Guide to the Billy Adams Papers, 1911-1942 AIS.1977.26

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections
Billy Adams Papers
Adams, Billy, b. 1860
Collection Number
1.25 linear feet
The Papers of Billy Adams consist of manuscript and published material relating the Pittsburgh Socialist Party, the International Socialist Lyceum, and the Unemployed Citizens League for the period 1911-1942.

Preferred Citation

Billy Adams Papers,1911-1942, AIS.1977.26, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Scope and Content Notes

The Billy Adams Papers span the years 1911-1942, and consist largely of manuscript and published material relating to the Socialist Party, the International Socialist Lyceum, and the Unemployed Citizens League. There is also some published material on the Townsend Plan. The only item linking Billy Adams with these organizations is an autograph book containing birthday greetings from fellow Socialists on the occasion of his 75th birthday. He is not listed in any of the membership/dues books in this collection.

Although a "William Adams" is listed in the Socialist Voters Guide as a candidate for Judge of Orphans' Court on the Socialist Ticket in 1911, and someone of the same name placed an ad in a Socialist Party banquet program in 1921, the researcher should not assume that "William Adams" and "Billy Adams" are the same person. "William Adams" signed the birthday greetings book to "Billy Adams".

The researcher, if dealing with the Socialist Party, may wish to consult the following resources: Socialist Party (U.S.) Papers, 1897-1963 (Hillman, Micro Nwsp.); Allegheny County, Pa., Department of Elections Voting Records, 1926-36, 1941-1969(ais 65:10; 1,714 v.) ; Ralph Waldo Tillotson Memorial Collection, 1894-1963(ais Micro 76: 13).

The collection also includes a variety of printed material--pamphlets, booklets, periodical numbers--reflecting certain union activities (International Ladies Garment Worker Union and the International Itinerant Workers' Union), campaign issues, positions on public ownership, and other topics relevant to the Socialist Party. Among the assorted publications, a treatise on the Townsend National Recovery Plan contains annotations by an unidentified individual.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 1978

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
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Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


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.

Acquisition Information

Acquired from David Rinne via Pat Lynch in 1977.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center staff.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Kate Colligan and Jared Campbell in 2001. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 1372049

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Allegheny County Socialist Party. 18th Ward Branch. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Allegheny County Socialist Party.
  • Socialist Party (U.S.).
  • Unemployed Citizens' League of Allegheny County.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.) -- Politics and government
  • Pennsylvania -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Politics and government

Personal Name(s)

  • Adams, Billy, b. 1860


  • Labor
  • Labor -- Pennsylvania
  • Labor -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Labor -- Pennsyslvania -- Societies, etc.
  • Personal papers
  • Political parties -- Pennsylvania
  • Political parties -- United States
  • Politics
  • Social action
  • Socialist parties -- Pennsylvania
  • Socialists -- Pennsylvania
  • Unemployed -- Pennsylvania
  • Unemployed -- Societies, etc.

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Previous Citation

Billy Adams Papers,1911-1942, AIS.1977.26, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Billy Adams Papers, 1860-193?, 1911-1942, AIS 77:26, Archives of Industrial Society, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Socialist Party Records and Publications, 1911-1942 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains materials related to the Socialist Party of Allegheny County and includes membership lists and dues records (18th Ward), minutes, souvenir programs, voter's guide, songbook, anti-war proclamation, and a single letter. The last three items are among several originating from Socialists outside of Allegheny County.

The series also includes the minutes of the board of directors of the International Socialist Lyceum, an organization comprised of representatives from the Arbeiter Gesang Verein, Bratsvo Sing and Dramatic Club, Hungarian Workers Educational Club, I.W.W., Workers Defense League, Arbeiter Building /sic/ Verein, North Side Central Branch Socialist Party, 22nd and 25th Ward Branch Socialist Party, Workingman's Benefit Fund, Finnish Workers Club, North Side Social Club, Workingman's Singing Society, Allied Slavonic Singing Society, and the Croatian Club Bratsvo.

Socialist Party of Allegheny County, Twentieth Reunion Program, June 5, 1921 11
Socialist Party of Allegheny County, 18th Ward Branch membership book, 1912-1919 2
International Socialist Lyceum, Pittsburgh (North Side), board of directors, Minutes, Dec. 14, 1926-Sept. 1, 1942 3
Socialist Party of America, National Executive Committee, Meeting Minutes, March 11-12, 1933 4
Voter's Guide of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County for 1911 5
Some Songs for Young Socialists 6
Socialist Party of America, National Office, Proclamation and War Program, May 1917 7
James H. Mauer, Letter to the Editor of Washington (Pa.)Observer and enclosures, January 25, 1930 8

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Series  II. Unemployed Citizens' League of Allegheny County, 1932-1943 

Scope and Content Notes

The Allegheny County Division of the Pennsylvania Unemployed Citizens' contained a 1935 constitution, membership lists, financial reports, miscellaneous manuscripts pertaining to Local #1, and a volume of financial records from Local #7.

These records, spanning the years 1935-1942, compliment other material in ais such as the Ernest Rice McKinney Papers (63:4), containing material from the Unemployed Citizens' League, and the James R. Cox Papers (69:5), documenting other activities relating to the unemployed in Pittsburgh during the same time period.

Constitution March 1935 9
Local #1, Records, 1935-1942 210-13
Local #7, Records of the Financial Secretary 1932-1941 14-15

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Series  III. Billy Adams' 75th Birthday Autograph Book 

Scope and Content Notes

A unique item representing Adams as an individual apart from these organizations is his autograph book, signed on the occasion of his 75th birthday by local Socialist Party members.

Autograph Book Feb. 16, 1935 16

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Series  IV. Printed Materials from Various Sources 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains printed material--pamphlets, booklets, periodicals--related to various subjects and oragnizations including the Townsend National Recovery Plan, the Public Ownership League of America, the American Association for International Conciliation, the International Ladies' Garment Worker's Union, and the International Itinerant Workers' Union. Also included in this series are two booklets by John M. Slayton, Criminology, Crimes and Criminals and The United States Constitution: A Class Document and  Props to Capitalism

Publications Pertaining to the Townsend National Recovery Plan 17
Publications by John W. Slayton 18
Public Ownership League of America. Publications 19
American Association for International Conciliation 20
Miscellaneous Publications 21

Includes publications produced by International Ladies' Garment Workers, International Itinerant Worker's Union, Russian Soviet Government Bureau, and Workmen's Benefit Fund of the U.S.

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