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Subseries 4A: Legal Case Files, 1933-1990

671 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
This series consists of legal case files which cover the widest range of civil liberties issues. It contains briefs and other pleadings, correspondence, memoranda, and notes. There are over 5500 folders representing approximately 3000 individual cases, many of which went before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Legal Case Files series is not a comprehensive representation of the cases in which the ACLU has been involved. Some records have yet to be transferred to Princeton and are still being maintained by the ACLU Legal Department. The series is arranged alphabetically by case or individual name. Files may appear listed under either the plaintiff's or the defendant's names. Also some cases are filed under a subject heading such as "Gay Rights Task Force" or "Airport Searches". One should also consult the MCA/UMI Microfilm guides for the case files series which may contain copies of ACLU legal briefs filed for many of the cases listed here.
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Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1931-1976, 2004

1 box
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The Biographical Materials series contains newspaper articles about Derso and Kelen and other biographical ephemera like business cards, press passes, and advertisements for their syndicated cartoons and writings. Exhibition catalogs are included in this series. Of particular note is an essay written by Betty Kelen, Kelen's wife, providing a brief, but personal and humorous view of Derso and Kelen's friendship and artistic careers.
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The Writings series documents Derso and Kelen's secondary careers in writing, which began after World War II. Derso's writings consisted of a few essays published in the New York Times and a proposal for an 'art book' of portraits of Jewish statesmen, diplomats, and writers submitted to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for which he received a fellowship. There is also a skeletal draft script for a motion picture on the history of the League of Nations.
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Subseries 4A: Portrait Sketches, 1922-1975

7 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The Portrait Sketches subseries consists primarily of single portrait sketches in ink or pencil, with a few portraits in ink and watercolor, arranged in alphabetical order according to the last name of the person portrayed. Derso and Kelen seemed to have illustrated every statesman, conference delegate, and dictator on the world stage between the World Wars capturing their countenances with humor and a bit of satire.
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Subseries 4B: Published Portfolios,1922-1950, 1922-1950

11 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The Published Portfolios subseries consists of nine published portfolios of lithographs. Most of the portfolios were commercially printed like United Nations Sketchbook, however, a few were privately commissioned pieces of limited distribution like Derso's "The Young Plan and the Reparations" made for Owen D. Young and his friends in 1924.
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Subseries 4C: Cartoons, 1922-1975

7 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The Cartoons subseries consists primarily of political cartoons dating from approximately1920 to 1960 arranged by the following broad categories – European conferences, World War II as it relates to Europe, Asia, the United States, and the United Nations. Within the category of Europe and the War, there is a heavy emphasis on images of Hitler and Mussolini. Also, within the category for the United States are cartoons satirizing American politics in the 1940s.
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This Publishing History subseries composed of Kelen's personal collection of published cartoons, newspaper clippings, and magazine covers and loose pages represents an incomplete publishing history of Derso and Kelen cartoons and caricatures. The handbill-like cartoons were printed by cartoon syndicates like the McClure Newspapers Syndicate, Edmond Pauker Inc., and the Overseas News Agency (ONA) and distributed to newspapers for publication. Many of these sample cartoons are not annotated though a few provide publishers' information. Ken magazine and single pages from the magazine in box 27 attests to the active relationship between the publication and the artists. KEN Magazine was a side project of Arnold Gingrich, founder and publisher of Esquire magazine, and was short-lived due to its "war-mongering" perspective. The folders of photocopied newspaper clippings concretely demonstrate the breath of American and international newspapers that distributed Derso and Kelen material.
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Series 4: Art Works, 1922-1975

30 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The Art Works series forms the bulk of this collection and consists of over 900 cartoons and caricatures created in simple media like pencil sketches or ink drawings to formal limited edition portfolios of lithographs or richly hued watercolors. The vast majority of the works were produced between 1920 and 1950, the active period of collaboration between Derso and Kelen. Once their artistic partnership ended in 1950, Kelen produced cartoons and drawings for United Nations' publications and his own personal book projects and Derso supplied the National Review with numerous portrait sketches for their articles.
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This Menu Cards series consists of menu cards created by Derso and Kelen for press luncheons in honor of the journalists accredited to the League of Nations from 1925 to 1937 and menu cards for social occasions or dinners honoring high level officials at the United Nations in the late 1940s and early 1950s. One menu card created for the first League luncheon in October 1925 that marked the conclusion of negotiations for the Treaty of Locarno is signed by each of the diplomats represented on the card. There are also 'cards in progress' with annotations and cut-and-paste elements by the artists.
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The Miscellaneous series includes material not related to the other series in the Derso and Kelen Collection and contains photographs depicting the artists as well as some photoreproductions of their works. Of interest is a photograph of Derso and Kelen sitting with Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt as she admires the drawing of herself by Derso and Kelen that appeared in the United Nations Sketchbook. There is also a tattered copy of Modern Caricaturists by H. R. Westwood published in 1932 by L. Dickson, Ltd. that includes a chapter on Derso and Kelen. Another item in this series is a guest book from an exhibition in 1976.
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This 'Biographical Materials' subseries contains information about Derso and Kelen's exhibitions in Europe (London, 1934 and Budapest, 1976), business dealings with book and newspaper publishers, and extensive information on the disposition of the Derso and Kelen body of work by Betty Kelen. There are also fairly complete inventory lists of artworks compiled by Kelen and a list with commentary by a New York appraiser.
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Subseries 8C: Writings, 1930-1976

16 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
This subseries represents a substantial portion of the 2007 donation and comprises the writings, published and unpublished, of Derso and Kelen. The distinction between 'Book Suggestions' and 'Unpublished Works' was determined by the author. Kelen designated a certain grouping of his unpublished works specifically as 'book suggestions.' In the unpublished/book suggestions categories, some writings are typescripts and ready for presentation to a publisher while others are in a less formal state; basically hand-written rough drafts.
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There are two new entries into the 'Art Works' sub-series, 'Sketchbooks' and 'Children's Book Illustrations.' Kelen carried stenographer's notebooks to the early conferences and meetings that led to the establishment of the United Nations and recorded on the spot drawings of the participants in these notebooks which he later referred to when completing a formal portrait sketch. In the 1960s, Kelen began writing and illustrating children's books for the United Nations and drafts and illustrations for these books, both published and unpublished, are part of the 2007 added materials.
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The 'Miscellaneous' subseries is comprised mainly of photographs depicting the artists in Europe and the United States and photographs of their art works. Of note are the Audiovisual materials. The kinescope was transferred to a DVD and records a short segment of the opening day at the United Nations building in New York City in 1950 filmed and produced by Kelen and featuring the arrival of John Foster Dulles and V. K. Krishna Menon. The 16" transcription disc has not been transferred to modern media but by date it presumably relates to the activites at the United Nations.
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Series 8: 2007 Accession, 1930-1982

33 boxes
SOME ONLINE CONTENT
The material added to the original donation represents an expansion of the established series. Of note is the greatly expanded series of published and unpublished writings almost exclusively by Kelen and ranging in date from 1950 to 1975. The writings include proposals and manuscripts for unpublished illustrated books, newspapers columns, and short essays and manuscripts for published works including Peace in Their Time and the newspaper column, On Second Thought.