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Bernard Isaacs papers, 1919-1981

1.3 linear feet

Educator and administrator with the United Hebrew Schools of Detroit, Michigan; writer of short stories, essays, and musical plays. Writings; published works; scattered correspondence relating in part to Detroit Zionism, 1919-1921; miscellaneous relating to the United Hebrew Schools of Detroit; and scores and program to musical plays written by Isaacs, entitled, "Samson and Delilah" and "Saul and David."

The collection, a significant portion of which is in Yiddish and Hebrew, consists of a scattering of material over a sixty-year period of time. Of most importance are those files of Isaacs' writings - speeches, short stories, essays and two musical plays (Samson and Delilah and Saul and David) written in Hebrew and given by the pupils of the United Hebrew Schools of Detroit. Except for two volumes of published works, the collection has been arranged alphabetically by topic or type of material.


Edgar A. Guest Papers, 1898-1950

7 linear feet — 1 oversize volume — 2 oversize folders

Special writer for the Detroit Free Press, poet, and lyricist. Scrapbooks containing copies of poetry published in newspapers, manuscripts of radio talks, fan mail, newspaper clippings of poems, greeting cards containing Guest verses, and miscellanea.

The Edgar Guest papers came to the library in two accessions. In 1938, Guest donated some galley proofs for his newspaper poetry, scripts from his radio program, sheet music containing lyrics written by Guest or based largely on his verse, and other miscellaneous publications and congratulatory correspondence. In 2003, Guest's grandson donated an extensive run of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings of his Detroit Free Press column.


Frank and Peggy Bach Papers, 1964-2003

9 linear feet (in 10 boxes) — 2 oversize folders — 1 optical discs (CDs) — 1 phonograph record — 4 film reels — 1 artifact

Frank and Peggy Bach were involved with the counterculture in Detroit and Ann Arbor beginning in the 1960s as musicians, performers, graphic designers, promoters, and activists for area jazz, blues, and pop acts. Frank Bach was also involved in community organizations supporting housing and economic development activities in Detroit. The collection documents the Bach's numerous professional activities and organizations, groups, and individuals with whom they were associated, including Rainbow Corporation and Rainbow Multi-media, Allied Artists Association of America, Strata Associates, Detroit Jazz Center, Grande Graphics, Morda-Sinclair & Associates, and John Sinclair. Detroit community organizations documented in the collection include the Creekside Community Development Corporation, the Jefferson-Chalmers Citizens' District Council, and the Jefferson East Business Association.

The Frank and Peggy Bach collection consists of six series including Professional Ventures, Detroit Redevelopment, Arts and Culture, Newspaper Clippings, Visual Materials, and Audio Materials. These are in alphabetical order except for the Professional Ventures series, which follows its original chronological organization according to the Bachs' careers. The majority of the collection includes finished products of their graphic design and advertising careers and photographs of jazz musicians. Another substantial portion of the collection includes materials documenting the inner workings of Detroit community development organizations.

The Bachs are long-standing friends and business colleagues of John and Leni Sinclair. Therefore, the Bach collection closely compliments the John and Leni Sinclair Papers at the Bentley Historical Library, both containing extensive material regarding the 1960s and 1970s youth movement and later business ventures. Additional material about many topics within the Bach collection may be found with the Sinclair papers. Frank Bach was a journalist for the Sun, Fifth Estate, and Creem. Each of these publications is available for research at the Bentley Historical Library. Additional information about many topics within the Bach collection may be found with the Sinclair papers.


Jerry Peterson "Jerry Vile" collection, 1986-2015

2.6 linear feet (in 8 boxes)

Jerry Peterson, aka Jerry Vile, is a Detroit metro area artist, performer, and publisher known for his provocative style. Peterson created and published several free culture/humor magazines between 1978-1999 including White Noise, Fun: The Magazine for Swinging Intelectuals [sic], and Orbit. The collection is comprised of complete runs of Fun and Orbit and contains a small number of photographs, memorabilia, and other publications including an anthology by Rob St. Mary.

The collection is primarily comprised of the periodicals Fun: The Magazine for Swinging Intelectuals [sic] and Orbit, created and published by Jerry Peterson. The satirical magazines document Detroit's pop and punk culture scenes in the 1980s and 1990s and include articles and graphics on arts, culture, humor, and entertainment. A detailed index of volumes and issues may be found in Box 8; this is a useful reference due to inconsistency of both publications volume/issue numbering scheme.

The collection also contains a small number of photographs and memorabilia from Orbit; special edition publications by Jerry Peterson on Detroit including a satirical ad he had printed in the Detroit Metro Times during the Detroit bankruptcy in 2013; and the book The Orbit Magazine Anthology: re-entry, authored by Rob St. Mary and published in 2015, which chronicles the history of Detroit's alternative publications.


John and Leni Sinclair papers, 1957-2003

66.5 linear feet (in 82 boxes) — 1 oversize folder (UAl) — 1 oversize volume — 33 open reel videotapes — 727.7 GB (online)

John and Leni Sinclair were leaders of the counterculture movement in Michigan, organizers of radical social, political, and cultural endeavors primarily in the areas of music, poetry, graphic design, and community welfare projects. Papers and photographs (1957-1979) relating to all phases of their careers, including participation in the Artists' Workshop in Detroit, the Rainbow Multi-Media Corporation, the White Panther Party and its offshoot, the Rainbow Peoples Party; also materials concerning the legalization of marijuana, radical politics, and prison reform. Also material, 1979-2000, relating to John Sinclair's work as a writer, performer, radio show host and music promoter.

The John Sinclair papers came to the library in 1979. Jointly donated by John and Leni Sinclair, this initial accession, covering the period 1957-1979, included textual material, sound recordings, and photographs relating to all phases of their careers, including participation in the Artists' Workshop in Detroit, the Rainbow Multi-Media Corporation, the White Panther Party and its offshoot, the Rainbow Peoples Party; also materials concerning the legalization of marijuana, radical politics, prison reform, and rock and jazz music.

The Sinclair papers provide a rich and unique source for the study of America's radical movement in the nineteen sixties and seventies. Beginning with a remarkable series of correspondence that includes letters from Abbie Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and Jerry Rubin, and continuing on through extensive subject files, the collection details the cultural, political and business activities of a man whose energy and charisma made him a local and national leader of the counterculture. In addition, the collection documents the support and creativity of his wife and partner, who as writer, photographer and publicist helped to showcase the lifestyle which he symbolized.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, John Sinclair added to his papers with materials relating to his career as a writer and performer. In the winter of 2000, he donated a second large accession relating mainly to the period since leaving Detroit for New Orleans.

The Sinclair collection has been divided into four subgroups: Textual Files, Printed Material, Sound Recordings, and Visual Material.


Laurie Palazzolo Horn Man research materials collection, 1913-2004 (majority within 1940s-1980s)

10 linear feet (in 13 boxes) — 1 oversize folder — 5 GB (online) — 62 digital audio files

Research materials used by Laurie Palazzolo in writing of her book Horn Man: the Polish-American Musician in Twentieth-Century Detroit (Detroit, Mich.: American-Polish Music Society, 2003). The collection sheds light on the history of 20th century Polish-American musical landscape of greater Detroit.

The collection documents the history and repertoire of Polish folk music bands in the greater Detroit area as well as professional careers of musicians. The records date primarily from the 1940's until 1980s. Materials dated 1990s-2000s are primarily transcripts of interviews taken by Gomulka Palazzolo. Records include correspondence, business contracts, performance schedules and programs, sheet music, scanned copies of photographs, copies of Keynote magazine, biographical information and interviews of musicians, performance advertisements, and recordings. The records are arranged into five series as follows: Research files, Detroit Federation of Musicians, Sheet music, Sound recordings, and Visual materials.


Richard Crawford (1935- )papers, 1893-1915, 1949-2001

3.75 linear feet

Professor at University of Michigan School of Music, papers largely related to the Music School's Honors Program and Crawford's teaching career.

The Crawford papers in the main date from 1949 to 2001. Historical material collected by Crawford dates from 1893 to 1915. The Crawford papers measure 3.75 linear feet. They consist almost exclusively of records from the School of Music's Honors Program, which Crawford administered in the 1960s, and Crawford's teaching material. The collection has been divided into four series, School of Music Records, Teaching Material, Other Professional Material, and Collected Historical Music Material.