THE THOMAS AND DOROTHY LEAVEY CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LOS ANGELES RESEARCH COLLECTIONTHOMAS A. GAUDETTE PAPERS (CSLA-18): Collection and Series DescriptionsCOLLECTION TITLE AND NUMBER: Thomas A. Gaudette Papers, 1938-1996. CSLA-18ACCESSION NUMBER: 1999.20COLLECTION SIZE: 21 archival document boxes
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION | SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
The materials in this collection were collected by Thomas Gaudette himself during his long career as an organizer. The textual materials include newspaper clippings, magazine and journal articles, book reviews, correspondence, conference materials, community organization flyers, brochures, newsletters, and annual reports. Non-textual holdings consist of photographs, video tapes, and audiocassettes. The photographs (usually Kodak color) are mainly personal photographs that Thomas Gaudette made of the organizing meetings he attended and organizers he met. The chronological span of the holdings is from 1938 to 1996, with the majority of the materials found after 1960. Thomas Gaudette arranged in binders, in chronological sequence by year and then month, many of the textual materials and photographs. This suggests that he used the binders as a resource and probably intended that they serve as a record of his activities in community organizing, as well as the movement in general with which his life was so strongly associated. Correspondence in the holdings indicates that he solicited materials, especially newspaper articles, from other community organizers for this task, further evidence of his desire to document the history of community organizing and the community organizers and organizations with which he had worked. After retiring from organizing, Gaudette, either in 1993 or 1994, gave his holdings to one of his proteges, John Baumann, S. J., of the Pacific Institute for Community Organization. Father Baumann then transferred them to the CSLA Research Collection in 2000, at the direction of Kay Gaudette, Thomas Gaudette's widow.
This collection has been organized into series based on the arrangement conceived by the material's originator, Thomas Gaudette. Series 1 consists of the binders documenting the career of Thomas Gaudette, as well as the organizers and community organizations with which he was associated. Series 2 consists of miscellaneous materials, loose articles and notebooks. Series 3 consists of video tapes and audio cassette tapes. Specific research strengths and types of materials for each series are noted in its particular description found below. The arrangement of the materials of each series in boxes and folders is described in the box and folder lists, which can be accessed through selecting the appropriate links found in the series descriptions. There are number of reel-to-reel tapes as well, presently unavailable for public use.
A brief description of each series is listed below. Descriptions include links to each series' box and folder lists, which are indexes to a series' holdings and arrangement in folders and boxes.
SERIES 1: Thomas Gaudette Community Organizing Binders back to top
To consult the box and folder lists for the holdings of this series, select the following title: Series One: Thomas Gaudette Community Organizing Binders.
This series consists of magazine, newspaper, and journal articles; community organization flyers, brochures, and annual reports; photographs; and correspondence. Thomas Gaudette placed these materials in binders, in chronological sequence by year and then month, beginning with 1938; the date of the last binder is 1995, with some material dated as 1996. The materials in the binders were pasted on sheets of paper, which were then numbered. Also, some binders had handwritten indices for their contents. For preservation purposes, the materials have been removed from their binders, but the order and chronological arrangement of the materials have been maintained. In short, original order has been preserved in this series. Most of the materials in this series are magazine, newspaper, and journal articles, some of which are photocopies. Personal papers, such as correspondence, is limited, although often informative. For example Box 1, Folder 2, contains a copy of a letter from 1958 that Monsignor John Egan sent to Tom Gaudette in which Egan praises the latter's organizing abilities and encourages him to carry on the work. Also useful in this series are the rosters that Thomas Gaudette maintained over the years of community organizers and community organizations. The photographs of the organizing meetings and organizers that Thomas Gaudette took provide valuable photographic documentation of community organizing.
Because of Thomas Gaudette's fundamental role in community organization, persons and community organizations important in this field are found in this collection. Most of the materials on these persons is either articles by or about them, rather than personal papers such as correspondence. Despite this absence, the progress, issues, and philosophy of community organizing can be discerned in these holdings because of their chronological breadth and the importance of the individuals found in them. Names of note include Saul Alinsky, Fred Ross, Ed Chambers, Gale Cincotta, John Baumann, Shel Trapp, Heather Booth, Monsignor John Egan, and Ernesto Cortes. Organizations important in this series include, but are not limited to, the Pacific Institute for Community Organization, National People's Alliance, National Training and Information Center, Eastern Training Community Institute, and National Training Center.
SERIES 2: Articles, Speeches, Notebooks back to top
To consult the box and folder lists for the holdings of this series, select the following title: Series Two: Articles, Speeches, Notebooks.
In this series are found miscellaneous materials from 1957 to 1996 that came to the Research Collection labelled as "Articles, Speeches." The miscellaneous holdings include articles and other literature on organizing, and photographs. Of special interest are dossiers on various community training organizations, eg, the Midwest Academy. Here can be found rosters and literature on the organizations, as well as photographs of their members (Box 1, Folders 4, 5). Valuable too are the notebooks with Tom Gaudette's own reflections on organizing (Box 2, Folders 3, 4).
SERIES 3: Audiocassettes and Videocassettes back to top
To consult the box and folder lists for the holdings of this series, select the following title: Series Three: Audiocassettes and Videocassettes.
This series consists of nine audiocassettes and nine videocassettes that Thomas Gaudette made of news programs or conferences related to community organizing and organizations. For some of the audiocassettes either the dates, locations, or participants cannot be identified (see nos. 6-9). Perhaps the audiocassette of most interest is the oral history interview conducted with Thomas Gaudette in 1990 on his life and career as an organizer. The place and name of interviewer is unknown. Also of interest is a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, date unknown but most likely made in Chicago.
The videocassettes document the work of community organizations, including those found in Series 1. For example, material on the South Suburban Action Council (SSAC) of the Chicago suburbs can be found in Series 1, Box 17, Folder 1, while tape number 6 of this series contains news documentaries on this community organization. In the box and folder list, cross-references are provided to relevant materials in Series 1; the references are not exhaustive, though.
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