 Favorite Songs of the Red Army and Navy
38 "Some Reflections on Othello and . . ." 1945
39 "Unity for Peace," Masses and Mainstream, Vol. 4, #8, August 1951
40 "Land of Love and Happiness," New World Review, Dec. 1952
41 "The Negro Artist looks Ahead,"Masses and Mainstream, Vol. 5, #1 January 1952
42 "Voting for Peace,"Masses and Mainstream, Vol.5, #8, August 1952
43 "Floodtide of Peace,"Masses and Mainstream, Vol. 7, #10, Oct. 1954
44 "Hear I Stand," Here I Stand, 1958
45 "The Legacy of WEB DuBois," Freedomways, First Quarter, 1965
D. "Birthdays"
Box Folder
4 46 Birthday cards: 75th birthday (8 cards)
47 70th birthday photo: Political Affairs Vol. 47, #5, P.7. May 1968
48 Clipping and photo honoring Robeson's 75th birthday. (Rutgers).
49 Carnegie Hall tribute: (75th birthday). April 9, 1973
E. Biographical/Sources
Box Folder
4 50 Ephemera concerning the Paul Robeson archives
51 Robeson, Eslanda Goode. "A Negro Looks at Africa."Asia and the Americans. v.44, #11. pp. 501-503, Nov. 1944.
52 Newspaper article "The Real Paul Robeson." by Sam Woldin. Also two other news articles from the early 1940s.
53 Rutgers Alumni Monthly December 1943
54 Brief Russian biography on Robeson
55 "He Pioneered Fight for Human Rights," by Glendhill Cameron: (Three very old copies).
56 Robeson ignored by Who's Who and Football's Hall of Fame.
57 Various biographical (original) news articles on Robeson.
Box Folder
5 1 Deutschen Demokrtischen Republik (miscellaneous).
2 Deutschen Demokrtischen Republik (cont.)
3 Robeson and Rutgers
4 Pamphlets: Robeson Center (Rutgers)
5 Paul Robeson Rediscovered: An Annotated Listing of his Chicago History
6 Index of tapes concerning the life of Robeson.
7 Handwritten note concerning the Robeson Records.
8 Notes, footnotes and citations.
9 Welsh and English lyrics of "A Nation Sings"
10 Bibliographies
11 Handwritten NY Times Index on Robeson: 1915-1970.
12 Current Biography 1945: Eslanda Goode Robeson.
13 "Pioneers in the Struggle Against Segregation," Survey Graphics, Vol. 36, pp. 90-91, January 1947
14 Bonosky, Phillip, "The Education of Paul Robeson," The Worker, May 4, 1958
15 Schomburg Collection holdings
16 Robeson portrait by: McKinney, 1977
17 Bibliographies, correspondence
18 Who's Who in America and others, (Handwritten)
19 Brochures and Booklets . . . German Democratic Republic
20 Concert Appearance with "The Gospel Train"
21 Brown, L. "Brown Vs. Salina"
22 Robeson, Eslanda Goode, "Proude to be an American"
23 Notes requesting loan of Robeson materials
24 "Robeson Technique" Sound Control, 1940
25 Poster: Rutgers Series on Paul Robeson, 1979
26 Clippings from Newsweek, 1932-1978.
27 News Clipping from NY Times Book Review concerning Gilliam's book, All American
III. Correspondence
Summary: Mostly correspondence of the University Archives with Abraham Isserman and the German Democratic Republic. Also includes letter from James Dickson Carr protesting Robeson's exclusion from a football game in 1919.
Box Folder
5 28 Concerning Sunday's Report in New York Herald, January 16, 1923
"Asked to Represent Rutgers," October 6, 1927
Reply from Robeson to above letter, October 12, 1927
To deliver graduation speech at Howard University May 12, 1927
Reply from Mrs. Robeson, undated
From: William Garrison, January 18, 1923
From: Aluminum Cooking Utensil Co., June 24, 1919
Press Release, June 11, 1932
To: Mr. Osborn From: Maxwell, William Hunter concerning the poem: Robeson ... of Rutgers, Monday, March 6, 1944
Concerning letters received, undated
Box Folder
5 29 Mostly correspondences from and to William G. Miller, former Rutgers University archivist
30 Correspondence with German Democratic Republic,
Paul Robeson Archive, Requesting Material November 8, 1966
Grossman, Victor "Requesting material;"
Bogelsack, Brigitte, sending materials, Nov. 21, 1974
Reply of thanks to above letter undated
To: Professor McCormick, "Requesting materials:, From: Paul Robeson Archives, (Forward to William Miller, University Archivist) December 9, 1969
Reply from William Miller to above letter, September 13, 1970
To: Paul Robeson Archives, September 1968
Box Folder
5 31 Correspondence with Abraham Isserman, 1970-1976
Re: Lienhard Bergel Case, June 14 and 15, 1976; June 9, 1976, May 17, 1976
Box Folder
5 32 Carr, James D. to William Demarest "Letter protesting removal of Robeson from Game Because of Color," June 6, 1919
33 Correspondence between John F. Bateman and the Honor Court of the National Football foundation and Hall of Fame, ca. 1993
34 Press Release: Rutgers University Paul Robeson Centennial Events
35 Letter to Alumni: Announcing Book on Paul Robeson by Eslanda Goode Robeson
36 Letter: Paul Robeson Fund to unknown group of Alumni
37 Press Release: Awarding of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Robeson, February 25, 1998
IV. Photographs
Summary: Various photographs of Paul Robeson, particularly during his years as a student at Rutgers, 1915-1919. These include Robeson as an athlete participating in football, basketball, baseball, and track; his Scarlet Letter (Rutgers College yearbook) photographs, including his portrait, as a member of Cap and Skull Honorary Society, and as a member of the Intercollegiate Debating Association. The series also includes theatre and publicity shots, and photographs of Robeson at public events.
Box Folder
5 38 Robeson at Rutgers: Football (Portraits)
39 Robeson at Rutgers: Football (Team/Group Photos)
40 Robeson at Rutgers: Football (While Playing)
Box Folder
6 1 Robeson at Rutgers: Football (Photocopies)
2 Robeson at Rutgers: Baseball
3 Robeson at Rutgers: Basketball
4 Robeson at Rutgers: Track
5 Robeson at Rutgers: Scarlet Letter—portrait
6 Robeson at Rutgers: Scarlet Letter class photograph
7 Robeson at Rutgers: Scarlet Letter—Cap and Skull
8 Robeson at Rutgers: Scarlet Letter—Phi Beta Kappa
9 Robeson at Rutgers—Scarlet Letter, Miscellaneous
10 All God's Chillun Got Wings
11 John Henry
12 Black Boy
13 The Emperor Jones
14 Showboat
15 Othello
16 Public Appearances
17 Portraits
18 Miscellaneous
19 Negatives from Publications
V. Plays and Performances
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
Summary: Miscellaneous ephemera, clippings, reviews, programs and playbills relating to performances and productions in which Robeson had a role.
Box Folder
7 1 All God's Chillun Got Wings (1923-1924 Season): Provincetown Playhouse Program (Playbill)
2 All God's Chillun Got Wings Article/Review 1924
3 Movie Review of Body and Soul, 1924
4 Black Boy, Image from the New York Times, 1926
5 Showboat Programs (from the stage production), 1932
6 Showboat Booklet on the film production, 1936
7 Showboat Article re: "Old Man River," 1942
8 The Emperor Jones, articles and film review, 1933
9 The Emperor Jones, programs from Stage Productions, 1940
10 A Plant in the Sun, article, 1938
11 John Henry, article from Colliers, 1940
12 John Henry, article from Theatre Arts, 1940
13 Born Lucky 1942 and John Henry, 1940
14 Born Lucky and John Henry, 1942
15 Othello, three programs, one autographed, 1943
16 Othello, Copy of autographed program 1943
17 Othello, programs from 1942-1944
18 Othello, articles, reviews, and copies of pictures
19 Othello, Lovell, Cpl. John Jr., "Shakespeare's American Play" Theatre Arts, Vol. 28. No. 6, pp. 363-370 June 1944
20 The First 35 Years of Black Film Makers (Rutgers-Camden Events), June 1944
21 Articles: Various Plays, undated
22 Programs: various concerts and recitals
23 Ticket order forms to various concerts and recitals
24 Ticket order forms to various concerts and recitals
25 Newsclipping: Peekskill concert
26 Reviews of Concerts
27 Program by Earl Conrad, "I Heard a Black Man Sing Last Night"
VI. Tributes/Memorials/Exhibitions
Summary: Articles, programs, and ephemera relating to special tributes and events commemorating Paul Robeson and his accomplishments.
Box Folder
7 28 Freedomway articles and special issue, 1965, 1971
29 "Of People and Things," 1966
30 Guide to a 70th Birthday Exhibition in Berlin, 1968
31 Robeson, Paul, Jr. "Rutgers Salutes Paul Robeson," 1970
32 "News of the Classes," 1972.
33 "Paul Robeson center campus dedication," Targum article, April 11, 1972
34 Edward J. Bloustein speech: Dedication of Paul Robeson Campus Center (Rutgers-Newark), April 9, 1972
35 "Paul Robeson Fund, at Rutgers," March 21, 1973
36 Various articles concerning Robeson's death, funeral and tributes (1 of 2)
37 Various articles concerning Robeson's death, funeral and tributes (2 of 2)
38 Clipping concerning "Paul Robeson Day" in Princeton, NJ, 1976
39 Article: "Fallen Star," 1976
40 Memorial Service at Rutgers, 1976
41 Musical tributes and Symposium, 1976-1981
42 Portrayal of Robeson by James Earl Jones, 1977
43 Portrayal of Robeson by James Earl Jones: Reviews, photos and press releases. 1977
44 "Paul Robeson, the Play," Variety, January 11, 1978
45 Program: Paul Robeson Athletic Association Award Dinner, April 30, 1978
46 Paul Robeson "Scholar Project" of Livingston Campus, 1981
47 100th Birthday Celebrations on Rutgers Campuses (Brochures)
48 Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus Presents Paul Robeson: His Life And Legacy; An all-day celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the athlete/singer/actor/activist; Feb. 28, 1998
49 The Paul Robeson House of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Brochure of Calendar of events in Spring 1998
50 Rutgers Camden: Exhibitions, Films, Concerts, and Literary Art Presentations in 1998, several events about Robeson
51 Rutgers Camden Event Brochure: "The Paul Robeson Connection: 1998 Paul Robeson Centennial"
Box Folder
8 1 Exhibition Guide: "Paul Robeson: A Political Portrait, 1948-1959, Selections from the Julius Lazarus Archives and Collection" March 9-May 2, 1998 (Rutgers-Camden) 1998
2 Exhibition Guide: Stedman Gallery, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts: "Family Guide to the Paul Robeson Exhibitions" March 9-May 2, 1998 (2 copies) 1998
3 Exhibition Guide: Stedman Gallery, Advertisement in New Jersey Performing Arts Center Publication for March 1998, three page section containing information about three upcoming Robeson events 1998
4 Ephemera: "Speak of Me as I Am. " Documentary on Robeson (Ticket, Postcard, Program and Flyers)
5 Program: "Landmarks of the African-American Cinema" Features Showboat starring Robeson
6 Production information for Robeson biography on PBS American Masters, Series "Here I Stand" 1970
7 Exhibition Invitation Zimmerli Art Museum opening of "Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen" (April 5, 1998)
8 Lyrics, written by Bradfield/Moore/Jones, "Let Robeson Sing" performed by Manic Street Preachers (Welch Band)
9 Postage Stamp Commemoration: Issued January 20, 2004
10 Brochure: The Paul Robeson Research Center for Academic and Athletic Prowess at the University of Michigan
11 Street addresses of Lloyd Brown and Paul Robeson Jr.
VII. Books and Journals
Summary: Books and journal articles are written both by and about Robeson. This material concerns his film, theatrical and musical career, as well as his political beliefs.
8 Robeson, Here I Stand. Othello Association, New York, NY. 1958
Freedomways , Vol. 11, #1, 1971
(First Quarter). Contains several articles written about Paul Robeson. There are two copies of this issue.
Freedomways, Vol. 7, #1, Winter 1967
(First Quarter).
Pitt, Larry, Football at Rutgers: A History, [MISSING] Published by Rutgers, 1972
Gilliam, Dorothy Butler, Paul Robeson All-American, 1976
78 The 1920 Rutgers Yearbook: Scarlet Letter, Class of 1919. Paul Robeson's class picture.
9 Paul Robeson: His career in the Theatre, in Motion Pictures, and on the . . ., Schlosser, Published University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI. 1970
Cruse, Harold; The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. William Morrow and Co. New York, NY. 1967
Pages 285-301 concern Robeson.
Lamont H. Yeakey's Thesis for MA from Columbia University. The Early Years of Paul Robeson.
Well typed compilation of New York Times Index as it refers to Robeson: 1925-1963.
Stucky, "I Want to be African: Paul Robeson and the Ends of Nationalism Theory and Practice 1914-1945." Massachusetts Review, Vol. 17, #1, pp. 81-138. Spring 1976
Ms. Paul Robeson, What the People of Africa Want? (Booklet)
Paul Robeson Tributes and Selected Writngs
Days with Paul Robeson
1 "The Paul Robeson–Jackie Robinson Saga and a Political Collision" Journal of Sport History, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 5-27, Summer 1979
2 "The Image of Paul Robeson: Role Model for the Student and Athlete" Rethinking History, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 117-130, 2001
3 "Straddling Two Worlds: Paul Robeson" Humanities, Vol. 18, pp. 41-44 Nov./Dec. 1997
4 "A Man of His Times: Paul Robeson and the Press"
5 Book Jacket: Paul Robeson: All American
VIII. Sound Recordings
Summary: A selection of sound recordings of Robeson, including spirituals and sounds from various plays in which Robeson performed. The records consist of phonograph discs, reel-to-reel audio tape and cassette tapes. The phonograph discs include spiritual recordings as well a recordings from the Universal film Showboat.
A. Phonograph Discs
10 Album Ballad for Americans RCA Manufacturing Co. Camden, N.J., Recorded Nov. 5, 1939
"Ballad for Americans" was originally a sermon against intolerance written by John Latouche. Three albums, two of which contain two records (Part 1 and 2; Part 3 and 4), one of which contains only one records (Part 3 and 4)
Album Songs of Free Men Columbia Records, undated
Contains four records.
Victor (RCA) Camden, NJ Side 20068-A = "Nobody Knows De Trouble I've Seen"
Side 20068-B = "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
Victor (RCA) Camden, NJ.
Side 20793-A = "Deep River," Side 20793 B = "I'm Goin' to Tell God All O' My Troubles"
Victor (RCA) Camden, NJ. Side 25376-A = "Ol' Man River" from Universal film "Show Boat" Side 25376-B = "Ah Still Suits Me" from Universal film Show Boat
Two copies
Victor (RCA) Camden, NJ. Side 19824?A = "Water Boy" Side 19824?B = "Li'l Gal"
11 Album Spirituals Columbia Masterworks, undated
Contains four records.
Album Chee Lai: Songs of New China Keynote Recordings, undated
Contains three records.
Album 6 Songs for Democracy Keynote Recordings, undated
Robeson not listed as performer. Contains three records.
Album Ballad for Americans / Carnegie Hall Concert, Vol. 2 Vanguard, undated
Contains one record.
Album Songs of My People RCA, undated
Contains one record.
12 Vanguard Recording Society (33 1/3) VRS-9037
Album Songs of Free Men: Spirituals Odyssey (Columbia), undated
Contains four records.
David B Hancock (Recording Engineer) 33 1/3
Untitled record.
Favorite Songs Monitor Records (33 1/3) MP 580
At Carnegie Hall Monitor Records (33 1/3) MP 580, circa 1958
B. Audio Tapes
13 "Salute to Paul Robeson on his 70th Birthday" April 9, 1968. WBAI-FM (2 reels and 2 sets of 3 cassettes)
"Salute to Paul Robeson" (1 reel and 2 sets of three cassettes)
Paul Robeson, "Ballad for Americans" (1 reel and 2 sets of 1 cassette)
Paul Robeson, "Ballad For Americans" RCA Victor 1939 with the People's Chorus (1 reel and 2 sets of one cassette)
Paul Robeson, "Dedication of Newark Student Center" April 19, 1972 (2 reels and 2 sets of 1 cassette each)
Paul Robeson, "Music and Art Lounge Dedication Ceremony." April 2, 1969 (1 reel and 2 sets of one cassette each)
Paul Robeson, Jr. "Interview on April 3, 1971" (Interviewed by Robert Sherman on Radio Station WQXR; 2 reels and 2 sets of one cassette each.)
IX. State Department
Summary: Photocopies of surveillance documents—"relating to the communist-oriented activities of Paul Robeson '19"—kept by the United States Department of State on Paul Robeson.
Box Folder
14 1 Department of State Surveillance, 1946-1949
2 Department of State Surveillance, 1950-1951
3 Department of State Surveillance, 1954, 1956
4 Department of State Surveillance, 1958-1959
5 Department of State Surveillance, 1960-1962
X. Rutgers Related
Summary: Contains photocopied transcript, commencements documents, catalogs, and handbooks
Box Folder
14 6 Partial Rutgers College Catalog, (Photocopy), 1914-1915
7 Rutgers Student Handbook, (Photocopy), 1918
8 Rutgers Student Handbook, (photocopies of photographs), 1918
9 Transcript (photocopy),
10 Petition signed by Robeson (photocopy), 1918
11 Commencement Program, (photocopy), 1919
12 Transcription of Commencement Address, from Targum (photocopy), 1919
13 Photographs contemporary to Robeson's time at Rutgers (photocopies)