Guide to the Anne X. Alpern Papers, 1918-1974 AIS.2002.01

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Anne X. Alpern Papers
Creator
Alpern, Anne X.
Collection Number
AIS.2002.01
Date
1918-1974
Extent
17.6 linear feet (30 boxes)
Abstract
Anne X. Alpern was a renowned jurist hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She served as city solicitor of Pittsburgh during the 1940s and in 1959 became attorney general of Pennsylvania, the first woman to hold such an office in the United States. Alpern's papers highlight her activities and career achievements and provide a glimpse of her family life and hobbies. Court case files and newspaper clippings represent the bulk of the collection, but there are also other materials such as letters and photographs.
Sponsor Note
Funding for this project was made available by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Preferred Citation

Anne X. Alpern Papers, 1918-1974, AIS.2002.01, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Anne X. Alpern was a renowned jurist hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She served as city solicitor of Pittsburgh during the 1940s and in 1959 became attorney general of Pennsylvania, the first woman to hold such an office in the United States. Born in Russia in 1903, she moved to the United States shortly thereafter with her family, settling in Scenery Hill near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although Alpern was interested in law from an early age, she trained as a teacher, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1923. Encouraged by her father, Joseph Alpern, she received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1927. Soon after she began working for the local law firm of Cunningham Galbraith & Dickson. At the time, female attorneys were not generally given the chance to argue court cases, but Alpern was persistent in her request for such an opportunity. Her employers gave her a case that nobody else wanted, and after a single night's preparation, Alpern went to court the next day and won. Within days she used this intense preparation method again, in another successful case. She continued this practice throughout her career.

In 1934, city solicitor Ward Bonsall hired Alpern to assist with a large backlog after Mayor McNair's election. Alpern worked long hours, though the job was temporary and without pay, often staying in her office all night. Her hard work led to success in cases such as Westinghouse Air Brake Co. v. City of Pittsburgh, which saved the city millions of dollars. As a result of her success, Bonsall promoted her to first assistant city solicitor in 1935. She quickly gained a reputation for a dramatic flair in the courtroom as well as an impressive mastery of the law. In 1942, Alpern was appointed city solicitor by Mayor Scully, the first time in Pittsburgh’s history that a woman had been appointed to this position. In 1946, she was admitted as an attorney of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. That same year she worked with Mayor Lawrence to obtain a temporary injunction against a strike by workers for Duquesne Light which caused a brief blackout in the city. This was the first of several actions which exemplified her impartiality in the eyes of many, even as it alienated some of her supporters in organized labor and the Democratic Party. As city solicitor, Alpern was noted for promoting smoke control and improvements of the public transit system, resisting increases in utility rates and trolley fares, and working to expose and remove government corruption. She was a member of the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers (NIMLO), serving as president from 1947 to 1948, and worked with the Public Parking Authority of the City of Pittsburgh from 1947 to 1951.

In November 1953 Anne Alpern ended her service as city solicitor when she was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Although the Democratic Party had nominated her, Alpern was elected with strong bi-partisan support. In 1959, the recently elected Governor Lawrence appointed Alpern to the position of attorney general for the state of Pennsylvania. This was the first time in United States history that a woman held such a position in state government. Alpern's jurisdiction in this office included the state police and the Department of Justice. One of her major projects as county judge and as attorney general was the reduction of case backlogs in Pennsylvania's courts – she frequently said that "justice delayed is justice denied". Alpern helped put regulations in place to prevent the abuse of money donated to public charities. She also worked unsuccessfully for the creation of a state-level Division of Consumer Protection, arguing that the Public Utility Commission was not effective in protecting people from the depredations of utility companies. In 1960 she began an investigation into allegations of voting fraud in Philadelphia involving the Democratic Party.

Early in 1961, Alpern was offered a position as the head of the Federal Power Commission by John F. Kennedy, but turned it down. In August of the same year, before her term as attorney general was completed, Governor Lawrence appointed Alpern as a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to fill a sudden vacancy. As an interim appointment to the court, she was required to run in the election of 1961 for a full twenty-one-year term of service. On November 7th she was narrowly defeated by Henry X. O'Brien. Analysts attributed this partly to the support she lost from Democrats after the voting fraud investigation, as well as her work to reduce retail milk prices and her opposition to the 1946 utility strike, which turned some union leaders against her. She also had experienced opposition due to her efforts to reform the state judicial system: her bill authorizing the appointment of court administrators had been defeated by the state legislature in June 1961. To compensate for this defeat, Governor Lawrence named Alpern to the position O'Brien had vacated in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

In 1962 the University of Pittsburgh conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Anne Alpern. During her second term as judge in the county court, she heard the case that resulted in the Port Authority of Allegheny County abandoning its "Skybus" public transit project in 1973. In 1974 Anne Alpern retired from the court and joined the firm of Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel. She died in Pittsburgh in 1981.

Anne Alpern was renowned for her legal achievements and for her success in balancing a public career with a private family life. She married fellow assistant city solicitor Irwin Swiss in 1937 and the couple raised a daughter, Marsha Swiss. Alpern took part in community activities and public charities, serving on the board of the United Jewish Federation, the United Fund, and Action Housing, among others. She received many awards throughout her career, including recognition as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1952, the Newspaper Guild Award and the Junior Chamber of Commerce Award in 1953, and the Award for Distinguished Public Service from NIMLO in 1953 and 1961. Since 1994, the Pennsylvania Bar Association has bestowed the Anne X. Alpern Award on outstanding female jurists in recognition of excellence and positive impact on women in the legal profession.

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Scope and Content Notes

Alpern's papers highlight her activities and career achievements and provide a glimpse of her family life and hobbies. Court case files, some of which are closed, show many of Alpern's cases, both as an attorney and as a judge. Other types of records range from correspondence to reports from professional conferences to photographs. Some of the most readily-usable information is provided by a series of newspaper clippings, in folders and scrapbooks. These cover Alpern's career through articles and political cartoons.

Two sub-series of this collection within Alpern's personal papers come from Alpern's husband Irwin Swiss. These include a very limited set of records from his law practice and public offices, as well as journals, newspaper and magazine clippings, and notes on literature and politics, many pertaining to Zionism.

Further notes are found at the series level.

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Arrangement

The contents of the collection are organized into six series:

  • Series I. Case Files
  • Series II. Professional Records
  • Series III. Personal Papers
  • Series IV. Newspaper Clippings and Scrapbooks
  • Series V. Photographs

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, December 15, 2006

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

This collection contains materials protected by the attorney-client privilege and, therefore, may be subject to review prior to researcher use. In particular, material in Series VI. is closed until further notice in order to ensure compliance with attorney-client privilege laws. Closed files are marked in the contents list. Please contact the Archives Service Center for more information.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Custodial History

These papers were housed in the University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Library where they underwent preliminary processing in 1985. They were transferred from the law library to the Archives Service Center in 2002.

Acquisition Information

Gift of University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Library on January 15, 2002.

Processing Information

This collection was sorted by Sherry Jane 1985 and processed by Charles Stanford in July to December 2006.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Papers of David Leo Lawrence, 1959-1966, AIS.1978.15, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Records of the Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1872-1974, AIS.1974.29, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Microfilmed Records of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, 1912-1964, AIS.1997.24, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Genevieve Blatt Papers, 1934-1977, Manuscript Group 283, Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pa. Blatt, a younger contemporary of Alpern and fellow University of Pittsburgh graduate, was the first woman elected to a statewide office in Pennsylvania.

Papers of Juanita Kidd Stout, 1873-1998, MSS84478, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Stout was another contemporary of Alpern and was the first African-American woman to serve as judge of a court of record or general jurisdiction in the United States. Her papers contain correspondence with Alpern, as well as with Blatt.

Separated Material

Oversized materials and photographs are housed apart from the rest of the collection.

Bound reports and other publications taken from the collection have been cataloged separately. These include two issues of the Jewish Criterion containing articles by Irwin Swiss: "Thoughts and Impressions of the Zionist Convention" (July 6, 1928) and "Palestine in the Contemporary Jewish World" (January 25, 1935). These newspapers can be found in ais Journals.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Institute of Municipal Law Officers (U.S.).
  • Pennsylvania. Court of Common Pleas (Allegheny County).
  • Pennsylvania. Office of the Attorney General.
  • Pennsylvania. Supreme Court.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.). Department of Law.
  • Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh (Pa.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Occupation(s)

  • Jurists

Personal Name(s)

  • Alpern, Anne X.
  • Alpern, Joseph
  • Swiss, Irwin A., 1897-1960
  • Swiss, Marsha, 1940-

Subject(s)

  • Jews -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Judges -- Pennsylvania
  • Law -- Pennsylvania
  • Law -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Lawyers -- Pennsylvania
  • Local transit -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Politics
  • Women
  • Women judges -- Pennsylvania
  • Women lawyers -- Pennsylvania
  • Zionism -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Anne X. Alpern Papers, 1918-1974, AIS.2002.01, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Bibliography

Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes, eds. "Alpern, Anne X.," American National Biography, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999: 377-378.

Rubin, Victor. "Portia from Pittsburgh." Collier's October 20, 1946: 44-50.

Burgess, Milton V. "The Alpern Story." Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph January 28, 1951: 3.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Case Files, 1928-1972 (Bulk 1929-1951) 

Scope and Content Notes

These files represent many of Alpern's cases, either as an attorney or as a judge. In some cases her role is not clearly given by the records present. Most files hold court records and briefs, both typed and printed. A small number of files contain correspondence or newspaper clippings. Files are ordered alphabetically by the surname of the first party named in each case.

Some files come from Alpern's private practice with Cunningham Galbraith & Dickson and deal with divorce and estates. However, most of these are closed until further notice to ensure compliance with attorney-client privilege laws. Many cases that Alpern argued as city solicitor involved local industry, particularly railroads and utilities. Some significant files from this era include: a writ of prohibition against an investigation that threatened the office of Mayor McNair in 1936 (Box 6, Folder 11); the "Free Work" probes into allegedly illegal use of city labor and materials in 1950-1951 (Box 5, Folder 5; Box 6, Folder 8); and the "Mesta Machine" case of 1943 (Box 9, Folder 11-14) wherein Alpern defended the taxation by the city of property belonging to the Mesta Machine Company.

In cases involving the city of Pittsburgh, Alpern represented the city. For other cases, unless noted otherwise, the first name in the case title is the party Alpern represented. In cases where she represented the second party named, the client is identified as appellant or appellee, or as "client" in parentheses. A file at the end of the series contains records from cases sparsely documented or of minor significance, arranged chronologically within the file.

  BoxFolder
Berman, et al v. Duggan, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 723, January Term, 1971 11
  Folder
Bove, et al v. Pittsburgh Railways Company, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, C. 15317, 15327, 15371, 15376, 15407, c1951 2
  Folder
Brinton v. Kerr, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 223 March Term, 1935 3
  Folder
Burkman, v. Anderson and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 3994 April Term, 1934; Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 271 March Term, 1936, 1934-1936 04-05
  Folder
Carson v Board of Assessors of the City of Pittsburgh, et al, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 866 January Term, 1936 6
  Folder
Cinker v. Borough of Crafton, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1523 January Term, 1963 7
  Folder
City of Pittsburgh v. Duquesne Light Company, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Complaint Docket No. 14157-1946, 1946-1947 8
  Folder
City of Pittsburgh v. Kaufmann et al, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 66 October Term, 1934 9
  Folder
City of Pittsburgh, et al v. Waverly Oil Works Company, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, 1936 10
  Folder
City of Pittsburgh v. Pittsburgh and West Virginia Gas Company and Kentucky West Virginia Gas Company, Docket No. G-627, In the Matter of Pittsburgh and West Virginia Gas Company and Kentucky West Virginia Gas Company, Docket No. G-635, United States Federal Power Commission, Opinion No. 168, March 1945, 1945 11
  Folder
Cold Metal Process Company v. United Engineering & Foundry Company, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 6700, undated 12
  Folder
Commonwealth v. Hoak, et al (before Judge Strauss), Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County (Criminal Division), OT Nos. 112, 113, 114, 115, 117, 516 April Sessions, 1969 13-14
  BoxFolder
Commonwealth v. Kirk, et al, Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery and Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Dauphin County, No. 303, 304, 305 January Sessions, 1939 201-05
  Folder
Commonwealth v. Lawrence, et al, Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery and Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Dauphin County, September Sessions, 1938, No. 301, January Sessions, 1939, 1938-1939 6
  Folder
Commonwealth v. Saunders, Appellant, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 145 March Term, 1956 7
  Folder
Commonwealth ex rel. City of Pittsburgh v. Heiman, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Sitting at Pittsburgh, No. 98 April Term, 1937 8
  Folder
Commonwealth ex. rel. Flowers v. Flowers, Appeal of the Equitable Building and Loan Association, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 172 March Term, 1935 9
  BoxFolder
Commonwealth ex. rel. Park v. Kaiserman (client), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 3509 January Term, 1938; Commonwealth ex. rel. Park v. DiCenzo, et al, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 3929 January Term, 1938 31
  Folder
Commonwealth ex rel. Schofield v. Lindsay, Appellee, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 166 March Term, 1938 2
  Folder
Conley v. Firemen's Relief and Pension Fund Board of the City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Sitting at Pittsburgh, No. 158 April Term, 1938 3
  Folder
In re: Application of DeBolt Transfer, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Application Docket No. A. 29719 - Folder No. 5, c1937 4
  Folder
Dornan v. Philadelphia Housing Authority, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District, No. 235 January Term, 1938 5
  Folder
Duquesne Light Co. Financial Information, 1952-1953 6
  Folder
F.J. Kress Box Company, et al v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Supreme Court of the United States, No. 954 October Term, 1938 7
  Folder
Finley v. McNair, Appellant, and Moritz, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 233 March Term, 1934 8
  Folder
Finley v. Pension Board of the City of Pittsburgh, Appellants, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 85 April Term, 1937 9
  Folder
Flaherty, et al v. Port Authority of Allegheny County, et al ("Skybus"), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 313 April Term, 1972; No. 41 March Term, 1973, 1972-1973 10-11
  Folder
General Motors Acceptance Corporation v. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Returnable at Pittsburgh, No. 89 April Term, 1929 12
  Folder
Glesenkamp v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 191 March Term, 1935 13
  Folder
In re: Grand Jury Investigation of violations of the law in the use of city labor & materials of the city of Pgh. ("Free Work" Probe #1), Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery and Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Allegheny County, No. 59, September Sessions, 1950 14
  BoxFolder
Green v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 22 March Term, 1933 41
  Folder
Gretton v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Sitting at Pittsburgh, No. 113 April Term, 1937 2
  Folder
Higbee Estate, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, Nos. 61, 62 March Term, 1950 3
  Folder
Howe Divorce, 1939 4
  Folder
Jackson Estate, 1950 5
  Folder
Jacob v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 98 March Term, 1938 6
  Folder
John Benkart & Sons Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (DeBolt Transfer, Intervening Appellees), Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh District, No. 172 April Term, 1939 7
  Folder
Kurtz v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 1259 Miscellaneous Docket (Original Jurisdiction), undated 8
  Folder
Lloyd v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1603 October Term, 1945 9
  Folder
Mannella v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Sitting at Pittsburgh, No. 80 March Term, 1938-1939 10-11
  Folder
In Re. McCarter ("Free Work" Scandal #2), 1950-1951 12
  Folder
McCarthy v. City of Pittsburgh and Musgrave, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Sitting at Pittsburgh, Nos. 201, 202, 203, 204 April Term, 1937 13
  Folder
In Re. Petition of McNair for Writ of Prohibition, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 876 Miscellaneous Docket of 1936, 1936 14
  Folder
McSorley v. Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh and City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 115 March Term, 1948 15
  Folder
In re: Right of Metropolitan Utilities District, Omaha, Nebraska, undated 16
  BoxFolder
Miller v. Seaman, et al (clients), Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 218 April Term, 1939 51
  Folder
Nash Divorce, 1939 2
  Folder
National Biscuit Co. Appeal to Re-trial of O'Donnell v. Kroger, c1934 3
  Folder
Orth v. Doench, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 125 March Term, 1932 4
  Folder
In re: Petitions of Patterson and Marshall, in re: Municipal Election of November 2, 1937 (Democratic judges, clients), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2289 January Term, 1938 5
  Folder
Pellegrini, v. Radiant Society, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 999 October Term, 1940, 1940-1943 06-07
  Folder
Pennsylvania Power & Light Company v. City of Bethlehem, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District, No. 247 January Term, 1936; No. 28 January Term, 1937, 1936-1937 8
  Folder
Pennsylvania Railroad Company v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 81 March Term, 1939 9
  Folder
In re: Appeal of Perrin from the Decision of the Board of Adjustment, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, Nos. 78 and 100 March Term, 1931 10
  Folder
In re: Insurance Trust of Petty, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 39 March Term, 1933 11
  Folder
Pittsburgh Paving Company, for Use of Iron & Glass Dollar Savings Bank of Birmingham v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 184 March Term, 1937 12
  Folder
In re: Pittsburgh Railways Company, Debtor, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Nos. 8964, 8967, 8996 October Term, 1945; United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, No. 20225 In Bankruptcy, 1945-1950 13
  BoxFolder
Pittsburgh Terminal Warehouse & Transfer Company v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 19 March Term, 1938 61
  Folder
Roberts v. Pitt Publishing Company, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 202 March Term, 1937 2
  Folder
Scholnick, Inc. v. Blanck, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 3059 October Term, 1928 3
  Folder
Scholnick Inc. v. Temple Restaurant, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1310 July Term, 1931 4
  Folder
In re: Appeal of Skarvelis from the Decision of the Board of Adjustment, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 133 March Term, 1936 5
  Folder
State of New York, et al v. United States of America (City of New York and National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, Amici Curiae), Supreme Court of the United States, No. 5 October Term, 1945 6
  Folder
Steinberg v. United States of America, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, No. 11,793, undated 7
  Folder
Stevens v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 89 March Term, 1938 8
  Folder
Taskey v. City of Pittsburgh, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 245 April Term, 1936 9
  Folder
United States of America and Mesta Machine Co. v. Allegheny County, Supreme Court of the United States, No. 417 October Term, 1943, 1943-1944 10-13
  BoxFolder
Voltz v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 151 March Term, 1938 71
  Folder
Ward v. City of Pittsburgh, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 107 March Term, 1936 2
  Folder
Weber v. Weber, County Court of Allegheny County, No. 80, 1927 3
  Folder
Weitzel v Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, No. 50 April Term, 1936 4
  Folder
Westinghouse Air Brake Co. v. City of Pittsburgh (client), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 490 July Term, 1932 5
  Folder
Williams v. Samuel, et al, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District, No. 441 January Term, 1938 6
  Folder
Various Cases, 1928-1969 (intermittent) 7

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Series  II. Professional Files, 1925-1974 (Bulk 1935-1963) 

Scope and Content Notes

The records in this series represent Alpern's professional career outside the courtroom, notably her service in regulatory agencies such as the Public Parking Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, her participation in professional groups such as the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers (NIMLO), and her advocacy of court reform. The first files hold notebooks kept by Alpern in law school and a file kept by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law tracking Alpern's achievements after graduation.

Although the correspondence files in this series are not very extensive, they do give a limited view of Alpern's activities and network of acquaintances. Among the correspondents are clients, fellow attorneys, public officials, and citizens who sent in anonymous tips of illegal acts and called for their investigation. This series also holds hand-written notes kept by Alpern, which are often difficult to read.

A sample of brochures and other promotional material from Alpern's election campaigns in 1953, 1961 and 1963 is followed by documents from Alpern's participation in NIMLO and other agencies. These are arranged in rough chronological order. A script for her presentation to the 1945 meeting of NIMLO concerns the difficulties faced by Pittsburgh city officials in buying war surplus vehicles and other equipment, which she also addressed at the United States Conference of Mayors that same year.

  BoxFolder
Notebooks from Pitt Law School, c1927 1101-02
  BoxFolder
Student File, 1925-1961 121
  Folder
Correspondence, 1929-1972 (intermittent) 02-04
  Folder
Hand-written Notes: Office, Cases, Speeches, undated 5
  Folder
Letters of Support for Federal Court Campaign, 1948-1949 6
  Folder
Election Campaign Material, 1953-1963 (intermittent) 7
  Folder
Legislation Drafts and Notes, c1933-1950 08-09
  BoxFolder
United States Conference of Mayors, 1945 131
  Folder
President's Conference on Fire Prevention, 1947 2
  Folder
National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, 1942-1951 03-06
  BoxFolder
Public Parking Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, 1948-1951 141
  Folder
Report to Judge William H. McNaugher re: Court Congestion/Backlog, c1953-1958 2
  Folder
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1959 03-05
  Folder
Official Comments and Statements, 1958, 1959 6
  Folder
Other Professional Conferences and Associations, 1950-1973 7
  Folder
Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel Law Firm, 1974 8
  Oversize
Plaques, Desk Signs and Metal Stamp, 1959-1961 15
  Oversize
Certificates, Awards, Cartoons and Campaign Posters, 1946-1972 1

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Series  III. Personal Papers, 1919-1973 

Scope and Content Notes

Papers in this series highlight Anne Alpern's activities outside of her professional career, including private pursuits as well as public engagements. Alpern was renowned for her ability to balance a professional career with a home life, and maintained several hobbies as well. At one time she was said to read one non-legal book a day and had a reputation as a gourmet cook, often visiting restaurants and asking for the recipes of dishes she enjoyed. Some recipes obtained from friends, newspapers and other sources are found here, as well as some creative writing by Alpern. This includes an incomplete draft manuscript for a play titled "So Help Me God" and an unnamed short story, both typed and hand-written.

Alpern was also a popular lecturer. This series holds a small number of programs from her speaking engagements and typescripts or drafts of speeches she gave, which include "The Case against the Courts", a well-known expression of her goals for judicial reform. A few items also pertain to her siblings and her father, Joseph Alpern.

In 1965, Alpern became involved in the resignation of Chancellor Litchfield from the University of Pittsburgh, eventually writing an article titled "The Big Donor Dropout! What Happened at the University of Pittsburgh." This article is found here together with fairly extensive documentation of the matter, including newspaper clippings.

Subseries  1. Anne Alpern 

  BoxFolder
Personal Correspondence, 1919-1973 1601-03
  Folder
Correspondence with Marsha Swiss, 1959-1970 04-05
  Folder
Estate of Joseph Alpern, 1937-1973 (intermittent) 6
  Folder
Joseph Alpern Correspondence (in Yiddish), 1928-1930 7
  Folder
Alpern Siblings, 1928-1963 (intermittent) 8
  Folder
Receptions and Social Events, 1939-1974 9
  Folder
United Jewish Fund of Pittsburgh, Inc., 1947-1949 10
  Folder
National Jewish Hospital at Denver, 1949-1950 11
  Folder
Hadassah Donor Luncheon, March 27, 1955 12
  Folder
NAACP Human Rights Dinner, March 31, 1955 13
  Folder
American Jewish Committee, 1959 14
  BoxFolder
Speeches, 1941-1958 171
  Folder
Addresses on KQV, 1938, 1945 2
  Folder
Address for the League of Women Voters, KDKA, May 20, 1936 3
  Folder
Oakland Renewal Plan, 1962-1963 4
  Folder
University of Pittsburgh: Chancellor Litchfield's Resignation, 1965-1966 05-10
  BoxFolder
Marriage Certificate and Honeymoon Mementos, 1937 1801-02
  Folder
Creative Writing, undated 03-05
  Folder
Speeches, Articles and Scripts by Others, c1933-1950 6
  Folder
Personal Interest Newspaper and Journal Clippings, 1950-1970 7
  Folder
Recipes, undated 8
  Oversize
Recipes 19

Subseries  2. Irwin Swiss, c1930-1947 

Scope and Contents note

Irwin Swiss, who married Anne Alpern in 1937, was born in Poland in 1897 and moved to Pittsburgh at the age of ten. He worked as an assistant city solicitor for Pittsburgh from 1935 to 1937, and then became a referee of unemployment compensation. In 1943 he joined the legal staff of the Federal Housing Administration, and served with that agency until late 1944, when he was appointed as an assistant United States attorney. In this position he played a prominent role in the prosecution of suspected communist sympathizers. Swiss died in February of 1960 following a traffic accident. These papers include a very limited sample of his correspondence and official papers, newspaper clippings, notebooks and date books. Occasional pages in one of the larger notebooks show handwriting that may be Alpern's.

Irwin Swiss was a dedicated Zionist and an orator of some reputation. This sub-series contains notes from some of his speeches and a modest selection of articles and notes concerning religious tolerance, anti-Semitism, nationalism and Zionism; poetry and literary criticism; and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's re-election campaign of 1940. Many articles from the Jewish Criterion are included in Box 20, Folder 4.

  BoxFolder
Case File: Hansen Estate, Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, No. 362-A of 1939, 1939 201
  Folder
Notes for Speeches and Articles by Irwin Swiss, undated 2
  Folder
Articles and Notes on Literature and Politics, c1930-1940 03-08
  Folder
Positions and Promotions, 1942-1945 9
  BoxFolder
Housing Agencies, 1943-1950 2101-02
  Folder
Correspondence, 1940-1945 (Intermittent) 3
  Folder
Court and Personal Notebooks, undated 04-07
  Box
Pocket Date Books,1919-1947 22
  Oversize
Certificates of Office and Other Service, 1937-1947 (Intermittent) 2

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Series  IV. Newspaper Clippings and Scrapbooks, c. 1929-1974 

Scope and Content Notes

These clippings follow Anne Alpern's public career, covering her roles in newsworthy events. Several articles are biographical in focus. There are also many humorous political cartoons commenting on Alpern's role in the workings of the city. Most of these were produced by the local newspaper artist Cy Hungerford in the early 1950s.

Loose clippings housed in folders are arranged chronologically by year, with some of the years sub-divided by certain topics. A portion of these were sorted and labeled in 1985, and Box 24 holds a typed index to them. This index provides chronological and topical guides, but does not list all of the clippings in this section. The clippings in Box 28, Folder 8 were apparently compiled by someone other than Alpern. They come from newspapers in the Philadelphia region and throughout Pennsylvania, including two Italian newspapers, Il Progresso and  Il Popolo. Oversize items include the October 26, 1946 issue of  Collier's which featured an article about Alpern, and an article about her 1959 appointment as attorney general.

Six volumes of scrapbooks complete the series. Volume 1 is from Alpern's senior year in high school and is filled with handwritten messages from classmates. Volumes 2-6 contain newspaper clippings and occasional photographs from the 1940 to 1961. Although they cover many of the same topics, they also contain information not found in the loose clippings.

  BoxFolder
Index and Newspaper Clippings, c1929, 1938-1940 231
  Folder
 1941-1945 2
  Folder
 1946 03-04
  Folder
Duquesne Light Strike, 1946 5
  Folder
 1947 06-07
  BoxFolder
 1948 241
  Folder
Federal Court Campaign, November 12, 1948-March 18, 1949 2
  Folder
 1949 3
  Folder
 1950 4
  Folder
"Free Work" Probe: Kilgallen and Gross, April 27-June 15, 1950 05-06
  BoxFolder
"Free Work" Probe: Kilgallen and Gross, June 16-September 21, 1950 2501-04
  Folder
 1951 05-06
  BoxFolder
 January 1951 261
  Folder
"Free Work" Probe: McCarter, February 9-June 28, 1951 02-06
  BoxFolder
"Free Work" Probe: Scrap Selling, March 10-June 13, 1951 271
  Folder
March 9-June 28, 1951 2
  Folder
City Contract Probe: Broadway Maintenance Street Lighting, June 9-July 17, 1951 03-04
  Folder
 1952 5
  Folder
 1953 6
  Folder
 1954-1958 7
  Folder
Appointment as Attorney General, December 24, 1958-1959 8
  BoxFolder
 1959 2801-03
  Folder
 1960 4
  Folder
 1960 5
  Folder
 1960-1961 6
  Folder
 1961 7
  BoxFolder
Appointment to Pa. Supreme Court and Campaign, 1961 2901-02
  Folder
 1963-1974 3
  Folder
Skybus Case, 1972 4
  Folder
Unidentified Clippings, undated 5
  Oversize
 1946, 1958-1959 3
  Volume
High School Senior Year, 1918-1919 1
  Volume
 1940-1945 2
  Volume
6th Annual National Newspaper Dinner, Scranton Elks, 1956 3
  Volume
 1959 4
  Volume
 1959-1961 5
  Volume
 1961 6

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Series  V. Photographs 

Scope and Content Notes

Professional photographs include portraits and shots of Anne Alpern with other attorneys and political officials, including David L. Lawrence, Genevieve Blatt, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Most of the photographs appear to have been taken in or near Pittsburgh. Personal photographs include vacation snapshots and pictures of Alpern's family and friends. Oversize photographs show Alpern with David Lawrence and other political officials, members of NIMLO, and Alpern's family.

  BoxFolder
Early Photographs: Family, School 301
  Folder
Portraits 02-03
  Folder
Professional 4
  Folder
Family of Anne Alpern, Irwin Swiss, and Marsha Swiss 5
  Folder
Vacations 6
  Folder
Extended Family and Friends 7
  Oversize
Oversize Photos 4

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Series  VI. Closed Files 

Scope and Contents Notes

These files contain information that is or may be protected by the attorney-client privilege. In order to ensure compliance with regulations regarding the privilege, they are closed until further notice.

  BoxFolder
Ahrle (Immigration to U.S.) [RESTRICTED], 1940-1941 81
  Folder
Allison v. Allison, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Docket "D", No. 3016 April Term [RESTRICTED], 1939 2
  Folder
Alpern v. National Association of Women's and Children's Apparel Salesmen, Inc. (NAWCAS) Benevolent Auxiliary [RESTRICTED], 1964-1965 3
  Folder
Basic Foods, Inc. v. Moyer, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 2947 [RESTRICTED], 1940-1944 4
  Folder
Baysoi v. Jessop Steel Co., United States District Court of the United States for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 7963 [RESTRICTED], 1949-1950 5
  Folder
Berg Wills, Property [RESTRICTED], 1939, 1951, 1964 6
  Folder
Blank v. Blank, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 756 January Term 1950-D [RESTRICTED], 1950-1951 7
  Folder
Brandt v. Hoffman, No. 2016 July Term [RESTRICTED], 1935 8
  Folder
Commonwealth v. C.I.T. Corporation (Motors Mortgage Corp.), Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Commonwealth Docket, 1928; No. 113 Commonwealth Docket, 1929; Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Middle District, No. 9 May Term, 1929 [RESTRICTED], 1928-1929 9
  Folder
Commonwealth ex rel. Fidelity Trust Co. v. Babcock (client), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2273 October Term, 1934 [RESTRICTED], 1934-1949 10
  BoxFolder
Cunningham Estate [RESTRICTED], 1948-1949 91
  Folder
Davis Release to Truco, Inc. [RESTRICTED], 1947-1948 2
  Folder
Dixon v. Dixon, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2111 January Term, 1937 [RESTRICTED], 1936-1937 3
  Folder
Dorian, U.S. Citizenship [RESTRICTED], 1974 4
  Folder
Failla v. Paulo [RESTRICTED], 1950-1951 5
  Folder
Fisher v. Fisher, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 3349 July Term, 1936 [RESTRICTED], 1936-1937 6
  Folder
Gamble Estate [RESTRICTED], 1929-1944 7
  Folder
Hahn v. Hively (client) [RESTRICTED], 1938 8
  Folder
Hamilton v. Hamilton, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 938, 1925; No. 1389 January Term, 1938 [RESTRICTED], 1938-1939 9
  Folder
Handelman [RESTRICTED], 1934 10
  Folder
Howell Divorce [RESTRICTED], 1948 11
  Folder
Hughes Patent [RESTRICTED], 1951 12
  Folder
Kerr Estate, Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, No. 539 September Term, 1935; Kerr v. Kerr, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2452 July Term, 1936 [RESTRICTED], 1935-1941 13
  Folder
King v. King, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1960 October Term, 1949 [RESTRICTED], 1949-1951 14
  Folder
Kline Estate, Orphans' Court of Westmoreland Co. and Superior Court of Pa. Sitting at Pittsburgh, No. 141 April Term, 1947 [RESTRICTED], 1947-1950 15
  Folder
Koontz v. Lescallet, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 962 April Term, 1939 [RESTRICTED], 1938-1939 16
  Folder
Malone Divorce [RESTRICTED], c1932 17
  Folder
McIntire Estate [RESTRICTED], 1934 18
  Folder
Moore Estate [RESTRICTED], 1950 19
  Folder
Mulford, Separation and Trust Agreements [RESTRICTED], 1931-1936 20
  Folder
Pellegrini, Various Claims [RESTRICTED], 1943-1950 21
  BoxFolder
Pellegrini, v. Radiant Society, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 999 October Term, 1940 [RESTRICTED], 1940-1943 101
  Folder
Pennsylvania Railroad Slide Case [RESTRICTED], 1938 2
  Folder
In re: Perfect Laundries of Pittsburgh, Inc., District Court of the United States, Western District of Pennsylvania, No. 16726 in Bankruptcy [RESTRICTED], 1931 3
  Folder
Pillmore v. Pillmore [RESTRICTED], 1936-1939 4
  Folder
Potts Estate, Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, No. 189 of 1938 [RESTRICTED], 1938 5
  Folder
Rosen Divorce [RESTRICTED], 1945-1947 6
  Folder
In Re. Ryan Estate, Orphans' Court of Allegheny County, Docket 51, c1936; County of Allegheny v. Ryan, et al, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Lev. Fa. No. 525 July Term, 1949, Sur. Judgment Sci. Fa. No. 3353 April Term, 1949 [RESTRICTED], 1929-1949 (intermittent) 7
  Folder
In Re. Schmitt [RESTRICTED], 1951 8
  Folder
Schoen & Schoen v. Elsasser, Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, No. 566 September Term, 1931, C.D.; Elsasser v. Schoen, Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County, No. 3 February Term, 1932, C.D. [RESTRICTED], 1931-1932, 1936 9
  Folder
Shields v. Shields, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2706 April Term [RESTRICTED], 1948 10
  Folder
Sieg v. Sieg, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1828 October Term, 1939 [RESTRICTED], 1939-1942 11
  Folder
Sutton, Stock Sale [RESTRICTED], 1949 12
  Folder
Travis v. Travis, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1858 April Term, 1949 [RESTRICTED], 1949-1950 13
  Folder
Wall v. Wall, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 2747 April Term, 1949B [RESTRICTED], 1948-1949 14
  Folder
Williams v. Baskerville (client), Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. 1977 July Term, 1936 [RESTRICTED], 1936-1938 15
  Folder
Young [RESTRICTED], 1944-1949 16
  Folder
Various Cases [RESTRICTED], 1933-1970 (intermittent) 17

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