New York State Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities Newspaper Clippings Files

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of newspaper articles and editorials on topics such as labor, socialism, radicalism, immigration, and unrest in the United States. The clippings were compiled by the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities, known as the "Lusk Committee" for its chairman Clayton R. Lusk, and document several thousand events and activities involving individuals and organizations suspected of radical activity in New York State, the United States, and the world.
14 cubic feet; Copies: 28 microfilm rolls; 35mm.
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Arranged by topic.

Administrative History

During its investigation, the committee gathered information on a broad spectrum of individuals, organizations, and events associated with radical activities during the "Red Scare" years. As part of this information gathering, the committee examined articles from newspapers reporting on these activities and their causes in the United States and throughout the world. The committee examined the newspapers not only for information about these activities but also to determine attitudes of the press and public toward radical movements.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of over 20,000 newspaper articles from June through October 1919. Nearly all the stories were taken from seven New York City newspapers (New York American, New York Globe, New York Herald, New York Post, New York Times, New York Tribune, and New York World) and the Baltimore Sun.

The clippings were glued to sheets and fastened into binders by topic. Over 80% of the articles are merely one or two paragraph descriptions of an event. The remainder are longer articles ranging from several paragraphs to several pages. While some editorials or longer in-depth reports are included, the majority are straight news stories.

The topics covered by the clippings include several thousand events and activities of individuals and organizations suspected of radical activity in New York State, the United States, and the world. The clippings are grouped under several major topics, the most significant being: 1) Labor. Articles focus on union activities of a large number of trades and on strikes, particularly the 1919 Steel Strike. 2) Foreign countries. Events in Europe and Russia are emphasized but articles cover many countries elsewhere. 3) Radical organizations in the United States. Clippings center around organization, propaganda, and radical activity. 4) Unrest in the United States. Articles focus in particular on unrest due to high food prices and housing shortages. 5) The United States involvement with the war in Europe. 6) Immigration, naturalization, and deportation. 7) Ethnic groups, particularly Negroes and Jews. 8) Activities of the committee. Several hundred articles document the work of the committee during the period.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Alternate Formats Available

Microfilm is available for use at the New York State Archives or through inter-library loan.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Folder list and an alphabetical listing by major subject heading are available at the repository.

Custodial History

This series was originally accessioned as boxes 28-41 of old collection #281, accessions -236 and -237.

Access Terms

Geographic Name(s):