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Noyma Appelbaum Papers and Collection on Communism

Collection ID


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Collection Summary

Noyma Appelbaum Papers and Collection on Communism

1939-1972, bulk 1940-1960 

Collection ID

Appelbaum, Noyma, 1928-

5.92 linear feet (6 boxes), 17 Megabytes (1 computer file)

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Materials in English.
Detailed Collection Information

Biographical Note
Noyma Appelbaum was born on May 15, 1928 in Philadelphia, PA to Eastern European immigrants, Myer Epel and Esther Kaminsky. Myer immigrated from Lithuania in 1911 and Esther from Ukraine in 1913. Appelbaum’s parents were both radicals involved in the labor union movement. Appelbaum attended the Jewish People’s Fraternal Order schools in Philadelphia and graduated from Overbrook High School in 1945. In his youth, he was a member of the Young Communist League, American Youth for Democracy, and Young Progressive Citizens of America. He graduated from Temple University in 1949 with a degree in journalism. While at Temple, Appelbaum worked as a copy boy in the editorial department of The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1945 until 1948. He went on to write for the Pennsylvania edition of The Worker, the weekend edition of The Daily Worker. Appelbaum sometimes used the alias, Norman Anderson as a pen name when writing at The Worker under the tutelage of noted poet and journalist, Walter Lowenfels.  After graduating from Temple, Applebaum spent many years working as an industrial worker in a myriad of factory jobs. He later became an educator and school administrator. Appelbaum married Ellen Tecosky in June 1949, and they had three children.

Description of Collection
The Noyma Appelbaum Papers and Collection on Communism consists of an unpublished memoir titled “Where Were You on May Day? Transitions in Red: 1930s-1960s A Memoir by Noyma Appelbaum” that discusses his experiences growing up in a household with radical parents and his activities in support of the Communist cause. Other materials in the collection include Applebaum’s FBI file received as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request; a 1949 statement by Harvey Steinberg to Temple University’s Faculty Student Controversial Affairs Committee regarding interactions between Boris Blai and members of the Young Progressives of Eastern PA on campus; correspondence to Walter Lowenfels; article typescripts; and The Daily Worker Style Book. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Appelbaum’s collected materials on Communism including newspaper clippings from the 1940s and 1950s from The Daily Worker, The Worker, The Daily Compass, and similar Communist publications about topics including the state of the American economy, workers’ rights, and labor unions; pamphlets written by Communist labor organizers, Eugene Dennis and William Z. Foster; and Communist serial publications from the 1940s and 1950s including Masses & Mainstream, and Political Affairs.

Patron Information

Catalog Record
A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b5607129~S30

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.

Technical Access
Certain digital files may be inaccessible. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Publication and Copyright Information
The Noyma Appelbaum Papers and Collection on Communism is the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Literary 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], [Collection title], [Collection ID], Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Related Material
Special Collections Research Center: Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History The Art of Being Jewish in City: Jews and Leftist Politics in Philadelphia Oral Histories

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Donated by Noyma Appelbaum in 2013. 

Processing Information
Finding aid prepared in April 2014 by Jessica M. Lydon, Associate Archivist.

Index Terms

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

Personal/Family Names:
Appelbaum, Noyma, 1928-
Blai, Boris, 1893-1985
Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976

Corporate Names:
Tyler School of Art

Jewish communists
Jewish radicals
Jews--United States--Memoirs and biographies

Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types: