Contents and Arrangement

Irving Ferman Records, 1948-1959

13 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 1, Irving Ferman Records, 1948-1959, documents Irving Ferman's tenure as director of the ACLU's Washington, D.C. Office. Also included in this series is the correspondence from 1951 of two staff employees, Mary Alice Baldinger and Faiga Levine, which deals primarily with administrative matters.

A significant portion of the series is general correspondence between the ACLU's national office and the Washington, D.C. Office (1951-1958). Memoranda which primarily deal with requests for reports and updates on legislation and with discussions of issues and clients constitute the bulk of this correspondence. Most of the correspondence involves Ferman, Staff Counsel Herbert Monte Levy, and national office Associate Director Alan Reitman. There is also similar correspondence with the affiliate offices of the ACLU.

Much of the material in this series details government and organizations' fears of Communist infiltration. The Legislative Investigating Committees section contains records related to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) as well as other Congressional committees concerned with loyalty and security issues. Included is a folder on Judge Dorothy Kenyon's appearance before HUAC in 1950 and several folders on U.S. v. Lattimore, a case in which Owen Lattimore was charged with perjury for having falsely represented his Communist associations.

The section on Freedom of Movement contains correspondence with Ruth Shipley, director of the Passport Office, and John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, and case files detailing academics who were denied passports, visas, naturalization, or citizenship due to questions of security and loyalty. Materials pertaining to loyalty and security issues relate primarily to federal employees and some of this information can be found under the Federal Agencies heading, broken down by individual agency.

The Civil Rights section documents the Washington Office's involvement with school desegregation, women's rights, and opposition to the Bricker Amendment. The Censorship section chronicles Post Office censorship of the mail, including Confidential magazine, and several folders on the Federal Communications Commission's Barrow Report, a study on television network regulation.

A significant amount of material deals with civil liberties issues in U.S. Territories, broken down by geographic locale and includes a large amount of correspondence from Roger Baldwin, founding member and first Executive Director of the ACLU and International Work Adviser in the 1950s and 1960s.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Tom Rosko in Spring 1995. Finding aid written by Tom Rosko in Spring 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, 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, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. 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 any questions, please feel free to contact 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:

Irving Ferman Records; American Civil Liberties Union Washington, D.C. Office Records, MC190, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-13

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