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Rouben Mamoulian Papers

The papers of Rouben Mamoulian (1897-1987) document the life and work of an innovative stage and film director who interacted with major figures in the arts and entertainment of the twentieth century. Comprising approximately 59,000 items, the Mamoulian Papers contain correspondence, diaries, film and playscripts, production material, notes, speeches and writings, printed matter, scrapbooks, photographs, and memorabilia. They are more fully described in the online finding aid to the collection.

As a film director, Mamoulian was credited with innovations in sound, camera technique, and the use of color in film. The collection focuses on his work from the early days of sound when he made his first film, the musical Applause, until 1961, when he resigned as director of Cleopatra. It also features his stage productions from 1922 to the 1950s, including his first Broadway hit Porgy, George Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy and Bess, as well as the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! and Carousel.

Portrayed in the correspondence are Mamoulian’s relationships with luminaries from the entertainment industry and the wider public. Other material reflects broadly on his own stage and screen achievements and those of his contemporaries. Illuminated also are his ties to artists and arts organizations internationally. An important component consists of family papers relating to his Armenian background and education and emigration from Russia.

 Mamoulian, Dietrich, and Earhart photo

Rouben Mamoulian (left), Marlene Dietrich (center), and Amelia Earhart (right) on the set of Song of Songs, 1933. Photographer unknown. Container 94, Rouben Mamoulian Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

James Forman Papers

The papers of James Forman (1928-2005) span the years 1848-2005, with the bulk of the material dating from 1961 to 2001. Forman was a writer, journalist, and civil rights leader whose activism extended from the 1950s into the twenty-first century.

As executive secretary and director of international affairs of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Forman helped found and lead one of the principal organizations of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. From 1967 to 1969, he was director of SNCC’s International Affairs Commission in New York. He was also involved in the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Black Panther Party. In 1974, he founded the Unemployment and Poverty Action Committee (UPAC), a nonprofit social action organization, and served as its president until 2003.

These activities as well as his other political interests and writings are prominent in Forman’s papers. Included is his coverage of the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School for the Chicago Defender in 1958, an assignment that ignited his interest in the burgeoning civil rights movement. Also in the collection is the “Black Manifesto,” which he delivered to the Riverside Church in New York in May 1969. Forman was prominent for presenting the manifesto at the National Black Economic Development Conference in Detroit, where it had been adopted in April. The document called for reparations to African Americans for slavery and its legacy.

The collection as a whole contain diaries, correspondence, subject files, speeches and writings, reports, interviews, press releases, notes, printed matter, miscellaneous material, and electronic files. The papers are more fully described in the online finding aid to the collection.

Black manifesto text

James Forman, page from his “Black Manifesto,” delivered by Forman at the Riverside Church, New York, N.Y., May 1969. Container 62, James Forman Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Otto Fleischmann Papers

The papers of Otto Fleischmann (1896-1963) span the years 1910-1985, with the bulk of the material dating from 1936 to 1960. The papers are in English, German, Hungarian, Russian, and Swedish and number approximately 1,000 items in three containers. Fleischmann, a medical doctor, was taught psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud in Vienna. He was a close associate of Anna Freud and August Aichhorn, both before and after World War II, as documented by correspondence and photographs in the collection.

During the war, however, Fleischmann was in Hungary. After the German Nazi takeover of Austria, Fleischmann went to Budapest. In 1944, with the German occupation of Hungary, he received protection from the Swedish Foreign Ministry through diplomatic cover provided by Raoul Wallenberg. Fleischmann subsequently worked with Wallenberg in his efforts in 1944-1945 to save Jews in Hungary. Fleischmann’s papers include documents provided to him by Wallenberg at the Swedish Legation that protected him from German authorities in 1944, including work papers and a photostatic copy of his "Schutz-Pass." There are also photographs and various documents and lists from Fleischmann’s work with Wallenberg as well as documents written by Fleischmann to Soviet and Hungarian authorities after the disappearance of Wallenberg in January of 1945.

Additional information about the Fleischmann Papers may be found in the online finding aid to the collection.

Fleischmann employment papers

Otto Fleischmann, employment papers from the Swedish Legation signed by Raoul Wallenberg, in German and Hungarian, August 15, 1944. Container 3, Otto Fleischmann Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

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  October 27, 2010
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