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Political Science

Social conflict within and between cultural groups forms the context of collections gathered under this subject heading. The development of organizations either supporting or attempting to change the status quo are represented in collections ranging in theme from local social unrest to world war and its aftermath. Special attention is given to the literal and visual propaganda supporting armed conflict.

Several countries and languages are represented in the collections. Two collections, the Mazarinades collection and the French Revolution collection, though they span a century, contain materials depicting the gradual rise and increasing power of the monarchy and the revolution toppling it. The Spanish Civil War collection consists of materials supporting both sides of the conflict and includes a sizable amount of materials extolling the Basque Separatist Movement. Russian nobility, depicted visually through the engravings and photographs in the Iazykov papers, is described politically through materials relating to foreign relations, trade, and economics found in the O’Brien papers. The politics of Chile, Haiti, and China are also represented.

American political history collections begin with the Harper papers, which consist of records of American Colonial trade relations with Britain. Personal experiences and viewpoints of the Civil War are found in the Tupper papers, which show a southern family torn apart by their political views. Vivid, jingoistic posters calling Americans to support the World War II war effort stand in sharp contrast to the reality depicted in the Kenworthy Papers, which contain photographs, clippings, and descriptions of the tortures perpetrated by Japanese war criminals. The Hardin papers focus on American constitutional reform efforts, and the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) collection contains the business records of a Chinese political party branch founded in Sacramento in 1920.

Several collections consist in large part of the political tracts, essays, pamphlets, and journals promoting political action. The Radical Pamphlets collection contains materials dating from pre-revolution Russia to the McCarthy years in the United States, including many rare works by Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs, and others. The Contemporary Issues collection consists mainly of journal and pamphlet material from the late 1950’s to the 1980’s on a wide range of American social issues and political interest groups. Abortion, the anti-war movement, civil rights, women’s liberation, and many other subjects are covered from a variety of perspectives.

Collections in this subject category comprise nearly 400 linear feet of material in a variety of formats, including posters, photographs, newsprint, and realia. Most of the material is in English, but there are materials in Spanish, French, Basque, Russian, German, Polish, Portuguese, and Esperanto. There are no geographical or chronological limits. Other materials can be found in the categories of Ethnic Studies, Language and Literature, and Performing Arts.

Political Science Manuscripts