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Social Documents Collection (this collection is currently under construction, we apologize for any inconveiences this may cause)

Identifier: msc1075

Scope and Contents

Mostly right wing social documents, filed in three sequences - boxed, non-serial, and serial.

The Social Documents Collection was originally named the “Tensions File” when it was established by Ralph E. Ellsworth, Library Director, in 1946, because it held print materials produced by both left-wing and right-wing groups. The collecting focus soon centered on right-wing publications, and now occupies over 500 linear feet of ephemera, periodicals, pamphlets, fliers, radio broadcast scripts, handbills, leaflets, bulletins, news sheets, correspondence, bumper stickers, and tea bags issued by the Tax Rebellion Committee of Los Angeles County. Periodicals include such titles as America’s Future; Christian News; Colorado Leader; Free China Journal; Spotlight; and Sword of the Lord. These materials are predominantly the gift of publishers.

A guide was written in 1978 to identify the microfilmed portion of the collection, which covers 1918 to 1978. Materials acquired after 1978 have not been microfilmed. The guide, The Right Wing Collection of the University of Iowa Libraries: A Guide to the Microfilm Collection, has call number Z7165 .U5U6, with circulating copies in Main stacks. The microfilm is number 22675 and is available through the Circulation Desk in Main Library. The guide includes a subject index with the following categories: Anglo-Israelite, Anti-Black, Anti-Communist, Anti-fluoridation, Anti-Semitic, Christian Fundamentalist, Conservative, and Libertarian. Other indices include a geographical index by state and a chronological index. Related material is The American Right Wing: A Report to the Fund for the Republic, Inc., by Ralph E. Ellsworth and Sarah M. Harris, with call number in Special Collections x-collection E743.E37 1960, and other locations.

Other institutions that collect right-wing materials include the University of California at Berkeley through their Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements, established in September 2009. The collection was announced in The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Taking the Right Seriously.” The B’nai B’rith Collection at the Widener Library of Harvard University may be of interest. Northern Arizona University Library, and the Kenneth Spencer Research Library of the University of Kansas, and the Tulane University Library also house right-wing collections. Brown University holds a collection on Nazism. The University of Michigan holds the Labadie Collection of radical material. The University of Arkansas acquired evangelistically-oriented material in 2008.


  • 1900-2019

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


502 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Mostly right wing social documents from the twentieth century.


While this collection is primarily in alphabetical order, there are certain titles that appear to be organized incorrectly. This is due to the original arrangement of the collection which was organized by both the title of the work or the corporate author. As this collection has been actively added to for numerous decades, arrangement styles has not been fully consistent. The University of Iowa Special Collections has kept this orginal order to best preserve the integrity of the original collection. When requesting a particular title, please request at the box level for best retrieval results.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)