Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Lamson, Peggy, 1912-
Peggy Lamson Collection on Roger Baldwin
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1917-1976 (mostly 1973-1976)
4 boxes and 1 folder
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-5


This collection contains interview transcripts, cassette tapes, and background material collected by Peggy Lamson for her authorized biography, Roger Baldwin, Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union: A Portrait. Much of the background material was provided, and in some cases annotated, by Baldwin and documents both his professional and personal life.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters, original documents, photocopies of documents, and articles, detailing Roger Baldwin's life and career, as well as correspondence and memoranda relating to Lamson's work on Baldwin's biography. The collection also contains the audio cassette tapes and transcripts from Lamson's interviews with Baldwin conducted in 1973. Included is an index of the subject matter contained on each of the thirty-eight tapes in the collection. There are 36 tapes from the Lamson-Baldwin interviews and two other cassette tapes recorded by Baldwin and later given to Lamson.

The background material includes correspondence between Lamson and her various sources for the book, including Baldwin. These detail the progression of the writing process and the dialogue between Lamson and Baldwin. Notes to Baldwin's secretaries and lawyers, as well as to his friends and family, document Lamson's additional research. There are also copies of Baldwin's personal correspondence prior to 1973. These include letters with collegues, his aunt, and his first wife, Madeline Doty.

The collection also contains a series of memoranda composed by Baldwin discussing his work, his personal life, and his beliefs. These were written exclusively for Lamson and describe everything from his opinions on racism to his feelings about various love affairs. A number of these memoranda are devoted to reminiscences on specific collegues and friends. There are also newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to Baldwin as a public figure at several stages during his career and copies of miscellaneous documents. This latter category includes several Harvard class reports, poetry written by Baldwin while he was in prison, and a few official documents, for example a statement by ACLU board members in response to Baldwin's prosecution in 1923.

Collection Creator Biography:

Lamson, Peggy, 1912-

Peggy Lamson was a neighbor and friend of Roger Baldwin and the author of several books on history, women in politics, and economics. She also authored two plays and numerous articles. In the early 1970s, she began working on an authorized biography of Baldwin which culminated in a series of interviews conducted in 1973. From these conversations, as well as significant background material that Baldwin provided and annotated, she wrote Roger Baldwin, Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union: A Portrait, published in 1976.

Collection History


Peggy Lamson donated this collection to the Princeton University Library in 1977 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Elizabeth Williamson (Class of 1999) in September, 1995. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Williamson (Class of 1999) in September, 1995.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Peggy Lamson Collection on Roger Baldwin; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-5