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Benjamin Feldman Papers

Collection ID

Acc. 828

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)

Description

Collection Summary

Title
Benjamin Feldman Papers

Dates
1938-1998      

Collection ID
Acc. 828

Creator
Feldman, Benjamin

Quantity
4 linear feet (4 boxes)

Repository
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Language
Materials in English          

Detailed Collection Information

Biographical Note

Benjamin Feldman was born in Philadelphia on December 17, 1907. He graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia in 1927 and from Temple University in 1930 with a degree in Pharmacy.

After graduation, Mr. Feldman worked as a pharmacist until the Depression, during which time he worked as a caseworker for the Department of Public Assistance for the State of Pennsylvania. In the late 1940s, Mr. Feldman owned and operated his own drug store, Modern Drug Store, at 5th and Spencer Streets in the Olney section of Philadelphia, until he retired in 1959.

Throughout his life, Feldman was a community activist, dedicated to supporting cooperative and consumer movements. He belonged to or was associated with over twenty cooperative or consumer groups. He was one of the early members of the food co-operative Weavers Way. In 1976, he founded and was elected Treasurer of the Delaware Valley Coalition for Consumer Education and Cooperation. Feldman held various offices in the Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc. Up until the time of his death in 1998, he was still an active member of the Institute for Cooperative Housing.

Description of Collection

The Benjamin Feldman Papers document the nearly fifty years involvement of Mr. Feldman in various cooperative and neighborhood organizations. The collection includes correspondence, pamphlets, brochures, for-profit and non-profit publications, and promotional material. The correspondence includes letters of general interest, mainly to co-ops or members of the Press. Personal correspondence includes correspondence to and from the State of Pennsylvania, 1938-1947, that relate to Feldman’s fight to clear his name and record from an accusation of Communist involvement. The Collection also contains a significant amount of material relating to organization of co-ops and community interest groups, including minutes and proceedings. The files of the Consumer Group Series provide an almost encyclopedic inventory of the many neighborhood and regional groups active in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley from the 1930s until the late 1970s.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 12 series as follows:

Series 1:  Correspondence, 1938-1993
Series 2:  Finances, 1959-1985
Series 3:  Presentations, 1963-1974
Series 4:  Consumer Groups, 1962-1993
Series 5:  Group Law, 1967-1980
Series 6:  Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc., 1944-1991
Series 7:  Weaver’s Way Cooperative Association, 1974-1979
Series 8:  Consumer Education, 1964-1992
Series 9:  Government Agencies, 1977-1998
Series 10:  Organizations, 1947-1976
Series 11:  Publications, 1964-1992
Series 12:  Miscellaneous, 1968-1991

Series 1:  Correspondence, 1938-1993, documents chronologically Mr. Feldman’s communications with various people and institutions including the Department of Public Assistance, Jerry Voorhis, Claude Lewis, Larry W. Post, Cecil B. Moore, The Cooperative League of the USA, Morningstar Heights Consumers Cooperative, Inc., Consumer’s Legal Services, WCAU, and various Congresspersons.

Series 2:  Finances, 1959-1985, contains personal financial statements, including the sale of Mr. Feldman’s Modern Drug Store, and the start-up budget for the River Park Co-Op Apartments.

Series 3:  Presentations, 1963-1974, contains personal public speaking speeches from 1963 on topics of how to manage one’s personal finances, how poverty can demoralize, and how to join cooperative groups.

Series 4:  Consumer Groups, 1962-1993, includes materials on information, correspondence, brochures, and pamphlets on various consumer advocate and cooperative groups including the American Society for Testing Materials, Consumer Cooperative Alliance, Consumer Council of Greater Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Coalition for Consumer Education and Cooperation, Delaware Valley Council for the Protection of Consumers, Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc., Mid-Eastern Cooperatives, Inc., and the Strawberry Mansion Cooperative Association.

Series 5:  Group Law, 1967-1980, includes detailed information on this legal service group, including committee meetings, insurance, service plans, leaflets, news-clippings, publicity and workshops.

Series 6:  Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc., 1944-1991, includes organizational papers including financial statements, minutes, membership information, applications, organizational material, brochures and news-clippings.

Series 7:  Weaver’s Way Cooperative Association, 1974-1979, contains organizational material on the beginnings of this cooperative group, including financial statements and reports, committee meetings, publications, and by-laws.

Series 8:  Consumer Education, 1964-1992, includes information pamphlets on various topics of interest to consumers.  

Series 9:  Government Agencies, 1977-1998, contains correspondence and news clippings on HUD, PA Office of Consumer Advocacy, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Series 10:  Organizations, 1947-1976, covers organizational information, brochures, pamphlets, meeting information on the Wharton Center-Settlement House, and the Philadelphia Council for Neighborhood Organizations.  

Series 11:  Publications, 1964-1992, contains journals, newsmagazines, pamphlets, news clippings, guides, newsletters, and annual reports.

Series 12:  Miscellaneous, 1968-1991, includes personal information, address books, a Drexel University blue book, brochures, and general cash receipts.

Patron Information

Research Access

Collection is open for research.

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Publication and Copyright Information

The Benjamin Feldman Papers are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries.  Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.  Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated. 

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Benjamin Feldman Papers, Accession 828, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated by Benjamin Feldman in March 1996.        

Separated Material

Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Miscellaneous Photograph Collection (PC-49), Box 11.

Processing Information

Processed by Mark Harwell, Mary Kirk, Ann Reinhardt, April 2001. Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards in June 2015.                   

Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:

Personal/Family Names:
Feldman, Benjamin

Corporate Names:
Group Law (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative
Weaver’s Way Co-op (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Subjects:
Commerce -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Community development
Community organization
Consumer education -- Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Cooperation -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia

Places:
Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types:
Administrative records
Articles of incorporation
Bylaws (administrative records)
Clippings
Correspondence
Ephemera
Financial records
Manuscripts
Minutes
Newsletters
Pamphlets
Periodicals
Publications
Reports
Speeches

Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1938-1993

Series 1 documents chronologically Mr. Feldman’s communications with various people and institutions including the Department of Public Assistance, Jerry Voorhis, Claude Lewis, Larry W. Post, Cecil B. Moore, The Cooperative League of the USA, Morningstar Heights Consumers Cooperative, Inc., Consumer’s Legal Services, WCAU, and various Congresspersons.

1          1          Personal Correspondence, PA Department of Public Assistance          1938-1947

1          2          NAACP, Cecil B. Moore          1963

1          3          Cooperative League of the USA          1965-1967

1          4          Morningstar Heights Consumers Cooperative, Inc.          1966

1          5          Personal Correspondence, Jerry Voorhis          1967

1          6          Consumer’s Group Legal Services, Inc.          1972-1974

1          7          WCAU          1973-1975

1          8          Municipal Employees Legal Services          1974

1          9          Congressmen          1974-1981

1          10          Personal Correspondence-Subpoenas          1982

1          11          Personal Correspondence-Claude Lewis          1990

1          12          Personal Correspondence-National Cooperative Business Association          1990

1          13          Personal Correspondence-[Larry W. Post]          1993

Series 2:  Finances, 1959-1985

Series 2 contains personal financial statements, including the sale of Mr. Feldman’s Modern Drug Store, and the start-up budget for the River Park Co-Op Apartments.

1          14          Personal, Modern Drug Store          1959-1962

1          15          Personal, River Park Co-Op Apartments          1963-1972

1          16          Personal, Haband Company, invoice          1985

Series 3:  Presentations, 1963-1974

Series 3 contains personal public speaking speeches from 1963 on topics of how to manage one’s personal finances, how poverty can demoralize, and how to join cooperative groups.

1          17          Money Management          1963-1974

1          18          Poverty          1966

1          19          Joining Co-Ops          undated

Series 4:  Consumer Groups, 1962-1993

Series 4 includes materials on information, correspondence, brochures, and pamphlets on various consumer advocate and cooperative groups including the American Society for Testing Materials, Consumer Cooperative Alliance, Consumer Council of Greater Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Coalition for Consumer Education and Cooperation, Delaware Valley Council for the Protection of Consumers, Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc., Mid-Eastern Cooperatives, Inc., and the Strawberry Mansion Cooperative Association.

1          20          American Society for Testing and Materials          1978-1987

1          21          C. C. A.          1970-1971

1          22          Citizens Committee on Public Education in Philadelphia          1962-1965

1          23          City of Philadelphia Co-Op Committee          1985

1          24          Community Accountants          undated

1          25          Consumer Cooperative Alliance          1966-1982

1          26          Consumer Council of Greater Philadelphia           1977

1          27          Consumer Council of Greater Philadelphia: Energy          1971-1977

1          28          Cooperative Alumni Association, Inc. Co-Op Alumni News          1991

1          29          Delaware Valley Coalition for Consumer Education and Cooperation          1979-1984

1          30          Delaware Valley Coalition for Consumer Education and Cooperation—Housing          1983

1          31          Delaware Valley Consumer Sounding Board          1981-1982

1          32          Delaware Valley Council for the Protection of Consumers          1965-1967

1          33          General Co-Ops          1993

1          34          Greater Philadelphia Group Health Plan—Organizing Committee          1970

1          35          Housing Council of the Delaware Valley          1965

1          36          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.          1963-1993

1          37          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.--Board of Directors List          1986-1993

1          38          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.--By Laws          1993

1          39          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.--Financial Committee Report          1989

1          40          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.--Financial Statement          1971-1990

1          41          Institute for Cooperative Housing, Inc.--Fund-Raising          1986-1988

1          42          Mid-Eastern Cooperatives, Inc.          1964-1966

1          43          National Association of Housing Cooperatives          1991

1          44          North City Congress          1964

1          45          Organizational Material: Miscellaneous          1978-1990

1          46          Ruth L. Bennett Tenant Council: Grant Application          1988-1991

1          47          Strawberry Mansion Cooperative Association, Inc.          1967-1969

1          48          Strawberry Mansion Council of Block Organizations: Citizenship Committee          1964

Series 5:  Group Law, 1967-1980

Series 5 includes detailed information on this legal service group, including committee meetings, insurance, service plans, leaflets, news-clippings, publicity and workshops.

2          1          Committee Minutes          1973-1975

2          2          Feasibility Study          1973

2          3          Forms          1975

2          4          Group Legal Insurance          1967-1980

2          5          Group Legal Service Plan          1973-1975

2          6          Group Legal Service Plan-Various Publications          1973-1974

2          7          Group Legal Service Plan-Various Publications          1973-1974

2          8          Leaflets          1970-1975

2          9          Legal Service Plan          1971-1975

2          10          Legislation          1973

2          11          News clippings          1972-1975

2          12          PA Insurance Department          1968-1975

2          13          Publicity          1974-1976

2          14          Retainer Agreements          1974-1975

2          15          Second National Consumer Conference on Legal Services          1973-1976

2          16          Workshops          1974-1975

Series 6:  Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc., 1944-1991

Series 6 includes organizational papers including financial statements, minutes, membership information, applications, organizational material, brochures and news-clippings.

2          17          Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc.          1944-1975

2          18          Philadelphia Consumer Services Cooperative, Inc.          1963-1977

2          19          Bank Statements          1970-1976

2          20          Finances          1967-1968

2          21          Financial Statements          1975

2          22          Financial Statements          1976-1977

2          23          Legal Services Plan          1976

2          24          Minutes          1973-1975

2          25          Organizational Materials 1967-1991          undated

2          26          Philadelphia Bar Association          1974-1975

2          27          Receipts          1975

Series 7:  Weaver’s Way Cooperative Association, 1974-1979

Series 7 contains organizational material on the beginnings of this cooperative group, including financial statements and reports, committee meetings, publications, and by-laws.

3          1          Financial organization          1974-1979

3          2          Financial statements          1975-1976

3          3          Financial report          1975-1978

3          4          Planning Committee Meetings          1976

3          5          Publications          1976-1977

3          6          Credit Union Meeting          1977

3          7          Education Committee Meeting          1979

3          8          By-laws          undated

Series 8:  Consumer Education, 1964-1992

Series 8 includes information pamphlets on various topics of interest to consumers.  

3          9          Appliances          1971-1972

3          10          Car Rental          1993

3          11          Cleaning Products          1969-1971

3          12          Consumer Rights          1971-1979

3          13          Cosmetics          undated

3          14          Credit          undated

3          15          Credit Unions          1977-1978

3          16          Direct Selling          1977

3          17          Economics for Children          1971-1972

3          18          Energy 1980 19 59th Street Legal Clinic          undated

3          20          Food          1967-1977

3          21          Furniture          undated

3          22          Gardening          1975-1987

3          23          General Co-Op Information          undated

3          24          Grant Writing          1991-1992

3          25          Health          undated

3          26          Insurance          1974

3          27          Labels          1978

3          28          LaSalle Non-Profit Management Development Center          1993

3          29          Leases          1976-1977

3          30          Legal Services          1977

3          31          Legal Services: Divorce          1974-1976

3          32          Medical Issues (news clippings)          1976

3          33          Medications          1965-1978

3          34          Metric System          1977

3          35          Money Management          1964-1977

3          36          Money Management          1967-1976

3          37          Money Management          1970-1972

3          38          Nursing Homes          1975

3          39          Nutrition Labeling          undated

3          40          Occupational Licensing          1978

3          41          Political Petition          undated

3          42          Real Estate          1966-1975

3          43          Real Estate          1975-1976

3          44          Retirement          1976

3          45          Senior Legal Services          undated

3          46          Small Claims Court          1971-1974

3          47          Telephone Service          undated

3          48          Utility Costs          1966

3          49          Unit Pricing          undated

3          50          Warranty Rights          1976

3          51          Wills          1969-1974

Series 9:  Government Agencies, 1977-1998

Series 9 contains correspondence and news clippings on HUD, PA Office of Consumer Advocacy, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

3          52          Housing and Urban Development: Co-Ops          undated

3          53          PA Office of Consumer Advocate          1977

3          54          PA Office of Consumer Advocate          1977-1978

3          55          Philadelphia Housing Authority: Philadelphia Inquirer          1998

Series 10:  Organizations, 1947-1976

Series 10 covers organizational information, brochures, pamphlets, meeting information on the Wharton Center-Settlement House, and the Philadelphia Council for Neighborhood Organizations.  

4          1          Philadelphia Council of Neighborhood Organizations          1976

4          2          Wharton Centre: Settlement House          1947-1967

Series 11:  Publications, 1964-1992

Series 11 contains journals, newsmagazines, pamphlets, news clippings, guides, newsletters, and annual reports.

4          3          Newsweek-Responsibility Series          1964

4          4          Consumer Government Publications          1964-1980

4          5          Map of Harrisburg, PA          1972-1973

4          6          Massachusetts Law Quarterly          1973

4          7          Philadelphia Consumer Services Guide          1973

4          8          Directories          1973-1976

4          9          American Bar Foundation          1975-1976

4          10          American Bar Foundation Research Journal          1976

4          11          Miscellaneous          1976-1994

4          12          Philadelphia Bulletin-Common Sense          1977

4          13          Office of Consumer Advocate          1978

4          14          Raisin Consciousness          1981

4          15          Co-Op Development Report          1982

4          16          National Cooperative Business Association          1989-1990

4          17          The Philadelphia Foundation          1991-1993

4          18          William Penn Foundation          1992

4          19          National Consumer Center for Legal Services          undated

Series 12:  Miscellaneous, 1968-1991

Series 12 includes personal information, address books, a Drexel University blue book, brochures, and general cash receipts.

4          20          General          1968-1993

4          21          Personal          1969-1993

4          22          Groups          1976-1991

4          23          Brochures          undated