The Morris Fromkin Memorial Collection was launched in 1970 with seed money donated in memory of Morris Fromkin, who died in 1969. The donors were Morris Fromkin’s widow, Selma Fromkin, and his three children, Marcia Fromkin Prester, Sari Fromkin Magaziner, and David H. Fromkin.
The Collection is now fully supported by the Golda Meir Library. The Collection’s broad theme is social justice in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War II.
It also contains materials on European and Asian ideas and movements — for example, the Russian and Chinese Revolutions, the rise of Fascism in Europe, the Civil War in Spain, the social insurance, city planning, and housing reform movements in England and Germany–that affected the American Left.
Morris Fromkin’s interest in social justice and his legal work for the labor movement and pro bono work for the poor inspired this theme.
The Fromkin Collection covers a variety of subjects:
- The labor movement in the United States.
- Marxism, Leninism, and anarchism.
- Communist ideology and the Communist Party in the United States.
- Socialist ideologies and the Socialist Party in the United States.
- The ideas of Henry George and the Single Tax movement in the United States.
- Social insurance, including old age pensions, workmen’s compensation, health insurance, unemployment insurance, disability benefits, and pensions for widows and orphans, in the United States.
- A variety of liberal reform movements, such as prison reform, housing reform, city planning, the crusades against child labor and prostitution, and efforts to aid immigrants.
- The social concerns of social workers and the rise of social work as a profession.
- Pacifism and antiwar movements.
- Proletarian novels and fiction dealing with many subjects covered by the Collection.
Additionally, through the Archives, social justice researchers also have access to archival collections owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society. These collections are among the most important in the nation for the study of the American labor movement and the American Left, the civil rights movement and other social action movements of the post-World War II period, and social, political, and economic reform during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.